I’m happy to see XFCE as the default. Other than Ubuntu’s Unity (I know most hate it but I happen to like it), XFCE would be my next full desktop environment choice on BSD/Linux.
I started thinking back about my window manager and desktop environment usage and I remember that I started with sawfish back with my first Slackware install back about 1999. I was using MkLinux a little before that but never did much with a window manager. When I switched to OpenBSD and Debian in 2000, I started using blackbox. More recently on my OpenBSD machines I’ve started using cwm which is wonderfully simple and works very well for my usage and happens to be included with a base install of xenocara.
Agreed, I have absolutely no love for Unity, Gnome3, or any of the other nascent DEs. XFCE keeps it simple.
I think this is a great idea, especially given the wrath that other distributions have gotten for embracing the wild west that is GNOME and their constant decisions to change the interaction model.
Hopefully XFCE is a little more stable for users. I like to refer people wanting to refurbish an old computer into something useful to Debian, and them using XFCE would make it easier for me to support, at least.
xfce isn’t bad, and I used to use it for it’s launcher bar when I’d make special-purpose live CDs.
to be honest, with some tweaking unity isn’t terrible, and I certainly find it preferable to KDE and GNOME. However, I am still happiest in spectrwm. Before that, I used awesome for a few years and fluxbox for quite a bit before that. The problem is balancing the needs of users who don’t like their GUI to get in the way with those who are used to doing things through that UI. I do think that XFCE is very reasonable WM that is a sane default.
I agree, a very sane default. I am still more likely to use openbox or awesome on my own machine.