This page outlines some of the activities the Ubuntu MATE team will research, and possibly implement, in future development cycles to improve and refine our operating system.
Grow community participation and engagement
Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop are created by very small teams. We’ll improve our documentation so that new contributors can find tasks they can work on and material to help them get started.
Reboot Ubuntu MATE Welcome and Software Boutique
We will decouple Ubuntu MATE Welcome and the Software Boutique so they can be iterated on independently. The code for both will be refactored and simplified so that other projects wanting to build on either can easily do so.
Both applications will be delivered as snaps to break the development cycle relationship with the distribution, giving us the freedom to develop both without the usual constraints of distribution release management. This will also benefit Ubuntu MATE, which will automatically get new features, application listings, and other improvements.
Developer tooling and collaboration
Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop will expand their use of continuous integration and automated testing in an effort to save the small development teams burning valuable time on activities best left to a bot.
Additionally, we will review the development platforms and communication/ collaboration tools used by the MATE Desktop team to improve team communication and simplfy the project infrastructure where possible.
Modern display server support
Wayland is set to become the defacto next generation display server. While Xorg has some years of usefulness remaining, now is the time to start planning for how MATE Desktop, and therefore Ubuntu MATE, implement support for Wayland.
Smart speakers are growing in popularity and commanding mobile devices by voice is already common place. We will research how effectively voice commands can be integrated into Ubuntu MATE.
Making an accessible operating system was a key priority when the Ubuntu MATE founders initially set out the goals of the project.
While Ubuntu MATE is never going to be able to offer the comprehensive integration of assistive technologies that Sonar GNU/Linux provides, we will continue to follow their lead so that Ubuntu MATE is a viable desktop solution where computer access is shared within a household or business where individual needs differ.
The upstream MATE Desktop team are actively engaged with visually impaired users from the Linux community to ensure their needs are met. This effort will likely never be complete, as it requires constant refinement.
Translation of Ubuntu and MATE desktop is handled upstream thanks to the tireless efforts of many translators, therefore the Ubuntu MATE operating system is available in many languages. However, this website is currently available in English only and we will work with the community to make it available in other languages.
While these initiatives are considered “complete” they will of course be maintained and improved.
Overhaul the Ubuntu MATE design language and make is consistent for web and desktop. Create a new wallpaper collection based on abstract designs and high quality photos.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 18.04
I am reliably informed that everything is a user experience these days. User interfaces are, apparently, passé.
The MATE desktop offers a traditional desktop metaphor but it is also extremely customisable. When combined with some 3rd party applications Ubuntu MATE can be augmented to provide an “experience” similar to what other contemporary desktop environments offer while retaining its classic desktop paradigm.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 16.04
High pixel density laptops and displays are becoming increasingly common and Ubuntu MATE needs to provide a first class HiDPI experience.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 18.04
Launchers and Docks
We will evaluate 3rd party launchers, such as Slingscold, Synapse, The Duck Launcher and 3rd party docks, such as Plank, to see how they can be integrated with Ubuntu MATE to make user interaction with the desktop more efficient.
Launchers and docks are not to everyone’s tastes so we will conduct community polls (just as we have done in the past) to determine if the selected 3rd party tools should be integrated as defaults or optional extras.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 17.10 via Brisk Menu, MATE Menu and Super key support throughout MATE Desktop
There are some hardcore Compiz addicts in the MATE community. That said Compiz will never be enabled by default in Ubuntu MATE, but we do want to cater for those people who want it. Compiz does include some features that are of real benefit, such as the Enhanced Zoom plug-in which is useful for individuals with low vision.
The Ubuntu MATE team will create a simple way for Compiz to be installed and enabled for those users who want it.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 15.04
Ubuntu MATE Tweak
There are a plethora of options behind MATE that are not yet exposed via control centre applets. The Ubuntu MATE team have already provided a simple tool to tweak your MATE configuration called MATE Tweak and over time that tool be be enhanced and improved.
A number of different panel layouts are already available in Ubuntu MATE. Panel layouts that offer a pure MATE desktop will continue to be made available and others added that may also rely on 3rd party launchers, docks or even Compiz. We will provide a tool to switch between these different desktop layouts that also enables/disables the appropriate launchers and docks where required.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 15.04 via MATE Tweak
Complex input methods
We’ve received feedback that complex input method support in Ubuntu MATE could be better.
MATE does have support for complex input methods right now, but having spoken to some users in China and Japan, we now better understand their requirements. To that end we’ve documented how to install and enable IBus and fcitx on the download page. That was just the first step in ensuring everyone is catered for and in the future we will integrate either IBus or fcitx into Ubuntu MATE to address this short coming.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 15.10
Users new to Linux are often overwhelmed by the vast choice of software on offer. The Ubuntu MATE team will create a curated selection of applications suitable for use with Ubuntu MATE that can be installed via one click.
The Ubuntu MATE community will select one application that is more suitable for a given task or activity so that new users can quickly turn their Ubuntu MATE workstation into a productive tool.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 15.10 via Ubuntu MATE Welcome
Media casting and streaming
Seamless integration with home media server content and media casting devices is essential in order for Ubuntu MATE to remain relevant for many home users. We will try to deliver on that.
Similarly being able to access popular subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Spotify is also an expectation for many users. While the Ubuntu MATE team can do little to deliver the technologies to make this happen, we can provide simple installation options to enable access to these services, and where possible, ship the required software by default.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 15.10 by using Software Boutique to install Google Chrome, Spotify or Pithos
Mobile device integration
Currently Ubuntu MATE has the essential mobile device support you’d expect. You can plug in a phone or a media player and the device is automatically detected and mounted, you can then access the files on it.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 15.10
Mobile device notifications can be wirelessly mirrored to your Ubuntu MATE desktop and for you to be able to send files or links wirelessly between your mobile devices and Ubuntu MATE.
Implemented since Ubuntu MATE 16.04 by using the Software Boutique to install KDE Connect Indicator