We've fallen, but we can get back up.

Scott Lavender scottalavender at gmail.com
Wed Aug 17 16:56:24 UTC 2011

On Sun, Aug 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM, Cory Kontros <coryisatm at gmail.com> wrote:

> I want to let this topic sit a little and get more on the wiki before I
> respond.
> -Cory Kontros (from my phone)
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I didn't reply to this email directly as I wanted to develop my thoughts.
Additionally, there were some very good discussion on #ubuntustudio-devel

Cory, I realize that we spoke over the phone and I am concerned that my
comments might surprise and/or anger you.  I apologize in advance if this is
the case.

To offer an executive summary of my email I would say that there are
differing opinions or expectations amongst team members that probably should
be resolved before we would be able to decide on a correct direction.

This first issue that probably need to be identified and absolutely nailed
down is audience.  Without knowing for whom we are building Ubuntu Studio I
do not understand how we can properly make a decision about direction.

I believe Cory would prefer that a more technical user, one that does not
need assistance to use PPA's for example, is our audience.  Please correct
me if I am wrong Cory.

Astraljava, Ailo, Holstein, and I would prefer that new users are the target
audience.  Please correct me if I am mistaken Astraljava, Ailo, and

To explain my reasoning, I feel that other distributions are already serving
the advanced and moderate spectrums in the 'user space' and doing so better
than we probably can (due to the restrictions of not being a dedicated
distribution).  This leaves the new users not directly supported.  Also,
Ubuntu is considered a 'friendly' Linux distribution for new users so
affords intrinsic branding for new users as well.

Once we can articulate what the audience should be then we can start
establishing our goals to support them including PPA vs ISO image.

I think we should also clearly identify what is the FOCUS of Ubuntu Studio.
For example, are we trying to provide an excitingly new desktop every six
months?  Are we providing a stable recording environment?  Will we try to
incorporate the latest versions of applications?

Without further defining WHAT we are providing I don't see how we can
develop a plan to effective give our audience what they need.

Another aspect for consideration is defining what we CAN do.

Ailo will be reducing his involvement, so the team will soon be reduced to
three active members.  Can three active members as a nucleus continue to
support the maintaining and generation of ISO images and provide support for
new users?

While there is a battery of people who are intermittently involved, Falktx
has expressed interest in continuing and increasing his development.  I
consider this to be a huge boon to the team.

My current vision for what I would like see happen would be thus...

We support new users with an ISO image that does not require additional
tweaking after installation.  We get the -lowlatency kernel into the
repository which is then included on the image.

We already have work flows defined.  We can take the work flows that we
currently support (via which packages are shipped) and we develop the
documentation for them.  We approach ALL the documentation from an
inexperienced person's perspective even to giving some background
information explaining such things as the differences, uses, and interaction
between Pulse Audio and JACK.

Furthermore, we can make some instructional videos.  These might include
simple items such as making connections in JACK.  More involved topics can
also be create that might illustrate more advanced subjects such as creating
an effect bus in Ardour or even showing an entire work flow from the
documentation.  These could be initially store on YouTube but could also be
including on the ISO image to be deposited on the desktop in a folder called
"tutorials" or similar.

I believe that our focus should be to provide a stable environment with
current releases of the applications.  I think moving to XFCE provides a
good foundation for this in contrast to GNOME and Unity.  Furthermore, I
would suggest that we consider moving to a ONE YEAR release cycle while
every other release will the the LTS.  We will need to develop a robust back
port process to accommodate this.

I should note also that I believe that a PPA dedicated to back ports may
provide a more linear and accommodating vector than official back ports.  As
we continue to support LTS version I expect to find that some updated
libraries required for the newer versions of our applications may not be
welcome in the back ports.  This is purely speculation at this point but I
want to mention it now.

Right.  Now you have my thoughts.

I look forward to the replies and the discussion it brings.

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