thanks for your elaborate mail. I wanted to get back to you already over
the "Non-flattering review of Fedora XFCE", but this mail just became
too long and I never finished it.
This time I'll only reply to some parts and skip the rest.
Am Mittwoch, den 27.06.2012, 23:44 -0400 schrieb Jayson Rowe:
a) many aspects of panel layout/themes are very much personal
b) sadly, every Xfce 'spin' I tried felt at least somewhat more
polished than Fedora's out-of-the box presentation in one way or
I think we had some very good releases, like F14, that really impressed
some Xfce developers. Unfortunately we could not hold up the high
standard for 2 reasons:
1. GNOME and GTK 3 and it's fallout on us
2. We were too busy to care about Xfce.
There are definitely some bugs and annoyances in the F17 Xfce spin that
we should have caught with better QA, but both Kevin and me were just
too busy with our dayjobs.
Greybird is a nice theme and Simon is a pretty good artist. He can
completely focus on artwork. On the other hand we don't have a real
artist in the Xfce SIG, at least nobody who is active.
There are two things I hate about Greybird though:
1. The dark menu and panels. Windows 7 started the trend and now
everybody tries to mimic it.
2. The window decorations use the window content color and as this
one is the same for all windows, it is hard to see which window
actually has the focus. Only the window title is different. This
is annoying, because a small popup can 'steal' the focus and
it's not visible at a glance.
While the first is a matter of personal taste, the second is a usability
The Icons look nice, all of the icons in
the system tray match, everything looks smooth, integrated and blends
As the icons in the system tray are provided by the appications, we have
no control over them. E.g. gnome-bluetooth hardcodes the icon name to
the monochrome 'symbolic' theme and there is nothing we can do about it.
blueman is IHMO no alternative as it tends to break with ever new
release of NetworkManager.
A 2 panel layout that could easily appeal to GNOME2 refugees, but
still different from a GNOME2 layout.
If we change the layout, the one thing I don't want is a GNOME 2
lookalike panel. Xfce is a desktop of it's own and not a shelter for
openSUSE 12.2 (Beta):
The mixer applet on the panel (Gmixer) doesn't seem to be in our
It was, but was removed because it is unmaintained and orphaned
but the icon for it looks nicer than the faded icon w/ the blue
half-circles we have w/ the default Xfce mixer applet.
I very much like our icon, but that's just a personal preference.
And now, we all know the default Fedora 17 look:
Here I will point out mainly what I don't like: First, I don't like
the borders around the clock and notification area...just looks
unfinished to me.
IHMO this would need to be changed not only in the default panel layout
but in the code itself, so new clock applets and notification areas
don't have a border either. Otherwise it becomes inconsistent. I thought
about this, but never had the time to look into the code. Patches
I also wish the Applications Menu icon were the Fedora logo.
Unfortunately we cannot do this. Fedora has a strict de-branding policy.
All Fedora-specific icons must be in the fedora-logos package and by
replacing it with generic-logos, you get back a completely unbranded
In Xfce 4.6 we just provided a svg graphic with the same name as the
original one (xfce4_xicon1). Because GTK prefers svg over png this
works, if the svg was removed, the panel would fall back to the original
one. Other distributions don't care about this and hardcode their icon
in the config.
I think the Adwaita theme works well (supports GTK3), but
the Nodoka window decorations look dated.
Yes, this definitely is a bug, it's a leftover of the time when we had
Nodoka also as GTK theme, but with GTK3 we had to change to Adwaita and
by that time, we should have also changed the window decorations. I
recently removed that patch in rawhide.
This next screenshot is how *I* would improve the look we have now,
sticking with a same/similar layout:
Changes? The Fedora logo for the Applications Menu, no borders around
the clock and notification area, and the default Xfce window
IIRC we discussed all this already, but as I just explained, we cannot
make these changes, at least not easily.
Before I took this screenshot, I also ugraded to 4.10, and
added the 'Action Buttons' plugin to the panel.
I have been thinking about this, too, but the "action menu" as it was
called in 4.8 was just completely broken. We should consider it for F18
Next, I simply eliminate a *personal* pet peeve - the second, bigger
panel that doesn't take up the entire width of the screen.
I agree it is a waste of space, but the alternative would be to hide it
(this is what I am using). However this seems to confuse new users and
as you said, you don't like hiding panels either.
wasteful to me (especially with maximized windows). I also reduced the
top panel to 24px.:
Too small IHMO.
Please, no! Let Xfce be independent, even if GNOME 2 refugees seem to be
a big target audience.
Next, is a layout similar to what openSUSE had:
A single bottom panel, 24px.
I'm afraid this won't work on small screens. The main menu with menu
title, the pager and the action buttons menu take too much space. Try
this on a 14" screen and you'll see that there hardly is any space left
for the task bar.
So...now that I've said all of that what do you think? Like I
was torn about jumping in as a new guy with suggestions, but I figured
why not...the worst y'all could do is say 'go away, your bothering
me'...so I did it.
I appreciate your input. It's good to see people do care about Xfce in
Fedora and I even agree there are some things in the review you recently
posted that are just bugs and we need to fix them. However it is not
easy to incorporate the suggestions if we stick to the standards that
* Don't change a file that belongs to a package in a spin. Changes
need to go into the package itself.
* Don't change stuff that is not yours. I know that Xubuntu did
this in the past when they had a stripped down gnome-session
package that was different from the one in Ubuntu.
* Make sure everything can get unbranded.
Other thoughts I've had is, what other things do we do as a
noticed an e-mail from Rex Dieter to fedora-devel speaking of a KDE
SIG meeting - have we as a SIG ever had IRC meetings?
Yes, but only a few people attended and we decided to have meetings just
Would there be any value? Would anyone attend?
I am not sure if there is value. I think input is nice, but what we
really need is people doing stuff. We had these discussions several
times before, for example around F15 where we had a lot of GNOME
refugees. We had proposals for themes and panel layouts, but it just
didn't happen. Nobody provided patches or code.
I am willing to give it a new try, but we not only need to meet and talk
but get things done.
Since I'm just now jumping in, has
there been other recent discussion I've missed about plans for F18?
Not really. We should draft something in the Wiki I think, on the
mailing list it can easily get lost.
I know Kevin has spoken of moving to LightDM,
LightDM already was planned for F17, but it was not ready by that time.
It's still not really, but I think we'll make it for F18.
and has included Greybird
as being installed by default in the spin for F18.
It is included in the spin, but it is not the default. Again, we would
not just change the spin but change the package and the package still
has Adwaita as you can see
IHMO we should stick to Adwaita, it is less 'controversial' than
Greybird and we should try to have a consistent look and feel across all
GTK based desktops in Fedora, that is GNOME, Xfce and LXDE.
There is a new GTK2 theme called Bridge  that mimics Adwaita and
AFAIK this will be merged into GNOME upstream. If we use this, we
finally have GTK2 and GTK3 look the same again.