First impressions of Ubuntu 9.04 beta

I have just updated to newest Ubuntu. Here are some points of interest:

  • Thes removed the shutdown option from system menu. You now HAVE to use the stupid applet. IS this a GNOME or an Ubuntu decision. Personally i dont like this applet for shutting down. I always used the system menu. The applet looks so similar to the pidgin icon. Argh how stupid can programmers be? That would be a reason to dump GNOME. You should not remove essential stuff
  • Flash does not work in Firefox and Epiphany
  • I cant installe epiphany-webkit
  • the volume ruler now is horicontal. Is this better? and he did crash
  • The messaging (if you change volume, network is connected, etc.) now has a black background
  • totem does not play videos and crashes
  • monitor settings look much better. need to test it with my beamer.
  • btw. the gnome 2.26 news again sound silly at least in german like:
  • “GNOME’s web browser, Epiphany, gains an exciting new feature of an improved location bar, similar to the Awesome Bar popularized by Firefox 3.0.” – well Epiphany had this address bar BEFORE Firefox – it might have added searching the titles also – but what kind of GNOME marketing is that?

I am sure there is more to say. Why dont I file bug reports. Because I have lots of outstanding bugs that are undecided ot disputed so I know it does not make sense to submit new bugs. Its more likely that somebody reads this review and acts uppon that as that anybody really cares about new Ubuntu bugs from my experience. Thats sad but its true. That does not mean people do not work on bugs in Ubuntu – but they tend to either fix clear bugs or dismiss anything they dont get. Like the Evolution guys who still have crappy spam marking options. I did file a bug in GNOME bugzilla years ago but they still think spam handing is not important. That was the single reason for me to switch to Thunderbird.

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2 Comments

Filed under Browser, Free Software, GNOME, Linux, Technology

2 responses to “First impressions of Ubuntu 9.04 beta

  1. Yeah, thats the thing with Ubuntu: you have to wait two to three months into the release cycle to install the semi=new version that all the bugfixes caught up on with updates.
    I don’t even know why people bother with Ubuntu when they could get something similar but less bloated by just running Debian-which not only is faster but even the testing releases are more stable.

  2. I did not want to critisize Ubuntu as a whole. I was a Debian user for some years, also. you are right when you would say you get a quicker and better response of more knowledgeable people on Debian. But I have wittnessed Debian taken ages to adopt some new versions on GNOME, Exim4 and Apache. Maybe this has changed. But at that point often the only thing you could do was to either use Debian unstable or to use backports. Both were not supported – so if you did install you would not get any answers in failures. GNOME does not support the stable GNOME version Debian provides. So you should not use Debian if you want to use GNOME. There is nobody who cares to fix bugs that are already solved for years and newer releases.

    Ubuntu ist quick to adopt latest Desktop technology. But often this is not perfect. Additionally I think the Desktop environments have major flaws. Essentially the flaws are that the geeks always release new versions and dump old code which they dont like any more. At the same time GNOME grows bigger and bigger – then people start optimizing,… this is a process of steady renewal. The thing is that there is really no good stable version if there is a new release every 6 months. This is not a goal of GNOME. this is true for many software. And the distributions itself have the problems to packagre the right versions. Debian often packages versions which are not recommended by the upstream programmers. This is a very bad situation. The porblem is that the needs and the abilities of the users are fundamentally different to those of the programmers. On OSes like OpenBSD there is not so much difference because hackers and users are more the same crowd. Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, GNOME have very much splitted communities – that means the majority of users does not touch or read the code. Some people might get excited if they put in a new messaging system for GNOME – but does any normal user really care? I would say 99% of all new code is abolutely uninteresting for most users. There is a small bunch of techno affine users who always like to have the latest and greatest – and often those folks do not code and switch distros every 2 weeks. A distribution should know who their users are and should define what culture they want. On OpenBSD it is expected that you HELP. People who just rant are ignored. On Debian and Ubuntu the goal is to also provide help for those who do not want to help themlseves but who just EXPECT things to work their way. This means somebody has to carry their burden. Linux in many ways took the philosophy of Apple, AOL, Microsoft that the user is a consumer and that software and that there are developers,developers, developers that code for users,users,users – but that only really works if you take money for every copy and if you want that strict seperation of users and developers. In Ubuntus bug system in Launchpad you sometimes get the reply that you should quickly install an alpha version of Ubuntu to see if a bug was fixed. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/flashplugin-nonfree/+bug/258512 Seriously?

    Anyway for me Ubuntu still is a good compromise. And I still have not adopted an alternative to GNOME.I would have to learn a lot more on many fields . I can handle a lot window managers but dont feel as comfortable as I expect to feel then. I would like to see some new desktop system which takes more ideas from the 60s and Smalltalk to give me powerful tools.

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