In my two most recent posts I mentioned upgrading Linux Mint (to "Katya", version 11) and then tweaking it. The upgrade created one or two adventures, notably a loss of the ability to reorder the application buttons in the GNOME panel by dragging them. Editing GNOME panel properties such as its size, or whether it automatically expands, would restore the drag option, but no fix that I found survived the end of a session.
That changed on my office PC, for reasons unknown to me, after a routine application of updates. I'm not sure which update did what, but suddenly the ability to drag buttons is back. The fix came at a bit of a cost, though. The first time I logged in at the console after the upgrade (which I did remotely), I found that buttons dragged (good news) and windows minimized and maximized (not news), but that I could neither resize nor move windows (bad news!). Neither could I switch to any of the other workspaces I have set up. (Workspace Switcher is set for four workspaces.)
A little desperate Googling failed to find any report of the same problem but did lead me, indirectly, to the fix. In Control Center > CompizConfig Settings Manager > Window Management, Move Window and Resize Window had somehow become deselected and needed to be turned back on. Similarly, under Desktop the Desktop Wall control had to be turned on. I have no idea what turned them off -- moving, resizing and switching workspaces all worked the last time I was in the office -- but I assume it was something in the update. At least the fix was easy.
Meanwhile, I got a new machine at home and configured it to dual-boot Windows 7 (which came preinstalled) and Mint 11. This time I used the 64-bit version of Mint (my laptop and office PC run the 32-bit version). Whether due to my choice of the 64-bit version or because it was a clean install (not inheriting any settings from an earlier installation), button dragging worked from the outset on the home machine (once I made a change I will discuss momentarily), and so far there have been no sudden behavioral changes regarding windows.
That one change I made is rather important, though. When first installed, the 64-bit version did not create buttons for windows. If you minimized a window, it simply disappeared (though the app was still running), with no obvious way to recover it. Dragging buttons was not an issue, since there were no buttons. I can't picture working in an environment where minimized windows can be reopened. With a little digging, I discovered that the Window List (the container for the buttons) was not installed on the GNOME panel. It was easy to install it (right-click the panel, select "Add to Panel..." and then choose it from the menu). Positioning it was a bit trickier. You position it the same way you position any applet on the panel: right-click, choose "Move", slide it where you want it and then right-click again and choose "Lock to Panel". The problem is that the Window List itself is invisible, with neither drawn boundaries nor a distinct background color; so you have to grope for it (right-click where you think it might be and see what context menu you get). At least that's fixed now (unless another update brings a new gremlin with it).