Xfce News, September 2nd through September 9th

  • September 10, 2005
  • Erik

Last week’s update seems to have generated a little attention. I’m flattered. The devs aren’t flattered, but that’s because they’re too busy writing 4.4.

I also generated some anonymous criticism of my writing on OSNews. Which was probably warranted. Ah, well. I’ll never get that Linux Weekly News job now.



OSNews recently had a discussion around last week’s 4.4 update. Mostly it was salivation over the new additions, additionally moistened with praise.

Hidden inside a discussion of the most recent Gnome release was evidence that other people are catching on to what many of you already know: Xfwm4’s compositing manager doesn’t suck.

Xfce 4.4 preview discussion
The compositing manager, buried amongst other Gnome talk


libtubo and fgr Released
libtubo (tube in Spanish, for those chuckling right now) has been released. libtubo has, until very recently, been internal to Xffm, and is the core of Xffm’s communication with outside applications.

fgr is another part of Xffm picked for a separate release. fgr is an alternative to the trusty find command, using grep to do filtering on file content.

These releases are a part of the ongoing effort to break Xffm into separate pieces, both libraries and applications. This is interesting in and of itself, as Xffm began its life as an integration of disparate Xfce tools. However, much has been added to Xffm that may be more interesting in their own right.

The libtubo website, with API docs
fgr website and man page

Xfce-Perl 0.001

The new Perl bindings for Xfce libraries has seen its first official release. Available both from subversion and from your local CPAN mirror, this package makes it easier to write desktop applications in Perl.

Despite the pessimistic version number, the bindings “are relatively complete, and you can access most of libxfce4util and libxfcegui4”. Let’s all give Brian a hand

Brian’s announcement
Xfce-Perl’s website


Those of you who have been following along at home know that the old, simplistic Xfcalendar has been on its way to becoming the new, iCal based Orage.

It seems that day has arrived. Current subversion trunk has now reached sufficient completeness, that the name change is official. Orage is a significant change from 4.2’s Xfcalendar, and where it heads from here should prove interesting.

Orage announcement

Wewa Announced

Ah, but what, you ask, is Wewa?

Wewa is a third party web suite being built using Gtk+ WebCore.

By third party, we mean it’s not being developed as a core Xfce component. By web suite we mean a web browser, mail client, and a rss aggregator.

It is unclear which of the Xfce libraries Wewa is going to require – it’s in the very early stages. Obvious possibilities are the XfceRc functionality, and the resource lookups. Also, there was some mention made of using the Thunar MIME system. All of this speculative, as no code has been released. There is, instead, a tantalizing screenshot.

Wewa in action
Jonas’s announcement


Evolving Panel Framework

After the announcement of the new panel framework last week, Jasper changed the plugin API somewhat, and released new docs. The new libxfce4panel library provides the services needed to write new panel plugins.

It also seems that XFC, PyXfce, and Xfce-Perl, will have bindings for this new library, allowing plugins written in C++, Python, and Perl.

API docs
Ongoing thread from last week

Thunar Thumbs

Benedict has added support for displaying thumbnails to Thunar, and has asked users to test the performance.

Currently, Thunar does not generate thumbnails, so you will need to have an application which does do so and uses the thumbnail spec in order to see any.

Give it a shot, and let Benny know what you think.

Thankless work
Thumbnail screenshot

Xfdesktop Minimized Icons

Back when the Earth was cooling, and CDE reigned, application windows would minimize to the desktop, as icons (that’s why they call it “iconify”). Xfce had a similar feature in the 3.x series which was lost during the 4.0 push.

Xfdesktop brings this functionality back to the surface, with iconified window support now in SVN. With Thunar and Xffm providing more “classic” icons on the desktop, Xfdesktop keeps it’s niche by going a different route, providing what a small, but important and vocal, chunk of the userbase has clamored for.

Brian’s announcement

The Lists


Samuel Wright asked about an Xfce automounting solution. He was given some tips

Ivman, Knoppix, and GVM

Pager Urgency

Will Thompson wanted to know if he could submit a patch to make the pager highlight windows with the URGENT hint set.


Default Protocol Handlers

Fabian Neumann asked if Xfce has a way of storing default protocol handlers for things like mailto: and http:. The short answer is “not yet”

But Benny had a neat suggestion

The End

That’s all for this week. Next week I plan to not only be on time, but bring the snarkiness back up to their usual levels.