I've just installed R8, and it looks great! I had used (briefly) R7.5 and R5 (long ago!). This is my first real try with the Debian base instead of Ubuntu, and it is an interesting experience to see the similarities and differences.
One difference I haven't overcome yet: how do I get rid of ALL desktop icons? I prefer to put the launchers on the upper panel (which I have done), but now how do I scrap the desktop icons? There's no Delete in the right-click options, and I don't see a method in the Control Center.
TIA for your response, and congratulations on a really cool distro!
This problem will meet in MATE.
Application - System Tools - dconf Editor
The left item: org - mate - cara - desktop
Here is items with icon visible