MATE is a fork of the Gnome 2 code base, created in response to the many breaking changes in Gnome 3, many of which were met with disapproval by long-time Gnome users.
Pro Traditional desktop experience
The goal of MATE is to maintain the look and feel of Gnome 2, while maintaining compatibility with Gnome 3. To that end, it has also forked and renamed many of Gnome's core applications. It benefits from the years of work and polish that have gone into Gnome project, and has already been adopted as one of the default environments for Linux Mint.