What is the precise meaning of "traditional desktop-metaphor"? (ubuntu-mate-welcome translation)

I tried googling it to no real avail…
So here’s how I understand it :
"A traditional desktop environment"
But I think I’m missing some meaning…

I didn’t write this page, but "a traditional desktop environment" is correct.

"traditional desktop-metaphor" is a more fancy way of putting it.

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It’s called a desktop metaphor because although is not really a desktop (the only thing that is a desktop is…an actual desktop), it functions like one. From Windows 95 onwards, the user-interface was designed to mimic an actual desktop in that you could leave your documents and folders (and, of course “documents” and “folders” are metaphors as well) on a virtual desktop and move them around on it, handling (“handling” being yet another metaphor) some of them while leaving others lying around. In other words, it is a visual/functional metaphor for a real desktop.

Ubuntu Mate expressly continues this tradition of a desktop metaphor.

The reason we can now more or less dispense with the word “metaphor” and use “environment” instead is because the use of the word “desktop” as a metaphor in computing has become so ubiquitous that it has almost ceased to be a metaphor and has taken on a new meaning to the word such that the word “desktop” is now as much associated with a computer GUI as it is with what we would traditionally think of as a desktop.

If you stop and think about it, most of the terminology we use to describe the way in which elements are manipulated in a computing GUI are metaphors for manipulating real world objects.

Even the word “environment”, when used in the context of a computing GUI, is a metaphor.