As I review more distributions, I'm continually fleshing out exactly what I want to see in a distribution. There are a few things that I would like to see in Linux distributions, none of which should be especially hard to do, as some of these features have already been implemented. Here's what I'd like to see:
- Mozilla Firefox (Rekonq and Arora are acceptable substitutes in KDE; Opera and Google Chrome are also acceptable substitutes anywhere)
- OpenOffice.org (AbiWord and Gnumeric are acceptable substitutes if the distribution is more lightweight)
- A graphical package manager
- Most proprietary codecs either included out-of-the-box or installable by clicking on a highly visible link
- Support for various peripherals out-of-the-box (especially mice, webcams (and external mics), and printers)
- Stability and security
- Rolling releases (just so that installation only needs to be done once)
- Minimal visible bloat
I would say that the best-looking GNOME theme present today is the Elementary theme, and that Linux Mint "Debian" with Elementary (and things like the Nautilus Elementary mod) would look positively stunning and will age well with the distribution (which doesn't make sense considering the distribution will always have the latest packages). (On a side note, there are some rumblings in various blogs about how Linux Mint may use the Equinox Faenza icon set in version 10 "Julia".) I've already done this with my FreshOS respin of Linux Mint "Debian". So what else would I like to see? Not a whole lot, except for one other thing:
I want to see an installer (and Linux Mint "Debian"'s installer, while adequate, isn't quite up to the level of polish of the Ubuntu-based releases' Ubiquity installer) that gives options for different application categories. What I mean is that if someone is big on multimedia, applications like F-Spot will be replaced by digiKam and OpenShot during the installation. Similarly, if someone needs programming tools, programs like Emacs, Eclipse/Netbeans, and other similar programming utilities could be installed. This way, while the user can always go to the package manager to install and remove packages of his/her choice, there are options in terms of what default applications are present after installation, nicely grouped into different categories.
How does that sound?