When comparing Ratpoison vs XFWM, the Slant community recommends XFWM for most people. In the question“What are the best window managers for Linux?” XFWM is ranked 13th while Ratpoison is ranked 14th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Simple config file
Ratpoison is simple to configure as a window manager. In fact, it doesn't necessarily require that much configuration as it is so simple in structure to begin with.
Pro Very little mouse interaction.
Ratpoison is designed to be mainly used with a keyboard and keybindings, making mouse interaction unnecessary.
Pro Support for multiple desktops
Ratpoison offers support for multiple desktops through the use of the rpws script.
Pro Good online documentation
Ratpoison has plenty of documentation (to be found online) on how to operate and configure the window manager.
Pro Can choose to open windows at center of screen or edge
Pro Integrated compositing manager
XFWM has an integrated compositing manager, though it does have screen tearing.
Pro Left-half/Right-half window snapping
XFWM has a built-in option for window snapping.
Pro Great and beautiful theme support
It's very easy to create themes.
Pro Lightweight and desktop independent
Con Might make some games crash at startup
Con Does not work well with applications that have multiple windows
Being that Ratpoison is a tiling only window manager, trying to use applications that have multiple windows (such as GIMP) becomes a PITA.
Con Composite manager has screen tearing
The included composite manager in XFWM has screen tearing.
It should be mentioned that there's a workaround though:
compton --backend xrender --vsync opengl