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#1 2018-01-25 08:04:36

istoica
Member
Registered: 2018-01-25
Posts: 1

Development guide

I would like to gather as much info as possible on how to develop xfce modules/libraries/extensions.

Is there a developer guide ?
How does one, using xfce, develop for current xfce without polluting his current installation ?
How does one, using xfce, develop for next xfce without polluting his current installation ?

Any links, examples, books, etc would high be appreciated, I am trying to gather as much information as possible at this moment.

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#2 2018-01-25 11:54:27

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 4,265

Re: Development guide

Hello and welcome. Thank you for considering joining the Xfce development team.

Our documentation on how to develop is a little light. I would suggest that you post these questions to the xfce4-dev mailing list to get responses from other developers.

To provide some general answers from my point of view:

Is there a developer guide ?

Look at the first link above. Xfce is based on GTK, so knowing GTK is a good start. Xfce also has some internal APIs (look at the libxfce4ui/libxfce4util). I learned from just reading through the code base of the components that I was interested in.

How does one, using xfce, develop for current xfce without polluting his current installation ?

Xfce is very modular. You can, for the most part, replace/update/enhance a component in place. For example, if you wanted to develop xfdesktop, then I would uninstall the version from my repositories and manually build from the source package release. It will work in place. Some components (libxfce4ui/libxfce4util/exo would be harder to do because many of the other components depend on them so you would need to make sure that your chanes are backwards-compatible.

How does one, using xfce, develop for next xfce without polluting his current installation ?

Options include using a virtual machine for development, replacing the components piece meal, or just full-out run all of the components built from git. On of the development practices is to keep the git tree as close to release-ready as possible (development done in branches) so there are minimal catastrophic bugs. Bugs and breakae do occur, but are rarely catastrophic as you can work around them. I have been running Xfce from git (on Arch) for about the past two years and it has been fine. However, one thing to keep in mind is that Xfce is currently undergoing a GTK3 migration - so some of the dependencies will change and can cause conflicts - so sometimes some fancy footwork is required.

Any links, examples, books, etc would high be appreciated, I am trying to gather as much information as possible at this moment.

Again, ask at the xfce4-dev mailing list. Maybe someone knows of some other resources that they can link you to. Also, the #xfce-dev IRC channel is a place where the developers gather and you can ask questions in near real-time.


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