Too many editions?

Questions and thoughts about present and future editions
Forum rules
Before you post please read this

Too many editions?

Postby Jix on Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:33 pm

I know Linux is about choice, but is it possible that it has too many editions? KDE, Gnome, Unity, Xfce, Debian, Cinnamon, MATE. etc. Is it feasible to hope the communities could pool their resources and create one super-polished environment? I think together Linux has more developers and talent than Windows and Mac but it's just so fragmented. I don't know, maybe I don't have the big picture and the fragmentation is actually a good thing... but so far there's no ideal distro for me. Each one has shortcomings.
Jix
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:55 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Too many editions?

Postby JWJones on Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:19 pm

In a word, no. No two users have the exact same needs, so the existence of choice is a good thing. Because of the nature of open source software, if someone comes up with a good idea, it spreads to the entire community (such as with Cinnamon).

What is it you need to do that you can't currently achieve with the available options? Have you considered broadening your knowledge so that you can build what you need from a solid base, such as Debian, Slackware, Arch, Gentoo, or LFS?
JWJones
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:26 pm
Location: Cascadia

Re: Too many editions?

Postby DrHu on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:47 pm

Jix wrote:Each one has shortcomings.

Naturally, but it will depend on how significant those shortcomings are to you: whatever they might be.

Its not just about a choice, its also about having a choice: so too many versions available, users cannot decide which to try/possibly use --> No, there are not too many
http://www.linfo.org/linux_myths.html
    Myth 10: Linux will have a hard time surviving in the long run because it has become fragmented into too many different versions.
    The truth: It is a fact that there are numerous distributions (i.e., versions) of Linux that have been developed by various companies, organizations and individuals. However, there is little true fragmentation of Linux into incompatible systems, in large part because all of these versions use the same basic kernels, commands and application programs.

Also this tends to be part of a general list of arguments against Linux, and they are all misguided..
http://linuxphilia.blogspot.ca/2009/07/ ... d-why.html
--other common issues ref: Linux OS

Anyway it comes down to a matter of opinion: people using Linux tend to like it, despite any minor mishaps that may exist
--certainly for typical computer user, the area that tablets and smartphones proliferate into: communications (messaging/emails), media playback, applications/apps (many are available) Linux OS takes a back seat to none
    That's is of course only an opinion
    --don't take it as gospel.

One person's review of the differences Windows and Linux have to offer..
http://www.michaelhorowitz.com/Linux.vs.Windows.html
User avatar
DrHu
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6710
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Mackjack on Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:29 am

Jix wrote:I know Linux is about choice, but is it possible that it has too many editions? KDE, Gnome, Unity, Xfce, Debian, Cinnamon, MATE. etc. Is it feasible to hope the communities could pool their resources and create one super-polished environment? I think together Linux has more developers and talent than Windows and tablets but it's just so fragmented. I don't know, maybe I don't have the big picture and the fragmentation is actually a good thing... but so far there's no ideal distro for me. Each one has shortcomings.


Thats quite true that Its not just about a choice, its also about having a choice: so too many versions available, users cannot decide which to try.
Last edited by Mackjack on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mackjack
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:10 am

Re: Too many editions?

Postby catweazel on Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:43 am

Mackjack wrote:
Jix wrote:too many versions available, users cannot decide which to try.

If that were true there'd be no users beyond computer-nerdy-geeks, and that simply isn't the case. Besides, forums.linuxmint is full of posts from informed users, non-computer-nerdy-geeks, who have researched their choices and narrowed things down to 2 or so distros. In most cases, the well informed users have decided on Mint and only need guidance about what desktop environment would suit their hardware.

There are multiple distros to cater for differing hardware requirements, not just differing user tastes. The former is getting less and less the case nowadays with all the work that's gone into kernel driver support over the last couple of years too. As for the latter, nobody has to spend money to configure their desktop the way they like it. The same cannot be said for Windwoes.

Your entire claim fails. It is false.
Mint Testing Team & Mint Donor #3606
KDE 4.12.0, custom preemptive kernel 3.12.5,
Intel i7 4770K @ 4.7GHz, 16GB 2666MHz XMP,
4 Samsung 840 PRO 512GB SSDs in RAID0,
6TB HW RAID10, dual 24" Acer X243H,
Gigabyte nVidia GTX 680 Super Overclock
User avatar
catweazel
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1656
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm

Re: Too many editions?

Postby xenopeek on Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:42 pm

To put it into perspective, Linux isn't "about choice". Life is. Here's your question rewritten to show how it looks to Linux users that have taken some time to test out various desktop environments to find the best fit for their needs.

    I know car brands are about choice, but is it possible that there are too many brands? Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Tesla. etc. Is it feasible to hope the manufacturers could pool their resources and create one super-polished car brand? I think together car manufacturers have more developers and talent than motor and moped manufacturers but it's just so fragmented. I don't know, maybe I don't have the big picture and the fragmentation is actually a good thing... but so far there's no ideal car for me. Each one has shortcomings.
You can replace "car brands" in the above with anything you use or buy in daily life, and find that for most things you either trust a salesperson or your previous experience, or you take some time to "shop around" and find the best match for your needs.
User avatar
xenopeek
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 14722
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Too many editions?

Postby chiefjim on Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:27 am

xenopeek wrote:To put it into perspective, Linux isn't "about choice". Life is. Here's your question rewritten to show how it looks to Linux users that have taken some time to test out various desktop environments to find the best fit for their needs.

    I know car brands are about choice, but is it possible that there are too many brands? Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Tesla. etc. Is it feasible to hope the manufacturers could pool their resources and create one super-polished car brand? I think together car manufacturers have more developers and talent than motor and moped manufacturers but it's just so fragmented. I don't know, maybe I don't have the big picture and the fragmentation is actually a good thing... but so far there's no ideal car for me. Each one has shortcomings.
You can replace "car brands" in the above with anything you use or buy in daily life, and find that for most things you either trust a salesperson or your previous experience, or you take some time to "shop around" and find the best match for your needs.


Your analogy is spot on. I once worked in the auto business. All the brands essentially met the needs of getting you from point A to point B. In the end selection depended on which models offered desired options and most importantly simply felt right.

In computing we call this distro shopping. By that method we "shop around" until finding the distribution that best meets our needs.

I like having choices.
Desktop:
Mint-17 64 bit with Mate
Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H
AMD Athlon II X3 425
CORSAIR 4GB DDR2 800
640GB HDD WD Black 7200rpm

Laptop:
Acer Aspire AS5552-5898
Mint-17 64 bit with Mate
AMD Phenom II Triple-Core N830
4GB Memory DDR3
500GB HDD 5400rpm
chiefjim
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 433
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:26 am
Location: South Texas, USA

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Spearmint2 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:38 am

The opposite of choice is conformity. That's what you want. There's some wisdom to that because it means more concentrated efforts within a smaller area can sometimes yield faster and greater results. If the industrial revolution taught us anything, it's there has to be a balance between too many choices and too restrained a conformity. At one time every car and other equipment was hand made, the metal parts forged, ground and matched individually, same with other items like guns. Yet as similart as they were, parts from one often didn't fit the next, each had to be repaired individually with painstaking precision each time. Conformity came along with Henry Ford for cars and suddenly more were able to be produced at a cheaper price due to exchangeable parts and more benefited thereby. Ford once said, "people can have any color car they want so long as that color is black". Obviously by then he'd taken conformity too far.

Imagine you're a kid again.
Linux is more like Leggos, lots of parts, make what you want from it. Yet even with Leggos there is conformity between it's pieces, but at the end of each day, what you did can look very different from the previous day. Windows is more like a doll house. You can put things in it, take things out of it, but at the end of each day, it still looks pretty much the same.

There is a middle ground between the conformity of monolithic Windows and the many choices available in Linux, and that's sticking with the main linux distros having the largest group support, the quickest updates, the most popular desktop environments.
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....
User avatar
Spearmint2
Level 9
Level 9
 
Posts: 2822
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 1:41 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Nilla Wafer on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:35 pm

I found this blog post posted on another forum that offers some pretty good reasons for why there are so so many Linuxes.

http://wp.me/p2fr89-3m

~nilla
User avatar
Nilla Wafer
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:11 pm

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Spearmint2 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:33 am

Nilla Wafer wrote:I found this blog post posted on another forum that offers some pretty good reasons for why there are so so many Linuxes.

http://wp.me/p2fr89-3m

~nilla



ROLF! :lol:

""There are dozens of “distrolets,” as I call them, created only so that some narcissistic nerd can call himself a “Linux developer.” Take any existing distro and change the wallpaper and branding a little bit and bingo – a new “distro” is born. It’s not illegal, even though it’s tasteless and tacky. While the GNU license is wonderful because it facilitates a worldwide community of contributors to make Linux awesome, it also has the unintended consequence of enabling some people to “plagiarize” the work of others and release it under their own brand.""
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....
User avatar
Spearmint2
Level 9
Level 9
 
Posts: 2822
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 1:41 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Tim-int on Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:19 am

Let me rephrase this question according to my needs.

I install and use Mint with Cinnamon on my laptop, and I also add LXDE packages there (single click). On some friends' older computers, I do the same, but tell them to use LXDE only (because it's faster). So, is Mint Cinnamon (15 or 16, doesn't matter) with LXDE added the same as Mint LXDE? Some more space on hard disk is negligible and not an issue.
Or, why do we need Mint MATE separate from Mint Cinnamon, can't we just add MATE to Mint Cinnamon or Cinnamon to Mint MATE?
I'm not speaking about the merit of some Desktops & Window Managers, and certainly not about different distros, I'm just asking why different downloads from Mint webpage? Why don't we have just Mint Ubuntu edition and Mint Debian edition? Is it not like browser, you may have Firefox preinstalled and add Chrome or Opera if you want (well, not a good example, it was an idea in Zorin to just click it, anyway it's very simple to add desktop you like)?

I'm a long time Linux user (tried diff. distros) but I've never figured this out. So, I hope to see some expert answer and not a link to FAQ (because it's not there). Thank you all.
Tim-int
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:30 pm

Re: Too many editions?

Postby xenopeek on Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:57 am

Don't confuse window manager with desktop environment. The window manager is part of the desktop environment, but a desktop environment has many more components: a file manager, a text editor, a calculator, and so on. Installing all desktop environments in one Linux Mint editor could work, but you'd have to for example choose to only include one file manager (Nemo? Dolphin? Caja? Thunar? PCManFM? how to satisfy all users) or include them all and fill up your application menu. There are more reasons for not doing this, but it comes down to giving users that prefer one desktop environment over another a more standard set of applications and a more fine-tuned and polished experience. You can't as easily do that with a "one for all" edition.

KDE users will be accustomed to using Dolphin for example, from using the desktop environment on other GNU/Linux distros or earlier releases of Linux Mint, and will not agree if you want to install any of those inferior file managers as a default instead of Dolphin. The minimalists using Xfce or in your example LXDE will not agree if you want to install Dolphin (to satisfy the KDE users) as it isn't spartan enough for their needs (or something :)).

Aside from that, if you do go ahead and install Nemo, Caja, Thunar or PCManFM and not Dolphin--where does that leave KDE users when they go looking for help? KDE has an excellent and integrated handbook for its desktop environment and software collection, but all references to Dolphin now become useless because you wanted to include a file manager from another desktop environment... True, many of the other desktop environments are documented as much so this might be an issue more for KDE, but still.

Including all components from all desktop environments is not going to make a lightweight system (unless you disable them, those components get loaded at boot time partially, even when you're using a different installed desktop environment--and disabling them would disable them also for when you switch back to the desktop environment they belong to).

It just doesn't make any sense to me to hodgepodge desktop environments together in one edition. Sure, have twm installed as a fallback desktop environment for when things go boink with your primary desktop environment, but I'd not want to put all desktop environments together.
User avatar
xenopeek
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 14722
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Too many editions?

Postby clfarron4 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:18 am

xenopeek wrote:It just doesn't make any sense to me to hodgepodge desktop environments together in one edition. Sure, have twm installed as a fallback desktop environment for when things go boink with your primary desktop environment, but I'd not want to put all desktop environments together.


Also, it will take up an absolute tonne of space. I was discussing the idea of creating a spin of ArchLinux which would change the DE everytime you logged in... Needless to say, that went well...
Problems? Tell us EXACTLY what you've done and what you expected to happen, IN DETAIL. That will save us questions, and we should get along better,

I have dysgraphia. This means I might have understood you incorrectly through no fault of my own.
User avatar
clfarron4
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:20 pm

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Rustycat on Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:58 pm

As a consumer who just wants his computer to work properly I've found the sheer number of distro/desktop environment combinations to be confusing. How is your average computer user who just wants to browse the web and do a bit of word processing supposed to choose between openSUSE, Ubuntu or Debian? What is the unique selling point of each of them?

I think what needs to happen is all these competing 'flavours' of linux need to come together to create just one big alternative, and have the dektop environments be the things that you choose between.
Rustycat
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:49 am

Re: Too many editions?

Postby xenopeek on Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:09 pm

Let's stay on topic. This is about Linux Mint editions, not about how many other distros there are.

(And yes, most major distros have some USPs that depending on your needs may one distro a better match for you that another, even with the same desktop environment. But this topic isn't about other distros.)
User avatar
xenopeek
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 14722
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Spearmint2 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:23 pm

subject is "too many editions" and for a newbie (Rustycat has 13 posts) a difference between "editions" and "distros" might not be that clear a distinction. Add to that Mint "versions" with added qualifiers like "Cinnamon", "KDE", "MATE", "LMDE", and so on probably adds to their confusion.

@Rustycat

visit http://www.distrowatch.com and you will find may "distros" on the right hand column down the page a bit. You can read about them all there by clking on those links.
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....
User avatar
Spearmint2
Level 9
Level 9
 
Posts: 2822
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 1:41 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Crewp on Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:11 pm

Recently LMDE dropped KDE and XFCE and only offer MATE and CINNAMON, I think this was a good idea, The XFCE, and KDE versions where picked up by another dev and now it's SOLYDXK. Maybe the main edition should try the same thing, and only offer MATE and CINNAMON. Any thoughts ?
Image
User avatar
Crewp
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:36 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Bolle1961 on Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:39 pm

Drop the ubuntu based versions.
Only LMDE with MATE, Cinnamon and Lxde ( Xfce and KDE are already done by SolydXK )
Bolle1961
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Too many editions?

Postby monkeyboy on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:24 am

I know Linux is about choice, but is it possible that it has too many editions? KDE, Gnome, Unity, Xfce, Debian, Cinnamon, MATE. etc.

You are confusing a DE with the underlining OS? Debian is one of the big base OSs the rest are desktop environments.

Is it feasible to hope the communities could pool their resources and create one super-polished environment?

It hasn't happed yet in fact as more people have adopted Linux (with different sort of demands) we have seen more releases pop up instead of the number decreasing.

I think together Linux has more developers and talent than Windows and Mac but it's just so fragmented.

There are very few hard numbers on the total number of developers working on all the varied versions of Linux.

I don't know, maybe I don't have the big picture and the fragmentation is actually a good thing... but so far there's no ideal distro for me. Each one has shortcomings.

One of the strengths of Linux is ones ability to match up the OS to the needs, wants and hardware of the user. That level of optimization has yet to be reached with a one size fits all OS in my opinion. The downside is it requires some study and thought on the part of the user to make the best match.
Even if one wanted to rope all the different packagers and developers onto one project there is no way to herd all those cats. Linux is a world wide effort, no governmental head or corporate boss to direct the minions so everybody is fee to do as they will. Like the guy says creativity can be messy. Enjoy
If you don't like it, make something better
If you can't make something better, adapt
If you can't do either ball your panties up and cry.

Complaining is like masticating most anyone can do it.
However doing it in public is really hardcore.
User avatar
monkeyboy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Too many editions?

Postby Dawgfan16 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:43 pm

IMHO, there is no such thing as too many choices with Linux.

I am a newbie to Linux and I spent a lot of time trying different distros until I found the one I liked. For me, that was Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop.
However, I took the needed time to try several different distros with different desktop environments until I made that choice.

I think that if you do the same, you will eventually find the distro and environment that acts the way you want it to act and does what you want it to do for your specific need.

What makes Linux so great is that it is not a one size fits all. Having the choice and then being able to learn and configure to your needs is what I feel it is all about. Plus the fact that all it really costs you is time.

Not being tied down to what some corporation thinks you should and shouldn't be able to do is what freedom of choice is all about.

Good Luck in your search.
Dawgfan16
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:44 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
Next

Return to About Mint Editions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests