Xfce 4.12, One Week Away

After what seems like an eternity, a new release of Xfce is finally just around the corner.  Xfce 4.10 was released in 2012, and since then development has happened in small bursts for each project.  Once a release date was set, interest spiked and development along with it.

The continued development has been recorded by ToZ on the Xfce Forums, and Skunnyk in his blog (parts 1, 2, and 3).  Both are worth a look to see how far Xfce has come in recent months.  If you’re looking for screenshots, you’ll find a few at those links and a gallery at the end of this post.

With just one week until the determined release date (February 28), string freeze is behind us and all that remains is bug fixes.  If you’ve got some development skills, why not swing by the Xfce Bugzilla and provide some patches?  Right now your patches have the best chance of being noticed and merged, so your hard work won’t go to waste!  And development is not the only way to contribute…

Areas for Contribution

Check out the Xfce Contribute page for more details

  • Fixing “easy“, “critical“, and any other bugs you never want to see again
  • Reviewing bugs and patches: Some bugs date back to 2007 and there is a good possibility they are no longer valid. If you don’t think one applies any longer, comment on it indicating as much.
  • Testing: With the sudden influx of fixes and new releases, we need testers more than ever.  Take the new releases for a spin and let us know if you see anything… odd.
  • Translations: Is your native language missing from Xfce? Is the choice of words not quite right?  Help us out!

 Screenshots

The following screenshots are not an exhaustive list of the new features, but rather a select list of highlights in the upcoming release.

Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”

After six months of development, the latest version of Xubuntu has been released! Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” features the latest in Xfce development and is the first step towards the next Long Term Support release in 2016.

Here’s 10 new things to look for in the latest release.  For a more comprehensive list of changes and a list of download links, please see the official release announcement and release notes.

Appearance Updates

  1. The login screen received a minor visual refresh and greater customization options.
    LightDM GTK+ Greeter with the latest Greybird theme.
    LightDM GTK+ Greeter with the latest Greybird theme.
  2. The new wallpaper for this release adds a splash of pink to the Xfce mouse.
    The new default wallpaper for Xubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn"
    The new default wallpaper for Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”
  3. To celebrate the 14.10 codename “Utopic Unicorn”, pink highlights have been added.  These highlights can be reverted or easily changed to another color with the installed “Theme Configuration” utility.
    Using “Theme Configuration”, you can easily change Xubuntu’s colors to match your mood.

Xfce Updates

  1. Xfce Power Manager 1.4 sports several improvements over previous releases. Brightness controls have been extended to better support backlit keyboards and new laptop displays. The updated panel plugin shows device charge status, adds display brightness controls, and fixes “Presentation Mode” — letting you disable automatic screensavers.
    Xfce Power Manager replaces the Power Indicator for Xubuntu 14.10
    Xfce Power Manager replaces the Power Indicator for Xubuntu 14.10
  2. With the latest Xfce Display Settings, managing multiple monitors is no longer a hassle. Just drag and rearrange the displays to your liking.
    The new drag-and-drop display settings greatly improves multihead support.
    The new drag-and-drop display settings greatly improves multihead support.
  3. With the updated Xfce window manager, the Alt-Tab switcher has been updated with a refreshed appearance and the ability to select windows with your mouse or by touch.
    Even minor features like the Alt-Tab switcher have been improved.
    Even minor features like the Alt-Tab switcher have been improved.
  4. With the latest Whisker Menu and changes to the default configuration, applications in the Settings Manager are now searchable.
    Quickly find and launch any application with the Whisker Menu.
    Quickly find and launch any application with the Whisker Menu.

Application Updates

  1. With Catfish 1.2, previewing files has been greatly simplified. Easily switch between details and preview mode. When the search index becomes outdated, Catfish will also notify you to update.
    Catfish makes searching for images easier with the latest release.
    Catfish makes searching for images easier with the latest release.
  2. Parole 0.7 introduces a new Clutter-based backend and finally supports video playback in Virtualbox. The media controls are now contained in a slide-over overlay (with a configurable timeout).
    Parole's interface is further refined with each new release.
    Parole’s interface is further refined with each new release.
  3. Light Locker Settings has been improved, further integrating with Xfce Power Manager to handle screensaver settings.
    Light Locker Settings can now integrate with other screensaver managers.
    Light Locker Settings can now integrate with other screensaver managers.

 
That’s it for this release, now to get ready for 15.04 “Vivid Vervet”!