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Thread: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

  1. #11
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    Quote Originally Posted by tgalati4 View Post
    I've installed Linux Mint14 on two older desktop machines. It runs pretty well. One thing to get used to is that the names of all of the common packages have changed to avoid packaging conflicts.

    For a file manager, you would fire up Nautilus, but in Mate it is called caja.

    There are sound technical reasons for changing the names and over time mate and gnome3 will drift apart, but that is OK. Mate runs well and it has an active development community. Think of it as a classic car with new parts and a bunch of gearheads tinkering with it.
    I think you hit the nail on the head. It's Gnome 2, but everything has different names, so it appears to be another copy of Gnome 2, instead of the real thing. Stubborn people want to keep Gnome 2, and not something like it. So they try out Mate, see all of the name differences, realize that it can't do a lot of the things that Gnome3-based shells can do, and they aren't excited about it. Even Mate's supporters, Linux Mint, kind of encourage people to use Cinnamon, instead.

    You'll never be able to get modern functionality out of Mate because it's stuck with Gtk+ 2. From what I understand, they can't decide whether to port to Gtk+ 3 or not.
    Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. - Dr. Seuss

  2. #12
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    I really don't like that they forked gnome 2 instead of forking gnome-fallback. I'd be much more likely to use it if they had forked/improved the more modern gnome 3/gnome-fallback base.

    Even if they do decide to port to gtk3... why? They could have been gtk3 based in the beginning, seems like a silly waste of resources considering the porting to gtk3 has already been done for gnome panel etc...
    Desktop: Windows 8 x64 | Intel Core i5-2500 | 16 GB DDR3 1333 | ATI 6950 2gb | 64gb Vertex 2/320gb/750gb/1tb hdd
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  3. #13
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    Hidden!
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    Another problem with mate is that as more Ubuntu/Gnome packages get obsoleted/replaced, the mate devs are going to have to come up with replacements for them. Currently, there are 60+ dependant packages that get installed along with mate, as time goes on, and development stays with GTK2, there will need to be more and more old packages brought into the meta-package.

  4. #14
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    Quote Originally Posted by cariboo907 View Post
    Another problem with mate is that as more Ubuntu/Gnome packages get obsoleted/replaced, the mate devs are going to have to come up with replacements for them. Currently, there are 60+ dependant packages that get installed along with mate, as time goes on, and development stays with GTK2, there will need to be more and more old packages brought into the meta-package.
    +1!

    I was recently doing some follow up testing in Quantal and installed Mate per instructions, and installing 'mate-core' installs all of the following:

    lance@lance-VIA-desktop:~$ sudo apt-get install mate-core
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    The following package was automatically installed and is no longer required:
    libreadline5
    Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove it.
    The following extra packages will be installed:
    atril atril-common caja caja-common cpufrequtils engrampa engrampa-common
    eom eom-common ffmpegthumbnailer ffmpegthumbnailer-caja fuse-utils
    gtk2-engines-murrine libatril libcaja-extension libcpufreq0 libfam0
    libffmpegthumbnailer4 libglade2-0 libgtksourceview2.0-0
    libgtksourceview2.0-common libidl-common libidl0 libjpeg62 libmarco libmate
    libmate-common libmatecanvas libmatecomponent libmatecomponentui libmateconf
    libmatecorba libmatedesktop libmatekbd libmatekeyring libmatemenu
    libmatenotify libmatepanelapplet libmatepolkit libmateui libmatevfs
    libmateweather libmateweather-common libmatewnck libmatewnck-common librpm3
    librpmio3 libtasn1-3-bin libtiff4 libunique-1.0-0 libvte-common libvte9
    marco marco-common mate-applets mate-applets-common mate-backgrounds
    mate-conf mate-conf-common mate-control-center mate-corba mate-desktop
    mate-desktop-common mate-dialogs mate-icon-theme mate-keyring mate-media
    mate-media-common mate-media-gstreamer mate-menus mate-mime-data mate-panel
    mate-panel-common mate-polkit mate-power-manager mate-power-manager-common
    mate-screensaver mate-session-manager mate-settings-daemon
    mate-settings-daemon-common mate-settings-daemon-gstreamer
    mate-system-monitor mate-terminal mate-terminal-common mate-text-editor
    mate-themes mate-vfs mate-vfs-common mate-window-manager menu menu-xdg
    p7zip-full python-corba python-glade2 python-gtksourceview2 python-mate
    python-mate-desktop rpm-common rpm2cpio
    Suggested packages:
    unrar mate-file-manager meld lha sharutils ncompress unace lzip lzop rzip
    unalz zoo arj murrine-themes fam xscreensaver-data rss-glx menu-l10n
    p7zip-rar python-gtk2-doc libgtksourceview2.0-dev rpm-i18n
    The following NEW packages will be installed:
    atril atril-common caja caja-common cpufrequtils engrampa engrampa-common
    eom eom-common ffmpegthumbnailer ffmpegthumbnailer-caja fuse-utils
    gtk2-engines-murrine libatril libcaja-extension libcpufreq0 libfam0
    libffmpegthumbnailer4 libglade2-0 libgtksourceview2.0-0
    libgtksourceview2.0-common libidl-common libidl0 libjpeg62 libmarco libmate
    libmate-common libmatecanvas libmatecomponent libmatecomponentui libmateconf
    libmatecorba libmatedesktop libmatekbd libmatekeyring libmatemenu
    libmatenotify libmatepanelapplet libmatepolkit libmateui libmatevfs
    libmateweather libmateweather-common libmatewnck libmatewnck-common librpm3
    librpmio3 libtasn1-3-bin libtiff4 libunique-1.0-0 libvte-common libvte9
    marco marco-common mate-applets mate-applets-common mate-backgrounds
    mate-conf mate-conf-common mate-control-center mate-corba mate-core
    mate-desktop mate-desktop-common mate-dialogs mate-icon-theme mate-keyring
    mate-media mate-media-common mate-media-gstreamer mate-menus mate-mime-data
    mate-panel mate-panel-common mate-polkit mate-power-manager
    mate-power-manager-common mate-screensaver mate-session-manager
    mate-settings-daemon mate-settings-daemon-common
    mate-settings-daemon-gstreamer mate-system-monitor mate-terminal
    mate-terminal-common mate-text-editor mate-themes mate-vfs mate-vfs-common
    mate-window-manager menu menu-xdg p7zip-full python-corba python-glade2
    python-gtksourceview2 python-mate python-mate-desktop rpm-common rpm2cpio
    0 upgraded, 100 newly installed, 0 to remove and 136 not upgraded.
    Need to get 108 MB of archives.
    After this operation, 271 MB of additional disk space will be used.
    Then installing 'mate-desktop-environment' installs yet more:

    lance@lance-VIA-desktop:~$ sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    The following package was automatically installed and is no longer required:
    libreadline5
    Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove it.
    The following extra packages will be installed:
    apache2.2-bin hddtemp libapache2-mod-dnssd libapr1 libaprutil1
    libaprutil1-dbd-sqlite3 libaprutil1-ldap libmatebluetooth
    libmatesensorsappletplugin libnet-dbus-perl liboobs-1-5 libtie-ixhash-perl
    libxml-parser-perl libxml-twig-perl libxml-xpath-perl mate-bluetooth
    mate-calc mate-netspeed mate-sensors-applet mate-system-tools
    mate-user-share mate-utils mozo python-mate-menu python-support
    system-tools-backends
    Suggested packages:
    ksensors libunicode-map8-perl libunicode-string-perl xml-twig-tools
    caja-sendto mate-sensors-applet-ati mate-sensors-applet-nvidia ntp
    The following NEW packages will be installed:
    apache2.2-bin hddtemp libapache2-mod-dnssd libapr1 libaprutil1
    libaprutil1-dbd-sqlite3 libaprutil1-ldap libmatebluetooth
    libmatesensorsappletplugin libnet-dbus-perl liboobs-1-5 libtie-ixhash-perl
    libxml-parser-perl libxml-twig-perl libxml-xpath-perl mate-bluetooth
    mate-calc mate-desktop-environment mate-netspeed mate-sensors-applet
    mate-system-tools mate-user-share mate-utils mozo python-mate-menu
    python-support system-tools-backends
    0 upgraded, 27 newly installed, 0 to remove and 136 not upgraded.
    Need to get 19.5 MB of archives.
    After this operation, 48.4 MB of additional disk space will be used.
    And if installed on top of another flavor you'll notice many, many package duplications

    I have however considered that it might be worthwhile to begin with a minimal install via mini.iso and then install Mate. From that I could cook up a true conversion process, but right now I'm just sticking with Precise classic (no effects) using this process:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Pr...eClassicTweaks

  5. #15
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    In all fairness, while it's not my preferred option, Mate is becoming a force to be reckoned with! They've done a good job and they've displayed consistency in their desire to keep a traditional "gnome-2-ish" DE alive.

    Their packages are already included in the Fedora, Mint, Sabayon, and Salix repos! And Snowlinux also has Mate builds, both Debian and Ubuntu based, so Mate is absolutely a viable alternative

    That's particularly true when you consider Gnome's own track record lately. Just in the past few weeks we hear that Gnome will be dropping the "fallback-session" and Metacity window manager:

    http://www.webupd8.org/2012/11/fallb...ion-to-be.html

    But only a couple of weeks later they decided they'll intro a new "classic mode":

    http://www.webupd8.org/2012/11/gnome...ssic-mode.html

    Now, prepare for the laugh line .... Gnome's Vincent Untz has already called on the community to fork and maintain the “fallback-session” including ‘metacity’ and ‘gnome-panel’:

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTIzMzE

    So at least Mate has been consistent whereas Gnome only seems to create one controversy after another. How many forks of Nautilus and Metacity will there be by the time Ubuntu releases it's next LTS?

    Mint is already considering an Openbox fallback mode for Cinnamon:

    https://github.com/linuxmint/Roadmap

    - Rethink Cinnamon 2D, fallback to a non-shadow CPU-less intensive session in software rendering mode and/or Muffin/OpenBox (whatever happens, the user should know he's not running the "real" Cinnamon, he should be told why, and he should find himself with a working WM (even a minimalistic one like OpenBox)).
    So Mate has IMHO been the most consistent in it's mission

    It's definitely on my radar now as a viable alternative to Gnome Shell and Unity since they both bought into "llvmpipe" being a true alternative to a lighter window manager:

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTIxMTg

    If I were a gambler I'd bet Mate will still be around ten years from now

    I do plan on testing it more ASAP

  6. #16
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    I use mate on my machine and have learned to enjoy it as to Unity. and thanks kansasnoob, there is a lot of good information there.

  7. #17
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    Mate's doing well. Mint has adopted it as one of their 2 main desktop environments. It's in Fedora now so it'll be in RHEL.

    It's not going away.

  8. #18
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    So is mate trying to add new features etc? Or is it just trying to keep gnome2 compatible with current apps/other stuff? I applaud them for what they are doing but with the exception of a few minor annoyances like how items are arranged on the panels i find xfce4 just as good or even better.
    Whoever came up with the phrase "There is no such thing as a stupid question" obviously never had the internet.

  9. #19
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    Mate is, and always has been, slowly dying. Mint hedged its bets and supported it while getting Cinnamon up and running. Cinnamon is clearly being actively developed and is based on current technologies. With time, it will acquire most of the Gnome 2 die-hards, and if Mint abandons ship, where else does it get support? If something major occurs in the underlying Linux infrastructure which Mate cannot easily cope with, it may die sooner.

    Additionally, as others have asked, and no-one has answered, what improvements have been introduced to Mate? It seems to me to be a static port of Gnome 2, living in the past.

    That is not to say it will suddenly vanish, but it will decrease in relevance as Cinnamon, Gnome 3, Unity and Xfce cover all the reasons for staying with Mate. Eventually it will be like the KDE3 fork, Trinity - just about alive but irrelevant, even in the small world of Linux.

  10. #20
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    Re: Does mate desktop enviroment cut it? What's its future?

    Quote Originally Posted by kansasnoob View Post
    If I were a gambler I'd bet Mate will still be around ten years from now
    Not to speak badly of alternate desktop choices or start any sort of wars here, but I would take that bet. I have serious doubts that MATE will be around even 2 years from now. Gnome 2 was dropped for a reason. A massive group of developers had already recognized that the code base was old, crufty, and just too big a pain to port to GTK3. I don't see a group that's a tiny fraction of that size, with little to no experience with that huge code base being able to put in the required work to bring it up to anything competitive, especially when their resources are already divided between MATE and Cinnamon and it's already become blindingly obvious that stacking extensions on Gnome 3 to get a similar affect is far easier.

    All that said, it's just an observation. I don't have a horse in the race as I'm more than happy with Unity, and if I wasn't using it, I would use Gnome 3 over either of those projects.

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