Gtk3 for Xfce 4.12?

Peter de Ridder peter at
Thu May 3 09:21:47 CEST 2012

On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 11:14 PM, Simon Steinbeiß
<simon.steinbeiss at> wrote:
> From what I heard talking to Andrea Cimitan there are plans to drop the Unico Engine (the gtk3 engine Cimitan authored and Ubuntu currently uses, it has become fairly widespread across distros already) in favor of a plain Gtk3 theme with Gtk3.6. This could happen as early as Ubuntu 12.10.
> Ok, we know that Ubuntu are sometimes early adopters, but in my opinion this path could be great for Xfce as well. As soon as everything is ported, drop the weight of different engines and solely ship plain Gtk-themes (sorry Peter).

I don't mind the xfce engine not being used. This only means that the
reason to keep maintaining it will stop. The only reason to keep it
would be because it is faster (less features) as the default engine,
but this will need numbers to back it up. This will make the themeing
changes less our problem.

On Thu, May 3, 2012 at 8:21 AM, Andrzej <ndrwrdck at> wrote:
> On 03/05/12 14:54, Stephan Arts wrote:
>> On Thu, May 3, 2012 at 7:42 AM, Mark Trompell<mark at>
>>  wrote:
>>>> Just picking Webkit as example, because it
>>>> is a pretty prominent one, but there are more examples to find.
>>> Before someone says (not without evidence) that xfce isn't relying on
>>> webkit. We do for example rely on libwnck, which doesn't in its latest
>>> releases support gtk2 anymore. So we're either forced to fork (xfce
>>> did that for libwnck in the past), to stay with old dependancies or to
>>> move on to gtk3. Forking is given the manpower of the project not what
>>> we should aim for.
>> I think you have just hit the sore-spot. One of our dependencies has
>> already stopped supporting gtk-2, this means the troubles have already
>> begun.
> This, plus any new frameworks/libraries we may want to use are likely to be
> Gtk3-only. I fully agree with this part, and I think this is the single
> biggest, if not the only, reason for doing the port.

In my opinion this is a good reason to port to Gtk3. As Nick noted is
this applicable to our depends?

> As for distributing Gtk2 in distributions - sure, that's a nuisance but Gtk2
> isn't going away for at least as long as it was in use - too many obscure,
> unmaintained applications out there.
> Overall, I'm for porting, and preferably doing it quickly. In the future we
> might be forced to do releases more often, maybe even to synchronize them
> with Gtk releases, but if we stay with Gtk2 we will soon drop to a
> second-class DE.

I don't think we require to sync with Gtk releases, since the
application api is stable. This far the theming only changed alot and
this was solvable in the gtk.css (theme files).
And over the years this will probebly become more stable.
So if we drop the theming engine and themes I don't see a problem.

For most gnome or gtk oriented distros I don't think it is a problem
dropping the themes. They probebly provide other themes already. This
is not applicable to all distros, but if there are Gtk only themes we
could suggest those on the wiki. This would mean there might not be
compatibility with gtk2 applications (unless you install a theme
engine for this).

As Nick raised the question is it wise to change now. I don't see a
problem if we provide the user with a solution for the themes, since
ours are out dated. For everything else, the change would be the same
if  we do it now or later. And if we don't change we would need to fix
our themes if we want to stay up to date with the current


More information about the Xfce4-dev mailing list