Functionality vs Purity

Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) jonathan at
Wed Feb 6 16:26:19 UTC 2008


I'm not a Xubuntu developer (although I wish I had the time and skill to
be a proper one), but I love Xfce and I think the Xubuntu project has
done a great job so far, especially considering its limited resources.

I've seen a few threads discussing the inclusion of Gnome applications,
and hope that it's ok if I provide some input.

If we look at the big picture, Xfce and Xubuntu is mostly used where
performance is important, or where system requirements (especially
memory) are low and users require all the basic functionality of a full
featured desktop. I've used Xubuntu with LTSP quite extensively in
education environments, and the performance and memory consumption is
very largely noticeable compared to Gnome and KDE.

I think the Xubuntu desktop in particular is quite intuitive, and I'd
dare say it's probably the best Xfce based desktop system there is. I
think it's a great system for any type of LTSP deployments, and also a
good system for administrative (traffic, home affairs, etc) government
departments, and educational institutions. The Xfce kiosk settings does
a good job of making sure things stay they way they should be too.

Sorry, I'll get to the point. What it comes down to is that Xubuntu will
mostly be used for its efficiency. I think people who can afford to use
system resources abundantly will probably stick to Gnome. Having said
that, users who use Xubuntu will also still be users, who will expect
certain functionality from their system. I thought it was a great and
interesting policy in Xubuntu to not include any Gnome dependencies, but
 when it comes to absolute performance and functionality, I believe that
most users and institutions would rather sacrifice a bit of performance
for functionality. I think that some trade-offs would be minimal. For
example, if you needed Gnome libraries for printing, you would probably
only need a little bit more RAM when you're actually printing, it's not
like it's going to drag your entire system down just because its
installed. I also don't think that most users aren't that bothered by
the extra bit of disk space that Gnome libraries would use.

Anyway, just my little view on things in Xubuntuland, keep up the good work!


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