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Xfce 4.14 Maintenance and 4.15 Updates

  • January 14, 2020
  • Simon Steinbeiß

Xfce 4.14 Maintenance

As promised we’re trying to be much better at doing maintenance releases for Xfce 4.14. In part, we had a hard time doing maintenance for Xfce 4.12 because with all the porting work it was hard to focus on fixing Gtk+2 bugs and many bugreports/fixes didn’t apply to both 4.12 and 4.14.
This has now changed and as many bugs apply to both Xfce 4.14 and the current 4.15 development versions we can much more easily backport fixes. Consequently we have already done quite a few maintenance releases so far and this week a few more followed, fixing bugs and featuring improved translations:

  • xfce4-panel 4.14.3 (4.14.2 had a bad release build)
  • xfce4-session 4.14.1
  • xfce4-settings 4.14.2
  • xfdesktop 4.14.2

Xfce 4.15 Updates

One of the major UI changes that we announced for the 4.16 cycle was the switch to GtkHeaderBars or so-called Client-side decorations (CSD). The first big step in this direction has now happened in libxfce4ui, our main user interface library. With the change, almost all dialogs will be converted to using CSD by default without any code changes in existing projects.

There are quite a few advantages we’re looking forward to (improved resize areas, consistent theming etc) by making use of this core Gtk feature.

A few more features that got released (in the xfce4-panel 4.15.1, libxfce4ui 4.15.1, libxfce4util 4.15.0 and xfce4-settings 4.15.0):

  • an improved “About Xfce” dialog that features basics of the system properties
  • improvements to the “Display” dialog (show Aspect Ratio, show Preferred Mode)
  • only show Gtk themes that support Gtk3 in the “Appearance” dialog
  • function for improved application icon lookup (used in Xfce Session’s settings dialog and in the Xfce Panel’s systray settings for now)
  • the panel’ dark mode got enabled by default (which means it will look nicer with Adwaita e.g. on Fedora by default)
  • the Directory Menu plugin now allows you to directly create Folders and Files
  • we also bumped the overall Xfce version to 4.15 so people testing 4.15 packages should see the right version in e.g. the “About Xfce” dialog.

Enjoy! 🙂

(and don’t forget to write bug reports 😉 )

Some Screenshots

Appearance Settings (Adwaita)
Appearance Settings (Greybird)

 

 

 

New Settings Manager layout
New and shiny About dialog

 

 

Better app icons (Panel Systray)

Technical background: XfceTitledDialog with CSD

(This subsection is targeted at developers.)

Some components (namely Thunar, Thunar volman, xfce4-panel, xfce4-settings, xfburn and xfce4-mixer) inherit the XfceTitledDialogClass explicitly when creating their dialog object have to be fixed by using the new API introduced in the upcoming release libxfce4ui-4.15.1.
All other dialogs should work out of the box and not require any additional meddling.

  • xfce_titled_dialog_create_action_area (to initialize the custom action area)
  • xfce_titled_dialog_add_button (as an equivalent to gtk_dialog_add_button)
  • xfce_titled_dialog_add_action_widget (as an equivalent to gtk_dialog_add_action_widget)
  • xfce_titled_dialog_set_default_response (as an equivalent to gtk_dialog_set_default_response)

The point of the new API is packing the dialog’s action buttons in the action area at the bottom of the dialog (vs. the standard GtkDialog behavior of packing them in the GtkHeaderBar as part of the window decorations). This means that dialogs remain in their previous/traditional layout with minimal effort on the developer’s/maintainer’s side, in part because the parameters were kept the same as in their upstream GtkDialog counterparts.

Here is a (very simple) example commit of how to port existing dialogs that use XfceTitledDialogClass:
https://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-panel/commit/?id=35440ee2d9540a3c1afdcbff5f50dc0ee2f83d9b

Catfish 1.4.12 Released

  • January 1, 2020
  • Sean Davis
Catfish 1.4.12 Released

Welcome to 2020! Let's ring in the new year with a brand new Catfish release.

What's New

Wayland Support

Catfish 1.4.12 adds support for running on Wayland. Before now, there were some X-specific dependencies related to handling display sizes. These have now been resolved, and Catfish should run smoothly and consistently everywhere.

Catfish 1.4.12 Released
Catfish 1.4.12 on Wayland on Ubuntu 19.10

Dialog Improvements

All dialogs now utilize client-side decorations (CSD) and are modal. The main window will continue to respect the window layout setting introduced in the 1.4.10 release.

I also applied a number of fixes to the new Preferences and Search Index dialogs, so they should behave more consistently and work well with keyboard navigation.

Release Process Updates

I've improved the release process to make it easier for maintainers and to ensure builds are free of temporary files. This helps ensure a faster delivery to package maintainers, and therefore to distributions.

Translation Updates

Albanian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Galician, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian Bokmål, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish

Downloads

Source tarball

$ md5sum catfish-1.4.12.tar.bz2 
9aad6a0bc695ec8793d4294880974cb2

$ sha1sum catfish-1.4.12.tar.bz2 
4e78e291a2f17c85122a85049bdc837b49afdd66

$ sha256sum catfish-1.4.12.tar.bz2 
c3fb30e02b217752aa493b49769be1a5fc2adde70b22aef381e6c67d5227134a

Catfish 1.4.12 will be included in Xubuntu 20.04 "Focal Fossa", available in April.

Catfish 1.4.11 Released

  • December 21, 2019
  • Sean Davis

What's New?

General

  • Radio indicators are now displayed on the layout options, making your selection clearer on all themes

Bug Fixes

  • Startup crash when GdkDisplay or GdkScreen calls return None (LP #1822914)
  • Configuration of preferred window layout (Xfce #16085)
  • Finding files in the target directory (Xfce #15985, #16233)
  • Symbolic links looping, causing search to go on forever (Xfce #16272)
  • Home (~) expansion for the start path, simplifying commandline usage:
catfish --path=~/Desktop

Translation Updates

Catfish 1.4.11 Released

Albanian, Belarusian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Interlingue, Italian, Korean, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Thai, Turkish

Downloads

Source tarball

$ md5sum catfish-1.4.11.tar.bz2 
67e23d45fded026ef3445bc7fe1d1653

$ sha1sum catfish-1.4.11.tar.bz2 
e7617948d59c69faa3f2569981b7371126d00737

$ sha256sum catfish-1.4.11.tar.bz2 
617baf9309e3cdfb20c8357ac786eb26f30e6fd4280d4534d3cdd742c7ffcd85
Checksums since the Xfce Release Manager is not currently publishing them.

Catfish 1.4.11 will be included in Xubuntu 20.04 "Focal Fossa", available in April.

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.