All is not lost
We may have an 'unofficial LMDE/XFCE" before too long.
look here.... viewtopic.php?f=61&t=113571&p=655995#p655811
Mint has done a better job at marketing MATE over XFCE....
From blog post
December 5th, 2012 at 8:43 am
Dropping LMDE/XFCE is a mistake. XFCE is easily the most stable DE for Linux, and one of the lightest. Linux has more than enough desktop environments now, without the need for developing even more. Since the discontinuation of an old favorite Gnome 2.3, there are several attempts to replace that experience with new ones, namely Cinnamon and Mate in Mint. I find them redundant. XFCE does most anything either of them can do and its stable as can be, and lighter. If you don’t need ‘lightness’, then adding Compiz adds all the ‘flash’ anyone could want.
Its understandable that you would be inclined to using DE’s that are developed here at Mint, but I feel your resources would be best used in making existing DE more efficient.
Edit by Clem: Hi GeneC. The resources need to go where people need them. The demand is clearly on MATE and Cinnamon. Back in the days GNOME 2 was, by far, the most popular DE. Nothing is changed. MATE and Cinnamon today each represent 33% of our audience, Xfce 9%. Within LMDE which totals roughly 13% it’s hard to justify the maintenance of all these separate desktops. I can appreciate how great Xfce is, I maintain the Xfce edition myself which RC will be out very shortly, but with only 4% I have to be pragmatic and wonder who exactly is all this work done for when other areas of Linux Mint are lacking attention. Another issue we have with Xfce on top of LMDE is that Debian isn’t committed to it. Xfce 4.10, released in April 2012, isn’t even in Sid yet. As you may know its configuration isn’t compatible with Xfce 4.8. For us to maintain two separate editions of Xfce with different versions and deviations from one base to another is feasible, but it’s a challenge that is hard to justify considering the adoption stats. You have a point about Xfce itself, it truly is a great environment, and maybe you can convince some MATE and Cinnamon users that Xfce is better for them, but on our side this decision makes sense, simply because there’s very little demand in this particular edition.
Understandable, but dissapointing.