Softpedia was informed a few moments ago by Martin Wimpress about the development plan for the next major release of the Ubuntu MATE computer operating system.

Yes, we’re talking about Ubuntu MATE 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), whose development cycle already started, and we reported the other day that the Software Boutique and Ubuntu MATE Welcome in-house built apps have received exciting new features. But, today, May 25, 2016, we have even more great news for our Ubuntu MATE readers, as it looks like the OS will be switching to using GTK3 by default.

“With a solid 16.04 release behind us it is time to focus on our ‘retrospective future’ and not just languish as a retrospective only project. Ubuntu MATE 16.10 is the experimental playground to adopt, and experiment with, new technologies so that our traditional desktop environment can continue to flourish and remain relevant,” said Martin Wimpress, Ubuntu MATE project leader.

The good, the bad, and the ugly of migrating the Ubuntu MATE operating system to the latest GTK+ 3 technologies have been laid down by the project’s developers in a lengthy article, which is a recommended reading if you’re curious to know what works right now and what doesn’t. However, rest assured that things will get a lot better before the final release of Ubuntu MATE 16.10 hits the streets in October 20, 2016.

Ubuntu MATE 16.10 will use Snaps

Snap, as you might well be aware of, is a new package format designed from the ground up by Canonical to offer users sandboxed applications on their Ubuntu Linux operating systems. The Snap format is already implemented by default in the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, but only to prepare the community for snap packaging, as there are only a few apps available right now.

As such, the Ubuntu MATE developers informed us today that they are preparing to adopt the Snap packaging format for the MATE desktop environment, but do not think for a second that they are planning on replacing the standard .deb package format with it. “We are not dropping the classic Debian package based distribution model. We want to make this point as clear as we can,” said Mr. Wimpress.

What few of you know about the Snap package format is that it provides users with the latest software versions, as soon as they are released upstream. Therefore, Ubuntu MATE 16.10 will use Snaps to offer you the latest version of the MATE desktop environment. And, they’ve already created the first Snap package, Galculator, the default calculator tool.

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