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Re: Proposal: switch default desktop to xfce

Steve McIntyre wrote:
> 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.

So, I wish that wheezy had shipped with xfce as the default. It was the
better choice of the options we had (although possbly kde would have
been a good choice too).

Personally, having been through the gnome 2.0 transition, and seeing
that the gnome devs can throw out old stuff, arguably regress
functionality for a while, but end up with new better stuff, I had to
discount the initial discontent about gnome shell. (Also, most of the
threads about it rapidly reached a point of diminishing returns to keep

Also, I was not in a position to try gnome 3.4 myself at all, hardware,
and bandwidth wise, until rather too late in the release cycle. I didn't
see conclusive proof that gnome 3.4 was really the wrong default for
wheezy until I started putting it on end-user machines and seeing them
struggle with it, and then be perfectly happy when switched to xfce.
(A few such real world tests are much more useful than a metric mutt-load
of threads.)

Anyway, at the moment I don't know which is the right choice for jessie.
There is a full year for gnome to be improved, and it could easily be
a better experience for users at that point. I would not be opposed to
changing the default for xfce for now, and reverting it if gnome's
improvements make it a better choice.

I do wish that some of the .. energy .. seen in these threads could be
used for something more interesting. For example, find a way to detect
touch screen systems, on which xfce is *not* pleasant, and don't install
a desktop task there, but a separate task with whichever UI is currently
best suited for tablets.

>  * Tweak CD and installer builds:
>    + change what happens with no desktop selected to use xfce instead
>      of Gnome (netinst, DVD, BD etc.)

The tasksel change handles that.

>    + Add an explicitly-named Gnome CD#1
>    + Remove the explicitly-named XFCE CD#1

You might consider making the default CD be a symlink to the explicitly
named desktop CD.

see shy jo

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