As you may know...
Three of the best desktop operating systems were released recently. IMHO Cassandra was one of them, the two others being PCLinuxOS 2007 and Fedora 7.
I decided to have a quick look at the competition. I was a reviewer before I started making Linux Mint, so I changed hats and went back to my old habits
It's no secret: Fedora is, and always has been, the most beautiful desktop ever! Fedora 7 is no different. Their artwork is massively impressive. I was in shock when looking at it, and even though there's tons of reasons why I'd rather run Mint than Fedora, their artwork was so beautiful... I was looking for reasons to keep it installed on my laptop
I'm not going to write a full review of Fedora 7. I'll just focus on the things, from a Mint's developer perspective, I thought were cool and missing in Linux Mint.
1. Their artwork is 100 times better than any other. Even Cassandra looks dull compared to it. The technology they use for showing the artwork is more or less the same than the one we have (isolinux, usplash, gdm, png wallpapers) so the difference is not in the configuration of their system but in the quality of their artwork itself. I think the main thing is based on the quality of their default wallpaper. I'm posting this mostly for Carlos and Nicksavel and the mintArt guys, hoping we can learn from these:
- it's got a blue dominance (I know we want Green for Mint, but Blue is definitely easy on the eyes). Maybe we should consider an alliance of Blue and Green with Blue dominating touches of Greens.. just an idea.
- it's made of simple and cartoonish shapes. Look at these balloons, remember the DNA and the bubbles... easy to remember, simple to look at, not overcharged..
- a lot of depth to it. May it be the bubbles, the DNA or the balloons, it always comes with a very deep and "spacious" background, with a set of precise and crisp elements in the foreground (actually.. on the side of the wallpaper). This gives an impression of depth which adds to the feeling of having a lot of space. Very nice.
- a lot of contrast. Great colors, great contrasts. You can look at a laptop running fedora from 10 meters away... and it's got such contrast, you can't help noticing it.
2. First time configuration wizard. After you install, it would be cool to have an optional (as in you can cancel it) assistant pop up the first time you run Mint. This, among other things could:
- help you run envy/mintWifi if needed.
- ask you if you want to set up a root password (a lot of people seem to want that)
- ask you if you want mintDisk to take over your NTFS drives (so you don't have to remove lines in fstab manually)
- etc etc....
3. Anaconda. This is one really good installer. Mint is using Ubuntu's ubiquity at the moment, and to be honest.. when I look at Anaconda I see a lot of reasons to change. Maybe we could switch to that in the future.
4. Integrated SeLinux and Firewall. I'm not sure we want that by default, especially if we stay within a single 700MB ISO, but it's something we can consider. Fedora lacks good software selection in their liveCD but having SeLinux and a firewall integrated in the system is pretty cool.
5. English-Only. Any language can be installed post-install or even from the live-cd. The idea is to have isolinux in English only and only the english language packs present by default. This is what Fedora does. the immediate advantage is a gain of space, meaning we can improve the default selection of apps present by default.
6. Verbose mode in usplash. The fedora boot sequence can be expanded to show what's going on.. back and forth. We need to implement that as well.
I haven't looked at PCLinuxOS as much yet... so there'll be more to come.
1. Their isolinux is animated
I thought that was cool and it's probably not that hard to do so there's no reason why we shouldn't
2. Very nice KSplash. They used the whole screen, not afraid of being too big. We can definitely improve our KDE edition this way.
That's it so far...