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#1 2021-09-22 20:45:50

nPHYN1T3
Member
Registered: 2020-01-07
Posts: 31

Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

Over the last 5ish years I've noticed XFCE slowly breaking. xfwm sets things correctly on multi xscreen set ups but the standard appearance does not. It was pointed out that since gtk3 xfce won't even try to enumerate xscreens anymore causing several feature breaks. Panels used to work just fine, then they had to be scripted to orchestrate placement on multi XScreen setups. Things are constantly locked to a single GPU when they worked fluently in previous releases.

I'd like to fix some of this, even just fixing the appearance issue would be a complete 180 for me but I do not know if these "breaks" are intentional moving towards some unknown goal (Wayland perhaps). As such I worry I might spend a ton of time trying to figure out the what, where and who to all this, submit fixes that get ignored due to some future goal or philosophy disparity.

I've spent the last few years building work arounds for the eroding features but now having moved to a newer build it's beyond little scripts and tricks.

So if someone could perhaps point me to which xfce component actually does the theme setting and why so many XScreen/display features are broken I'd be grateful.

Last edited by nPHYN1T3 (2021-09-22 20:48:25)

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#2 2021-10-02 18:16:39

jeff story
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From: Shelton, WA, USA
Registered: 2011-05-09
Posts: 23
Website

Re: Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

I'd be interested in an official answer to these questions as well.

There seems to be nearly complete radio silence from XFCE on any issues related to this. I also think you're correct on future XFCE wayland support only, unless someone steps up and forks GTK.

I too miss multiple Xscreen support. It seems xfce4-terminal removed any notion of DISPLAY environment variable. It even has an option of '--display=' that is ignored.

I'm worried that with Gnome controlling the development of GTK, and with XFCE depending upon it, XFCE may ultimately be forced into something of a "gnome light" locked down DE in the near future.  GTK is no longer interested in accepting patches or supporting any features other than what Gnome offers, from what I understand.

I still have setup and run dual Xscreens. It just requires non xfce4 stuff to be used. ie: DISPLAY=:0.1 lxterminal, or any other non xfce applications.

Speaking of lx.., LXQT seems to have evolved into a viable alternative to XFCE. I just haven't switched to full time with it yet.

Last edited by jeff story (2021-10-02 18:17:53)

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#3 2021-10-02 19:36:42

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 8,480

Re: Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

The best place to ask this question is on the xfce4-dev mailing list. You'll get the attention of the core Xfce developers there.

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#4 2021-10-02 20:40:18

jeff story
Member
From: Shelton, WA, USA
Registered: 2011-05-09
Posts: 23
Website

Re: Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

Thanks Toz! I'll check out the link.

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#5 2021-10-04 23:38:51

dusthillresident
Member
Registered: 2021-08-11
Posts: 24

Re: Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

Yeah I've noticed more and more bugs in each new release.

Right now:
* launchers are bugged, click inside and drag outside and release button, the application is launched anyway, different from the original behaviour before GTK3 port. bug report was totally ignored
* Datetime applet: in "date, then time" mode, the time text is really large and doesn't fit in a panel unless it's way larger than a 25 pixels. broken since I switched to the latest ubuntu.
* thunar STILL has a bug where the length of the last column grows endlessly and you have to manually resize it down once in a while, this has been there as far back as 2011 when I started using it
* the volume applet sets volume increments to 5% by default, this essentially gives you a choice between way too loud and way too quiet. and option to change the increment step exists but it's hidden, for some reason

anyway there's endless bugs and issues with xfce, so of course the team decides "yeah let's redesign everything to use CSD, this is the most crucial pressing issue and the best possible use of our resources"

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#6 2021-10-06 18:06:40

CwF
Member
Registered: 2018-01-28
Posts: 198

Re: Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

I'm unaware that multiple monitor support has changed? I had been triple or more for 20 years and only lately have changed that away from a single OS. Since VM's worked so well, a few years ago I started using multiple gpus for extra monitors and use x2x or x2vnc to link things together. This trades functionality, but for the better in my case.

At some down time I'll have to try 4.16+ in this 0:1 config. I've been wanting to test MST hubs but have used it for an ancient XP box...

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#7 2021-12-04 15:21:39

nPHYN1T3
Member
Registered: 2020-01-07
Posts: 31

Re: Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

I never said multiple monitor, I said multi XScreen. I can run all my monitors fine...so long as there is ONLY one XScreen / GPU.

I was running LXDE before I moved to XFCE but they broke the UI color options and that new fangled LXQTDEWTFBQQ never themes correctly.

Recently I jumped ship and tried every DE I could think of but they all present similar problems. Anything run on DISPLAY=0.1/2/3/4 freaks out, crashes etc. I'm currently running a held back 4.12. Still semi broken because I couldn't get the packages old enough to where it was still all working but it's far better than 4.14 or 4.16. 4.14 everything just freaks out and crashes. 4.16 is just a mess with input ignored, shortcuts vanishing, things crashing, you can't theme, set wallpapers outside the initial XScreen...just a mess.

Your note about xfce4-terminal ignoring --display I reported ages ago and it just got ignored. You CAN launch the xfce term on another XScreen but ONLY if there is no other instance on another XScreen GPU when you do it, other wise it will just open on the screen with the other instance. There are TONS of applications now when you do --help they all print --display options but just flat out ignore it. I've been using Sakura and spacefm for a few years now because they will launch on all XScreens correctly.

This all feels insane because it really has been over 20 years this stuff has worked fine. I remember back in the day I'd stack two E/ISA cards and a PCI. Then two PCI and an AGP, then PCI and PCIe...you get the drift. I remember when the Matrox cards came out with two heads and it was like WOW you only need 2 cards now! heh.

Last edited by nPHYN1T3 (2021-12-04 15:36:09)

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#8 2021-12-05 22:54:59

jeff story
Member
From: Shelton, WA, USA
Registered: 2011-05-09
Posts: 23
Website

Re: Help understanding ongoing changes to XFCE

volume applet sets volume increments to 5% by default, this essentially gives you a choice between way too loud and way too quiet. and option to change the increment step exists but it's hidden

Would you be willing to share any details? I'd really like to adjust this, just never took the time yet to look into it yet.

Last edited by jeff story (2021-12-05 22:55:24)

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