A MATE Desktop Wish List

Most of the time I use the MATE desktop. Like most Linux desktop environments I have learned to live without certain features and with certain quirks.

There is no panel launch feedback when using keyboard shortcuts to launch apps.

There is no keyboard shortcut to log out. The MATE panel menu has a Log Out and a Shut Down option. The two options support different features. The Shut Down option has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+Del. The Log Out option has no keyboard shortcut. This is not a call to change the Shut Down shortcut, only to allow one for the Log Out option. As the Log Out option from the menu requires using a confirmation dialog, a shortcut is not dangerous.

Root account theme settings do not carry over through pkexec/gksu usage. I customize my root account backgrounds with a pink (#FDD9E6) color to distinguish usage. The color works fine when I directly log in as root but not when I launch apps through pkexec or gksu. A tiny “(as superuser)” text warning in the title bar is insufficient.

Missing panel menu options:

  • No menu icon cache (resulting in a slow opening menu).
  • No Run option in the panel menu (the applet is panel-based).
  • No Search box in the panel menu.
  • The panel menu lacks descriptions.
  • No panel menu option to launch the system monitor/task manager.
  • No way to configure the menu button icon other than change themes.

Missing terminal options:

  • No optional persistent tab bar in terminal.
  • No bookmarks in the terminal menu bar.
  • The terminal does not support monitoring silence/activity.

The lack of a configurable persistent tab bar results in the terminal abruptly resizing to accommodate the tab bar when opening a second tabbed session.

Missing Caja features:

  • The context menu does not support directly editing *.desktop files as text files.
  • The context menu does not support an Edit as Root option.
  • The file properties dialog does not display or support advanced file/directory settings (setuid, setguid, etc.).
  • The Bookmarks menu does not support separators to improve readability.
  • The Bookmarks menu does not support accelerator keys.
  • The file tree panel does not remain expanded from session to session.

My work-around for context menu shortcomings is caja-actions. Unfortunately this extension is not available in all distros. The Bookmarks shortcomings are due more to the gtk-bookmarks file format, but should be fixed nonetheless.

A long standing frustration is the GTK2 file picker dialog does not remember the width of the sidebar. This fixed width reduces readability. The GTK3 file picker dialog supports this (sidebar-width). I presume that merging such a snippet of code into GTK2 would be straightforward.

MATE authentication dialogs often lose focus. I launch some apps through pkexec when I want to run the apps as root. Just as often as not, the authentication dialog loses focus. I have to Alt+Tab or use the mouse to gain the focus to type my password.

When unplugging the AC power connector on my Thinkpad T400 with a full charge, seldom does the MATE battery applet indicate anything close to the battery time remaining. The battery pack is aging and holds 69.1 % full capacity. At most I expect about two hours with the battery. Routinely the popup notification ranges anything from 3 to 10 hours.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General, MATE

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