Xfce, GTK+ 3.0 and GSettings

Denis Washington denisw at online.de
Thu Nov 18 12:37:34 CET 2010

Am 18.11.2010 12:26, schrieb Jannis Pohlmann:
> Hey,
> On Thu, 18 Nov 2010 11:36:05 +0100
> Denis Washington<denisw at online.de>  wrote:
>> Hello,
>> This is my first post to this list. My name is Denis Washington, and
>> I am an undergraduate CS student from Germany. First of all, I want
>> to thank you all for everything you have done to make Xfce so great
>> as it is now! I am using the latest git version and really, really
>> love it. Congratulations for your archievements!
>> I would like to ask you about your future plans for Xfce after 4.8,
>> most specifically:
>> * Is there a plan to port Xfce to GTK+ 3.0 in Xfce 4.10 (or a
>> hypothetical 5.0 version)? If I understand correctly, there are not
>> that many API changes apart from the removal of deprecated symbols,
>> and the port can be done in a mostly backwards-compatible fashion. If
>> such an effort is in the makings, I would be willing to help out to
>> make it happen!
> That's not true, the changes in GTK+ 3.0 are not backwards-compatible:
> http://library.gnome.org/devel/gtk/unstable/gtk-migrating-2-to-3.html

Oh, I didn't know about that page. I only knew about the things in the 
first part, "Preparation in GTK+ 2.x"... maybe doing the things listed 
in there could be a goal for Xfce 4.10?

> I think it's not going to be a hard job (and we can do it in branches
> so it doesn't interfer with our other work). But I'd prefer if we wait
> with this a bit longer than others. Traditionally in Xfce, we only
> depend on stuff that has been released for at least half a year or so.
> This ensures that a few bug fixes have been applied to our
> dependencies and that distributions have already packaged them by
> the time we have done a release. That's not a rule however, it's more
> like something we usually do.

This makes sense. So maybe do the preparations in master first and 
branch for GTK+ 3.0 support somewhere later (Xfce 4.12)?

> I don't have the GTK+ 3.0 release schedule at hand right now but I'm
> not thinking about porting Xfce yet. (That's just my opinion however.)
>> * Related to the first question: have you thought about moving from
>> xfconf to GSettings? I know that xfconf was just introduced in Xfce
>> 4.6, but wouldn't it lower the maintainence burden to use a settings
>> system directly built into glib instead of having to develop a
>> seperate one? I think this also wouldn't introduce any heavy GNOME
>> dependencies, as dconf, the default GSettings backend, only depends
>> on glib. Using GSettings might also reduce resource usage when using
>> GNOME applications in Xfce because there wouldn't be two daemons
>> running (xfconfd and dconfd) but just one. Again, I would love to
>> help here!
> Yes, using GSettings would make sense. Xfconf is great though, so I
> don't see us in a hurry here.

A good idea might be to write a Xfconf backend for GSettings (which is 
backend-agnostic). Then applications could be gradually ported, and 
Xfconf then replaced with dconf if all components have moved.


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