For those using MATE Desktop, you should be pleased with this news as MATE 1.8 is now under active development lead by Stefano Karapetsas and progressing on daily basis. Some highlights that will be part of future MATE 1.8 has been posted on their roadmap wiki.
Some of those highlight that i would like to stress out are:
merged several extensions for caja into a single caja-extensions
Added support for GTK+3 and Bluez 5
Added support for gstreamer-1.x
migration to lcms2
I have been running MATE 1.7 development version on my main desktop at home and so far, it's running smoothly here without any problem. The final release of MATE 1.8 should be more fun and it will be available for Slackware 14.1 and future release of Slackware if MATE 2.0 hasn't been released yet :)