Is it just me, or is LTSP a mess?

Oliver Grawert ogra at
Thu Sep 11 11:37:22 BST 2008

On Mi, 2008-09-10 at 09:37 -0700, Jordan Mantha wrote: 
> 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. 

that person would be me ... 

i'd like to note beyond the fact that i did the initial edubuntu
deveolpment i was also the lead developer and upstream of ltsp until the
7.10 development cycle where fedora joined ltsp upstream development and
we turned ltsp upstream over to a kind of consortium made up by
participants of all the involved distros, which indeed makes ltsp move
slower as we have to regard the need of all parties, have to accept
changes that are not necessarily helping our particular distro but
improve the overall experience at some point if all bugs are shaken
out ... imagine a dictatorship vs democracy, the first years of ltsp5
development i could make the decisions for ubuntu ltsp only while since
7.10 i try to keep the pieces in shape and working for ubuntu after
others made the changes ...

one thing coming up often here since 7.10 are apps hanging around ...
please note *this is usually a faulty app* i made various requests to
the people complaining to please file bugs about the apps not exiting
properly if their parent session goes away (the first request for that
was around the 7.10 development cycle over a year ago) so i can point
the app developers to fix these bugs (whih they will gratefully do). up
to today not a single bug for any of the apps was put into launchpad
only many hackish workarounds came up that kill apps on startup in very
intrusive ways ...

another thing i asked for as well in the 7.10 cycle (where i still could
invest worktime into edubuntu) various times was to help testing *during
the development cycle* at a time where i can fix bugs, my last request
got me two new testers, mainly David van Asche and Asmo Koskinen ... you
will notice that these two are the guys who apparently dont have any
problems at all, both deploying huge setups of edubuntu with ltsp. with
hardy our policies changed and i will be able to apply fixes even to the
released version, that will give you the opportunity to help improving
the LTS release to your requirement, all this needs is that developers
get clear bugs, i will do what i can to help out here but please note
that my time is very limted, beyond me there is Jordan Mantha around to
help with educational apps and Scott Balneaves can help with the ltsp
side of things, but what we need for that is a set of clear bugs to work
on, ranting or blaming anyone for anything wont get us anywhere. 

if we want edubuntu to stay around, please help, file bugs and lets
clearly identify whats at fault and just fix it ...

gnome, openoffice and firefox being ignorant to multiuser setups
upstream is a fact since years we wont easily change (check their ML
archives if you dont belive me). the latter two simply through the fact
that their core development happens on windows, often people forget that
they are ports to linux. gnome started to listen to the complaints a
while ago and starts to make attenpts towards multi user support (but
trying to do it the right way takes its time and will still take more,
consolekit and friends are a first good step). this is simply nothing
*we* can change but we can help pointing out the problems to upstream.

i know scott and jordan are planning bugdays soon if you want ltsp or
edubuntu be in good shape, please help them ... 
if you think fedora is better for you, feel free to try it out, but bear
in mind that the ltsp code we all use in debian, fedora, ubuntu and
gentoo is identical, we all work on the same code since a year and in
the end provide the same scripts to our users for running thin
clients ... 

i'm personally a bit disappointed not having as much time anymore as i
did for edubuntu and was also hoping the upstream changes in ltsp  with
new distros joining the development wouldnt have any effect on the end
user experience but that apparently was the case. all i can do here is
beg you guys to help out and help compensating my missing time, i will
do what i can but have full time duties in other areas and the day only
has 24h... putting blames on people or ranting wont help, we *can* do
something for hardy as well as we can for intrepid but it needs proper
identification of the problems and proper bugs filed.

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