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CDE released as open source

Sadly, CDE was closed source, and as such, never gained much traction beyond big-iron UNIX systems like Solaris and HP-UX. The open source world focussed on KDE and GNOME instead, and while Xfce was inspired by CDE in its early days, it started carving out its own path later on.

So, yes, it might be too late, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less cool and awesome.