Great decision Martin!
I’m a new Ubuntu MATE user, who came back to Linux after a 7-8 year break. I kind of feel like someone who has a view of the past that appreciated Gnome 2, but I also feel like a new user that Ubuntu MATE would like to attract as a new user too.
I took a break from Linux when I didn’t have a spare machine to use. My primary computer at work and home needed to be Windows so I can run a specialized program for my job that only runs on Windows. My last experience with Linux was Fedora running Gnome 2 just before the move to Gnome 3.
When I installed Ubuntu MATE 17.10 the Traditional layout felt familiar. However, I soon switched to Contemporary so I could have a Super Key menu and application search at my finger tips. I also wanted to try the HUD which was a completely new desktop feature for me. I can have a flexible work flow that adapts to a variety of desktops. I have dabbled with I3wm in the past and just a few months ago. I came back to Linux and landed first on Kubuntu than KDE Neon and ran those happily for 6 months.
I appreciate this decision for the sake of new users. I doubt that you will find many new users who even have a history with Gnome 2 like I have, and are now coming back to Linux and want that same exact experience from 2010. By having the default layout one that has a Super key driven menu, application search with the menu launch, and now add the HUD and you have a powerful, modern, feature rich desktop operating system that shows how powerful and user friendly Linux can be. I also love choice and think that it is great for long time Linux users to be able to switch back to a desktop layout and work flow that they love and see no reason to use the newest features in Ubuntu MATE. Let’s let new installs show off the amazing work of the Ubuntu MATE developers. I’m planning to upgrade to 18.04 in April, and I’m looking forward to that upgrade. Also, I love the green theming both of the desktop and the website.
Thank you for such a polished and feature rich desktop!