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[Discuss] The next Linux desktop: Linux Mint Debian

I wrote:
> LMDE is "a rolling distribution" based on Debian Testing, so it
> perpetually gets upgraded packages, with no code freezes or "mass
> upgrade" steps...
> You'd think this would get you the most cutting edge packages, but at
> the time Cinnamon was announced in the Linux Mint blog[2] they said,
> Cinnamon "will soon make its LMDE when Gnome 3.2 enters Debian
> Testing." Yet Cinnamon was already supported on "Linux Mint 12, Ubuntu
> 11.10, Fedora 16, OpenSUSE 12.1 and Arch Linux."
> That suggests you are paying the costs (instability) of a rolling
> distribution, while missing out on one of the main benefits. Maybe GNOME
> is just a special case.

Catching up on Debian Newsletters from last month I see they point to an
article that explains the painful transition Debian went through to
upgrade GNOME:

  GNOME Shell 3.2 in  "Wheezy" : a retrospective

  Jordi Mallach wrote an article on the transition from GNOME 2 to GNOME
  3 in Debian from the Debian GNOME Team point of view. "When you?re
  dealing with dozens of GNOME source packages at the same time, many of
  which introduce new libraries, or worse, introduce incompatible APIs
  that affect many more unrelated packages, things get hairy, and you
  need a plan" Jordi said. But even with a plan for a smooth transition,
  they encountered a lot of difficulties, such as failures to build from
  source on various architectures and incompatibilities with other
  packages. Finally GNOME Shell 3.2 has transitioned to Debian's testing
  suite and Jordi thanks not only all Debian GNOME Team members, but
  also Release Team members Julien Cristau and Cyril Brulebois and FTP
  assistant Luca Falavigna, who helped in reaching this goal.

And this explains why LMDE tailed behind other distributions in
supporting Cinnamon.

This also makes me wonder what has happened to the relationship between
Ubuntu and Debian. At one time packages "trickled down" to Ubuntu from
Debian. Yet if Ubuntu transitioned to GNOME 3 a half year ago or more,
clearly there has been a more pronounced split between the two projects.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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