A few distributions are already starting to provide Xfce 4.8pre2 packages whether it be in the official repositories or in testing unofficial ones. I'm going to list them here, use this at your own risk.
We are pleased to announce the second preview release of Xfce 4.8. This release marks the beginning of the string freeze. From today on until the final release, strings may no longer be changed in the master branch of Xfce core components. This will help translators to prepare their translations for the final release scheduled on January 16th, 2011.
For this release we focused on fixing bugs in all Xfce components. We managed to close a great number of them thanks to all the persons who reported them and tested proposed fixes quickly.
A few minor panel features were added despite feature freeze. We also managed to work on two long time requests: proper support for editing the application menu with menu editors (Alacarte being the one that we tested) and integration with the Compiz viewport. Of course, this release also features a lot of new and improved translations thanks to the amazing work of our translation teams.
We hope you will enjoy this release. Please give us feedback by sharing your thoughts, blogging, tweeting, denting or by filing bug reports. With your help, 4.8 will be the best release ever (at least until 4.10)!
Kind regards and thanks to everyone who has contributed to this release,
Almost exactly two years after the first release of Xfce4 Notifyd, sorry for missing that, 0.2.0 is out.
Most of the work was done by Brian Tarricone, who allowed me to co-maintain this application due to his very limited free time.
The biggest change must be smart notification placement: when there are several notifications, they are placed in a grid-like way, instead of overlapping as they did with the previous version. This also comes with improved support for multiple monitors setups.
We also now support 'gauge' and 'icon-only' notifications as in Canonical's Notify OSD. Xfce4-volumed already uses this to provide a beautiful notification on volume change.
Finally, we are now compatible with the latest specification (0.9) which should fix a great number of issues which happened when applications expected us to be already doing so.
There will be an Xfce booth at OpenRheinRuhr 2010 on the 13th and 14th of November in Oberhausen, Germany, thanks to Enrico Tröger, Christoph Wickert, Mark Trompell and Christian Dywan.
They will be available for any information request, chit chat, technical or philosophical discussion, installation... You can also get some cool Xfce stickers or see the nice Xfce 4.8pre1 running live!
Thank you all four for this nice initiative and for others, don't hesitate to come and say hello!
Nick Schermer is working on the infrastructure for the new documentation. It will be written in Mallard and translatable using Transifex. There are already a few drafts available: Nick made one for Xfce4 Panel (git branch) and Jim Campbell made one for Xfce4 Screenshooter (Bugzilla entry). Once the infrastructure is ready, contributions will be welcome! I will keep you posted.
This is the second BIG thing currently going on: Jannis is porting Xfdesktop4 to GIO. He expects to have it done by the next weekend, the current work is available in a git branch. This is one of the last remaining by tasks for 4.8, so this is a really good news! <bisounours>Rock on!</bisounours>
Xfce Settings Helper
For those of you who care, I implemented two little features last week. First, Xfce now remembers the state of the Numlock when closing the session and restores it on startup. Gone are the days of numlockx \o/. Moreover, for people using xmodmap, the settings helper automatically processes .Xmodmap on start up and when changing the layout/variant using the Xfce settings dialog.
By the way, since my last post about the keyboard settings improvement, I also reviewed/applied a few patches by Martin Pitt and Lionel Le Folgoc which fix some crashes/bugs in the new code.
I fixed a bunch of easy bugs/enhancement requests for Xfrun. It can now handle URLs, opens files with the default handlers, folders with the default file manager... I also fixed history loading for the "Run in terminal" check box, fixed handling of command line options and added "#" as a shortcut to read man pages. I now plan to work on auto completion for path and command.
I also reworked an old patch by Mike Massonnet to improve the look of the Xfce documentation, it looks really neat now. I will try to see if we can use it with the new documentation.
Florian Rivoal, maintainer of xfce4-cpugraph-plugin, launched a "all your unmaintained goodies are belong to me" operation. Basically he offered to maintain a huge number of unmaintained goodies for which there are a great number of patches waiting for review in the Xfce Bugzilla. You can find more details on this thread. This heroic move should not make you forget that contributors/new maintainers are welcome! Florian will not be able to implement new things (or only a limited number) given the work it represents but only to keep those apps functional which is already awesome!
Jannis Pohlmann announced two days ago on the Xfce mailing lists that he started the paperwork needed to register Xfce as a non-profit organization under the German law which would be nice because, I quote:
The benefits are obvious: Xfce would become a legal entity with an official board of directors and we could raise funds in the form of donations and via supporting members in order to organize hackfests etc.
The current draft is available on gitorious. Expect more news on this in the following days and feel free to comment on our mailing lists.
As promised, here comes the post about recent changes in Xfce4 Display Settings. For those who do not know, Xfce4 Display Settings is the dialog which allows you to set the screen resolution, refresh rate, to activate external monitors, etc.In Xfce 4.6, it only had one problem: it was totally useless and not working.
Then came mr_pouit, who decided it was time to clean that mess! He started to dig in the xrandr code to understand how the kryptic Randr API works and to bring that sweet magic to Xfce. So what do we have at the moment?
The new dialog is at the moment almost similar to the old one, except that every thing should work correctly and that it is rocking simple to use! We also added some goodies such as timed confirmation for critical changes and a simple dialog which can be called with the media keys or with Win + P to quickly configure an external output.
But there is more to come! First, we are still working on fixing bugs, simplifying the code to make it rocking stable and awesome like Barney's suit. Then, we are planning a lot of UI improvements, the biggest one being a graphical way of setting the screens' layout : it will allow the user to set the relative positions of external monitors. We hope to have that done in the next two weeks, but it could take a little more time. And yes, that'll mean that 4.8 TODO list will have lost one item
I've seen a lot of people on IRC lately asking why 4.8 was not released on the 12th of June as scheduled. Well, the schedule could not be respected and we currently have no scheduled release date. There is still a lot of work to do and we lost several key contributors and we obviously did not gain new ones...
So if you want to see Xfce 4.8 out, come and help us! We need help to implement the 4.8 features (have a look at the bottom of schedule page, there are links to the goals of each module) and to fix bugs.
A good way to get started is to choose some bugs on the Xfce bugzilla and to submit patches, come and bug us on #xfce to get your patches reviewed (it may take a while but that's definitely useful!). We need a lot more contributors if we want to get things moving forward!
In a post that will follow shortly, I will discuss a merrier topic: the new awesome work of the mighty mr_pouit (his only vice being that he maintains Xubuntu :D) on the display settings dialog (the dialog to set the screen resolution, frequency...). Stay tuned! (Yes, this means we are still active :D)
Alexander Iliev, the current Xfce4 XKB plugin maintainer, sent a message to the goodies-dev ML telling that he is looking for a new maintainer for xfce4-xkb-plugin. Please get in touch with him if you are interested.
xfce4-xkb-plugin currently has 38 open bugs on the Xfce bugzilla, 4 of them have a patch in bugzilla. This plugin to switch between different keyboard layouts has a lot of users, so you'll make a lot of happy users if you start working on this! Xfce needs you!