Rumors: They exist, for better or worse, and there’s not much you can do about them. In addition, rumors are the starting blocks for the old Churchill adage that “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Three times this month, Xfce came up in conversation — online, of course, and in the realm of social media and in forum discussions — and the context in which each conversation came up had the desktop on the brink of closure, with one unwitting person saying that Xfce was dead.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and several in the discussions rose to Xfce’s defense on the absurdity.
Xfce lead developer Olivier Fourdan “won’t really comment on the rumors,” he said, “but as long as there are users and developers, the project is not dead.”
Xfce is a desktop option on a wide range of Linux distros and BSD systems. According to DistroWatch, the list includes Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora, Arch, Manjaro, Korora, and Xubuntu among the nearly 100 distros and BSD systems which offer Xfce as a desktop.
While the last release of the Xfce, 4.10, was in April 2012, there has been a wide range of updates going forward since then. In fact, a testing repository of Xfce 4.11 has been set up in Fedora, and hence Korora, a Fedora remix, according to the Korora Project’s Jim Dean. Korora 21, which will be released soon, will have a Xfce 4.10 version available.
Dean, who is an Xfce user, admits that development of the desktop might appear to be lagging.
“To be fair, development is slow but it is happening,” Dean said. “[Xfce] 4.12 is coming, it’s just a bit late.
But despite the fact two years have passed since the release of version 4.10, Fourdan dismisses any criticism that things are going slowly.
“It’s a free time project,” Fourdan said. “Nobody (that I’m aware of) is being paid to
work on Xfce, so it has a different pace, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
Good point, Olivier.
“My personal opinion is that Xfce is a great desktop with a great future, but like all FOSS it needs to interact more with the community,” Dean said. “It has strong support within Korora and will continue to be supported by Korora.”
As a Korora Xfce user, I’ll second Dean’s assessment.
So those who are saying that Xfce is no longer being maintained, or that Xfce is dead — stop it. You’re just plain wrong, with no evidence to back up your claim. Balou the mouse, and the desktop he represents, are both doing just fine.