18.04 Bionic - Changes to default layout

This is not about community “resistance” to change per se. Or, to the extent that may be true, it is, I would suggest the least important thing.

It is, of course, true to say that some users, myself included, are not especially happy about a change to the default menu following an earlier consultation where it was clear the majority of users did not want such a change. However, changing the default menu would be quite acceptable, to me at least and, I suspect, other users if (a) it is not some Frankenstein amalgam of the traditional menu and Brisk menu, (b) it is not given the name “traditional” and © the traditional menu is presented as a layout option in Mate Tweak with the title of “traditional (gnome-2-like)” layout. Personally, I am ambivalent about"a". But, “b” and “c” are red lines for me. Not for myself, as it happens, since I am an experienced user. But, for the sake of choice of new users.

The resistance that has been encountered is, I would argue, due variously to (a) the proposed changes not being formally notified to users, (b) the mashing of the traditional menu with the brisk menu and © there not being a transparent and easy (for new users) method of choosing the traditional layout in Mate Tweak.

If those things were in place, I suspect there would be support and/or little resistance. Or, at least, I can certainly say that would be the case for me.

But, that is my final word, now, on this issue. I am currently hogging this thread, it seems, and so my opinion may not, in fact, be typical.

If others feel differently they have every right to say so and and I urge them to do so.


FWIW, my thoughts as an Ubuntu MATE user

  • who never used Linux/Ubuntu/GNOME before Unity and GNOME 3
  • who uses a custom layout at home exclusively (with a vertical panel)
  • but who uses a live USB a lot at work …

My choice would be

  • keep “Traditional” as it was
  • make a new layout with Brisk as the default, maybe just Traditional with Brisk and indicators or maybe more changes (but I’d keep window close buttons on the right).

:mag: Tangent detected:

Welcome is the ideal place for this, I agree we need a selection screen and I’m hoping I’ll have time to build a first run introductory wizard. It has been an idea I’ve noted since 16.10, but… :point_down:

It’s not entirely untrue :wink: Take a look at the commit history of some projects. Welcome/Boutique has definitely been one mostly led by me in recent months/years – which the core of it has been rebuilt from the ground up.

If I may be honest with myself, I’m actually demotivated at the moment. :disappointed: Drained of energy to continue progressing Welcome/Boutique which risks what we want to happen to not actually happen in 18.04 on time. The new Software Boutique was already pushed back from 17.10 to 18.04. :tired_face: (Mind you, I do have a full time job and other projects besides Ubuntu MATE apps)

I’d say it’s just temporary, but I’ve struggled to stay focused for a while now. :snail:

Unfortunately, release deadlines contribute to making this a chore. That’s all due to being an official flavour of Ubuntu. I’m not one to encourage rushing things either.

From the internal development group chat, the technical reason really was because there isn’t a way to cleanly migrate from the menu panel to Brisk. (When upgrading to 18.04)

Though ultimately, @wimpy can only tell you the reasons behind the initial change. Whether it was going to be a surprise announcement or a “we propose this, what do you think?”, who knows… no build of 18.04 is out yet.

I may be considered “part of the team” for my work with Welcome/Boutique, but at the same time, I am just a user and community member who just wants a functional, traditional MATE desktop. I just happen to hear about developments upfront. Personally, I’d strike for delivering the project’s values – at the same time, keeping happy users and addressing criticism… that’s how I conduct my open source work. :slight_smile:

No offence taken here. I can understand the concerns in this topic.


The changes implemented in 18.04 daily were experimentation. I was hoping to field test this idea and solicit feedback in 18.04 Alpha 2 but due to personal reasons, I was unable to meet the deadline to release an image for Alpha 2.

As it happens this topic makes it clear that this would be an unpopular change. I do personally feel that not having a Super key activated menu by default is a misstep since this is a common workflow on many Linux distros/desktop now. I’d also like to point out that a traditional desktop metaphor is not governed by the menu used, but the fact you have a desktop upon which files can be placed.

Experimenting with this idea was useful because it identified that there is no trivial way to migrate the relevant settings for users running 17.10 or earlier to support such a modification to the default panel layout.

I’m sorry that development experimentation has created such bad feeling and called my trustworthiness into question.


I did not mind all the changes I like the Breeze cursor theme and since there was no poll I would have no problem with that, if u want to leave it that way i am for it :smiley: I agree not at not having a super key menu is detrimental and I think if there is a way to implement super key usage with the current menu bar that would be great, I use neither the traditional nor Brisk menu, rather the AM menu, but I would like to see an implementation of the Cinna menu is my dream, alhough even withit I would like to change somethings even with it, however I think keeping the traditional menu is best, also something I would like to see in the non menubar mate menu is a search field similar to what is implemented in in the lxqt menu just some thoughts

Ok this is crazy! In the feature i beleave that all the side distros base on ubuntu will need to kill the 32 bit. Then what the users will say! Martin i hate you etc? WTF. At the end of the day no one can make all the users happy, especially a linux user. And someone need to make a decision.

Every day i see users saying that Canonical is Microsoft, nop, Canonical it’s a company, Don’t forget that a ubuntu base os runs on over 80% on the work of Canonical employees kernel, servers,sites etc.

HMM i wanna see in the future users passionate about helping (let me test that and give feedback) , reporting problems (Hey you have a problem here i made a bug report), tutorials (mate interface has move away from x , let me show you how you can have x back on your mate interface) etc.

But noo it’s easier to demand something instead of saying “hey it’s that a good ideea?” “Let’s have a debate” or the most important one “it’s that final or we can have a talk?!?” . But nononono "Firstly, because to not have the standard menu as default is to make a mockery of the “consultation” carried out with users some months back. Why bother consulting users if you intend to ignore their views? " .

What i am trying to say it’s that for the love a good Ask and don’t asume something. Because doing that it’s like … on a dude hard work. This is my and only my opinion.
Have a great day/night!

I wasn’t going to contribute further to this thread, But, I cannot let the above post pass.

Either you are being deliberately dishonest by feigning ignorance of the facts or you you really are ignorant of the facts and should, perhaps, exercise some diligence before shooting your mouth off.

The community didn’t ask and it certainly did not demand. It was offered a consultation and vote on an issue and the result of that consultation was an overwhelming vote in a particular direction.

Speaking for myself, the problem is not the change, per se. The problem is the change in the context of the community having been asked about the change and having rejected it and then having the change potentially occurring anyway irrespective of that rejection without any notice. The only reason this discussion has happened is because a user noticed it on the 18.04 daily build.


Users need to know the diferance between a test/development experimentation/alfa/beta1 stage version vs a beta 2 and a final release. They need to know that not everything that they find in a x stage release it will be in a final one, like kernels, app versions etc. I think that it’s time to educate every one of us about fist of all a stage of dev in this case before we open a forum post like this.
And I personally am not happy with some decisions taken by you or the upstream but I am always able to understand why, benefits, disadvantages and what can help in the future.
Allow me to give an example. Ever since 14.10 I wanted to be something that would lead to a lts / roling release, a kind of Solus. I was not really excited when ubuntu mate became an official Ubuntu member but understood the benefits he brought. Or why we can not have a window list just like the one at xfce where you can set only the icon and not the name of the application etc. Which would have helped to offer a smoother experience to the user and that the system in turn rely heavily on different applications that are no longer supported by the developer one today.

But again I realized that each window list has a different base and that it’s too complicated to enter that setting

Well, then, there was a very easy way that Martin could have legitimately closed down debate on this thread by coming on here, in the early posts of the thread and letting users know this was explicitly experimental and that users would be consulted should it be decided that the dev team wished to implement it.

Or, Martin could have, alternatively started a thread before this thread even needed to exist and explain that, although he offered and provided the initial consultation with the community and, although he understood the wishes of the community in terms of that consultation, he felt so strongly about it that he felt compelled to follow his instincts and, notwithstanding technical hurdles, implement it anyway. This would have been a tough message to deliver. But it would have been honest and would have deserved respect, irrespective of whether or not people agreed with the decision.

Or, the decision to offer a consultation to the community could have simply not have been offered and implemented in the first place. In which case, my earlier points on that stand. They were:

I don’t actually have a problem, in principle, with devs on a particular project having their own distinctive vision that they intend to pursue and where they expect users to follow where they lead. Just so long as that is made clear to users from the outset. Some users may like the changes and some may not. But, that’s life and, most importantly, the process is transparent and nobody is deceived.

Did Martin made a post and told “Hey i made this changes…!”
I am asking because Martin every time makes a post blog about changes!
This is a ALFA stage and not even an official alpha version. All this post it’s =0 because nothing oficial was release.
Let me help you with something. Until March 22th when it’s user interface freez everithing can change.

On a matter where the community was explicitly consulted and offered a vote and where that vote overwhelmingly went one way, then yes, it would have been far wiser to have made a post on it informing the community.

The only way one might possibly make the argument you just have is from a position of dishonesty or ignorance.

Whattttt? I respect your point of view as I respect it for any user but what?

This was told to us only after the fact of implementation of the change, only as a consequence of a user noticing the change and starting a thread on here to discuss it, relatively late on in the thread and only after an initial post early on in the thread where the following was posted:

The changes to the “traditional” layout in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 is intended to offer a familiar look and feel but expose new useful features, such as Super key menu launching and indicators.

As you’ve already discovered, it is trivial to restore the original menu and you can then save that as you own custom layout.

Is it such a departure?

In other words, the initial post made no mention of it being experimental nor of the community being consulted should it be decided to roll it out for real. Secondly, the actual reason it has not been rolled out is apparently due to, in the first instance, technical reasons.

Ok we are in a Development discussion. After that HE especially said it was a test that the world seems to forget what under what sub forum it is. Please tell me a time when Martin gone behind the community back and did something??
Every … time when something now was implemented (not a test) Martin came here and told the users what was.
I don’t understand why users make a big fuss about a test again A TEST .

I will leave the conversetion because I start to repeat too many times and I see it is not understood. But personally i can not wait when the 32 bit version will die on Ubuntu Mate and see the community go crazy. And again it will be Martin’s fault .
Love you all!!!
Take care!

Again, you are being quite disingenuousness

You accuse me of not properly reading what you have written. But, I can assure you, I have read every word very carefully. And it is you who is suffering from lack of comprehension.

I have already explained but will do so again since you clearly did not comprehend the words the first time;

On a matter where the community was explicitly consulted and offered a vote and where that vote overwhelmingly went one way, then yes, it would have been far wiser to have made a post on it informing the community.

This demonstrably does not mean that every decision that the dev team makes requires that the community be informed.

Only the ones where they have been previously consulted and asked to take a vote.


I've always had a hard time being succinct with communicating my intended message, so I understand if that contributed to any misunderstanding. It is not my intention to attack anyone's character. Hope that is understood and believed.

A subtle issue I was hinting at when starting this thread was the miscommunication exemplified by most official answers to user questions both here and on G+. I won't go into great detail, apart from this latest instance.

If the real reason for the change not being implemented is indeed technical, as has been repeated many times already, then this comment in Github of all places is contradictory and confusing:

Martin was in hospital.

Ok Martin. I’m sorry to hear that.

Nevertheless, on your first post on here, which was only the 4th post in the entire thread and before any significant discussion had occurred, you could have simply stated this was entirely experimental and the community would be consulted again if it was decided to push it through for real. By doing so, you could have legitimately closed down the necessity of any further discussion. Why did you not do that?

Or, rather, why did you only do that much later on in the thread on the 23rd post after an entire discussion had taken place on the basis of something that you, apparently, knew all along was a false prospectus? Namely that this was not preparations for a change to the main menu but merely an experiment.

And just to clarify, is the change/experiment now not going to be pushed through for technical reasons or because of “community resistance”?

For the second time, I am going to attempt to disengage with this thread.

I was compelled to return to it, in the first instance, as a consequence of my integrity being called into question. And so, barring the necessity to reply to someone for that or any other reason, I will not be engaging any further.

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This thread has to be the biggest mountain I’ve ever seen made out of a molehill

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