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Re: Proposal: switch default desktop to xfce

On Fri, 25 Oct 2013 09:48:29 -0700
Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 12:41:26PM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > Le jeudi 24 octobre 2013 à 16:40 +0100, Steve McIntyre a écrit : 
> > > 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.
> > What are the reasons exactly for deliberately depriving the default
> > installation’s users of a more complete and featureful desktop?
> > So far, in this discussion, I only read “I don’t like
> > systemd” (which is irrelevant)
> This is a strawman.  The real objection is "tight coupling of a
> desktop to an init system and kernel is at best lazy engineering, and
> at worst a massive power grab by an upstream, and is contrary to
> Debian's values."


The option existed to make the desired features optional and that
option was deliberately written out in an effort to extend GNOME beyond
a desktop. A land grab.

Other desktop environments have similar features without requiring a
change of init system. It was a choice by GNOME upstream and a choice
that could have had a much more friendly and supportable alternative.
The choice has been made and it seems unlikely that GNOME upstream will
now accept requests to change direction, leaving distributions to sort
out the mess.

It's unlikely that patches to make the features optional would be
maintainable, simply because upstream appear to be completely sold on
not making the features optional.

Nevertheless, I believe that Debian should make a decision about the
init system to be used by Debian without any consideration of how that
would affect any of the desktops. The tight coupling of init system and
desktop is undesirable and packages which implement it are buggy by


Neil Williams

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