Monthly News – August 2013

Written by Clem on Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 @ 5:39 am | Main Topics

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors:
Blue Systems - Netrunner
Gold Sponsors:
Opera
VMware Cloud Hosting
Silver Sponsors:
Idera (formerly R1Soft)
ThinkPenguin.com
Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
Gutscheindrache.de Coupons
Sysnova Information Systems
Community Sponsors:

To become a sponsor or to see the full list of Linux Mint sponsors, please visit: http://www.linuxmint.com/sponsors.php

Donations:

A total of $4052 was raised thanks to the generous contributions of 185 donors:

  • $256, Samuel Brubaker aka “Worldsday
  • $129.93, Mats K.
  • $129.93, Jean-Philippe Meuret
  • $100, Jonathan E.
  • $100, Ib O. J.
  • $75 (11th donation), Ralph Siegler aka “ziggy
  • $64.97, E J. B.
  • $64.97, Heinz L.
  • $64.97, Geoff S.
  • $64.97, @Kode4Food
  • $51.97 (2nd donation), Emil K.
  • $51.97, Fabrizio C.
  • $50 (41th donation), Matthew M.
  • $50 (3rd donation), Tim B. aka “stripedtomato”
  • $50 (2nd donation), Christopher B.
  • $50 (2nd donation), Jason S.
  • $50, Soren K.
  • $50, Will C.
  • $50, David W.
  • $50, Dave S.
  • $50, Andrei R.
  • $50, Jim W.
  • $50, Edwin B.
  • $50, Bruce T.
  • $45, Emilio G. aka “Emiliano Zapata”
  • $38.98 (42th donation), Olli K.
  • $38.98, Cristian T. A.
  • $35, Samuel M.
  • $32.48 (5th donation), David Vantongerloo
  • $32.48, David M.
  • $31, Subramanian V.
  • $30, Robert T.
  • $30, Sergey Y.
  • $30, Mukesh R.
  • $30, Robert R. T.
  • $30, Bruce S.
  • $25.99, Jan M.
  • $25.99, Joseph G.
  • $25.99, Klaus G.
  • $25.99, Salvador C. M. O.
  • $25.99, Ralph W.
  • $25.99, Jens H.
  • $25.99, Jeremie G. aka “AceSlash
  • $25 (23rd donation), Ronald W.
  • $25 (16th donation), John M.
  • $25 (3rd donation), Andy N.
  • $25 (2nd donation), Robert O.
  • $25 (2nd donation), Computer Service Point GmbH
  • $25 (2nd donation), Jon G.
  • $25, Rick R.
  • $25, Mario’s Art Mart
  • $25, R C.
  • $25, Jeff S.
  • $20 (29th donation), Tsuguo S.
  • $20 (4th donation), Antony P.
  • $20 (3rd donation), Gary L.
  • $20 (3rd donation), Computer Service Point GmbH
  • $20 (2nd donation), Gregg L.
  • $20 (2nd donation), Vincent B.
  • $20, PMCDS.com
  • $20, Daniela K.
  • $20, Peter L.
  • $20, Tyler K. M.
  • $20, Charles A.
  • $20, David S.
  • $20, Bob D.
  • $20, Haukur H.
  • $20, Jeffrey B.
  • $20, Marcel S.
  • $20, Mark P.
  • $20, Fahad A.
  • $20, Jason D.
  • $20, Clive A. S.
  • $20, wishgranted.com
  • $20, jce
  • $20, David S.
  • $20, Paulo P. F.
  • $20, Krzysztof S.
  • $20, Christian K.
  • $20, Donald S.
  • $20, Chris R.
  • $20, Artur P.
  • $19.99, Raymond M.
  • $19.49 (21st donation), Jarkko K.
  • $19.49 (2nd donation), Niklas M.
  • $19.49, Eduard L.
  • $19.49, Lars Gersmann aka “Orangevolt Ampere
  • $19.49, Josef B.
  • $19.49, Alexander W.
  • $19.49, Christian R.
  • $15.59 (2nd donation), Salvador Coin aka “Johnny”
  • $15 (7th donation), Robert E.
  • $15 (2nd donation), Nikolaus S.
  • $15, Roger P.
  • $15, Devon B.
  • $15, Charles K.
  • $15, Petr B.
  • $12.99 (7th donation), Mark W.
  • $12.99, Andrew R.
  • $12.99, Gerard C.
  • $12.99, Sergii O.
  • $12.99, Steven B.
  • $12.99, Nico K.
  • $12.99, Hakan E.
  • $12.99, Data Power Development Limited
  • $12.99, Martin R.
  • $12.99, Eric P. K.
  • $12.99, Linus S.
  • $12.99, Marcin K.
  • $12.99, Michael K.
  • $11.28 (4th donation), Marco Zanatta aka “Reiki75″
  • $10 (30th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
  • $10 (6th donation), Charles P.
  • $10 (5th donation), Tony W.
  • $10 (3rd donation), Javier Guijarro aka “chejofan
  • $10 (2nd donation), Robert L.
  • $10 (2nd donation), Gerard M. Cormick aka “gmacor2″
  • $10 (2nd donation), Иван Ф.
  • $10, Nattasit S.
  • $10, culturecrazy.com.au
  • $10, Chirawat C.
  • $10, Nathan C.
  • $10, Scott S.
  • $10, Sergey Pavlov aka “Qiwichupa
  • $10, James B.
  • $10, Samuel O.
  • $10, Eleusmario M. R.
  • $10, Matt M.
  • $10, Daniel B.
  • $10, James P.
  • $10, Robert G. C.
  • $10, Christian D. C. H.
  • $10, Jason J.
  • $10, Allan E.
  • $10, Seth S.
  • $9.1 (2nd donation), Jack E.
  • $6.66, Jason S.
  • $6.5 (19th donation), Marco aka “Dictionary-Maker
  • $6.5 (18th donation), Marco aka “Dictionary-Maker
  • $6.5 (3rd donation), Paulo N. aka “uLusu”
  • $6.5, Marcin T.
  • $6.5, Mark H.
  • $6.5, Bjoern W. aka “wulfi”
  • $6.5, Sascha O.
  • $5.2, Joseph aka “joerack
  • $5.09, Andrew C.
  • $5 (23rd donation), Antonio M. M. aka “zantaz
  • $5 (8th donation), Pronto Admin
  • $5 (7th donation), Jose M. D. A.
  • $5 (4th donation), L M. aka “LinuxMint”
  • $5 (4th donation), Marco Zanatta aka “Reiki75″
  • $5 (4th donation), Jose A. Ruiz
  • $5 (3rd donation), Carlos W.
  • $5 (3rd donation), Alexey aka “hellman”
  • $5 (2nd donation), Artem G. aka “shrewmus”
  • $5 (2nd donation), tapin13
  • $5, Randy R.
  • $5, Sebastian B.
  • $5, Brian B.
  • $5, Jesus M. S.
  • $5, Bryan R.
  • $5, Jon W.
  • $5, Alistair G.
  • $5, Leandro S.
  • $3.9, Benjamin S.
  • $3.25, Wolfgang B.
  • $3 (2nd donation), Muhd Hafiz B. Mastro aka “monarsh”
  • $3, Ahmad S.
  • $3, Muhd Hafiz B. Mastro aka “monarsh”
  • $2.6 (4th donation), Marco Zanatta aka “Reiki75″
  • $2.6, Patrick S.
  • $2.6, Jani aka “Sinuhesieda”
  • $2.6, Rafał K.
  • $12.07 from 12 smaller donations

If you want to help Linux Mint with a donation, please visit http://www.linuxmint.com/donors.php

Rankings:

  • Distrowatch (popularity ranking): 3417 (1st)
  • Alexa (website ranking): 7590th

Events:

News and summary:

  • First of all, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who are funding us. August is our last month in partnership with Blue Systems and with Opera moving to a new engine and new versions of their browser not yet being available to Linux, we might lose our two biggest sponsors next months. The financial help we get from the community is helping us a lot and it’s also a huge motivation considering how supportive you are. Looking at other Free and Open Source projects and at how hard it is to sustain such activity without corporate funding, we feel really privileged and extremely grateful. Many thanks to all the donors and all the sponsors for their support.
  • In partnership with CompuLab, the MintBox 2 should be announced in the coming days. At roughly the same price as its predecessor the new unit will boast 4 times the processing power.
  • We’re planning to include 2 new search engines in Linux Mint 16. Details will be given and announcements made when agreements are finalized.
  • LMDE’s Update Pack 7 landed in ‘incoming’. The team noted a couple of important issues and is currently working on solving them.
  • Development continues in preparation for Mint 16 (note that these improvements will also land in LMDE and Mint 13):
    • Improvements were made to the USB Image Writer and a new tool was developed to format USB Sticks. The tool supports FAT32, EXT4 and NTFS.

    • Cinnamon sound events are now configurable (so you can set your own sounds for desktop login, maximizing windows, switching workspace etc..). The design was shared with the MATE team so we might see this get into MATE 1.8 as well.

    • There’s good news for people with multiple monitors: The Cinnamon display module was improved and the team is currently considering a redesign of the panels which would make it possible to move panels, create multiple panels on the screen, and assign different panels to different monitors.

  • Between now and November, the development team will focus on the following projects: architectural improvements and redesigns for MDM and mintUpdate, UI improvements in mintInstall and mintWelcome, additional features in nemo and Cinnamon.

35 Responses to “Monthly News – August 2013”

  1. Gustaf Says:

    Good news! :)

    Looking forward to when all the news will be included in the next release.

  2. Dieselkopf Says:

    Great news! The feature to handle multiple panels where I want was the one i missed sooo much in cinnamon…

    i’d embrace to hear more news, what’s exactly going on, more communication on cinnamon.linuxmint.com and linuxmint.com.

    gooooood job!

  3. Liz Mills Says:

    Hey folks

    Loving what you do. I’m a new fan of Linux – just changed from the dreaded Microsoft this year, thanks to Mint 14 & 15. You make it easier for those of us new to Linux, and I am so grateful – I tell all my friends to make the switch.

    Keep up the good work

    Liz
    xx

  4. GamingOnLinux.com Says:

    Excellent work guys, I will personally be switching to Mint in the not so distant future as Ubuntu’s direction is disappointing.

    Edit by Clem: Hi Liam, thanks. I’m just taking the opportunity to say good work to you too (on gamingonlinux.com).

  5. Anand Says:

    Hi Clem – Glad to hear on the progress. Since there is a mention about financial support, are you looking at / open to any platform based crowd-funding initiatives to fund initiatives / projects in the future? (Kickstarter, indiegogo,etc)
    I feel that philosophy of Mint is positively biased towards slow yet stable and steady development but given the growing widespread adoption of Mint, are you exploring on expansion plans like hiring more developers, commercial support, etc.
    Just curious. :-)
    BTW, 0 A.D. is seeking financial support for game development.
    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-0-a-d-an-open-source-strategy-game

    Edit by Clem: We can look into it, but I’m not very keen on promising things before I know they’re implemented and letting funding impact design. We looked into bounties, we looked into giving the ability for donors to fund particular aspects or sub-projects of Linux Mint… and none of these were good for us. One of the key benefits of being community-funded is that we can fully focus on development and we have our hands free of any promises or restrictions when it comes to design. Decision-making is instant, flexible and independent. And that’s been really important in our success so far and in the passion we have in doing what we do. We have that relationship with our community and especially with our donors, where we both give to one another without asking in return. It’s a fantastic model because all we have in mind is making people happy and we’re financially enabled by our users.

  6. Gabriel Says:

    I switched to Mint with version 13 as I was disappointed with the direction Ubuntu as taken as well. Really looking forward to the new Mint release. Is there any plans to improve the Software Manager? It could use a UI refresh and performance improvements (sometimes hangs when searching or installing programs and progress bar does not always work). Anyway, keep up the awesome work Mint team.

    Edit by Clem: Yes. Performance improvements went in the Git version already. Stability improvements are being working on as well. The UI is problematic and a little harder to redesign, but we’ve good examples and ideas on how to improve it as well.

  7. Anand Says:

    Clem – Completely agree on your comment on 5) and appreciate the rationale behind your decision. Promises may create undue pressures and love for linux is its own reward.

    May I suggest something – Let core desktop development be free from the funding pressure but peripheral things like revamping Mint sites (forums, community ,etc), branding, promotion, documentation, etc are perhaps good candidates for crowd-funding. They can even be given outside as projects to non-Mint developers. Just thinking aloud, you need not reply!

    Of course, i suppose immediate priority for you is Mint 16. :-)

    Edit by Clem: It is, Mint + 1 is always our top priority :)

  8. Sam Burgos Says:

    Trying to complement what comment 6 (@Gabriel) says it would be nice to check the Software Manager in performance, and as for UI you might check a couple of visual designs from Ubuntu Software Center as well as trying to adapt some thing from it if possible, unfortunately everytime i want to click on an “apt” link it redirects to apps(dot)ubuntu(dot)com instead of launching gdebi so you can copy something like that to the Manager as well (might be an upstream bug I’m not really sure so correct me if i’m wrong)

    As for the tools. Can I request you to do a post explaining which ones can be backported to Mint 13 and which ones doesn’t? Might help the users on what can they expect if they remain in the LTS branch

    Edit by Clem: Ideally all of them. I can’t say for sure until we actually review them one by one though and by the time we do that, we’re already backporting them :)

  9. Nicolás Satragno Says:

    I wonder why “Windows VPS hosting” is one of the sponsors.
    Anyway, keep up the good work! Although I’m not a user of Mint, it’s excellent to introduce people to GNU/Linux.

  10. Carlos Felipe Says:

    Please use lightDM as Ubuntu or Elementary OS, MDM is homemade too much.

    Edit by Clem: There’s pros and cons on both. I’m planning to port the MDM greeters to LightDM as an R&D project, so it might not lead to anything but we’ll see. LightDM’s backend is pretty good but it lacks themeing and configuration. Maybe we can get the best of both worlds with a bit of development, no promises, we’ll see what we can do.

  11. pc999 Says:

    Thanks for the great work.

    Will the mintUpdate update means that we can upgrade to new versions without a new install (like Ubuntu), now, more than ever with steam games and more apps, I would prefer a easier (and somewhat “safer”) way to upgrade?

    Edit by Clem: No, that’s a different thing.

  12. ssam Says:

    Can you add UDF to your USB stick formatter, it has read and write support on Linux, Windows and Mac and can hold files over 4GB (unlike FAT32).

    Edit by Clem: Yes, we’ll have a look.

  13. Guillermo P Says:

    Very nice summary! This is a great move in the right direction, much better than previous months!

    The sponsor thing got me curious: they just collaborate with some funding for the little publicity they get in this site and for the ‘respect’ the have for the project?
    Maybe you could bring merchandising back to the front again for funding.

    Cheers

  14. A. W. Says:

    I’ve been following cinnamon closely because i really love it but the only reason why i’m running Mate is because of the lack of multiple monitor support.

    i think that it was the most requested featured on github, so to see it being developed is a Big Plus for me so i can finally switch over!

    Thanks guys <3

  15. uneekname Says:

    You would have had over $600 in donation from me by this time, but back around 2011 I posted a note about my software at http://www.freedomenv.com
    after registering the login name ‘uniquename’.

    It has never been clearly explained to me why, but the ‘uniquename’ login was banned and I have never been able to login again under that registered name.

    I got a replay from ‘oscar’ that indicated that someone (oscar herself?) may have thought that I was promoting commercial software — perhaps because my website ends with ‘.com’(???).

    In any case, my software is free — as in cost and as in freedom. It was entirely unjustified that my login name was ‘banned’.

    Since the moderators of the Mint web site arrive at such knee-jerk decisions without checking the website (which clearly indicates the software is no-cost), I decided to never donate to Linux Mint.

    Because of a ‘clueless’ moderator, you have lost about $200 in donations so far — and probably thousands of dollars over my liftetime.

    But I wish you well in carrying Linux into the future by offering a good alternative to the disasters that are known as Ubuntu ‘Unity’
    and Gnome 3.

    Edit by Clem: Good luck to you too and my apologies for that incident. Like Oscar799, I don’t really know what happened. The mod team does a brilliant job, but they are human and they do occasionally make mistakes.

  16. uneekname Says:

    In the previous post,
    - ‘donation’ should have been ‘donations’
    - ‘replay’ should have been ‘reply’
    - ‘$200′ should have been ‘$200/year’.

    This forum should allow a poster to edit their post — for at least
    20 minutes after a post.

  17. PragTob Says:

    Thanks a lot for the update on LMDE!

    by the way, where I can I see the ongoing issues? I didn’t see anything on the forums, segfault or github (at least I can’t find an LMDE repo or something at github).

    Cheers and thanks a lot!
    Tobi

    Edit by Clem: Here, http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=144198

  18. Crewp Says:

    PragTob go to the forums, scroll down to LMDE, then Update Pack 7 Feedback Thread. To see the latest. It’s there. Cheers :)

  19. jesse5567 Says:

    PragTob, you’re right, it can be hard to find, but Crewp is right too, it’s there. :)

    Check out:
    Board index – Other Edition Support – LMDE (Linux Mint Debian) – Update Packs Repositories – Linux Mint Debian Incoming

    (Just remember that Clem’s UPDATE PACK 7 FEEDBACK THREAD is not for support; it is to identify breakages.)

  20. rhy Says:

    Who cares about new Cinnamon features? What’s new in Mate?!?

    Edit by Clem: We care about all the DEs we support. Cinnamon is a little bit special, first because it’s the most popular within the community, and second because it’s implemented by us, so we’re focused on it not just as witnesses/distributors/supporters, but also as developers.

  21. Karo Says:

    Hi!

    All the new features sound great. I am especially curious about USB Format as I had some issues on latest mint cinnamon. Will the mint tool be accessible thru right click on the usb drive as it was before (thru “format…”).

    Thank you for the great work!

    Edit by Clem: Yes, in both Nemo and Dolphin. We also talked about action APIs within the MATE team, so although it won’t be done in Mint 16, we’re hoping caja will get the same level of integration at some stage.

  22. mazinga Says:

    it would be great to resolve the overheating/battery problem for laptops with switchable graphics out of the box!

  23. adam Says:

    is there going to be option in mintupdate for auto update? i think that is missing. is there anyone thinks like me?

  24. Gerry Says:

    Clem,
    Not sure with whom responsibility lies, but will sound issues over HDMI be ironed out in the next release.

    I had to switch from “nouveau” to “nvidia” – which in itself is not straightforward for a NOOBY – I had to blacklist nouveau, it wasn’t a simple case of installing Nvidia from Software centre. Might be good if we could simplify the process, although I admit that it is difficult to install a graphics driver when you’re in the X driver. You speak of adding support for multi-monitors, I use two on my Mint KDE, and I spent hours the other days trying to add new screen resolutions which were not listed in the Display and Monitor application. Thankfully I had instructions on a website to follow (http://mac.linux.be/content/setting-xorgconf-manually-xrandr)

    Sound over HDMI only worked when i recently updated the Kernel to 3.9.
    When Mint 15 was last released, the kernel at the time did not allow sound over HDMI – for Nvidia cards. Although, the previous release Mint 14, I had sound over HDMI, so i was a bit confused over that.

    That said, I’m running Mint 15 KDE, the application “Kmix” for changing the sound between headset, HDMI and Analog should be revised in my opinion. Not only is it cumbersome, but many times I opt to switch from one output source to another but it doesn’t switch the sound – it remains on analog, the default audio device!

    Apart from those two issues, I’m loving this version of Mint, very thankful to you and your team for all the hours of hard work put into this project.

  25. Brian Says:

    Interesting news on Mint 16. I agree with the people who said that improving the Software center might be a good priority. If the performance, stability, and presentation of the Software Manager were improved, I could see Linux Mint as being something that could even be put on computers on a wide scale commercially, honestly, given how sleek and user friendly Mint has gotten over the years, especially with the Cinnamon DE.

    The one advantage I still think Ubuntu has over Mint (although I find Mint superior in every other way and use it personally over Ubuntu, which I haven’t used since 12.04) is that its Ubuntu Software Center looks sleeker and is easier to use and performs better than the Mint Software Center.

    That is to say, that the Ubuntu Software Center feels like an actual legitimate “app store” that I can see regular consumers using without feeling lost or being dissatisfied with the feel / fit and finish of the experience. The fact that you can also buy a surprising amount of things on there is also a plus. I don’t know how others feel, but if there was a Mint Software store where I could buy things, and it made the Mint project money, I actually would purchase things.

  26. jesse5567 Says:

    Here’s an idea, Clem:
    On the Welcome Screen, put an Accessibility option which, when chosen, goes directly to the DE’s accessibility dialog. Make it the default, highlighted option in a large font so that one needs only press Enter to get to the dialog.
    If nothing else, this would show how much LM cares for the members of the community that need these options. Thanks for considering this.

  27. ilagi Says:

    Hi Clem,
    I’m very happy to hear about the improvement on the multi-monitor support of Cinnamon – the lack of this which is why currently I use Mate and all others to whom I promoted Linux Mint also went with Mate due to the lack of multi-monitor support in Cinnamon.
    Now finally we will be able to switch to Cinnamon.

    I would also like to ask for one additional feature added to the multi-monitor support above what Mate already has – have a new button added to each window’s header allowing you to quickly send your application to a different monitor. Ultramon has has this (see the Move Window button’s functionality here: http://www.realtimesoft.com/ultramon/tour/windows.asp) and it is very-very useful when managing multiple monitors.
    Thanks

  28. Count Buggula Says:

    Any chance that we’ll see NFS integration in nemo as part of those improvements? I still think it’s funny that it’s missing when we’ve got CIFS, FTP, SSH, you name it.

    Edit by Clem: I use NFS on a daily basis… I don’t understand what you mean though, what integration would you need?

  29. Count Buggula Says:

    In nemo when you select “Connect to Server” in the File dropdown, NFS isn’t an option you can choose. If you already have an NFS share mounted nemo can view it just fine, but it would be nice to be able to connect to a new NFS share through the GUI.

    If there’s a way to do this that I’m not aware of, I’d love to be shown I’m wrong.

    Edit by Clem: Thanks. I set up mine with fstab. We’ll try to add that feature in.

  30. Yro Says:

    Is there a plan to release a new updated iso for LMDE with up7? In this update pack is there included the mate desktop 1.6?

    Edit by Clem: Hi. MATE 1.6 is already in LMDE. No ISO release is planned for UP7.

  31. Csaba Says:

    Hi Clem!
    I’ve just noticed a zombied version of Nemo running as background process. I did try with a reboot, but from time to time a process of around 23.1MB is running right from the startup. Is that a normal behavior.(Olivia, Cinnamon 64bit)

  32. Craig Says:

    “One of the key benefits of being community-funded is that we can fully focus on development and we have our hands free of any promises or restrictions when it comes to design.”

    Yes, I think that’s going to be a challenge along the way as the still minority Linux userbase grows. Of course more money would be helpful but it changes things. You can already see some of the effects.

    I also wanted to say thank you to all the donors and sponsors.

  33. Frozenx Says:

    Gooood Job!
    Hope to see more new features in linux mint 16, thanks for your great effort.

  34. Marten Says:

    Hi Clem and all at Mint,

    I AM worried about your announcement that your’re thinking about severing the link with Gnome backend. Isn’t that a bit too much? There’s the X heir coming on, be it Wayland or Mir, with a lot of instability issues bound to happen. Why should you be taking on all that by yourselves? Even Unity (still a great DE, though not for me) is sticking (afaik) to the Gnome base.

    Just genuine concern…

    Edit by Clem: No, it’s actually less work to maintain the DE than to constantly catch up with GNOME every 6 months. Don’t get me wrong, GNOME is an exciting project and we’re really happy for them (personally I’m excited with every innovative project out there), but they’re going in a direction that is completely opposed to ours. With every new version of GNOME we inherit a lot of regressions and very few if any features or improvements we’re interested in. That’s one concern. The other major concern for us is backward compatibility. We’re committed to backport Cinnamon to Mint 13 and LMDE, if we’re based on GNOME we simply can’t do it. Their API break every 6 months because they’re not committed (and that’s perfectly ok, but it just doesn’t suit us) to that. For instance, Cinnamon 1.8 talked to a GNOME 3.6 backend and you couldn’t get cinnamon-settings to use the gnome-control-center modules in Mint 13… that problem is gone with Cinnamon 2.0 talking to its own cinnamon-settings-daemon 2.0 backend, not to mention the level of simplification this creates for other projects such as cinnamon-screensaver and all. Controlling the backend also allows us to innovate further. When it comes to Mir and Wayland, they’re both contenders and they’ve everything to prove. Until one or both of them support all toolkits, accelerated graphics, playback and gameplay as well as Xorg does, we won’t consider them viable alternatives. We’re excited with both projects and we wish them all the success they deserve but you’ll probably see Ubuntu and Fedora beta-test these with their users, as far as we’re concerned we’re not in the business on betting on horses, we use what works best for us, and today as I’m writing these lines, that means Xorg.

    Update by Clem: About Unity, I’ve seen the amount of patching Ubuntu does on GNOME. That can’t last. It’s not suitable to Ubuntu, with every new version of GNOME they need to catch up and implement features that are gone. They can’t properly innovate. And it’s also a problem for Ubuntu users who use GNOME itself, because the components they use are patched to integrate with Unity, and aren’t on par, from a Shell user’s point of view, with vanilla upstream GNOME Shell. In other words, GNOME Shell in Ubuntu just isn’t as good as GNOME Shell anywhere else (because its component are patched to work better with Unity). And this was/is true in Mint as well for the same reasons with Cinnamon… all the way to Cinnamon 1.6 for instance, gnome-control-center was patched to integrate properly with Cinnamon, at the cost of being as good to Shell users as vanilla gnome-control-center. In Mint 16 you won’t just get a better Cinnamon, you’ll also get a better GNOME Shell, because it no longer will be patched to do something it wasn’t designed to. Now, it’s not in Canonical’s culture to reuse code and fork upstream, they’re more into patching and writing from scratch, but I don’t see them freezing or lagging the version of GNOME indefinitely, or looking at components such as gnome-control-center, nautilus, gnome-settings-daemon as limits to the amount of innovation they can bring to Unity. You can tell they’re serious about building their “product”, gone are the days of modular upstream components which work great for everybody, they’re fully focused on their mission and if they use GNOME to make Unity, GNOME can’t be GNOME, it has to work for them. I’m surprised they put so many efforts into Mir personally, but then again I don’t know much about the mobile side of things… maybe they need to converge with it and Xorg wasn’t suitable. I would have thought file management, backend and desktop rendering were more important, but that’s based on our own goals and priorities. I’m sure they know what they’re doing, I don’t see them following GNOME though and accepting it as a design constraint when it comes to Unity. Yes they are using GNOME and just writing their own Shell, but I’m pretty sure soon or later they’ll expand into maintaining the entire DE. It’s an interesting topic as you can see. I’m aware little is known on the subject and people are concerned about certain things. Everything we do is in Mint’s interest and Cinnamon is central to that, so when we fork something, or when we decide to create a new project, we look into what it means to us in terms of maintenance and what it means to Mint in the short term but also in the long term. Maintaining the Cinnamon backend is a win-win in many many aspects, it makes our job easier, it enables us to do more and it comes with very few cons if any at all. It might sound scary and look like a lot of work, but there’s not a lot of technical debt associated with it, and there’s a lot in it we can improve and adapt to make Cinnamon better.

  35. Marten Says:

    Clem,

    Wow. Evidently I struck a chord here. Thanks for you eleborate answer. It does set my mind at ease. You really do deserve the 1 in distrowatch.

    Kind regards


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