Daily Archives: 2008/05/30

Ubuntus bug response experience

So far, none of the bugs I have reported seemed to have been really touched – we dont even have to talk about resolving. One bug is really severe. I must say that this is the worst bug response reaction I have experienced on any distribution so far. Is this because there are so many bug reports? I dont know. But sure enough i will have to switch the distro if my notebook keeps crashing multiple times a day. This is because I will get a data loss at some point. I would have installed OpenBSD if this would also provide flash playing ability. I hate that situation. i think flash is evil – OTOH flash works really well on Linux and also on Linux it is a nice replacement for other proprietary formats.  am sure technically it would just work with Linux emulation. I got it partly working with Opera+Flash once. But then again, I dont like Opera because its ugly and proprietary.

But I think I will install OpenBSD on the notebook anyway, soon. I dont see any benefit in running Ubuntu for me personally, any more. I generally like Ubuntu because it has made a free operating system more popular and it gives a common user base from which one can build on. But something like a freeze is a bug that needs to be resolved and if this bug is still untouched and not even decided if its serious or not – than actually there is no support and i can not expect that anybody will EVER touch this bug. As I am working daily with this notebook I can not risk on loosing the data. This troubles started with the last upgrade. That brought a finally stable working wireless but then this freezes.

Another annoying bug is that the mouse displays weirdly and does not react any more. I then solve it with pressing like: ALT+F8 and ALT+F7 and the display gets redrawn and the effect is gone. I now have seen that I can get this every so and so seconds if I use EOG to view images (not so much with gthumb, though). This bug is also untouched still.

Ubuntu is not the only distro that doesnt resolve issues. But for me, personally these bugs are not acceptable any more. I dont demand a resolution NOW or SOON, but I demand a reaction on serious issues.

I get the impression that on Linux you see really a lot of changes in packages – like Ubuntu and Fedora (Update:  The information that Foresight also already uses FF3 was wrong! my fault! Sorry for misinformation!)  using FF3 beta with the effect that many web designers cant use Linux any more if they depend on extensions that arent ready for FF3. Its like partly they dont really care about the user. its some kind of overpopular. So popular so that you dont care about single issues. OpenBSD supporters often dont react positive to criticism and requests but I think they would never replace FF with a new version that degrades the functionality out of the respect for users who depend on some functionality. I would consider this to be more user friendly than the actions on the Linux side. And thats what actually brought me to OpenBSD: If I use my computer I like it to provide a given functionality also on the next day. I also like new functionality and new software – but I the prefer to rather compile experimental stuff myself or get into ports/package building.Mostly I should be satisfied with what a distribution provides me and which was good some weeks ago – or is good enough for all other users. I now think the “latest and greatest” is for developers.Linux distributions that give that to users actually do something what Microsoft or Apple does to their users: make them public beta testers. The problem is that there is never and endpoint where you can say: Now Linux is stable – development goes on and on and there is no time to breath. And at some point one can get tired of all the new stuff that is not working. I still cant say that all that is bad. Linux is a testbed for new GNOME stuff for instance. This means OpenBSD can wait an learn from what they do. I am not sure if this helps getting some stuff faster into OpenBSD. I think some technologies depend so much on Linux that OpenBSD cant really follow and that if some stuff would be build with the existence of OpenBSD in mind a lot of stuff would be much faster also be available in OpenBSD (like NetworkManager).

Right now I cant really help building ports for OpenBSD because I dont want to use my working OpenBSD productive desktop as the basis (which I rather maintain with snapshots). I have asked some people via IRC and mail to give me advice on how to set up a build system additionally but havent got any responses so far. So any advice here would also be welcome. I know the tutorials but thats not the question. The question rather is: How can one make a build system that doesnt conflict with a stable OpenBSD installation? is it enought to have some kind of chroot environment to build packages and then install these testwise on the stable system? or would I need a dual boot installation? How do you manage this? What options do I have?


Filed under Free Software, Linux, OpenBSD, Technology