In growing amounts, people are migrating to Xubuntu from Ubuntu and other derivatives. While many of our new users tell they love Xubuntu, some of them would like to see a feature from their old configuration, be that a feature from their desktop environment or an application closely tied with it.
I don’t blame them for wanting different features than I do. I truly think there is users for every major and minor desktop environment. There will not be one desktop environment to rule them all, just because peoples opinions on looks and the perfect workflow differ thoroughly.
When our new users ask if they can have their feature, we have to ask them, and especially, what the user needs to ask theirself is if the feature, or the lack of, is really something that makes or breaks their experience. If they don’t think they can be at home without that feature, I wholeheartedly recommend them to keep using what they had.
If they are uncertain, I’d really like them to try to see the coin from the other side. Xfce nor Xubuntu have never tried to be like GNOME or Ubuntu. When Unity came around, Xubuntu never tried to become a substitute for GNOME 2 -like Ubuntu either, or specifically persuade migrating users.
The Xfce team has always been executing their own vision of the perfect desktop environment. Since the vision has been in some parts similar to GNOME earlier, some might argue that Xfce should still follow GNOME’s footsteps by implementing some new features similar to GNOME’s new features. I don’t think this is logical thinking, and it sounds like it comes from somebody who thinks Xfce should satisfy people who are migrating from GNOME.
The same goes with Xubuntu too: we are still building Xubuntu on top of Xfce because we like how it is and can agree with their vision. If this will ever change, it’s self-evident that either the people running Xubuntu need to change or Xubuntu needs to stop being. That being said, I don’t think that’s going to happen in the foreseeable future.
Finally, I’d like to emphasize that all users migrating from Ubuntu and other desktop environments are warmly welcome to the Xubuntu community. There are many ways to achieve the same goal when it comes to desktop environments. We believe Xfce is the best one for us as it has been and as it is. We are not a refugee camp, we have decided to take this path. This is our home.
This article is part of the article series A day in an open source project.