Why not Xfce? (was: Re: The XO-1.5 software plan.)

Peter Robinson pbrobinson at gmail.com
Sat May 16 07:58:16 EDT 2009

>> >> We have some good news:  OLPC has decided to base its software release
>> >> for the new XO-1.5 laptop on Fedora 11.  Unlike previous releases, we
>> >> plan to use a full Fedora desktop build, booting into Sugar but giving
>> >> users the option to switch into a standard GNOME install instead.
>> >
>> > If you say "OLPC has decided" I wonder who exactly made this decision
>> > and when/if it was discussed in public. Can you please point us to the
>> > relevant mails, meeting minutes, irc logs or whatever?
>> I suspect (and the same goes for the post about KDE) that it was/is
>> being discussed at the SugarCamp currently taking place in France.
> I have to admit that face to face conversations are often more
> productive than mailing lists, but the downside is that decisions are
> harder to comprehend.
>> The
>> good thing about it being based on Fedora 11 it will be easy to
>> install XFCE/KDE or what ever each specific deployment wish to use
>> with a simple yum command.
> I'm afraid with Gnome installed by default there won't be much space
> left to install anything else.
>> I suspect the reason for the choice of
>> gnome is due to the massive cross over of sub systems between gnome
>> and sugar. Many of the underlying systems used in sugar are also
>> components of gnome. Some of these include
>> empathy/gstreamer/evince/abiword/totem etc which will reduce the
>> duplication of duplicate packages required to support both UIs and
>> hence the amount of engineering required by smaller OLPC/sugar teams.
> Same goes for Xfce. gstreamer for example is not a Gnome thing. It
> started that way but the gstreamer devs always point out that it's a
> generic framework. Abiword or gnumeric are not really Gnome ether, they
> only use some Gnome libs but don't need a Gnome desktop. So if this
> really was the line of thought, IMHO it's a little weak.

I wasn't part of the discussions, nor am I interested in a flame war
about the pros and cons of the various desktop environments. I'm also
well aware that gstreamer is a generic framework. I have no idea what
media framework XFCE uses, I know KDE doesn't use gstreamer which in
the KDE case would require having 2 multimedia frameworks installed.
Same goes for a word processing package etc etc. My point wasn't
whether any of the packages were GNOME or not my point was that both
Sugar and GNOME share a number of underlying components such as
gstreamer/glib/gtk etc which means its easier to support the two
platforms by not needing the time to ship/QA/deal with bugs going
forward multiple underlying frameworks and libraries. But again I make
the point I'm not part of the discussions of the choice, but was
merely making an observation as to what might have been one of the
factors of making the choice.


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