Well, Internet is outdated :)
Yes, plain Openbox is around 60Mb, but everyone (including Antergos devs) put a docker (Plank) or just a panel (tint2).
You have a panel, let’s have a network applet (55MB - default gtk3 one from Gnome, 50MB wicd) and a mixer applet (another 50MB). If you are on a mobile device and you want a power manager applet, another 50-60MB.
So a naked Openbox, with tint2, Plank, pamac applet, network appplet and mixer applet goes up to 300MB. And you haven’t opened a single app. yet. If you are not interested in flash and want a decent and modern browsing, use Midori. Open a terminal console, a good music player (Deadbeef/Audacious) and you system jumps 700MB barrier.
I think too that xfce4.12 is the best compromise between a good UI, sane (aka Windows XP/ Windows 7) desktop, modular and easy to tweak, fast and moderate on resources.
MY nm-applet uses 37mb, volumicon 3 to 8. Openbox is around 10, tint2 around 5mb. But these numbers vary depending on how much of them gets swapped or something. So I can’t really measure things correctly, but your numbers seem 6-fold off sometimes. I really don’t think 300 mb is correct.
I also don’t think that the xfce, xp, win7 style is sane. I think it’s horribly outdated, as in unnecessarily backward. I have nothing against xfce per se. I used to like it and prefer it over other options back when I was using xubuntu. But it still looks and works mainly the same way as half a decade ago. I’d say we can do better than that today. But this comes from a guy who has no close button on it’s windows. I for one, am sticking to openbox’s elegance and am not looking back. That being said, I’m looking forward to replace openbox one day.
Just poking my head in with some thoughts.
Openbox is only a plain window manager, while LXQt/XFCE/MATE/etc. give you a more “standard” desktop experience. That said, you can configure those things on Openbox with tint2/plank/et al. However, Openbox is just a window manager, and not a desktop environment, but it does have an easy-to-access application menu and floating windows. If you are not sure if solely a window manager is for you, Openbox is a great way to ease into that transition.
FWIW, I use i3 standalone, but diving head-first into a tiling wm with no DE can be a very jarring experience.
It is very easy to install and remove Openbox, so I’d say to give it a shot. You can always jump back to something more familiar if you find it is not for you.
While pid1 is correct about everything here, despite OB not being just a window manager, you still do end up creating a pseudo-environment that you can only really have with openbox, and it’s pretty much “integrated”. I don’t really imagine anyone running tint2 with xfce. Whether you go for plank or something else to start your apps with, you still won’t have a “start button” most likely. So I’d say, having openbox as a window manager, will create an environment around itself… a more flexible one.
The biggest “pro” advocating openbox would be, try it, the others are all kinda the same, you’ve already seen all that on Windows 98. Obenbox isn’t lightyears in front of them, but it has some innovative effort in it and I’d say that deserves a lot more recognition than it receives. But seriously, with openbox and deepin and e19 around, why would I want to use xfce ?
That being said, I never said xfce doesn’t have it’s place in the world, but I’d say unless I’d need to keep things simple for my grandpa or because of some other constricting circumstanses, it should no longer be recommended. “Dumb phones” have their place on the market, and they have amazing battery lives, but sticking to xfce really isn’t rewarding, if you ask me. On the other hand Openbox can be quite a pain to set up and get used to… I kinda still miss a startup folder to drop a shortcut into sometimes, while trying to remember where the autostart file that I hadn’t touched in 2 months is. But nobody running arch should mind that.
My take on the original question is… if you just want a desktop, no headaches, go for lxqt. If you want more, try openbox without an X (customized) in the corners of your windows.