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Going live in a few minutes here https://link.trom.tf/_qY6MPcK talking about the new TROMjaro XFCE release!

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yes, maintaining extensions in gnome is pretty miserable...gnome is not usable by itself, and extensions get broken each gnome release. Is there a choice between light and dark themes in tromjaro?
choice in terms of themes yes. same theme different shades (light or dark)
gosh, this covers everything I love about Xfce, and also what I absolutely hate about gnome, too 😍
one reason gnome is so much slower, and memory becomes so huge is that core features like gnome shell, and every extension, is written in javascript, which is also garbage collected. This is also true for Gnome-derived environments line Cinnamon. Everything in Xfce, including plugins, are pure native code.
there is also something called xfdashboard, which behaves a lot like the workspace manager in gnome.
yah i tried it but kinda sluggish and the default whisker is better
well, I completely do get your point about the classic workspace pager and whisker menu being faster and simpler...