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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 12:41 AM, Joey Hess wrote:
>> Hardware: GNOME 3.12 will be one of the few desktop environments to support
>> HiDPI displays, now very common on some laptop models. Lack of support for
>> HiDPI means non-technical users will get an unreadable desktop by default, and
>> no hints on how to fix that.
> I think the above are fairly big points.
> It would be helpful to see a pointer to a bug report about how xfce
> fails when the DPI is higher than usual. (Also, perhaps worth noting
> that 3.12 is quite a few versions ahead of the gnome currently in
> unstable..)

This is a pretty common misconception and also pretty easy to
workaround. xsettings->Xft can be set to a large value like 180 in
xfce4-settings-editor (xfce's gconf).  That's a usability issue and
could definitely be improved with a widget in one of the more
user-oriented xfce settings tools.

> Another one I've become aware of, but not investigated is that xfce's
> compositor may not do as good a job at eliminating tearing (with eg,
> Intel graphics) as gnome's does. (Also, I think xfce doesn't enable
> compositing by default.) Further investigation of this would be appreciated.
>> Popularity: One of the metrics discussed by the tasksel change proponents
>> mentioned popcon numbers. 8 months after the desktop change, Xfce does not seem
>> to have made a dent on install numbers.
> fwiw https://qa.debian.org/popcon-graph.php?packages=task-gnome-desktop+task-xfce-desktop+gnome+xfce4&show_installed=on&want_legend=on&want_ticks=on&from_date=&to_date=&hlght_date=2014-01-25&date_fmt=%25Y-%25m&beenhere=1

Popcon data is actually very useful when interpreted relatively.
Those curves pretty clearly show user desktop selections going toward
whatever the default is, and growth in desktop installs continuing to
increase overall at a pretty similar rate to the historical trend.  It
would be reasonable to conclude that the default actually doesn't
matter much, and the majority of users will just adapt to whatever it
is (and those that don't are capable of installing

The better question is whether the xfce switch had or has any
influence on slowing the general debian growth rate [0]?  Is the
slight downtick over the last few months due to the default desktop,
or some other change that users aren't liking (maybe systemd), or just
a random fluctuation?

Best wishes,

[0] https://qa.debian.org/popcon.php?package=base-files

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