The Mint 15 joke

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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby jharris1993 on Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:41 pm

Sigh. . . . .

At the risk of beating yet another dead horse, let me toss in my two centavos, and support the idea of emphasizing the LTS releases, with the intrim releases being less obvious.

My thoughts:

First, before anyone gets their hackles up, I think that Mint is one of the absolute best Linux distro's out there - if not THE best. And as I *used* to say about Ubuntu, this is a distribution that I would not hesitate to put on my wife's desktop, or even my mom's desktop. (My mom thought Windows had hit its evolutionary peak with Windows 98 SE - and maybe she wasn't that far off the mark? :D )

If we assume that the main paradigm driving Mint is uncompromising usability, right out of the box, especially with regard to those who are used to Windows but want to dip their toe in the Linux waters; emphasising the LTS releases is the way to go. They get a release that is ROCK SOLID, and they don't have to fuss with it for the next several years - if ever. :wink:

On the other hand, the intrim releases are a good place for Mint to flex its muscles, try new things on for size, see what floats yer boat, and generally have some fun while getting ready for the next LTS release. When the time comes to decide what is truly worthy of the next Mint LTS release, there will be a lot of real-world data to work with. (OK, Ubuntu's new [blah, blah, blah] feature stinks like six skunks.) This would rapidly fall OFF the table for the next Mint LTS release.

Here's a thought:

Maybe Mint could have its code forked into three distinct branches:
(1) Testing / Unstable (as a rolling release)
(2) Intrim releases
(3) LTS releases

The "testing / unstable" (No Guts, No Glory!), release would be a rolling release for the real die-hards, (with virtual machines!), to mess with.
Things that survive the test of time in "testing" could be merged back into the "intrim" branch.
Things that survive the real world within the intrim branch could then be merged into the "LTS" branch.

In other words, you would have a three-layered structure sorted by increasing reliability and stability. Total nuggets, newbies, noobs, or whomever that really wouldn't know a penguin from an aardvark if it bit them, would be steered toward the LTS branch. Those of us who know the difference between their fstab and hosts files could spend useful time in the intrim branch. And the Real Masochists, who like living on the bleeding edge, could play around in the Testing branch.

Additionally with this kind of structure, if something gets into the Intrim release branch - and then falls flat on it's face when exposed to the Real World - there isn't a lot of committment invested in that particular "something". We, (the Mint dev and user communities), could just say "Oops!", and take it off the table. If really awful, the intrim branch could commit a point release minus the feature that blew up. In any event, we just dust ourselves off and keep going.

Whereas with the LTS branch, we'd guard it as viciously as a she-bear with her new cubs, just to avoid that kind of debacle.

Well, I guess I'm getting a bit off track here. However, I hope you see my point.

IMHO the LTS releases should be the flagship releases, with everything else being subsidiary to it.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)
Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby guruwannabe on Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:48 am

Yet another 2cents since my last visit.
Have yet to decide on my last dilemma :oops: !

However, have just upgraded my children's pc from Mint11 to MintLMDE, yup it's the "Rolling" distro edition. Looks like this should fit the bill for general home use after they are already accustomed to Mint11.

Rolling 8) so we could stay as looong as desired and still have updates forever ...

Well, HTH, until then - Adios Amigos!
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby InkKnife on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:49 pm

jharris1993 wrote:Sigh. . . . .

At the risk of beating yet another dead horse, let me toss in my two centavos, and support the idea of emphasizing the LTS releases, with the intrim releases being less obvious.

My thoughts:

First, before anyone gets their hackles up, I think that Mint is one of the absolute best Linux distro's out there - if not THE best. And as I *used* to say about Ubuntu, this is a distribution that I would not hesitate to put on my wife's desktop, or even my mom's desktop. (My mom thought Windows had hit its evolutionary peak with Windows 98 SE - and maybe she wasn't that far off the mark? :D )

If we assume that the main paradigm driving Mint is uncompromising usability, right out of the box, especially with regard to those who are used to Windows but want to dip their toe in the Linux waters; emphasising the LTS releases is the way to go. They get a release that is ROCK SOLID, and they don't have to fuss with it for the next several years - if ever. :wink:

On the other hand, the intrim releases are a good place for Mint to flex its muscles, try new things on for size, see what floats yer boat, and generally have some fun while getting ready for the next LTS release. When the time comes to decide what is truly worthy of the next Mint LTS release, there will be a lot of real-world data to work with. (OK, Ubuntu's new [blah, blah, blah] feature stinks like six skunks.) This would rapidly fall OFF the table for the next Mint LTS release.

Here's a thought:

Maybe Mint could have its code forked into three distinct branches:
(1) Testing / Unstable (as a rolling release)
(2) Intrim releases
(3) LTS releases

The "testing / unstable" (No Guts, No Glory!), release would be a rolling release for the real die-hards, (with virtual machines!), to mess with.
Things that survive the test of time in "testing" could be merged back into the "intrim" branch.
Things that survive the real world within the intrim branch could then be merged into the "LTS" branch.

In other words, you would have a three-layered structure sorted by increasing reliability and stability. Total nuggets, newbies, noobs, or whomever that really wouldn't know a penguin from an aardvark if it bit them, would be steered toward the LTS branch. Those of us who know the difference between their fstab and hosts files could spend useful time in the intrim branch. And the Real Masochists, who like living on the bleeding edge, could play around in the Testing branch.

Additionally with this kind of structure, if something gets into the Intrim release branch - and then falls flat on it's face when exposed to the Real World - there isn't a lot of committment invested in that particular "something". We, (the Mint dev and user communities), could just say "Oops!", and take it off the table. If really awful, the intrim branch could commit a point release minus the feature that blew up. In any event, we just dust ourselves off and keep going.

Whereas with the LTS branch, we'd guard it as viciously as a she-bear with her new cubs, just to avoid that kind of debacle.

Well, I guess I'm getting a bit off track here. However, I hope you see my point.

IMHO the LTS releases should be the flagship releases, with everything else being subsidiary to it.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)

Sounds good to me. I am really looking forward to Mint17LTS. Mint is already very, very good in 15, Mint16 is looking amazing so by 17 Mint ought to be a great place to settle in on and relax with the LTS cycle.
One comment I would like to make: I see it said quite often that Mint is particularly good for Windows refugees but once you get past the Cinnamon or MATE desktop, the system setting and other Mint Tools are very much unlike Windows and far closer to Apple's OSX.
I can say this with some authority because I am a rare beast, I did not switch from Windows, I switched from the MacOS. Coming from OSX I found Mint to be immedietly comfortable. Most of the system tools were laid out in a way that was quite like what I was used to. The file manager in Mint is much more similar to The Finder in OSX than it is to Windows Explorer.
Mint has the same basic Menu/Task bar layout as Windows used to have but once you get past that your environment is more Mac-like than Windows-like.
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby jharris1993 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:02 am

InkKnife wrote:One comment I would like to make: I see it said quite often that Mint is particularly good for Windows refugees but once you get past the Cinnamon or MATE desktop, the system setting and other Mint Tools are very much unlike Windows and far closer to Apple's OSX. I can say this with some authority because I am a rare beast, I did not switch from Windows, I switched from the MacOS.


Oooh! A heathen heretic who gave up on Salvation by Jobs! :wink:

In a blog article I wrote, (http://www.qatechtips.com/2011/03/update-to-my-open-letter-to-ubuntu.html) where I expressed disapproval with the way Ubuntu was taking their desktop, I mentioned that one of the primary goals of any good Linux distribution, and Linux in general, is to woo users from other - proprietary - operating systems. I noted that there were two potential sources: Windows and Mac. I also mentioned that the best opportunity to garner users would be Windows since - with the Mac - it's not just an operating system, it's a religion. At least that's been my experience working in Software QA. On the few occasions that I worked on a project that had both Windows and Mac versions, the Mac developers and QA people regarded anything non-Mac as, somehow, vile, corrupt, and beneath their dignity. "Windows? Yuk! It has cooties!!"

InkKnife wrote:Coming from OSX I found Mint to be immediately comfortable. Most of the system tools were laid out in a way that was quite like what I was used to. The file manager in Mint is much more similar to The Finder in OSX than it is to Windows Explorer. Mint has the same basic Menu/Task bar layout as Windows used to have but once you get past that your environment is more Mac-like than Windows-like.


Actually, I would disagree. IMHO, the reason you found Mint to be "immediately comfortable" is because the maintainers strive to create - and support - a user interface that is clean, functional, and very workable. (Viz.: http://www.qatechtips.com/2013/03/all-hail-mighty-mint-new-king-of-linux.html) And they give you a REAL choice of interface - ranging from XFCE all the way to the ultimate tweaker's paradise, KDE.

I have been a long-time user of the IBM/Intel platforms. I am quite familiar with Windows' evolution since the time of Windows 3.0, and I realize that making both a distribution, and a user interface, that is clean, comfortable, and easily used is not a trivial exercise.

Regardless of our respective heritages, I am glad that within the context of Mint we are able to find common ground.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)
Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby Nilla Wafer on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:27 am

jharris1993 wrote:
InkKnife wrote:In a blog article I wrote, (http://www.qatechtips.com/2011/03/update-to-my-open-letter-to-ubuntu.html) where I expressed disapproval with the way Ubuntu was taking their desktop, I mentioned that one of the primary goals of any good Linux distribution, and Linux in general, is to woo users from other - proprietary - operating systems.


I completely disagree, and so would Linus and Mark and Clem for that matter, I´d bet. The goal of the latter two to create a free OS for the typical home user that ¨just works.¨ But I seriously doubt that Linus had designs on cutting into Microsoft´s and Apple´s profits by ¨wooing¨ their users away.

That may be your ¨primary goal,¨ but no developer I know of is trying to ¨steal¨ users from other OSes.

~nilla
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby nomko on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:00 am

I like the idea of using only LTS versions. But then as a sort of rolling release version. Can this be done with any Mint LTS version? I think the developers will gain much more benefit with this idea, they will have some more developing time to Ensure that everything will run smoother and have lesser bugs.
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby xfrank on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:09 am

killer de bug wrote:Two distro : one LTS based on Ubuntu... released every 2 years.
And LMDE getting more support between these releases... :mrgreen:


+ 1

LTS only for the ubuntu branch, rolling for the debian branch ...e tutti contenti. :)
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby InkKnife on Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:00 pm

jharris1993 wrote:
InkKnife wrote:One comment I would like to make: I see it said quite often that Mint is particularly good for Windows refugees but once you get past the Cinnamon or MATE desktop, the system setting and other Mint Tools are very much unlike Windows and far closer to Apple's OSX. I can say this with some authority because I am a rare beast, I did not switch from Windows, I switched from the MacOS.


Oooh! A heathen heretic who gave up on Salvation by Jobs! :wink:

In a blog article I wrote, (http://www.qatechtips.com/2011/03/update-to-my-open-letter-to-ubuntu.html) where I expressed disapproval with the way Ubuntu was taking their desktop, I mentioned that one of the primary goals of any good Linux distribution, and Linux in general, is to woo users from other - proprietary - operating systems. I noted that there were two potential sources: Windows and Mac. I also mentioned that the best opportunity to garner users would be Windows since - with the Mac - it's not just an operating system, it's a religion. At least that's been my experience working in Software QA. On the few occasions that I worked on a project that had both Windows and Mac versions, the Mac developers and QA people regarded anything non-Mac as, somehow, vile, corrupt, and beneath their dignity. "Windows? Yuk! It has cooties!!"

InkKnife wrote:Coming from OSX I found Mint to be immediately comfortable. Most of the system tools were laid out in a way that was quite like what I was used to. The file manager in Mint is much more similar to The Finder in OSX than it is to Windows Explorer. Mint has the same basic Menu/Task bar layout as Windows used to have but once you get past that your environment is more Mac-like than Windows-like.


Actually, I would disagree. IMHO, the reason you found Mint to be "immediately comfortable" is because the maintainers strive to create - and support - a user interface that is clean, functional, and very workable. (Viz.: http://www.qatechtips.com/2013/03/all-hail-mighty-mint-new-king-of-linux.html) And they give you a REAL choice of interface - ranging from XFCE all the way to the ultimate tweaker's paradise, KDE.

I have been a long-time user of the IBM/Intel platforms. I am quite familiar with Windows' evolution since the time of Windows 3.0, and I realize that making both a distribution, and a user interface, that is clean, comfortable, and easily used is not a trivial exercise.

Regardless of our respective heritages, I am glad that within the context of Mint we are able to find common ground.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)

I say yeah!
Ya, Mac people can be pretty hard to deal with. I know cuz I was one. 8)
I did not kick Apple to the curb because of anything having to do with software. I had been becoming more and more uncomfortable with Apple's corporate ethics and finally took that deep breath and made the jump.
Windows was never an option for the same ethical reasons and I already knew I didn't like the Windows ecosystem at all.
I have never looked back. Mint is just great!
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby Crewp on Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:17 pm

Maybe it's time to base LM main on Debian :mrgreen:
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Re: Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby marcus0263 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:24 pm

Crewp wrote:Maybe it's time to base LM main on Debian :mrgreen:

Been an advocate for this for a long time, having a rolling distro (well semi) at least like LMDE would make life so much easier. Mint IMO is mature/ popular enough to make the leap. That's one thing I miss about Gentoo, once installed no more major upgrades.

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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby jharris1993 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:27 am

Nilla Wafer wrote:
jharris1993 wrote:In a blog article I wrote, (http://www.qatechtips.com/2011/03/update-to-my-open-letter-to-ubuntu.html) where I expressed disapproval with the way Ubuntu was taking their desktop, I mentioned that one of the primary goals of any good Linux distribution, and Linux in general, is to woo users from other - proprietary - operating systems.

I completely disagree, and so would Linus and Mark and Clem for that matter, I´d bet. The goal of the latter two to create a free OS for the typical home user that ¨just works.¨ But I seriously doubt that Linus had designs on cutting into Microsoft´s and Apple´s profits by ¨wooing¨ their users away.

Nilla,

One correction: The comment you are so vociferously objecting to isn't InkKnife's. I am sure that he is perfectly capable of putting his own foot in his mouth; :shock: you shouldn't blame him for my gaffes. :wink: I've corrected the quote chain above.

With regard to wooing users from other operating systems, where else do you think they're coming from? However, without turning this into a long digression, I personally believe that the mere presence of Linux as a viable alternative operating system, and its ability to gain traction even among people steeped in different business models, serves as a catalyst that ultimately benefits everyone - even if they don't use Linux. And it's distributions like Mint that prove you don't have to have a PhD in Rocket Science to use a non-proprietary system like Linux in useful and productive ways.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)
Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby Nilla Wafer on Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:33 am

jharris1993 wrote:
One correction: The comment you are so vociferously objecting to isn't InkKnife's. I am sure that he is perfectly capable of putting his own foot in his mouth; :shock: you shouldn't blame him for my gaffes. :wink: I've corrected the quote chain above.


Oopsie! I stand corrected! Apologies to InkKnife, then...


With regard to wooing users from other operating systems, where else do you think they're coming from? However, without turning this into a long digression, I personally believe that the mere presence of Linux as a viable alternative operating system, and its ability to gain traction even among people steeped in different business models, serves as a catalyst that ultimately benefits everyone - even if they don't use Linux. And it's distributions like Mint that prove you don't have to have a PhD in Rocket Science to use a non-proprietary system like Linux in useful and productive ways.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)


I agree with all the above! I only object to the suggestion that the primary purpose of Linux and its many distributions is to take desktop users away from other operating systems.

~nilla
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby jharris1993 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:26 pm

Nilla Wafer wrote:I agree with all the above! I only object to the suggestion that the primary purpose of Linux and its many distributions is to take desktop users away from other operating systems.

~nilla


Sir, (or Madam as the case may be),

Just to clarify what was, and was not said. . . .

I do not believe, nor have I ever believed that the whole, entire, primary purpose of Linux's existence is to steal market share from other OS's. That is a very limited, (and simplistic), view of the much more complex operating system environment. I, myself, will freely admit to using any number of operating system environments including things like Windows, Mac, various and sundry flavors of Linux, all the way to my fresh install of Raspberian on my shiny new Raspberry Pi. Each OS exists because it fills a need that - at least from a particular user's point of view - is not adequately served by other, equally competent, OS's.

However!

I DO believe in healthy competition. And an important part of that competition is to expand the user base for your particular OS or flavor thereof. If you can convince a particular user - or group of users - that your particular OS is the sine qua non of operating systems, well then goodie for you. Even if you don't get hoards of people to abandon their particular OS in favor of yours - but are willing to work with your OS while also using others, than that's good too. IMHO a good OS implementation should attract users, generate buzz, and generally make a name for itself because it can fill a previously unfulfilled need.

So, in that sense, "wooing users from other OS's" should be one of the many "primary" goals of a successful OS. :D

What say ye?

Jim (JR)
Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby Acid_1 on Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:08 pm

killer de bug wrote:Two distro : one LTS based on Ubuntu... released every 2 years.
And LMDE getting more support between these releases... :mrgreen:



This sounds like a fine plan to me. :D
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby InkKnife on Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:55 am

Linux did not "take me away" from OSX, it lured me and I was seduced. :D
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby manosagn on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:46 am

Let's take a closer look at what is bothering us with short times between releases:
An upgrade to the new release is best achieved through a re-install.

So what's the point about arguing whether to have 6-months or 18-months intervals between releases?
Should we focus on how to make upgrades easy? :idea: A way of upgrading to a new release without re-install :idea: . What I've tried up to now in order to avoid a re-install, results in a messed up system that requires re-install. :?
If that's fixed, I wouldn't mind an upgrade every month. :D
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby InkKnife on Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:08 am

If you have a proper backup strategy, doing a clean install shouldn't be a problem.
In either case, upgrade or clean install, the smart user performs the exact same backup for safety. It's not a big deal.
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby jharris1993 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:09 pm

InkKnife wrote:If you have a proper backup strategy, doing a clean install shouldn't be a problem.
In either case, upgrade or clean install, the smart user performs the exact same backup for safety. It's not a big deal.

And therein lies the rub. . . .

If I had a thousand dollars for every Linux user who knows how to make a real honest-to-bare-metal backup, or even a backup of any kind, well I'd have to see if all that extra money would affect my food-stamps and welfare payments! :lol:

Seriously now, it has been my experience that many more people know how to backup a Windows box. Even if they don't do it, they know it can be done.

I, myself, have seen any number of different methods given for "backing up" a Linux system.

Viz.:
  • Make a tar-ball of your entire root filesystem, re-install, and restore the tar-ball on top of the newly installed O/S. (And how many newbie Linux users know how to make a tar-ball, let alone how to exclude directories like /dev and /proc?)
  • Make a tar-ball, (or some other kind of copy), of your home directory, reinstall, and copy the backed up copy of your home directory on top of the one newly created.
  • Make a DIFF between the old and new filesystems and merge them. (Yikes!)
  • Do the above, but use RSYNC. (Double yikes!)
  • Download the Clonezilla rescue disk and make a cold image that can be bare-metal restored if all hell breaks loose. (My personal favorite protection method for catastrophic system failures.)
  • . . . . . and so on ad nauseam.
Many, if not all, of these methods either do not work, or work poorly, when doing a distribution upgrade. And the Good Lord Jesus help the poor SOB if he's migrating from one distribution to another.

Even the "back up your home directory" method - which is very commonly recommended - is fraught with danger; especially when doing a distribution upgrade.
  • If the user doesn't include hidden, ("dot"), files in the backup, then all his carefully crafted settings and preferences go right down the tubes. And really, how many new Linux users know how to include hidden files in a copy?
  • If the use does backup the various hidden files, he runs the risk of settings or preferences either not being supported in the new version, or causing things to fail in strange and bizarre ways.

The point here is that doing any kind of reasonable backup to a system - especially a Linux system - isn't something for the faint hearted. And backing up before a clean install of a new version - with the intent of restoring essential files and configuration data on top of it - isn't just a walk in the candy store either.

In fact, though I have been messing with various flavors of Linux since Red Hat 5.0.n, the thought of a distribution upgrade still makes my skin crawl. And I know it will take AT LEAST a week, (or more!), before I get all the kinks worked out of an upgrade to my file servers. No matter how carefully I plan or how many backups I make.

IMHO, information on how to do reasonable and proper Linux system backups is something that should be featured on the "Yippee!! You've just installed [name of distro]!!" start-up page.

Likewise, I'd willingly wait considerably longer for a new distribution release if it meant that there was sufficiently adequate testing of the upgrade process - especially those cases where there are MD RAID arrays involved in various ways - before release.

What say ye?

Jim
Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby InkKnife on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:42 pm

In my world a "backup" is copying all my documents and other files, period. So, just the visible folders in my home dir.
I have only been using Linux a couple of years but to me the same rules apply. Save user files only. As you pointed out saving settings and customizations from one version and restoring them to another is just begging for trouble. It's the same with OSX or Windows.
Seems to me a lot of the complaining about Mint is people wanting to have it both ways. They want the very latest and greatest with no more effort than running an LTS. At this point that does not seem possible.
There are distros that let you do just that but at the expense of a certain degree of user friendliness in other areas. Debian and Arch spring to mind.
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Re: The Mint 15 joke

Postby jharris1993 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:23 pm

InkKnife wrote:In my world a "backup" is copying all my documents and other files, period. So, just the visible folders in my home dir.
I have only been using Linux a couple of years but to me the same rules apply. Save user files only. As you pointed out saving settings and customizations from one version and restoring them to another is just begging for trouble. It's the same with OSX or Windows.
Seems to me a lot of the complaining about Mint is people wanting to have it both ways. They want the very latest and greatest with no more effort than running an LTS. At this point that does not seem possible.
There are distros that let you do just that but at the expense of a certain degree of user friendliness in other areas. Debian and Arch spring to mind.


True, my friend! Oh so true!

I, personally believe that any O/S in general, and Linux in particular, should make an effort to be more user friendly - especially to the newbie - because that will help increase adoption rates and, (just as important!), reduce administrative overhead by the poor sod who has the job of supporting them.

So far as I have seen, Mint is the closest distribution to that ideal that I have seen. Is it still a bit chewy and gnarly for the raw nugget? Yes. However the one thing I can truly say in Mint's favor is that there seems to be a minimum of the "RTFM!!!" flames on the Mint fora.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)
Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
jharris1993
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