2c about the development of ubuntu

Daniel Stone daniel.stone at ubuntu.com
Tue Jan 3 06:36:19 GMT 2006

On Mon, Jan 02, 2006 at 11:20:31PM +0100, Lo?c Martin wrote:
> Sorry, but as an example scim bugs were reported about 2 weeks (at 
> least, but don't take my word for it) before Breezy was due but these 
> bug reports were ignored due to lack of time and lack of manpower, 
> leaving Joe users like me with a load of headaches you can hardly imagine.

Two weeks before is still somewhat too late -- that's deep freeze
territory.  scim is a bad example, as scim and uim have historically had
various interesting bugs, but no-one who knows the codebase enough and
who is willing to step up and commit to maintenance has ever come up and
lent a hand.  Obviously it's important, but dare I say that it can't be
crushingly, world-endingly, important, if no-one is able to step up and
commit to maintaining it?

(Nor can they be crucially important if no-one even notices until that

We don't have anyone with the requisite depth of experience and
knowledge to deal with deep scim and uim bugs two weeks before release.
If you screw something up two weeks before release, you don't get a
second chance to fix it.  So, as useful as bug reports with 'if you
update to this CVS version, it seems to possibly be fixed' are in the
general case, they just don't cut it two weeks out from release.

> I've been following this discussion and it's the second time somebody 
> just relies on the old "why don't/didn't you fill a bug report? We can 
> do nothing else if you don't fill bug reports"(try to imagine your mum 
> sweet voice saying these words and you'll get my view of things)

No-one's saying it is perfect.

Bug tracking systems have been proven to work, especially in Ubuntu's
case.  Relying on ubuntu-devel for bug reports that come in huge mail
missives that include conclusions about why Ubuntu's entire development
strategy, have been proven to fail.

> Well, bug reports *were* filled, and the problem *was* known by 
> developers who also *knew* the pain this would cause to other human 
> being. Just saying that no developer is used to foreign languages input 
> methods or that there's a lack of man power is going along quite well 
> with Udo's point.
> Before you jump on the "excuse", yes scim didn't belong in main, but 
> we're still talking about Breezy packages, aren't we? On a distribution 
> that is done for *everybody* (especialy when everybody is white, and 
> speaking English)?

I was vaguely following your point up until now, but it got lost in this
pithy segue.

> Be assured I still haven't decided to replace Breezy by Sarge, which 
> goes long to say I do appreciate and respect the hard work done on 
> Ubuntu. But please, as long as we keep hearing "Why don't you fill a bug 
> report" or "Sorry, but we don't have time/manpower to solve it atm but 
> are still going to release it" like we still hear about Breezy (btw, 
> when is it going to be *admitted* that Breezy didn't ship with the 
> quality level we had in Hoary?), we're going to have a hard time 
> trusting things are going to be different with Dapper. Which was, as far 
> as I understood, Udo's concern.

If you cannot trust Ubuntu, then I'm sorry to hear that, but ultimately
we can only do as much as you help us to do.  If there is no-one who can
step up and provide useful help and feedback with scim (remember: Ubuntu
is a community distribution, there is no monolithic 'Ubuntu' entity
which is able to magically solve all problems and somehow make
guarantees about having your particular system work perfectly), then
that's a problem in itself.

Ultimately, community projects come down to one of three things:
a) please file a useful bug report with as much information as possible,
b) please get involved and provide patches,
c) sorry, we just can't carry it off.

If neither a nor b happen, then the likely response will be c.  The
current Ubuntu development team does not speak every language natively
and know what users expect for every locale, does not have every laptop
and desktop ever made, and speaking for my little patch of the world
(xorg), I don't have every video card and monitor ever made.  There's
only so much we can do on our own.  If you can't (or won't) help us,
then we can't help you: that's what it all comes down to.

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list