Forging a new path.

Cory K. coryisatm at
Sun Apr 12 01:40:17 BST 2009

With Jaunty's impending release, the dev team has given thought to
Karmic and the projects future. I will attempt to form cohesive thoughts
for us all to consider. :)

I and many in the linux audio game have become a little disheartened
with the current state of things. Things are just a mess. Trying to make
it all work together is a mind-numbing hassle.

"Why can't I use Skype and Rythmbox?" and like questions I'm simply
tired of. We're *not* a general desktop distro. *Not* for new-to-linux
users. Linux audio plus learning linux is just to much to do together.

So what can be done?

    One idea is dropping the other metas and focusing simply on Audio or
    JACK apps. Our audio users are arguably the largest user segment. So
    we just rip out things like Pulse and run JACK by default. (It's
    been brought up before) But, there are many damn useful non-JACK
    audio apps. Though, I feel the other metas included are a great way
    to advertise what other multimedia tools are out there.

    Another idea was to stop creating disks altogether and just maintain
    the metas, -RT and Ubuntu Studio Controls. Putting some
    configuration back on the users. Art would stay as-is and still be
    available in the repo. -desktop meta would disappear.

    I've even considered folding the project.

Another issue has been the lack of talented, dedicated, long-term
additions to the development team. We've had many great people come and
go over the life of the project but having the same 3 person core-team
all with other obligations has become an enormous strain.

We've tried many times to get a proper testing and documentation team
together, an area where even novice users can help, but that has come to

Personally, it's been a contributing factor to my stepping down after
Jaunty. I've felt like "What's the point?" Users only complain when
things don't work and rarely help to fix them. Upstreams are slow or
altogether ignore issues we try to communicate to them. Whether you
think so or not, we're all in this together. It's a damn thankless job
(because none of us are paid) the devs do and it's taken it's toll. This
has been expressed by heads of other distros as well.

I have very little confidence in the sustainability of the project as
things are. Painful as that is to say. And in the end, it's the users
that will lose out.

But back to the topic. ;)

So, what do you guys want? What are you willing to do? Everything is
*WIDE* open at this point.

Besides this thread, there will be a series of meetings in
#ubuntu-meeting (IRC) coming soon. They will be important and if you
want a voice please make it a point to attend.

Hopefully some of this made sense and won't get totally lost in the
holiday shuffle. ;)

Almost down for the count,
                     Cory K.

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