I’ve been experimenting with Openbox as a direct result of working with Turbo and trying to squeeze speed out of older machines. I realize now that an even lighter desktop is almost better for me.
Even minimal XFCE installations seem bloated compared to Openbox. Combined with pypanel and obmenu and the murrine engine and conky-1.4.2 and I’ve got something so streamlined and smooth that it’s like working on glass.
I tried Openbox quite a while ago and it seemed somehow curmudgeonly. It took too much work to get it how I liked it and there were the frustrations of an terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad GTK2 interface. Those buttons are awful.
But smoothing them out with the Murrine engine configurator makes them better than palatable. And while boxwhore.org isn’t nearly as diverse as gnome-look.org, I found more than one theme that, when tweaked, worked perfectly for me.
That, coupled with the other tweaks I’m used to, and I get a first-rate desktop at under 42Mb at boot. And it’s exceedingly snappy.