Comments on Mate DE
Mate Desktop environment (http://www.mate-desktop.org)
I am writing in support of Mate DE. In less than a year a few people
have designed an alternative to Gnome 3.
I have been averaging one reconditioned HP Compaq nc6400 laptop per
quarter year, four per year. This is one of my contributions to Debian
I give these out to individuals who do not have a computer and cannot
afford one and have very limited computer skills.
I use Debian with a Mate DE. The reports back so far from everyone that
has received a laptop that they like the way it handles better than
Windows or Apple.
It has been a simple process until now September 18, 2012. Just as in
the past Debian broke OpenOffice and substituted LibreOffice. It was a
major effort to undo the damage caused by that action. I have still not
completely repaired the damage of lost components to Open Office. Which
I have finally reinstalled.
You are now allowing OO to live side by side with LO. This is as it
should be. But again you have taken a similar action to Mate. It is
impossible now to install.
This to me is a form of sabotage. I understand that Mate is not totally
in line with the philosophy of Debian, but they are getting there.
In the mean time I have found Mate very stable and I have not had to
repair one laptop. I did receive one question that I told them the
problem would repair itself with a reboot. They were afraid to do
anything. The reboot did indeed repaired the problem.
What better way to create good will for Debian and Linux than to do this
Yet someone decided that this would not be. There is a difference
between endorsing, or not, a program, to breaking it because someone did
not like what it was doing.
Debian has had this attitude of doing it the Debian way or leave. I have
been using Linux off and on since Red Hat 2.
It is the same with some of the programs that are available, the only
way to use them is to go up into SID. The components to the software
always stay in SID. Yet this causes problems with the system that can
only be rectified by turning off updates.
This is why, I do not allow updates from Debian. I do for Mate and
Multimedia. I have been burned too often by Debian.
Yet Debian is a very good operating system when this self-rightious
attitude is not involved.
There has been limited discussions about forking Debian to get away from
these problems that make life measurable.
It is time for the people who make the decisions at Debian that there is
a very strong cause and effect relationship between what you do and how
well the community will operate. Will it work smoothly or be
frustratingly broken with lost hours trying to repair a bad decision at
By adding problems that are not technical but solely the opinion of one
or two or even a handful of people is destructive.
I have always encouraged people to financially help with a few dollars
to free programs. Again this year I do not encourage financial support
for Debian. Last year you lost this endorsement because of Open Office.
This year because of Mate.
I believe it is time for you and your peers to decide to make sound
decisions or to continue as you have done in the past. I hope you choose
to move forward with making responsible decisions understanding that
what you think is unimportant may be totally destructive to a portion of
So do you fix this problem with Mate, or do talks continue about forking
off of Debian? A position I do not currently hold.
In fact I would encourage talks for combining the many Linux
distribution with a solid kernel format so that the differences become
that of enhancements for specific tasks, based upon a single format.
This will mean that for Linux only one program style will need to be
developed. Thus leaving to the differences in kernel modules the process
for making the many distributions of Linux.
As an example of how I see things, even though I deplored your stunt
with OO and LO, I would be just as angry if you now broke LO even though
I will not use it because of the method that it was forced upon me. And
yes, OO is still a better suite than LO. Apache has stepped up and made
the needed changes.
It is now time for you and your associates to make some decisions. Do
you force another splinter in the Linux community or do you work to
bring together the community?
I have quite a few years on many of the people in the computer industry.
I see many dedicate individuals trying hard to do good work. What I see
lacking in this industry is the understanding that comes from many years
I have spent 42+ years as licensed broadcast engineer and have literally
grew up professionally with the computer industry. I like seeing the
young people coming in to the ranks, it is disappointing that the
knowledge from experienced individuals is not used often enough. This
action is such an example.
I enjoy the new frontiers, just think where we would be if we took the
egos out of the equation and instead of saying it must be done my way,
that if equal processes work, we do it all ways.