Hello again !
It's great to have an open and honest conversation like this, it's really refreshing, so don't worry about offending, it's all for the good of Linux Mint in the long run!
I've come from a corporate level sys-admin background, Sun/HPUX/AIX/Linux etc, so I fully understand and appreciate your comments and of course agree with you too!
After in excess of 25 years in the corporate game I found myself getting tired of it all and decided to have a go at the small to medium sized business market place.
I have been amazed at how much some small companies are paying for support and the actual level of support they have been getting, in some cases it's been terrible.
My aim is to bring what I know as the "Corporate" level of "IT Support" to the small business community but at small business prices, and I have to say it has been very well received too!
Anyways, all that was slightly off topic, for which I apologise!
So back on subject, I agree that the Mint/Debian relationship is indeed a strange one and I too have wondered why it is so ... would it not have been simpler to
build Mint directly off of a stable working Debian build ?
Anyways, that decision has been made many moons ago so lets not dwell on it ....
I agree that there are many benefits to be had from using a complete fresh reinstall process for upgrading, especially in the corporate world where the usage of
the systems is carefully managed with upgrade in mind, but no matter how hard I try to inform my clients that it's best to keep all their data in a particular
area of the system, they still go creating directories in places that make me cringe, I think it is a throwback from their windows days
Since Linux Mint is aimed at the Desktop rather than the backend server side of things I still think that is should support an upgrade process rather than
a complete reinstall process just like any other Desktop solution does today, OS X is a *NIX based system and it's upgrade process works extremely well,
wouldn't it be great if Linux Mint could boast the same functionality too ... it would certainly put it head and shoulders above some of the competition.
As for Macs, well I have to confess I am using one right now to type this ... I've been a mac fan for more years than I am going to admit to !
My 10 year old Clamshell iBook is still going great, and of course has been running Debian Linux for many years ... however all my servers are Debian based ...
(I wonder if "Servers" is an area Mint will eventually move into as well ?)
I've been tinkering with Linux ever since it was just a small O/S booted from a "Boot" and "Root" floppy disk based system ... ah those were the days
Right, time to go do some work
LOL I think the quoting rules are whatever you want them to be
On Mint and Debian - it's a strange relationship. I'm not *entirely* clear myself. However, it traces through Ubuntu, which uses Debian in a strange way. Their solution to providing current packages vs. stable environment is to take a "snapshot" of Debian Testing+Unstable+Experimental every 6 months, and then *heavily* modify and bugfix it. So, by it's very nature, Ubuntu ceases to become a rolling release distro, even though it's mother meta is Debian.
To get around the problem of user upgrades by re-installs, (well, it's rather complicated, but here's a sort of simplified analogy), upon a new release, they release a meta-package that more-or-less deletes the old OS, preserves user settings, and installs the new one. It's not anywhere near as clean as it sounds, but it *usually* works, more or less.
Mint is based on Ubuntu. I read some accounts that it forked at around v.6.06.01, however I cannot find any signifigant skeletal differences between 4.0 and Gutsy, even using -lsb. The actual differences, outside of artwork, tools, and some refinement and bugfixing of Gutsy remain entirely unclear to me, but I must say that I run into almost *none* of the bugs in 4.0 that I can, to this day, easily reproduce in Gutsy.
To your statements on corporate and client distros, I must respectfully disagree. *The* top names in the business, Red Hat, SuSE, Sun, Oracle, etc.. *none* are rolling release - they are all "wipe-and-reinstall" distros, effectively. There aren't clean rolling upgrade paths for any of them. It's the industry norm. It may turn off individual users, or users already used to Debian, but any *nix-experienced IT manager will already be well-versed in the routine.
Mind you, I'm not necessarily saying it's *better*. In many cases, it is, but in many cases, it's not. I'm just saying it's the industry norm at this time
Edit to add: Oh, and I doubt you'll ever get Mac addicts off of their Macs, no matter what you try. If I had the sustainable income to own one properly, you likely couldn't pry it out of my cold, dead fingers either