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XFCE was really different 5 years ago. It was much simpler and pretty much a CDE clone that was gone in GTK. Now it has become something like GNOME 2.x.

Isn't that just the default configuration of the panels, or do you mean a time more than 5 years ago? I've used XFCE off and on for about 5 years. I remember the default look being more like CDE, but I usually customized the panels to look more like GNOME 2.x back then. The defaults today look more like GNOME 2.x, but I don't think the functionality has changed much, just the default configuration.

It was more of a CDE clone in the late 90s, definitely not as recent as 5 years ago.

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