A bunch of news from the development of Xfce 4.12 !
Since my previous post in november (read it !) , many things have happened.
First, the most awaited news ... wait for it... a date has been decided ! 4.12 will released by the last week end of February 2015 ! (yes, 1 week from now)
Now, I would like to draw your attention to a list of threads on the xfce4-dev mailist :
- Listing our current forces : This thread has helped a lot to grant privileges on git, bugzilla and xfce internal services to more people. Now it's easier to give access to a new contributors !
- A proposition to do regular releases for translation updates
- A Xfce mirror is now available on GitHub
- Discussions around the 4.12 default Gtk+ theme. Maybe the 'new' xfce-refresh from ochosi
- About gtk-xfce-engine, the decision has been made to drop the gtk3 engine part completely, and leave creating themes to themers https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce4-dev/2015-February/031084.html
- Participation to GSoC 2015 ?
- In order to attract new contributors to Xfce, a "list of easy bugs" is now available on the wiki
- 4.12 String freeze will be the 20 February to let translators do their job https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce4-dev/2015-February/031127.html
- New discussion about the port to GTK3. Note: some components (libxfce4ui, xfce4-panel etc) already have a partial support of gtk3.
- In other news, Graeme Gott's Whisker Menu plugin is now an official Xfce project! Andrzej's PulseAudio plugin also joining the family!
- The critical bug list has almost been eradicated, huge congrats to all developpers :)
Core Apps :
- The intelligent panel hiding feature (see my previous post) has been released in 4.11.2 !
Oh wow, many commits, such features ! You can read the 4.11.3 announcement here
- Add titleless maximization feature.
- Client Side Decoration (CSD) support ! (Compositor need to be enabled). A screenshot with and without on gedit (an application that need CSD)
- Windows preview in alt+tab (Compositor need to be enabled too).
- Nice, right ? :)
- Release of 4.11.4
- Add touchpad support with libinput (yes, already !)
- Better monitor and multi monitor support
- Add Gtk+ theme palettes in the appearance dialog (see screenshot)
- Add previews for icon themes in appearance settings (see screenshot)
- Bugfixes, bugfixes, bugfixes !
- The "logind runtime detection to support suspend/hibernate" patch has been merged.
- Release of 4.11.1
- Add support for the GTK 3 bookmarks file,
- Bugfixes, support for binary file size units
- Release of 1.6.4
- Fixes, dependencies update etc
- Release of 4.11.1
- Not many exciting changes for this release, mostly translation updates, small fixes and code tweaks.. 4.11.0
- Support of imgur uploads ! Yes !
- Release of 1.8.2 . Thank gaston !
- Big cleanup of UI, with new treeview mode, general UI/graph overhaul and lot of bugfixes)
- Release of 1.1.0 with all theses changes. Thanks gaston, ochosi and Cavalier
- The famous "Please bring back the tray icon" bug got some attention, with a patch from Eric to re-add a tray icon, it need extended testing though
- Release of 1.4.2
Panel Plugins :
Some love for panel plugins, from Harald Judt and Landry Breuil, mostly build/bugfixes and translations updates :
- xfce4-systemload-plugin 1.1.3 https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2014-November/000343.html
- xfce4-netload-plugin 1.2.4 https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2014-November/000344.html
- xfce4-weather-plugin 0.8.5 https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2014-December/000347.html
- xfce4-eyes-plugin 4.4.3 https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2014-December/000348.html
- xfce4-cpufreq-plugin 1.1.1 https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2014-December/000349.html
- xfce4-verve-plugin 1.0.1 https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2015-January/000355.html
- xfce4-indicator-plugin 2.3.3 https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2015-January/000352.html
As you can see, xfce development is more active than ever !
So be prepared to be amazed by 4.12 in a few weeks !
Update 19/02/2015 : A new post is available !
Following my first post about the Xfce development status 4 months ago (you can (re) read it here), let's go for a bunch of reviews of the last commits.
A little clarifications about comments on my 1st post : I'm NOT a core xfce dev, I'm just a small contributor, who try to help as much as I can.
Note: You can see lots of screenshots about all theses news features on the xfce forum, in the What's New in Xfce topic from ToZ.
- A new xfce4-power-manager release (compatible with xfce 4.10), thanks to Eric Koegell and Simon Steinbeiss
- Provide a better support of systemd and upower
- Brightness plugin has been merged into the battery indicator plugin so a new plugin is born, "Power Manager plugin"
- Some design changes, see screenshots
- The roadmap to 1.5 : https://wiki.xfce.org/design/power-manager
- Add a --next option to force wallpaper changes
- Add a move to trash menu option
- Add an --enable-debug option added to xfdesktop-settings
- Add optional blurring on shadow on text of icons, see Screenshots
- Implementation of a intelligent auto-hide functionality by Jannis Pohlmann !
- Whenever the active window changes or whenever the geometry of an already active window changes, the algorithm checks whether the active window and the panel overlap. If this is the case, the panel is hidden. Otherwise, it is made or remains visible.
- A quick demo (only available in git version for now)
- Add logind runtime detection to support suspend/hibernate
- Support for upower 0.99
- Add DragonflyBSD to host check
- Reapply settings when external keyboard connects
- New display settings dialog
- Add support for upower 0.99
- Default application not respected with glib >= 2.4
- Check for thumbnails in the location
- Add appdata file
- Add pkexec policy. This way if the user of a desktop system wants to use thunar to modify files as root and has the proper credentials they can.
Apps / Plugins :
- Mousepad and Parole have been ported to gtk3 !
- Partial rewrite of squeeze (Archive manager)
- Multiples releases/bugfixes of xfce4-netload-plugin, xfce4-weather-plugin, xfce4-equake-plugin
Development Releases of core components :
- xfdesktop 4.11.8 : https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce4-dev/2014-August/030823.html
- xfwm4 4.11.2 : https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2014-July/000329.html
- xfce4-settings 4.11.3 : https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2014-August/000333.html
Maintenances/New Releases (for xfce 4.10 ) :
- Xfce4-power-manager 1.4.1 : see above in this post. http://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-power-manager/tree/NEWS
- xfdesktop 4.10.3 : Release of a maintenance version which fix a lot of bugs. https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce4-dev/2014-November/030941.html, thanks to Eric Koegel
- A side note about light-locker, a simple session-locker for lightdm, which work really great with xfce :). If you want a nice and modern locker, try it !
- Debian Jessie will use xfce 4.10 (as 4.12 is not ready on 5th November, the date of Debian Freeze)
- If you are an ArchLinux user, and want to test the devel version of xfce, you can use my [xfce411] repo. NO WARRANTY, support or whatever ! Use it at your own risks. Read the README ;)
- Last minute : A reorganisation of the team is running, to list our current force, identify weak spots (where we urgently need new contributors), welcome new members etc. See https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce4-dev/2014-November/030946.html for more informations !
Update 19/11/2014 : A new post is available !
Some news from Xfce, my favourite Desktop Environment, that I use since something like 2006.
The development is relatively slow (the last stable version, 4.10 was released in April 2012). There is not so many developers, 1 or 2 "core" devs, and less than 10 contributors (who are generally distributions maintainers, from debian, xubuntu, gentoo, arch, thanks to them !).
There was a roadmap for 4.12, where it was planned to release 4.12 mid-2013. But, hey, it's open source, it will be out when "it will be ready" :-).
Some weeks ago, it was decided to establish a list of "critical bugs" to be eradicated in order to release xfce 4.12.
You can find the list here : https://wiki.xfce.org/releng/4.12/roadmap/critical-bugs.
Xfce 4.12 will still use gtk2, with some support of gtk3 for better integration.
Port to gtk3 will maybe be done for the next version.
What will be new in xfce 4.12 ?
All major components are already available in development version (4.11), here are a small list of what to expect :
- Zoom mode. I wrote about this cool new feature in december
- New, themable tabwin (alt+tab)
- Changelog at http://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfwm4/tree/NEWS
- The display settings have been much improved with supporting extended desktop mode for 2 monitors and an improve minimal dialog.
- Changelog at http://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-settings/tree/NEWS
- Lot of works on xfdesktop, already 6 pre releases!
- Per-workspace wallpapers support (finally !)
- Better multi monitor handling
- Changelog at http://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfdesktop/tree/NEWS
- Support of gtk3 plugins
- Better behavior of buttons/menus
- Changelog at http://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-panel/tree/NEWS
And lot of works on other components, like xfce4-power-manager (systemd support), xfburn, xfce4-mixer etc There is still some works/tests to be done on upower or systemd support for example.
Update : You can see lot of screenshots of new features on the Xfce forum, by ToZ : https://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=8945
It's easier to copy the mail from Simon Steinbeiß to explain this part :
To get to the point: we see bountysource as an easy way to offer the community with a way to financially support Xfce. There are two avenues a backer can choose from. 1) Set a bounty on a specific bug (we've pulled in all the reports for many components already, so you can easily find them on bountysource.com) 2) Back the Xfce team
Update: More explanations about bountysource: https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce4-dev/2014-July/030807.html
So if you are interested yo help Xfce, go to the contribute wiki page !
Xfce is my main desktop environment since more than 6 years, and I really like it. I try to make some patch from time to time, and if you search a project to contribute, it's here ;-)
The core team is really small (2 or 3 people), so development evolves rather slowly, and the 4.12 will be released when it is ready.
Here a little video with latest git version ( from http://git.xfce.org/xfce/xfwm4/ ). You just need to press ALT and scroll up/down to zoom in/out.
(yeah, it's an excuse to test the html5
I will try to make some blog posts about new features in xfce world for the upcoming 4.12 (in 2014 I hope!), stay tuned !
it’s been several years since i last tried arch, and i wanted a desktop environment installed & preconfigured. archbang offers a minimal openbox desktop with a few basic programs: web browser, terminal, text editor, file manager, etc.
arch is fast. from cold boot to logged-in at the desktop: 5.5 seconds. that’s on an old supertalent ssd, artificially limited to SATA-I speeds by the thinkpad’s BIOS; the hardware is capable of running at SATA-II. even topped out at 150MB/sec read/write, this system is screaming fast. apps execute instantly, queries and searches complete as soon as i hit Enter, and even heavyweight firefox only takes a second or so to load. my experience is vastly improved over the same environment on gentoo, on the magnetic hdd.
gentoo didn’t run this fast on this drive when it was installed in my now-defunct desktop. i switched to a more useful xfce desktop, which didn’t affect boot/login times at all; still under 6 seconds.
so, why arch, and not gentoo? apparently, my music-making environment went through too many upgrades and changes between 2011 and now. i probably should have left it as-is once i got a working setup for live performances and studio production. it mostly doesn’t work anymore. kernel changes, upstream audio package changes, lots of factors. it’s impossible to diagnose, so i’m temporarily without a gentoo system, at least until i swap disks.
the upstream developer of my primary audio software runs arch, so i figured i may get better support & overall user experience by running the same OS and environment. i haven’t yet configured my desktop for realtime/low-latency audio work besides install the ck kernel. arch has most of my usual music stack available as binary packages, so i’ll only have to compile a few apps from the AUR.
i really like installing binary packages, rather than having to spend a whole day building them on this slow 2007-era CPU. and, since this is an exceptionally light flavor of arch, i don’t have the bloat and slowdown i experienced when using ubuntu for music production.
i’m not sure if i’ll keep arch installed or not, but this has been an interesting trip so far.