Xfce Has Received Client-Side Decorations

My favorite (and the best in my opinion) Linux desktop environment 'Xfce' recevied client-side decorations (CSD), which actively used in Gnome 3. The change has landed on the pre-release 4.15 branch of Xfce, which will be used to form the stable Xfce 4.16 release.

Xfce 4.14 has retained all the appearance and behavior of its predecessor. In Xfce 4.16 we can expect updates of certain user interface elements.

The first change are the client-side decorations (CSD), implemented by GtkHeaderBars of Gtk3. The updated libxfce4ui library in Xfce 4.15 has been updated to utilize GtkHeaderBars, so most of the Xfce apps have automatically switched to the new feature. Here are some screenshots:

Xfce 4.15 Appearanceadwaita

Appearance Settings (Adwaita)

Xfce 4.15 Appearancegb

Appearance Settings (Greybird)

Here are a few of the updated dialogs:

Xfce 4.15 Settings Manager 1 Xfce 4.15 Xfce About Xfce 4.15 Panel Systray

Other changes

A few more features that got released (in the xfce4-panel 4.15.1, libxfce4ui 4.15.1, libxfce4util 4.15.0 and xfce4-settings 4.15.0):

  • an improved “About Xfce” dialog that features basics of the system properties
  • improvements to the “Display” dialog (show Aspect Ratio, show Preferred Mode)
  • only show Gtk themes that support Gtk3 in the “Appearance” dialog
  • function for improved application icon lookup (used in Xfce Session’s settings dialog and in the Xfce Panel’s systray settings for now)
  • the panel’ dark mode got enabled by default (which means it will look nicer with Adwaita e.g. on Fedora by default)
  • the Directory Menu plugin now allows you to directly create Folders and Files
  • Developers are also bumped the overall Xfce version to 4.15 so people testing 4.15 packages should see the right version in e.g. the “About Xfce” dialog.

Honestly, I am not that enthusiastic about CSD. Having them will eliminate the ability to mix a GTK theme with a custom Xfwm window frame, at least for Xfce apps with CSD enabled. Also, it is not known yet what will happen to custom Xfwm actions available in the window title bar context menu. Finally, I'm afraid the the CSD will create a mess with app appearance, where some apps have a Gnome 3-like title bar, while others have the classic window frame.

Source: Xfce 4.14 Maintenance and 4.15 Updates

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