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Xfce 4.16 development phase starting

  • October 19, 2019
  • Simon Steinbeiß

As promised we’ll try to stick to a tighter schedule this time, so without further ado: the development phase towards Xfce 4.16 has officially started! 🙂

This means that we have a list of features we will try to work on (that is not guaranteed though) and that is detailed on our roadmap page and its subpages. I’ll try to summarize and highlight some (obviously with a focus on the stuff I know better because I’m more involved) of it for you here.

Dependency Update

Let’s start with one very important and obvious change: we will drop Gtk2 support with Xfce 4.16. This will have a concrete effect on old Panel plugins or Gtk2 applications that rely on libxfce4ui.

Xfce 4.16 will introduce a new dependency on libgtop to display information about the system (in the “About” dialog). We hope this will also have a positive side-effect on e.g. Panel plugins to standardize on this library.

General UI

In the 4.14 cycle we tried to do a 1:1 port of what used to be our Gtk2 desktop environment, avoiding visual changes. In the 4.16 cycle we plan to harmonize the appearance of certain elements that either became inconsistent through the port or already were inconsistent before (e.g. toolbars or inline toolbars).

We will also play with client-side decorations where we feel it makes sense (for instance replacing the so-called XfceTitledDialog, that is used for all settings dialogs with a HeaderBar version). Before anyone gets too excited (both positively or negatively): It is not planned to redesign more complex applications (like Thunar) with Headerbars in 4.16. We will however try to keep the experience and looks consistent, which means gradually moving to client side decorations also with our applications (please note that client side decorations are not the same as HeaderBars!). Through this change e.g. “dark modes” in applications will look good (see the part about the Panel below).

Now before there is a shitstorm about this change I would kindly ask everyone to give us time to figure out what exactly we want to change in this cycle. Also, switching to client-side decorations alone is not a big visual departure – feel free to also dig through the client-side decorations page if you want to read/see more on this.

Thunar

As mentioned before: no big redesign. But lots and lots of smaller improvements and goodies are planned to up the user experience of the file manager you love!

This includes extending the API for plugins, installing some Thunar actions by default and storing view settings per directory.

Panel

Some of the building blocks of what shall be done for the panel is already underway, so I can show off some screenshots in this section (shameless self-advertisement).

As dark modes are all the rage everywhere and it really makes sense for the panel to have one, here it goes. Now you can easily get a dark panel – even with bright themes like Adwaita! With having client side decorations, the window borders of the preferences dialog will also look consistent with the rest of the dialog (remember that Xfwm4 doesn’t – and won’t – support the dark Gtk variant).

https://wiki.xfce.org/_media/releng/4.16/roadmap/general_ui/panel-dark-csd.png

The panel’s autohide modes received a “slide out” animation, so it’s more intuitive to understand where the panel went. (We may tweak this feature further or even make it optional, but for the time being it’s there by default.)

The launcher plugin will receive a feature from garcon, i.e. showing the Desktop Actions of a launcher item in its right-click menu (i.e. “Open Private Window” for Firefox). This is really just a feature preview though, the code is in working but very hacky/rough state.

Some other core plugins (workspace switcher, tasklist) will also receive tweaks and improvements.

Settings

Especially the display settings shall receive more attention, introducing support for scaled mirror mode (helpful if not all displays share a reasonable resolution) and more.

We may also include our own daemon to talk to colord directly to eradicate the need for xiccd.

Power Manager

“Night light” (as in: a timed function that applies a colorfilter to your display to reduce strain on the eyes) will likely be added to the power manager. (Although if we figure out it’s easier to implement in the settings daemon it may be moved there.) Also some improvements to the panel plugin are planned as well as including a battery histogram in the settings dialog to visualize battery drain.

For all other components only smaller changes are planned.
Let’s get on with it

As mentioned before this cycle is intended to be more lightweight to enable us to “stick to the plan” and get a release to our user base sooner than with the previous two releases. Also keep in mind that we want to renew some of our infrastructure, which will also take away some time.

So now let’s get the 4.15 releases going! 🙂

Catfish 1.4.10 Released

  • September 13, 2019
  • Sean Davis

The best Linux graphical file search utility keeps getting better! The latest release features a new preferences dialog, a polished user interface, and significantly improved search results and performance.

What’s New?

New Features

  • A brand new Preferences dialog. This dialog includes options for window layout, display options, custom exclude directories (new!), and an option to close Catfish after opening a file (new!).
  • Custom exclude directories. Previous releases of Catfish excluded various directories (/dev, ~/.cache, ~/.gvfs) to boost performance. This latest feature makes path exclusions customizable so users can further speed up their searches. (Xfce #15317)
  • Close after select. Frequent file searcher? This feature will let you find and open your missing file, and close Catfish right away, keeping your application list at bay. (Xfce #14888)

Bug Fixes

  • The previous release, Catfish 1.4.9 meant to include fixes for path exclusions. Somehow, I forgot to include the actual fix! So here it is, path exclusions are fixed and search performance should be increased as a result. (Debian #926850)
  • Icons are now always displayed at a consistent size in the results. Previously, some icons would be displayed much larger than others, breaking the visual flow.

Improved Application menu

In the past, clicking the application menu in Catfish meant seeing a cluttered, inconsistently spaced and aligned popover with poorly-worded options. No more!

  • Better use of space, padding, and margins
  • Clearer purpose labels
  • Keyboard accelerators are now displayed in the menu

Search Improvements

  • Symbolic links are now traversed, with actual paths only processed once
  • Added search priority, surfacing more relevant results faster. Folders are now descended with the following priority, then alphabetically:
    1. XDG paths (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc)
    2. Visible paths
    3. Hidden paths

General

  • Better use of alt-accelerators
  • Improved installation instructions (Xfce #15105)
  • Reduced warnings displayed in the terminal
  • Simplified Python 2/3 compatibility code
  • Various code quality fixes (pylint, flake)

Translation Updates

  • Simplified welcome text. While not visually different, the 3 translatable phrases were merged into a single sentence to simplify translations. (Xfce #15596)

Albanian, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, Galician, German, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish

Screenshots

Downloads

Source tarball (md5sha1sha256)

Catfish 1.4.10 Released

  • September 13, 2019
  • Sean Davis

What’s New?

New Features

  • A brand new Preferences dialog. This dialog includes options for window layout, display options, custom exclude directories (new!), and an option to close Catfish after opening a file (new!).
  • Custom exclude directories. Previous releases of Catfish excluded various directories (/dev, ~/.cache, ~/.gvfs) to boost performance. This latest feature makes path exclusions customizable so users can further speed up their searches. (Xfce #15317)
  • Close after select. Frequent file searcher? This feature will let you find and open your missing file, and close Catfish right away, keeping your application list at bay. (Xfce #14888)

Bug Fixes

  • The previous release, Catfish 1.4.9 meant to include fixes for path exclusions. Somehow, I forgot to include the actual fix! So here it is, path exclusions are fixed and search performance should be increased as a result. (Debian #926850)
  • Icons are now always displayed at a consistent size in the results. Previously, some icons would be displayed much larger than others, breaking the visual flow.

Improved Application menu

Catfish 1.4.10 Released

In the past, clicking the application menu in Catfish meant seeing a cluttered, inconsistently spaced and aligned popover with poorly-worded options. No more!

  • Better use of space, padding, and margins
  • Clearer purpose labels
  • Keyboard accelerators are now displayed in the menu

Search Improvements

  • Symbolic links are now traversed, with actual paths only processed once
  • Added search priority, surfacing more relevant results faster. Folders are now descended with the following priority, then alphabetically:
    • XDG paths (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc)
    • Visible paths
    • Hidden paths

General

  • Better use of alt-accelerators
  • Improved installation instructions (Xfce #15105)
  • Reduced warnings displayed in the terminal
  • Simplified Python 2/3 compatibility code
  • Various code quality fixes (pylint, flake)

Translation Updates

  • Simplified welcome text. While not visually different, the 3 translatable phrases were merged into a single sentence to simplify translations. (Xfce #15596)

Albanian, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Danish, Dutch, French, Galician, German, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish

Screenshots

Downloads

Source tarball (md5, sha1, sha256)

Xfce 4.14 released! (Yeah, like a week ago ;))

  • August 21, 2019
  • Simon Steinbeiß

So finally – here goes the official post for the Xfce 4.14 release…

Why is the release manager late to the party with his blog post? The explanation is simple: We prioritized sticking to the schedule and getting our releases out to everyone as planned, as our codebase was ready. What was not (entirely) ready was some parts of the website, which were brought up-to-date over the course of last week.

So I’m pleased to give you the official Xfce 4.14 tour, which nicely summarizes many of the nice user-facing changes that we pushed into the release (despite it being planned as feature-less, porting-only).

We’re also working on other aspects of our website, like the screenshot reel on the frontpage, which is mostly up-to-date now, and the screenshots section. If you have more screenshots that you think we – and everyone else – should see, please get in touch via IRC (join #xfce on freenode) or the mailing list and if we like it too, we’ll gladly add it!

What’s next?

Well, obviously Xfce 4.16, for which the planning phase just started. We want to certainly stick closer to our release model (which prescribes a 6-month release cycle) this time and go for roughly a year to get to our next stable release. To some extent the schedule will depend on the outcome of the planning phase, but one thing I’m pretty sure I can announce straight away is that we’re not going for the next technological jump (yet) – so don’t expect Wayland or Gtk4 to play a major part in the coming cycle.

However, what we will need to do is some house-keeping and improving things for ourselves and potential contributors. We are strongly considering to follow freedesktop.org and Gnome in terms of switching to Gitlab (for Git and issues at first). They have done a tremendous job and as someone who recently contributed to one of the Gnome libraries I can say the bar is so much lower than what we currently have with Xfce (read: create bugzilla account, report bug, attach patch, wait patiently…).

In any case, enjoy Xfce 4.14 and join us to make 4.16 a great (and shorter) cycle!

Catfish 1.4.8 Released

  • August 8, 2019
  • Sean Davis

The latest release of Catfish improves integration with OpenBSD, Wayland, Xfce, and numerous other desktop configurations. It also features a wealth of translation updates to improve Catfish’s international support.

What’s New?

Desktop Integration / Enhanced Thunar Support

A long-requested feature (requested 2+ years ago), it is now possible to navigate directly to a file in Thunar. Right-click on a file and select “Show in File Manager”. Thunar will open immediately and then scroll to and select the requested file. Folder spelunkers, rejoice! (Xfce #14494)

Bug Fixes

  • Automatically adjust locate arguments to accommodate the host OS, improving support for OpenBSD
  • Fixed crash at startup on Wayland (Xfce #15297)
  • Fixed directory support when XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP in unavailable (Xfce #15099)
  • Fixed search exclusion of non-standard paths (~/.cache, ~/.gvfs, /dev) (Xfce #15206)

Translation Updates

  • Added ‘translator-credits’ string to .po files (Xfce #15564)
  • Changed “…” to “…” for consistency with other Xfce apps (Xfce #15407)
  • Marked the “Search for files” string translatable (Xfce #15097)

Albanian, Arabic, Armenian (Armenia), Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (Australia), Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Interlingue, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

Downloads

Source tarball (md5sha1sha256)

Catfish 1.4.8 Released

  • August 7, 2019
  • Sean Davis

What’s New?

Desktop Integration / Enhanced Thunar Support

Catfish 1.4.8 Released

A long-requested feature (requested 2+ years ago), it is now possible to navigate directly to a file in Thunar. Right-click on a file and select “Show in File Manager”. Thunar will open immediately and then scroll to and select the requested file. Folder spelunkers, rejoice! (Xfce #14494)

Bug Fixes

  • Automatically adjust locate arguments to accommodate the host OS, improving support for OpenBSD
  • Fixed crash at startup on Wayland (Xfce #15297)
  • Fixed directory support when XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP in unavailable (Xfce #15099)
  • Fixed search exclusion of non-standard paths (~/.cache, ~/.gvfs, /dev) (Xfce #15206)

Translation Updates

  • Added ‘translator-credits’ string to .po files (Xfce #15564)
  • Changed “…” to “…” for consistency with other Xfce apps (Xfce #15407)
  • Marked the “Search for files” string translatable (Xfce #15097)

Albanian, Arabic, Armenian (Armenia), Basque, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (Australia), Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Interlingue, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian

Downloads

Source tarball (md5, sha1, sha256)

Xfce Settings 4.13.8 Released

  • August 7, 2019
  • Sean Davis

As we prepare to release Xfce 4.14, each component is receiving another round of reviews and polish. Xfce Settings 4.13.8 includes a bevy of fixes and translations, and forms a solid foundation for the Xfce desktop.

What’s New?

General

  • display: Disable auto-enabling profiles by default (4.13.7)
  • display: Sync display when applying config
  • display: Use current display

Bug Fixes

  • color: Fix crash when launching GNOME Color Manager in the Settings Manager window (4.13.7) (Xfce #15426)
  • color: Set the correct icon in color dialogs (4.13.7)
  • display: Add mnemonics to minimal dialog buttons (4.13.7) (Xfce #15449)
  • display: Replace deprecated icon (4.13.7) (Xfce #15416)
  • settings-manager: Fix missing icons on resize/add/remove (4.13.7) (Xfce #15428, #15613)
  • xfsettingsd: Fix numlock state restoration (4.13.7) (Xfce #15642)
  • xfsettingsd: Start settings prior to complete startup (Xfce #15725)
  • xsettings: Grab and sync XServer on startup (Xfce #15725)

Translation Updates

Armenian (Armenia), Belarusian, Danish, English (Australia), Finnish, Finnish, French, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese (Brazilian), Serbian, Turkish, Ukrainian

Downloads

Source tarball (md5sha1sha256)

Xfce Settings 4.13.8 is included in Xubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine”, installed with the xfce4-settings package.

Xfce Settings 4.13.8 Released

  • August 7, 2019
  • Sean Davis

What’s New?

General

  • display: Disable auto-enabling profiles by default (4.13.7)
  • display: Sync display when applying config
  • display: Use current display

Bug Fixes

  • color: Fix crash when launching GNOME Color Manager in the Settings Manager window (4.13.7) (Xfce #15426)
  • color: Set the correct icon in color dialogs (4.13.7)
  • display: Add mnemonics to minimal dialog buttons (4.13.7) (Xfce #15449)
  • display: Replace deprecated icon (4.13.7) (Xfce #15416)
  • settings-manager: Fix missing icons on resize/add/remove (4.13.7) (Xfce #15428, #15613)
  • xfsettingsd: Fix numlock state restoration (4.13.7) (Xfce #15642)
  • xfsettingsd: Start settings prior to complete startup (Xfce #15725)
  • xsettings: Grab and sync XServer on startup (Xfce #15725)

Translation Updates

Xfce Settings 4.13.8 Released

Armenian (Armenia), Belarusian, Danish, English (Australia), Finnish, Finnish, French, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese (Brazilian), Serbian, Turkish, Ukrainian

Downloads

Source tarball (md5, sha1, sha256)

Xfce Settings 4.13.8 is included in Xubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine”, installed with the xfce4-settings package.

Xfce Screensaver 0.1.7 Released

  • August 7, 2019
  • Sean Davis

We’ve been hard at work optimizing Xfce’s screensaver to give users the best possible lock and screensaver experience in Xfce. With 0.1.6 and 0.1.7, we’ve dropped even more legacy code, while implementing a long-requested feature, per-screensaver configuration!

What’s New?

New Features

  • Added support for on-screen keyboards. This option adds a button to the login window to show and hide the keyboard at the bottom of the screen.
  • Added per-screensaver configuration. The available options are pulled from the xscreensaver theme file and are stored via Xfconf.
  • Improved background drawing when using 2x scaling.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed flickering within the password dialog (0.1.6)
  • Fixed various display issues with the password dialog, all themes should now render xfce4-screensaver identically to lightdm-gtk-greeter (0.1.6)
  • Fixed confusion between screensaver and lock timeouts (Xfce #15726)
  • Removed reference to pkg-config (.pc) file (0.1.6) (Xfce #15597)

Code Cleanup

  • Cleaned up kdb-indicator logic (0.1.6)
  • Consolidated debug function calls (0.1.6)
  • Dropped libXxf86 dependency (MATE Screensaver #199)
  • Dropped lots of unused or unneeded code, significantly streamlining the codebase
  • Migrated xfce4-screensaver-command to GDBus
  • Moved job theme processing out of gs-manager (0.1.6)
  • Removed full-screen window shaking on failed login
  • Simplified handling of user preferences (0.1.6)
  • Simplified lock screen and screensaver activation code

Translation Updates

Armenian (Armenia), Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Turkish

Downloads

Source tarball (md5sha1sha256)

Xfce Screensaver is included in Xubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine”, installed with the xfce4-screensaver package.

Xfce Screensaver 0.1.7 Released

  • August 6, 2019
  • Sean Davis

What’s New?

New Features

  • Added support for on-screen keyboards. This option adds a button to the login window to show and hide the keyboard at the bottom of the screen.
  • Added per-screensaver configuration. The available options are pulled from the xscreensaver theme file and are stored via Xfconf.
  • Improved background drawing when using 2x scaling.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed flickering within the password dialog (0.1.6)
  • Fixed various display issues with the password dialog, all themes should now render xfce4-screensaver identically to lightdm-gtk-greeter (0.1.6)
  • Fixed confusion between screensaver and lock timeouts (Xfce #15726)
  • Removed reference to pkg-config (.pc) file (0.1.6) (Xfce #15597)

Code Cleanup

  • Cleaned up kdb-indicator logic (0.1.6)
  • Consolidated debug function calls (0.1.6)
  • Dropped libXxf86 dependency (MATE Screensaver #199)
  • Dropped lots of unused or unneeded code, significantly streamlining the codebase
  • Migrated xfce4-screensaver-command to GDBus
  • Moved job theme processing out of gs-manager (0.1.6)
  • Removed full-screen window shaking on failed login
  • Simplified handling of user preferences (0.1.6)
  • Simplified lock screen and screensaver activation code

Translation Updates

Xfce Screensaver 0.1.7 Released

Armenian (Armenia), Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Turkish

Downloads

Source tarball (md5, sha1, sha256)

Xfce Screensaver is included in Xubuntu 19.10 “Eoan Ermine”, installed with the xfce4-screensaver package.