I hope I have not posted this the wrong place, or duplicated a previous disussion. If so, sorry!
Over the last few weeks, I have done full installs on quite a few distros, including the MATE, Cinnamon, KDE, and Xfce versions of LM13. LM13 was the best for me, no contest (although I love the way Mageia looks). I am getting ready to intall an SSD in the next few days, and although I am for sure going to install LM13, I am uncertain as to which flavor. Of course, I want to install one DE and stick with it, rather than going back and forth, so I am looking for some advice.
I am having a hard time choosing between MATE, Xfce, and Cinnamon (I am not too fond of KDE). Really, I prefer them in that order. I like MATE's layout, apps, and configuration options-I can get windows to look the way I want, colors, fonts, shape, all that. Xfce is a close second. I like it's simplicity, and am mostly happy with the apps available (I miss system monitor, but I am sure something is available that is beeter than Task Manager). Cinnamon, I really only like for it's Main Menu. I may just be doing it wrong, but I can't modify things like I can in MATE, by far.
So, here's my questions: Really, all things being equal, I'd use MATE. However, I have come to realize it is GNOME 2, which is no longer an active thread. That is the main reason I even consider Cinnamon, is in hopes that the ability to modify it improves. My first question is, what is the future of MATE? Will that be sticking around? Or faded out and replaced by Cinnamon?
My second question is, are there any compelling reasons, esp as I learn more (I am very much a noob), to pick one or the other? That is, as I learn more and want to do more complicated things, would one or the other DE be better to have? Really, it seems that most of the more in-depth things use the Terminal anyhow, so maybe this isn't a consideration? I would appreciate any advice here, though.
Thanks so much for any suggestions or comments here! I am learning so much from the community!