Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 10th Feb 2018 00:11 UTC, submitted by dylansmrjones
Window Managers

The theme for this release has been stabilising the MATE Desktop by replacing deprecated code and modernising large sections of the code base. We’ve also improved our window manager (Marco) and added support for HiDPI. Along the way we’ve fixed hundreds of bugs. Squished ‘em dead!

GNOME 2 is, in my view, one of the best desktop environments ever created, and surely the best desktop environment ever made on Linux. It was consistent, reasonably fast, had a lot of great, high-quality themes, stayed out of your way, and struck a decent balance between configurability and ease of use. Ever since GNOME 2, I've been sorely disappointed with the Linux desktop environments.

MATE is a godsend.

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Uh huh
by nnnnic on Sat 10th Feb 2018 10:08 UTC
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I second that. Being a Mac user for 15+ years I installed Ubuntu Mate on an old Thinkpad X220 and like it a lot. I set the Cupertino theme with menu on top and plank as my dock. Mate is clean enough, stable and doesn't get in my way.

Reply Score: 3

by dazzawazza on Sat 10th Feb 2018 16:21 UTC
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I use MATE on FreeBSD. It's not perfect but it's WAY better then all the other overly-blingy window managers out there.

The FreeBSD port isn't perfect, there are lots of little things that don't quite work but it's close enough (maybe it's the same on Linux).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Agreed!
by mezz on Sat 10th Feb 2018 16:52 UTC in reply to "Agreed!"
mezz Member since:

Glad that MATE is still in FreeBSD when I ported it about 4 years ago or so!

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Agreed!
by dazzawazza on Sat 10th Feb 2018 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Agreed!"
dazzawazza Member since:

well thank you for your hard work. I use it every day.

Reply Score: 1

GNOME and usability tests
by Sodki on Sun 11th Feb 2018 00:48 UTC
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Sun and Red Hat poured a lot of money and resources into GNOME 2's usability, doing lots of tests and research. Then GNOME 3 came along and threw all of that out the window. All I see is designers trying to come up with cool stuff, without any actual relevant input from users. I have many examples where basic usability principles were just completely ignored.

I do use GNOME 3 everyday, mind you, and I missed GNOME 2 terribly. The MATE project is been doing everything right: first they forked everything, then they dropped duplicates, then they dropped many more things that could use upstream instead, etc..

I say kudos to them, it's an amazing effort that is really appreciated.

Reply Score: 5

RE: GNOME and usability tests
by ssokolow on Sun 11th Feb 2018 06:05 UTC in reply to "GNOME and usability tests"
ssokolow Member since:


I've always been a little too "Exactly what I want or else!" to be happy with GNOME 2.x, but they definitely did a good job on the UX.

(eg. I currently run a mix of Plasma and Xfce's panel along the same edge of my desktop because I haven't had time to write a custom clock widget for Plasma that accepts "'%Y-%m-%d %H:%M' on a single line" as a format specifier... I also suspect that I might have dodged some KDE 4.x shirtiness by having an Xfce panel to hide that annoying cashew behind rather than trying to hide it behind a Plasma panel.)

Edited 2018-02-11 06:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

I use MATE too
by mz721 on Sun 11th Feb 2018 23:35 UTC
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When gnome3 came out and Ubuntu went to unity, I just didn't want to have to deal with it. Maybe the older way is, objectively, not 'better', but it was familiar and I could get work done. Great example of open source where a demand/desire enables a community to create its own solution when the top-down decisions are unpopular.

It's interesting having this posted near the Win95 stuff, cos in some ways gnome2/MATE is a response to that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I use MATE too
by Darkmage on Mon 12th Feb 2018 01:58 UTC in reply to "I use MATE too"
Darkmage Member since:

GNOME 2 was the pinnacle of Linux desktop design. Sure it could be improved/enhanced and added to. But GNOME 3 was overkill. Search should have been made easy to access and use. Not take over the entire UI paradigm. The tablet shift was arguably a disaster for Linux and held back desktop progress for years. Even now that damage hasn't really been undone with many users jumping to XFCE and KDE fragmenting the GNOME user base. I went to XFCE4 and it isn't as nice a fit as GNOME2 was but it's a hell of a lot better than GNOME 3 and it means I don't have to deal with the pain of trying to get MATE to work on a distro that didn't fully support it.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by agentj
by agentj on Mon 12th Feb 2018 05:12 UTC
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How is support for large displays ? I use 1440p monitor. In Windows 10 and MacOS High Sierra (hackintosh, MacMini and MacBook Pro) everything looks nice and thin.
However when I install any Linux distribution the UI and fonts look like as if Linux developers were almost blind so they needed ugly large fonts which make 2560x1440 display look like 1024x768 which makes me want to use Hackintosh over any Linux distribution.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by agentj
by Wondercool on Tue 13th Feb 2018 15:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by agentj"
Wondercool Member since:

The very first point in What's new in this release :

MATE Desktop 1.20 supports HiDPI displays with dynamic detection and scaling.

HiDPI hints for Qt applications are also pushed to the environment to improve cross toolkit integration.
Toggling HiDPI modes triggers dynamic resize and scale, no log out/in required.

This was *the* major feature of this release

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by agentj
by gfx1 on Tue 13th Feb 2018 19:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by agentj"
gfx1 Member since:

Mate and xfce have a dpi setting for the fonts.
On xubuntu it's in settings / appearance / fonts
Put the custom dpi setting on my surface pro 4 on 200 to get readable texts.

Reply Score: 3

MATE is great
by jeffrollin on Mon 12th Feb 2018 14:10 UTC
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Especially Ubuntu MATE. I'm currently trying out KDE Neon, but I'd be reasonably happy if MATE were the only Linux DE available.

Imagine if the only one available were GNOME 3. *Shudder*.

Reply Score: 1

RE: MATE is great
by Intuition on Mon 12th Feb 2018 18:06 UTC in reply to "MATE is great"
Intuition Member since:

Linux Mint 18.3 MATE Edition is great. It gets out of your way and just duress what you expect after decades of using desktops.

Reply Score: 1

Mate is my mate
by Darkmage on Mon 12th Feb 2018 19:24 UTC
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I just installed Mate because of this article. It really is the best desktop system out there on Linux at the moment. I wish GNUStep would get off the ground. Mate will be my primary desktop environment from now on until something better comes along.

Reply Score: 3