Gnome 2.22 – Mint 5

If you haven’t already done so, have a look at the Gnome 2.22 release notes. As usual the latest release of Gnome comes with a lot of subtle improvements which are described and illustrated in the release notes:

Although some of the applications that are part of the Gnome project aren’t included in Linux Mint by default, a lot of these upstream improvements will directly affect your user experience in the upcoming Linux Mint 5 Elyssa planned for release in May.


  1. In may, Wow, you are working hard… I thought that we teh change to Debian it will take longer


  2. This all looks pretty good !!! I am sure Mint5 will be a landmark. Make it very “corporate”, as it should be since it is LTS… You guys shall be (almost) competing with the RHEL’s, SLED’s etc…

    On another note, I read a lot of valid arguments about the removal of Mono, and Mono-related apps in “distroX”… Users interested by F-Spot/TomBoy/Banshee could always use apt-get/Synaptic/Software Portalto get them… GThumb could be an alternative for F-Spot… Food for thoughts…

    Anyway, Gnome is in the spotlight for a while, now that we are facing an obsolete KDE3 and a “vistaesque” KDE4…

  3. We’re experimenting with Debian and we’ll eventually maintain a Debian community edition but we’re still based on Ubuntu for all other editions.

    About Mono: I don’t think it’s a valid argument for users to worry about which language is used for a particular technology. Performance, space-disk, dependencies, legislation, intellectual-property matters are valid arguments as they affect the user experience, the underlying choice of programming language isn’t. I personally don’t see the problem with using Mono or having applications developped with it. I would see it as a problem if we were to remove Tomboy though. If someone can show me how getting rid of Mono makes things better for the desktop I’ll consider it. I’ve read a lot of articles on this lately and I’m quite sad to see how this has become one of the main attractions. This article for instance ( was advertised on It has no content, the author shows no real arguments, it’s basically an attack on Miguel de Icaza for what exactly? For not FUDing about Microsoft or boycotting technologies associated with it? I’m not for or against Mono, but I won’t take any religious/FUD-related arguments on-board. Show me performance loss, disk usage, dependency problems, patent issues… and then you’ll have a case.

    About Moonlight: I’m glad someone is working on an alternative to Silverlight. In case you haven’t noticed Microsoft is working hard on what could become tomorrow’s standard for interative Web content. If tomorrow’s popular websites can only been visited under Windows and Mac OS people will have yet another reason not to fully migrate to Linux. Do we really want to rely on Microsoft for yet another media standard? Of course not. Now we can be stupid and spit on Miguel for working on things coming from the Windows world… or we can understand the benefits and be grateful for the wonderful work he’s doing.


  4. @Clem

    couldn’t agree with you more.

    with the novell-m$ deal and now that European union is making them open their software as much as possible, we have to take advantage and not look away.

    forgetting about mono is almost like forgetting about wine.

    wine is a God sent they even got it syncing fully with itunes, google is working with codeweavers to further improve it. We may even see windows only developers in the near future pay attention and improve compatability with wine.

    .net programmers coming from windows and trying linux are also happy they can use mono to dev/port their apps (otherwise they wouldn’t)

    if we make the life of windows users ease up on linux, they will not only try it, but migrate fully.

    M$ has spent millions educational courses for their programming languages and if we don’t take advantage of that we are the stupid ones.

    linux and open source has tons of free publicity just because we are considered the real “rivals” of m$. They invest millions in publicity and we invest virtually $0.00, but we get as much as them, probably even more… we have to keep taking advantage in every other area even if that means using their own weapons against them.

    linux without m$ would not be what it is today.

  5. Ok, Clem, I understand your point. It is a valid one. However, wouldn’t it save a bunch of space to remove mono, that is only being used for TomBoy in the Mint iso ?
    That doesn’t make you a “FSF Taliban” or anything like this… Only makes the iso lighter…
    As of Moonlight, I share your views… I am not informed enough to really voice an opinion…

  6. 6.6MB for Tomboy.
    12.5MB for the Mono runtime and associated libs.

    It does free some space but compared to other apps it doesn’t seem that big and the ability to take notes is IMHO a very important aspect of a desktop.

  7. Maybe I’m slow on the uptake but I really just cant see the point of tomboy as you cant easily share these notes with anyone. I just find Mono to be a big drain on memory. Definately not wanted unless there are apps to use it.
    However I enjoy the fact that Mint puts in by default several other proprietary sub-systems that just make using the system easy to use for the first timer. Maybe including mono by default will just make it easier to add mono based apps in the future.
    Still eats memory for lunch though.

  8. Don’t remove Tomboy, it is the best note taking system there is (even though I should probably use it more than I do…)
    I am sure there are other places to save some MB, hopefully Rhythmbox will grow so that it can fully replace Amarok.

  9. > “12.5MB for the Mono runtime and associated libs.”

    For me it’s about 49 MB!

    Clem you are wrong! You can read BoycottNovell site for example, it has been right about what gnome is doing more often than wrong.

    And “everyone who currently still likes MONO, should try to take a look at the rules for contributing for it. Basically you must give Novell the right to make MONO proprietary if they wish.”

    At we read:

    “The licensing scheme is planned to allow proprietary developers to write applications with Mono.”

    “We use three open source licenses:
    * The C# Compiler and tools are released under the terms of the GNU General Public License ( (GPL).
    * The runtime libraries are under the GNU Library GPL 2.0 ( (LGPL 2.0).
    * The class libraries are released under the terms of the MIT X11 ( license.
    Both the Mono runtime and the Mono C# Compiler are also available under a proprietary license for those who can not use the LGPL and the GPL in their code.”

    And Miguel de Icaza can be the man who will kill Gnome!

  10. You’re basically talking about dual-licensing? If so I don’t see what’s wrong with that. Why do you want to force Mono users into making their applications open-source? It’s fine for you to take such a religious approach and hate everything proprietary but you can’t blame Miguel de Icaza just because he gives more choice and more freedom than you’re ready to give to those who don’t give back. If you really believe in free software, free of any restriction you should be ready to give without conditions.

  11. Don’t forget there are also other reasons for refusing Mono and “the takeover of Microsoft on Gnome.” Gnome is becoming more and more dependent on a Microsoft technology… Thanks Miguel!

    Currently you can remove Mono from Gnome but in a few years? Some ads from Gnome people cast some doubt (to say just that)…

  12. > “Do we really want to rely on Microsoft for yet another media standard? Of course not.”

    Don’t forget: Mono IS M$,”it is an open-source clone of Microsoft .NET, a re-implementation of a Microsoft technology, a Windows-like approach of the computing. It is a Microsoft-inspired technology.”

    “You must realize that “not only Mono itself (as a .NET clone), but also Moonlight (as a clone of Microsoft Silverlight) is feeding the FUD guns of Microsoft!”

    Do you really want that on your PC?

  13. With the ever-increasing mass of program developped with .NET and websites using Silverlight do you really want to criticize Miguel for porting these technologies over to Linux? We’re not going to make a difference you know? These technologies will be popular and it’s up to us whether we want our operating system to be compatible with them. As far as I’m concerned I see Moonlight as not only good news, but great news.. because the prospect of seeing MS rolling out a format which Linux can’t play would give yet another reason for people to keep running Windows. As for Mono and .NET, if they’re so popular there’s a reason why. So feel lucky that we can now develop with C# under our favorite OS and mostly thanks to the man you’re criticizing so much.

    By the way, I use a Microsoft mouse and a Microsoft headset and I’m very happy with them. All isn’t black and white and just because something comes out of Microsoft doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. Keep an open mind, C# is a good language and seeing it ported to Linux is definitely a good thing.

    As for the FUD guns of Microsoft, who cares really? If we were to take them seriously we’d have to stop using the Linux kernel since it contains so much of their code. Let’s be serious.

    Credit is due to Miguel for the not only fantastic but necessary work he’s doing. It’s a real pity you can’t see that.

  14. It is sad…

    OK so go with the new Windows/Mono desktop —> Linux Mint!

    Sometimes the world of open source is saddening :'(

  15. I feel that we should encourage devs to use the GPL license, and also the webmasters to use Free formats for their websites… I know it sounds a bit idealistic, but it can work. A FLOSS only PC should be able to surf most websites (with Gnash), and a “mostly FLOSS only” PC should be able to surf 100% of the websites…

    -Do we want to encourage webmasters to use Silverlight ?

  16. OK Clem you love Mono. We understood even if I totally disagree with you…

    C# a good language? Hmm… And there are problems of patents, again see at Boycott Novell site for example, it has been right about what gnome (and Mono) is doing more often than wrong.

    But wait! Mono for what? For what need?
    Music (Banshee)? Desktop Search (Beagle)? Photo (f-spot)? Torrent (MonoTorrent)? etc…

    Mono, the new God in town!
    But we wonder how could people develop software before C# was invented…

    All this is making me sick.

  17. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m saying we disagree on this. Some people follow the same philosophy as you and basically boycott Mono, Samba, Wine, win32 codecs, flash, etc… they end up running something like GnuSense and we call that movement “Free Software”. Among the great people of this political movement we find RMS for instance.

    Now, what I don’t understand is why you would like to apply these ideals to a distribution which vision is clearly in opposition with those of the FSF. Mint is clearly an “Open Source” distro.


    “We believe in open source and release all our work with the corresponding source code. We owe a lot to the Free Software movement and to the GPL but we also owe a lot to all the developers who contributed ideas and tools and who made software better and better throughout the years. Some of them released their source code as well and thus granted us more freedom and more flexibility. Others released their software with proprietary licenses and although this didn’t give us the freedom we would have liked it still contributed to make software better. We like Software in general, Free Software even more, but we do not believe in boycotting Proprietary Software.”

    I hope this clears things out. If you have sensible arguments against Mono I’m interested in hearing them, if it’s just a rant about where it came from and what you think of it, I’m not interested.

    The purpose here is to make a good desktop, not to change the World and preach against Microsoft.


  18. Use some codecs etc and a new language are still different things…

    > “The purpose here is to make a good desktop, not to change the World and preach against Microsoft.”

    Yes I know that and thanks for your work with Mint 😉 but it is not because you want “to make a good desktop” that this precludes certain decisions even though they “hamper” the system a little (and yet, a system without Mono is quite usable without the user is very “restrained”…)

    In the history fortunately that voices were raised against certain things otherwise where would we be now? Ok here it’s just about computers but the image is valid…

    “Gnome got contaminated (even depend on) with Mono” and what if we can no longer remove Mono from Gnome if somebody wants? See here for example:

    “Soon, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to “unMonofy” your GNOME, as once you will get rid of Tomboy, F-Spot, Beagle, Banshee, Muine, Telepathy, whatever, you won’t be able to remove Mono, as it will be required as a GNOME system library!

    Not counting the existing Gtk#/C#-based applications, the GNOME guys want not only to replace libdbus with ndesk-dbus, but they want to nail down everything so that the new ndesk-dbus/Mono bindings are used in as much as possible! Official plans include:

    a Gnome NetworkManager binding;

    a Gnome Power Manager binding;


    NotifySharp as a libnotify client replacement;

    gnome-keyring-sharp as a replacement for gnome-keyring.”

    “Well, I have checked that message from 2006, and there was no clear guarantee that Mono will be removable from GNOME. So we’re in the land of all the possibilities, and the current trend seems to be a Monoization of GNOME.”

    So maybe in the future Gnome will be tributary to a Microsoft-inspired technology! What will we say then?

    Using Linux is or could/should be also, not only of course, a political act…

    But wait! The problem here is not to love or not Mono. My proposal for Mint is fair to remove Mono from the default installation.
    It is easier to install a Mono app if a user wants one than remove Mono and its libs, at least for non-power users. So not to include Mono by default is very good “experience” for the users who do not want Mono and those wanting a Mono app can still easily install it if desired.

    Understand you the idea Clem? It would be easier for the users and it gives them a choice: use the distro as it is, without Mono, or add very easily one or more Mono apps if that is their choice…

    Tomboy is a such critical application that must be installed by default? There are alternatives, and if someone really wants it, again it’s so easy to install…

    Despite our disagreements, thanks again for your work on Mint Clem! 😀

  19. Tomboy is indeed a very important part of the Mint desktop. The main difference between you and I (and maybe the Gnome devs as well) is that I actually don’t see anything wrong with using Mono. C# is standardized, Mono is open-source and a good idea is good no matter who got it first. A lot of other great innovations came from Microsoft, we’re talking about a big company here and all is not evil. Even if I ended up agreeing with you and following your own logic, I’d have to remove Java first for the very same arguments would apply to it.

    Let’s agree to disagree. Mono will be present in Elyssa and so will Tomboy.

  20. I have to agree with Clem. Its never as easy as Black and white in the Free Software and OSS. Theres always a compromise.

    If you want to see linux mainstream, in out schools and business etc, we have to understand that we will have the NVIDIAs of the world, where we get binary only drivers (not OSS) and ATI (though they’ve released some of their specs), Flash player, etc..

    I don’t think a dual license is an evil thing from Novel, MySQL has it! So does it mean “Wine” is also evil, coz its based on a microsoft technology?

    I love LinuxMint, coz i can install it for a newbie and their happy, coz everything works out of the box.. yes it has win32codecs etc.. but does that make me evil to want people to play their windows media files, and browse “Windows Technology Powered” sites with Silverlight, WindowsMedia Services etc.. we’ve been doing the same with Adobe? the PDF has been embraced?

    As for Gnash? are u joking? Remember Adobe is already working on Flex being the next big thing.. GNash got no chance with that.

    Its seems we’re using double standards here! Desktop platforms ought to be enjoyable, like Mint is, and Mandriva, and Suse, and many others..

    At work, my bosses cant wait for some of our web apps to be ported from PHP to ASP.Net, and they want them to be run on Mono Apache servers..

    nuf said,

    keep up the good work Clem,

    best regards,


  21. Clem said:

    “lot of other great innovations came from Microsoft”

    hmm… What “great innovations” for example?

  22. I don’t see how we would benefit from fooling ourselves. Linux is indeed a better desktop, maybe not from everyone out there, but for us at least, but as much as we don’t like using Windows that doesn’t mean everything Microsoft does is of low quality. And at the very center of this debate, in case you haven’t noticed, C# is indeed a Microsoft innovation.

  23. Don’t misunderstand me.

    I do not say that Mono should be removed from Ubuntu repos or from the universe! 😉

    Just that a user should have the option of using its distribution of choice, here Mint of course ;-), with or without Mono according to his own choice. And I think that for many users it is easier to install Mono when they need by installing a program, Banshee for example, than to try to remove it once the system is installed (see the posts that we can see on various forums: “What do I delete to remove Mono?” etc…)

    That is why I proposed not to install it by default and thus leave the choice to the user to install it or not.

    You don’t want remove it from the Main Edition, OK, I can understand that, but why not in the Light Edition? Already no codecs, flash, java… in this edition, so why not remove Mono also? Thus the user wishing to use Mint, but without Mono, can do that simply by installing this version (and perhaps adding the rest if he/her wishes … It’s easy but maybe a .mint file should make the thing still simpler :D)

    So each user would have the choice of using his favourite distribution (Mint) as he wishes, most simply and following his choices.
    Everyone is respected as the choice is given, left, to the end user.

    Say: “it will be there that you like it or not, and if you do not like, go elsewhere”, is not really very “open”…

    We must respect the choice of everyone and enable everyone to use the distribution based on them. If a user does not want Mono, he/her should be able to install the Light Edition and have Mint by default without Mono. If he/her wants everything, including Mono, he/her installs the Main Edition. Very open, no? 😀

    P.S.= Java is another story. Everything goes Mono as if there was no language before C#, or what existed before was crap and had to be rebuilt (in C# of course)… And when a desktop as Gnome “got contaminated (even depend on) with Mono”, that maybe soon “it will be IMPOSSIBLE to “unMonofy” your GNOME” and it “will be tributary to a Microsoft-inspired technology”, what will happen? The dominance of the Microsoft technology will be on the verge of winning… (remind you what Microsoft thinks of Linux and what he wants to do – see its previous statements eg) Linux = soon “the new Windows”? Maybe “OpenWindows”?
    Yes, it is possible to worry.

  24. I rather remove fspot and put IntiPunku (my own program) in it’s place. It is like Picasa.
    Opensource world is sad, what can we do. Mono is not bad, it is open source, however i would call it depreciated. Linux will never be the openwindows, because there is a project already working on that, ReactOS.

  25. Clem says: “The main difference between you and I (and maybe the Gnome devs as well) is that I actually don’t see anything wrong with using Mono. C# is standardized, Mono is open-source and a good idea is good no matter who got it first.”

    The problem with this theory is that only part of C# and .Net is standardized.

    “However, this does not apply for the part of the .NET Framework which is not covered by the ECMA/ISO standard, which includes Windows Forms, ADO.NET, and ASP.NET. Patents that Microsoft holds in these areas may deter non-Microsoft implementations of the full framework.”

    Also … be very, very wary of the Microsoft Reference License. This is “shared source” … which basically means Microsoft is asying here, look (read only) at our code, but we will sure as heck sue your arse if we think we can plausibly accuse you of using our code.

    This means that most applications written in .NET are patent traps. If the source code makes calls to Windows Forms … forget about porting it … that is a Windows-only program and you are in a world of hurt if you even try to run a version of it on another platform.

    Ballmer has been rattling the patent sabre against Linux for some years now. Mono is almost certainly what he is on about …

    Be warned. Do not include any dependencies on Mono into your distribution. You will almost certainly come under patent attack if your distribution ever becomes popular enough for Microsoft to bother about it.

  26. Well, it’s may now, and still nothing new about Elyssa. Is the release date still valid ?

  27. BETA 031 was “exploded” (as in successfully tested by Exploder) so we should see a public BETA release sometime this week 🙂

  28. I have two LUGS checking in daily to see if its up yet. The Old BGLUG has officially changed its name to BG-MUG (Bentsen Grove Mint users group) since all 30 are now using Mint.

    We have already reserved the Library for a public Install/Upgrade party on the 17th. Help me look good Clem!


  29. Well it’s June now and still no Elyssa…

    I want you guys to take your time but I can’t wait at the same time.

  30. It is June alright and the initial plan was for May, but as you can see we’ve released 2 RCs.. instead of 1. I just wasn’t happy with the overall level of stability so far, hence the two RC releases. Trust me, we all want to see Elyssa out as soon as possible, but this is for the best and with an LTS of a 3 years lifespan we can’t afford to let too many bugs passed the stable release.

  31. Guest (re #31): I must be an idiot then. On a more serious note, Beranger’s site is probably among the most opinionated Linux blogs on the Web. He’s smart and very lucid and he does it with style but he definitely has a taste for subjectivity and likes to dwelve into the religious war against the evil forces.. right? You’re talking about software patents here, something that doesn’t exist in most countries of the World. Also, Microsoft giving protection to Novell doesn’t mean they’ll attack everyone else. Also, the same could be said about free implementations of Flash, right? If not.. why? And free implementations of MP3 and Codecs in general. Actually the same could be said about OpenOffice and its ability to “implement” compatibility with MS OFfice formats. People are different, even when on the same side. You guys focus on the legalities and the ideology while we’ll focus on the technique and the tools itself. We’re all in this together but you can’t always ask us to think exactly like you do. From my point of view, if Flash didn’t work on Linux, a lot of people would still be running Windows. Tomorrow when 30% of the Web moves to that new Moonlight, we’ll be in trouble if we can’t interpret it. Of course we could say “the hell with that! Freedom is what matters!” but then that’s what the FSF would say and distributions like Gnewsense.. and although we have to admire them for that, this is not how we’re going to make the World move to Linux. I don’t even truly disagree with your ideology but we’re on two different agendas here, Linux Mint’s main purpose is to be as easy and comfortable as possible and to get to a position where it can represent a true alternative to Microsoft Windows. In that quest, there’s absolutely no doubt we need to support multimedia codecs, flash, moonlight, and all the things people want to use. We know who we are, and we’re certainly not in a position to tell people what not to use. You’re not going to make the World boycott Moonlight, you’re going to either support it or not, and that’s where you make the choice between usability and ideology, software and religion, Open Source and Free Software. We’re not a Free Software distribution, in that regard. Software comes first, ideology second.

  32. “> You’re talking about software patents here, something that
    > doesn’t exist in most countries of the World.

    I personally decided to ignore patents when comes to situations where I *need* to listen some MP3 files, and I decided to ignore the Nazi DMCA when installing libdvdcss. This is however a different situation.

    Using some piece of software “in confidentiality” and in private is one thing, and declaring some software as “Industry Standard” is a completely different matter! Mono and the derived technologies are supposed to become the next standard for developing software, and it will be a disaster if this is really going to happen.

    A patent is obtained for enforcing it, for financial gain, and for FUD. For all of these reasons.

    An organization truly dedicated to the development of the software, and detaining of some powerful technologies, would still feel the need to submit for patents, should it be an American entity. Its lawyers might think of this “for protection”.

    But once you have registered a patent for such a technology, you should license the software under such a license, or you should make such a legal statement that people to know you will NEVER sue ANYONE for the use of a technology covered by or derived from that patent! This is what you should do, in bona fide.

    But Microsoft is SELECTIVELY protecting Novell’s customers, which is something outrageous.

    > Microsoft giving protection to Novell doesn’t mean they’ll attack everyone else.

    This is exactly the point. You don’t need to actually attack someone! By SELECTIVELY protecting some particular entity and only FOR SOME SPECIFIC USAGES, Microsoft gives the following LEGAL message: “We can sue anyone else, and you can’t be sure of anything. We’re just saying you’re not safe. You should not build your business on this technology, because you’re at risk. You’d better not ship Mono with RHEL, dear Red Hat Inc.” Etc.

    This is the academic definition for “FUD”. Really.

    > You guys focus on the legalities and the ideology

    Nopoe. It’s about peace of mind, smiling Sun and flying butterflies.

    > Linux Mint’s main purpose is to be as easy and comfortable as possible

    And possibly… impossible to be adopted by a US company, right? Because of legal reasons, right?

    > the FSF would say and distributions like Gnewsense

    I do *not* support GNonsense.

    > there’s absolutely no doubt we need to support multimedia codecs, flash, moonlight, and all the things people want to use.

    No, no, no. Everybody wants codecs, but you should not host them on a US server, if possible. Flash… there is an official (and crashing) player from Adobe, so it’s not up to you. The 2 open-source alternatives are a different issue.

    But Moonlike is a pest. It’s submission to a MONOPOLY. In what other domain of activity can you find such submissive people?

    Say tomorrow there is some company issuing a new brand of sugar. How many billions should they spend to persuade 30% of the people to WANT that particular sugar?

    And here comes Microsoft with a new technology, and all of the sudden EVERYONE wants it!!! (What cheap whores are the computer users!)

    > You’re not going to make the World boycott Moonlight

    Of course this won’t be possible. The world wasn’t able to boycott G. W. Bush, the world isn’t able to do anything, because it’s a bunch of stupid people, with no ideals, no guts, no morals, no anything — except for mortgages to pay. But I was thinking of smart people, and of people able to be influenced by smart people: they should *not* allow Moonlight to become “the” standard!”

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