An Updated MATE Desktop Wish List

While MATE evolves and matures with each release, my MATE Wish List has changed only a little.

General options:

  • There is no launch feedback when using keyboard shortcuts to launch apps.
  • There is a keyboard shortcut to Restart/Suspend/Halt, but not log out.
  • Root account theme and color settings do not carry through pkexec/gksu usage.

A good way to resolve the log out keyboard shortcut is to merge the log out dialog into the shutdown dialog.

Missing panel menu options:

  • No menu icon cache (resulting in a slow opening menu). Possibly fixed in recent versions of MATE.
  • 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.

A Run option directly in the menu is important to Windows converts. As most non technical users do not use keyboard shortcuts, the Alt+F2 keyboard shortcut is not easily discoverable, nor is the panel applet, which consumes space on the panel.

A search box is available in alternate menus. I think adding a search box to standard MATE menu should be configurable as an option with a simple GUI check box.

Missing terminal options:

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

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

Monitoring activity is useful with long-running jobs, such as compiling.

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 Admin option.
  • 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.
  • Caja uses fixed column widths in list view.

The Caja fixed column widths is a nuisance, especially in small screens such as laptops.

I wish there was support for separators in the GTK bookmarks files. The Bookmarks shortcomings are due more to the gtk-bookmarks file format, but should be fixed nonetheless.

My work-around for context menu shortcomings is caja-actions. Unfortunately this extension is not available in all distros.

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. Possibly this problem disappears when MATE fully migrates to GTK3.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: MATE

Next: GUI System Updates

Previous: Ubuntu MATE 16.04