Topic: Perfect Mint
Tough topic, considering people have different needs, but I think the stuff I bring up would serve quite a large part of the users if they were implemented.Disclaimer:
While my input in this thread reflects my personal opinion, the purpose of this thread is to get community feedback about the most important features that should
be kept in mind for future Mint releases. Some features might be developed by the Mint developers, while others might be done in partnership with other projects owners. What really matters is to get things done, so we should consider crowd funding (like indiegogo) for each of these projects/proposals. I like contributing to something that will forever be available as open source and even added to other distros, which is why, in time, I helped various projects with translations, code, testing, feedback, support, publicity and even donations. So if the plans will be made with other distros in mind I'm pretty much sure it will be very easy to gather the funds for whatever we (the community) want. Of course, we shouldn't aim for impossible stuff, but it also doesn't hurt to be brave and not easily dismiss ideas that some great developers would love to get done. The main point here is to address the shortcomings that most people need fixed for a better user experience. If it ends up right, then we can go for smaller priorities.
1. Time settings
It's not a Mint-specific issue, but it would be nice if Mint would be first to address this. A live session should never
auto-adjust (without permission) anything on a system. Dual-boot (Linux/Windows) systems also have this issue and it's really annoying to have to set your time every time you boot through both of your operating systems. The problem is you can't easily inform the OS your clock is set to your local time or UTC and it must be possible to do this in the installer as well. This setting is not easy to find in both Linux and Windows and while the Linux one can be set and forget about it, the Windows one is buggy and not recommended to tamper with. Considering Windows is a "black box", the best way is to fix this is to make it easy in Linux.
2. Partition mounting
Currently there's no easy way to instruct Mint which partitions to be mounted on boot, and how (rights). Auto-mounting should be really easy and as safe as possible so newbies don't ruin anything on their PCs. Solutions to look to:
is simple enoguh but it might need a bit of review and testing because some people reported issues with USB devices;
is great, but it has so many options that regular people might "choke" on them.
3. Samba sharing
The lack of proper sharing tools makes it really hard to successfully use file sharing. The user shouldn't even know smb.conf exists, but simply share whatever (s)he needs by using the file manager alone. And if the user doesn't have proper rights, proper information should be visible or recommended. This also plagues the sharing of mounted devices - try to share a NTFS partition and you'll grow white hairs. This is really bad, because most people will get stuck and won't be able to share files, so it's a half-baked feature.
4. Desktop settings in one place
This should be all about user convenience. Right-clicking the desktop should offer an option like "Desktop properties" and by clicking it we would have complete access to features related to the desktop:
- font rendering
- screen resolution
- window preferences
- desktop settings
- screensaver and lock settings
- visual effects
- desktop sharing (remote access)
- (would be welcomed) a graphics wizard that allows a user to easily enable/disable graphics adapters/GPUs and even reset the graphics stack to default settings
and why not, a link to the accessibility options
5. Trivial desktop environment management
There's no need to support just about every desktop environment, but at least the major ones could be featured in the special category in the Software Manager (mintInstall), so people can easily and safely install XFCE/LXDE/Fluxbox on their MATE/Cinnamon/KDE setup. Now if it was also possible to easily and safely remove the unwanted desktop environments, that would be even better.
6. ISO mounting
I think a lot of people know at least one of the following ISO mounters: DAEMON Tools, Virtual CloneDrive, PowerISO, MagicDisc. A simple tray application to provide similar functionality out of the box would be great. Suggested project to get in touch with: AcetoneISO.
7. An improved Defaults Manager
There are two things not working properly when using two or more apps that can handle the same file types. The most common one is the handling of text and multimedia files after we install new editors and players: some files will open with an app, others with another one. mate-default-applications-properties should allow us to (re)enforce the default apps for file types, but with a twist. For instance "Text Editor" should also have a text box that includes all file extensions considered as text files. Another annoying thing is URL handling. After we install several browsers, clicking some links will open Opera, others will open with Chromium or Chrome, others in Firefox and so on. Even if you switch the default browser to Opera (and close), then switch back to Firefox (and close) the URLs still open with Chromium. Only update-alternatives can fix this. So the "Defaults Manager" should actually use that tool.