Quite a bit of mucking about involved. And missing are the customising utilities. But the basic framework is there.
What I really wanted was two things. First, minimise to desktop. This means when an app is minimised, it does not go to the taskbar, it goes to an icon on the desktop. This option is not available on 'modern' window managers, I don't know why. Second, and this is the one thing I missed the most, is customisable mouse menus. When you left or right click on the desktop in CDE, you get a menu popup. Ok, other window managers have this too. But in CDE you can edit these manually, it's fairly straightforward to build up pretty complex menu systems. You can have all of your most used apps right up at the top, or insert them into the main panel below.
However, I will take a break today, I think. I also need to download the CDE manuals, half-remembered tricks and customisations will have to be augmented by RTFM.
Yes, I know. It's beautiful, isn't it? Ok. It's ugly. For now. I'll get some themes from somewhere and do the funky monkey over the next few weeks. It will keep me busy, off the streets, and out of trouble.