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I realize this is very recent, but after waiting many years the code for CDE - the Common Desktop Environment - has finally been open-sourced. I hope someone here can manage to get it working on slacky. The main problem appears to be lesstif. CDE wants motif instead, but let's keep fingers crossed that a solution to this problem is forthcoming in the near future
You have to remove lesstif and install openmotif as it doesn't compile with lesstif. After that, it compiles without problems. As I'm following the #cde and the mailing list, it doesn't work on -current 64bit yet. I managed to compile it and start it up on Slackware 13.37 32bit, but there is an error just after logging in, you can see the desktop env but you cannot do something than clicking ok on the error window and it logs you out then. I wasn't able to find out yet what's the problem. But heavy patching is going on from very active developers, so if you want to try out you should pull from the git tree.
Was CDE the default desktop in old slackware versions back when it was distributed as floppies (like 1994)? I think I saw this before. It has all "motif" style widgets, big chunky window borders in bright colors like magenta or cyan. I think it was CDE. I was more noob than now, so I'm not sure. I had slackware installed on a 80MB hard drive from the floppies. Then, I think KDE 1.0 came after?
My demands for a DE: possibility to launch apps, switch between running apps, lookup clock and calendar (just for dates not events or anything schedule related). Thats all I ask. If there is a possibility to choose between virtual desktops then that is already more than I can ask for. So for me CDE would fit perfectly.