Episode 91: Mint 12 (Lisa) RC


  • German court rules that free software can be modified as users wish (follow up from earlier episode). (pcworld.com)
  • Bruce Byfield conducts a usability test between KDE, Gnome and Unity. (datamation.com)
  • Adobe Stops Development of mobile Flash to focus on HTML5 in the future. (adobe.com)

The Main Topic: Mint 12 (Lisa) RC

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14 Replies to “Episode 91: Mint 12 (Lisa) RC”

  1. Bob

    In regards to Unity and Gnome Shell. When I was running Ubuntu 11.10, both were very stable. But I have a few concerns. With Unity, whenever I would go to click my back button on the tool bar in say, Firefox, if I went to far to the left the panel would pop up and block my ability to click the back button. One reason Unity, should by default, give users the ability to place the panel wherever they want on their desktop. With gnome shell, I feel like I’m back to Windows XP, in regards to customization. Why do I need to install a boat load of extensions, and tweak tools, etcc. When these should already be installed by default for the user. Those coming to Linux from Windows, or less likely, MacOSX, would not know how to get all of these tweaks added. I feel Gnome 3 and Unity have a bright future, but only if functionality is restored. I still feel what Apple has done with the MacOSX interface, is what many want. MacOSX, looks like Gnome 2, with things like AWN, composting, etcc enabled by default. This is what Gnome 2 had going for it. Gnome 3, and Unity, do not resemble MacOSX in the slightest way. Canonical is trying to mimic Apple, in many ways. But!, it will never win many OSX people over, mainly, because of the apps that are available. Apps, like Adobe’s software. Yes Adobe!. Many photo enthusiasts, and professionals, rely on Abobe’s software to do their work. This software is not natively ported to Linux, so many will not even look to switching.

    Now as for Debian, and LMDEs’. My main concern updates. When I run the current Xubuntu, or any buntus, I have to enable the pre-release updates, so I can go and install Kernel 3.0.0-13. I need this because the default Kernel 3.0.0-12 has issues with certain printers, like my Epson R340, and will not recognize it when I go to add my printer. This was mentioned in Launcpad, and the fix, which worked was, installing Kernel 3.0.0-13. So how can I do this in LMDE?. I tried enabling, “unstable” repos, but no newer kernel. So everything worked fine, but my printer was useless. How long would I have to wait to get this fixed?. It was over a month and still no fix. Debian may be fine, but from what I have read it is still, a bit more unstable that using Ubuntu as a base, unless you want to enable Stable repos, which defeats the purpose of having an up to date OS. Does the Linux Mint team have the resources to do all of this. I don’t think so. And how long does it take to fix something in the Debian testing repos?.

    Third, thing. Has anyone ever thought that XFCE, and adding to it’s development, may be easier to do than creating a port of Gnome 2. XFCE has been around for years, and is basically a medium weight desktop environment, that has all the customization Gnome 2 had. So why not ship Gnome 3 and XFCE on the same DVD. With a customized XFCE experience. Rather than two desktop environments that need substantial work.

    Enjoy listing to your show!


    • k357k9

      Your third point is right on target. XFCE has been left out of most of these discussions. Why? It is an active, on going project with a real future.

  2. MikeC

    My only real question is what will become of LMDE? At present, its default desktop is Gnome2. Will it move to Gnome3? Or MATE it has its bugs out? Or will it use the same tweaked Gnome3 that Mint 12 will end up with?

    I ask mostly for academic reasons, since I use LMDE XFCE, but I am still of the opinion that Mint’s long term plan is to migrate their frozen release from being directly based on Ubuntu to Debian Testing filtered through their own repos.

    • Intio

      From Clem (about LMDE): “We’re holding the updates on LMDE at the moment for two reasons: X11 is broken upstream and Debian is in the process of updating Gnome to version 3 in testing. When Gnome 3.2 and X11 are healthy in Debian testing we’ll release a new update pack along with MATE packages and MGSE for LMDE.”

  3. Jethro Mendonça

    Just adding something to what Bob wrote (or maybe just being repetitive here).

    Well, first of all, I’d like to thank the Linux Mint staff for bringing back both the Minimize Button and a bottom bar that can show me all the opened programs (minimized or not) to Gnome 3. This is functionality. We need these things to keep our work flowing without making a mess in our desktop screen.

    By the other hand, I think that two menus is too much information and a waste of screen space. And I do prefer the new (or the old) Mint menu than the Gnome 3 one. Or even the old Gnome 2 menu could be better. Also, that top bar showing the name of the focused running program AGAIN, with the only option to close that program – this is repetition. Do I really need that top bar at all?

    See, I’ve been working with a widescreen monitor for a long time already. And these kind of monitors have a lot of horizontal space, and poor vertical space. So, the logical thing to do in this situation is to use a bar like “Unity/AWN/DockBarX/whatever” on the left or the right side of it. Unity won this particular topic. But they still don’t allow us to move it to one side or another. What if we don’t agree with Ubuntu staff forcing us to keep all the mouse functionalities on the left side of the screen? Why do I need to change my way of using the computer? I’m not even planning to have a touchscreen monitor or mobile device to use for work. So, there should be an option there for people like me to choose. Wasn’t the Linux community repeating it for a whole decade? “Freedom and choice”.

    Back to the old desktops where I learned to use Linux, There was WindowManager, AfterStep… They all used this technique to put things on the right side of the monitor. Their menu and launcher were on the right side. And it makes so much more sense to me since the “maximize/minimize/close” buttons were at the right side of the windows as well. Even the old BeOS was like this. Why do I have to change it now??

    OK, just to finish this long text now, I love Gnome 2 because we can do anything to its bars and its layout. We can go to a point where nobody would believe it was Gnome 2. And now we can’t do much to both Unity or Gnome 3, unless we start installing a lot of extensions that would cut off its stability. I would fall in love with Gnome 3 for sure, if they had kept these particular functionalities. Really.

    And about which distro Linux Mint would follow from now on. Well, as long as they don’t keep us from adding PPAs to our apt sources, which is really practical, I’ll be okay 🙂 Linux Mint has been my favourite and main distro since Mint 10, by the way.

    Thank you for the mintCast show, guys. I really enjoy your work there.

  4. michael

    Hi guys, well, I’m no longer using the RC. However, I am still using MGSE. The Macbook I’m using at the moment seems to have some weird hardware issues with the 11.10 base.

    I tested out Sabayon 7 Gnome and discovered that the Macbook plays a lot more nicely with it — and I’ve made it and behave more or less like Mint 12 by downloading the Mint Gnome Shell Extensions, which are working just fine under Sabayon’s Gnome 3.2 desktop.

    I don’t know where the hardware issues are coming from, but I was messing with Debian Sid last week and had similar problems to what I was having with the Mint RC and that I’d had with Ubuntu and Kubuntu 11.10, so there’s some upstream weirdness going on that doesn’t seem to be occurring with Sabayon.

    • JamesC

      Sweet I like Sabayon for the same reason it works a little bit better with my hardware, but I don’t think my problems are as severe as with your Macbook. A question though, compared to Mint what do you like about Sabayon?

      • michael

        Sabayon actually has quite a bit in common with Mint in that a lot of the non-free stuff (Flash, codecs, etc) is installed by default. Like Mint, it also shares a code base with a bigger distro (Gentoo), but unlike Mint, there are even more goodies installed by default, like development packages and proprietary hardware drivers.

        My machine at the office is an iMac with Nvidia graphics. I couldn’t get it to work correctly with the proprietary drivers in Mint 9, Kubuntu 11.10, and it wouldn’t even boot with Debian Sid, even with the nouveau driver. I booted with Sabayon, it loaded the proprietary Nvidia driver by default. Brightness was set to maximum, but a one line change to the xorg.conf file fixed it.

        But quite honestly, there’s not a of difference for me between using one distro and another. I tend to install packages from the terminal, so it doesn’t really matter to me if I’m typing “aptitude install xyz” or “equo install xyx.”

      • michael

        Well, I seem to have managed to conquer the Mac-specific issues w/Mint 12 and found a workaround to a mouse-freezing bug in gnome-settings-daemon that seemed to be a deal-breaking bug — so I’m back on Mint now that it’s gone gold!

  5. Steven

    The biggesr problem with Gnome Shell and Unity, and perhaps MGSE as well, is not that they are lacking functionality. It’s that users are, by and large, unwilling to learn a new paradigm. From the comments I’ve read, people load it up, try to do things the old way, find out the old way is gone, then quit. They may find out about some extensions and/or tweak tools, try again, get mad they have to use them to restore functionality, then quit again.

    Take the time to learn Gnome Shell or Unity and how it works instead of trying to force a round peg into a square hole and you might find it’s a lot more functional than you realized.

    • enthorgar

      I thought the same thing when I read comments from the linuxmint blogpost. With a little open mind, it is easy to adapt to.

      On that note, I love the new mint, and is running the RC fairly stable 🙂

  6. dvc

    A problem with the wish of Mint going Debian base is lack of binary compatibility. When trying to see this from a non-superuser perspective; Ubuntu has better support for non-free stuff (?), and most websites that list options for linux has ubuntu-packages which is easily installed in Mint.

    I have learned my family to install ppa’s and .deb’s for themselves in order to get what stuff they need that isn’t in the repo’s. Sure, sourcecode is compatible, but I don’t compile stuff myself unless I have to, as it is a hassle to keep updated. It doesn’t sound like the Mint way to me…

    • merelyjim

      Agreed, but don’t you feel that by putting a layer of Mint over Debian, you ecourage the avarage user to learn a bit more for themselves, and in time, depend on you less?

      Just my $0.02

      • dvc

        Sure. I would love that, but I believe Mint is popular partly because it is binary compatible with the most popular linux distro.

        But is this really an issue, as we already have Mint on both Ubuntu-base and Debian-base?

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