I hear a Canonical dev was more opinionated than knowledgeable and the press blew what he said out of proportion. I wouldn’t mind too much, if we weren’t finding ourselves answering questions from panicked users rather than working on what matters right now (i.e. Mint 16 RC).
So I’ll be brief.
About package updates:
- We explained in 2007 what the shortcomings were with the way Ubuntu recommends their users to blindly apply all available updates. We explained the problems associated with regressions and we implemented a solution we’re very happy with.
- Anybody running Mint can launch Update Manager -> Edit -> Preferences and enable level 4 and 5 updates, thus making their Linux Mint as “Secure” and “Unstable” as Ubuntu.
About Firefox updates:
- Linux Mint uses the same Firefox package as Ubuntu from the same repository. Firefox is a level 2 update so every Mint user receives it by default.
- LMDE, which is not based on Ubuntu, uses its own Firefox package. We’ve been slow in updating it by the past in LMDE (and that’s probably what confused the Canonical developer) but we took action and automated that. Firefox 25 was released on the 29th of October and updated in LMDE on the 30th.
I personally talked to the legal dept. at Canonical (for other reasons, they’re telling us we need a license to use their binary packages) and it is clear they are confused about LMDE and Mint. They don’t know what repositories we’re using and they don’t know what we’re doing. We’re 2 years younger than them and they have no idea how many users we have (they use http://stats.wikimedia.org/archive/squid_reports/2013-10/SquidReportOperatingSystems.htm but don’t realize our user agent is “Ubuntu” since the days of Firefox 4 – Mint 9 if I remember correctly).
I don’t really mind what people at Canonical understand or do not understand about us. I understand why the press and media sell controversy. I just really don’t want to waste time with this.
From the feedback we’re getting so far, people love Mint 16 RC and we’ve got a superb release in our hands. It’s also full of bugs (https://github.com/linuxmint/Roadmap) and what we really want to do right now is not answer questions about how some guy who never ran Mint thinks it’s unsecure but get back to the code and fix as much as we can for Mint 16 to outperform Mint 15.
If you were unaware of this controversy and you’re sad to see negativity, I’d like to apologize. I had to cut this short and make a public statement because the easiest way for us to focus on what matters and ignore this controversy is by linking people to this statement and not waste time answering people one by one, on the forums, on the IRC, and all over the Web.