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  • #31
    As the U mainline kernel work fine with Debian after a little dpkg-deb and sed magic it would be nice when the depends would be correct and do not need hacking. Also Launchpad should support Debian Squeeze at least for PPA.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
      How can people stand to use ALSA without PulseAudio in this day and time? It's awful. I had nothing but trouble in my recent KDE tests (low sound quality, high CPU usage, applications bypassing kmix) that were magically solved as soon as I installed Pulse.
      Exact opposite here and for many many many many others. KDE works flawlessly here when pulse is disabled. As far as the sound quality goes gotta call pure placebo on that one as pulse still throws it's stream through alsa in the end and I find it extremely hard to believe that adding yet another layer lowers CPU usage ( as you claim it does ).

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      • #33
        More Than I'd Care To Hate

        There are a number of things that drive me nuts about Ubuntu, despite it being my primary operating system. Some of these gripes are Linux in general, but still apply to Ubuntu. First and foremost, all of the gui's need work. I can't say there is a single gui that rivals the smoothness of something like OSX. I know I know, stop comparing. However, especially with Unity, Canonical has invited such comparisons. This is especially true considering Mark Shuttleworth targeted OSX level quality as what he wants out of the gui.

        I think Ubuntu needs to start with a longer life cycle for each release. They need to move away from the latest and greatest and get something that "just works" It seems every release something basic breaks. They need to slow and stabilize.

        Then comes the gui on top of that stable base. Unity, Gnome 3, KDE 4 are all a disaster in various ways. I would love them to have smooth animations similar to OSX that actually denote something happening. Wobbly windows are nice but don't do much. At this point, though, I'll settle for when a window opens the title is never smushed because the window opens too small. You can often see this with progress indicator windows in programs like Startup Disk Creator. I want high quality icons and a tangible theme. I want the animations that are in place to be thought out. Why in Unity do they set the default speed of the window minimize so high that you can barely see where the window went. It looks and feels less than professional.

        11.04 is probably the worst version of Ubuntu I have ever used. Unity is laggy, video stutters randomly, the applications launcher lense is half finished VAAPI acceleration is broken on my Radeon hardware. I could go on.

        Don't get me wrong I applaud the work they do and am thankful for a free OS that powers most of my devices. I just think they need to refocus on usability. If you can't use the OS because of gui problems and buggy software that you are stuck with for the next six months until the next version comes out, it doesn't serve the user. I do hope for a lot of this in 12.04 after the Gnome 3 transition.

        I know this is coming off as rambling but the bugs and more the gui lately have been really bothering me. Here's to hoping for big things in the future.

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        • #34
          Unity...and random muting of sound during upgrades. Not feeling Gnome3 either though; I have a 22" monitor. Linux Mint had been more popular on Distrowatch for 3 months and the only difference I can see is no unity

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          • #35
            I'm a bit upset with the applications panel behavior. I think it should be very useful if it were sorted by use and it showed the sugested applications in a faded style after the installed applications. I think the most used, installed and sugested applications categories are really useless. Also I think it would be very useful if that under the search field there exist application category buttons to be able to select Multimedia Applications, Games, etc in an fast and efficient way. At last it would be very useful if the applications could be uninstalled by dragging their icon to the bin.

            I really love the application menu in the top bar.

            Other thing which I'm really disappointed with is the driver support. I really don't understand why in 10.10 everything worked fine and in 11.04 my laptop hangs on shutdowns. I'm really affraid of getting my laptop useless because of the lack of drivers' support on the next Ubuntu versions.

            The next topic is about an IDE. I suppose this can be very questionable but it would be awesome if Ubuntu documented one RAD IDE like CodeBlocks to develop any kind of Ubuntu application in the same fashion as Microsoft does it with Visual Studio or Apple does it with XCode. Ubuntu is making an awesome task with server documentation.

            In my opinion Ubuntu made a great job by now. For me it's only a question of focusing on main objectives like quality. Because of the loss of quality Ubuntu is losing adepts and the great job Ubuntu did in the past is begining to fade.

            I think the main task for an OS is to attract developpers. They need a good OS, good SDK, good documentation, good developing tools, and in exchange, they sell applications and they attract users. Ubuntu is trying to attract 200M users without the help of developers and I think that is a hard task.
            Last edited by peperoni; 07-22-2011, 07:35 PM.

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            • #36
              I've not really used a version of ubuntu since 10.04 but that was a very good release that fixed a number of issues with earlier versions.

              In the version previous to 10.04 pulseaudio was a massive pain and had to be immediately removed. Its strikes me as strange that ubuntu markets itself as a user friendly linux yet pushes such cutting edge and problematic software.

              They've done good marketing but if they want to attract new people to linux perhaps they should focus on delivering the best of a trouble free linux experience. Then again many people who try linux are likely the type who crave the latest and greatest and will move quickly on if they don't deliver the flashiest os.

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              • #37
                Ubuntu rights and wrongs.

                I've read all the criticism of Ubuntu on this thread and while I can agree with some I mostly disagree with the majority.

                I've been using Linux since 2003 and the initial Fedora (Fedora Core at the time) release.
                Then I jumped to OpenSUSE around its 10.3 release and then I finally decided to try this Ubuntu I was always hearing about.
                It was Ubuntu 09.04 aka Jaunty Jackalope.And since then I've never looked back.
                Oh sure from time to time I try a new Fedora or OpenSUSE release to see the progress but hell I couldn't live without the convenience.

                So I've seen Linux grow from an ugly and esoteric desktop OS to something my mum could install and use.

                And I think we have Ubuntu to thanks for this.
                They have such a strong mind-share that it more than make for their sometime questionable decisions.

                First they provide their user with a functional freetype library with lcd antialiasing and the bytecode hinter on. Fedora doesn't do this nor does openSUSE.

                In fact they use very sane font settings by default (light hinting and lcd antialiasing on).
                So every time I install Fedora or openSUSE I have to rebuild freetype with patches.

                But how many average users know how to do this or are even conscious that the 'ugly' font rendering is caused by this?

                apt-get install build-defaults and apt-get build-dep [packagename] are incredibly convenient methods to install build tools and dependencies and it enables quite an hassle-free build experience.

                Don't like Unity? (I don't) You can install a vanilla gnome-shell .So ok you have to add a ppa but this is also a really strong point for Ubuntu I've never not found a package I was looking for . I think in that domain they are head above Fedora and on more or less the same footing than openSUSE and their Build Service.

                Don't like gnome (I'm not a big fan). No problem you can install KDE (or directly install kubuntu but I like to have gnome installed too even if I don't use it often).
                And believe it is a pretty vanilla KDE.

                So ok the package manager UI and package-kit used to suck but I think it got better and I prefer synaptic anyway.

                Although I have to say that zypp and YaST on openSUSE are pretty good too.

                In fact the YaST QT front-end for their package manager is the best available package manager on KDE in my opinion.

                Ok so NetworkManager can be a little bit annoying but it's not an Ubuntu specific problem ,there are alternatives available like wicd.
                Anyway I take three networkmanager over messing with wpa-supplicant and ifup/ifdown scripts. Though YaST again is a pretty efficient configuration tool for this.

                Same thing goes for pulseaudio and alsa. pulse got better with time (ok really slowly I must say) and nowadays we have a mostly working audio subsystem.
                I hated the alsa config messing.

                And I use a somewhat elaborate audio setup: I have jack as an audio server,jack-rack and vsthost to insert plugins in the chain and pulseaudio act as the default system output which is then chained to jack which finally uses alsa to output sound.

                So you have pulse->jack->vsthost/jackrack->alsa.

                All of this because wine on a 64 bit platform is a 32bit program and cannot use the 64 bit jack server but it does output sound to alsa by default. And pulse acts as a virtual alsa device and then reroute sound to jack.

                I think Ubuntu is at fault there because instead of using a modular 32 bit install on 64 bit platforms (like in Fedora or openSUSE) they went the monolithic way and made a mess with ia32-libs.

                Finally I don't understand people criticizing Canonical for trying things.
                How can you progress if you don't try things and make mistakes on the way?

                So ok Unity sucks ,buttons on the left in Gnome and on the right in KDE by default sucks (but that hardly the only incoherent thing between the two desktops when you have both of them),the '.gtkrc-2.0-kde4' is broken when you're using a program with root privileges (just name it back to .gtkrc-2.0 but it's gonna break things in Gnome),etc etc etc.

                But Linux is an immensely customizable and configurable environment, there is the '1000 paper cuts' project to report all of the little annoying things to Canonical.

                They are consumer focused hence the closed source blobs they allow in their distribution.
                And I like to try things and build mesa and nouveau to monitor their progress and because nvidia's xrandr sucks.

                With nouveau I can use an icc profile per monitor but not so with nvidia's driver.

                It should tell you something that a person as technical as Michael uses Ubuntu as main platform for benchmarks and tests.

                I think the main think we as a community have to gripe about is this:
                it's 2011 and we still have xorg.conf and half-assed drivers and resizing windows is still shitty as hell ,where is my smooth window resize ala Quart Extreme?

                Linux really needs a complete overhaul in this department. I think Apple had the right idea when they decided not to use X but to build a new display server from scratch.

                I really hope the wayland , gallium, mesa stuff is gonna pan out and finally give us a modern display system .

                And whichever distro ends up using it first doesn't matter ,Linux strength lies in its community and strangely enough in all the quarrels that a community-driven model brings.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by peperoni View Post
                  I think the main task for an OS is to attract developpers. They need a good OS, good SDK, good documentation, good developing tools, and in exchange, they sell applications and they attract users. Ubuntu is trying to attract 200M users without the help of developers and I think that is a hard task.
                  Very good post i feel same.. but let's not forget that UBUNTU must not be M$ or IBM in way it uses developers. The hook is "ubuntu-only" IDE.. ubuntu-only LARGE DOCUMENTATUION with complex learning curve.. certificates etc.. Darn Evil Corp's Grrr...

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by vczilla View Post
                    First they provide their user with a functional freetype library with lcd antialiasing and the bytecode hinter on. Fedora doesn't do this nor does openSUSE.
                    That's because both Fedora and openSUSE are US based and have patent issues to contend with.

                    In fact they use very sane font settings by default (light hinting and lcd antialiasing on).
                    So every time I install Fedora or openSUSE I have to rebuild freetype with patches.
                    There are readily available RPM's available at least for openSUSE. No patching required.

                    But how many average users know how to do this or are even conscious that the 'ugly' font rendering is caused by this?
                    Quite a few, if not most in oS land. Just hang around the irc or forums there and it is well known.

                    apt-get install build-defaults and apt-get build-dep [packagename] are incredibly convenient methods to install build tools and dependencies and it enables quite an hassle-free build experience.
                    And has since been eclipsed by the likes of zypper.

                    I think in that domain they are head above Fedora and on more or less the same footing than openSUSE and their Build Service.
                    Not even close. The build service is capable of being used by many different distros. It is not limited to building packages just for openSUSE.

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                    • #40
                      I feel Ubuntu is to a large extent a victim of it's own popularity. Many long time linux users claim to despise it for various reasons, but behind that the real reason seems to be that they don't like the idea that it tries to be easy to use. I see the phrase "dumbing down" a lot. I don't get this. It has a terminal, you can install whatever software you like, where's the problem? And if someone doesn't like Ubuntu, they can just use a different distro; no need to get virulent about it.

                      Ubuntu was the first distro that made me move from part-time linux to full-time linux. It had the best hardware detection of any distro I tried, as well as a rapid release cycle. It has made *vastly* more people I know start trying linux than any other distro.

                      Anyway, what I don't like:

                      The colour scheme. Seriously? The fact they stuck with brown for so long was insane. I know you can theme it to whatever you like, but first impressions count. Quite a few people I know took one look and said, "ugh, yep linux is just as ugly as I remember. Not using that." The current purple and dark grey is a marginal improvement but is still pretty ugly in my opinion. There's a reason most popular OSes use blues and greens.

                      Project Harmony. Copyright assignment. Shuttleworth is just flat wrong on this IMO.

                      No easy way to get newly-released versions of software until the next release. Want the latest version of, say, firefox? Wait six months. Yes, I know about PPAs, but not everyone does. Rolling release FTW! (Yes, I know about the related problems, and I know many people would disagree, but this is about what *I* don't like about Ubuntu :-P)

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                      • #41
                        Everything Michael posted in the article, I agree with. I'll tack on to that:

                        -Ubuntu Developers (people with an @ubuntu.com or @canonical.com email) don't take enough interest in helping new developers or "outsiders" to learn the processes needed to contribute new software to Ubuntu, even if that software is already written, tested and functional

                        -Impossible to get a mentor to help you get a piece of software integrated into Ubuntu

                        -Cloistered "we do things our way" approach, ignoring the advancements and contributions of other distros, even when other distros are clearly developing what will become standard software across the entire GNU/Linux ecosystem (systemd, gnome3 and gnome-shell, pulseaudio at first, KMS at first, etc)

                        -The implementations Ubuntu developers come up with are often, frankly, sub-par on a technical level, and are shot down on legitimate concerns by developers elsewhere in the Linux community. Launchpad is perhaps one notable exception, as it doesn't suck nearly as badly as you might expect from Canonical.

                        -The inflexible, time-based release cycle is completely untenable. Software is late. It will always be late. Always. You have to build flexibility into your release schedule in order to fix the most important bugs (or to detect them in the first place). You can't just pick a time and randomly release whatever you have. You have to demonstrate software quality, not hope for it.

                        -There is a tendency for the developers to be way too conservative about the package versions they are willing to include in non-LTS releases, and way too liberal about the package versions they're willing to include in an LTS. In other words, I think non-LTS releases should be significantly more unstable and bleeding-edge (about equivalent to a Fedora Beta), and the LTS should be significantly more stable and tested (about equivalent to Debian Stable or RHEL). Non-LTS Ubuntu releases are usually about in the middle of the two extremes: they are not too bleeding-edge, but the packages are just stale enough to be ho-hum boring, while also being chock full of bugs due to the short time-based release cycle and low community involvement in testing.

                        -Will the latest kernel or Mesa be in the next Ubuntu release? No, you have to wait 6 more months (and by then there will be even newer kernel and mesa, defeating the purpose). Will the kernel and Mesa that are included in Ubuntu be more stable than using git master? No, because they're feature-incomplete to begin with, and intentionally using an old version just means you don't get the latest features and bugfixes.

                        -So instead of hitting a "new" crash from code just committed, instead you get to hit a crash, and then see that somebody else already reported it on launchpad, and the bug is marked as "NEW", and no developer has even looked at it. By the time they look at it, it's already fixed upstream and being pulled into the next release. This happens almost every time, unless the software is something that (a) Canonical wrote, and/or (b) brings Canonical revenue directly (such as Ubuntu One). In those cases, you get a response within a few minutes from some overzealous Australian developer who works from home for Canonical, trying to make his product perfect, but can't seem to nail down the 100,000 different places where a runtime Python equivalent of a null pointer exception or type cast error shows up. (Did I mention I hate Python with a passion and wish that I could run my system without a python interpreter even installed?)

                        -They maintain huge patch-sets against certain packages (Rhythmbox, for example), and there is no toolchain to maintain or enhance the patchset, much less to make it work with a new version of the upstream package.

                        -While they do seem willing to include plugins and functionality not found in upstream packages (this is good), they don't have clear guidelines for whether a given enhancement should be (a) upstreamed, (b) included in the hackset (my new term for the sprawling patchset they maintain against certain packages), or (c) included in its own package entirely. Nor do they document where on launchpad you have to go to check out the latest hackset sources if you want to contribute something.

                        -Nothing to match Delta RPMs as far as reducing updates download size. And DPKG doesn't use LZMA2 (Xz) compression yet -- unacceptable. Switching to LZMA2 would save thousands of terabytes (or more) each year of public mirror bandwidth, by having package updates and distro updates being distributed with significantly better compression. Throw in Delta RPMs (well the DPKG equivalent) and you'd shave off another 50% bandwidth.

                        -It might be due to the particular timing of the release cycle itself, but it seems to me that Fedora is able to release newer packages (kernel, mesa, xorg, etc) and kick out a more stable and reliable distribution at the same time. They definitely have Ubuntu beat as far as the timing of their releases; they always ship with the latest stable packages (unless they are released in the last 2-3 weeks before distro release), and manage to stabilize them quickly (or not do anything funky as far as configuration that might screw them up).

                        -Remember that time someone initialized some pointer to 0 in OpenSSL to fix a Coverity bug, and Debian took the patch, causing everyone's generated private keys to lose a significant number of bits of encryption? Ubuntu does things like that, too. They accepted a patch against libshout a few years ago (and it went into Hardy IIRC) that basically broke all libshout encoding except for MP2. Nobody even bothered to test it, but the gist of it was that the guy who said the patch "worked for him" really wanted MP2 support, which was broken, so he did exactly the wrong thing and completely broke MP3 and Ogg/Vorbis support instead. This stuff makes it into a release how?

                        -Their automatic bug reporting tool makes bug workflow on launchpad impossible. Newbies always report crashes, even if the crash is their fault (example: switching out a library underneath Firefox during an upgrade, then opening a new tab without restarting the browser, and Firefox crashes. Big surprise; that's unavoidable.) There are way too many false positives, where users report bugs on software they've custom installed (or someone else custom installed for them, or they followed some online tutorial/script to install it, etc). Apport basically encourages false positives so much that most of the developers skip over apport reports as soon as they see them. The standard response is a 6-month followup of "if this bug is no longer reproducible, please mark it as resolved" or something like that. Completely unhelpful.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by baffledmollusc View Post
                          No easy way to get newly-released versions of software until the next release. Want the latest version of, say, firefox? Wait six months. Yes, I know about PPAs, but not everyone does. Rolling release FTW! (Yes, I know about the related problems, and I know many people would disagree, but this is about what *I* don't like about Ubuntu :-P)
                          Seconded. Adding a new PPA for every piece of software to get updates is getting a bit out of hand... and I'm deathly afraid that if I "upgrade" to the next version I'm going to have most of my stuff wiped out. A separate repo that has the latest of all software would be nice for those of us who like to live on the edge.

                          Also agree about the absolutely awful puke color schemes. Graphics artistry is not one of the things one should skimp on. They need to get somebody in there and polish things up. Or the GNOME people should do it at least. Get some nice, modern, cool-looking themes going.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by johnc View Post
                            Also agree about the absolutely awful puke color schemes. Graphics artistry is not one of the things one should skimp on. They need to get somebody in there and polish things up. Or the GNOME people should do it at least. Get some nice, modern, cool-looking themes going.
                            See, this is where arguing personal preferences becomes a failure, because Canonical has been hiring some of the best designers in the open-source world, like Dan Rabbit of the Elementary team, which is often praised for it's new design directions.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Vadi View Post
                              See, this is where arguing personal preferences becomes a failure, because Canonical has been hiring some of the best designers in the open-source world, like Dan Rabbit of the Elementary team, which is often praised for it's new design directions.
                              You have to consider personal preferences of a population as a whole... if this is what they came up with for the default desktop wallpaper, I can't say that I have a lot of confidence in their taste... and they are probably way out of touch with what most people find appealing.

                              The Ambiance theme is acceptable. The rest of the themes are mediocre at best. And they have a couple themes in there that no person that has an ounce of shame should have ever signed off on.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                                How can people stand to use ALSA without PulseAudio in this day and time? It's awful. I had nothing but trouble in my recent KDE tests (low sound quality, high CPU usage, applications bypassing kmix) that were magically solved as soon as I installed Pulse.
                                How can Pulse solve Alsa problems when in fact Pulse itself is using Alsa?
                                Plain Alsa runs better for me, btw.

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