Sunday, September 4, 2016

Planning for MATE 1.16

MATE developers have agreed to release MATE 1.16 this month to catch up with Fedora 25 and Ubuntu 16.10 release schedule. Ubuntu 16.10 is scheduled for October 13 while Fedora is scheduled for November 15 (assumed no more delays).

As promised, MATE 1.16 will bring more GTK+3 porting. This time, it will be engrampa, mate-notifications-daemon, mate-session-manager, mate-polkit, and mate-terminal. Due to short development cycle, maybe not all of the  TODO entries listed in the ROADMAP will be fixed in this cycle. Long term goal is still to have all code ported to GTK+3. It's still a long road ahead due to long list of showstopper bugs, but once we completed that milestone, we can have some new interesting features, such as HiDPI + Wayland support and libunique replacement with GtkApplication.

Although some Linux distribution have offered full GTK+3 only build (such as Fedora), for next 1.16, i will probably keep providing a mix build of GTK+2/3 due to showstoppers mentioned above. Full support will be given to Slackware 14.2 only and not for earlier releases. There will be 3 new deps added in MATE 1.16 which is not yet available in Slackware 14.2:
  • libgxps
  • vala
  • vte3
Few days ago, GTK+ team posted a blog post about their plan for future GTK+ releases. In short, GTK+3-3.22 will be their last minor release of the 3.x series and this gives hope for MATE developers as they have to support many GTK+3 releases at the same time and it may have some incompatibilities between each releases. With all Linux distribution stopped at GTK+3-3.22 someday, it would be easier for them to focus on porting the rest of MATE components to GTK+3 only, fixing the GTK+3 bugs, and adding more features into MATE itself. Support for GTK+4 can be added later when other Linux distribution have started to adopt it in their distribution.