libc borked (and I stop testing)

Jerone Young jerone at
Thu Mar 13 16:51:38 UTC 2008

I'm in the same boat as you Vincenzo. Kind of the last straw for
myself also. Been trying for a while now to test and get fixes into
Hardy so that the Thinkpad T61 whould work out of the box (pretty much
perfectly). As this is they laptop I now use on a daily basis, and I
was going to try and start average users on the same platform with
Ubuntu. But there is an extreme problem with Ubuntu developers
ignoring bugzilla and straight up breaking stuff. In all my bugzillas
I try to include fixes, but even with love. As of late
there have been big regressions and it seems futile to file a bugzilla
as it appears nobody is going to give it any attention.

Lately Hardy has been so badly breaking, during a time when time where
this shouldn't happen. I think Cory was dead on about libc though. How
can this of all packages break now!

I'm joining you to just going back to being a user for myself.. and
stop having these lofty ideas that things can work perfectly.

On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 7:03 AM, Vincenzo Ciancia <ciancia at> wrote:
> Il giorno mer, 12/03/2008 alle 23.20 -0400, Cory K. ha scritto:
>  > Thanx to the genius who let the libc update through and rendered 3
>  > systems unbootable here. I look forward to your visit to my home to fix
>  > them.
>  >
>  > Frustrated and pissed,
>  >
>  > Cory K.
>  >
>  Even though the tone of the mail is angry, it's really bad that things
>  like this libc update happen - I personally don't understand how this is
>  possible at all, if developers test their packages.
>  A "revert system after upgrade" mode should be designed and implemented
>  to the benefit of testers (unionfs plus a "commit" operation to the main
>  filesystem seems to me like an implementable solution). Would not be
>  efficient but would be a bit safer - you already have unionfs in the
>  livecd so you have some expertise.
>  I am sad to say that my hardy testing experience stops here - I wanted
>  to make my experience as a free software user, and as a developer,
>  available to ubuntu community as a form of payment for such a good
>  distribution. Problem is not the libc bug by itself of course. If you
>  want to know read below - but it's not necessary at all.
>  Problem is that I should waste hours fixing the libc bug, and I am doing
>  this just to let the world benefit from fixes I can already install and
>  hack up locally on my pc. The balance between costs and benefits is
>  dropping down too quick.
>  Many regressions I've personally been trying to help sorting out have a
>  fix, signaled by one of the testers (usually not me since I am not that
>  smart, but I usually took the time to test the fix and reported) and the
>  fix is not being applied, and developers are waiting for *users* to
>  UVFE. I am more and more being convinced that testing new ubuntu is a
>  complete waste of time for me.
>  The main point that, to my eyes, the ubuntu "upload-enabled community"
>  seems not to be understanding, is that one should try to re-use people's
>  expertise. You can't ask a person that already can debug a kernel module
>  to also learn to package debs and all the ubuntu burocracy. That's a
>  problem of developers. If you have a clever user (I am *not* talking
>  about me :) ) that provides a fix and explains how he/she got there, you
>  can't ask for more. You are the developer, you have the expertise to fix
>  bugs in ubuntu, the tester provided the fix, having the expertise to
>  test it, why not joining forces?
>  <personal story follows, the main point of the e-mail is what you
>  already read>
>  Next LTS won't have proper support for my tablet. I surrender. It's two
>  years I have been waiting the day I can advice ubuntu to people who have
>  the same laptop as mine, and still nobody cares. Next year I will have
>  to return this laptop to university, and I'll perhaps buy a different
>  tablet. With different problems. And I've never seen ubuntu working out
>  of the box there - even though there always was a well-known and
>  signaled to developers way to make it work.
>  I've seen things stopping working, nobody cared in the world. For
>  example, my sd card reader worked in edgy and will never work in any
>  future ubuntu release. I opened a bug *during feisty beta* - it used to
>  work in some feisty alpha but don't know which one, then it was marked
>  as duplicate of another bug, which after months was fixed and was not a
>  dupe of mine, I then had to reopen a new bug, and *nobody cared
>  anymore*. Don't bull*hit on me. The problem I am pointing out is real.
>  There is a regression from previous releases and nobody cares, because
>  few users have it. But that's a regression. Ok, few users have it
>  because the vaste majority of tablet users don't even consider the crazy
>  idea of running that hacky linux on it. Accept this and if and when
>  ubuntu will work on tablets really out of the box, you'll see how many
>  users are affected by such regressions.
>  I've followed bug reports, provided requested information, tried to
>  debug problems, in some rare case even provided the fix personally.
>  In the past, I uploaded a couple of fixed debs, asked for UVFEs when
>  necessary, and even obtained those.
>  It takes lots of time, especially for one who does it seldomly. You may
>  say that people should move *before freeze*. I personally  try to wait
>  for developers to ack fixes and set them up for release. This often does
>  *not* happen before freeze, so users typically end up not only having to
>  learn how to prepare the new changelog, how to properly choose new
>  version, how to prepare a debdiff and sign the changes, but also, since
>  freeze time is passed, they have to learn UVFEs or other freeze
>  exceptions.
>  </personal story>
>  So I stop testing, get out of my status of half man/half developer and
>  get back being an user. If next LTS is broken for my laptop, I'll simply
>  fix it locally, as I always did from the age of debian potato.
>  And if you don't care at all loosing me as a tester, I can understand
>  you :) Just delete this e-mail and live happier.
>  A possible idea to improve the situation is to have a "regression" tag,
>  and to mark "high priority" all regressions. Say what you want, but this
>  is *exactly* the behaviour that one would expect from any software
>  distributor: things works, you break it, I tell you as soon as I
>  discover it, you fix it as soon as possible because the bug is in the
>  change you just made, so your change has to be fixed. If you let the
>  regression there for three years, you'll have hysterical raisins when
>  you put your hands back on that code.
>  Vincenzo
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