The Ubuntu MATE project is progressing nicely and the developers have provided a short update about the work that's been done already and about the things that still need to be improved.
Ubuntu MATE is about to become the new addition to the Ubuntu family. As the name suggests, it comes with the MATE desktop environment by default and it's been in the works for a few moths already.
The developers are members of the Ubuntu and MATE community, which means that the progress has been really fast. Normally, this kind of implementation takes a while, but in this case, Ubuntu Touch is coming along just nicely.
“The Ubuntu Technical Board are supportive of Ubuntu MATE and the Ubuntu MATE team needs to complete some formalities before we can progress our request. The Ubuntu MATE team will complete the outstanding actions requested by the Ubuntu Technical Board in the coming days and I am confident Ubuntu MATE will achieve official status in due course,” reads the update.
You might notice that the announcement is a little bit vague, so we reached out to Martin Wimpress, one of the developers of the distribution, and he says that he doesn't really know if everything will be in order by the time of the 14.10 release and that an Ubuntu 15.04 release window is likely.
“Ubuntu MATE Beta1 is progressing nicely and is mainly focused on tweaking the themes and adding Ubuntu MATE specific artwork. The Ubuntu MATE community have been brilliant in this regard and contributed Ubuntu MATE wallpapers, LightDM theme, Plymouth theme and new desktop themes. A SYSLINUX theme is currently in the works. Some general improvements have also been made during the Beta1 cycle, such as desktop policy privilege fixes, meta package improvements and aligning the core packages with the other Ubuntu flavors,” also notes Martin Wimpress in the announcement.
As you can imagine, there are still a number of problems that plague the development version of Ubuntu MATE, but it seems that there are no major issues that would hold the work in place. Even so, if you think that you can help with the project, you are welcome to take a look at the distro's problems and outstanding request and see if you can help with anything.
You can download Ubuntu MATE 14.10 Alpha 2 right now from Softpedia, but the first Beta is already on its way and it should be here on August 28.