Differences between revisions 49 and 50
Revision 49 as of 2014-10-21 19:46:53
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Editor: JoeyHess
Comment: update re portability
Revision 50 as of 2014-11-28 00:09:39
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Comment: the xfce accessibility bugs have been fixed
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There are bugs with Xfce which make it completely inaccessible for now, should be easily fixable: DebianBug:760740, DebianBug:760777, DebianBug:760778

The purpose of this page is to collect information about the status of desktop environments in Debian, to aid the tasksel maintainers in deciding which desktops are suitable candidates to be the default desktop. This is analogous to the Release Team's architecture requalification process.


See how the desktop usage change over time according to popularity-contest.

Each line in the table has a reporting team listed. Please do not edit that line or the report in the details below, except on behalf of the reporting team.

gnome

kde

lxde

xfce

cinnamon

mate

reporting team

packaging

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

desktop maintainers

tasksel task quality

+1

0

0

+1

-1

-1

tasksel maintainers

accessibility

+1

-1

0

0

-1

+1

Debian accessibility team

systemd integration

+1

-1

0

systemd maintainers + desktop maintainers

i18n

Debian I18n Team

portability

-1

?

+1

+1

-1

+1

Debian Porters

media size

Debian-CD Team + Debian Live Team

consistency

0

0

0

0

0

tasksel maintainers

details

packaging :: Bool

Is the whole desktop packaged and in a usable state?

The maintainers of each desktop can report on this one, although we have a good idea for the main ones, so already filled them in. If any other desktop teams not listed want to be included in this page, please speak up.

tasksel task quality :: Ranking

Is the tasksel task package available and in good working order? Do the tasksel maintainers have contact with the maintainers of the desktop, in order to make sure the task has the right contents and get the task tested? Please rank the quality of the tasks from -1 to +1.

Report from the tasksel team: We are in good contact with the gnome and Xfce teams and get frequent enough feedback from them about task contents. We have some contact with the kde and lxde maintainers, but are less sure about the quality of the task packages for those. The most commonly tested tasks are the Xfce and gnome tasks.

The mate and cinnamon tasks are very new, so not yet tested. There may need to be more work done to integrate them with d-i (for example, gksu or equivalent setup when the system is installed w/o a root password, when sudo needs to work out of the box). These are the reasons we've marked them down for now.

accessibility :: Ranking

Is the desktop accessible to the blind and those with other disabilities? Please rank the degree of the accessibility of each desktop from -1 to +1.

Report from the accessibility team:

https://lists.debian.org/debian-accessibility/2014/09/msg00008.html

Basically, MATE is the most accessible desktop. Gnome has brought some accessibility regressions compared to that. lxde and Xfce are less accessible because things like their panel are not. cinnamon has strong accessibility issues with Orca (start menu, panel). KDE is not accessible.

systemd integration :: Bool

Is systemd (and logind etc) well integrated into the version of the desktop currently available in testing? Or are there eg, double-suspend issues? Links to open bug reports are useful here.

We'd like to hear from both the systemd maintainers as well as the maintainers of the desktop environments on this one.

Report from the systemd maintainers: pending (asked on 5 Sep)

Report from the gnome maintainers: yes.

Report from the kde maintainers: pending (asked on 5 Sep)

Report from the lxde maintainers: pending (asked on 5 Sep)

Report from the Xfce maintainers:

  • The current (2014-09-17) state of affairs in Jessie is not perfect, especially wrt. power manager handling for laptop. This is both because of the systemd changes and especially because of the upower0.99 changes (755234). This should be fixed once xfce4-power-manager 1.4 enters unstable (currently in experimental, upload should happen soon). Default power management setup inhibits logind doing the suspend, but that can be changed by users (or maintainers). Besides that, permissions based on PolicyKit and logind are handled fine when systemd is PID1 (and not correctly when using sysvrc and systemd-shim)

Report from the mate maintainers:

  • All MATE packages in jessie/unstable that interact with systemd have compiled-in support for systemd. Currently, we face one open issues, namely: 757314 (should be easy to fix).

i18n :: Ranking

How well is each desktop internationalized and translated? It would be great to get some hard numbers, perhaps of the form "X% of world population can use $desktop in their native language". Please rank desktops from -1 to +1.

Report from the Debian i18n team: pending (asked on 5 Sep)

Report from the gnome team: our non-expert understanding is that a11y support is now on par with what GNOME 2.30 from squeeze offered https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/08/msg00129.html

Report from the mate team: MATE upstream reports that MATE has been fully translate to 17 languages. 3 more languages have missing/fuzzy translations strings less-equal than 10. Then there are several other languages that MATE has been translated into more than 75% (xxx of 10,916 translation strings translated where xxx is below 2729).

portability :: Ranking

The default desktop can be different on different kernels, or even different architectures. For example, in wheezy, kfreebsd CDs defaulted to xfce. So, finding the most portable desktop is not a goal. It would, however, improve consistency to have the same default across architectures when possible. Rank to portability from -1 to +1.

Per #765839, gnome and cinnamon only work on architectures which have llvmpipe or supported 3D graphics hardware. This seems to rule out using them on arches like arm.

media size :: Bool

Does the desktop fit on the media (CD(?), DVD, usb) we want to be able to contain a complete desktop environment?

Report from the Debian-CD team: pending (asked on 5 Sep)

Report from the Debian Live Team: Image Size is not an issue anymore for us, we don't aim for CDs anymore since squeeze (daniel).

TODO: add wording about the fact that this is a proxy for other costs of large package sizes (eg, download costs, problems in places with bad internet access)

consistency :: Ranking

Is this going to be a reasonably consistent choice for our users who are used to our previous releases? Rank desktops from -1 to +1.

Report from the tasksel team: Since gnome 3 was the default in the previous release, existing Debian users should find it consistent to use it for jessie. At the same time, we doubt many users would have difficulty with the more traditional interfaces of the other desktops. So, we rate them all 0. (Unsure how to rate cinnamon yet, it has some UI changes from old gnome).