18 November 2011

Mate Desktop Environment (Gnome2 Fork) Review

Linux Mint 12rc, with MATE 2011.11.03 (click to enlarge)


Since its release, with gnome-shell as default session, Gnome3 has uttered so many controversies. Many people said that gnome-shell is too complicated, less functional, and as my personal opinion, I can say that Gnome3 is "just changing" but with less attention in usability and simplicity.

As a reaction of all the less satisfying Gnome3 release, there is an Arch Linux user, has decided to make a fork of the old Gnome2 Desktop into the new independent brand Desktop Environment, with hope, that will be usable to the too many Linux users who still love Gnome2 desktop interface. He alone has forked the latest Gnome2 packages (2.32.x) and renamed them as MATE Desktop Environment.

Of course, I've been surprised and so fond of, but, as an Ubuntu user, I just can follow the newsletters from the internet forums. And finally, just like dream, Linux Mint developer has decided to take part to maintain MATE and import them as a new another Linux Mint desktop derivative.

And Holy God, finally, Linux Mint developer has finally finished import MATE packages into Linux Mint 12 repository and will be included as an DE choice in the Linux Mint 12 release. Because of I can't wait for this great news, I'd almost never left behind followed the news of Linux Mint 12 development, and finally, after the Linux Mint developer released Linux Mint 12rc, soon, I quickly downloaded, and tried it in my machine.

In the first look, MATE looks so familiar, so lovely, so humble and so romantic--and also, quite fast and reactive. But, then later I've found some crappy behaviors, and soon I realized that these are bugs. These are the bugs I've found in Linux Mint 12rc MATE packages :

1. Mixer / Volume Control applet couldn't run.
2. When I change the gtk themes (widget, window border), immediately the desktop will be very crappy broken : the icon theme lost, and when later I logout and login back, MATE panel was lost.

The only way to bring back MATE desktop normal is deleting MATE configuration directories in home folder and so if we logout and login back, MATE will come back to the its default theme settings :D

But, overall, I must say that MATE is a great project that maintained by Mr. Perberos alone. Highest appreciation I give for his job, and I will always follow the further maintenance, improvements, and bug fixes. As a person with less skill of coding, all I can do to take part in this project is just in technical review (and bug report) :D Long live MATE !

As a technical comparison, this is the machine I used to run Linux Mint 12 with MATE :

1. Intel Pentium4 2,4 Ghz
2. 1,5 G Memory
3. 40GB HDD
4. Onboard SiS VGA with no 3d acceleration support
5. 1280x1024 generic monitor

1 comment:

addiehf said...

environmental bangets, asyik dimata :)