GNOME dependencies

jmak jozmak at
Thu Aug 9 15:48:55 UTC 2007

On 8/9/07, Jani Monoses <jani.monoses at> wrote:
> Giuseppe Torelli wrote:
> > On 8/9/07, Jani Monoses <jani.monoses at> wrote:
> >> There are two problems with having separate GTK apps (not GNOME ones built without GNOME libs)
> >>  - duplication of effort. We would be better off if some apps were comaintained with Ubuntu.
> >
> > So why does Xubuntu came to existence? Only to be shipped with XFCE?
> > Come on Jani!
> It came to existence to provide an _easy to use_ distro for weaker hardware. It is based on Xfce because
> that has the right balance between lightness and ease of use.
> For the record, the criteria have never been religious or in any other way non-technical, at least not
> consciously :) So Xubuntu is not primarily a means of promoting Xfce or alternative GTK apps but aims to
> be as user friendly as possible while keeping lean.
> >>  - the GTK apps are usually less featureful and less actively maintained (ex: xfburn, xarchiver)
> >
> > You are wrong here Jani. I'm actively developing Xarchiver after only
> > 4 months of inactivity as anyone can realize by looking at the svn
> > log.
> svn activity doeas not reflect maintenance more than it can reflect extensive refactoring or rewriting from scratch
> Maintenance is reflected by responsiveness to bugs and releases. having something in svn trunk means you are not
> comfortable with it's release quality so it cannot help xubuntu at this point.
> The fact that you choose to work on Xhep instead of fixing xarchiver bugs - while it is your right to do so obviously
> - shows you are not actively maintaining it.
> >> So we would gain by starting to use some GNOME apps while keeping Xfce core obviously. But we'd give up
> >> some space on the CD (maybe not that bad) some memory and startup times. These will not help in making
> >> Xubuntu lighter. That characterization has only been true when compared to GNOME or KDE though, with
> >> python running in the base system (hplip daemon for HP printers ), firefox in the mix and the liveCD no longer
> >> installing iwth 128M it is not really a light distro anymore.
> >
> > If there is no time to replace the heavy apps shipped with gnome libs
> > I think it is better to give up than simply copying the same app into
> > a distro that differentiate itself from the main Ubuntu because of its
> > being lighter.
> >
> No it is not better to give. It's not black or white, spartan tools or a bloated desktop.
> We have to find the right balance and zealotry, hatred of GNOME (or whatever) or personal agendas should not play a role here.
> Not implying anyone is hating GNONE or has such agendas, but the criteria need to be technical and adapted to user requirements.
> >> So we have a choice of keeping it like now, only small GTK only apps and let the user add whatever else she needs
> >> or start making a more complete and maintainable default at the cost of making it too heavy for some hw configurations.
> Right. I am not saying it is easy. If it were I wouldn't have brought up the question. Remember I started the idea of
> no gnome libs at all. But it does not mean I'll stick to it just beacuse I made it once and refuse to admit it may have
> drawbacks which outweigh the benefits.
> > Xubuntu came up to be lighter than Ubuntu. If we begin using apps that
> > require GNOME libs Xubuntu will become equal to Ubuntu even though it
> > will be shipped with XFCE.
> By definition that cannot be true. Even if in theory (won't happen) we only switch out the core (panel, file manager, settings, desktop)
> Xfce already is smaller. So please do not state clearly untrue facts.
> There are two categories of apps -the ones started on boot (update notifier, screensaver, power-manager, network nanager) and those explciitely
> started when needed (xarchiver, evince, cd burnerm etc)
> the latter do not affect memory footprint of LiveCD or average desktop. They're disadvantage is somewhat larger startup time. That only needs
> to be weighed against the advantages it can bring.
> The long running ones are a different and more sensible issue since they affect startup time and memory. There again the current disadvantages are
> xubuntu users cannot use wifi from the liveCD or from the default system, and no update notifier is present. This makes it a no-option for
> those uncomfortable with or oblivious to the command line.
> >> And by this I do not mean CD size or startup time or even short term memory use, those will probably not make much of a difference
> >> but long running processes. Do we want gnome-power-manager and network-manager? IS Xubuntu widely used on laptops and wifi setups?
> >> Do we want update-notifier (I am sure we do). All these are continually running and each eats up somewhere around 3-4 megs of RAM.
> >
> > I think if one starts a project up does the impossible to keep it
> > growing. Let's unify the efforts and replace those Ubuntu apps which
> > still need gnome dependencies.
> >
> you mean make alternate apps?
> >> The printing applet which is the default since feisty is also always running and is a python app, 4-5 megs probably.
> >
> > The printing applet is buggy on my newly fresh installed Xubuntu Feisty:
> > gt[~]$ sudo python /usr/share/system-config-printer/
> > Traceback (most recent call last):
> >   File "/usr/share/system-config-printer/", line 425, in <module>
> >     bus = dbus.SessionBus()
> >   File "/var/lib/python-support/python2.5/dbus/", line 669, in __new__
> >     mainloop=mainloop)
> >   File "/var/lib/python-support/python2.5/dbus/", line 293, in __new__
> >     mainloop=mainloop)
> > dbus.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply: Did not
> > receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did
> > not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply,
> > the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.
> > gt[~]$
> >
> right, known issue, no time to fix it in feisty updates :( . Is is being fixed in gutsy but that does not help most people.

I am for the middle way. There is no use adding apps that do nothing
but upset people. In my view, xarchiver is such an app. It has never
worked for me since day one. The other thing is the  burning app. I
use Nero on xubuntu, but on the gnome desktop, I use brasero. I think
brasero would be an excellent addition to xubuntu even if it has gnome
dependencies. I installed xubuntu for a few people (most of them
previous windows users) and I can tell that when an app doesn't work
the way they expect that makes more harm than good for the reputation
of xubuntu. In my view, if an app doesn't work the way it suppose to
drop it rather than include it just for the illusion of completeness.
Don't forget, the majority of users are ordinary users and they expect
convenience and predictability and when something stops working they
So I am all the way of including gnome dependent apps if those improve
the usability of xubuntu.



More information about the xubuntu-devel mailing list