What to include in 4.4

Erik Harrison erikharrison at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 01:01:26 CEST 2005

There are those, mostly not long time Xfce users, that claim that Xfce
is getting bloated. We've been over that many times before on this
list, and no need to go there again. But it is something I think we
might be able to address with a simple release restructuring.

My own personal suggestion was to have an official set of goodies, or
extras package. We could make this extra package include out file
managers, XFC, and some of the other possible bits and pieces in SVN.
This official set of goodies could provide additional services, or
require additional dependencies, but still be in Xfce SVN, have a
release that syncs with the core, and be supported.

My rational is, that Xfce has a pretty clear interface it provides
(window manager with CDEish panel) which defines Xfce. Also, Xfce
tries hard to be very modular, and as the system grows, it will be
harder to keep modular. By having an extremely minimal core with a
supported package of extras we no longer have to be as concerned about
retricting some packages excessively just to make them meet stringent
dependency requirements that we try to keep to.

So, by way of example, I was thinking something like:

Session manager
libexo (possibly)

Various panel plugins, xffm plugins, and the like

Third Party Apps, with their own release cycle:
Mousepad, Xfmedia, (Terminal?)

Third party apps aren't held to any rules. Their just live out there,
and are indexed by directory.xfce.org, and we won't chide users for
talking on the user list about them. They can have dependencies
aplenty, their own release cycle, whatever.

The extras can have more complicated dependency requirements, such as
being written in C++ and requiring XFC, or providing capabilities we
don't use in the core, such as language bindings for Python. You don't
need Python bindings for any of the core components, so no need to
provide them in the core. But it is extremely nice, low level, Xfce
oriented tech, so we provide coordinated stable releases, and 90% of
distros will include it with Xfce.

The nice thing about this organization is that packages can move
amongst these categories easily, as we like. Third party apps with
solid development, where the developer wishes, can be moved into the
supported extras, Extras who loose developers to other obligations can
be moved out of the release easily without delaying it, until such
time as a new dev can be found to bring it up to speed. Extra packages
which become increasingly critical, such as if XFC was being used by
another core component, can be moved into the core.

I know this is a long winded message, but I think breaking the
packages up this way has real merit, when thought about. It also is
actually pretty close to what we do now, with the goodies package
getting all tarred up and installerfied when Xfce makes a release. By
officializing it a bit, it makes it easier to do stable releases
quickly, answers the "bloat" claim pretty handily, while still
providing a very rich and featureful desktop for users who want it

What does everyone think?
"This brings me back to a time where I had no worries. 
All I needed to do was watch Perfect Strangers."

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