New file manager (WAS Re: xffm)

Auke Kok sofar at
Wed Feb 2 12:40:58 CET 2005

Maybe I should clear this up a bit... there are two things playing:

1. Xfce should stay lean and mean.

2. Xfce should be a sufficiently usable Desktop Environment

these two ideals conflict, and one way or another you're gonna sacrifice 
parts of either ideal to make it work...

*** HOWEVER ***

The current design ideals of the developers group is striving to a very 
acceptable compromise, which stems from the fact that Xfce is extremely 
modular. While not everyone will remove xfdesktop/xftaskbar etc from 
their xfce build, the future versions of xfce will (still) allow you to 
run xfwm4 separately, or just xfce4-panel. Nothing like that will change!

Now, for those people out there that use Xfce heavily and have some 
better hardware (and want to use it with as much comfort as possible 
without booting KDE), it would be very benifical if they could have 
quick and easy access to their files without starting konqueror or nautilus.

ROX may be popular, but just doesn't give the feel people are looking 
for. Most prominently, there are two big missing features that people 
are *looking* for in Xfce. The 'demand' will be filled with a 'supply', 
no matter how much you want to stop it. Rox fills this gap for some 
people but somehow it won't make it into Xfce and there are good reasons 
fo this.

It's up to the Xfce crew to take this task up to themselves, and provide 
a solution that fits with their opinion of what Xfce should *give* you. 
You don't need to take all of it tho, we're not gonna shove some 
programs in your throat and make it required to run other components of 

The guys have taken up this task very seriously, and the design 
documents and ideas that they have produced show to me that they are 
very capable of producing something that almost
100% of all Xfce users will embrace and promote. The rest will run Xfce 
happily without some of the new components, or not even install them.

I hope you realize that *YOU* will have the choice because you *CAN* 
make the choice on this one, and that is something that other DE's fail 
to provide to you. (If I sound scary like RMS to you than that's intended).


Antonio SJ Musumeci wrote:

> It would seem to me that you shouldnt be using XFCE then but just a 
> WM. For me the reason to use a DE is coherence and interoperability. 
> ROX-Filer works well with XFCE because it's based on GTK and fd.o 
> standards... but if a xfce fm or terminal or other app will work more 
> fluidly with the rest of my DE i'd prefer that (given it gives the 
> same general functionality) than rox, mrxvt or whatever. I believe 
> it's perfectly reasonable and possible to be featureful, modular, and 
> have a high level of interoperability with little 3rd party 
> dependencies, and still be small and fast. Just requires a well 
> thought out system. It seems thought with so few core programmers... 
> it's difficult to say, have a vote on features for the next version 
> and keep things in sync. I'd love to see an interface which would 
> allow scripting and controlling of xfce apps like applescript using 
> dbus. but i also understand it's a moving target (like gtk) and causes 
> problems on other platforms. Anyways... i'm rambling. When it comes 
> down to it... if XFCE > 4.2 can run on my P1-233 decently like it does 
> now... i dont care if you embed emacs and mozilla as their own widgets.
>> Hi Xfce development gurus,
>> As a long-term user of Xfce (but an outsider when it
>> comes to development of Xfce), I fear that Xfce is
>> gradually moving towards a kind of bulkiness that
>> reminds me of KDE or Gnome style WM.
>> I expect Xfce to be small and fast.
>> Xfce should manage my windows and stuff; I don't need
>> an xf-terminal (i've got already xterm, rxvt,...),
>> I also don't need an editor (I already use nedit),
>> neither do I need a file manager (I've got rox for
>> that), and so on and so on.
>> To some extend such choices have been made for, for
>> example, the screen-saver; xfce uses xscreensaver,
>> instead of writing its own. I think that is more the
>> way to go.
>> Ah, well, that's my 2cents.
>> Cheers,
>> Rob.
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