|Anyone else using MATE Desktop|
I love it
With the right setup MATE offers the screen-space savings of Unity, while remaining as configurable as Gnome 2.
I am running it on Ubuntu, but given the number of Mint fans around here, I imagine a few others have tried it?
I tried Cinnamon, and my feeling is that it is similar, and will be better eventually, but for now MATE is lighter and more reliable.
I use it on two desktops and a lap-top, all running long-term Mint Maya (I see no benefit so far in updating to newer, short-term versions - I see Olivia being touted this week).
I dropped Ubuntu when it came time to move from 10.04 to 12.x - far too much hassle, couldn't understand unity, too much overhead. I switched to Mint Maya + Mate and have very few quibbles with it. The impetus to use Mint came from this forum! :)
Main quibbles include klipper, which is not as good as windows' clipmate but is just about adequate, and kalarm. The latter is causing some annoyance. On Ubuntu 10.04 it ran autonomously; now it requires akonadi server which is heavy and unnecessary for a single app (I do not otherwise use PIM). So far I've been unable to find a good replacement.
I've seen several alternative desktops mentioned for Mint, including KDE, which I have only minimal need of. When I first switched, Cinnamon was noted by Mint as possibly having bugs, being a new interface, so I opted for Mate. I don't think xfce was available at that point, or it was hidden, or something.
I found I was using a lot of panel/task-bar space (I typically have 15-20 apps open) so I added an extra bar to the top of the screen and moved all the icons such as klipper, sound, date etc to that. Between them, those icons take up about half the bar!
There are a number of other clipboard managers, and alarms.
Requiring Akonadi put me off KDE.
I have a very different desktop to yours: very minimal and screen space efficient. That is why we need flexibility.
I think Unity is not for those who want customisability. I actually think its pretty good, and its what the average user wants (my wife likes it, for example), and you cannot blame Ubuntu for using a default that favours the typical user.
I tried Cinnamon and it is still buggy. The only issue I have on MATE is that maximus sometimes crashes.
Klipper works fine and does not use akonadi. Currently it seems to be autonomous. Glipper may be a replacement (gnome app) but I can't remember now why I chose klipper instead of glipper - I know I tried them both (and others, all inferior at the time).
I've tried several alarms/reminders in the past month but not found one to beat - or even equal - kalarm. I've seen several suggestions online for recompiling it without akonadi but at the moment that is too much hassle. Remind is one option but the machine I was testing it on filled up its swap file and pretty much died; this may well be a coincidence and I'll try again later.
I spend much of my day managing a remote web server and need quite a few tools open, quite apart from thunderbird and at least 4 firefox windows (averaging approx 8 tabs each).
You're probably correct about unity but I had neither the time to learn a new interface nor the inclination to attempt to customeize it to look like Hardy, and the extra overhead clinched it. Hence Mint. :)
I had to look up maximus. Not something I would have a use for. :)
I do not think YOU should use Unity, and its not optimal for me. It is optimal for the average - you and I, and people on WW generally, are not average users!
My wife users Unity and likes it, my father uses Unity and its the only desktop (on any OS) that he does not mess up. Unity's inflexibility means I do not get phone calls asking why an icon has disappeared :).
Which is a GOOD thing. Obviously. :)