Xfce Review

  • July 30, 2005
  • Erik

I can’t read the current Xfce review on Linux Magazine – I can’t seem to find a copy in English :-(.

However, I can read this review of Xfce: http://www.linux-magazine.com/issue/13/Desktopia.pdf

Of course, that’s for Xfce 3.8.

It’s nice to see that Xfce got it right then and get’s it right now, pretty much by heading in the same direction it was going back in 2001. The reviewer praises Xfce’s following of up and coming desktop standards, the collection of handy tools that make adding it to your system easy and simple, it’s simple and straightforward configuration, and it’s low resource usage.

Today Xfce follows freedesktop standards very closely, Benny’s install-it makes GUI installation of Xfce a snap for those who would build from source, the MCS manager provides a nice central UI for configuration of both Xfce and desktop related X settings, and users praising Xfce’s ability to restore old machines to use is a nearly daily occurance.

It’s fun though, to see what people were saying about Xfce then, and now


  • July 29, 2005
  • Edscott

The third GUI for xffm is coming out of the oven, and is called xffm-deskview. This GUI is a very simple filemanager that puts icons on the desktop. Popup menu, except when atop icons, is determined by the wm, if you happen to be running legacy xfwm3 or fvwm or similar. Backdrop management is left to other applications (taken from root window). The result is an application which starts up very fast and does the basic icons on the desktop thing without too much bloat.

The difficult part in this development has been the separation of GUIs and plugins from the basic xffm libraries. Now that that is done, the rest is down hill. Xffm-deskview will be part of release 4.3, scheduled for August (yeah, a month late, but the GUI-library separation *should* have been finished by 4.2, and was not).


  • July 27, 2005
  • Erik

Mousepad development is slowed down to nearly a crawl – it’s a few lines of code a day. Hopefully that will change now that I’m not out of town litterally every other week.

The most common feature requests are for syntax highlighting, and tabs. At that point, the adding of a customizable toolbar via libexo is trivial. However, at that point Mousepad has journeyed far afield of the original concept (which was basically “What do you mean printing doesn’t work in Leafpad!”).

So, what I am thinking is to finish up this Mousepad release, and then fork the new clean codebase into a new more Ninja Coder style text editor in the style of Nedit and BBedit, using libexo and either scintilla or GtkSourceView. However, if I go down that road, Mousepad will still need some love and care which I may not be in the position to give it. Not sure yet what to do about that, but stay tuned to this space for more.

warnings (2)

  • July 21, 2005
  • Jasper Huijsmans

This is actually a lunar post, but this blog needs more news ;-)

I think my firefox is buggier than Auke’s:

# lvu compile firefox | grep -i warning | wc -l
# lvu compile thunderbird | grep -i warning | wc -l

A Long Week

  • July 16, 2005
  • Erik

Edscott pointed out that it’s been a long time since the last XWN. A “long week” as he put it.

Well, I plan on using tomorrow to take care of that since I’m off work.

‘Cept I just got a copy of Harry Potter. So nah nah nah.

icon path cache

  • July 2, 2005
  • Edscott

An icon-path cache for theme icons does speed things up. The problem comes when one of the icon directories suffers modifications, because that means the icon cache needs to be regenerated. To check whether the cache need to be regenerated, look at the directories and see if they are modified. If you do this twice in a row, as when programming the algorithm, the check is quick because linux will save the directories in memory. Do it again tomorrow and it will take longer. So an acceptable solution —for xffm at least— is to use whatever cache is available and fork a separate process to check whether the cache needs regeneration. The separate process will regenerate the cache if necessary. And chances are that the active xffm will not need cache data until it is already regenerated behind the scenes. After several weeks of testing it works fine. I’m pretty happy with it because of the significant reduction in startup time.