Cinnamon is a GTK+ 3-based desktop environment. The project originally started as a fork of the GNOME Shell, i.e. a mere graphical shell. Cinnamon was initially developed by (and for) the Linux distribution Linux Mint.
Because the Cinnamon desktop environment intends to implement a different graphical user interface (GUI) than GNOME desktop environment, many of the GNOME Core Applications were forked, so that their GUIs can be rewritten appropriately.
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