Some thoughts on CVS

Erik Harrison erikharrison at
Fri Jul 23 06:20:34 CEST 2004

Just a real quick coverage of my feelings from CVS. Feel free to
ignore. Sorry if it's overly long.


Excellent work overall. I have a friend who'll be upset that he can't
have a floating always on top panel anymore, but it doesn't bother me
any. I'd like to be able to position it on top or the sides with just
a drag, as opposed to having to change the orientation in the
settings. Otherwise the panel continues to shine. Only a few niggles.
Both the eyes applet and the system buttons applet don't resize when
the panel does. System notification is off for launcher's by default,
and I think it should be on by default. The Volume applet doesn't look
good, or is even readily usable to me at less than medium panel size.


The taskbar is fine as usual. I'd like a visual separator for the
system tray, but that's minor. Another minor niggle, window buttons
resize based on the number of items in the taskbar - the Gnome taskbar
has the same problem. I'd like a standard size that was followed
regardless of the size of the window title or the number of items in
the list unless the taskbar hit capacity. It looks cleaner, and it's
easier to grab tasks out of the list without looking. Feature request
- when right clicking on a window group, can we have an option for
"Close All" and "Minimize All". I really miss this from lots of

Window Manger:

Again, solid work on a solid foundation. The gradient stuff is nice,
and is shown off well in the default theme, I think. I still prefer
window resistance to window snapping, or the combination that xfwm4
uses, but that's minor, and highly subjective.

File Manger:

Very nice improvement. For me the biggest is the elimination of the
crashes I was experiencing before (I blame my environment). Couple of
things. The "view" button doesn't do anything for me. The icon for the
"Go To" button has a black bar on the right of it, which is kinda
strange. The "Main Menu" Looks kinda lonely up there. Perhaps some of
the toolbar functionality could be moved into menus up top - other
wise, just having the main menu seems a little wasteful of
screenspace. Also - we call it the wastebasket in dialogs but trash in
the locations area, and the icons are different. is this by design?
Lastly, under Options, the two threshold options were not immediately
obvious what they did. Regardless of these little things, fine work!

Others - 

The calender and the menu are both nice and straightforward. The
session manager logged me in fast and had a nice splash screen. I've
experienced no crashes or anything in the few minutes I've been using
the environment, which is of course to be expected. All in all,
everything is an improvement. Anything else I missed must not be used
by me, or just worked like expected (like the appfinder).

Final thoughts - 

When a user logs in for the first time, it would not be unreasonable
to popup a customization dialog, the KDE does. There has already been
some talk of writing a migration script for 4.2 since locations for
settings files may change. A first start application could ask if the
user wants to run the migration script, possibly run the appfinder and
allow the user to customize their menu with it. As it stands, there
doesn't seem to be a GUI accessible location for running the appfinder
anyway, so doing this on startup might be a good idea. It also gives
the system a chance to run through tasks which are slower on first run
(like build the menu, and copy in default settings to the appropriate
dot files) while the user performs the basic housekeeping tasks he'd
likely do anyway, but now can do without probing the panel for the
right config applet.

Also, I'd like to see the taskbar, the panel, and the icon box all
implemented as one underlying applet container widget, and have all
applets available to all. The new icon's only mode for the taskbar
means that the iconbox current implementation could be tossed. This
should also allow for multiple instances of the existing panel - I'd
like, for example to have a launcher panel and an applet panel for
pager, systray, volume control, etc.

Thanks for this,


More information about the Xfce4-dev mailing list