Xfce's Early April Fool's Joke

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 21, 2012

I saw a post on the Xfce blog Tuesday or Wednesday about changing versioning scheme of the next Xfce release. I saved the URL knowing that I'd want to write about it. Just thank goodness that a storm blew in and caused my computer to shut off. Otherwise, I might have never seen the Update 2. Dirty rats.

The Update 2 was a link to post on the Xfce mailing list post where Stephan Arts explained (and thoroughly enjoyed, btw) it was an early April Fool's joke, and I fell for it. The clue was supposed to be the final release date scheduled for April 1. I noticed it, but still didn't take the post as joke until I clicked the Update link. In fact, here's what my post almost was:

The Xfce developers (and interested parties) have been discussing the version scheme of their popular light-weight desktop environment. They are rapidly approaching 4.10, but that particular number could cause some upgrade issues. So, what's a project to do?

The problem with 4.10 is that developers view that as "4.1 with an extra decimal for precision." But 5.0 would confuse users thinking the desktop has taken some big jump forward - or as Stephan Arts said, "we pulled a ‘gnome-3′ on them." A hexadecimal system was discussed but quickly dismissed. So, again, what to do?

Well, they (the Xfce team) decided that the "." could be viewed as a thousands separator as in Europe. Looking at it that way would give one Xfce 4,008 and Xfce 4,010. This would also allow them to put off 5.0 for "another 990 years."

So, the next major release will be Xfce 4010. Xfce 4010pre1 is scheduled for February 12, 4010pre2 should arrive around March 11, and pre3 is expected on March 25. Xfce 4010 should be released on April Fool's Day.

Again, Stephan, you are a dirty rat. :D

The next version of Xfce will be 4.10 after all. ppppffth!