The Ubuntu MATE team has succeeded in creating an exceptionally well-organized, stable, and innovative distribution. As with all evolving projects, some objectives may have become less important while others may have gained in importance. With a growing user base there may also be different ideas as to the future of Ubuntu MATE. This thread is intended to collect critical feedback on the current objectives and to point towards possible improvements.
My suggestions for new objectives:
1st Beginner-friendly for Windows and MacOS migrants: I have chosen Ubuntu MATE because of its ease of use, beginner-friendly Software Boutique, and its overall out-of-the-box experience. I believe the project was originally conceived to make the transition from Windows/Mac environments to a Linux-based OS as easy as possible.
2nd User-centered architecture and technical freedom: Apart from the fact that the MATE desktop environment is functional and customizable, it seems to me that what distinguishes Ubuntu MATE from many other Ubuntu derivatives is its commitment to reduce software dependencies. This gives users a maximum degree of flexibility in how to configure their system. The use of distro-agnostic apps is encouraged wherever possible and recent discussions seem to suggest that it will be possible to even safely remove and replace default applications through the Software Boutique in future UM versions.
3rd Internet Literacy and Safe Computing: Ubuntu MATE could promote digital (and especially Internet-related) literacy as part of its Welcome application (there is lots of free space to be creatively used!) and thereby provide an additional educational experience aimed to complement a smooth transition into the Ubuntu world for OS-migrants. This concept is entirely different from security- or privacy-related distros such as Kali Linux and Tails. What I have in mind is something similar to the concept of safer sex, perhaps with a nicely-designed condom-like logo. I am sure this would generate quite some media buzz. The point is that all security- and privacy-related tools are largely inefficient if users do not know how to use them properly. And more importantly, by learning safe computing techniques such as how to generate strong passwords, how to encrypt, how to backup regularly, what websites to turn to for information, how to deal with data collection and surveillance, how to protect your network in a public WIFI, etc., each and everyone can do something analogous to safer sex: to learn to be more informed and reasonable citizens of cyberspace.