Interview with Clem

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Sciron
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Interview with Clem

Post by Sciron » Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:33 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm an editorial journalist for the German Linux magazin "Yalm". Within the scope of our last issue, I conducted with Clem an interview about the Release of Elyssa, his motives as well as his duties and responsibilities. Because the interview was published up to now only in German, and we don't want to penalize Englisch speaking users, we can you now proudly present the "orginial". Enjoy it. :D


Yalm: Please give our readers a short introduction of yourself, who you are and what you are doing for LinuxMint.


Clem:
Hi. My name is Clement Lefebvre (people usually call me "Clem"). I'm the founder and leader of the Linux Mint distribution. I maintain the Main, Light, x64 and Enterprise editions, I develop most of the mint tools and I administrate most of the community services (website, forums, wiki, software portal..etc).

Yalm: What is LinuxMint?

Clem: Linux Mint is a GNU/Linux distribution. It's an operating system which uses numerous components developped by the Open Source community Its main components are the Linux kernel, the GNU tools, the Gnome desktop and the Debian package manager. Linux Mint is also based on Ubuntu (another GNU/Linux distribution) and fully compatible with it. On top of all these components sit our own technologies, which consists in configuration or system tools, desktop enhancement, usability improvements and system settings. These technologies can be ported to other bases and we've experimented in the past with Debian and Fedora bases.

Yalm: What can you do with LinuxMint and what will be implemented in the future?

Clem: Linux Mint is designed to be as comfortable and elegant as possible for the desktop user. With each release we try to improve how the user can interact with the desktop and how easy it is for him/her to perform complex yet necessary/common tasks.

Yalm: For what kind of people is LinuxMint made?

Clem: It's made mostly for the home desktop user, to browse the Internet, read emails, listen to some music, watch DVDs, but also to stay organize, perform office work and common productivity tasks.

Yalm: Why should I use LinuxMint and not an other Linux distribution, Windows or a Mac?

Clem: You could prefer Linux Mint to other Linux operating systems because it's among the easiest desktops to use and also because it lets you achieve simple tasks which are not supported in other systems (uninstalling applications by right-clicking on them, sharing files over the Internet with one simple-click..etc).

You could prefer Linux Mint to Mac simply because it has more applications, it is more customizable and you can simply do more things with it.

You could prefer Linux Mint to Windows because it focuses on making your experience "pleasant". It's all about good default settings coupled with a lot of configurability. Linux Mint won't require your attention to be constantly focused on security warnings, antiviruses, firewalls, upgrade notifications, bloat/share/adware hassle, it will set things for you automatically the way it sees best.. and may you decide to deviate from the default settings it will let you configure every aspect of the operating system in a way that you can't do with Microsoft Windows.

Yalm: Are there different variatons? If so, in what they differ? (E. g.: Like one Version using Gnome and one other using KDE)


Clem: Yes. Most "editions" are built around a different desktop environment (Gnome, KDE, XFCE, Fluxbox ..etc). There are also editions which correspond to a specific need (Light Edition for distribution in the USA/Japan, x64 Edition for 64-bit systems, Enterprise Edition for small/medium companies).

Yalm: Are there features, which emphasise LinuxMint out of other distributions?

Clem: Everything in Linux Mint is made so the user doesn't waste time in making the system do what he/she wants to do. There are a lot of improvements made here and there and there are a lot of applications specifically developped for Linux Mint, it's the combination of these settings and tools which make Linux Mint unique.

The top 3 most important features which make Linux Mint stand out are the way it handles installation and removal of applications, the way it filters through package upgrade to make a compromise with the stability of the system and the way it lets the user access and interact with the desktop.

Yalm: In what state is the project right now?


It's fully mature. Most of the goals we had for Linux Mint were achieved with the release of Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna. With Linux Mint 5 Elyssa we've taken some time and refined each tool with a lot of small improvements to make the user experience with Mint even better than it previously was.

Clem: Why do you do this project, when you had the idea for doing so and how many people work on it?


I was writing a lot of articles about Linux and I was reviewing a lot of distributions. After a while I had a pretty good idea of what I liked in each one of them and what was missing overall. So I started experimenting with live CDs and modifying this and that. Eventually I decided to use most of what was already there (Linux, Gnome, APT, Ubuntu) and focus on what really mattered: the desktop. I started by adding codecs and by changing the software selection. Then I made a lot of system changes and where I couldn't improve things I developped my own replacement tools. With each release the community grew and people joined in to give me a hand. Nowadays the community actually does most of the work and comes up with the most innovative ideas. There's a team of about 15 people who specialize on very different things. The team interacts a lot with the community and we often see new community members join the team as a consequence.

Yalm: How can I support the project? Can I participate and help developing the distribution?

Clem: Whatever your skills you can help. People often think of financial contributions (donations, sponsoring) or coding skills (development, patch) as the only ways to help. Although they're both important there are many other ways you can contribute to the project. For instance, just by using Linux Mint and spreading the word around you, you'll help us a lot. By giving us feedback and being active within the community you'll help us a lot. More than half of the innovations included in Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna were inspired by ideas contributed by users. And finally, by helping making our community an exciting place to be, you'll help us a lot, write blogs, help in writing the monthly magazine, organize events, podcasts.. help and interact with other users. There's so much you can do without any programming knowledge. Linux Mint is more than just an operating system, it's growing into a community of users. Being part of this community is fun, interesting and it helps the distribution which relies on it.


Finally I want to thank Clem very much for taking time to do that interview with me, his patience and his efforts. And, at last, I want to thank him and the whole team for doing so a great job on Linux Mint. :D
Last edited by Sciron on Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.yalmagazine.org (German) It's free. :)

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GrayWizardLinux
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Re: Interview with Clem

Post by GrayWizardLinux » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:01 pm

Thanks! Nice work! :D
Linux Mint - Pure Bliss!

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Re: Interview with Clem

Post by kanishka » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:28 am

Thank you for the interview, it's a nice read!

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Re: Interview with Clem

Post by dnmint » Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:16 am

Very nice inteview of a very noble objective !!!
:D
How about an Applause Smiley to be added to the list on right. I could have used it to convey my gratitude.
Thank you Clem, for starting it & the Community for propogating it

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Re: Interview with Clem

Post by jokersloose » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:49 am

Thanks for the read. It was very informative as too how Mint came about and how it keeps going. :D

Let me add my THANKS too Clem and the rest of the Mint Team for all the hard work you put in so I can have a GREAT OS for my system's.

James

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Re: Interview with Clem

Post by belovedmonster » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:11 pm

Since when did Clem call it GNU/Linux?

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clem
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Re: Interview with Clem

Post by clem » Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:15 am

Well it is a GNU/Linux distribution, isn't it? In this argument I agree with both parties.. technically RMS is right in the fact that it's as much a GNU system as it is a Linux one, but let's be pragmatic and call it just what people usually call it: "Linux". As for me, most of the time I say "Linux", sometimes I say "GNU/Linux".. I suppose it depends on the context.. or the weather.. or whether I had croissants with my coffee for breakfast :)

Clem
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Re: Interview with Clem

Post by xvedejas » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:53 am

clem wrote:Well it is a GNU/Linux distribution, isn't it? In this argument I agree with both parties.. technically RMS is right in the fact that it's as much a GNU system as it is a Linux one, but let's be pragmatic and call it just what people usually call it: "Linux". As for me, most of the time I say "Linux", sometimes I say "GNU/Linux".. I suppose it depends on the context.. or the weather.. or whether I had croissants with my coffee for breakfast :)

Clem
"Linux" is merely the abbreviated form of GNU/Linux, of course. People know that if you're talking about anything Linux except for the kernel itself, it's obviously still GNU/Linux.

Anyways, thanks Clem for your great work. I've been using Linux Mint for the past four months or so and I haven't found another distro to pry me away from it. Ironically I'm still using the first Elyssa beta; it's so stable I don't have any reason to switch away from it!

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