Nice links, but limited. Here is at least a more complete listing.
I think that one important DE feature missing from the comparison is compiance to the freedesktop scheme.
all that stuff under /etc/xdg, menu system, and some dbus interfaces. Poor compliance (a few years ago) is the reason I dropped lxde from consideration.
Let's not ignore Enlightenment. It's pretty, it's very lightweight and it's usable.
My opinions/concerns wrt to DEs are these.
- The DE should be dead-fast, crisp. This has little to do with the graphics unit or processor and more to do with the design & implementation choices. 20ms here and 30ms there can certainly add up to bad corner-case performance, but my bigger concern is that it creates a fat-pudgy-sluggish feel that annoys me.
- The desktop should be well organized and efficient to use, but also featureful. The DE is a tool that mediates between the human and the computer and it should be designed to permit high speed and efficient communication (human to computer is the slow-link). One (multi) keystroke might represent 6 or 7 bits of info. One mouse click can spec ~10-14 bits of 2d information. So slamming the mouse to a far-corner or scrolling through pages of massive icons, or odd key-combos is for gumbies - grunt-n-point'ers, not for those trying to specify more efficiently.
The design ethic should be Swedish-modem minimalist, high functionality, but not rococco. Along that line - I don't mind a learning-curve *IF* it pays off. Big tools with limited use/value-add leave me cold. I don't want KDE/Konqueror for exactly the same reason I don't want a pomegranate-peeler in my kitchen cupboard.
- The edges should be chamferred. Yes I want minimalist design w/ high functionality, but the error cases and re-config cases shouldn't turn into day project. It should look like an integrated design, including configuration - not an erector set project where I have to break out the wrenches every time.
- Aesthetics. I'd like to claim it doesn't matter much, but that's not true. I sit facing this DE for many any hours per week. It needs to be pleasant looking, but never obtrusive or showy. Do new windows appear where I expect ? To menus cascade reasonably ? Are important pop-ups places appropriately and on to top others appropriately ? It there some coherent, easily accessed UP-TO-DATE documentation for the actual details - or do I have to post to the right forum to find the guy who knows the magic-incantation ?
- I tend to not develop DE software so I'm not looking for a publicly accessible api of the sort KDE & Gnome provide. Nice - sure, but not a decision factor. Anyway which is harder - editing the entire Enlightenment or lxde source base or learning the evolving Gnome apis ?
Originally Posted by sea
Its not matching a 100%, but a WM is pretty close to a DE if .....
In the same sense that 4 wheels and a motor and a bunch of bolts and sheet metal is pretty close to a car.