My name is Brandon Bachman. (You can obviously gather that from my profile.) I have been a user of Linux systems for the past decade and some, having began my journey to Arch with Ubuntu in 2009, and a friend of mine on the long dead AIM chat platform showed me Ubuntu 9.04. It was a bit of a crapshoot as my radios weren't working, which Ubuntu 9.06 fixed.
As a long-term user of Ubuntu and Debian systems, I had over time grown familiar with Ubuntu as my desktop. At least, until GNOME development team decided to ditch GNOME 2 in 2012, which made me frustrated as a Ubuntu user. So frustrated in fact, I went back to Microsoft Windows for a bit, because I really couldn't deal with going from GNOME 2 to GNOME Shell. (Terrible naming schema GNOME team, shame on them.)
After trying out other desktops, it was finally MATE, when the Linux Mint team released their MATE build of Linux Mint I had used for a good, long while. During my time with Linux Mint. I carried over some old habits from Ubuntu, like use of Avant Window Navigator ("AWN") and at the Linux Mint forums under pseudonym MintRainbow I had written a small guide about converting the AWN Mint Menu applet to using MATE's libraries when MATE was just a clone of GNOME 2.
As Unity had killed some projects outright with its mere existence, eventually I had to let AWN go because it was becoming more difficult to maintain and continue using due to future library compatibility issues. I hopped off of Linux Mint when I was also experiencing some issues with software I've tried to use in Linux Mint when I found no such problems existed with Ubuntu MATE, which was something I took interest in to hop off of Mint and back to what became an official arm of Ubuntu.
Through my years, I've been trying my best to keep old, dying branches of software going with older revisions of libraries. I've written many guides about that on the Ubuntu MATE forums under pseudonym tiox, as a matter of fact. Since my coding skills are not... stellar to say the least, that's all I could really do, as it seems like everything I want to use is succumbing to a similar fate to my beloved AWN.
Then I thought about something — Why am I spending my time doing all of this bullocks with software packages? It seems like it's always been in vain since the next update around, software I've grown accustom to using requires another old lib here, another odd lib there, and in spite of updates to Ubuntu being far and few between, I'm still feeling that update fatigue.
A fair bit abridged as I was dabbling in Fedora for a bit, but I never took that serious, and aside from learning about RPM / YUM / COPR, my experience with the Linux userland as a whole wasn't that much improved, and wasn't that noteworthy. (About as much of a mess as Debian is!)
While I do love Ubuntu and all as bab(b)y's first Linux, I decided enough was enough. It just wasn't working for me anymore, and there were just too many papercuts to endure with how I want to use Ubuntu. I've heard of Manjaro as a derivative of Arch, figured I would give it a try. While the people at Discord Linux don't quite like it, I couldn't care less.
So far, Manjaro's been pretty nice. Seeing there was a community spin with MATE made it even better, as I am an old man who'll probably never change. that's probably what I am sticking with. Install went as smoothly as it would in Ubuntu, and after some tooling about with it on my old laptop, figured I would replace Ubuntu MATE with it and see how long things don't suck with it. My time using Manjaro with the AUR thus far almost feels magical in comparison to the Debian horsecrap I've been flagellating myself with for the past decade.
Hopefully that magic sticks around me for a bit. I'll be adapting some guides from the Ubuntu MATE forums for you lot, since I've been able to replicate much of my MATE desktop workflow via Manjaro and I do some things that I think other people might agree are sensible changes to a wonderful Arch Linux experience.
Many hearts and good wishes.
Edit: A hallmark of my posts is how often I make mistakes after-the-fact I have to iron out so I don't look like some dumb kid who doesn't know how to keyboard. While the latter may be true, I have some standards when it comes to writing I feel obliged to uphold for the reader's sake.
Moderation Note: Moved to #general-discussion:user-stories