- Lots of updates, of course. Pretty much along the lines of what I wrote previously about this. Linux kernel 3.0.2, Firefox and Thunderbird 11.x, Opera 11.62, MATE 1.2, Cinnamon 1.4, X.org server 1.11.4, and much more.
- It sounds like they realized the same thing that I suspected and wrote about last time, that LMDE has become a sort of haven for Gnome 2 users. So there are a number of options for those users, including of course the latest MATE and Cinnamon releases. But on top of that, they are creating a special repository which will remain with Gnome 2. This is important - when Update Pack 4 is released, it will automatically install Gnome 3 (and remove Gnome 2). So if you want to stay with Gnome 2, make sure that you update your repository list as described in the blog post referenced above before installing Update Pack 4.
- The best news of all, in my opinion: They will release updated ISO images when Update Pack 4 is released. This is really important, because it has been a long time since the last ISO images were released, so trying to make a fresh installation of LMDE has become quite a task. With new ISO images that include Update Pack 4, that will once again be easy, as it should be. Of course, if you are already running LMDE you don't have to reinstall from the new ISO images, you can just install Update Pack 4 and you will end up at the same place.
Of course, this Update Pack is not only for LMDE Gnome. Those who have decided to avoid the whole Gnome situation my using Xfce will also get the update, including of course the latest Xfce 4.8, and the rest of the updates mentioned above.
I don't want to finish this up without a pretty screen shot of some sort, so...
This shows my HP Pavilion dm1-4010ez running LMDE with the preliminary Update Pack 4 installed, and the latest Cinnamon 1.4 desktop. The pop-up at the bottom right is the Cinnamon settings control, which is the latest, wonderfully easy way to adjust various Cinnamon options.
I think the statement made in the Mint blog sums up the situation nicely:
We hate to put people in a position where they can’t choose,
If you like choice, you are likely to love Linux Mint Debian edition - either the Gnome or Xfce versions. If you have trouble with choice, in Linux versions, breakfast cereal, new cars or whatever, then perhaps this isn't the best solution for you. There are plenty of other Linux distributions which offer one and only one desktop.