Re: xfce vs. gnome
Ditto, same goes for me, switched to Xubuntu/Gnome ...
What I mean to say is that I installed Compiz per http://www.howtoforge.com/enabling-c...oneiric-ocelot and then added a few Gnome based apps that I'd been using for years, stuff like Brasero, Libre/OpenOffice, Gedit, Nautilus, and some basic games. All in all I think Xubuntu 11.10 is just as customizable, perhaps even more so than Ubuntu 10.10 ... with the added bonus that you'll have your Xubuntu perform just a little better while being able to keep the look and feel of Gnome2 that's been abandoned by Shuttleworth.
After I learned to hate Unity and really dislike some of the Gnome3 flakiness the only alternatives for me were Debian Squeeze (that lasted 3 months) and Linux Mint. I have to say that Mint is pretty spectacular ... until you have some serious issues. There's enough of a difference between Ubuntu & Mint that frustrating little issues can become really irritating to deal with and the Mint forum is IMO one of the worst "Big Distro" forums there is. When I had a fairly difficult issue to deal with I ended up bumping a thread for 9 days before finally deciding, to heck with that. I don't wanna use Mint and Leech of the *buntu forum, but that's just me.
So I switched to the "mediocre and for old machines" XFCE based Xubuntu several months ago and now I'm just as happy with Xubuntu as I used to be with Ubuntu 10.10 which is saying a lot. Heck, even my desktop behaves so close to my previous Ubuntu desktop that I'll be able to do without the full fledged Gnome2 indefinitely (unless XFCE decides to make some radical unwanted changes too). Best of all, the highly configurable panels. All of my panels are XFCE because I find those moving, glowing, jumping, hiding docks totally irritating. So like a lot of others, I would highly recommend Xubuntu to anyone who thought Ubuntu with Gnome2 was as close to perfection as possible.
Re: xfce vs. gnome
After switching to linux mint because of unity, getting frustrated with mate, switching ot gnom3 with gnome shell frippery extension, experiencing a bad graphics bug on gnome 3, trying lxde and wasn't able to change any settings finally I arrived at the holy land of xfce. and i love it
-stuff works !! really it does :p
-my battery live went up
-its simple, simple is best, i love simple machines!
-you can change stuff easily
-had no frustrating experience yet
-I'm a former windows user and like the god old way to do stuff. My first windows was a pre installed Millenium Edition, ah a wasted youth. I switched to windows 2000 pro Best ******* windows ever! I tried 98 se, XP home/pro Vista home/pro, Windows 7 pro. All of them never came close to the stability and responsiveness I had with 2000. Windows 8 will propably be the worst windows ever (yes even worse then ME) as far as I have seen.
-Really whats wrong with mainstream desktop developers now adays? "Uh you now that stuff that worked over 20 years and that everybody grew accustomed to? **** it we need to change it!". Are they bored? Yeah yeah you want to appeal to new users or whatever, but for me linux is more of a former windows user operating system. You can't appeal to mac users because they are a cult. You can't appeal to kids that get their first Laptop because they want to play games and watch dvds without learning the command line to install libcss first. The only users that want to try Linux are people that work regulary with their computers and wan't a more stable, safer and faster Operating system. And the people that want this are what? Yeah exactly frustrated windows users! So don't make it harder for them to learn to use your operating system.
In my opinion the developers of unity and gnome 3 ****** up the chances for their distros to appeal to all the soon to be frustrated with the changes of Windows 8 users that will be looking for the good old way to do stuff ;)
Re: xfce vs. gnome
My rant <rant>sppelinnng, punct'uation, and cApitalization</rant> aside, once I waded through all you said: +1. Yes! Exactly! Right on! Thank you for saying it!
Too bad dev's wouldn't comprehend the principles you outlined even if they read them. They're too wrapped up in their own type of Ivory Towers that have lots of mirrors to look into. We, the puny know-nothing users, can not influence them with their TOYS (Compiz, are you KIDDING).
The computer is supposed to be a TOOL to help me DO THINGS and be MORE productive. What the ... is the point of eating with a fork that has to be re-shaped and polished and tweaked for every meal?
Linux DE's have become games in themselves. The first thing I do in Windows and Linux is remove all wallpapers, select a solid color, and use the "blank screen" screensaver. I customize shortcuts and organize folders to contain them per tasks: a/v editing, writing letters, making notes, keeping track of my "LastTask.txt" on startup.
So re: XFCE vs. Gnome DE, I like XFCE. For kicks, I tried various appearance customizations, my equivalent of using an OS/DE as a game. Entertaining, very interesting, but when I say vanilla, installing on a friend's old old laptop, I MEAN vanilla. XFCE is it.
PS: by vanilla I do NOT mean pure terminal CLI only.
Re: xfce vs. gnome
Bumping the thread. Due to the direction gnome is taking, I decided to switch to XFCE. I had Xubuntu installed on my old laptop with 506 MB RAM (Yes, 506) and some really low-end processor. I remembered how similar XFCE was with gnome and realized that it would be the equivalent of going back to Gnome 2...except with better colours (sorry, but blue is infinitely better than brown. A brown desktop looks like feces). XFCE just feels tons nicer than gnome/unity/kde ever did for me. KDE feels over-done...the icons don't flow together and Konsole and most other KDE apps is/are very clunky. KDE/gnome/unity didn't run slow, but XFCE ran much faster and snappier. And also, XFCE seems more stable...I haven't ever experienced a single bug with Xubuntu.