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Isthmus Isthmus is offline
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Default Would Anyoe like to help create an XFCE Distribution? - 01-09-2011, 08:55 PM

I have been looking for an XFCE based distribution that is well integrated, very user friendly (for noobs as well as well as more advanced users), and very easy to install. I've seen many, but none seemd to have the right balance of all three features.

The reason I want to use XFCE is because there doesn't seem to be nearly as much interest in it as there is in Gnome and KDE. Also since Gnome 3 will soon be going to Gnome shell, many of the traditional features that many love about Gnome will disappear. Lastly I like a fats system for use in older as well as light hardware, such as my mini 1012 netbook. To me XFCE offers the right balance of light weight, speed, stability, functionality and flexibility.

I was thinking of testing Linux Mint's latest XFCE version, but it seems to be a one man development and is way behind schedule. Also some of his choices are not exactly what I would prefer. I would, however, start with his work as a base.

What I had in mind was starting with XFCE 4.8, which will be out soon and modify it as follows:

  • I'd like to move the applets to the main bar at the top, and remove the secondary bottom bar.
  • Then move that bar to the top of the screen (like apple does) and add a dock (either Cairo dock or docky).
  • The dock launch will have to be delayed slightly so as to allow the compositor time to launch.
  • From Mint I'd like to borrow the Mint Menu (and replacing the XFCE menu with the mint one), the newest batch of mint icons, and the mint software manager (including the updater) - both of which are brilliant. I would also like to uninstall packages by right clicking on them and selecting uninstall (as opposed to having to open the package manager).
  • I'd also like to add global menu (gnome2-globalmenu - Project Hosting on Google Code), so as to move menu items to the panel when an application is open (thus increasing screen space).
  • I want to make the default be that active apps minimize to the panel so it is easy to see them, but rather than have them fully open, reduce them as a little icon which previews the open document when the cursor hovers over it (like windows 7)
  • The theme would be the reverse of what mint currently uses - think XP's zune theme colors on top of the current mint metal default theme and icons (with the icons in metallic gray instead of black), with slight transparency applied throughout, as well as a minimum number of default composite effects)
  • I'd like to follow the zenwalk approach and pick a minimum number of apps for each type of application, while packing the iso with all the codecs and drivers it would need to work with most hardware out of the box.

The idea is to have a relatively light, yet polished and pretty distro that will do solid work on a very wide number of machines. When someone test drives the ISO, it should look completely finished and customized, without looking over-done or crowded. Think of something like PinguyOS, but light weight and better integrated.

Yes I realize that what i described sounds a bit like a windows/apple hybrid, but that's sort of the idea. give people something they recognize, while keeping it light, fast and highly usable (and easy to use). I've never seen an XFCE distro done this way (there are a few Gnome ones), but now that Gnome is moving to gnome 3 shell, I fear that folks who like the traditional gnome 2 approach will be left with no options other than running the older gnome 2. XFCE would make for a great alternative and using a mint/ubuntu base would go a long way toward making it easy to use. if the project works out, then maybe an even lighter Debian version could be done.

What do you think? would anyone be interested in helping out?
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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 01-10-2011, 12:13 AM

For the most part, as long as mplayer, firefox, and a terminal work, I'm happy. And I'm lazy, so although I think Gnome and Ubuntu are making some mistakes, I'm gonna stick with 'em.

I would like to wish you luck, though

Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
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