Let’s Hack XFC

04/10/2012 § Leave a comment

I was delighted to find an OSS solution to address Xfce delopment with C++ in XFC, it uses GTKMM as its model and development with it is very similar. I was also delighted when Bo Lorentsen. XFC’s current chief maintainer, agreed to take me on to assist. I’ve been wanting to participate in an OSS effort and had a hard time finding one until now. I wanted two things out of an OSS project; one that really needed help, and one that I really believed in. There’s no shortage of the first condition, but the second, that was a little tough. Web 2.0 is still raging hard, web technologies are popping up faster than the problems they are desgined to remedy, and systems and native programming solutions are taking a back seat to these technologies. Where UI/UX once referred generically to any GUI technology now almost exlusively describes web presentation. Its only natural and certainly makes sense in a web 2.0 world. But there’s still a need for native code, at least until the perfect web os comes along (everyone hold your breath…)

Jeff Franks, the original XFC code master, has been MIA since 2005, and Bo has been stepping up to the plate since then. He’s had help here and there, but I think he’s been going it alone for the most part since then. This is a perfect fit for me, I’m really excited to help out, and I hope he feels the same. I’ve set up a repository on github and made some updates to the web site, eventually I hope to get access to update the site directly, releiving Bo from that responsiblity.

The same google scanning that informed me of Jeff Frank’s current status also revealed some very positive reviews of the initial releases of the kit. Some commentors even went so far as to say it was superior to Gtkmm in a lot of ways.

Due in no small part to Linus Torvalds’ recent comment that Gnome 3 had become an ‘unholy mess’, it seems to me that more Linux users are going to seek out desktop alternatives, and with Xfce especially, we should see much more support. Xfce is a natural alternative for users who want a sleeker, more responsive alternative to Gnome. With that we need toolkits to enable devlopers to write native API it. XFC is one answer that problem. I hope you can support it.


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