[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Proposal: switch default desktop to xfce

Steve McIntyre dijo [Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 04:40:48PM +0100]:
> Hi folks,
> This goes back to during the wheezy release cycle. There was a little
> discussion around a change in tasksel [1], but rather too late in the
> day for the change to make sense. Now we have rather more time, I
> feel. Let's change the default desktop for installation to xfce.
> (...)


As a non-desktoped guy, I thought quite a bit before starting to write
this. I am not a GNOME user, nor have I ever been (although it is the
desktop environment I most often recommended to my friends — At least
until Squeeze).

GNOME had historically been the DE that better catered to simple
user's needs, and was a good, easy starting point to get into the
Unixy world. Also, we cannot downplay the impact GNOME had on the
serious Linux desktop attempts. However, the trend that has been
repeating with each time more components (and, of course, the user
experience as a whole) is IMO very bothering and burdensome: The GNOME
devs attempt to rule how the user should run *everything* in their
computer. And that's basically antithetical to the Unix culture IMO.

Yes, it's understandable, as GNOME tries to push user-friendliness
into bits the classical Unix environments didn't consider — And yes,
many bits (such as SysV) are outdated no matter how hard we argue.

Ben Finney's remark is quite important: Choosing a default for our
user in as many areas as possible is very important. Yes, this is
Debian, but that should mean that I am able to change from the
defaults — Not that I *have* to. I do believe we have to stick to
offering a default experience. Also, users love doing
screenshots-based walk-through, and not having a default environment
can be irritating for them.

Now... Again, since I started using tiling window managers in 2006, I
haven't tried again to use traditional desktops (and before that, I
prefered a WindowMaker setting than a desktop experience). At various
points in life, just not to be too unfamiliar with what our users see,
I have made the point of using a different DE for a week — And, at
least three times, I managed quite well with GNOME, had some gripes
with KDE, and absolutely hated XFCE. (and no, I have never tried

I am not suggesting we should switch to KDE — But I'm quite puzzled of
not having anybody suggest it so far. Why XFCE? Just because of the
installed size? AIUI, KDE does not suffer from the attitude problems
GNOME has. It is a much more blingy-blingy desktop, which has put me
off (and maybe many others), but I understand it is a solid, robust
environment nowadays.

Oh, and regarding the feared headlines, the "Debian says GNOME
sucks"... It will happen. With all the changes GNOME is pushing down
distributors' (and users') throats, I do not see us sticking with

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: