Saturday, 22 January 2011

Xfce 4.8 Released After Almost Two Years

Well, it´s a bit of a slow news January, and I haven´t had time to do any reviews lately, but at least the new 4.8 release of my favorite desktop environment Xfce is out. And it looks good too. For a visual tour go here. Suffice to say that the long awaited browsing of remote shares using Thunar (FTP, Windows Shares, WebDav and SSH servers...) is now supported and there is now a removable devices eject button in the side pane. Most of these new features are only available on GNU/Linux though and not on the BSD´s, as you can see on the blog or from this posting and ensuing discussion as to the reasons why on the site of one of the developers. A solution that works on both platforms would be desirable. In the meantime, one can always use a different file manager to mount, unmount and browse volumes.
The panel has been completely rewritten and can now draw a transparent background, and the length of the panel can be adjusted as a percentage of the monitor size. There´s also a new item editor for the panel, similar to the one found in LXDE by the looks of it. A new directory menu plugin allows to quick browse and open any sub folder, similar to the already existing Places plugin, and hooray, there´s a new clock mode, the fuzzy clock. There are more improvements, like an improved settings editor and better keyboard layout selection, but I did not notice a menu editor. Cool is also the new display configuration that apparently detects screens automatically and allows users to pick their favorite resolution, refresh rate, rotation, which can then in a multi monitor setup be configured to either work in clone mode or be placed next to each other. This may be old news for some KDE users, but not for Xfce 4, ha.
This has come too late to be included in Debian "Squeeze" anyway, but I´ll either wait until Slackware 13.2 is out to switch to 4.8, or build it myself on 13.1 just for the exercise on a day with little else to do. Or pull it in on Archbang right now, but I´m quite happy with Openbox there. So much for my inconsequential thoughts. Enjoy whatever you´re doing in geekland.

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