What are the aims of Linux Mint?

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Bigs
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What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Bigs »

On the 'About' we have the following

"The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.

Linux Mint is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions and used by millions of people.

Some of the reasons for the success of Linux Mint are:

It works out of the box, with full multimedia support and is extremely easy to use.
It's both free of cost and open source.
It's community-driven. Users are encouraged to send feedback to the project so that their ideas can be used to improve Linux Mint.
Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers.
It's safe and reliable. Thanks to a conservative approach to software updates, a unique Update Manager and the robustness of its Linux architecture, Linux Mint requires very little maintenance (no regressions, no antivirus, no anti-spyware...etc)."

So observations:

Modern, comfy, powerful, works out the box, for millions of users. OK.

So the aims?

I presume, correct me if I'm wrong, would be:
  • Increase market share from Windows and Mac, rather than from other Linux Distros
    Create an ever-cooler OS that improve over time, without breaking things or taken away control from users
That's my impression, or are those just my hopes of what I want it to be?


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gm10
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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by gm10 »

Bigs wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:02 am
Increase market share from Windows and Mac, rather than from other Linux Distros
I think on the market share you are wrong. First about it being the main consideration. Market share follows, it doesn't lead. And then about it not being in competition to other Linux distributions. Of course it is. It was born as a direct competitor to Ubuntu because of unhappiness about how they were doing some things. And it is based on Ubuntu, of course. But it's true that with the base design/layout it will also be particularly appealing to Windows converts.
Bigs wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:02 am
Create an ever-cooler OS that improve over time, without breaking things or taken away control from users
You are naturally correct on that one but there's little substance to that statement, obviously nobody wants things to get worse, better is always the goal.

Bigs
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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Bigs »

better is always the goal
Not for commerical software. For example Adobe CS and Office are now subscription-based, obviously better for the company, much worse for the end-user, who pays vastly more over the years and is alway at the mercy of the company dumping the product, jacking up fees or changing it in ways the user doesn't like.

On principle that shouldn't apply to FOSS, but the blanket statement that better is always the goal rather obscures "Who's version of better?", which is the point of this thread.

It's not just a bit of an impression or suspicion, it's an absolute certainty that for at least some FOSS projects, there are plenty of users that deliberately push newcomers away, who WANT "their" OS or project to be elitist, to be out of reach of the common unwashed nooooobs! because, well, whatever their reasons are. I presume they vary, at least a bit.
being in competition to other Linux distributions. Of course it is.
Really?

My impression, and again I'm a noob and maybe wrong, is that all variations of Linux amount to something less than 5% of the desktop userbase, so pretty pointless to worry about the others, when Windows and Mac users are such low-hanging fruit and rich pickings?

I'm from the world of commercial software and commercialism in general. I'll happily link my website but don't wish to spam unless asked for it. Note however I'm NOT a coder. I've had my own software products in the past, that I paid others to code, but my speciality is helping people sell software and SaaS, along with other things. I'm currently helping a kid's cancer charity, so I'm not entirely evil ;)

From my perspective, if LM were a client, I'd advise "Forget other distros, you're already meant to be the "easy linux", Mac fanbois are a cult and beyond help, but Windows? There's people out there that still use XP, there are legions like me clinging to Windows7, even dedicated Microsoft fanbois admit Vista was pants and 8 a mistake - and there are millions that loath and despise Windows 10.

If ever, ever, Linux Mint were primed to take off, it's now.

Clock ticking till Win7 end of life in 2020.

So the question is, what are you guys (LM developers) actually doing about this, to market LM and capture that market share?
Market share follows, it doesn't lead.
Yeah... er no. That's kind of what I do, and as mentioned elsewhere, if I have to explain to a developer that marketing leads, the software follows, then I'm talking to the wrong developer. Thinking it's about the software itself is entirely normal and sensible - but humans are not sensible or logical, at all. For a very long time I was active on the Business of Software forums, (now defunct as the owner got bored and already built his business) and that was THE biggest lesson newcomers had to learn.

Yes, you're way, way above me in knowledge of Linux Mint or anything that isn't Windows 7, but this, this I'm good at. 8)

I also have some other relevant experience...

Herding Cats
Around 15 years ago I quit and moved to the tropics, but previously was the founder and chairman of a social movement org, not FOSS but somewhat similar. I started it to help bring together many different factions of other orgs doing the same thing, but instead of helping they seemed determined to actively fight and disparage each other.

For that social issue that WAS the issue, the splintered fragmentation that prevented them from working together to achieve much more than they could as individual little orgs, each with no real funding or support.

I created an international org' as an umbrella, and for the 7 years I was running it good strides were made. Ultimately I had my own life to lead and had to move on. Anyway, point is:

I'm an expert at helping software companies gain market share, by improving their sales writing, website conversion rates, user experience etc. I'm also rather uniquely experienced at what it takes to get individuals and small groups to work together for the common good, putting their egos aside.

IF the devs are after market share then I'm so perfectly suited to help that it's almost painful. It's like this big neon sign;

"Dude! Help these people! This is what you DO! C'mon! We can kick Microsoft in the nuts and get millions of Win10 users to change over, win win! We can do this!"

Yet there's another voice, and it's saying "Er, dude? I don't think these people actually want that. I think they're kind of comfortable where they are?"

So, literally, I don't really know. Hence this thread.

A couple of points:

Yeah, I have strode in, declaring "Ha, adorable noobs. I guess I'll have to explain this stuff to ya carefully..."

How does that make you feel?

Because that's how us noobs feel, see? :lol:

2. To you, gm10, you say I "necro post"? I looked it up, that means posting to dead threads? Yet the first thing we're told is "don't just ask, search for any existing threads". So that's what I did.
passive aggressive
that's the best aggressive, so there's that? But yeah, I guess. Hopefully this long rambling post gives some idea of where I'm coming from and why so frustrated, indeed I came into this expecting to be frustrated, semi-ignored, unable to get relevant or timely assistance and to have eventually figure stuff out for myself, and that's pretty much what happened, isn't it? Some people did make an effort but here's the most important point of this entire rambling rant:

I do appreciate that most of you do care, about LM and the end user, and I also care. Or I wouldn't have bothered writing all this, see?


Anyway, there it is, that's my rant (and reason for asking the question above).

Can I help? Should I just shut up? I honestly don't know yet. I know I've already ruffled gm10's feathers with my impatience - sorry :mrgreen:

Hopefully this will spark some discussion, rather than deletion. Hopefully. For now I really do need to go help a kid's charity (writing a press release) *waves


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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by gm10 »

Oh, I'm not disputing what you're saying about marketing and commercialization in general. But Mint is not a commercial product. Clem and some others who are benefit from the donation money might have a different perspective, but for those of us who contribute for free that's not a consideration. We don't benefit from market share, so we do not care about it (other than maybe to stroke one's ego, I suppose).

Code changes I contribute are to fix bugs or to add/improve features that either I'd like to have personally and do create for myself anyway, but also some that I don't need personally but that address issues a lot of other users have and since I'm a nice guy I sometimes just add them. But whether anything I do impacts anyone's market share has never crossed my mind and thus plays no part in my decisions. Obviously that would be very different if I was actually selling this product or getting a paycheck, but I am not.

Last but not least, you haven't ruffled my feathers with impatience, just with your attitude. And you know exactly what I mean, so no reason to get into that. As I said in the other thread, provide something constructive relevant to Linux Mint and we can talk about it. So far you have not. Please do.

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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Bigs »

whether anything I do impacts anyone's market share has never crossed my mind and thus plays no part in my decisions
Well if you're one of the coders and that's how you feel then that answers my question.

Peace.


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Hoser Rob
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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Hoser Rob »

Bigs wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:02 am
... So the aims?

I presume, correct me if I'm wrong, would be:

Increase market share from Windows and Mac, rather than from other Linux Distros
Anyone who thinks their Linux distro is going to challenge those guys on market share is not probably going to be able to create a Linux distro because they won't know much about Linux.

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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Bigs »

I don't know much at all about Linux or the mindset of the developers, which is why I asked (while fully aware of the #1 rule in both sales and UX, that you need to watch what people do, not what they say).

When I talk of market share I certainly don't mean in terms of challenging either of those giants for sheer numbers; I mean in terms of nibbling deeper into the pie. Perhaps from <5% to >10%?

Since posting this I've taken some time to sniff around this forum and learn some more, and realized you (can I say 'we' yet?) have an entire sub-forum dedicated to "Promotion"?

It was hidden under "Development" and I'm not a developer, but that leaves me a little confused :?

Perhaps because I'm using commercial language in a FOSS setting; "market share" meaning promoting it and drawing in a larger user base, more people using it. You may not be selling it for cash, but you do still need to sell or market it to draw more people in.

Anyhows, seeing as there's a forum dedicated to it, I guess I should go there next :)


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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by all41 »

gm10 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:42 am
Oh, I'm not disputing what you're saying about marketing and commercialization in general. But Mint is not a commercial product. Clem and some others who are benefit from the donation money might have a different perspective, but for those of us who contribute for free that's not a consideration. We don't benefit from market share, so we do not care about it (other than maybe to stroke one's ego, I suppose).

Code changes I contribute are to fix bugs or to add/improve features that either I'd like to have personally and do create for myself anyway, but also some that I don't need personally but that address issues a lot of other users have and since I'm a nice guy I sometimes just add them. But whether anything I do impacts anyone's market share has never crossed my mind and thus plays no part in my decisions. Obviously that would be very different if I was actually selling this product or getting a paycheck, but I am not.

Last but not least, you haven't ruffled my feathers with impatience, just with your attitude. And you know exactly what I mean, so no reason to get into that. As I said in the other thread, provide something constructive relevant to Linux Mint and we can talk about it. So far you have not. Please do.
I pose a hypothetical question.
IF there were a commercial market for a Linux desktop distro--what distro would win out?

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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by gm10 »

all41 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:39 am
I pose a hypothetical question.
IF there were a commercial market for a Linux desktop distro--what distro would win out?
I think we had that discussion last in the big "What drives noobs back to Windows" (or something like that) thread. My position was and is that the top requirement is a simple "it works!" (and that includes hardware support), plus a coherent software platform and cohesive and self-evident design that drives it. Mint only comes into play for that last bit, although flatpak integration sort of tries to mitigate the penultimate one.
Last edited by gm10 on Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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samriggs
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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by samriggs »

sounds like he's handing us a resume lol
We can kick Microsoft in the nuts and get millions of Win10 users to change over, win win! We can do this!
don't really care actually, the whole point of linux is choice, hence a ton of distro's to choose from and desktop environments, if your not happy with those create your own, it's not really a competition thing, actually the linux community usually works together for the most part and if someone wants windows instead, so be it, or dual boot both so be it, the top distro's have good folks working on the projects, mint has always been stable for the most part and works out of the box, hence it's popularity for those who just want it to work, but as far as being in competition with windows or trying to take their user base away from them, I don't think most care about that sort of thing, actually if you think about it, the more that come over from that world, probably the more headaches would come with it also, if linux beat out windows one day, what else would follow that?

For those that make it over here from that world, they have a ton of help to help them on their way through, as it has always been, volunteers willing to help out when they can.

Is it nice to be number 1, sure it is, it shows they are doing something right that works, but again the community also works together, usually for the main part, through volunteers.

So I guess it's what's more important here, market share (windows way) or community and volunteers and a love for the project instead.
Freedom is a good thing.
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Bigs
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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Bigs »

Earlier I mentioned how it's known in sales that you can't always believe what people say; instead you have to see what they actually do?

1777 posts in the sub-forum about promoting Linux Mint to new users tells me something interesting...

That while the core attitude may be "We do this because we can, it's fun, we enjoy it and we're nice people", it seems the users themselves have perhaps more zeal and enthusiasm, to spread the Good Operating System Penguin el Linux (GOSPeL)?

Interesting, isn't it?

I still have a mental klaxon blaring away, as rarely does one see such massive, society-shifting potential, but I'm also reminded of the expression about leading horses to water.

I can't make y'all thirsty. :D

What I CAN do is point out an old truism of sales, which most noobs, myself included back in the day, initially reject as flowery BS, but it's not. That sales is about helping the buyer, by matching them with a good and suitable product at a price both parties can agree with.

It seems many users, myself inc. would like to spread the word, go out there and convert some of the oppressed masses find the freedoms of Linux, to save them from the price-gouging of Mac and Microsoft's laundry-list of sins...

...but if we were to do so, we'd swamp you poor developers with support requests. #tricky #Mmm

Lemme tell y'all a funny, that this situation reminds me of :lol:

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
http://www.bestfishingjokes.com/viewjok ... m=2&view=R

Enjoy your Wine :wink:


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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by stormryder »

Bigs wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:55 am
The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish
I think the point you may be missing is that the giant company will not be providing that same quality of fish caught by an independent fisherman or the range of choice available from those independent fishermen.
Me, I'll never be that rich American because the only other people I have found that do the quality of work I do are also independent contractors like myself, so we work together to produce the highest quality product possible.

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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by samriggs »

It seems many users, myself inc. would like to spread the word, go out there and convert some of the oppressed masses find the freedoms of Linux, to save them from the price-gouging of Mac and Microsoft's laundry-list of sins...

...but if we were to do so, we'd swamp you poor developers with support requests. #tricky #Mmm
ummm nope you would be swamped, when I first came to linux I, like you, started promoting the heck out of it, got a lot of folks turned onto it, then it all began, the horror oh the horror, everyone of them thought for some strange reason I was their 24/7 tech support, they muck up I get the call or the laptop dropped off, please fix, because I was the one that convinced them they felt I was obligated to help them also whenever they wanted, I explained there is forums, there is google etc nope the guilt trip plagued me, and it was always user error, nothing wrong with linux itself, or there system, so I fix it or reinstall it back to what it was first was and tell them to stay out of the terminal and stop deleting things they don't know what they are, or the constant questions, what's this, what's that? how do I do this and that?
Once and awhile ain't bad when you got a lot of folks doing the same thing (mostly questions) because there to lazy to find the answers themselves it gets just stupid.
So I stopped it, so I don't get bugged because no matter how many times you tell them your not their personal support group they still think you are.

Also what if linux finally beat windows in the so called market share, then what?
the viruses and maleware, the worms, etc etc etc the headaches that come with being the most popular system on the planet also brings more headaches, plus other headaches.

the errors from users would increase, there would be a need for more support, we had folks get angry from the windows world if you didn't answer right away or fix there issue right away, please give us your system specs by putting this in the terminal etc etc, they seem to think were sitting here waiting for them lol
some seem to forget were volunteers .

So ya, if you want to promote the heck out of it knock your socks off lol

Sometimes smaller is better and has a better quality especially when you got more informed and technical eyeballs testing and watching for errors and giving fixes just cause they want a good system not because they are getting paid to do so.
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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by sarge816 »

Once and awhile ain't bad when you got a lot of folks doing the same thing (mostly questions) because there to lazy to find the answers themselves it gets just stupid.
This was my experience as well. As you can see from my join date, I've been a Linux nub for a long time now and I've tried my hand a fair number of times on trying to convert family and friends. I stopped, it just became too much of a hassle and I have better things to do. I eventually would just recommend these types of people stick with or go back to Windows. I like to occasionally offer support in my fashion with my modest knowledge here, but all of these folks are either in the process of or have already decided to move away from Windows.

Bottom line is that people are lazy and it's easier to just deal with the "Devil You Know" rather than learn something new. That is why Windows will always be the dominant market OS - MS was brilliant back in the day "giving it away" with all new computers, which continues to this day. I think LM has the perfect niche as the easy to use OS alternative for those tired of the Windows "experience."

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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Mick-Cork »

Windows and OSX are deemed to be a 'product', LM (on its website) is described as a 'project'.

I used to dwell on the marketing aspect and, for example, how the site could be changed to market it better. My opinion has mellowed on that over the last couple of years and I quite like its niche approach. Until the founder / developers decide its actually a product I think the ongoing organic growth suits it.

I would change my view though if it started to decline in popularity. I like LM, and if it came under threat in a way that could eventually lead to its demise I'd say change to a 'product' approach. That would of course lead to a big attitude change and a rethink on the organisational structure.

Edit: I guess I should add that projects typically have a beginning/middle/end. If I had any questions for those pulling the strings I'd say what's the scope, and how do you know when you've got there? That's on a different tangent to the OP, but I would be curious about the answer.

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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by JosephM »

Having spent a number of years with the Mint project, I'd say the number one goal is to attempt to provide a constantly evolving and improved version of Mint for Mint users. The second would probably be to try and provide a quality desktop version of Linux to those 5% of people actually interested in trying it. I'd say way down that list would be "convert Windows users". Not sure why so many users here on the forums think that's the whole goal of most Linux devs. I'm not sure most Linux devs really care about that at all. Making that your goal is really a waste of time. Most Windows users simply don't care and would NEVER try to install a different OS.

You want a commercial Linux desktop? You already have one: ChromeOS. This is the kind of thing you would get to create any sort of successful commercial Linux desktop. You would have to support a limited set of hardware. Much the way Mac does. Hardware you know works. Windows only gets away with supporting virtually all hardware because it's percentage of computer users is so huge. Hardware vendors really have no choice but to create drivers and support their hardware on Windows. Linux will never match that.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

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Re: What are the aims of Linux Mint?

Post by Bigs »

Not sure why so many users here on the forums think that's the whole goal of most Linux devs
There does indeed seem to be a disconnect between what the users (inc me, hence this thread) think the developers want and what the developers do actually want.

I guess some of it comes down to our reasons or motivations?

For me, it's that Microsoft have turned to the Dark Side.

I try to avoid rented software-as-a-service whenever possible anyway, but to have your operating system a service, controlled by MS? Madness.
Tied into the service thing are forced updates, a reason all by themselves to move away from MS. When people say they "like" Windows10 they can only mean they like it as it is, right now, until MS decide to change stuff around, which they reserve the right to do - on "your" computer
When I learned "data processing" as a young man, keyloggers and phoning-home were the definition of malware. Windows10 is malware.
Advertising. In my operating system? GTFO.
Bloatware, as bad as Android, that keeps coming back? The GTFO thing again.
Etc

And that's just how they are right now, but it's pretty clear what direction they're headed. In short, to wring every last drop of privacy and profit they can, while slowly, softly-softly catchee monkey.

The more people that run screaming away from that horror monster of an OS the better, for me, for humanity, for everyone - except MS.

Right now Linux Mint is the shiny beacon on the hill, a sheltered port, somewhere to run towards and lead others to.

You're the chosen ones :)

We need you.


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