Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

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Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby TerminusEst on Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:30 pm

Quoting Illidan, I have two ideas that should be implemented to improve the usability of Mint and, potentially, other distros. Let's get moving!

1. Fallback to VESA.

This is a thing that upsets me everytime I install the nVidia driver on a fresh install of Mint: after the reboot, the X system doesn't kick up. I must manually config xorg.conf, sometimes I just give up and try again a fresh install. Well, why not fallback to the last known working mode when this happens, instead of a just blank screen or CLI? I mean, Windows too sometimes doesn't kick up properly the new video driver, but it fallback to the VESA or SVGA driver, allowing us to try again or fix the problem.

2. Sound configuration GUI.

This is a minor annoyance, once you get to know what to do. Before that, it really drove me nuts to change the default config from 2 speakers to 5.1 speakers. I will let the "not a true 5.1" thing aside for now (this is a shame...) but focuse on the config stuff: I had to manually config a file to tell PulseAudio to use a 5.1 system, not 2 speakers. Why not have an option to change this without manually edit a file? The Kmixer have an option, but it is ineffective, since the audio stream goes to PulseAudio after all. PulseAudio itself should give that option.


These are two of the most upseting things I found on Mint. A workaround for them would be great. It could be implemented on Felicia KDE, couldn't it?

Thx in advance.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby AK Dave on Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:30 pm

Xorg and Pulseaudio have seperate development teams.

Mint, and most modern linux distros, are what I would describe as "package aggregators". Modern distros provide very little in terms of actual new packages. Mint has its own Mint tools as its contribution. But other than those tools, and some green theme artwork, Mint as a distro is an aggregate of hundreds of packages from other developers.

Like Fark.com is a news aggregator, LinuxMint is a linux aggregator. Fark.com doesn't write news articles; Clem doesn't make gnu/linux. Fark submitters aggregate articles to make a website; Clem aggregates packages together to make Mint.

Complaining that "Xorg needs to do this" and "Pulseaudio needs to do that" makes valid points about those packages, but your complaints are misdirected. Clem, and anyone else involved in Mint "development" (ie, "aggregation") has little if anything to do with development of Xorg or Pulseaudio. Just like Drew @ Fark has no editorial authority over Fox, CNN, or Star.

Thus your post is pretty much no different than complaining to Fark about BBC's website.

If you want anyone to seriously do anything about what you think needs to be done with Xorg or Pulseaudio, you need to direct your comments to the appropriate sites. I'll leave finding them as an exercise in your Google research ability.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby aviynw on Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:53 pm

I'm certainly no expert, but I do think fixing these things is a reasonable job for the mint team. They would not have to modify the pulseaudio or xorg code but simply make some scripts. A sound configuration gui is no different than the other mint tools they have already created. I do think think the first request is a very good one. I've had this problem many times before with other distributions. Fedora, actually does have a similar feature and it is incredibly helpful. If xorg fails to start a screen shows up asking you if you want it to find a suitable configuration. Since Fedora is open-source one can start with their code as a base.

Also, this doesn't seem like a KDE specific suggestion. Perhaps this should be moved to the suggestion section of the general forum.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby AK Dave on Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:52 pm

So which of you two is going to volunteer to do this?
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby aviynw on Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:27 pm

I never said I had the expertise to do it. I sense from your comment you think it is ungrateful of us to make a requests like this when we are not contributing an equal share to the distribution. Just because someone makes a request doesn't mean they are not grateful. Neither of us were demanding it or claimed that the mint devs owe us it. It was simply a request. A request we think will improve the distribution for ourselves as well as others. If I requested that they put a picture of me on the desktop in the next release that would be ungrateful because it requests something the mint community never offered to provide. The mint community offers a distribution to suit the needs of everybody, not just for me. The requests made in this topic were merely assisting in this service.

I apologize if I read too much into your comment and you weren't implying such things. It's just that I've been at a lot of forums where people treat requests as signs of ingratitude and selfishness. I assure you they are not.

The feeling which I tried to express in my comment may be better expressed through an example. A friend, out of his own good will says he is going to make you a shoe that fits you super comfortably. Then, when you tell him what you think is comfortable he yells at you for being ungrateful.

All the best, :) .
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby tinca on Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:04 am

aviynw

the title of the post "Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!", does not sound like a request, it sounds like a demand.

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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby big_dog1968 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:56 am

tinca wrote:aviynw

the title of the post "Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!", does not sound like a request, it sounds like a demand.

Best regards Keith

I agree, but that said, I know from visiting this board for the last year that the Mint team like for the board to stay friendly at all times. Your response was friendly enough, but the other person's was dripping with sarcasm.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby monkeyboy on Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:29 am

I don't know how it works for you but when I do a new Linux install on my system and the Nvidia video sucks out I go right to the command line because that is the tool I use to fix most video problems. Having the system revert to some fall back would not do me any good and might make things slower and or worse. That's one of the problem with OSs what works for one user won't work for all. Enjoy
If you don't like it, make something better
If you can't make something better, adapt
If you can't do either ball your panties up and cry.

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However doing it in public is really hardcore.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby aviynw on Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:46 pm

The system wouldn't have to revert to some fallback automatically but just give the user the option to do it. That way the OS would work for all users.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby TerminusEst on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:06 am

I have to explain the title - It's just a quote from Illidan, the Demon Hunter of Warcraft 3. Not a demand, not even a request. Just two ideas that formed from the two things that realy upset me with Mint. I know workarounds for them or I would not be using Mint now, but these ideas, if implemented, could be very good for Linux, even more for Mint. I spent an entire week before knowing what to do to have my video driver and 5.1 system working properly. If there is a way to avoid these problems, why not implement it?

I'm sure this is not a simple task, but I'm also sure it's not a huge one, and everyone would benefit from it. So, what you say?

Thx in advance.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby AK Dave on Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:31 pm

"It must be done" reads as a demand, not a request, and it doesn't matter what video game you swiped the quote from. I don't recognise what "quoting Illidian" means. It doesn't read, to me, as a friendly "hey this is something cool that distro_X does, how can we incorporate this into Mint?" It reads, to me, as "whaaaaah! fix this or linux isn't ready for the desktop!"

It doesn't help your "request" come across any more friendly when you crack the whip with a "lets get moving!", particularly when you yourself aren't willing or able to lift a finger to help anything move. Then it sounds like you're one of my kids in the back of the car on a road trip, only instead of whining "are we there yet?" you cry that I'm not driving fast enough for you.

Sarcasm? I gave you straight fact, wrapped with an appropriate analogy.

Whats good for linux isn't necessarily whats good for you, or me. Thats more straight fact, not "dripping with sarcasm". Whats good for linux is more developers and more people who are more fluent with the underpinnings and the command line. Whats good for linux is that you spent an entire week learning xorg and can fix this problem yourself, should you ever run into it with your own or someone else's computer. Thats whats good for linux. Good for you? Maybe not so much. Depends on your interests and priorities.

Now, xorg has some quirks. Glad that Fedora has a workaround for that one, because I agree it can be annoying. I had one worse: I once put a typo in my fstab on one of the parameters for my boot partition, causing linux to fail to boot. Xorg wouldn't load. I would get dumped to a commandline with a crazy error message that didn't have anything to do with the actual problem. I backtracked to fix what I suspected was the problem, and turns out that the only commandline editor I could find on that install was vi. Well it has been 15 years since the last time I used vi, so I had to use another computer to google a how-to for vi because to call vi's manpage "obscure" is to up-sell it. Figured out vi, found the typo, fixed the typo, saved the file rebooted, everything is happy. But for a while there was that gut-wrenching feeling that I'd just bricked my wife's netbook. But I'm better for it, because I know to double-check my typing when I'm fiddling with the ftab and I'm refreshed on the use of vi for another 15 years.

Your xorg problem, I suspect, is really an incompatability between the nvidia driver and your hardware. What I don't understand is why you keep installing the same driver over and over. You say every time you install the nvidia driver, X doesn't start. You must be doing somethin wrong, but I don't know what. There is no reason to keep reinstalling the entire OS. This demonstrates a basic lack of linux-foo on your part.

Pulseaudio is quirky and pisses off a lot of people. You really should complain to the Pulseaudio people. Its not hard to edit the config file, but you may need to edit 2 or 3 or 4 files so that all of the audio underpinnings agree on the number of speakers and the type of sound system you have. Alsa may need editing in addition to Pulseaudio.

You have thus far identified 2 reasons why it might be necessary to have a decent commandline editor and the ability to use it on any distro.

How does Mint approach both problems?

Mint installs nano by default, instead of vi (or maybe in addition to).

Here's a basic fundamental truth of linux: the commandline is the best way to configure anything; a GUI tool is almost always (99.9%) a late afterthought for anything.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby Fred on Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:06 pm

AK Dave,

Very well put, but I doubt it will be taken in the light in which it was intended. The truth hurts too much for that to happen. :-)

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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby FedoraRefugee on Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:26 pm

Fred wrote:AK Dave,

Very well put, but I doubt it will be taken in the light in which it was intended. The truth hurts too much for that to happen. :-)

Fred


ayup!

Hey Dave, havent you heard, Linux just aint ready to replace Windows...At least that is what all the Windows users keep telling me. :D :roll:
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby AK Dave on Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:33 pm

I don't want linux to replace Windows. If you're really happy with Windows, please stay happy.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby TerminusEst on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:18 pm

"It must be done" reads as a demand, not a request, and it doesn't matter what video game you swiped the quote from


Too bad, man. It's really bad you didn't know this one. But, oh!, i didn't write it for you. I, specifically, wrote it for people able and willing to help improve Linux in general. We can make a poll to see how much people want what I suggested or what you want it to be. Of course you can just quit and agree that most people want a general purpose OS for everyday use like Windows, without its faults, of course, and don't want to spend one year savings to buy a Mac. And agree that people like you is minority. Btw, why you use Mint? You should be using Slack or Gentoo. Even more, you should be using a pure Unix with just a CLI and nothing more to annoy you. GUI is soooooo disgusting, doesn't it?


It doesn't help your "request" come across any more friendly when you crack the whip with a "lets get moving!", particularly when you yourself aren't willing or able to lift a finger to help anything move.

Too bad you didn't know that either! It's a quote from the Mountain King of the same Warcraft 3 game. Perhaps you want to stay where you are. I, and I'm sure, the majority of the community here, want to "get moving" and evolve, little dinossaur. You assumed I can't help. Well, I can translate from English to Portuguese. Oh!, no... I can't code anything. Perhaps the people that aren't programmers should quit and let the coders work alone. What you say?


Sarcasm? I gave you straight fact, wrapped with an appropriate analogy.


In truth it didn't sound me sarcasm. It sounds me like you are not having good sex for a time now. Yeah, I know, it can drive us nuts. You know, it's a good practice to know every fact of some matter before assuming a risky one.

I don't want to make this a war btw us. You can read my previous posts, and none of them could be used to make a statement like the one you did. How about, sometimes, think that most of us want just a better OS, not making some OS war?

You are arguing with me. I'm willing Linux evolves more and more and I'm giving what I think it's a good contribution. If it should and will be implemented it's not up to me.

Quit this, man. You really should go out for a beer, instead of trying to shut up a voice of a powerful community. Remember that it's powerful 'cause the users have the power to change and suggest.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby FedoraRefugee on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:16 pm

I'm sorry Dave, you misunderstood me. :lol: I feel the same as you do. But, just for the record, I do use and happen to like Vista also. But that is neither here nor there, it is no Linux.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby FedoraRefugee on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:23 pm

TerminusEst wrote:
"It must be done" reads as a demand, not a request, and it doesn't matter what video game you swiped the quote from


Too bad, man. It's really bad you didn't know this one. But, oh!, i didn't write it for you. I, specifically, wrote it for people able and willing to help improve Linux in general. We can make a poll to see how much people want what I suggested or what you want it to be. Of course you can just quit and agree that most people want a general purpose OS for everyday use like Windows, without its faults, of course, and don't want to spend one year savings to buy a Mac. And agree that people like you is minority. Btw, why you use Mint? You should be using Slack or Gentoo. Even more, you should be using a pure Unix with just a CLI and nothing more to annoy you. GUI is soooooo disgusting, doesn't it?


It doesn't help your "request" come across any more friendly when you crack the whip with a "lets get moving!", particularly when you yourself aren't willing or able to lift a finger to help anything move.

Too bad you didn't know that either! It's a quote from the Mountain King of the same Warcraft 3 game. Perhaps you want to stay where you are. I, and I'm sure, the majority of the community here, want to "get moving" and evolve, little dinossaur. You assumed I can't help. Well, I can translate from English to Portuguese. Oh!, no... I can't code anything. Perhaps the people that aren't programmers should quit and let the coders work alone. What you say?


Sarcasm? I gave you straight fact, wrapped with an appropriate analogy.


In truth it didn't sound me sarcasm. It sounds me like you are not having good sex for a time now. Yeah, I know, it can drive us nuts. You know, it's a good practice to know every fact of some matter before assuming a risky one.

I don't want to make this a war btw us. You can read my previous posts, and none of them could be used to make a statement like the one you did. How about, sometimes, think that most of us want just a better OS, not making some OS war?

You are arguing with me. I'm willing Linux evolves more and more and I'm giving what I think it's a good contribution. If it should and will be implemented it's not up to me.

Quit this, man. You really should go out for a beer, instead of trying to shut up a voice of a powerful community. Remember that it's powerful 'cause the users have the power to change and suggest.


You are certainly welcome to your opinions and so far you havent really said anything that particularly bothers me, but how is it that you deem yourself being the community spokesman against ak dave when most of us agree with him? Why dont you just learn how to use Linux? Eventually it will get easier, we are all working towards that goal, but you need to keep in mind the fact that this is a different OS that has very deep roots (unix).
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby AK Dave on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:29 pm

Please read above, Terminus: "If you want anyone to seriously do anything about what you think needs to be done with Xorg or Pulseaudio, you need to direct your comments to the appropriate sites."

If you'll scroll up, you'll quickly realize that I never said your ideas were meritless. Actually, I stated the opposite. You make some valid points. You have valid complaints. It would indeed be nice if clueless noobs who bork their xorg by repetetively installing a driver they should never have installed in the first place have a way to fix their problem short of A) reinstalling, B) complaining about the commandline, or C) posting about how linux isn't ready for the desktop. I'm with you 100% on this. I'm glad that Fedora has such a tool; Mint's tool to fix this problem is called 'nano'. I also agree with you that Pulseaudio needs a lot of improvement.

We agree that the two items you identified as problematic are, in fact, problematic. If you're actually interested in something being changed, you need to direct your suggestions to the appropriate development teams.

Incidentally, most nVidia install problems are averted by using Envy to detect your hardware and marry it up with the right driver. Are you using Envy to install the nVidia driver, or are you compiling it by hand from the commandline? How about this: since you claim you have to reinstall Mint after the nVidia driver borks your xorg, how about we take a moment to spec your hardware with lspci and figure out what the actual solution to your problem is. Simply pipe lspci to the forum. Or pipe it to a text file and cut-paste it to the forum. Or make sure your terminal has an appropriate buffer and cut-paste directly from the terminal. Lets fix your nVidia problem before you have to reinstall again.
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby AK Dave on Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:31 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:I'm sorry Dave, you misunderstood me. :lol: I feel the same as you do. But, just for the record, I do use and happen to like Vista also. But that is neither here nor there, it is no Linux.


Sorry, I meant "you" in a collective "windows users" you. Not a specific "FedoraRefugee" you.

For the record, I have XP on two computers at home. On one, it is a dual-boot to allow a certain family member (*cough*mywife*cough) to play a favorite game that I have no interest in. On the other, it lives in a Vbox virtual machine so that I can use (when needed) IE7 and Excel. I find that for a very few Excel spreadsheets that are heavily infested with Vbasic scripting there is nothing but Excel that will run them. While it is convenient for me to refuse such sheets and claim "antivirus flagged your spreadsheet" the truth is that OOO3 has its limitations and this is one of them. Since I have legal licenses of XP (Home, Pro, MC/Pro) and Office (2001, 2003, and 2007) I am happy to do so. So I guess that makes me as much as Windows user as you are.

And since I dodged the previous question: I use linux because I can; I use Mint because I want to.
Translated: I have the technical and physical capacity to use linux, so I do so, but the distro I have chosen (Mint) was selected because I enjoy it.

I use Mint because it makes linux fun.

Its like this: I like to cook, I enjoy cooking, but I am not a professional chef by trade or training. But I can cook, so I do cook. A lot. About half the dinners at home. I could have my wife do all the cooking. We could go out to eat a lot. But since I have the technical and physical capacity to cook, I do so. The alternatives (ruin my marriage, ruin my budget AND my diet simultaneously) are unpallatable (teehee). So I choose tools to use that make cooking more enjoyable (quality professional-grade stuff).
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Re: Two improvements for Mint - It must be done!

Postby Fred on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:15 pm

Terminus wrote:
Of course you can just quit and agree that most people want a general purpose OS for everyday use like Windows, without its faults, of course, and don't want to spend one year savings to buy a Mac. And agree that people like you is minority.


This statement scares me. It scares me because it can easily come true. We aren't a minority now but we could become one. If we continue to try to sell Linux to Windows users as a better, free as in money, drop-in replacement for Windows, without any understanding of free software, community, and what Linux is really all about, a minority we will become. Linux will be dumbed down to accommodate the masses. It will become a good enough Windows, but it will loose many/most of the qualities that are inconsistent with the vision of a good enough, free as in money, Windows clone.

Think about that the next time you are trying to convert someone to Linux from Windows. Will they become a voice advocating nothing more than a dumbed down Windows clone? Will they fail to make the transition to Linux and be negative advertising when they go back to Windows? Or will they be willing to learn a new way of doing things and truly become an asset to the community and a voice urging Linux to the next level without regard to the Windows world and its' direction?

Just food for thought. :-)

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