Saturday, August 16, 2014

Debian might dump XFCE for Gnome
While I agree with some of the reasons the Debian community is up in arms about the possible slyly forced change to XFCE, I do not agree with the assessment in the article I quote below that XFCE is "rough around the edges".

XFCE is a nimble, simple and yet a beautiful desktop environment.

XFCE can do anything and everything Unity, Gnome and KDE can do, and with speed and grace.

If you check out the Xubuntu distribution I think you will agree with me. Xubuntu is a XFCE based distro that looks amazing and simultaneously runs reliably and very fast.

Proof is in the pudding, so to speak. So here are some screenshots from my favorite XFCE based distro, Xubuntu:

Here is the article I refer to above, thanks to the people at Softpedia.

"Debian developers have been discussing about the replacement of the default GNOME desktop with Xfce for a few months now, but not everyone agrees with this decision. A Debian maintainer has tried to explain why this move to another desktop environment should not happen.

The decision to adopt Xfce instead of GNOME was made back November 2013 and it felt like it was a done deal. One of the major reasons for this switch was the lack of space for the CD image, if you can imagine such a thing.

Debian developers are still trying to fit everything on a CD and the latest GNOME stack is actually too big for a 700 MB image, so a plan was devised to fix this. Even with numerous improvements to various packages and even after developers tried to archive some of the apps as .xz archives, it still wasn't enough.

Some might think that trying to get everything packed on a CD is no longer an issue and that everyone must certainly have DVD units, but that might not be the case. There still are parts of the world that have very old computers and only CD-ROMs. You can't ignore all those users and this puts Debian developers in a tough spot, but a well-known Debian maintainer has a different opinion.

“The Debian GNOME team rebuilt some key packages so they would be compressed using xz instead of gzip, saving the few megabytes that were needed to squeeze everything in the first CD. In parallel, the tasksel maintainer decided switching to Xfce as default desktop was another obvious fix. This change, unannounced and two days before the freeze, was very contested and spurred the usual massive debian-devel threads.”

“Suffice to say that the Debian GNOME team participants have never been thrilled about how the whole issue is being handled, and we’ve been wondering if we should be doing anything about it, or just move along and enjoy the smaller amount of bug reports against GNOME packages that this change would bring us, if it finally made it through to the final release,” says Debian maintainer Jordi Mallach.

He makes the case for a GNOME desktop and explains point by point why Debian should actually use this desktop instead of anything else. His last remarks are also quite interesting. He says that shipping Debian with Xfce will never be on par with Debian quality standards for a stable release, and that the Xfce desktop still has some rough edges.

Jordi Mallach also says that it's not really OK to announce changes of this magnitude in a Git commit log, which is a very superficial way of treating the developer community." -Softpedia

Thanks again to the great folks at
for another great article! 

And thanks to the fine people at
for an excellent, beautiful and rock solid Linux distro!

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