Debian will now benefit from the Xfce desktop environment as it is to switch from GNOME for Debian 8.0, codenamed “Jessie”.
The announcement of the switch came from developer Joey Hess, who gives a number of reasons as to why Debian 8.0 will benefit from Xfce as its default desktop environment. These include:
• Accessibility support, particularly for visually-impared users
• Xfce being closer to the “GNOME 2″ experience
• CD space constraints
But GNOME may go back as the default if developers find it to be a better choice at the time of the evaluation, which will start around the point of DebConf (August 2014). “This will be re-evaluated before jessie is frozen (the switch to Xfce),” Hess said in the mailing list.
The final decision will be informed by:
• The numbers of installs of GNOME 3 on Debian whilst defaulting to Xfce
• Improvements made to GNOME 3 in accessibility & feature parity to GNOME 2
• User feedback on interface changes on-going in GNOME 3 development
Debian 8.0 has not been given a release date yet, but it is likely to arrive by 2015 end.