Why not reusing more GNOME components?

Sébastien Wilmet swilmet at gnome.org
Thu Aug 28 21:45:44 CEST 2014


Xfce is a complete desktop environment. Including a session manager, a
settings manager, applications, etc. It is a quite big codebase to
maintain. And Xfce still uses GTK+ 2.

GNOME is also a complete desktop environment, but has more developers
and progress more quickly. Most of the GNOME applications use GTK+ 3.
And there has been good progress on Wayland support, among other things.

So, Xfce could reuse more GNOME components. For example just keep the
Xfce panel and maybe the window manager, and integrate that with all the
rest of GNOME (session, settings, applications, etc etc).

Because developing a complete desktop environment is a huge task. It is
a pity to duplicate efforts.

I think people use Xfce mainly for the desktop (panel and workspaces,
not the whole desktop environment). They don't care about how the
session, settings etc are implemented. Some people use Xfce because they
don't like gnome-shell, but they don't care whether Xfce is lightweight
or not. Features and usability are more important.

So, why Xfce still develops a whole desktop environment? I know every
developer is free to work on what he or she wants. And it would be
difficult to abandon some piece of software that you worked on during
several years or more than a decade. But for pragmatic reasons, reusing
a GNOME component is probably easier than developing and maintaining a
similar component in Xfce.

What do you think?


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