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17 April 2012, 11:04

GNOME 2 fork MATE reaches version 1.2

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Version 1.2 of the MATE Desktop Environment, a fork of the older 2.x branch of GNOME, has been released. Its developers say that the update is "a huge step forward since the 1.0 and 1.1 development releases", calling it "more stable than ever".

MATE has been created to cater for GNOME users who do not want to move to GNOME 3's new environment, but want a supported desktop. The developers forked GNOME 2.32 and renamed the applications and other components so that it would not clash with newer editions of GNOME and allow it to be installed side by side with other desktop environments.

MATE 1.2 sees the addition of an undo/redo feature in the Caja file manager and a number of new applications. These include Python bindings for the Caja extension library, caja-gksu, the Caja-Image-Converter, and Mozo, a fork of the Alacarte menu editor for the GNOME desktop.

Other changes include support for the PulseAudio and GStreamer backends in the MATE settings daemon, performance improvements for Libmate's mate-open command, and "numerous" bug fixes. Updates to artwork include an icon for MATE and the addition of a new MATE wallpaper; the MATE themes have also been renamed to avoid conflicts with GNOME.

According to the project's roadmap, development of version 1.4 will "fix deprecations" and fix the mate-display-manager, as well as focussing on the remaining applications listed in Mate-Extra. In the following 1.6 update, the developers plan to replace MateConf with GSettings; support for version 3 of the GTK toolkit is expected to be added in a later release.

Further information about the 1.2 update can be found in the official release announcement. Download links and installation instructions for various Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Fedora are provided on the MATE desktop wiki – MATE is bundled by default in the DVD Edition of Linux Mint. Source code for MATE is hosted on GitHub.

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