GTK+ 3

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at
Sun Oct 16 12:46:07 CEST 2011

On Sat, 15 Oct 2011 06:32:07 +0530
"dE ." <de.techno at> wrote:

> The reason why all DEs are becoming heavy cause more powerful
> hardware is available. By low powered hardware I mean Pentium 3 or
> lower with less than 256 MB ram. The minimum of xfce is 192+, a
> hardware on which LXDE works fast but it's too simple -- it's missing
> very basic features and feels very old.

That's not the main reason. Sure, as machines become more powerful,
more features are added to frameworks like GLib, GTK and more desktop
technologies are added under the hood. But some of the main reasons
why open source projects (not just DEs) become heavy, as you put it,
are a growing number of contributors, personal interests and a lack of

Contributions to open source projects are driven by initiative and
personal interest, which usually means that, if more developers join
a project, everyone's pet features and components will be added. Unless
there is direction in the form of strong consensus or leadership, of

So, your request to expand the scope of Xfce to being a more complete
desktop suite is dependent on having a large team of developers and
an agreement about the direction of Xfce among developers. 

Now, we don't have a growing number of contributors but we do have an
abstract form of consensus about how to develop Xfce. And that is to
keep it at a size and complexity that we can maintain reasonably well.
This is critical if you have a small team of people working on
something in their free time. 

There's consequences to that. One of them is that we need to make
decisions not everyone is happy with. Thunar, for instance, is an
application with quite a large code base, despite having a
straight-forward user interface. To avoid an increase in code and
architectural complexity, we've repeatedly rejected the idea of tabs
and a split folder view. And we'll stick to it. :P

The same goes for all of Xfce, I guess. We'd be really happy to welcome
new contributors and we're aware that improvements are necessary in a
number of areas. But it is important to only add new stuff to a degree
that we can still maintain properly. IMHO that's a useful goal just
like it is useful to improve the core of Xfce without making drastic
changes, and leaving the development of additional apps to others
(although we offer hosting and project management infrastructure for
Xfce-specific apps as well).

  - Jannis

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