Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

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Jedinovice
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Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Jedinovice »

https://github.com/linuxmint/Roadmap

“remove synaptic from default selection”
Er, if I read this right, the plan is to remove synaptic from Mint‘s default install in Mint 18.2?

If so, this is a pain for me. I tend to install multiple apps at a time and want to queue items which you cannot do with the Mint software manager. Also, I have to maintain multiple laptops and rely on them for my work. Heck, my life is my laptop these days! Work, reports, media material for students, watching anime, video editing, reading manga… Downtime really hurts for me. That's why I tend not to upgrade when I have a working system.

If I do have to re-install and recover in a hurry Synaptic is a life saver. OK, I store my .deb files for offline install but guess how I re-install them..? In synaptic!

The Mint software manager is closer to the Apple App store from what I can see. It’s not exactly a professional tool. I wouldn’t mind so much but I have asked for synaptic functionality in the Mint software manager before and firmly told that the Mint software tool was not for users like me and that I should use synaptic that was supplied.

Yes, I know I can install synaptic from the software manager early on but it does seem a step backwards especially I do not see the software manager taking on synaptic style functionality.

Would it be possible if...

a) Someone tells me I have got this wrong and misunderstood the road map
or
b) Clem can be persuaded to reconsider this decision? I can understand Synaptic being ‘depreciated’ in Mint 18.2 but it seems a bit of a retrograde step to remove functionality from Mint
?

Lords of Kobol know too many OS’s and UI’s of late have suffered from “The user is stupid, let’s remove any and all functionality so the poor sods do not get confused by anything useful...” syndrome of late – GNOME 3, Windows 8, et al. I do not think Mint should go in this direction.

I do not have a problem with Synaptic being hidden away in a sub menu somewhere where only those looking for it would find it. But, to give you some idea how critical Synaptic is to me: I have a keyboard shortcut to it in KDE for immediate access! When I use it, I use it a lot!

Teeny bit nervous here. Though I tend to stick with a version that works so 18.2 may not impact me much… I still feel this is a retrograde step.

Is there any technical reason for removing Synaptic? I cannot see that there would be.

Heck, could we be given a choice during install? Then only the ‘pros’ would select it for install…? Is that stoopid?
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Pjotr »

Synaptic is one of the first things I install in the *buntu's. Essential tool. Never understood why the *buntu devs removed it from the default application set: the default alternatives are all inferior.

So I agree: in my opinion, removing it from the default Mint installation would be a serious error.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by xenopeek »

Most users don't use Synaptic. Those that do use and prefer it would install it with a few clicks.

I don't know the reasons the development team have for considering to drop it from the default selection. What I do know is that Synaptic on Linux Mint is patched to remove the package upgrade functionality from it, because of the bug that is in Synaptic's upgrade logic that can cause your entire operating system to be uninstalled by it if you use it to upgrade your system.

As with all such personal preferences: we can't make everybody happy while sticking with "keep installation quick and simple". So no, there won't be a thousand and one options during installation for everybody to tick a box to install their favorite piece of software during installation. You can do so after installation :wink: Is that so big a hurdle?
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Jedinovice »

xenopeek wrote:Most users don't use Synaptic. Those that do use and prefer it would install it with a few clicks.

I don't know the reasons the development team have for considering to drop it from the default selection. What I do know is that Synaptic on Linux Mint is patched to remove the package upgrade functionality from it, because of the bug that is in Synaptic's upgrade logic that can cause your entire operating system to be uninstalled by it if you use it to upgrade your system.

As with all such personal preferences: we can't make everybody happy while sticking with "keep installation quick and simple". So no, there won't be a thousand and one options during installation for everybody to tick a box to install their favorite piece of software during installation. You can do so after installation :wink: Is that so big a hurdle?
I already said I could install Synaptic after installation. So, at that level it is not such a big deal.

But... my point was and is...

There seems to be too much of a policy across OS's to remove functionality "because it will confuse the user" which concerns me.
I don;t mind depreciating Synaptic but removing it from the install seems to me to be veering towards the Unity/Gnome 3 Philosophy. "Keep it simple, keep 'em dumb.' Only a little mind, I grant.

If synaptic is going the way of the dinosaur as suggested then... is there any hope of bringing more sophisticated functionality to the Mint installer.
I mean, I did ask and was slapped right back down!
"Synaptic is for users like you. We're not modifying the Mint installer to make it more powerful!"
Twice I tried and after being seriously slapped back I realised asking for development of the Software Manager was a serious "No go" by the team and left alone.

So if synaptic goes.. not just from Mont but forever, then what do users and I do who don't want to have to click, install, wait, click, install wait...

I commonly install overnight with synaptic. Impossible with the Mint installer.
If Synaptic is dying out, as seems to be suggested, I did not know developed had stopped... then what is the alternative? If synaptic is on its way out then I already wan to know what the best replacement is! If Synaptic is dying out and Mint is going all out on the Mint installer but "keeping it simple" without qeuing then people like me need an alternative.

How is Muon these days? Last time I tried it in Ubuntu it was HORRIBLE!! But I think it was a Canonical 'mangled' edition with advertising being the priority over installing.

I am serious - what is the alternative?

Glad I keep DEB files! (In Synaptic you were able to save to a specified location... sigh.)
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Pjotr »

@Jedinovice: I don't foresee needing an alternative for Synaptic in the near future....

It's a remarkably stable and polished piece of work; as long as the underlying apt doesn't change its ways too much (and why should it?), Synaptic will remain useful for years to come. Even without maintenance.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by DeMus »

Jedinovice wrote:I commonly install overnight with synaptic. Impossible with the Mint installer.
If Synaptic is dying out, as seems to be suggested, I did not know developed had stopped... then what is the alternative? If synaptic is on its way out then I already wan to know what the best replacement is! If Synaptic is dying out and Mint is going all out on the Mint installer but "keeping it simple" without qeuing then people like me need an alternative.

How is Muon these days? Last time I tried it in Ubuntu it was HORRIBLE!! But I think it was a Canonical 'mangled' edition with advertising being the priority over installing.

I am serious - what is the alternative?

Glad I keep DEB files! (In Synaptic you were able to save to a specified location... sigh.)
An alternatif would be to write a script in which you write:

sudo apt install package1 package2 ....
Type your password and go to sleep.

The next morning the sun is shining and all your packages are installed, except in the rain season when there is no sun. :lol:
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Cosmo. »

xenopeek wrote:Most users don't use Synaptic.
By arguing like that we would have to look, how many users use for example:
- 2 multimedia players side by side (Totem and Rhythmbox / Banshee)
- 2 picture viewers side by side
- tomboy
- gimp (besides pix for easy editing jobs)
- pidgin
- seahorse
- mintnanny
I don't know, if and how this measurable at all, so I don't take this for sure.
xenopeek wrote:Those that do use and prefer it would install it with a few clicks.
Theoretically yes. But with arguing we could also remove LibreOffice (not everybody uses the Office suite), transmission, Thunderbird, simple scan. Nothing of those programs are essential for the system.

Further more inn case of Synaptic there is another aspect. Although the version number of synaptic as installed in Ubuntu 16.04 and Mint 18 is identical and in the credentials only the maintainer Michael Vogt is mentioned at the first place there are differences between the Ubuntu version and the Mint version, namely the quick filter box in the toolbar.
Try to find the pre-installed virtualbox packages in Mint - something what I have to do at every new virtual installation. With the Mint version this is easy: Enter viirtualbox in the filter box and select the filter for installed packages at the left and you have them. Now try the same with the Ubuntu version ... :roll:

Regarding "not maintained": To my experience Synaptic works very reliable. With this arguing I wonder, why those virtualbox-packages are pre-installed in Mint. Not only are they superfluous in a bare metal installation and annoying in a virtual installation, obviously nobody cares to maintain the repository packages. Those packages are outdated and full with documented bugs. The same btw for the virtualbox-packages in the official repositories totally. Several users stumbled already about the bug in this version in conjunction with kernel 4.7 and above, which has been fixed by Oracle, but not available in this silly outdated repo version.
Whenever I install something from the repos I use and used in all my systems only synaptic, never mintInstall. I have never encountered any problem with the package management by doing so.

This consideration would be another step back in the usability of Mint, which I see with Mint 18.1 / Cinnamon 3.2. Other examples for usability regressions:
The silently removed category hover delay function / option. For me a very important feature, one of the reasons, why I decided to use Cinnamon DE some years ago. Silently removed in Cinnamon 3.2 (heaven knows why) and hidden in postponed.md is a hint, that it might perhaps at an unknown date come back at some time in the future.
This more than annoying jumping screensaver in Cinnamon 3.2. It is distracting and the advantage of this position jump at every 30 seconds is doubtful with modern displays. If the devs think, that this is needed at all, than they missed to make this jumps as an option. For me the screensaver in Mint18.1 is unusable.

When we talk about bugs the really needed new feature for Mint 18.2 are to solve the numerous bugs. If I look at the roadmap I see them either somewhere in postponed.md (creating objects with wrong ownership by mintupdate) or not at all (buggy auto-login; both are only 2 examples.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by austin.texas »

DeMus wrote: An alternatif would be to write a script in which you write:
sudo apt install package1 package2 ....
Type your password and go to sleep.
The next morning the sun is shining and all your packages are installed, except in the rain season when there is no sun. :lol:
DeMus has it right. Opening Synaptic to install a list of programs is much too time consuming.
First install your PPA's, then open a terminal and enter your install command:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install   acetoneiso album apport-gtk asunder avidemux avidemux-plugins-gtk bluefish boot-info-script  clipit converseen cthumb dconf-tools filezilla firejail flegita-gimp fsarchiver fslint gimp glances glines gnome-brave-icon-theme gnome-color-chooser gnome-logs gnome-search-tool google-chrome-stable gparted gpick grml-rescueboot grml2usb grsync grub-pc gsmartcontrol gtkhash gufw gwenrename hardinfo htop imagemagick-doc leafpad medit meld multisystem nemo-image-converter numlockx pithos pmount preload puddletag roxterm seamonkey-mozilla-build shutter smartmontools smplayer smtube swapspace xsane
And you can add synaptic to that list.
It is strange that Mint 18.1 installs ubiquity by default (how many people ever use that?), but not gparted. I would vote for gparted and synaptic.
Last edited by austin.texas on Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Pjotr »

austin.texas wrote:I would vote for gparted and synaptic.
In my experience, GParted doesn't always work reliably when used as a hard disk installation.... I therefore only recommend to use it within a live session. :)

I use apt-get more often than Synaptic, for installing software. But I use Synaptic a lot for a quick check on dependencies of packages and on their origins.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by grizzler »

xenopeek wrote:and it having been 1.5 years since the last bit of maintenance was done
Actually, version 0.84 was uploaded to Debian unstable the day before yesterday (0.84.1 yesterday). Maintenance and several bugs fixed.
https://tracker.debian.org/pkg/synaptic
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by austin.texas »

Pjotr wrote:In my experience, GParted doesn't always work reliably when used as a hard disk installation.... I therefore only recommend to use it within a live session. :)
True... if you only have one hard drive.
I guess I am just looking at it from my perspective - I have always had more than one hard drive.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Jedinovice »

RECONSIDER
dagun.jpg
:D
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by xenopeek »

grizzler wrote:Actually, version 0.84 was uploaded to Debian unstable the day before yesterday (0.84.1 yesterday). Maintenance and several bugs fixed.
https://tracker.debian.org/pkg/synaptic
Thanks for linking that. It would be great if the Synaptic homepage also linked to the current code repository (https://github.com/mvo5/synaptic) instead of the previous one on which nothing happened in the past 1.5 years :lol:
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Night Wing »

I'm not a power user. I classify myself as a non technical user since I don't use the Mint terminal. I find the Synaptic Package Manager better for me since I don't know the codes to use the terminal. If Mint is going to completely remove Synaptic from Mint, then that is an "automatic deal breaker" for me and that would force met to use another distro instead of Mint. If Synaptic is in the Mint Software Manager when 18.2 is released and it can be installed via the Software Manager, then this is what will allow me to keep using Mint.

I started using Mint with Mint 14, then gravitated to Mint versions 16, 17, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3 and to the present 18. All of these versions were the Xfce DE's. In all fo these versions, I've only had to use the Mint terminal "twice" and in those two times, there was a corruption which forced me to use the terminal. I had to come to the Mint forums for help and in one search, I was able to solve my problem since someone had the exact same problem and the coding to use the terminal was there in a previous topic and it worked for me. The other time time, Karchen helped me directly and it was not too bad, but it took 24 hours of exchanging posts to get the problem solved using the Mint terminal.

If Synaptic is going to be completely removed from Mint, this is a very bad decision and would force me to stop using Mint and I would have to look at other distros such as Manjaro, Chalet, etc and/or as long as any other distro has the Xfce desktop environment (which I prefer) along with the Synaptic Package Manager still available in that distro.

If the Mint developers/maintainers completely remove Synaptic; this smacks of some of the bad decisions which came along with Microsoft's decisions for their Windows 8/8.1/10 operating systems such as tiles with 8, automatic forced updates with 10 Home, etc (and which I hated with a pink purple passion). It's these reasons (along with others Microsoft made) which got me to try linux back in October of 2012 when Windows 8 was released.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Hoser Rob »

I don't agree with the decision to omit it but jeez, the solution isn't hard ...

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install synaptic
If you know enough to want to use synaptic you should know that.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Night Wing »

Hoser Rob wrote:I don't agree with the decision to omit it but jeez, the solution isn't hard ...

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install synaptic
If you know enough to want to use synaptic you should know that.
You're a power user and people like me are not. You know the codes for using the terminal where as people like me "do not". I avoid the terminal because with people like me who don't know the codes, we're dead in the water if we have no choice but to use the terminal to repair/install, etc; and hope we can find the codes with the proper spacing, etc from searching the Mint forums and/or find a power user on the forum willing to help us without the "you should know that" answer which you gave.

To wit, I've been using the Windows operating systems starting with Window 98 SE. That operating systems along with Windows XP, 7 (the Windows operating systems I've used), they've all had the Windows command line terminal and I've "never" used the terminal in Windows which would come into use, as an example, to bypass the user password for a login screen in Windows 7 which my power user neighbor showed me (since he owns a computer repair shop which deals strictly with Windows) when an elderly customer of his forgot his password and never wrote it down. This all came about because the elderly customer had a mini stroke and with that stroke came memory loss.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Jedinovice »

Hoser Rob wrote:I don't agree with the decision to omit it but jeez, the solution isn't hard ...

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install synaptic
If you know enough to want to use synaptic you should know that.
This has already been stated and accepted. That is not in question and most of us would accept that.
It does not stop us questioning the decision regardless.

To my mind it smacks a little too much of the recent trend of "You don't need that dear, it's too complex for you. Let me remove it for you." That kind of logic can be applied to almost anything. Mint is not a lightweight or legacy hardware distro. It is supposed to be a fully functional, ready to go desktop distro. So removing functionality seems to defy Mint's operating paradigm.

Also, I am doubly peeved because I actually anticipated the day Mint would drop synaptic and go all in with the software manager and so I suggested adding Synaptic like functionality to the said software manager.
And was very quickly and firmly shot down and told to use Synaptic.

So, for me the conversation has become:

"Can we add queuing of install items to the software manager as with Synaptic?"
"No. The software manager is for the standard, casual user who just wants to install one app on occasion. We are not changing it. We are not adding complexity to the software manager. Use Synaptic instead - that's what it is there for!"
"Oh, all right than."
"And, by the way, we're dropping Synaptic."

I always figured that the software manager would become THE installer in Mint but the dev team seemed determined to keep the software manager "simples." So removing Synaptic from the install really is a case of removing functionality. And that means the Mint team could argue that any matter of 'non-essential/techie' stuff could go.
Who needs the power of GIMP? Not most of us so that can go.
How many of know enough to repartition hard disks? Very few. So the partition manager can go.
Most people do not scan images so Xsane can go.
Heck, most Mint users do not use KDE which has losttsf config operation and ‘confusing’ customization so that can go and free up development time…
etc, etc.


If the dev team were dropping Synaptic but adding a 'pro mode' for the software manager - I could understand that! But this is not on the road map and, when I suggested it, I was shot down.

So, yes, the solution is simple. You can install Synaptic from the software manager; forget apt.
But I feel a little put out since I anticipated this day and when I raised this the Mint team said "No! Go use Synaptic."

And we have ended up where I expected.

What worries me is then the precedent has been set for removal of functionality on the grounds, we thin - in the absence of any explanation from the dev team at this time - that Synaptic is just 'too techie.' And that is the reasoning that gave us GNOME 3, Unity, Windows 8, heck, the MacOS!
Taken to its logical extreme, Mint could just be a lightweight distro, no software installed and the user selects whatever software they want. Or, the other potential extreme, the user is supplied a few basic apps that will not tax the brain and shut off from installation of other apps!
Extreme, I know, and I do not think that would happen but the 'logic' of removing Synaptic, in the absence of any explanation, makes the Mint teams 'apparent decision... puzzling.


If there is a technical explanation, I could understand that.
I could also handle a replacement for lost functionality such as Muon being offered on install or new functionality being added to the software manager but none of that is on the roadmap.

And, frankly, I am rather tired of being told by every OS provider on Earth almost; “You can’t have that – it’s too techie for you.”
Bear in mind that I am now running my own business and am responsible for my own software support. Yes, I can get synaptic downloaded but this sends the wrong signal to a small businessman like myself. (Never thought I would describe myself like that in the past!)

Clem is a smart guy with his feet on the ground so if Synaptic has to go I can go with it, given, as you rightly say, it can be installed. I have installed Muon to have a trial just to prove your point. It seems a LOT better and lot more Synaptic like that when I last looked at I. Damn thing was unusable in Kubuntu! All it did was pump adverts at me! But I, for once, could do with an explanation for the decision and would appreciate some means to replace the lost functionality.

Mint is not supposed to be full desktop OS, not ChromeOS or Ubuntu smartphone wannbee OS. Just removing functionality seems at odds with the Mint philosophy.


I am now a small businessman. I need to maintain four, hopefully five laptops and a desktop. I need some power tools. Mint has provided those tools in install. Mint is supposed to be for users like me and provided those tools in the past. (ChromeOS is not going to cut it for me!)

Now the Mint team is removing one of those tools.

In itself not a huge issue. In terms of direction… worrying.

Personally… if I were on the dev team – yes, I know, I am not and Mint is free.. I am just thinking ‘out loud’ I would announce the removal of synaptic but also the inclusion of a pro mode or a simple ‘queue’ button in the software manager to put maintenance in one single app.

I would Clem and co… graciously, grovellingly, to consider this.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Jedinovice »

I mean...

This has made my Waifu cry!

wei1.jpg

Shame!
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by stormryder »

Hoser Rob wrote:I don't agree with the decision to omit it but jeez, the solution isn't hard ...

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install synaptic
If you know enough to want to use synaptic you should know that.
For you maybe, me I would have tried

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install synaptic_package_manager
or some equally useless command.

Why should I know all the correct command line terminology in order to be smart enough for synaptic?

This is clearly the thinking of the devs if someone doesn't know our language they are way to stupid for anything that is not spoon-fed. That kind of superior attitude makes me ill.
If I knew all the correct terminology I wouldn't need it, I would just use the terminal. I don't though and, I doubt anyone knows every term for every package in the repository, so I like to use synaptic to install software.
This is one of the most functional and useful tools available for mint, removing it doesn't make any sense, especially in light of how much frivolous junk is included.
Its pretty clear to me that they intend break the functionality with this otherwise they would have no reason to remove it.
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Re: Mint 18.2: Removing Synaptic???!

Post by Pjotr »

stormryder wrote:I would have tried

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install synaptic_package_manager
or some equally useless command.

Why should I know all the correct command line terminology in order to be smart enough for synaptic?

This is clearly the thinking of the devs if someone doesn't know our language they are way to stupid for anything that is not spoon-fed. That kind of superior attitude makes me ill.
Take it easy please....

You're being unjust. You'll always be able to install Synaptic by means of Software Manager as well. Which is quite easy, too. No need to know any command for that.
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