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Re: Proposal: switch default desktop to xfce

On Thu, 2013-10-24 at 16:08 -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Even if you force the user to pick one of a list of options,
> users will tend to pick the first on the list.
Randomise the order (every time).

And note that I wouldn't suggest to add all things that can be vaguely
considered a desktop environment to that list.

We shouldn't at things like "twm+plain X" and I wouldn't even be sure
whater wmaker (which is really a nice thing, but not a full fledged
desktop environment, IMHO) to such list.

KDE, GNOME, perhaps GNOME+Cinnamon, XFCE, LFCE,... players of that size.

> If you need to eliminate the concept of default entirely, the best you can
> probably do is either not install a desktop environment at all by default,
> or randomize the list each time it's presented, so each user sees a
> different "default."
> Neither of those seem particularly appealing.
I see your point... and I agree that it also has disadvantages.
Especially when we expect that randomisation would mean every user will
actually take another desktop and we get an even distribution over all.
More issues and interoperability problems would probably be found, that
never really appear if most people stick to one default (where things
just work™)

a) Do you really think that most users would just take a random desktop
then? I guess this would be the absolute minority and most people would
still select the majors.

b) Exposing such bugs/interoperability problems could actually be a good

> I suspect
> the concept of the default desktop environment is less important (although
> not unimportant) for Debian than for a lot of other Linux distributions
> since Debian by nature tends to attract more sophisticated users who are
> more comfortable with the idea of switching such things themselves.


In any case,.. giving one desktop environment the special status of
being default in Debian leads IMHO to a number of unfavourable
consequences,... both technical and political.

The technical ones we see with issues like NM or now perhaps(!) systemd.

The political one is that we indirectly "support" e.g. GNOME's "recent"
ways, which certainly many people are not comfortable with.


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