Xfce 4.10 entering planning phase

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at xfce.org
Mon Jan 17 16:34:06 CET 2011

Hi everyone,

yesterday's release of Xfce 4.8 also marks the beginning of the
development and release cycle of Xfce 4.10. 

Today, I'd like to announce this with the obligatory kick-off mail.
Once again, we'll try to follow our development and release model
http://www.xfce.org/about/releasemodel as good as we can.

A preliminary schedule for 4.10 is available in the wiki now:


To be honest, I don't think this schedule is realistic. Like with 4.8,
we'll probably have to lengthen the development phase by a few months.

Today 4.10 enters the planning phase, which means that until 2011-01-31
(or until 2011-02-13 if this is not enough time) we will have to do the

  1. Decide who's in the release team and who takes which job.
  2. Discuss the so-called Essential Dependencies for the cycle and
     decide which versions to depend on. The end of the Planning Phase
     marks Dependency Freeze and after this point features depending on
     more recent dependencies have to be optional.
  3. Think about which features are realistic and make a
     non-obligatory list. Inform the community about 1., 2. and 3. at
     the end of the planning phase.

I think we should add another two points here:

   4. Decide which components to remove from Xfce core and discuss
      whether there's anything we want to take into the core from now

   5. Discuss how long we want this cycle to be, eight months being the

Release Team

The positions to assign are: 

  - Release Manager
  - Release Assistants
  - QA Official

Detailed job descriptions can be read in the Planning Phase section of
the release model. It's always a good idea to elect active contributors
and core developers into the Release Manager and QA Official positions.

I have quite a number of personal changes ahead of me, so I'm not
running for Release Manager again in the 4.10 cycle. I would however be
happy to help as QA Official. 

Nick and I shared the Release Manager role in the 4.8 cycle and he's
actively hacking and efficient at the same time, so in my view that
makes him a good candidate for this position. Any objections or other

Jerome did a remarkable job as Release Assistant in 4.8. It'd be lovely
to have him on board once again.

Anyone volunteering for any of the positions? Any other suggestions?


Essential dependencies are dependencies that are required by at least
one core component. We don't really have a complete list yet but it
would be nice to have one. GTK+, GLib are obvious but there are more.

For all these dependencies we'll have to make a decision about the
version we want to depend on in 4.10. We can do so in a separate

Planned Features / Informing the Community

I encourage everyone to think about the features he wants to implement
in this cycle and post a feature list on this mailing list. These
features are not obligatory to be implemented but it'd be nice if we
could give the community a non-final feature preview. This way they
have something to look forward to and are encouraged to try our
development releases. Maybe this information even inspires some to
contribute to the code because they'd like to help with some of the

Removing/Adding Components from/to Xfce

libxfcegui4, libxfce4menu and thunar-vfs are no longer used by the Xfce
core. It probably makes sense to remove them from the core and move
them into libs/, maybe into archive/ even.

There are a few components like thunar-volman, tumbler and garcon which
are very important for the Xfce core and which we might consider for

Length of the Development Cycle

4.6 took us 18 months, 4.8 took us another two years. It seems
unrealistic that 4.10 will be ready after just 8 months, so maybe we
should extend the development phase from 5 to 12 months. 

Remember that, if the cycle is too short, we'll have to release/develop
multiple versions at the same time. We don't have the manpower for
that, I think.

What are your thoughts on the above?

  - Jannis

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