So after a year of fighting with Ubuntu and their stupid drastic changes with every release, I heard about Mint and MATE + Compiz and am officially sold. Converted all my machines already and things are working great.
I simply couldn't grasp Ubuntu's tendencies to REMOVE features with every release. For example I have been using Compiz's features to draw on the screen during presentations, Compiz's ability to assign arbitrary actions to my 17-button mouse, and have long relied on the fact that Gnome2 interface is NOT "smart" in order to increase productivity -- I can click menus in a fraction of a second if they don't change every time I open them. I have hundreds of other complaints about Ubuntu but I'm sure a lot of Mint users have had the same experiences so I'm not going to yak on about those.
However, I notice Mint has two versions, a Gnome 2-ish MATE and a Gnome 3-ish Cinnamon version. I've been using the MATE one. But what is the ultimate goal of having 2 versions? Is MATE a well-supported project intended to be continued, or is just a "transitional" release that is planned to die in another year before the whole world switches to evil tablet-like interfaces?
I guess what I'm getting at is, is providing a traditional computing interface with the freedom and myriad customization options that everyone had in Gnome2/KDE3 a central goal of Mint, or just an side effect of Mint dev lagging behind all the Unity nonsense? Is Mint really the Linux-for-Unity-haters that I've been looking for all along?
Thanks, and sorry if I made any incorrect assumptions!