An Xfce Desktop Wish List

After using Xfce for a while now, I can list some of my paper cuts.

  • Desktop icon font colors are not GUI configurable other than through themes.
  • Transparent desktop icon text background are not GUI configurable other than through themes.
  • Desktop icon width is not GUI configurable.
  • Desktop icon text centering is not GUI configurable.
  • How to edit the desktop context menu? Who needs Open a terminal here in a desktop menu?
  • Disable the F10 menu accelerator. The web is filled with complaints about this keyboard shortcut.
  • Disabling tooltips is only partially GUI configurable.
  • Thunar does not support expandable folders in the main file pane.
  • The default sorting order for panel window buttons is irritating but fixable.
  • The app run/launcher dialog tries to guess what I am typing.
  • No obvious keyboard method (for example, arrow keys) to browse the Run dialog history.
  • The Xfce terminal shrinks in size when using mc. I am sure this is a bug.
  • The launch feedback mechanism needs improving beyond a lame mouse pointer indicator.
  • Certain defaults, such as window title bar double-click and roll-up are confusing.

The desktop icon font issues are not a big deal with well-designed themes. Globally disabling tooltips is possible with a gtkrc option but that is a sledge hammer approach. More fine-tuned control is needed.

Thunar is a fast file manager. The absence of expandable folders in the main file pane is livable but frustrating.

The panel window buttons sort order is configurable once discovered.

The terminal window shrinkage when using midnight commander seems like a bug and is irritating. I might need to look at terminal alternatives. I liked the xfce4-terminal over mate-terminal because of the persistent tab bar, which avoids resizing the window when opening a second tab.

How does this compare to some of my paper cut issues in MATE?

  • Reduced menu delay.
  • A Run Program option in the menu.
  • A search box in the Whisker menu.
  • Easy to configure the menu button icon.
  • An optional persistent tab bar in the terminal.
  • The xfce4-terminal supports monitoring silence/activity.
  • The context menu supports directly editing *.desktop files as text files.
  • Thunar supports customized menu actions without installing an extension.

I have only traded paper cuts. Initially I thought I bled less using Xfce rather than MATE, but now I am unsure.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General, Xfce

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