Ubuntu development...

Tim Hull thully at umich.edu
Fri Aug 24 17:42:30 UTC 2007


(I know I may have brought up some of this before, but it was in the middle
of a Tribe freeze and I wasn't exactly clear regarding what I had to say.
Please excuse this...)

I'm currently a senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in (what
else) Computer Science, and I've been toying with Linux/Open Source for some
time now.  While it hasn't always been my primary OS, I have regularly
tinkered with it and generally know how to deal with tricky issues (kernel
compilation, backporting software, working around bugs, etc etc).  I've
always been partial to Debian-based distributions - RPMs I can't stand, and
don't even get me started on Gentoo.

Anyway, I'm somewhat interested in Ubuntu development.  However, while I
have been able to uncover plenty of info about MOTU, that's not where most
of my interest lies.  My interest lies in mostly working on issues that
effect the usability of the main system for an average user - in short, Bug
#1 issues.  Some things that come to mind include:

* Making iPods and music library management work properly without extensive
manual tweaking (rhythmbox doesn't quite cut it here)

* Make laptop suspend/resume/power management work well with sane
out-of-the-box settings (getting better, but still needs tweaking)

* Eliminate the need to edit configuration files for commonly-changed
settings (synaptics touchpad, I'm looking at you...)

* Making the default system look better - especially in the area of font
rendering (the default hinting is *ugly*)

* Making software upgrades work in a more sane way - in particular making it
easier to update individual components of the system without updating
everything (why, oh WHY, do I need to update half the system to get
something - even simple things - from unstable)

I'm curious - where can I help out?  I do file some bugs on launchpad, but
hardly ever get any followup - understandable, given that many of the issues
at hand aren't bugs per se.  I have indeed come up with some specific ideas
to help resolve the issues at hand, but have yet to find a reliable way to
actually propose these ideas and discuss them with developers.

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