Ubuntu MATE 16.04 - Efficiency

So this is the result of some tinkering. A Solus like environment that saves space on your screen and integrates maximized windows within MATE panel at the top. It makes both the maximized window and the top panel look like one. I'll describe the most important features here.

"mate-window-picker-applet" (the one you get when switching to Netbook layout through MATE Tweak) displays the window title and "close" button right next to it. Also, to unlock the maximized window, double click the area in the panel where you see the title of the window (just like in Unity). The applet's main feature is the task icons you can click to show/minimize, just like in Solus OS (except it's not a dock). It felt much more stable than the dock provided by Mutiny.

To compensate for the lack of a dock, you can set icon launchers for your favorite applications on the left side of the panel, to the right of the menu. They are large, flat and visually consistent because of a very good icon theme. The menu I use for MATE is the default compact one, but I use Synapse to run other applications as it is faster and cleaner.

As for the window theme, it is fully dark (better at night) and visually consistent. You will need a simple fix if you use Firefox, as it has trouble displaying webpages when dark themes are being used. Read through the description of the theme too.

Lastly, run MATE Tweak > Windows > Window Behavior > select the box that says "remove maximized windows' decoration" (this is what gives that integrated functionality); and then change the panel color to the same color of the windows' title bar, so it will actually look like a single structure under which everything happens. The remaining details are probably self-explanatory. Feel free to ask, anyway!

I have changed to this layout. It's what I find the most efficient now.


A rather novel approach. If the world was perfect, you could either backport Compiz and use Static Windows with the Expo plugin (which would keep the dock, being mate-panel from being transformed and appearing in every desktop, which isn’t very efficient or purposeful) or Static Windows would work with Compiz 0.9 and you can tage advantage of the current Expo featureset to define a Y offset that matches the height of the top-set panel.

Sadly, one cannot both have backported Compiz and Expo with X and Y offset, as the only reason Expo from the 0.9 branch has offset features to begin with is to use it alongside Unity, and backported Compiz doesn’t allow for Expo and Static Windows to play nice. But it’s something to consider should someone being Static Windows into the future and iron out all the kinks.

(In fact, it may be the one thing that makes me stop backporting Compiz. That, and the screensaver plugin…)

I have to admit I couldn't catch up with your thinking, mate :laughing: My intention with this layout was to focus the multitasking interactions near the top-left corner of the screen, which helps minimize the use of touchpad (less distance travelled, more happy fingers). The visual integration of panel + window is something I find pretty. I like consistency. But there's no magic there. I don't even use compositing.

I tried to google Expo compiz plugin and Static Windows but I still don't understand what they do. Is it that effect from Unity that displays all windows at once at the press of Super + W? Sorry, I know little about it :confused:

This is the current situation... i'm getting used to it.

But I still find Solus with Adapta GTK theme really interesting.

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Static windows prevents specified windows from being transformed; This means, they are not subject to effects, and always appear above transformed windows. Becomes a little squirrely with 3D windows, but nothing some more arguments can’t fix.

Sadly, this isn’t compatible with Compiz 0.9, and the Static + Expo setup doesn’t work anyway (but between 2010 and 2012 it did, I swear). Expo is indeed that plugin which shows all the workspaces at once, and to accommodate Unity, X and Y offset exists to adjust where it displays on your system, but the backport for it colloquially known as “Compiz Reloaded” lacks this. So again, another impossible situation that would be resolved if only somebody ported Static Windows to 0.9.

Speaking of, I use to use patched Nautilus Elementary to show the desktop icons with the wallpaper plugin enabled so I could have multiple images that made for one big desktop background when zoomed out. That was fun, but sadly I had to upscale every single image I ever used, then split it up. WIsh I had some screencaps of that in action.

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Oh, may as well mention I could do that anyway, right now with the wallpaper plugin, but the desktop icons are covered up; The patch to Nautilus back then was to render the icons above the wallpaper.