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MATE Desktop 1.2 Released 194

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the alternatives-are-nice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For those of you who still feel GNOME 2 is the best desktop environment, but don't want stick to old distros, MATE is a fork of GNOME 2, with all the names changed to avoid clashes with GNOME 3. Version 1.2 brings fixes, but also new features such as undo/redo in the file manager." This release features better freedesktop standards integration, adds a few missing utilities, and merges new features into the file manager. The project has a new wiki; the roadmap has a few details on future goals, including porting things to Gtk 3 and using bits and pieces of modern GNOME 3 infrastructure where appropriate.
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MATE Desktop 1.2 Released

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  • Excellent (Score:4, Informative)

    by ichthus (72442) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:32AM (#39701083) Homepage
    Without MATE, Linux Mint 12 wouldn't even be an option for me (I'd stick with 11).
    • Re:Excellent (Score:5, Informative)

      by RDW (41497) on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:24PM (#39702251)

      Without MATE, Linux Mint 12 wouldn't even be an option for me (I'd stick with 11).

      I might say the same for Ubuntu 12.04 (though to be fair, I could also live with Xfce). I just installed MATE 1.2 on the latest 12.04 beta and it works like a charm, as here:

      http://www.howtogeek.com/110052/how-to-install-the-mate-desktop-go-back-to-gnome-2-on-ubuntu/ [howtogeek.com]

      For my money, Gnome 2/MATE is still the best available desktop for Linux. I've tried the other approaches to taming Gnome 3 (Cinnamon, the classic 'fallback mode' panel, even Unity) and all currently seem lacking in comparison, with more limited features, or lower performance on resource-limited systems, or (in the case of Unity) annoying design choices. The benefits to developers of building a desktop on the Gnome 3 foundation (ease of maintenance, etc.) are all very well, but as an end-user, I'm going to go for the more responsive, fully-featured alternative. The situation may be different in a year or two, but right now MATE remains my top choice.

    • Re:Excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday April 16, 2012 @02:28PM (#39703013) Journal

      I never understood why when things were getting nice and stable both KDE and GNOME would suddenly shitcan all that work. i mean what was wrong with them? They both looked nice, ran fine, were low resource, so what was wrong with what they had? Could they just not live without an assload of bling like OSX and Windows has gotten?

      BTW for those that prefer the KDE way of doing things Vector Linux [vectorlinux.com] has a "KDE Classic" edition based on 3.5.10 that is nice.

      • I never understood why when things were getting nice and stable both KDE and GNOME would suddenly shitcan all that work. i mean what was wrong with them? They both looked nice, ran fine, were low resource, so what was wrong with what they had? Could they just not live without an assload of bling like OSX and Windows has gotten?

        That is soooooo true. Imagine if all the resources would have been put to polishing KDE3 and GNOME2 instead. We might not have the latest whizbang innovation UI, but a good solid, basic desktop. That's exactly what Linux needs, not another broken mess. And those two both have Compiz support so you get some eye-candy spices too.

        BTW for those that prefer the KDE way of doing things Vector Linux [vectorlinux.com] has a "KDE Classic" edition based on 3.5.10 that is nice.

        And there's, of course, the Trinity Desktop [trinitydesktop.org], which is a similar project to MATE, but it bases on KDE3.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This approach is doomed to failure. The better approach is Mint's Cinnamon project. There they maintain a gnome2 like desktop environment, but it rests on gnome3. There are ppa's (https://launchpad.net/~merlwiz79/+archive/cinnamon-ppa) that let you install it into official Ubuntu distros, so no need to install a full-on mint distro. It would be even better if canonical moved these packages into universe or something.

    • by Merk42 (1906718)
      I agree keeping it GTK2 is terrible, but the summary says "...future goals, including porting things to Gtk 3..." Of course at that point, why have both Mint and MATE when they're both GTK2 UI built on GTK3?
      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        The real question is how long can the limited Mint development team support both MATE and Cinnamon? One would think that eventually, one is going to have to go and since Gnome 2 had a ton of programmers, it doesn't seem possible that MATE is going to be sustainable in the long run.

        • by RDW (41497) on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:37PM (#39701721)

          MATE is independent of Mint and has its own team (Clem is a member, but Mint ddidn't start and doesn't run the project). The MATE team is small, but their goals are much more modest than Gnome's - they (thankfully!) have no ambitions to design a new 'desktop paradigm'.

          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

            MATE is independent of Mint and has its own team (Clem is a member, but Mint ddidn't start and doesn't run the project). The MATE team is small, but their goals are much more modest than Gnome's - they (thankfully!) have no ambitions to design a new 'desktop paradigm'.

            I stand (or type) correct. That said, one of the issues with prompting the shift to Gnome 3 was that the code base for Gnome 2 was unwieldy. Hopefully, they will be able to maintain it. My real concern would be with the other gnome applications (evolution, brassero, etc.). Will these all be forked or will the G3 versions be used and if the G3 versions are used, trying to integrate them into G2 may be a monumental task.

            I wish the MATE team all the best.

            • by stef0x77 (529972)

              That said, one of the issues with prompting the shift to Gnome 3 was that the code base for Gnome 2 was unwieldy. Hopefully, they will be able to maintain it.

              It was that GTK+ 2.x code was becoming unwieldly and so GTK+ 3.x started a big cleanup. That principle may have also applied to some other individual packages. But the desktop as a whole wasn't really in that position.

    • they wont though because thou shalt not have a traditional desktop, you most have unity because unity is the way of the future and it is the perfect form factor for in Linux in all environments be it desktop phone tablet or tv all must be one and don't you dare ask to put it on the right side it must be on the left.

    • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:53AM (#39701275) Journal

      This approach is doomed to failure. The better approach is Mint's Cinnamon project. There they maintain a gnome2 like desktop environment, but it rests on gnome3. There are ppa's (https://launchpad.net/~merlwiz79/+archive/cinnamon-ppa) that let you install it into official Ubuntu distros, so no need to install a full-on mint distro. It would be even better if canonical moved these packages into universe or something.

      You are missing the point! I don't want Gnome3 and I don't want a Gnome2-looking interface stuck on Gnome3. It wasn't the look of Gnome2 that I liked. It was the flexibility and feature completeness. I could drag app links to the bar on top. I could use the bar on bottom as my taskbar. I could put a "widget" on my top bar that showed me my process or usage, RAM usage, network activity, swap activity, CPU temperature, fan speed, CPU speed, case temp, etc, etc, etc, all without adding any special repos. I can't do any of that on Gnome3. Not because Gnome3 doesn't LOOK like Gnome2, but because it's Gnome3.

      I don't want Gnome3, period! I run XFCE and KDE now, thank you very much.

    • I've just been fooling around with KDE because I had some problems with my graphics card, and the builtin graphics don't do 3D. That means no compiz, and no window placement.

      That means I was being driven nuts manually bringing down browser windows to the bottom half of my screen where I like them.

      So I tried KDE. Turns out I like it. And you can basically set it up the way I had Gnome set up:

      -Focus follows mouse with delayed raise
      -Choice of keyboard shortcuts for keyboard layout change
      -You can set desktop sw

    • by allo (1728082)

      cinnamon seems the better approach, because much of gnome3 is still what it was in gnome2. so just replace the sucking parts. And this is what cinnamon does ... replacing the shell, but not the rest.

    • by steveha (103154)

      This approach is doomed to failure.

      I just installed MATE on my business laptop, and started using it. I immediately felt happier. That's not a failure... that's a success!

      Now, you can argue that in the long run, it's counter-productive to try to keep the old GTK 2.x code base going. I might even agree! I have high hopes for Cinnamon.

      But the GNOME 2.x code base represents man-decades of work, and Cinnamon won't reach that smooth, polished level of usability in the short run. So what can we use right now

      • by fwarren (579763)

        Ten years from now, will I still be running MATE?

        Maybe so, But you could be running GNOME 2 in 10 years if you stick with RHEL or CENT OS.

      • I'm too lazy to hunt through the gnome website but how hard is it to migrate from GTK+2 to 3?

        Most libraries preserve some backward compatibility, whereby between versions you can just drop in the new libraries and re-compile. The new bells and whistles won't show up but it'll still work with the new libraries, even if the features are deprecated.

        Clearly this doesn't seem the case, with features removed or changed?

    • by fwarren (579763)

      The real problem they have is the same one that Trintity, the fork of KDE 3 has.

      Take any program that ported over from KDE 3 to KDE 4 like Amarok. Amarok is not a core KDE program. They have a small team and they are firmly committed to KDE 4. Yet they will get emails from Trinity users that want support. The Amarok developers are not working on anything KDE 3 related, Amarok 1.4 is the last of the old series. They only want support requests for Amarok 2.0 and above. Projects like K3b, K9copy and Amarok ar

      • by vurian (645456)
        I'm really happy I got the trinity guys to rename their fork of Krita 1.6. There's no way I would like to be associated with that version in 2012 :-). Krita 2.4 just is so much better.
  • Great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by flakron (1146337) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:37AM (#39701113) Journal
    This is what I love about open source: Don't like it ? Change it!
  • It's already ported! It's cleaned up code, GObject introspected (hint: you can write extentions for it with same ease as for GNOME Shell), GTK+3/GNOME 3 technologies ready.

    But no, should do your own port, because using native GNOME 3 (just without GNOME Shell) is blasphemy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And Gnome Panel is gimped compared to Gnome2. It may look similar but it doesn't function the same way.

      • by Pecisk (688001)

        It doesn't look similar how? It is similar, it's same code, just ported. Which functions are different? Applets? They slowly returns and everyone can write new ones using Gobject Introspection (that's how all GNOME Shell "Nostalgia" hacks came about). And in the end, it's just code, tweak it more closer to GNOME 2 behavior (no matter how useless I think would be).

        It more and more looks like emotional posturing and less real complains about GNOME Shell.

  • As of update 4 which is currently the Release Candidate.

    http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1967 [linuxmint.com]

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      I love mInt for desktop and I love Debian for servers, but I've found that since mint team uses unstable for basing their Mint-Debian it's too hard to keep up with broken things and updates that break things.
  • Forks make me think (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aglider (2435074) on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:51PM (#39702603) Homepage

    Now we have MATE from GNOME v2 as a form of dissatisfaction of v3.
    We already had Trinity [trinitydesktop.org] forked from KDE v3.5.
    Then there's Razor-Qt [razor-qt.org] as "something almost completely new".
    And the pletora of "alternative" desktops we all love: XFCE, LXDE, etc.etc. [wikipedia.org]
    Is it actually a problem of fragmentation, or is it that some projects after a few years (and some amounts of donated money) just go into technology decline?
    I personally tend towards the second option.

    • Nice to remember about Trinity. I used it when Debian switched to KDE4, but the new DE wouldn't work with /home mounted over NFS. (Turns up that is a problem of NFS3, everything works with NFS4.)

      It seems to be quite active. They are even adding support for QT4. But I won't change back, as I do like KDE4.

    • by suy (1908306)

      Is it actually a problem of fragmentation, or is it that some projects after a few years (and some amounts of donated money) just go into technology decline?

      Apple wanted a web browser without depending on Microsoft, so they had to decide between reaching an agreement with Opera, or embrace Mozilla, or use the KHTML engine from KDE. They chose the latter, and forked it because they had to change too much (I guess). Then Google, even though is the main supporter of Mozilla, decides to create yet another brows

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      They go into a fanboid mode where there are a bunch of incestuous sycophants that pander to the developers egos in a manner that swamps any rational input. This is similar to how religious cults go so far awry.

      You sound all rational but how do you address the irrational nature of gnome3 with rational thought? You don't, you get out of it. In this case it won't cost you your life.

  • Maybe I'm some sort of edge case who just happens to have the same preferences as the developers, but I like Gnome Shell. It's minimalistic, it's fast, it does things exactly like I want them. With the theming plugin it even looks less gauche; personally I prefer a uniform dark grey on black as far as UI widgets go. I've used most every window manager and desktop environment under the sun, so it's not like I'm talking out of my ass here.

    Protip: you can set a "spawn terminal" keyboard shortcut under the key
  • Maybe someone linked to this already, didn't check all the posts: the official extension repository [gnome.org]

    The extensions are implemented in JavaScript. You can get a debug console by typing "lg" in the alt+f2 run prompt. The extensions already in the repo includes ones that revert the UI to be more like Gnome 2, as well as at least one system monitor plugin of the type people seem to be pining for. I haven't tried hacking around with this and I don't know how good the API documentation is but people do seem to

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