Do you really want developers to be on this list was (Re: Very bad status of hardware (especially wifi) support in ubuntu, due to the too many accumulated regressions)

Stephan Hermann sh at
Thu Nov 13 08:02:12 UTC 2008


On Tue, 2008-11-11 at 02:27 +0000, Vincenzo Ciancia wrote:
> On 11/11/2008 Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > 
> > I would encourage you (and others, you certainly aren't the only one) 
> > to hold 
> > your temper and if you can't say something helpful, just take your 
> > hands off 
> > the keyboard.  Being angry, contemptuous, and disrespectful won't get 
> > your 
> > bugs fixed faster.  What it will get you is yet another list with no 
> > developers on it and you upset you can't get in touch with them.
> You are perfectly right, this went out of my control, and I appreciated 
> a lot the responses I got on various other issues in the past. I stop 
> now on the topic.
> The only seriously valid point for you developers in my e-mails - I 
> think - and the one I wanted to expose in the first e-mail I wrote - is 
> that we users really need a seriously maintained hardware database, and 
> a serious attention to all hardware related regressions, because you 
> can't change your hardware like you can change your software. This is 
> what from times to times leads me to a complete demotivation on keeping 
> supporting ubuntu - and I bet you as a developer care, not of me in 
> particular, but of the numbers. Ubuntu is so popular because developers 
> care about usability and understand what it is, but also because users 
> are openly advertising and supporting it as if it was The Salvation from 
> the Evil Microsoft. Don't loose this important advantage.

Advocating Ubuntu doesn't mean you need to support it.
Advocating in a company and propose a switch from MS Windows XP/Vista to
Canonical+Ubuntu means, that you should have a point doing so. 
Software in general is not bug free, so mostly you need commercial
support for your OS or other Software you are using. 

Canonical does provide Support for Ubuntu for You, when you want to pay
it. If not, fix it yourself, or help us fixing it e.g. join the irc and
point people to it. If people can't help you directly, because of not
having the broken hardware, you can try to provide this hardware to the
people (that's an example, and hey, this you can't do when you use MS

> If you start an officially endorsed hardware database with a forum for 
> comments and user-to-user support in launchpad etc, and keep an eye open 
> on regressions in hardware support, that should promptly be acknowledged 
> and put aside the relevant entries in the hardware database itself, and 
> that ideally should never be propagated to stable releases, but 
> _usually_ do, I am sure your user community will make a great job in 
> populating it. If you don't do that because of lack of manpower... I 
> understand and accept the reality.

You know, there is more and more hardware on the market, old and new.
And I never saw any hardware working out of the box which is quite new,
not even on Windows. Most drivers for new hardware on Windows are
broken...and believe me, asking the hardware vendor or creator, doesn't
help to fix those drivers in time, not if you don't want to pay them.

BTW, I do advocate Ubuntu in every company I'm working. And mostly I'm
the cursed guy who is doing the support, too. You know what? If I can't
fix it in time, I'll file a bug and I'm waiting. In the meantime, there
are workarounds (e.g. using an external wifi card, using another
graphics card driver etc.pp.) and most people are happy when they can
use their computers, it doesn't matter how. Actually most people don't
care about their special hardware they have in their laptops or
desktop...they just want to work.

TBH, if I really want to deploy Ubuntu as Desktop replacement, I'll call
Canonical or one of their partners and order some special support
contracts with developer costs money, yes, but this should
be in your budget for such a project.

But in general, you shouldn't advocate things you can't handle. If you
are not able to help people out of a bad situation, don't switch
them..most likely people will not only hate the new OS, but they will
hate you.

If you really want to know which hardware is supported, you should read
the vanilla kernel mailing list, because this is the most valuable
source of finding out which hardware does work out of the box.

If a distributor adds more goodies to the kernel, then be happy, but
that doesn't mean, that it really works...even when the distributor puts
the hardware on the list of supported hardware.



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