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MATE To Make It Into Debian Repositories

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the best-news-of-the-day-so-far dept.

GNOME 152

sfcrazy writes "Fans of the MATE desktop environment, which is a fork of Gnome 2, will be happy to know that MATE is scheduled to be included in the official Debian repositories. Early 2012, it was requested that MATE be included in said repositories, and almost 2 years later, it appears we're almost there."

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Debian?? (-1, Troll)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45481513)

Aren't we already being sniveling hipsters who don't like Debian's successor, Ubuntu, for being too mainstream already? Or have I lost track of the linux pulse at some point?

Re:Debian?? (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#45481553)

Ubuntu is hardly a successor to Debian. It's more of a hanger on. Debian will be around long after Canonical goes bankrupt.

Re:Debian?? (2, Funny)

Robert Frazier (17363) | about 10 months ago | (#45481761)

More the bowdlerized version.

Best wishes,
Bob

Re:Debian?? (5, Funny)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 10 months ago | (#45482287)

I would have said the vajazzled version.

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482595)

Thankyou. I wondered what that word meant. I googled it. I am now getting some quite odd search suggestions and advertisments.

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482835)

Thankyou. I wondered what that word meant. I googled it. I am now getting some quite odd search suggestions and advertisments.

I know, ever since I googled "Debian" I've been getting more and more ads for Finnish singles dating sites.

Re:Debian?? (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 10 months ago | (#45482839)

Guys, guys, stop arguing - can't we get along?

Let's call Ubuntu the v******ed version of linux?

Re:Debian?? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about 10 months ago | (#45481567)

We don't hate ubuntu for being mainstream, unless you mean mainstream like Lady Gaga is mainstream. I wouldn't invite ubuntu home to meet the folks these days (I did once when ubuntu and I were younger).

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481679)

As long as it's the Jim Carrey version on YouTube then yes.

Re:Debian?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481599)

The backlash against Debian isn't that it's too mainstream. It's that they're making decisions that compromise privacy (Amazon search integrated into desktop search by default) and usability (Unity). Also, the plan to develop Mir instead of using Wayland as the replacement for X was a bit of "What are you doing Ubuntu? Ubuntu? Stahp." moment.

Re:Debian?? (0, Offtopic)

celle (906675) | about 10 months ago | (#45481775)

"The backlash against Debian isn't that it's too mainstream. It's that they're making decisions that compromise privacy (Amazon search integrated into desktop search by default) and usability (Unity). Also, the plan to develop Mir instead of using Wayland as the replacement for X was a bit of "What are you doing Ubuntu? Ubuntu? Stahp." moment."

The backlash against Ubuntu isn't that it's too mainstream. It's that they're making decisions that compromise privacy (Amazon search integrated into desktop search by default) and usability (Unity). Also, the plan to develop Mir instead of using Wayland as the replacement for X was a bit of "What are you doing Ubuntu? Ubuntu? Stop." moment.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Debian?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482085)

The backlash started when they changed the wallpaper to a smear of orange, purple, and pink. Fact is, people loved the doo-doo brown wallpaper. It made the users say to themselves, "Yes! This is truly an operating system built for niggers." Once they moved away from that, most the excitement for the distro died.

Re:Debian?? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482379)

Clearly you haven't seen a black woman dressed for church.

Color Schemes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482633)

Fact is, people loved the doo-doo brown wallpaper.

There were some complaints about it. It wasn't a terrible color, it just wasn't the best. Most people wanted Ubuntu to adopt a more conventional color scheme, like the usual generic blue that window managers tend to default to. However, Ubuntu insisted on being different. I guess the designers don't feel creative enough if they choose some color which simply has one of the RGB triplet maximized and the other two minimized. Nevermind the fact that, for whatever reasons, such simple colors are the most attractive when you have to look at them every day.

Personally, I didn't think the brown was that bad, and so I was quite disappointed to see it replaced with that ... fuck, I don't even know what to call it. It wasn't a color, it was just awful. Thankfully Linux Mint fixed it by taking the obvious approach of replacing it with a simple primary color, which is all anybody ever wanted.

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482499)

could you at least bold the change so I don't have to run a fucking diff on it?

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45483419)

could you at least bold the change so I don't have to run a fucking diff on it?

Friend, if you need diff for two paragraphs, please work on your reading comprehension skills.

Re:Debian?? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 10 months ago | (#45481779)

I think you mean Ubuntu, because Debian isn't doing that.

Re:Debian?? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 10 months ago | (#45481791)

The backlash against Debian isn't that it's too mainstream. It's that they're making decisions that compromise privacy (Amazon search integrated into desktop search by default) and usability (Unity).

I think you may have may have had a little brain fart there.

Re:Debian?? (4, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | about 10 months ago | (#45481655)

How many times will they check MATE before it's done?

Re:Debian?? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481721)

Quit being such a pawn.

Re:Debian?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481749)

How many times will I MATE with your mom before i'm done?

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481819)

Well played Sir, well played!

Re:Debian?? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 10 months ago | (#45482403)

So I won?

Re:Debian?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481895)

You may check multiple times, but you only check MATE once.

Re:Debian?? (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#45481915)

"mongo only pawn, in game of life"

Re:Debian?? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481753)

MATE is definitely not "mainstream". The mainstream follows hot trends, like the tablet-ification and dumbing-down of desktop GUIs. MATE is the opposite of this. MATE is an admission that the desktop metaphor was already perfected 10 or 15 years ago, and that what we really need is a stable, polished, feature-complete implementation of it. Cinnamon and XFCE are in the same camp, with cinnamon opting to use newer technology to achieve a similar result.

MATE going into the debian repository is a great thing. It gives credit to the notion that certain design concepts and certain software, although "dated", is so practical, sensible, and useful that it's worth keeping around for years to come.

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481851)

^ this

Re:Debian?? (4, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#45482211)

That's going a little bit far to say it was perfected 10-15 years ago. I'd assert that it is more a recognition that the attempts to go beyond what we had 10-15 years ago have taken us in the wrong direction.

Re:Debian?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482687)

The "metaphor" was perfected 10-15 years ago, not the implementation. The actual implementation, IMO, was never actually perfected (as in "perfect"), but gnome 2 and kde 3 came the closest, before they both went off the deep end (when they were taken over by younger, more "visionary" maintainers). MATE is a blessing in that they strive to preseve the accomplishments of gnome 2, rather than tossing them out with the garbage (as the gnome 3 developers did). Cinnamon is a blessing in that they are following a similar parth, but using the latest technology. There is a project similar to cinnamon that uses the latest QT, but I forget the name. The bottom line is that it's great that we have these choices.

Re:Debian?? (5, Insightful)

John Allsup (987) | about 10 months ago | (#45482867)

The basic Unix approach is almost universal, both Linux and Windows using a bash command line, and just about everything but Windows being built on a Unix style base.  That approach has stood the test of time in the face of new bright ideas.  Likewise, I would say Windows 2000 prior to the XP bubblegum theme was pretty much the desktop+start button approach done right.  The 2D array of icons of iOS and Android will, I imagine again be seen as a long term successful design.  The problem is that big business is desperate to find the 'next big thing' to try to monopolise and own it to maximise their bottom line.

Abandoning old ideas as 'dated' is a mark of the 'planned obselescence' business model that much of modern industry has adopted: effectively moving from the 'buy stuff' model to the 'rent stuff and surrender control' model, that is good for business, bad for consumers, but easy to force if government regulation doesn't stop this market degeneracy.

Re:Debian?? (2)

fnj (64210) | about 10 months ago | (#45484455)

both Linux and Windows using a bash command line

You've got me confused. Is there a new world order or something? When did Windows adopt bash? It's true, I can't even begin to imagine using Windows without Cygwin, but Cygwin is not Windows.

Agree 100% with everything else.

Re:Debian?? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 10 months ago | (#45482869)

I think we have different definitions of "perfect". The metaphor will always have room to evolve for the positive, even if people keep failing to actually make it happen.

Re:Debian?? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#45484189)

The actual implementation, IMO, was never actually perfected (as in "perfect"), but gnome 2 and kde 3 came the closest, before they both went off the deep end (when they were taken over by younger, more "visionary" maintainers).

What the heck are you talking about? KDE4 is no different from KDE3 as far as the metaphor that it tries to implement, except that it adds some extra (optional) features such as "Activities" and indexing. KDE4 uses a totally different codebase, yes, but it still works pretty much the same as KDE3 as far as the UI goes. You can criticize KDE4 all you want for their botched execution and roll-out of the early releases (they were feature-incomplete for a while, and very buggy, but that was years ago), but there's nothing substantially different about the UI as compared to older KDE releases, unlike Gnome3.

Re:Debian?? (2)

fnj (64210) | about 10 months ago | (#45484609)

I'm not too worked up over KDE4's bloat given the cheapness of RAM and disk space, but KDE4 lacks one simple thing. There should be a single simple option for the user to set: "Give me KDE3 look and feel all the way, but with the KDE4/Qt4 improved codebase plus the obvious underpinning improvements". I.e., it would get rid of the compositing stuff, Plasma stuff, animation stuff - a plain desktop as folder, plus panels. Basically a quick, simply way to disable all the stuff which is utterly pointless to the task at hand, and in fact gets in the way, at least for some major subset of users.

It is really quite a daunting undertaking to identify and properly manipulate all the distributed settings necessary to accomplish this choice. The capability is there; it's just too hard to accomplish the way it is now. I love the detailed configurability, but there needs to be at least one meta-configuration setting. It's not like it would be hard to code or confuse anybody.

That should pretty much satisfy everybody beyond a few religious adherents to hardware/software minimalism.

Re:Debian?? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#45484769)

I.e., it would get rid of the compositing stuff, Plasma stuff, animation stuff - a plain desktop as folder, plus panels

Removing compositing would make it slower on most systems, since you'd have to do everything on the CPU instead of offloading it to the GPU. You can already disable animation and other stuff pretty easily. But you're right, they could use a few buttons to select certain feature sets (one for minimalist desktop, one for everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, one for Windows XP/7-like UI, one for MacOS-like UI, etc.). I'd suggest submitting a feature request.

Re:Debian?? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 10 months ago | (#45484731)

KDE4 has finally evolved into something not terrible. But it's not even approximately as good as was KDE3. It it were, I'd be using it. (I tried for a few months recently. It was OK, but inferior to Mate, where I rated KDE3 as superior to Gnome2.) Currently I'm using xfce, which is pretty good, but not quite as good (for my purposes) as was Gnome2, which, as I stated, was inferior to KDE3. It's been several months since I tried Cinnamon, but the screen shots I see don't appear to be as good as Mate.

It's also been over a year since I tried LXDE. It might have improved. When I tried it I rated it as better than either Gnome3 or KDE4, but then KDE4 improved (and, in any case, it was inferior to xfce).

OTOH, my wife always asks me "Where's electricsheep?". Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get it working on ANYTHING recently. (I did have it working on KDE4, which is a part of the reason I stuck to it for months.)

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482901)

Personally, I consider a good pager the most important part of the desktop, and there already was a good pager in the days of fvwm, so mostly yes, the desktop has been perfect for a looooong time. One day the mainstream will finally discover the pager and all will be well.

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45483119)

The pager in fvwm was not only great but is still great. Fvwm is still under active development and is continuously updated to take advantage of modern technology.

Re:Debian?? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 10 months ago | (#45482487)

bullshit. Mainstream is a relivant term. What is mainstream to one, might be obscure to another.

In the Linux world, there were traditionally four "mainstream" desktops

Gnome, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE.

MATE and Cinnamon both have a sizable following and intrest. Its not like we are talking about icewm, or some obsecure window manager here.

Re:Debian?? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482623)

You are mistaken. XFCE (although I use it myself) has certainly never been mainstream, and LXDE (are you kidding?) has never even been on the radar. Here in the linux world, although there are many GUIs to choose from, gnome and KDE are the only two that have ever remotely qualified as "mainstream" (and maybe FVWM if you want to go way back). This is coming from someone who has used linux almost exclusively since '97, and has seen the entire evolution with his own eyes.

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482683)

Hey I'm still on FVWM you insensitive clod!

Re:Debian?? (1)

John Allsup (987) | about 10 months ago | (#45482879)

I wonder if anybody's done a python wm that you control through the scripting language?  Or a forth wm?

Re:Debian?? (1)

styrotech (136124) | about 10 months ago | (#45484765)

Like qtile [qtile.org] ?

You'd have to like using tiling wms though.

Don't know about forth, but Xmonad uses haskell. Yet again, you'd need to like using tiling wms though :)

Re:Debian?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45483629)

ad tabletification: I'm running mate with debian testing for over a year now - on a tablet (yes a real one with i5 and wacom multitouch), compared with gnome I have to say it's so much better for tablets, the fancy gnome overlays might look shiny, but since touch gestures have only started to work recently, the idea of getting to all the programs without a bloated dock wasn't (and still isn't) feasable without an additional mouse, which makes the touch kinda pointless. and since most configs have disappeared in these new gui-desktop environments, chance of getting a gnome/unity based linux running on tablets without the need for additional input devices is slim to none. gnome/unity isn't for tablets, it's made for people dumb enough, that you don't want them to have contol of their devices - which then brings me to the question why the frack on a linux at all? if you do not give them the possibility to configure the device with gui tools, they only have the terminal - which is fine by me, but is it really sensible to have a dumb person poking around in /etc e.g.? leave them to windows 8

I'm looking really forward to this change - maybe updating will not break so much in the future anymore... and might make debian with mate a good alternative for businesses needing a replacement for windows 7

Re:Debian?? (3, Informative)

davydagger (2566757) | about 10 months ago | (#45482459)

what the fuck are you talking about. Ubuntu is not a successor by any means, it sits firmly downstream.

If debian where to go away tommorow, Ubuntu would go away in 6 months, because they still pull packages from debian to make their new versions.

Also, debian runs on a wide variety of hardware Ubuntu won't run on, in fact one of the widest variety and its a better general purpose OS.

Also, Debian has the lead market share in the server world, so I'd love for you to tell all the companies who run debian-stable servers they need to ditch them for ubuntu-server.

http://w3techs.com/blog/entry/debian_is_now_the_most_popular_linux_distribution_on_web_servers

I think you've lost track of reality. You don't even know what a hipster is.

Re:Debian?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482745)

Mark said Debian is part of Ubuntu ecosystem.

http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/1072#comment-394295

Re:Debian?? (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 10 months ago | (#45483911)

Yes, it's true. Debian is part of Ubuntu's ecosystem. Just like oxygen is part of my ecosystem. If I don't get adequate oxygen, I'll die. If Ubuntu doesn't get adequate Debian, then Ubuntu will die. The revers is not true, of course. If oxygen doesn't get any of me, oxygen won't die - nor will Debian die for lack of Ubuntu.

Re:Debian?? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#45484845)

What's the case with Linux Mint? Wikipedia says that it's based on Ubuntu or Debian. I guess that means you can pile the Mint stuff on top of either.

Re:Debian?? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 10 months ago | (#45483053)

It's a little more complex than that.

It's true that there is an automatic flow of packages from debian to ubuntu and no automatic flow in the opposite direction but it is also true that a lot of the more radical stuff (multiarch, "modern" init system) happens in ubuntu first because it takes debian so long to argue about the details. It's also true that a fair number of core packages in debian are maintained by canonical employees.

I think ubuntu would certainly be seriously weakened without debian and would likely have to either kick out a large part of universe or accept that it would remain unmaintained but I doubt the dissapearance of debian (not that it's likely to happen) would make them "go away in 6 months".

Re:Debian?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45484437)

It's true that there is an automatic flow of packages from debian to ubuntu and no automatic flow in the opposite direction but it is also true that a lot of the more radical stuff (multiarch, "modern" init system) happens in ubuntu first

Bullshit. Check your facts before you run your mouth. Multiarch was in Debian first, as was alternative init systems. Of the 14% of Debian packages that are contributed to by Ubuntu are neither of those features.

Ubuntu fanbois and Apple fanbois - different dog, same leg action (we invented everything first, nah nah nah nah nah can't hear you).

Re:Debian?? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 10 months ago | (#45483357)

Ubuntu is a PR machine.
"We'll be converting to foo, we'll be rolling our own bar".

And where does it, on its web pages, say Ubuntu runs Linux?
For all we care (we don't), they might as well run an MS kernel.
And I don't mean MS as in M. Shuttleworth.

G'Day (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481645)

Mate

Re:G'Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481953)

Howzit brah.

Re:G'Day (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45482045)

Mint!

A problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481793)

A problem with Linux in general is there is simply too much choice and no apparent standardization. Ubuntu has gone off to create its own standard, and the one the world outside of open source software will see as the defacto Linux desktop. This is good and bad. Linux has crap adoption outside of open source circles precisely because there is no (seemingly) standardized desktop for business. Yes, we all know of the stories of some Brazilian, German, and Spanish government entities who have successfully switched over to Linux. This is rare and will continue to be rare unless there is a perceived stable, standardizzed desktop offering. Like or not, Canonical and Ubuntu offer this standard, and there is nothing wrong with it.

I'm not a open source greybeard position stickler who thinks everything has to be done based on decrees from the people who are as far away from the real world pragmatism as possible. Ubuntu does what it was intended to do: make Linux approachable and easy to adopt by about anyone.

Re:A problem (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 10 months ago | (#45481897)

> A problem with Linux in general is there is simply too much choice and no apparent standardization.

Yet the thing you are screeching about right now is the very essence of "consistency" in terms of the principle that "computer interfaces should be consistent". This project is a response to others running off the rails and trying to follow the latest trend no matter how absurd it is.

MATE is what truly conforms to formal academic notions of proper UI design. So do the standard Unix shells.

MATE will be less of a shock to people used to the last 15 years of Windows interfaces. It will be less confusing than the flavor of the month from Ubuntu, Microsoft, or Apple.

Re:A problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482855)

MATE will be less of a shock to people used to the last 15 years of Windows interfaces

Nice, when will we stop haunting new generations with meaningless icons (like a floppy disk to save). If you are working for people in the past, I wouldn't call that progress.

Re:A problem (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#45483145)

I design UIs occasionally. What iconography would you suggest replace the floppy disk for save? The down arrow and some bits? No, That's download. Why all the bucking for naught? Must technology be averse to its own history to the extent that we can't just have a beloved memorable data store remain the symbol for storage, simply because tweens haven't ever used one and Sony stopped making them? I still use floppies daily but I make OSs as a hobby, so admittedly I'm an extreme outlier. Most folks don't know what a hard drive looks like. They equate optical disks to burning and playing media. I've still got a tape drive for my big backups, but icons sporting a cassette or reel-to-reel are confusing and more out dated than the floppy -- The grand ol' floppy who's drive access sounds heralded the explosion of accessible computing for humanity.

When holographic Crystal Storage becomes the new de-facto storage standard a gleaming spinning cube will be a suitable iconic replacement representation. Until then, you get to see a floppy -- Because nothing else makes any damn sense, and words take up more space than icons.

Re:A problem (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#45484265)

What iconography would you suggest replace the floppy disk for save?

How about an image of a silver platter with an arrow pointing downwards at it? Now obviously, this is already starting to be obsolete with the rise of SSDs, but it's better than an image of a storage medium that no one's used in over a decade. Heck, even when people still used floppies in the 90s, they generally saved stuff to their hard drive, not to floppies, so the icon didn't even make that much sense back then.

Re:A problem (1)

grep -v '.*' * (780312) | about 10 months ago | (#45484299)

... and words take up more space than icons.

So why not make every single icon just different colored blocks the like MS Paint "select a color" window and use the mouseover pop-up text to describe the function in detail? After all, you're just differing function selectors by placing a cute reminder logo on them.

Of course I'm joking. But really, I'm also kinesthetic -- I don't "DO" visuals -- so please make sure (but how?) those icons look like something.

I've used programs in decades past, and even though I *KNEW* exactly what the icon did I still couldn't figure out what it was trying to tell me. (This, and I was one of the 6 senior technical admins for servers supporting 20K people for years.) If you're not careful, you might create icons that become the new CAPTCHAs.


PS -- so does that mean we all owe Nike royalties for years for using their swoosh logo in multiple selection boxes?

PSS -- so how do you handle color-blind people? And people in different societies where colors imply different things [empower-yo...hology.com] ? I had it easy; I worked on the back-end and I just *didn't*. The worst social complaint I even had was a woman complaining to my boss about me using the word "abort" in a sentence because it was offensive to her.

I nicely told my boss to send the lady over and I'd show her the difference between words that she took offense too versus words where I actually meant to be offensive. She just laughed and handled the lady instead.

Re:A problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45484419)

I routinely open/save to Flash, SSD, Server "drives", USB, Hard drive, "the Cloud".
No one icon fits all of them.

I kind of like the Google Docs method, the file is already saved, dispenses with the icon entirely.

Now printing is a problem, I print to a bubblejet, laser, pdf, google drive pdf, my phone.
Again no icon fits.

So far printing to my phone seems more of a novelty, but I can do it!

Re:A problem (3, Interesting)

misfit815 (875442) | about 10 months ago | (#45484791)

How about the word 'Save'? Why does everything have to be an icon?

On the news about MATE, that's good to see. Fwiw, I dumped Ubuntu for Lubuntu (LXDE) as soon as I saw Unity. While I think the water's a bit muddy (MATE, LXDE, XFCE...) it's still nice to see the options there.

Re:A problem (1)

gringer (252588) | about 10 months ago | (#45484889)

What iconography would you suggest replace the floppy disk for save? The down arrow and some bits? No, That's download.

Please explain how "download" is different from "save" from a naive computer user's point of view. In both cases, you have an object somewhere that can be considered transient / temporary, and you hope that by carrying out the operation you're transferring it to a more permanent storage medium.

Re:A problem (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 10 months ago | (#45484055)

How hard is it to change the frigging icon? MOST people who haunt slashdot are capable of switching out an icon. If we were on Yahoo, or Twitter, or Facebook, I might expect to see a complaint about an "outdated" icon. But, this is SLASHDOT!!

It would be interesting to take a poll, to see how many slashdot readers can do simple tasks, such as substituting an icon. I had that capability waaaaay back, on Windows 3.11. I'm fairly sure that I could have done it on DOS 3.1, but I'm not quite certain - I can't actually remember doing it on any program that preceded Windows for Workgroups. (before anyone asks, I wasn't a Linux guy back then)

Re:A problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45484183)

Have you seen the railway crossing sign recently:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UK_traffic_sign_771.svg

Or the traffc camera sign:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Traffic_Camera.png

Sometimes technology turns into an icon.

Re:A problem (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 10 months ago | (#45482949)

Looking at the screenshots here: http://mate-desktop.org/gallery/1.6/
it seems that academic notions of proper UI design are aimed at satisfying those who only ever have 1 or 2 applications open at one time.

And academics wonder why people accuse them of living in ivory towers detached from reality...

(There are more concrete issues visible on http://mate-desktop.org/gallery/1.6/caja.png too, but who am I to argue for or against a particular window manager - I use DWM for pity's sake.)

Re:A problem (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 10 months ago | (#45484133)

Actually, Mate is designed quite well for people who use multiple applications at the same time. If you'll look at those images again, you'll see the lower right hand corner of the screen has four virtual desktops iconified on the panel. I routinely use three of the default four. Further, I have two monitors, so switching between those three desktops means that I am working with six screens. Mate is as good as, or maybe better than, Gnome or KDE for multitaskers.

The fact is, those screenshots were taken for a very specific purpose - to familiarize the neophytes with Mate's appearance. I introduced my wife to Mate quite some time ago, and she's happy with it. She's the multi-tasker from hell - like many women are. (and I'm getting senile - I can't remember HOW LONG AGO I switched her to Mate!)

Re:A problem (3, Interesting)

Nivag064 (904744) | about 10 months ago | (#45483709)

I used to use GNOME 2 & found that the GNOME devs kept dropping useful features, then GNOME 3 came along and was essentially a triumph of FASHION over FUNCTIONALITY. I initially fled to xfce, now I use MATE.

I have 30" monitor, I have 35 virtual desktops of which about half are in use. An unused virtual desktop is blank with a bland background, and my 2 highly customised panels are always hidden unless I need to access them.

GNOME 3 is very cluttered. and gets in the way of easy use. GNOME devs seems to think that what they want is more important than letting me do things the way I find best - they have Apple's disease! I am glad that I was not supporting clients with GNOME 2 - as the change from a sort of working Desktop Environment, to the total disaster of GNOME 3 was the most depressing & annoying change I've ever had to suffer in Linux.

MATE started as a clone of GNOME 2 with the useful parts added back in, but now they are adding new features in there own right.

Re:A problem (1)

Robert Frazier (17363) | about 10 months ago | (#45481957)

One of the neat things about having relatively powerful computers is that we can have standards in infrastructure while being able to tailor the interface to reflect our preferences. So, for example, I can use imap for e-mail, but have a wide variety of interfaces available. I use a full feature interface on a desktop (could be icedove; could be mutt), but a lighter interface on an Android device (K-9 mail). So, standardization across users is very well in its place, but its place isn't across the user interface. Thanks, Debian folks, for providing lots and lots of alternatives. (I use awesome window manager + rxvt + gnuit/gitfm + ....)

Best wishes,
Bob
     

Re:A problem (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#45482921)

A problem with Linux in general is there is simply too much choice and no apparent standardization.

No matter which desktop you choose, your apps will work. That's standard enough. The choice of desktops is one of Linux's greatest strengths. I can make my desktop work they way I want it to, without interfering with your ability to make your desktop work the way you want it.

Ubuntu has gone off to create its own standard, and the one the world outside of open source software will see as the defacto Linux desktop.

Rather Ubuntu will continue to be increasingly marginalized and irrelevant.

Linux has crap adoption outside of open source circles precisely because there is no (seemingly) standardized desktop for business.

Each business can set its own standards for what desktop provides the tools their employees need.

Like or not, Canonical and Ubuntu offer this standard, and there is nothing wrong with it.

Unless you're running a business that doesn't want every employee's desktop search to be reported to third parties.

I'm not a open source greybeard position stickler who thinks everything has to be done based on decrees from the people who are as far away from the real world pragmatism as possible.

Open source is the most pragmatic solution in the long run. A proprietary standard today becomes vendor lock-in in the future. Open source allows you to choose what works best for your business, not Microsoft or Apple.

Re:A problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45484369)

"No matter which desktop you choose, your apps will work. That's standard enough."

You'll usually need to install a crapload of DE specific libs though.

Re:A problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482983)

MATE is the perfect example of why I use free software, if I think a project is going off the rails, I, and others that think like me, can fork it. Free software allows YOU to be in control of your computer and not some corporation or some bunch of lunatics.
And you talk about standardization, gnome 2 was a standard for a long time, thanks to mate, it is still there and supported, which is kind of good for a standard.

Re:A problem (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 10 months ago | (#45483679)

A problem with Linux in general is there is simply too much choice and no apparent standardization. Ubuntu has gone off to create its own standard, and the one the world outside of open source software will see as the defacto Linux desktop. This is good and bad. Linux has crap adoption outside of open source circles precisely because there is no (seemingly) standardized desktop for business. Yes, we all know of the stories of some Brazilian, German, and Spanish government entities who have successfully switched over to Linux. This is rare and will continue to be rare unless there is a perceived stable, standardizzed desktop offering. Like or not, Canonical and Ubuntu offer this standard, and there is nothing wrong with it.

I'm not a open source greybeard position stickler who thinks everything has to be done based on decrees from the people who are as far away from the real world pragmatism as possible. Ubuntu does what it was intended to do: make Linux approachable and easy to adopt by about anyone.

The root cause of this is that a public expectation has been established - rightly or wrongly - that Linux == $0.00. As a result, everybody who tried selling Linux CDs the way Microsoft sells Windows CDs/DVDs had to give up pretty quickly - Mandrake, Corel, Caldera, what have you. As a result, the only niche for Linux ended up being servers - something filled by the likes of Red Hat, SUSE, Oracle and previously VA Linux. None of them offer distros that are standardized. Canonical came along and made Linux installations - including networking - painless: previous Linux distros universally failed when it came to supporting any sort of networking - ethernet or wi-fi. End result was Canonical becoming the desktop Linux standard.

I agree that there are too many choices. In BSD, there are a handful, and practically, just the big 3 - F/O/N BSD, and a few knock-offs of theirs. But in Linux, you have some thousands of distros. Not an issue in itself, but here are all the variables:

  • - Kernel version: where does one start?
  • - Distro base: Debian/Fedora/Gentoo/Slackware/Arch
  • - Desktop enviornment: KDE/GNOME/XFCE/LXDE/Unity/MATE/Trinity/Cinnamon/....
  • - Library toolkit: Qt/GTK+ (thankfully just 2)
  • - Package Manager: apt/yum/pac....

So now multiply all the possible variables above, and that gives one the number of alternatives. So it's impossible to design software for 'Linux' given all the different combinations that may have to be tested.

BSD is a tad better in that there are 2 active kernels at any time, just KDE & GNOME (actually, MATE is replacing GNOME in a lot of places), just one package manager determined by the main dev teams. There are a lot fewer BSD distros & combinations that are possible than is the case w/ Linux.

Re:A problem (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#45484425)

Oh please.

First off, there's really only one Linux kernel version that distros are using. Except for some weird embedded stuff, no one sticks with older or odd branches of the Linux kernel, and they generally use the latest thing available. The only differences between distros would be because they don't all release releases at the exact same time.

Secondly, there may be "thousands" of distros, but only a handful that actually have a lot of users and get a lot of mindshare and support: Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Mint (with a few different variants), Debian, OpenSUSE, and that's about it. There's also Arch, Gentoo, and Slackware, which have much lower adoption, and a bunch of obscure or special-use distros (such as DD-WRT, which is only for routers, or Knoppix which is only a liveCD/DVD distro and mainly used as a rescue system). The vast majority of Linux desktop users probably only use 3-5 distros. And some of these are actually derived from other distros (Mint is the poster child of this), with very few actual changes of their own. ...which brings us to package managers: with only a handful of serious distros, that means there's only a handful of package managers that get much use, and in reality it's only two, dep/apt and rpm/yum.

So in reality, things don't look much different between the Linux and BSD worlds, and in fact, Linux looks more standardized than BSD since it only has one active kernel.

Re:A problem (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 10 months ago | (#45484363)

This is rare and will continue to be rare unless there is a perceived stable, standardizzed desktop offering.

You mean like Microsoft's new "standardized" desktop offering, which is a complete sea change from their previous version?

With Linux, you don't have that problem. No one can force you to adopt a crappy new desktop offering when you're a Linux user; you always have the ability to keep using what you're using now, or change distros to one that suits you better. Users happy with Gnome2 are not forced to move to Gnome3; they're free to switch to distros using MATE (or Cinnamon) if they prefer those. That's something you can't do with Apple or Microsoft.

Debian: Always on the cutting edge! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481837)

Early 2012, it was requested that MATE be included in said repositories, and almost 2 years later, it appears we're almost there.

Woah man! I can't believe just how on-the-ball and quick to adapt Debian is as a desktop system*! Boy howdy, was that fast! Hey, guys, I hear there's a rumor that they'll officially add Firefox 3.5 into the repos sometime before the next decade! Man, won't THAT be crazy fun times?

*: Yes, shut up, I know that True Admins(tm) only use server software written at least twenty years ago by their own sentient neckbeards because it's only then just getting secure, but an article about support for a desktop environment implies a desktop system, which tends to NOT be quite so old.

Re:Debian: Always on the cutting edge! (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 10 months ago | (#45482399)

Firefox, probably not. ICEWeasel, absolutely possible.

Re:Debian: Always on the cutting edge! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482735)

If you want a quick-to-adapt distro, try Ubuntu. It was so quick to adapt that it quickly adapted a whole new desktop environment as default overnight once during a routine system update.

Awesome! (3, Insightful)

twocows (1216842) | about 10 months ago | (#45481905)

MATE is fantastic for those of us who liked GNOME 2 and want to continue using it and receiving updates for it. They're not including it by default from what I can tell, they're just making it an option to install in the repos. I'm pretty happy about this, I'll definitely be using it.

Re:Awesome! (3, Informative)

Joepie69 (2705533) | about 10 months ago | (#45482011)

Running it on my debian system for some time now using the deb packages they from the mate website. Works smooth.. Only have to be carefull with mdm (mate display manager). There exists also a mdm package in the debian repos so when you blindly to apt-get install mdm you will likely not get what you expect..

Re:Awesome! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45483597)

I've been using LightDM myself, with MATE on Debian, and it works flawlessly.

Re:Awesome! (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 10 months ago | (#45483785)

No, not awesome [naquadah.org] , MATE!

G'Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481925)

Mate

Debian Repositories... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45481947)

First Post Debian Edition!

Current status? (4, Informative)

RDW (41497) | about 10 months ago | (#45481983)

The original article seems to be Slashdotted (hey, can we still do that?!), but from the MATE blog:

http://mate-desktop.org/blog/2013-11-08-debian-mate-packaging-team/ [mate-desktop.org]

"The MATE Team is very happy to say hello to the new Debian MATE Packaging Team, that is working hard to get MATE included into the next release of Debian...First packages are already in the repositories and there are many others in ftp-master NEW queue."

which links to:

http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=708385#31 [debian.org]

"The plan is to provide MATE inside the Debian archive before the end of the year (if the FTP master time will find enough time to review our uploads)."

Of course if you don't mind using the upstream repository, you can install it right now:

http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/download [mate-desktop.org]

Give Mate a try (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482145)

I'm usually not too fussy about the desktop, but when I upgraded a Ubuntu release I found it very difficult to work under Gnome3.

Maybe it's just my own shortcomings, but I had to stop doing my actual work for a while to look for something better.

Xfce was OK, but I finally settled on mate running on Debian wheezy. It's been stable for me with no issues.

Give it a try if you're looking for a "traditional" desktop on Linux.

Re:Give Mate a try (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45483203)

Unity and Gnome3 are not the same thing. While you can install gnome3 on ubuntu, that wouldn't happen automatically by upgrading ubuntu, you'd wind up with unity instead.

Living on Debian Time (1)

NotFamous (827147) | about 10 months ago | (#45482323)

Early 2012, it was requested that MATE be included in said repositories, and almost 2 years later, it appears we're almost there.

2 years, or "an afternoon discussion" in Debian time.

Re:Living on Debian Time (3, Informative)

olau (314197) | about 10 months ago | (#45482711)

The problem in this instance is that MATE is basically a fork of GNOME which was already in the repository. It's my understanding that a lot of stuff had to be sorted out to prevent clashes and to ensure that Debian doesn't end up with a bunch of garbage packages that will have to be maintained for the next Debian release.

Re:Living on Debian Time (2, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#45483193)

What the real problem is is that GNOME 3 is different enough from GNOME 2 that it should have been called something else entirely.

Re:Living on Debian Time (1)

steveha (103154) | about 10 months ago | (#45483951)

It's my understanding that a lot of stuff had to be sorted out to prevent clashes

I'd like a citation on that, please.

My understanding is that GNOME 2.x clashes with GNOME 3.x, so right at the beginning of the MATE project they worked very hard to rename everything. "libgnome" became "libmate" and so on, specifically so that MATE would not clash with GNOME 3.x. The MATE guys did all this work years ago, so clashing never was a problem for MATE and isn't now.

In further support of this idea, I will remind you that Ubuntu and Debian have had MATE packages available in alternate repositories for about as long as MATE has existed. I personally install MATE on every new Ubuntu system I install, and I never have seen any clashes.

As for "ensure that Debian doesn't end up with a bunch of garbage packages" I think you are getting closer. When MATE was first proposed for Debian, I believe the reaction was approximately "Debian already has GNOME and that is the standard. Go away." This confused me at the time, as Debian has literally tens of thousands of packages (including Xfce and other desktops that compete with GNOME), and I didn't see the harm in a handful of additional packages that filled a need that I personally cared very much about.

P.S. With the release of GNOME 3.0, a relative of mine embraced the GNOME Shell desktop and has been using it ever since. "Once you get used to it you can be pretty productive with it." He told me that he is rethinking that now, as the most recent changes from the GNOME guys rip out useful functionality from Nautilus. So he is either going to run GNOME Shell but install Caja (the MATE file manager), or just run MATE.

Re:Living on Debian Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482713)

Wake me up when it hits RHEL.

Re:Living on Debian Time (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#45483199)

Done. I'm using on a RHEL box, but I install from sources. You don't have to wait so much if you just learn to use your computer.

Only 2yr to action? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45482917)

Wow, I wonder who in Debian they blew to get something new accepted in only 2yr.

Re:Only 2yr to action? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 10 months ago | (#45483395)

That's a feature.
Any stability the Internet (TM) might boast off -- that's Debian right there.

good news (2)

ssam (2723487) | about 10 months ago | (#45483073)

This is good news. GNOME2/MATE is a very nicely evolved traditional desktop, that I am sure has more person hours of testing than all the other linux desktops put together (being the default in most major distros for years).

Having it in the official repos, saves having to hunt down the addresses of the repos when installing. A strength of debian is how broad the repos are. Thanks for the hard work folks.

I like to drink Mate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45483117)

I have been used gnome2 for years, and now I'm testing gnome3 and I don't like it very much. Its too smartfone, I don't know... I will try MATE when it came to Debian.

better later than never... (1)

madcat_sun (2812213) | about 10 months ago | (#45484163)

It take its time, but at least, I wonder why debian doubt so long?

Re:better later than never... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45484685)

Nobody offered to be the package maintainer for the entire DE most likely.

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