2c about the development of ubuntu

Evandro Fernandes Giovanini evandrofg at ig.com.br
Mon Jan 2 07:44:38 GMT 2006

Em Dom, 2006-01-01 às 16:47 +0100, Udo 'Robos' Puetz escreveu:
> Hello List and happy new year everybody!
> First off, thanks a lot to all the people who contribute to ubuntu!
> Regarding my comments below, I know I have no real right to voice my
> criticism except that I'm a ubuntu user (and distributor) and a fellow human
> with a brain.
> I've been a debian user for some time and absolutely loved the idea of
> debian with a little more userfriendliness. Hoary's been great and I
> installed it happily on 15 machines of friends. There were still
> shortcomings but hey, this was only the second release and it was great for
> that. I liked the idea of how ubuntu concentrated on improving gnome. Debian
> has been around for ages, as have some of it's problems: "Hard" to
> administrate except you master the steep learning curve (which is not a bad
> thing). On my homepage I have written down my experiences and tips on how to
> run debian on my R31 IBM laptop. Took me ages to get it right. So, I was
> more than happy to see installing hoary was a breeze and it simply worked.
> Part is to attribute to improvements on the foundations of linux but also a
> lot is hard work on ubuntu's part.
> Then the community driven kubuntu was integrated into "main" ubuntu. Well, I
> thought, this shouldn't drain too much resources since kubuntu was already 
> going steady before the integration.
> But since then ubutu has taken too much in in my opinion. Edubuntu,
> ubuntu on the server, ltsp and also the amd64 part.
> As I said above, the "problems" in debian are as old as debian itself.
> Developers see programs differently than an average user and if it works for
> them developing something new is more interesting than making something
> "userfriendly". I understand that and since they do it in their free time I
> cannot blame them. That's why Ian Murdock founded progeny, since paid
> developers can't refuse to work on that, they get paid for this. Progeny's 
> story aside, ubuntu looked more promising because of Mark's deep pockets and
> the further evolution of linux in time. So, when ubuntu employs 20 people
> (right?) to work on userfriendliness they can do only this much. If you
> spread these resources of making gnome userfriendly, that's fine. Spreading
> it over kde, educational stuff and server development, I think it runs thin.
> Since the problems are old and no "free" developer cared up to now I doubt
> that the paid developers get that much backing now regarding making apps
> userfriendly. 
> I even think I see and experience the problem already: breezy has exploded in
> my face on 5 machines. My laptop didn't work too well after the upgrade so I
> reinstalled - to also test how the installer worked (I *hate* reinstalling).
> After that, hibernation works only strange, if at all, and my wireless mouse
> doesn't work at plugin-time, I have to modprobe (-r) stuff to get it working.
> My machine at work can't log in with gdm or xdm, I have to use kdm. This is
> also after a normal upgrade. My main machine also didn't survive the upgrade
> too well so I reinstalled but that didn't help much. Burning software (like
> nautilus and gnomebaker) worked very bad so I thought, what the heck, let's
> try dapper on my main machine.
> I ran unstable for years and have never seen these problems with it as I see
> with dapper. I also got bitten by the "network not being up" thing, where a
> simple "auto eth1" is missing in /etc/network/interfaces. Why doesn't that
> get fixed?
> My suggestion: KISS! Keep it simple stupid. What has worked for unix/linux
> for decades can't be _that_ wrong. Concentrate your resources on a small
> part and do this *proper* instead of doing something everywhere. There are
> lots of base things that need some care. Like for instance modem/isdn stuff.
> A computer is near useless unless you can connect to the internet! This is
> fundamental stuff where a (good!) wiki entry isn't enough.
> Other areas where I see dire need of work is in bootup times - both of the
> kernel and gnome - and in memory footprint. Also, what's biting windows at
> the moment the most are bugs. If you concentrate your work on a small part
> you can audit that good and afterwards it's near bug-free and *works*. And
> what I don't like on windows and lots of other people too is that you have
> no control. You can't see what's happening. That's where linux/ubuntu is
> already better but can still be improved. If the user can see the network
> traffic and see harddrive activity he (w|c)ould maybe also see the (in the
> future inevitable) spam worm use his bandwidth and harddrive activity - and
> be able to act!
> And why does ubuntu have to cater the servers? Doesn't debian do this *very*
> good? Why do you need 2.6.15 on a server? I think an admin should even be
> kicked for using this on a server! Leave debian a little breating space and
> the collaboration will be lots better.
> I'm still giving ubuntu a chance on my machines - but I know people who have
> given up on ubuntu and gone back to debian. 
> So, thanks again for all your work and I hope you find a little sense in my
> babbling :)
> Cheers
> Udo 'Robos' Puetz
> P.s.: as my name implies I'm no native english speaker, please forgive my
> spelling.
> -- 
> Robos - 
> gpg --recv-keys --keyserver blackhole.pca.dfn.de 6EEADA09

I think your concerns about focusing on one thing are the secondary
issue here. It seems to me that your experience with Breezy wasn't very
good and that it was actually a regression over Hoary. 

I don't think that projects like Edubuntu and Kubuntu "steal" resources
from Ubuntu, on the contrary. 
The people working on Kubuntu would probably not use Ubuntu anyway,
because they prefer KDE. So by having a good Kubuntu release more users
and developers will be interested in it, generating a lot of feedback
and contributions that will also help Ubuntu, as they share the same
base. If there was no Kubuntu these people might be using other systems
(KDE-centered systems).  For example, if someone reports a problem when
trying to install Kubuntu on a laptop the bug might get fixed in the
next version, and the fix will apply also to Ubuntu users. 
Similar thing happens with Edubuntu.

My opinion is that any possible regressions in Breezy are not really
caused by other Ubuntu-related projects. I think a more interesting
question for your concern (rather than the stuff being discussed now)
is: are other people noticing too many regressions from Hoary to

Sorry if I misunderstood your concerns, I'm just trying to help. :) 

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