MATE 1.8 is finally released

It took the developers nearly a year but their work on the familiar, yet ambitious, MATE desktop is finally stable and available for everyone to use. MATE is a complete desktop environment that was forked from the Gnome Project (Gnome 2 to be exact) nearly 2 years ago. The decision to fork came at a time when a significant amount of Gnome 2 users were displeased with Gnome 3, the next major iteration and core of the Gnome Project.

Below is the list of major updates in MATE 1.8 as originally shown here.

Caja (file manager)
Added option to use IEC units instead of SI units
Added “Open parent location” option in context menu in search view

Marco (window manager)
Added side-by-side tiling (windows snapping)

Added support to run dialog and main menu opening with metacity keybindings
Show a progress bar in logout dialog

Control center
Added support for Metacity as window manager

MATE Desktop library
Added MATE User Guide
Added mpaste tool for

Eye Of MATE (image viewer)
Added shuffle mode in slideshow

Engrampa (file archiver)
Show always the “extract to” action in caja extension

Show date and time in lock dialog

Added undo functionality to sticky note applet
New “command” applet to show the output of a command
Rewritten “timer” applet in c
Mouse middle click on volume applet toggles mute state

Dropped packages
Replaced mate-doc-utils with yelp-tools
Replaced libmatekeyring/mate-keyring with libsecret/gnome-keyring
Replaced libmatewnck with libwnck
Replaced mucharmap with gucharmap
Replaced mate-bluetooth with blueman
Merged all caja extensions in a single package

Other improvements
Fixed a lot of code deprecations
Fixed a lot of bugs
Added and improved a lot of translations

“Part of our users express that they want to stay with GNOME 2; because they like how things used to be, they run older hardware or they want a more lightweight desktop. Given that GNOME 2 becomes unsupported and will eventually be removed from our meta distribution due to various maintenance, regression and security issues; MATE brings back all the glory with an active development team. Their continuation of GNOME 2’s development fixes outstanding issues, brings new and useful features and keeps the good old experience alive and kicking.” – Tom Wijsman, Gentoo developer and MATE maintainer

Image Courtesy of Mate Desktop

MATE uses GTK2 for its development with the eventual goal of <a href=”″>using the more modern GTK3</a>. The difference between the two is that GTK3 is the more current and active api for developing gui’s (graphical user interfaces), it’s at the core of Gnome3. Users in general didn’t take issue with the core technology of Gnome3, it was actually the design. The interface changed how users interacted with their computers as well as how and what they could customize. It was seen as being more limited and heading in a direction that is very different in execution style when compared to most other WIMP-based (Windows/Icons/Menus/Pointer) desktops.

Graphical user interfaces (gui’s) can make even the most meek and tech illiterate highly vocal in their opinions. It’s the most common source of complaints about Windows 8. It was also one of the core defining features of the original iPhone and is arguably one of the most interesting parts of Ubuntu Touch. Gui’s are more than just skin deep changes, they also define how you interact with your computer. This latest release of MATE appears as if it will continue to be a crowd pleaser by keeping a familiar interface that users still want to use while supporting newer features and utilities.

137 thoughts on “MATE 1.8 is finally released

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