Is it just me, or is LTSP a mess?

R. Scott Belford scott at
Wed Sep 10 19:33:37 BST 2008

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 6:37 AM, Jordan Mantha <laserjock at> wrote:


> I get the impression at times that people think there are a myriad of
> people paid to work on these issues. The reality is that there has
> only ever been 1 person paid to work on Edubuntu/LTSP, and in fact
> that person has been moved to another project for his paid time and is
> now volunteering like the rest of us to work on Edubuntu. We had a
> period of time where the primary developers of Edubuntu were basically
> inactive due to real life situations. I know I personally feel like
> I've let the community down by not being around for Hardy, but I have
> real life obligations I can't just shirk to work on software. These
> are the times when we need people from the user community to step up
> and maybe try to contribute a bit here and there. I'm somewhat
> frantically trying to get Intrepid ready for release and Scott
> Balneaves sounds like he's able to help out more with LTSP bugs. We're
> planning on having an LTSP Bug Day next week (looks like Wednesday) in
> #edubuntu and could use all the help we can get (testing, triage,
> patches, etc.).


Thanks for your note, Jordan.  It is true that a positive, pro-active, and
constructive direction needs to be assumed.  I am not sure that paid staff
is the key to success or the reason for failure.  The 'only one person is
getting paid' case was made last year during the Feisty debacle.

I imagine that most people on this list are trying Edubuntu not because they
are paid to but because they heard about it and decided to give it a go.  I
doubt there are many job descriptions calling for this.  We all do it
because we care.  I personally run a non-profit, at great personal cost, to
advance the adoption of FOSS in Hawaii.  It's not because I'm getting paid.

Understanding the dynamics of this community, and those behind the successes
and failures of Skolelinux and the K12LTSP, is the key to our success.  You
may or may not realize, for instance, that Fedora started because Warren was
fed up with our work helping schools with FOSS because he felt that there
was not enough customization and tools to make it teacher-friendly.  Years
later Fedora + RedHat + Eric Harrison and Jim McQuillan equaled the K12LTSP.

The culture of the RedHat sponsored K12OSN mailing list was such that Bugs
and Experiences could be reported on the mailing list, and fixes and patches
were created.  Because users saw Eric H or Jim M actively engaging the
community, with Aloha, the community responded with feedback, support, help,
etc.  No one was told to come to IRC if they wanted satisfaction, to file a
bug if they wanted it fixed, or to buy a support contract from Red Hat if
they needed help.

The culture of the debian-edu mailing list is one of momentum and
organization.  I have bugzilla reports, end-user questions, and packaging
discussions all arrive in my mailbox.  Skolelinux has certainly benefitted
from government sponsorship, but, the philosophy and intent have been
Focused on a distro requiring one hour or less of support each week by an
average teacher.  With this goal in mind, there is a reason to respond to
all mailing list queries.

A bug squashing on IRC next week sounds good.  If I have submitted bugs to
the mailing list but cannot make the IRC meeting, is it still my
responsibility to handle this bug?  Is there a process for known bugs to be
addressed whether they come from the list or Launchpad?

All the pieces are in place.  I'd like to think that there is nothing but
good will amongst the communities of users and developers.  A little vision
and follow-through is all we lack.

With Respect


If you've got nothing to be defensive of, why be defensive?
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