New panel size

Diego Ongaro ongardie at
Sat Nov 10 18:11:35 UTC 2007

On Nov 10, 2007 10:46 AM, jmak <jozmak at> wrote:
> On Nov 10, 2007 5:28 AM, Jelle de Jong <jelledejong at> wrote:
> >
> > Diego Ongaro wrote:
> > >
> > > In trunk (upstream), the panel size is fixed, and plugins are forced
> > > to deal with whatever size they are given. Based on that, I would
> > > advise against putting much effort into solving the root of the
> > > problem for 4.4, and instead find a reasonable compromise, until 4.6
> > > is out.
> > >
> >
> > I totally agree with this, I will go even further, There should not be
> > made any changes in XFCE, except some basic artwork, All changes must be
> > made upstream. Communicate with the developers and work with them.
> [snip]
> We have to do our best  to put out the best possible xubuntu even with
> the current limitations of xfce, rather than do nothing as you
> suggest. Look at the other xfce distros, they are doing all kinds of
> interesting things and some of them is quite attractive. It is not for
> nothing that Mint, for instance, is in the fifth place on the
> distorwatch. Take a look how polished it is.

Before this gets out of hand, let me try to mediate. To summarize the
discussion so far:
- My suggestion was to not waste too much effort on something that
will be fixed in 4.6, namely panel sizing.
- Jelle's suggestion was that branding should happen in Xubuntu; any
other development should happen upstream, collaborating with Xfce.
- Jmak's response was that it is necessary make progress directly in
Xubuntu to meet users' demands and stay competitive.

I think there is something to be learned from all of this:
*I* posted above explaining panel sizing in 4.6. I know about that
because I idle in and keep up with the Xfce
project that way. Regardless of whether or not Xubuntu takes my
suggestion to not waste effort on the matter of panel sizing, it is
important for everyone involved in that decision to consider
upstream's work and plans. Similarly, if Xubuntu were to want to put
effort into the matter, the panel developers upstream (Nick, Jasper)
would be the best people to ask for advice. They know the code
inside-out and can tell you what will work well and what won't,
without any research.

So, the lesson I ask you (Xubuntu) to take from this is: communicate
with upstream to learn about Xfce's plans and discuss Xubuntu's plans.
Both projects would benefit.

I've already suggested one way to communicate with upstream, their IRC
channel. You'll find that if you enter it (as Cody Somerville did
yesterday), you will not have voice (be allowed to send messages).
Even with this restriction, you will be able to learn about Xfce's
plans. It's the best place to hear what people are currently working
on. To discuss Xubuntu's plans, you should use the developer's mailing
list [1]. It's also a good place to hear about longer-term plans and
discussions. Once you build up an identity and a bit of a reputation
with the Xfce developers, they will be willing to grant you voice in
their IRC channel (you might have to ask, though).

One final thing: you might find some anti-Xubuntu sentiment upstream.
>From my observations, this can stem from two issues:
(1) Some upstream developers believe a distro should not substantially
modify packages
(2) Most upstream developers believe Xubuntu does not try to get its
patches into Xfce (upstream)

IMHO, you should deal with (1) by ignoring it. It goes against the
Ubuntu philosophy, so don't worry about it. It's also more of a naming
thing. They really mean Xubuntu isn't a "distro," since it does more
than distribute software.

You should deal with (2) by creating evidence to show that it's false.
For example, make your first post to the xfce-dev mailing list a
discussion of an existing Xubuntu-only patch that Xfce could benefit
from. You might be told to start a bug report; that's fine, everyone
on the mailing list still saw one more example of Xubuntu working to
get its patches into Xfce. Then follow through with it.

I think I've made it clear that more communication with Xfce
(upstream) is important and beneficial to Xubuntu. And I've explained
exactly how to do that, based on my experience. I hope I haven't
offended anyone in this email, and I hope to see more Xubuntu
representation on the Xfce communications channels.

-Diego Ongaro


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