Goals for next Xfce releases

Andre Puschmann andre.puschmann at stud.tu-ilmenau.de
Sun Jan 28 22:36:07 CET 2007

hey guys,

first of all i would like to thank everybody for this great 4.4 release
of xfce! really good work!! i like it very much.

now i would like to add just my 2cent to this discussion ..
since i make heavy use of suspend/hibernation functionality on my system
i would really like to see xfce to support this feature out of the box.
i know we already had this discussion some months ago and i even posted
a patch for the 4.2 version ..
know we have 4.4 and once again i have to think about how to get it into
xfce .. maybe we can find a solution that makes it into 4.6 :-)

my idea (or the conclusion of the mentioned thread) was to write
something similar (but more light-weight IMO) to gnome-power-manager
(gpm) that handles things like battery monitoring and non-active
desktops and thus allows shutting down the system on low bat and so on.

with this step maybe one can replace the shutdown/reboot procedure in
xfce-session with a common system that uses hal and also supports
hibernation/suspend. this IMO would be distro-independent and less complex.

maybe we can discuss the way how to do this here, what do you think
about this?

best regards,


Jasper Huijsmans wrote:
> Hello friends,
> No this doesn't mean I want something from you ;-)
> First of all, congratulations on the release of Xfce 4.4.0!
> More people than ever before have contributed to this release and
> I'd like to thank them all for making this the best Xfce ever.
> Special mention goes to Benny, who almost single-handedly wrote a
> file manager and supporting libraries that are an example of good
> software design and bring a lot of new people to Xfce.
> Another special mention from me goes to Nick, who, besides
> creating our new website, also stepped up to help me out with panel
> development. This is especially important since I have much less time
> than I used to have and I don't see that changing soon.
> Now, what I would like to do is formulate some goals and ideas that I
> think would be good to work on for 4.4.x releases and eventually 4.6. Of
> course, everyone will have their own priorities and their own amount of
> free time to spend, but it does help if we can agree on some common
> goals, if only to keep a sense of community and the feeling that we are
> working on something together, as opposed to everyone hacking away in
> their own corner.
> Consolidate Platform
> ====================
> - Cleanup and merge libraries:
>   - compat, util, netk, gui, mcs, menu (?), ...
>   Is there any package that wants to depend on libutil alone? I can't
>   really think of any. In that case we could decide to have only one
>   xfce-libs package. Maybe mcs should be separate?
> - Settings daemon. No gui, use D-Bus to get/set values and listen for
>   changes. Dialogs are started from .desktop files. This will make it easier
>   to combine the interface for settings from different packages
>   (keyboard shortcuts for instance), if we want that.
>   Needs to depend on X for xsettings :( Or should that be separate?
>   Or maybe we should just use GConf? It still depends on CORBA, I guess...
> - Allow dependency on D-Bus for IPC. I wouldn't mind making this a hard
>   dependency for Xfce, if it enables us to integrate our components
>   better, which I think it will.
> - New infrastructure?
>   - There is a notification daemon, are there programs that would like
>     to depend on this?
>   - ...
> Core Desktop
> ============
> Session manager
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> We probably want to keep an eye on the efforts to rewrite gnome-session.
> Window manager
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> For me xfwm4 does everything I want it to, so I've no ideas for 4.6.
> Desktop manager
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Do we want a separate program to manage the background or should it be
> part of thunar? How about the desktop menu?
> Panel
> ~~~~~
> I'm very interested to know what people are missing in the current panel
> (besides CDE emulation ;-), so if you have wishes, preferably with an
> example use case, this would be a good time to let us know.
> Some ideas of my own:
> - Transparency. I guess what people want is a translucent panel with
>   opaque icons. This is hard. It means we have to write our own panel
>   widgets, because every widget with a window needs to handle
>   transparency in its expose handler. Ideally Gtk would handle this with
>   a style property that could be set from a gtkrc file, but that is not
>   the case now.
> - Separate desktop files for launcher items. Someone mentioned this
>   recently, I think it was benny. I'm not convinced this is necessary.
>   We already use the same structure (Name,Icon,Exec,etc...), but the
>   launcher items are not stand-alone programs, they are programs +
>   options, so we can have 10 terminals with different arguments. Why
>   would we want separate files for that?
> - DND of (desktop) files directly to the panel. Yeah, that would be
>   interesting. It's not easy, since there is no free space on the panel
>   to drop anything on. It also requires launcher items to be special,
>   but I don't really have a problem with that.
> - Rewrite tasklist widget. Someone posted some interesting mockups that
>   we could try to implement. Proper operation in vertical mode would be
>   nice as well.
> File manager
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~
> No lack of ideas here, I believe. One from me: do we want to try and
> integrate with Tracker for searching? It does sound more in line with
> our philosophy than Beagle.
> Apps/Utilities
> ==============
> No real ideas from me here. I'll just list the apps we have now:
> - Printing. I never use it, so I have no complaints ;-)
> - Mixer/Volume. Works for me at home, but at work I have a USB headset
>   and the mixer plugin always falls back to the soundcard, so I guess it
>   could still be improved. It also uses GOB, which IMO sucks, sorry
>   Danny.
> - Appfinder. Should use new frap menu (libxfce4menu?). It's still an
>   interesting alternative interface for finding and running applications,
>   I think.
> - Text editor. Mousepad is a cute little application, nothing to add
>   from me.
> - Terminal. I can't think of anything that is missing, but I'm sure some
>   people can...
> - Archiver. We have two, which seems a little redundant, but that is
>   fine with me.
> - CD Burning. I sometimes use this, and it has a nice interface. JF is
>   doing a good job with it.
> - Media Player. Works well enough for my needs.
> One thing that crossed my mind when thinking about 4.6 was that I
> couldn't think of anything that would make us change to 5.0 instead of
> 4.x. So, if we're not going to change it anyway, we could pull a Sun and
> call the next version "Xfce 6". Might be good for marketing ;-)
> I'm interested to hear what other people are thinking about the
> future direction of Xfce.
> cheers,
>     Jasper

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