Why two desktop environments?

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jameskga
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Why two desktop environments?

Postby jameskga » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:13 pm

Hello! Thank you all for being such a wonderful community and especially thank you, to the development team, for creating and sharpening the most competitive distribution of Linux in the industry.

I have heard the question raised before but no clear answer why the Mint team develops two similar desktop environments when Cinnamon is already doing so well?

To me, Mate seems so similar to Cinnamon, and the differences between the recommended hardware specifications are so narrow, that I don't understand why there are two. I do not believe there should only be one, but I do wonder why - since there are two - they are so similar in behavior and appearance (since they are also not far apart on recommended system specs, too).

I know literally nothing about developing operating systems, so this is a stupid question, OK. But: If you are going to devote resources to creating two desktop environments, why shouldn't they be radically different from one another? I have a relatively new low-end laptop that Mate really sucks with. I use Xfce and it works a little better, and it's highly customizable and can look rich with a few theme and interface changes. But then the other day I tested Cinnamon 18.3 on the same hardware and it ran as smoothly as Xfce, so now I am really starting to wonder if I'm not seeing some larger piece of the overall picture.
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MintBean
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Re: Why two desktop environments?

Postby MintBean » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:38 pm

I agree with you to an extent and I think Mate and Cinnamon have grown more similar over time although that may just be a perception as I don't use Mate. Here's the thing though- I wouldn't want to switch to Mate as Cinnamon just feels better to me and I'm sure there are plenty of people who prefer Mate also. Choices...

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Schultz
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Re: Why two desktop environments?

Postby Schultz » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:59 pm

MintBean wrote:
. . . I'm sure there are plenty of people who prefer Mate also.

Like me. I've tried Cinnamon twice and I just didn't like it. It seemed a bit complicated. Or perhaps I'm just a tad bit too dumb? :) (As the "real" Schultz says: I know nothing . . . nothing!)

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administrollaattori
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Re: Why two desktop environments?

Postby administrollaattori » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:04 am

Mate bases on old and good Gnome 2 and Cinnamon is a new desktop environment who has its own children's diseases. I prefer Mate, because it is more handy and it works out of box almost in every hardware.

Anyway I use sometimes Cinnamon also, and I have installed both of the environments under same linux.

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all41
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Re: Why two desktop environments?

Postby all41 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:23 am

I chose MATE because eye candy is not important.
There is something nice and unique to be found in all the desktop choices though,
and I find likable attributes in each--
Proud to be a supporter and monthly contributor to Mint.

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jimallyn
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Re: Why two desktop environments?

Postby jimallyn » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:18 am

Actually, there are 4 different desktop environments available in Mint. Besides MATE and Cinnamon, XFCE and KDE are available. Linux is all about choice. I don't particularly care for MATE. I use Cinnamon on my desktop, and XFCE on my older laptop. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
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jameskga
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Re: Why two desktop environments?

Postby jameskga » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:45 pm

I prefer Xfce myself, and I find that after some customization with built-in options, it readily adapts to look rich and modern.

Mint is the best because it offers something for everybody. But I was thinking also about the problem Xfce solves for Mate, in the way that it efficiently fills a demand for fast, lightweight desktop environment. But you're right, choice is good. And why not have a competitor in that area, too? They do look quite different from each other, indeed.
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