Linked by Rahul Gaitonde on Mon 10th May 2004 18:41 UTC
Xfce Before we begin, here's what XFce's website has to say about itself: XFce is a lightweight desktop environment for unix-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and easy to use. It's based on the GTK+ toolkit version 2.
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by Azmeen Afandi on Tue 11th May 2004 03:07 UTC

Ok, disclaimer: I'm a very happy user of XFce and have used KDE (my former favourite DE), Gnome (sorry to the fans, but I never liked it), Fluxbox (if only font sizes are more predictable in this otherwise very fine WM) and Blackbox (my preferred WM).

I gave XFce a try after using Fluxbox and Blackbox for about 3 months... I love the speed of both WMs, but they are just "funny" in terms of how app windows are handled. Again, I have played with "sticky windows" settings and other miscellanous tweaks for both WMs, but it just doesn't "feel" right to me. And I understand _completely_ that this is not a WM-specific issue... it's just my own _preference_ which I am very much entitled to.

I know I could have taken the easy way out and go back to KDE, or maybe give Gnome another try, but honestly, I'd rather try something new (probably "different" is a better word). I have a pretty recent hardware (Athlon TB 1.4GHz, 384MB 266Mhz DDR RAM), and I don't do any processor-intensive work on my PC.

I don't hate icons on the desktop... but I am a registered offender of dumping everything on the desktop. Strange that I don't realize that my desktop is a jungle until it's too late (I got too comfortable with the desktop that I can find most important stuff, but sometimes it takes quite some time to find that rarely-used file).

Which is what makes me glad that I tried XFce... it never gave me the chance to mess up my desktop for the Nth time! I can't say that it's a lack of usability... nor can I say that it's a feature... But I don't think I'm alone in preferring an iconless (or an uniconable) desktop.

For those who say that you can't compare XFce with KDE or Gnome... that's just unfair. You can, provided that it's a logical comparison. Speed is a very controversial thing to compare, however, I can vouch that XFce loads and feels faster than KDE. I also understand that KDE loads a lot of other "helper" processes, but as a DE _ALONE_, XFce is much faster.

Feature-wise, I very much agree that XFce is not as all-rounded like KDE or Gnome. But to me this is not a bad thing. Heck, I don't think I've ever used (or need) half of the bundled apps in KDE (or Gnome). I can "bundle" the apps _I_ prefer and not what my DE's developers think I would like.

In the end... it's about choice. There's no right or wrong here.