After testing the project, some details came to my attention about the applications that are shipped by default. I appreciate that the application selection was revamped to better fit the Unity experience, but I believe some choices could be better suited for the task.
VLC doesn’t really fit the environment very much. A popular alternative normally chosen for GTK environments is Celluloid. The application obeys the theming and has a proper Yaru icon. It can also be configured to disable the “Independent Window Decorations” option, which adds an options bar, which is displayed in the Global Menu area.
While we are debating switching application selections, while Pluma works well, geddit can simply integrate better. If configuring geddit to use the Yaru-Dark theme through its settings, integration becomes fairly painless, and it uses the Global Menu for its options bar by default. With that being said, I believe packaging Mint’s xed could also look like it belongs better than Pluma. Both geddit and xed also follow the usual application naming scheme when viewed from the dash.
Atril is the same case as Pluma, and I think Mint’s xreader could look more in place. Using Mate’s System Monitor instead of GNOME’s is the same.
Additionally, it is noticeable that the distro ships some duplicated applications, such as 2 app stores, 2 email clients, among some others. While I personally think Evolution can integrate amazingly well in the Desktop Environment, Thunderbird is also a fine choice. It would be good to use GNOME Software instead of the snap-store, since it has all the functionality of the latter and then some. I also think it would be good to not ship with xterm, tex-common and synaptic packages by default, offering a simpler selection.
When it comes to future-proofing, it is very likely that PipeWire and BTRFS will become the default choices soon, so I would suggest shipping with pipewire and wireplumber integration instead of PulseAudio, and Timeshift instead of Deja-Dup when it comes to backups. Timeshift has some nice integration with the BTRFS filesystem.
Of course, these are all suggestions, I would love to discuss more about it.