Current situation of amarok, and of latex tools

Onno Benschop onno at
Sun May 17 23:49:58 UTC 2009

On 15/05/09 23:27, Vincenzo Ciancia wrote:
> Il giorno ven, 15/05/2009 alle 16.34 +0200, Markus Hitter ha scritto:
>> As popularity increases, more vendors will attempt to provide
>> drivers  
>> at launch dates of new hardware. For now it's a reasonable strategy  
>> to buy hardware which is at least half a year old or which is binary  
>> compatible with such older hardware.
> Unfortunately, this is sometimes the worst advice to give. It seems to
> me that in some cases both ubuntu and upstream silently, unconsciously,
> collectively agree that old hardware should just die. Let me explain it
> better: it is frequently the case that such hardware gets broken across
> a release and remains broken for the whole release; in next release
> something gets adjusted and something else typically gets broken. The
> living proof is my laptop (toshiba tablet m400) whose entire hardware is
> claimed to be supported since at least 3 years. And it is, in fact, once
> you fiddle with the software.
> Since Dapper I NEVER saw an ubuntu release into which everything worked
> out of the box on this laptop. In EVERY release something was repaired,
> but something else regressed to broken. I reported all the regressions
> during alphas or sometimes betas, but in some cases there is just no
> need to get either ubuntu's or upstream's attention on certain
> regressions.
This too has been my experience. I stayed with Gutsy as long as I could
for that reason. My ThinkPad had a working [Access IBM] key, which for
some untraceable reason stopped working, ditto for the PCMCIA reader.
The Intel video card used to support independent desktops, but no
longer. On the positive side, one day WiFi magically started working
after an update - it still drops out, but I've all but given up after
countless hours of debugging my own hardware.

I think part of the problem is that no-one can be an expert on
everything. I'm a software developer, have been for 30 years. I make
income by solving problems for my clients. When I buy new hardware, it's
in my interest to get it right - less headaches, less support, more time
to fix actual business-level problems, rather than crawl under the desk

Regressions seem to be hard to track and hard to pin-point. For example,
I don't use my PCMCIA reader regularly. I tested it when I first
installed and when I next needed it, about four months later, it wasn't
working and no amount of trouble shooting would make it so. Problems
like that don't show up immediately.

On the other hand, I used the [Access IBM] key to lock my screen. When I
walked away from my desk one day, it didn't lock. Four hours later I was
no closer to figuring out why it wasn't working and the amount of lost
income related to the single broken key far outweighs it's benefit. I
still press Ctrl-Alt-L, and only the left Ctrl-Alt because it costs too
much energy to figure out why something just stopped.

What I'm saying is that I understand that finding hardware problems is
hard and supporting the vast array of hardware is nigh-on impossible, I
think that unless we find a way to become more disciplined about
regressions, this problem will only get larger.

Onno Benschop

Connected via Bigpond NextG at S31°54'06" - E115°50'39" (Yokine, WA)
()/)/)()        ..ASCII for Onno..
|>>?            ..EBCDIC for Onno..
--- -. -. ---   ..Morse for Onno..

ITmaze   -   ABN: 56 178 057 063   -  ph: 04 1219 8888   -   onno at

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list