This morning, A friend and I over breakfast, were discussing somethings about linux, as we are both Linux users, and we value each other opinions and philosophies on the subjects. Today was the first morning I can honestly say we had a "true" argument over something, where he blatantly told me I was a "Ubuntu Fanboy and can't accept the success of Linux Mint".
The discussion started off benign enough, we were discussing the rampant release of a lot of articles lately, claiming victory in distro wars for Linux Mint, cause of a page hit ranking on distrowatch. Now is this enough proof to claim this? I honestly don't believe it is, as when did distrowatch become the defacto popularity gauge and final word on which distro gets the most use? We both agreed that they were just sensationalist articles, by uninformed or biased writers, who for whatever reason has decided to take it on a personal crusade to bash Unity, and get New users to listen to them.
There is no denying that unity is not that great, I don't use it, I prefer Gnome 3/XFCE/KDE to it, but I didn't jumpship from Ubuntu to get to these desktops, I just simply ran a sudo apt-get install gnome-shell/kubuntu-desktop/xfce-desktop to get these. Our argument wasn't really over Mint choice of DE or Ubuntu's, it was over something I said in response to one of his questions.
"Maybe there is something to Linux Mint, Maybe we should install it and use it to see what all the fuss is about, what you think?"
and i responded with:
"you know how I feel about variants, Mint's are for pillows, its a refugee camp for all the Ubuntu users who didn't know how to install a different desktop in ubuntu or weren't smart enough to stick with 10.04/10.10 if they wanted to stay with Gnome 2 and then use backports/ppa's for the newer software. I honestly don't see what they offer other than a buggy and slow Gnome extension, and a pretty 'theme', they use ubuntu repositories, its installer, and unlike debian, anything that is made for ubuntu will work in mint without any tweaking, cause they are the same OS."
His ears turned red and he said "So to you, Mint is nothing more than a variant of Ubuntu like kubuntu is?"
and I said yes.
To me Linux Mint has always been a Variant of Ubuntu, I've never seen it as a "distro" of its own, I mean how can it be? the only distinctions they make between themselves and Ubuntu now, is they use Gnome-shell, created an extension for it, include multimedia codecs, and use a different theme...To me, this is no different than what (K)(X)(L)Ubuntu has done. So am I wrong in viewing Linux Mint as nothing more than Ubuntu with a different theme? Has it truly forked itself enough from the Ubuntu for me to raise the white flag to my friend and admit I'm wrong in my View of it?