Hey Everyone, this is only my fourth post around here and you dont know who the hell i am so ill apologize beforehand in case im missing out on some "intel" information i shouldve been reading about first or if i repeat ideas somebody else posted in some other Thread, ill just run down some ideas i had while reading all these Threads...
First off, i think Mint is awesome! The Basic Idea behind it is awesome as well as a lot of Ideas ive found around here and the productivity that the User Base shows. Mint could become a really popular OS with the right promotion, but where to start?Online Portals
I see how the different Websites like linuxmint.com or linuxmint-art.org are organized and me being a Linux User for around 2 years now ( i know thats not long, no need to tell ) get around those Sites quite well, cause i already KNOW whats the difference between a Release Candidate or a LTS and stuff like the difference between a GDM and a KDM, but most people WONT know that difference. I think ALL Mint Sites should be properly combined and they all should feature the same overlying Layout (...art.org should look just like the dot com f.e., same menu, same colors, more intuitive Navigation ), take getfirefox.com for example, it was a real simple Site with all the neccesary Information in the same place. It felt trustworthy even though it meant replacing a piece of software everybody was used to, Internet Explorer, i remember when nobody knew what Firefox was and now i barely know anybody who isnt using it, the Reason? They intelligently pointed out their advantages over IE and actually delivered what they promised, a BETTER Web-Browser, all delivered through an easy to use portal with awesome support and a clean streamlined corporate look and feel. What about a Site like whatsmint.com
f.e. where youll actually find the talked about Screenshots, Videos, Tutorials, Banners & Buttons, the Wiki and the Forum and summarizing why people should give it a try as well as visually connecting it right to the already existing UserBase? I know its not a Corporation but a clean "Corporate Identity" really helps alot since it makes people feel more comfortable using the site. F.e. a blog like the main site has right now, which features advanced information, does NOT belong on the Index, well you can put it there but a demonstration Video of the desktop would make much better use of that space....Easy Customization
For somebody looking for a good OS to his System it gets really confusing to figure everything out when it gets to customization aspects of the OS, to us it might seem easy to change the Window Decoration or the Icon Theme but a First Time Linux User might end up asking himself "What do i have to download now? Will this even work if i install it?" I remember how i felt myself trying to change the Login Screen for the First Time, and dont even get me started on customizing the Boot Splash or GRUB. Easy Customization could become a main reason for people to change their OS, everybody wants an awesome System which you can give your personal look without having to hack around in barely human readable config files.
Let me dream for a second here, the User Clicks something like "OS Theme > Windows" and gets a convenient window presenting him all the Themes that he can install (be it locally stored or available online if hes connected) taken his Environment into account, meaning he runs a Gnome Desktop he`ll only gets the GDM Themes, simple as that, One-Click-Install, Theme changes, keep it or switch back to former Theme, it should be as simple as that. Same goes for OS Theme > Login Screen / Boot Screen / Icons, all visual elements should be handled in one GUI, i know a boot screen is totally different from a window decorator, but John Doe doesnt and he doesnt care either. It would make for a GREAT Marketing Element on the PRO-Side in a Pro/Contra Overview of Mint vs. any other OS. -> "Making your Desktop look like you want it never was THIS easy" Killer Apps
Thats the Way to go for Mint too, find out what people are missing on their WinBox and advertise through those Functions/Applications, f.e. mintUpload could be to Mint what Tabbed Browsing was to Firefox, i think its an awesome feature, especially if it can integrate things like uploading to Imageshack, Picasa or other Services, Right-Click -> Select Account -> Upload, it doesnt get much cooler imho. It should recognize things like: You try to upload some .txt file, of course that wont work with Picasa, but the GUI might suggest some services right away that CAN handle that File (or only show suitable Services depending on the stack of files you selected with a collaborating Note why they wont be able to upload to certain Services for this and that reason). Things like Cairo-Dock or Compiz could be Killer Functionality as well if well implemented, its just something other OSes dont offer, thus people will try to get it, everybody wants the cool Gimmick your Friends dont own. Get rid of useless info
Well its true, Mint is based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian,it uses the Metacity (or whatever) Window Decorator and was developed by Canonical on top of Linux kernel 2.4.whatever which can be started with GRUB which loads a boot routine using Usplash, it runs either with a Gnome or KDE Desktop yadda yadda, i know this doesnt make much sense, but even if i pointed out everything correctly, a normal User wouldnt get one word im saying. Im not meaning to be disrespectful to the Developers of any of those things but it gets confusing. Mint should be ONLY Mint, People dont care who or what exactly made everything work, they only care if it does or doesnt work, f.e. i start Ubuntu and in the Main Menu it says Gnome Desktop, People are gonna be like " Whats this Gnome? I didnt install this!". Of course all those things should be credited but the OS should be presented in an homogenous manner, i hope you understand what im trying to explain. People that actually care about such info will get it and understand it but lets say my Mom just wanted to send an Email, shell be more familiar with the Phrase "Send Email" than "Evolution Mail Exchange Subsystem Awesomeness"...get it? I guess so ^^ Have people test their system for compatibility
There could be a form where people can enter their System Info like, what Processor, Graphics Card, Sound Card Wifi and so on (maybe the form can gather such info from the system right away?) and make people check if their System will run properly with Mint without having to configure too much. Itll take alot of the angst people have before installing a yet unknown system onto their computer, i remember sitting in front of my PC sending up prayers to the allmighty to make my Ubuntu install work, i couldve spared this sweat if i was made sure its gonna work out with no problems beforehand. People need to know they are not doing something experimental that might mess up their system but a install routine thatll offer first-hand solutions in case something goes wrong. Right now its like: Windows = Itll work somehow, Linux = What might happen? PC explodes? Harddrive eating my Kids? People are scared of Linux, we need to give them mental security.Advanced Help
Im not saying the help around here is bad, the community actually seems to be one of the most humble and friendly ive ever came across ( In other word: You guys are cool *thumbsup*). But how about this:
User clicks on Help > Enter a Help Topic , he enters "Upload a file to my Website" and hell get a convenient window showing him some Video Tutorials, Wiki Articles and Forum Threads on how to setup his FTP-Connection and uploading his stuff and he can just select what suits him the most, he selects a Video and it starts right away in the same Container/Window with a now smaller overview of the other helpful Links.
Well im just writing down whatever comes to mind, maybe you find one or two Ideas useful, ill write more later on, if somebody else posted similar stuff please tell and ill try to "merge" the content and give credit where its due.
Ill see what else my brain can come up with, im realistic, i know not everything i say is possible without massive work or it might conflict with the overall concept of Mint but i like to dream sometimes and i guess some wild ideas are better than none at all, id be glad to help as much as i can, now im off to cook dinner for my Family