Mepis feedback

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KBD
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Mepis feedback

#1 Postby KBD » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:38 am

Mepis 11 was the first ever Linux I installed and used on my computer. This gives me perhaps a somewhat unique perspective months later after having tried most of the major Linux distributions.

The Good: I beat the daylights out of Mepis learning to use Linux and it proved time and again to be Rock Solid. Coming with KDE it gives an ex-Windows user a comfortable desktop environment. Having later tried Kubuntu and finding Kubuntu ran as slow as a turtle on my machine, I appreciate that Mepis comes with KDE and is still quite fast and responsive. The community is very helpful to newbies and that is very important.

The Not-So-Good: I happen to like music and Mepis is not set up for Music out of the box. As a newbie I downloaded nearly everything in the repository that had the word "gstreamer" in it before finally getting all the codecs I needed. This is a huge problem for newbies and can alone turn away potential Mepis users. If Mint can come with all the codecs in its Main and Debian versions, I think Mepis should as well, even if it breaks solemn Debian commandments. Alternately there should be something in huge letters on the desktop explaining how to easily install the needed codecs, perhaps giving information on how to install Banshee or some other music player with codecs attached. At the very least newbies should be offered and made aware of a restricted extras codec package in the repository much as Ubuntu does, perhaps offered during the install process. The font rendering has to be improved. It seems to me there is no reason Lubuntu with LXDE desktop should have better font rendering than Mepis, especially as Mepis prides itself on being a beautiful desktop. Maybe some of the problem is KDE, which I notice has bad font rendering as well in Kubuntu. Lastly, I think some people would like Mepis more if it offered optional desktops like LXDE and Xfce. I know they can be added, but that is a newbie nightmare as I learned for myself trying to install Xfce. I think an LXDE and Xfce version would increase the popularity of Mepis.
I don't think it would take much for Mepis to be one of the top 5 Linux distros ever. And my criticisms here are meant constructively, Mepis will always have a special place in my heart as my first Linux distro.
KBD

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Jerry3904
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Re: Mepis feedback

#2 Postby Jerry3904 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:45 am

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback, it's always useful.
Alternately there should be something in huge letters on the desktop explaining how to easily install the needed codecs
We have that info in lots of places already, including all over this forum, but it could be added along with the other Quick Fixes to the Quickstart document on the desktop.
perhaps offered during the install process.
I think that is a good idea.
The font rendering has to be improved.
Not sure about this one. Font rendering varies by monitor and driver, as well as by the software, and there is a whole section on Fonts in the Users Manual--which, again, is in the Quick Fixes section that leads off the Configuration section of the Manual but could be moved into the beginning of Quickstart. Did you consult either of the desktop documents at all?
Lastly, I think some people would like Mepis more if it offered optional desktops like LXDE and Xfce. I know they can be added, but that is a newbie nightmare as I learned for myself trying to install Xfce.
I can't agree with you on this one. IMHO, the only nightmare is if a newbie tries to install outside of Synaptic, which is his/her choice that comes with a specific warning in the Manual in the Section on software management. The installation of the repo version of 4.6 is dead easy, also for LXDE.

Thanks again--I hope you enjoy wherever you are going next.
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KBD
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Re: Mepis feedback

#3 Postby KBD » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:54 pm

Thanks!

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lucky9
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Re: Mepis feedback

#4 Postby lucky9 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:53 pm

On the font comments. I've always wondered what someone is talking about when my system, as default, has absolutely great fonts. Mine are smooth and well formed. I'd almost say perfect. So if you're having font problems I'd say it's a driver problem of some kind. What's your hardware KBD?
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KBD
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Re: Mepis feedback

#5 Postby KBD » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:12 pm

Maybe I notice this as my eyes have gotten a bit older :-) But The Ubuntus, except for Kubuntu, have great font rendering out of the box, fonts look smooth and clean, you will probably notice it more visiting various web pages, but sometimes you can see it on the desktop. Every Debian Stable I've looked at has poor font rendering, but Mepis probably looks best among them. Even the Mint Debian version from last Feb. had bad font rendering, but the latest Mint Debian has great font rendering, so perhaps it is Debian Testing that makes the difference. I've tried out quite a few distros and you notice a pattern after awhile of those with and without good font rendering. It may be that Mepis is as good as it can get until the next Debian Stable release. If I was getting poor font rendering with every distro I would say it is my computer, but I notice this only on certain distros and across our 4 computers.
KBD
PS--here is my video using Lubuntu 11.10 output:
description: VGA compatible controller
product: N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller
vendor: Intel Corporation
driver=i915

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Re: Mepis feedback

#6 Postby lucky9 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:40 pm

Believe me at 66 my eyes aren't particularly good. But I'm not able to tell enough differences to mention. I used to have a problem with some. Mandriva comes to mind. I'll have to boot some LiveDisks and take a more critical look. However your Intel graphics should be doing a good job as far as the driver goes.

I just can't see a less than perfect font rendering in anything of late. Mine are smooth, well filled, and proportioned well per the font that I select. Browsers page rendering are a different ballgame of course.
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DBeckett
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Re: Mepis feedback

#7 Postby DBeckett » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:42 pm

KBD wrote:Every Debian Stable I've looked at has poor font rendering

Perhaps you could post a screenshot of what you consider to be poor font rendering?
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Re: Mepis feedback

#8 Postby richb » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:46 pm

DBeckett wrote:[quote=KBD]Every Debian Stable I've looked at has poor font rendering

Perhaps you could post a screenshot of what you consider to be poor font rendering?[/quote]
Would not that be tricky, looking at someones fonts on a system that perhaps renders fonts differently? Am I missing something?
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Re: Mepis feedback

#9 Postby lucky9 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:58 pm

Nail on the head richb!
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
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KBD
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Re: Mepis feedback

#10 Postby KBD » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:28 pm

I've taken a couple of screenshots but the details are not well defined. These are two boots on my system, as mentioned, regular Debian Stable looks worse than Mepis, but I don't have those on my computer.

Mepis 11:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/J ... directlink

Xubuntu 11.10:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/U ... directlink

Note that I have an AAO with a ten inch screen that I'm rather close to. I imagine on anything over 20 inches that you are setting some distance away from font rendering is probably not as noticeable.
KBD


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