First I didnt like the idea that Solus should split up in several DEs. I have been longing for a linux distribution that does just one (limited) thing and does it great. Budgie was and still is all I needed. But I really must say that I appreciate the work that team members put in with - in my opinion - the three best challengers for Budgie: GNOME, Plasma and MATE.
The most important thing for me is Solus and the performance in the core system. I work a lot with virtual environments since I like to create different virtual machines for different customers/projects - and Solus is just the best in that area. So as long as the core team develops Solus for Budgie and the work of adapting to other DEs does not interfere with the core experience - hack away. Maybe we will even see a LxQT version one day? 🙂
Noone asked 😁 but here is my ranking of the four:
- Budgie - I like the simplicity, the speed and the sane defaults. Minimal tinkering for me to get the functionality I am after. Just start it up, move the panel to a left vertical menu and I am practically done. Regardless if virtual or physical environment.
- GNOME - It gets better and better. Was a total resource hog earlier but now performs pretty well. I am not fond of some of the core design, and I find myself downloading and installing various applets to make it work like a want to. And then, with all these applets, the quick and stable initial feeling just isnt there anymore.
- Plasma - Yes it does everything. And that is the biggest problem. Why cant anyone just strip down the whole thing, remove all the glossiness and five hundred ways to tweak it? That could really be a winner. But as long as Plasma tries to make everyone happy it wont make anyone extremely happy. But it has wobbly windows, and I love them.
- MATE - Since Budgie does work so wonderful for me I dont need it anymore. I used to run Ubuntu MATE and it was absolutely decent, but a bit like Plasma this DE is all over the place. You can do this, and that, and this, and then that again. A Plasma for older hardware one could say.
Keep it simple, stupid.