Xubuntu "papercuts" and push for getting translations?

Eero Tamminen oak at helsinkinet.fi
Tue Nov 29 22:33:39 UTC 2011


I don't have currently a working Xubuntu installation (disk broke), and
don't have time to test Alpha/Beta ISOs, but I would have some suggestions
on what to check from the test ISOs, based on looking at few different
distros recent live-CDs with following requirements in mind:

1. Well localized (in my case, to Finnish)
2. Robust, doesn't crash etc
3. Easy to use; automatic security updates, codec & locale installation,
   geek stuff is behind andvanced settings, UI is consistent etc
4. Stable, doesn't change UI or apps in every release
5. Mature, has the basic features one expects from moderm desktop
6. Needs to work on older HW (0.75GB RAM, 1.4Ghz single core CPU,
   not much 3D accel to speak of)

(The distro I'm looking for would be something I set up for older

So far I've tested within last week:
* Windows 7 (on newer machine)
* Ubuntu Unity 10.10 -> web demo looked fine, live-CD froze at bootup
* OpenSUSE Gnome 12.1 -> went to ugly/slow Gnome3 fallback mode
* OpenSUSE LXDE 11.4 -> lacking in localization and app features
* Debian Stable -> lacking on automation

Xubuntu 11.10 seemed more suitable than above ones.

However, there were several trivial issues in Xubuntu 11.10 that
it would be nice if somebody could check in the test releases
and see if they could get fixed for the next LTS release:

* Calendar applet (Orage).  Unlike in all other distros/desktops
  and unlike all other Xubuntu panel applets, right clicking on
  the applet doesn't open the calendar below the applet.  You
  need to double-click and Calendar opens inconveniently to
  the middle of the screen.

  (Seems like easy to fix "papercut".)

* Many of the items in the applications menu have just "some wierd"
  app name which doesn't describe what it is for.  For example:
  Catfish, Leafpad, Onboard, Xfburn, gThumb, Transmission, Gigolo,
  GParted, IBus, Abiword, Gnumeric, Parole (, gmusicbrowser).

  It would be good to have a proper name for each of the applications
  on the default install (Parole was even lacking a mouse-over
  description telling what it was for).

  Updating these needs localization changes too...

* While Xubuntu has fairly OK localization for a Linux distro, it's
  clearly inferior to Windows or OSX.  Is there any effort before
  releases to get localization coverage statistics for the default apps
  and to get things which aren't fully translated, fixed by poking
  translators and requesting translation help on the devel/user

  (I could do some Finnish translations this and next week if somebody
  handles pushing the translated message catalogs forward.)

* High contract mode makes some icons to lose nearly all contrast
  they had because of the colors used in them.

  -> High contrast mode may need its own icons...

* Of all these distros, Xubuntu website provides by far least
  info on itself, even the screenshots are just tiny/useless
  thumbnails (Ubuntu "live" demo within browser was best...).

The roadmap blueprints listed an item for the website, but not much
details and there were no mentions on roadmap about other points
I mentioned above.

	- Eero

PS. This is what I skipped in my tests:
- KDE4 stuff, I assumed it to have same issues as Gnome3 stuff
- MiNT Linux, it lives on sponsoring and seems a bit on geeky side,
  so its stability / long term prospects seem less guaranteed
- Fedora, as it's not really intended for LTS like usage

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