Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment which is known to be very fast and stable but it also has a very slow development. The current stable version is 4.12 but the developers are busy working on the upcoming release, Xfce 4.12. The biggest change is going to be the port / upgrade of all components to GTK+ 3.x. The components will look the same way as they do now but the backend will change. Unfortunately other bigger changes will most probably land in the following release, Xfce 4.16 which is probably still a couple of years away.
Here are the planned features for this release:
- All components of -core will be ported to Gtk+ 3.
- Replace dbus-glib with GDbus.
- Review icon-names in all components and use consistent naming, following the fd.o spec where possible
- Use symbolic icons for panel plugins and in apps where suitable
- Replace deprecated widgets.
Xfce4 panel support both GTK2 and GTK3 widgets and some plugins have already been ported to GTK3, for example xfce4-indicator-plugin and xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin.