Likewise, on my Linux Minty desktop adventures, I have recently discovered the delights of the Cinnamon desktop, in no small part thanks to Mr Watson. Using it gives me a warm glow, as it inherits the features of the GNOME 2 desktop (ie a traditional desktop layout and configurability) but with GNOME 3 whizzy technologies.
Pressing the Super (aka ‘Windows’) key brings up a version of the much vaunted Mint Menu, one of the many feature enhancements that Mint brings to its Ubuntu roots.
It’s good, in 1.3 it’s much slicker than earlier versions. But it doesn’t seem to ‘learn’ from your keystrokes like a true keystroke launcher such as GNOME Do. A case in point is if I type in Files, it still brings up Audacity as the first choice (see screenshot above).
Also, it would be perfect if there were an integrated search function as in Mac OS X Lion, where realtime search results are offered from the Spotlight textfield.
Configurability, as I mentioned, really is the key. I managed to get so far with GNOME 3 but then hit a brick wall when wanting to acconmplish simple tasks like turning off the active corners. To that end, there’s a whole Cinnamon Settings panel, where you can tweak Panel, Themes, Desktop icons, Windows behaviour, display Fonts and not forgetting, 10 zillion Desktop Effects.
With Cinnamon, Clem has opened up the desktop to 3rd party applets, which can be positioned where you want them. Just like the good ol’ days. They are a little tricky to install, as they need to be unzipped and the resulting folder put into Home > .local > share > cinnamon. Then you can access them via the Cinnamon Settings > Applets panel_. (My favourite applet is Force Bloody Quit, as it halts sluggish, recalcitrant programmes in their tracks. Hah.)
With yet more spit and polish (a minty Heads Up Display anyone?!), I’m fairly sure that more Linux users will vote with their distros and shift over to Linux Mint and Cinnamon.