On a regular day, learning of a Linux distro bundling a new desktop environment in its next release is the furthest thing from being a big deal, but things are a little different here. Fedora, the spearhead of the GNOME 3 movement, has said that it will be bundling MATE (a GNOME 2 fork) in Fedora 18, expected for release this November.
What makes this a big deal is the fact that Fedora has defended its decision to retain GNOME 3 as the primary environment ever since it debuted in Fedora 15. But, the fact of the matter is, most people don’t like GNOME 3, its direction, or its developers that seem to look the other way when a suggestion is made. It could be that Fedora’s own devs have seen that things just aren’t getting better, but whatever the actual reason, MATE is going to be in Fedora 18.
MATE Running Under Linux Mint
I haven’t used GNOME 3 since our review of Fedora 15, so I haven’t seen where it stands today, especially with its 3.4 release. I’ve heard that it’s gotten better over time, but the need to install additional tweaking tools remains. Compared to KDE, which has a boatload of configuration options built-in, having to install additional tools for the same thing with GNOME 3 seems a bit foolish.
MATE was first made popular with the help of Linux Mint, as that distro refused to put much of a focus on GNOME 3. Though slightly different in design to a vanilla GNOME 2, MATE will feel familiar to fans of that desktop environment, and as it remains in development unlike GNOME 2, this is the best possible option for those people.
By the time Fedora 18′s release rolls around, GNOME 3.5 might make it in as well, so it should be interesting to see which environment long-term users of the distro choose. It might also be a good time for us to revisit the distro to see where it stands. As I enjoyed my time for the most part with 15, I’m hoping that 18 bumps my “like” up to “love”.