Beta release, Bugzilla

  • September 27, 2004
  • Brian Tarricone

Hi everyone… As you might have heard on the xfce4-dev list, we’re very close to releasing Xfce 4.1.90, which will be the first beta release of the next version of Xfce, 4.2.0. I’ll take this opportunity to re-introduce our new release manager, Biju Chacko. He’s been working this past weekend to get his system into a state to churn out release tarballs. After the release, I hope you’ll all be able to give it a try and give us your feedback so we can move quickly toward a final 4.2.0 release.

Also, many of you have probably noticed that http://bugs.xfce.org/ now points to our new install of the Bugzilla bug tracking system. I finished setting that up about a week ago, and it should help us to more easily track and fix bugs. If you had an account on the old bug tracker, it’s been migrated to the new one. Your username is now the email address you used to register, and you’ll have to ask it to reset your password, as I was unable to migrate the encrypted passwords from the old tracker. If you’re unfamiliar with Bugzilla, I’ve written up a “cheatsheet“, which is linked from the main page. You might also want to try the “guided format” to reporting a bug, which will guide you, step-by-step, in gathering the info you need to submit a useful bug report.

file manager changes

  • September 24, 2004
  • Edscott

With the upcoming release of 4.1.90, changes to the xfce file manager are worth mentioning. Where to begin?

– The double treeview. In 4.0.x, this feature was a different view of the *same* treeview. Which is downright confusing. With 4.1.90, both treeviews are independent. Changes to one will not affect the other.

– The main menu. Now we have independent treeviews. To which treeview do the main menu functions apply? The old menu was confusing, so we have a new one. Actions which apply on a global scale are included in the main menu, those that are treeview specific are in the popup menu (except for the “goto” commands, which gray out when ambiguity is present).

– The applications branch. This branch was fun to program, but practically useless. Click: removed and replaced by a panel toolbar. The panel toolbar is useful if you are running the file manager on a remote machine (like a server), and you want a minimalistic remote xfce4-panel. Since remote server administration is rare, this option will not be compiled unless “–enable-panel” is specified during build (something server administrators know how to do). So don’t expect to see it unless you look real hard.

– The fork executor (Tubo). Select() replaced the equivalent glib function (which happened to be buggy). This allows a much faster response for all xfsamba functions, mount/unmount, find, tar creation and other commands.

– The copy/move routines were replaced by system defined cp/mv and run by Tubo. Thus, confusion is avoided by using the same default behaviour and error messages you would get by command line execution (plus, memory footprint is cut down).

– Other things that have changed significantly (I’ll explain these some other day): trash management, dropdown toolbar buttons, sidebar, column title popups, popup menus, sort methods, recent and frequent branches, mimetype icon editor, mimetype file association, icon theme handling, in-row cell editing for name and mode and owner/group changes, use of sudo for sudoizable commands, verbose diagnostic messages, recursive scrambling/unscrambling of directories, mount/unmount of smb shares, conversion of treeview branches to plugin architechture and something else I can’t remember now.

– During the 4.1.9x and 4.2.x release period you can expect to see changes within the internal organization aimed exclusively to bug fixes, optimization and code clean up.

– When optimization and code cleanup is complete, we might be ready for testing the icon-view representation (target 4.4, God willing).

Updates, Updates, Updates …

  • September 19, 2004
  • Moritz

Alright, with me being back from Spain and a string freeze in CVS (Yes, string freeze .. get the idea?) I finally decided to do some work on the German translations again and (As you may witness here) I’m almost done. Xfprint has been updated recently (doesn’t show up yet since the overview is updated only once a day) so there is only Xfwm4 left which is being worked on by Olivier for two weeks now. So I’m going to wait for Olivier to finish his work and right after that I’m done with the translations for our first alpha release of the 4.2 branch.
Apart from that our new fish in bowl, Maarten Boekhold, is making progress on Xfce’s CGYWIN integration. We’re all eagerly awaiting screenshots of Xfce riding Billies best horse ;-).

Thats it for today .. I’m Moritz Heiber, saying, good fight .. good night

New Features?

  • September 14, 2004
  • Brian Tarricone

I realise often that I tend to be very reluctant when anyone asks about a new feature in anything I work on. Generally, if it didn’t occur to me as a feature, my immediate reaction will be to not want to include it. I know that seems a bit silly, and perhaps mean. I’ve never really been able to explain before (in anything but general “this is just how I feel” terms) why I ususally react like this, but after reading Havoc Pennington’s Free Software Maintenance: Adding Features, I realise that this pretty much sums up my reasons. I think it also enumerates some really good rules of thumb that everyone should try to follow when submitting a feature request (even if you’re submitting the patch, too) to any kind of open source project.

So this is why I sometimes seem like to act like an ass when people are bugging me on IRC about adding features to xfdesktop or xfmusic4. It’s nothing personal, but I need to see some compelling justification before adding a feature when I’m not sure it’s worthwhile.

Base dir spec

  • September 14, 2004
  • Jasper Huijsmans

We were in development freeze for a 4.2 alpha release, but this has temporarily been postponed for Olivier to add support for the new XOrg Composite extension (dropshadows!).

We took the opportunity to convert all Xfce modules to use the freedesktop.org Base Dir Spec to look up their files. Basically this means user configuration files will now be in ~/.config/xfce4/.

The transition isn’t complete yet, but we’re getting there. I do hope more projects will start to use this spec.

Sofar for president

  • September 3, 2004
  • Jasper Huijsmans

If I were American I’d vote for sofar.

He’s much better at fixing things than any of the other candidates. You want proof? This blog is working again, isn’t it? Thanks to sofar!