Thank you to everyone who commented and voted. While the votes are useful the comments (from all the online Ubuntu MATE communities) are what have been most useful.
Anyway, this is what has been decided:
- The default Ubuntu MATE layout will continue to be the traditional two panel layout featuring the
Applications Places Systemmenu. The only change will be the addition of quick launcher icon for Ubuntu MATE Welcome to the top panel.
Some of the other layouts are getting a bit of a refresh.
Pantheon and Cupertino
- Pantheon and Cupertino will be more distinct
- Both will continue to use Plank which will now include additional default dock items for Ubuntu MATE Welcome and Caja.
- The Firefox quick launcher in the top panel will be removed from both layouts since Firefox is present in Plank.
- Cupertino will use the single column menu by default and Pantheon will continue to use Brisk.
- Cupertino will use a new Global Menu implementation but Pantheon will not.
- Essentially Cupertino will now more closely resemble macOS.
- Mutiny will use a new Global Menu implementation.
- The left side panel will be transparent to more closely mimic Unity.
- A launcher will be added for Ubuntu MATE Welcome to the left side panel.
- Unchanged with the exception of a quick launch icon for Ubuntu MATE Welcome being added to the bottom panel.
Netbook, GNOME2, Fedora
- No changes planned.
Rather than changing the default layout we’re going to see what we can do to help users easily discover the layout switching capability. Not sure how we will do that just yet, but improving discoverability will be the long term solution to making Ubuntu MATE appealing to wider audience “out of the box”.
In order to make Cupertino appear more like macOS and Mutiny appear more Unity like a new behaviour will be added to MATE Tweak.
- When switching to Cupertino or Mutiny via MATE Tweak the window controls will be moved to the left, since that is where the window controls are located in macOS and Unity.
- Switching to any layout other than Cupertino or Mutiny will move the window controls to the right.
- You will still be able to select your preferred window control location and override the layout defaults.
We introduced Global Menus in Ubuntu MATE 16.04 as part of the Mutiny layout using TopMenu. That implementation was not complete and actually doesn’t work in GTK3+ and now pretty much dead upstream. So in 17.10 we will introduce a new Global Menu implementation which is feature complete.