[DC LoCo] The Final Straw

Kevin Cole dc.loco at gmail.com
Wed Sep 8 20:12:16 BST 2010


On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 13:05, Daniel Chen <seven.steps at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM, Kevin Cole <dc.loco at gmail.com> wrote:
>> If Ubuntu devs and Canonical folk are perceived as taking credit for
>> changes made upstream, then they also need to be ready for the blame.
>
> In some (many?) instances, they (we?) do.  At least on the audio
> front, I've readily avowed my maintenance nightmare both upstream
> drivers (plumbing) and userspace daemons.

I have sympathy. Not a lot of empathy, but sympathy.

> A major headache stems from
> the fact that we don't provide a more intuitive (and streamlined)
> manner by which to verify fixes.  In the plumbing layers, this is
> difficult: we have to unload and reload kernel modules, the acts of
> which could be extremely disruptive (data loss from sessions
> terminating, etc.).

>> Educating the teeming masses is hard.
>
> But that's why we have bugjams.  No, really!

When Mackenzie's mom participates in a bugjam (or even knows what that
means) then we will have succeeded in educating the teeming masses.
;-) Sure, one hopes for a somewhat deeper level of understanding on
this mailing lists (though I'm not sure that we should, since I don't
want to turn newbies away), and others of a similar nature.  And
generally speaking it is deeper, but still far more shallow than the
developer steeped in the culture is consciously aware of.  Again, I
use myself as point and case: There are those far below my level of
understanding and those far above.  Embarrassingly, I seem to find
myself in the company of the later more often than the former. But
hey, at least the food is usually good, and I can get in a quick pun
or two. ;-)

End-user tries software X.  End-user notices a problem. Savvy End-user
goes to a forum and asks.  Someone says "Report a bug". Savvier
End-user does NOT then go investigating who owns what.  Savvier
End-user says "I got this from some country named
Ubu-something-something.  I will report / complain there." if they're
motivated to get beyond the forum.  Telling Less-than-Savviest
End-user "It's not an Ubuntu issue..." is like Giant Foods telling
customers that the problem with the bad cereal they bought from their
store is Kellogg's problem.  Or Apple blaming an endemic problem on
Intel or nVidia or whomever. Probably accurate (especially if the
"bug" is reported by other customers at other stores), but not
helpful, and almost certainly not going to stop the customer from
rattling Giant's / Apple's chain more.

On a humorous note it reminds me of two jokes which you've probably
already heard:

Q: How many software engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. It's a hardware problem.

Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. Microsoft will redefine Darkness (TM) as the industry standard.



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