Some thoughts about xubuntu hardy

Vincent imnotb at
Wed Nov 7 20:27:58 UTC 2007

On 07/11/2007, jmak <jozmak at> wrote:
> <snip>
> Somebody has to start it and the others will follow in due course.

I have a gut feeling that far more people will revert a potential new layout
to the current one.

> <snip>
> Set the color of the label text to white the rollover text to black or
> some other color and you don't have this problem; like gnome or the
> other desktop environments (it is highly unlikely that someone uses
> white background). And anyway, text labels have secondary importance
> from the navigational point of view and as such, they are visual
> nuisances; you recognize the icons after their shape or color rather
> than after the text label. This is a feature that users complained
> about on the xfce forum a lot, as a result xfce developers developed a
> workaround to solve this shortcoming.

OK, my comment here also applies to the dock issue.

Text might be of secondary importance when it comes to *recognition*, but it
is vital for *finding out the purpose of something* for the first time, and
as such, is far more user-friendly. Someone who has never heard of Firefox
will not know its purpose simply by seeing the icon - one has to read
"Firefox Web Browser" in the menu. If we start adding a dock with icons we
*think* are most important instead of a clean menu with access to
*everything*, with the option for the user to add his own icons or perhaps
set a dock to his personal preference, we are not focusing on

I agree, that once you are used to it, know what everything does, a dock can
be more useful to some people - however, there is no common denominator.
Once one has figured out a dock suits his needs more, he still needs to add
the applications *he* prefers to it.

For example, when I tried Wolvix, which uses such a layout, I had big
trouble using it the first time - in other words, it wasn't "ready to use"
immediately and *required* some tinkering.

On 07/11/2007, i80and <i80and at> wrote:
> As a disclaimer up front, I haven't used Xubuntu since Feisty
> (although I did try out quite a few Gutsy tribe releases).  However, I
> did use Xfce when I moved to Debian, and now I'm on pure Ubuntu
> (although I'm thinking of installing Thunar and xfdesktop to replace
> nautilus).  However, despite all this, I feel I should comment here.

Do not feel troubled at all - (potential) user input is vital in shaping a
distribution *for users* :)

On 11/6/07, jmak <jozmak at> wrote:
> > In this spirit of radicalness let me propose a few ideas relating to
> > xubuntu next release. The most radical among these  would be the
> > suggestion of changing the current gnome layout back to the original
> > xfce layout. This is why. The two panels layout is a usability
> > disaster for older machines with small monitor size. It doesn't
> > optimize but rather restricts the availability of valuable
> > screen-space. The two oversized panels simply takes up too much
> > precious screen estate that users of older computers would like to
> > utilize to the fullest.
> Eh?  The first thing I did when I installed Xfce on Debian was to make
> my panel layout the same as it was in Xubuntu.  Every single-panel
> layout I've seen for Xfce was messy and ugly.  But the current Xubuntu
> panel is clean and attractive.  It doesn't distract you with a billion
> buttons on the panels.

Exactly. The purpose of every item on the panel is clear, and shortcuts can
be defined by the user.

 And if your video card can't handle 1024x768,
> then your system is probably too slow to handle Xubuntu very well
> anyway.

I think Xubuntu will run fine on many computers that still can only run
800x600 (there are probably many real-life examples). However, I have not
yet heard any objection to decreasing the size of the panels.

> > 4) Take out the icon label backgrounds. They are distracting and are
> > usability anomalies. And ugly too.
> That's one of my favourite parts of xfdesktop.  I don't do much
> wallpaper themeing, but I could easily see how this is useful.  It
> allows the eye to read the name of each entry without needing to
> re-parse the background to counteract any destructive effects the
> wallpaper may have on readability.  Perhaps you could turn down the
> opacity instead of removing it outright?

If Jozsef's suggestion would work, that would be fine in my opinion too
(though I have used few white wallpapers in the past) but I suppose turning
down the opacity would be even better if it's possible. Not that ugly, not
distracting and still keep the text clear.

Again, I'm not too qualified to respond here (Sorry if my comments are
> therefore not appreciated), but having used Xubuntu quite regularly in
> days of yore (and having used Xfce for even longer), this is my 2
> cents on this, seeing as how Xubuntu is probably the best showcase
> distro for Xfce.

Again, any input is appreciated (at least by me).

> -i80and
> v4hw3pr7OPck2u6Lw3DXl6Ue2t4Tb8en4g5GZa1Xr5

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the xubuntu-devel mailing list