Ubuntu MATE should narrow customisation options?

Continuing the discussion from:

I think that Ubuntu MATE should follow what other OS (Windows, MacOS) and also some Linux distribution (Solus, Ubuntu GNOME3, KDE, Cinnamon) were/are doing, first is to narrow the choice of UI customization in order to focus on working on it and optimize it and give the users something more stable and looking good, because the more you focus on one spot the more you get best results.

I know "Linux is freedom", but for now that freedom can be translated to many lost/ambiguous paths by end users and will gives back the community developers more bugs that are not essentials or needed to progress the evolution of MATE.

One step of narrowing choices and which worked well was leaving only Marco as window manager which is really good decision, because it's fast and now the community can focus on improving it to get better performance and integration without being disturbed by bugs coming from other window managers.

The huge step that need to be decided in near future is to lock the layout choice to one or two choice which can be Redmond and Mate layouts, and then work on unifying, optimizing and fixing indicators on each layout.

And the last big step is to focus on one special theme/icon theme for MATE, which can be based on existing modern, good looking and popular ones.

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There is nothing wrong with simplifying the interface instead of trying to be all things to all people. However, if that involves shutting down the capacity of users to make changes themselves, as was the case with Unity and still very much is with gnome 3, then that is unacceptable, at least to me.


While I agree with parts of your message, we still support Compiz,
Compiz-Reloaded, and Metacity as window managers, we're just not
including them by default in Ubuntu MATE. Fedora, for example, ships
with Compiz-Reloaded by default.

Regarding panel layouts, because MATE allows you to place the panels in
any way you like, and we're not removing that feature, the pre-set
layouts end up being a by-product of that feature. Currently different
distros that ship MATE Tweak ship it with a slightly different layout
set. Also, keep in mind that the layouts is not a MATE feature, it's
literally part of the MATE Tweak app. Also, it seems to be one of the
nicest features of Ubuntu MATE, that it allows you to use those pre-set

Regarding icons, MATE already has its own icon theme, and we only ship
a few themes that the upstream team is willing to maintain. It's the
community that provides all others, so it seems to me as though that
choice is very much welcomed by the community.

So the idea of following what other OS are doing and remove
customization is literally what GNOME started doing, and in part what
led to the forking of MATE. Also, keep in mind that Ubuntu MATE can only
change so much from upstream MATE without having to patch everything. If
upstream MATE supports customizations, Ubuntu MATE likely needs to as


GNOME3 (and also Cinnamon) biggest mistake was using Javascript with heavy virtual machine running in backgound that consumes and leak a lot of memory, if someday it's rewritten to 100% in C/C++ then surely it will be at top again.
And it was the worst decision done by Canonical to support it.

For me sometimes and at certain point, users should be locked to fixed design to help developers give the best and focus on what they can, because for now there are a lot of linux ditributions that are different only on desktop layer, and each one put a lot of effort to create their own design which lead to users being devided and lost in choosing process and also we lose all those developpement efforts rather than being cencentrated on single simple and optimized design.

Think if Linux had one desktop manager from the start, I think it would surely be the first choice of every computer user.

users should be locked to fixed design to help developers give the best and focus on what they can, because for now there are a lot of linux ditributions that are different only on desktop layer, and each one put a lot of effort to create their own design which lead to users being devided and lost in choosing process and also we lose all those developpement efforts rather than being cencentrated on single simple and optimized design.

Canonical did literally that with Unity. It essentially became the
defacto look of Linux for many years. It probably drove up adoption,
although I don't know for sure, and yet it still went away as the
default. GNOME came in to replace it, and honestly, apart from a few
bespoke Linux distributions, GNOME is the face of the Linux desktop on
the vast mayority of distributions.

MATE cannot emulate that. MATE forked GNOME 2 because they felt it was
great, and we, as a community, have made it even better, but we don't
have the same resources as GNOME. However, part of the idea of MATE is
to retain the level of customization that allows users to craft their
own experience. It excels at that, and to remove that capability would
mean that MATE would become a different desktop environment.

Users that want a locked-down user experience (or just don't care about
customization) already use GNOME, and by that same definition they don't
want yet another desktop environment, since that would mean another
decision, another customization. It's just not logical for us to do


Sorry my friend, we are not PC Home Users ... Ubuntu Mate should be Ubuntu Mate ... I think we have already had this discussion...

Sorry my friend, Ubuntu Mate has the best customization, and it work amazing, no other desktop scale so well Like Ubuntu Mate, if you want more simple than this, go to Gnome Desktop designed for Home Users.

Sorry my friend, if you want to lock me ... you should lock yourself ... .
It looks like you are more smarter than developers, you know even what is best for them....

Sorry my friend, maybe you are lost, in the Linux world, I am not... Maybe you should return to Windows which is more familiar to you..

This topic is for "bugfix and new feature for 20.04", NOT FOR TRANSFORMING MATE TO WINDOWS or MacOS, maybe you should create a separate topic where you can request Mate transformation in whatever you want...


Yeah I know you, the one from the sage generation ! are you still feeling it ?! :rofl:
Chill bro, we discuss for the best of what comes, we aren't throwing stones at each others !
My message is discussing what can be done - if possible - to improve MATE, if you are smarter than us try to give better ideas and not jumping from the hot pane whenever you spot a ball ! :no_mouth:

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:smile: :smile: I agree you are so smart, smarter than any Ubuntu Mate Developer, including Martin Wimpress, the only problem that I see, is you don't know what are you talking about ... just talking...

Of course I have better than your random taking, to cite above...

Maybe you don't, but I do, because I care, I want Ubuntu Mate to remain Ubuntu Mate

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I had to split this to its own topic as it moved away from the "top 3" wishes for 20.04.

I think if you ran a poll, I bet an overwhelming majority certainly would not want Ubuntu MATE to become locked into a certain workflow. :no_good_man::no_good_woman: Customisation is a really good strength of MATE/GNOME 2.

I agree with some of the points that it might help optimise resources by focusing on fewer areas for error, but really, MATE works well today for a lot of user's ideal workflow. Something arguably not the case when working between mainstream OSes. Everyone can be unique here! :art:

Trouble is, MATE is more of a desktop environment then a desktop experience.

Windows, Mac, GNOME and KDE have their own login screen, window manager, GUI toolkits that allow them to properly define their vision of a desktop experience. Arguably they could be heavily customised with extensions and mods. MATE instead fits like a jigsaw to a distro maintainer's combination of components.

The question could become... should Ubuntu MATE just trash its default options and be a plain implementation of the MATE desktop? .... Nah. That's not the objective of Ubuntu MATE.


No, it should not.

Customization is one of the main advantages of this distro.

Removing a core component from a Linux distro in order to make it look like whatever your friends would use will not make its popularity hugely grow and one day trade blows with Windows or MacOS. This is a pipe dream.

It has nothing to do with compositors, transparency, blur, themes or icons.
It has to do with injecting billions in software in order to force people to use them from the youngest age and feel lost whenever the workflow changes.

If you can't live with a few small layouts files living in /usr/share/mate-panel/layouts, delete them.
People have different tastes and if you can't deal with that or change a wallpaper or install whatever gtk/icon/cursor theme that suits you, maybe you should install some other distro like ElementaryOS or some Budgie distro.

"Wow look guys ! I got the flashiest desktop ! I love my ultra-modern theme, my icons, my wallpaper, my transparency, my blur. I can't believe this operating system trusts only 0.09% of the market ! Everybody should use this ! What is wrong with you guys ? I know better ok ?!"

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(many unposted edits later...)

If you want a better default theme, and made one, users would naturally gravitate towards it. It wouldn't NEED to be the only option.

When MS says "The Windows 8 UI is so good that we don't need to keep the Windows 7 one around", you KNOW they're lying. What they're really saying is "We committed to this new look, but we know that nobody would actually use it by choice".

Remind me, how did that "more stable and looking good" Windows 8 UI go? That's right - it sucked so hard that even the multi-billion dollar, famously arrogant and recalcitrant MS had to accept it was garbage and revert pieces of it back to the old Windows 7 UI: after burning millions of dollars in development time to create it, and millions more patching it for years afterwards.

MS can afford to waste time, money, and user goodwill like that. MATE can't.


If you want a locked-down, one size fits all environment, leave Ubuntu MATE alone and go use Gnome.

We can quibble about what might be better defaults for this and that (usually put forward as making UM more newbie-friendly), but to take away configurability options for the user is IMO a ludicrous idea. It smacks of control-freakery (see 'Gnome').

And who decides what the sole desktop option looks like? What if they don't happen to share your taste in colors? What if you have certain needs for font sizes and whatnot?

MATE has just the right amount of tweakability, IMO, and if the Ubuntu MATE were to start 'locking things down' I would just move on to another distro.


After reading those replies, I think I should really leave MATE.

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Why? Which replies? It's hard to know what you're driving at here...

Gnome is only "locked down" in the sense that it does not ship with components that allow the end user to easily modify the look of the desktop. However, as @lah7 has already pointed out, the necessary components can be added by the end user. Gnome is customizable, just not by default.

And then, in six months when the new Gnome comes out, half your extensions fail.

Discussion concluded. Original poster added strikeouts to their first post.