Releases, releases, releases! Part 2

Testing Xfce

Xfce – like many other open source projects – is not exactly following a test-driven development workflow. I would argue that we need a slight mindset change here plus we need some (standardized) infrastructure to make testing easier for people who want to get involved.

Luckily what we have been waiting for in terms of the latter is already here! xfce-test is a Docker-based setup built by Florian which enables anyone to quickly spin up a container (based on Xubuntu 17.04 for now) with some components integrated from Git master, e.g. the Gtk3 panel. The great thing is it does not create the overhead of a real virtual machine for a tester but instead stays in the lightweight world of containers. This also makes it easy for everyone to adapt and rebuild the container and to create a reproducible environment that can be shared.

Just check out these few steps to try it in action – it really does all the heavy lifting for you!

xfce-test in action

Kudos also go out to the Gnome team for setting up a real nice contribution workflow for their community. We should really strive to reach that level at some point!

xfce4-notifyd 0.3.6

And another bugfix release for xfce4-notifyd is out! The best part about this is that apart from code-review there was nothing for me to do to get there!

So a big shout-out goes to both Mattias and Igor for fixing some of my – slowly but surely traditional – shortcomings (memleaks here we go again!).

Greybird 3.22.2 and 3.22.3

So there are also new releases out for Greybird, and not a bad ones I may add. On the feature side I added a preliminary version of a dark theme, which I hope will please some of the Gnome users of this theme.

Furthermore I did some polishing on making GtkPopover and Headerbar buttons more integrated and tight. Finally some fixes went into Nautilus notifications, the xfce4-notifyd theme and GtkCalendar looks acceptable at last (which makes the Gtk3 version of the panel usable)!

So all in all two micro-releases worth upgrading to!


elementary-xfce 0.8

This release adds support for the new icon names of Gnome 3.24. I also pulled in several icons from upstream elementary, especially updated mimetypes (thanks Dan!) plus I added support for Pantheon Photos.

Finally I added more sizes to some of the icons, ridding the theme of some inconsistencies.


xfce4-panel 4.13.0 in the works

As hinted at in the previous installment of “Releases, releases, releases!” I’ve been pouring quite some time into getting xfce4-panel close to a first 4.13 development release. This should help testers to get a packaged up stable point of reference and it should also help us to track the remaining issues in our issue tracker like normal human beings instead of collecting everything in the wiki roadmap page.

So while there are still some issues remaining (one of the more prominent disfunctions is broken drag-and-drop in certain contexts) I use the panel on a daily basis and it hasn’t crashed upon me once and does pretty much what it should – even with Gtk2 plugins in it (nnnice!).

Feel free to test it out with xfce-test 😉

25 thoughts on “Releases, releases, releases! Part 2”

  1. Hey!
    Saw you linked my post about the new development workflow. Feel free to ping me on IRC to know a little more what would you need for making something similar in XFCE and also what we are working on for development of libraries etc (you can search for BuildStream, still experimental)

    Carlos Soriano

  2. Thank you for all your work Simon, I personally can’t wait for Xfce 4.14 since I read your blog 🙂

    On the screenshot you posted, what do you use to make your panel behave like a “dock” (with open windows and closed ones being icons, just being differentiated by the blue dot below them) ?

    Is there any plans to bring this behaviour to Xfce 4.14 by default or as an option ? This seems a good usability paradigm.



    1. Thanks a lot for the appreciation! 🙂

      The bottom panel is plank, I don’t think we’ll be able to implement that for 4.14, at least it’s not planned. Also, plank works really fine, why reinvent the wheel?

      1. You’re welcome !

        It makes perfect sense to not reinvent the whell indeed.

        Just my opinion, somehow, plank is a tiny bit less integrated solution (i.e you cannot have say whisker menu, windows icons/launchers (ala plank) and other applets in one single panel), no big deal with today’s big screens though, there’s enough room for multiples panels/docks 🙂

      2. Hi Simon,
        my configuration is that I keep the panel at the bottom where it serves as launcher and task manager. I usually click by mistake a launcher (icon) and it opens a new instance. This could be avoided by the behavior mentioned by Laurent. It’s present in other DEs like KDE, Gnome (dash to panel extension) and also in Windows… I just want to say that am badly missing this feature. (And obviously dual pane for thunar 🙂 Thanks.

  3. Can we have bigger resizing handles for the windows already? It is the number 1 complaint of everyone I introduce Xfce to.

    1. That complaint can only be raised against Xfwm4 themes specifically, as the resize areas are part of the individual theme. E.g. Greybird has an a11y variant of the Xfwm4 theme with bigger borders for easier resizing.

      In Gtk3 with client-side decorations you get a bigger resize area even with 1px borders, however there are also many that complain about csd.

      Obviously it’s not easy to please everyone…

  4. Thank you for a greate work!

    As for me, it will be greate, if in XFCE somebody add NATIVE global menu plugin.

  5. Greybird as part of shimmer-themes in 16.04 could be modified by the user using a simple text editor. Numix in the same package could not since it uses SCSS. It needed oomox. My question, now that Greybird also uses SCSS (16.10 and beyond), is this: is there any way a Greybird user can make minor changes to the gtk3 aspect of the theme now?

    I get the impression that oomox cannot be used with Greybird. Is the procedure explained anywhere?

    From what I’ve read of Satya’s posts and those of other developers of SCSS themes, I get the impression that each theme has its own methods (and dependencies).

    Thank you for reading even if you don’t have time to respond,

    long-time Greybird user

    1. You can still edit Greybird’s CSS directly (if you understand the CSS that comes out of the compiled SASS/SCSS source), it’s all in /usr/share/themes/Greybird/gtk-3.0/gtk-contained.css

      Alternatively you can clone Greybird from github and then run ./; make; sudo make install after doing your changes in the scss files.

  6. Xfce 4.14 sortira en stable cette année 2017 ? Je trouve que l’avancement de son developpement est trop lent…

    1. Many, including us developers, wouldn’t mind if the work would get done faster. However, there’s just not that many of us.

      If you want things to be faster, help with the porting 🙂

      1. Il faudrai pouvoir intégrer Xfce 4.14 a temps pour Xubuntu 18.04LTS. Il faudrai donc le sortir en stable avant Janvier 2018

        Pourquoi les developpeurs de Mate sont plus rapide que ceux de Xfce ? Mate est déjà en GTK3 ! Vous êtes en retard par rapport aux autres environnements de bureau, vous devriez prendre + de developpeur.

        1. Hi, yeah, others may have put in more effort into porting to Gtk+3. As I have stated time and time again, Xfce does not have that many active developers, so if you want things to move faster buckle up and write some code! 🙂

    1. Hi, the reason for for disabling the PPA was that Trusty (aka 14.04) reached EOL recently and that PPA was only for that release of Xubuntu. So feel free to disable it and / or upgrade.

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