While the GNOME developers are busy at work on GNOME 3.0
and the KDE developers are busy working on KDE SC 4.6 and changes that may lead to KDE5
, the Xfce desktop environment is still out there and being developed.
Xfce 4.6 came in February of 2009
and since then this free software desktop environment has been fairly quiet. However, the developers have been hard at work on Xfce 4.8, which is set to be released in January and the first pre-release is now available.
With Xfce 4.8, the code has been ported from using the ThunarVFS virtual file-system to now using GIO, which allows remote file-systems to be supported on the Xfce desktop, among other features. The Xfce 4.8 panel has also been completely rewritten to provide better multi-head and launching support. Xfce 4.8 also takes advantage of newer libraries and dependencies like ConsoleKit, PolicyKit, and udev, while stripping out code for such things as HAL.
The release announcement for Xfce 4.8-pre1 can be found at Xfce.org
. The final release of Xfce 4.8 is expected for release on 16 January, 2011.