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Thread: MATE Desktop 1.6 Brings New Features To GNOME 2

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    Default MATE Desktop 1.6 Brings New Features To GNOME 2

    Phoronix: MATE Desktop 1.6 Brings New Features To GNOME 2

    The MATE fork of the GNOME 2.x Desktop has now been upped to version 1.6 with some new features for vintage Linux desktop users...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM0MTQ

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: MATE Desktop 1.6 Brings New Features To GNOME 2

    The MATE fork of the GNOME 2.x Desktop has now been upped to version 1.6 with some new features for vintage Linux desktop users...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM0MTQ
    Looks as though MATE 1.6 will be merged with the FreeBSD ports tree soon too.
    https://github.com/mate-desktop/mate-panel/issues/85

    The greater GTK3 compatibility is a very big plus too, it's good to see that this project is developing nicely.

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    Good job MATE team, I might finally stop saying you are doom the second the switch away from X become generalized, since you finally progressing instead of just maintaining. =)

    I like MATE, but I had always seen the project has a dead end, so feel free to prove my original opinion wrong. =)

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    when Gnome3 gave issues with performance, stability and loss of features, and the gnome dev had made it nearly impossible to install Gnome2 on a modern distro (by making all the library names clash), and the lightweight window managers were not quite up to the job, Mate was there for me.

    I am very happy to see that they are making progress, deprecating old code and libraries, and adding features. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssam View Post
    when Gnome3 gave issues with performance, stability and loss of features, and the gnome dev had made it nearly impossible to install Gnome2 on a modern distro (by making all the library names clash), and the lightweight window managers were not quite up to the job, Mate was there for me.

    I am very happy to see that they are making progress, deprecating old code and libraries, and adding features. Thanks
    What do you mean? The library names do NOT clash. Only issue that you have in GNOME 2.x vs GNOME 3.x is that 2.x->3.x was done like any 2.x change, meaning: you cannot have two GNOME versions installed at the same time. It was never possible, also not possible going from 2.x to 3.x.

    But that has NOTHING to do with library names.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkor View Post
    What do you mean? The library names do NOT clash. Only issue that you have in GNOME 2.x vs GNOME 3.x is that 2.x->3.x was done like any 2.x change, meaning: you cannot have two GNOME versions installed at the same time. It was never possible, also not possible going from 2.x to 3.x.

    But that has NOTHING to do with library names.
    It was an issue if your distribution moved onto GNOME 3 but you wanted to stick with GNOME 2. No doubt many packages would pull in GNOME 3 components.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkor View Post
    What do you mean? The library names do NOT clash. Only issue that you have in GNOME 2.x vs GNOME 3.x is that 2.x->3.x was done like any 2.x change, meaning: you cannot have two GNOME versions installed at the same time. It was never possible, also not possible going from 2.x to 3.x.

    But that has NOTHING to do with library names.
    exactly.

    you cannot have Gnome2 and Gnome3 components installed on the same system at the same time (without a real mess). Its not hard to make Gnome2 and Gnome3 parallel installable, Mate managed just by changing the names. Just like its possible to have GTK2 and GTK3 installed at the same time, or gstreamer 0.10 and 1.0. I am fairly sure KDE3 and KDE4 could be installed together.

    If the Gnome devs had bumped the names, or libraries version, or however everyone else does it, then the distros would have been free to offer GNOME3 and keep GNOME2 alongside.

    whether the gnome devs made a concious effort to prevent this. or just never got around to making the parallel install work, is a difficult question. there is some discussion at https://lwn.net/Articles/466872/

    Imagine if it was decided that now BTRFS is in the kernel, ext4 would be removed. and a whole bunch of low level filesystem functions would have their api (but not name) changed, so it was nearly impossible to port ext4 into a new kernel. and the major distros went along with it. (I am a fan of BTRFS, but probably would not be if it had been introduced like that)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssam View Post
    exactly.

    you cannot have Gnome2 and Gnome3 components installed on the same system at the same time (without a real mess). Its not hard to make Gnome2 and Gnome3 parallel installable, Mate managed just by changing the names. Just like its possible to have GTK2 and GTK3 installed at the same time, or gstreamer 0.10 and 1.0. I am fairly sure KDE3 and KDE4 could be installed together.

    If the Gnome devs had bumped the names, or libraries version, or however everyone else does it, then the distros would have been free to offer GNOME3 and keep GNOME2 alongside.

    whether the gnome devs made a concious effort to prevent this. or just never got around to making the parallel install work, is a difficult question. there is some discussion at https://lwn.net/Articles/466872/

    Imagine if it was decided that now BTRFS is in the kernel, ext4 would be removed. and a whole bunch of low level filesystem functions would have their api (but not name) changed, so it was nearly impossible to port ext4 into a new kernel. and the major distros went along with it. (I am a fan of BTRFS, but probably would not be if it had been introduced like that)
    Did you miss the bit where I explained everything your questioning? Why say 'is a difficult question'? It is easy, documented (we work in the open!), and no need for conspiracy theories.

    GNOME 3 is technically just like another 2.x version. None of the 2.x versions are parallel installable, so 3.x is not parallel installable. The work was not done because it is actually a huge amount of work if you want to do this properly, further we had enough stuff on our plates. We left it to whomever was willing (distributions / others).

    No need to point at LWN or anything else as I'm part of the GNOME release team. I already gave a brief answer at LWN though: https://lwn.net/Articles/466965/.

    You say that MATE managed this, but actually only in a bad way. They renamed everything, including things like gconf. That's not right.

    PS: BTRFS and ext4 are totally different. GNOME 2.x and 3.x are not (if you get over the UI change).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkor View Post
    Did you miss the bit where I explained everything your questioning? Why say 'is a difficult question'? It is easy, documented (we work in the open!), and no need for conspiracy theories.

    GNOME 3 is technically just like another 2.x version. None of the 2.x versions are parallel installable, so 3.x is not parallel installable. The work was not done because it is actually a huge amount of work if you want to do this properly, further we had enough stuff on our plates. We left it to whomever was willing (distributions / others).

    No need to point at LWN or anything else as I'm part of the GNOME release team. I already gave a brief answer at LWN though: https://lwn.net/Articles/466965/.

    You say that MATE managed this, but actually only in a bad way. They renamed everything, including things like gconf. That's not right.

    PS: BTRFS and ext4 are totally different. GNOME 2.x and 3.x are not (if you get over the UI change).
    Defining how huge a task is, is not easy, as a gnome dev you know better than me. But the gnome devs decided not to put in the effort to make gnome2 and gnome3 parallel installable, while the kde and gstreamer devs decided it was worth the effort (maybe there are technical reasons that make it easier to do for them)(I also have multiple versions of GCC, the kernel and libreoffice installed on this laptop). The small team of mate devs did put in the work (although not in a style that gnome liked).

    From a user point of view gnome 2->3 is a big change. bigger than 1->2 if my memory serves me well. i'd guess most people would say there that there is more in common between gnome2 and xfce than gnome2 and gnome3.

    so, filesystems vs window managers. both case the new version brings new features, new system requirements and new bugs. both break some old ways of working. both will ruin your day, loose your data and embarrass you in front of your mac using friends when they crash.

    also now mate have dropped gconf (mate-conf) as well as mate-corba, matevfs, libmatenotify, libmateui, libmatecanvas, libmatecomponentui, mate-mime-data etc.

    PS: because I accept that i am in the grumpy old man camp on this issue https://xkcd.com/1172/ :-)
    PPS: thanks for you work developing gnome. i appreciate all the work that has gone in to it, even if i don't prefer the latest version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssam View Post
    Defining how huge a task is, is not easy, as a gnome dev you know better than me. But the gnome devs decided not to put in the effort to make gnome2 and gnome3 parallel installable, while the kde and gstreamer devs decided it was worth the effort (maybe there are technical reasons that make it easier to do for them)(I also have multiple versions of GCC, the kernel and libreoffice installed on this laptop). The small team of mate devs did put in the work (although not in a style that gnome liked).

    From a user point of view gnome 2->3 is a big change. bigger than 1->2 if my memory serves me well. i'd guess most people would say there that there is more in common between gnome2 and xfce than gnome2 and gnome3.

    so, filesystems vs window managers. both case the new version brings new features, new system requirements and new bugs. both break some old ways of working. both will ruin your day, loose your data and embarrass you in front of your mac using friends when they crash.

    also now mate have dropped gconf (mate-conf) as well as mate-corba, matevfs, libmatenotify, libmateui, libmatecanvas, libmatecomponentui, mate-mime-data etc.

    PS: because I accept that i am in the grumpy old man camp on this issue https://xkcd.com/1172/ :-)
    PPS: thanks for you work developing gnome. i appreciate all the work that has gone in to it, even if i don't prefer the latest version.
    The MATE way is totally fine as it is not GNOME. It is just not the method that would've been acceptable within GNOME. It is quite complicated to provide a good solution, and even then things would not have worked. E.g. just renaming everything creates a huge mess, also packaging wise.

    You for instance talk about "GNOME 2" and "GNOME 3". Now tell me what "GNOME 2" and "GNOME 3" includes. At GNOME, there is no value in having a gnome-control-center2 and a gnome-control-center3. That is something that a distribution normally does. During the discussion time, Nautilus for instance was especially seen as an application, same as gnome-control-center. The only thing that was assumed to be changed were low level things like gnome-session and gnome-settings-daemon.

    Compare GNOME to e.g. LibreOffice 4.x:
    $ rpm -qf /usr/bin/oowriter
    libreoffice-writer-4.0.0.3-1.mga3

    So a major new version, uses the same /usr/bin/oowriter as their '3' version.

    Regarding development of MATE: GNOME already did the work of porting all the various libraries. MATE then chose a fork point before that work. To me, this seems a bit of a waste of time. Now apparently the GNOME work has been merged on their fork. Totally fine, but still seems strange.

    Focussing again on the user POV: We ported all the GNOME 2.x components so that they could be used still. So "GNOME 2": you had gnome-panel, you had your metacity. The default look of those didn't match up with 2.x, but relatively small amount of work to change that, which e.g. Ubuntu did. Most importantly: at the time we were stabilizing 3.0, there were *no* negative responses to the new look, only positive ones.

    IMO we took the best decision we could at that time. Looking back now, I still agree. That with current knowledge another decision might have been better: cannot predict the future.

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