MATE is incredibly buggy and a memory hog compared to XFCE. There's little to no reason to use it instead of XFCE.
Can't wait for RazorQT to be ready for everyday use.
Really as i run MATE 1.6 in a Production Environment i have not hit any bugs, in it at all the Old Release's of MATE was bad but, MATE 1.6 is one of the Best DE's i used so far, it even has lower ram usage then Xfce it's around the same as LXDE
I have tried XFCE many times over the years. there has always been something that has brought me back to GNOME2 (or these days MATE). I think last time it was handling of external monitors. If my laptop is on my desk its connected to a monitor, the rest of the time its isn't. GNOME/MATE detect the monitor, enable it and remember the settings I last used for it. I think XFCE required me to go into a control panel each time. Also the GNOME/MATE system monitor applet and clock drop-down are second to none.
After reading this, I decided to go back an try mate again and I'm really pleased.
It really feels like coming home after a very long and frustrating journey at least for my old trusty singlecore athlon xp system...
I used to run gnome2 on it (and tried countless alternatives...) but ever since the gnome3 transition, that system has been in a constant flux.
Only recently, I installed debian wheezy which comes with (a much matured) gnome3 desktop, which at first felt okay-ish, but soon I realized that it was just too much for my old system.
Since yesterday its 'back' to mate, and I can only say 'just as I left it (gnome2)' a few years ago (its still the same /home partition).
It's not buggy, it's not a memory hog (well it's not lightweight like dwm, but it's just not in that category) and for my old system it's just great!
If they take this forward into way-land-land it has the potential of becoming a solid alternative for older and low-end systems.
Xfce never was gnome2 and as such should not be compared to mate. Don't get me wrong, I like xfce, but it just never got to me as gnome2 did and thanks to mate, after years of turmoil, the desktop question for my old machine has finally been settled
The razor-qt and lxde merger of course remains highly interesting, because qt just rocks compared to both gtk2 and gtk3. On my new main system I run kde4, so I'm obviously biased
It is a good desktop, nothing like gnome3, or the buggier gnome2.
I also use Xfce and e17, and occasionally lxde. The idea of lxde going qt sounds great, there seems to be too many gtk desktops and too few qt ones.
Someone said Xubuntu will disappear, this is highly unlikely. Ubuntu is going to inherit the wayland packages from Debian, and there should be no reason for them to take them out from the repositories; mir packages can also be flagged as conflict with wayland; then everyone will go their merry way: Ubuntu with their unity and mir, everyone else with their de and wayland
And speaking of Debian, i wish mate had made it to wheezy, but alas, that could not be. At least its on jessie.
Now Debian should have defaulted to that instead of pushing gnome3 thru the noses to everyone. The damage has already been done.
FWIW they can just use mutter with the default plugin which is pretty much like old metacity + clutter based cm.
Standalone mutter is awful, i've tried it. Its very buggy and broken when just use with "mutter --replace". For example the alt tab switcher is just awful, as are the animations. Its really meant to base other window managers on usng libmutter (like gnome-shell and gala do).