Well, I've tried Gnome, KDE, XFCE, Blackbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, Enlightenment and WindowMaker before.
Apart from Gnome, KDE and XFCE, all the rest have problem with displaying Chinese characters in window titles. I'm not sure if its my problem though
, but I just can't get them to work.
Yep you can specify a Chinese font on all window title in their respective settings, but doing that will make all English characters look very very ugly, to an extent that you'd rather confess and sacrifice speed for some
It all displays fine inside windows. i.e. Engligh fonts for English characters, Chinese fonts for Chinese ones. Its just windows titles that suffers.
Been through Google for ages but still can't find any solution. So my guess is that window titles aren't quite "internationalized" like the rest.
But if that's not a problem for you then I can give you my
Gnome / KDE:
Out of the box, both are resource hogs
. KDE "feels" worse.
Applications aside (I bet you know that running which application is actually independent from what WM you're using, right?
). Choosing between Gnome and KDE actually depends on whether you like GTK or QT interface more in my opinion.
Blackbox / Fluxbox:
Well, didn't spend too much time on it.
Both feels quite fast and looks "minimalistic" out of the box. Suits my taste.
But it takes quite some time to get used to its funny way of managing stuff.
Its got the word FAST spelled in its name. You saw it didn't you
. Its blazing fast.
But it looks too "Windowish" so... well...
Very very very beautiful. Almost an artform to gaze at.
Out of the box it runs like a snail. My experience is that its even worse than "out-of-the-box" Gnome / KDE. Heard that there's a ton of stuff to customize if you want, but the documentation is a bit hard to follow.
Again perhaps its My Problem(tm)
Quite fast and quite good looking if you have the time and energy to decorate it with various dockapps.
I actually used WindowMaker for quite some time before switching to XFCE. The reason to abandon it was that focused too much on the "right click" menu to launch apps. But my style is to use:
1. Keyboard shortcut
2. Hotkey to launch a *tiny* "command line" where I type in commands to launch apps. And this has to be quick. Quick means that I shouldn't feel any delay.
3. Launcher bar.
Generally I hate to leave my hands off the keyboard unless there's no other way.
So now I'm with XFCE.
Reasonalbly fast. Quite good looking if you like something *cute*. Well
Setting up custom keyboard shortcut is simple. And you don't have to RTFM too much to do various settings. The interface is handy and on-screen help is "on-time" and concise such that you don't have to RTFM a lot. That's important. Spending 10 months
to learn a WM inside out to customize it just doesn't worth it.
If I had that 10 months perhaps I'm still with Windows.
Hope that helps.