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

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at googlemail.com
Sat May 16 08:08:52 EDT 2009

Am Samstag, den 16.05.2009, 12:58 +0100 schrieb Peter Robinson:
> >> >> 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.

So am I. Sorry if me previous mail sounded like that. I don't want flame
wars, but we should be able to discuss advantages and downsides of
different desktops to the purpose.

>  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.

Xfce uses gstreamer, so duplication wouldn't be a problem.

> 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.

Same goes for Xfce, same stack: glibc, gtk, gstreamer etc.

$ rpm -qa --requires \*sugar\* | sort | uniq | grep gnome

As you can see Sugar itself does not have much underlying gnome
components, but Gnome would pull all that stuff in.

>  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.

No problem Peter, thanks a lot for your answers. Maybe someone else can
share some details with us?

> Peter

Kind regards,

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