Posted tagged ‘Linux’

Please Report Bugs Upstream

June 21, 2009

This applies to all Linux distributions, I am not trying in any way to pick on Ubuntu. They are just keeping statistics in a way I can put some numbers behind my rant.

Many were excited when Ubuntu announced they were going to fix at least one hundred little bugs called papercuts that will help improve the overall Linux experience.  Here is a simple suggestion that will also lead to at least 100 extra bugs fixed over the next six months:  Report your bugs upstream!

There are at least ~800 known bugs in Ubuntu where it is confirmed the bug is related to upstream but nobody has taken the time to notify upstream about it.   People triaging the bug reports say “this bug also effects upstream project X” but it is never actually reported to upstream.  I’m guessing that list would be over 1000 if all such bugs that have slipped through the cracks were accounted for.

Now, assuming each  major Linux distribution has hundreds of bugs where the bug triager knows it is an issue with upstream but fails to report it, if all these bugs would get reported I am sure an extra 100 bugs will get fixed over the next six months because of simple things like this.

The developers behind the major Linux distributions are great, but more bugs will get fixed if upstream is involved.  Now, “to put my money where my mouth is”, I spent several hours this weekend submitting some if these bugs upstream.  I’m sure I didn’t do a perfect job, but at least upstream now knows about these bugs and some have already been confirmed by upstream and work has begun fixing them.  It was that easy.

So there you go. There’s my formula to get an extra 100 bugs fixed over the next six months.  It is as simple as: Report your bugs upstream!

Comment For Mark’s “Meta-cycles” post

April 17, 2009

I left this as a comment on Mark Shuttleworth’s recent blog post.  I am only posting it here because I was told it was removed as spam.  Perhaps too long?  Anyways, I hope Mark can see it now.


I always enjoy your blog posts. This is my unifying philosophy:

1. 6 Month Cycles: These are best for getting the best of free software out quickly for immediate testing and or contributor feedback.  This is the release that should be based on energizing your contributor community. I honestly don’t think the 6-month release can ever become the bedrock of mainstream use. Here you need to have the “release early, release often” mentality.

2. LTS Cycle: This is best for providing a “final” product which the mainstream world can build upon and rapidly support and promote. This release is best for users who do not care about the latest new features in Linux, just want something that works well. Here you need the “release when it’s ready” mentality. (Though I would confine yourself to a 2-3 year window so you don’t pull a Perl 6.)

I think releasing alongside Debian is a very smart move. You really would be shooting your developers in the foot by taking away a great opportunity to collaborate with Debian and share code.

Also, I’m interested in your new UI ideas, but frankly they seem to be trickling in very slowly. (Only notifications). This isn’t trying to be a criticism, it just seems this UI work takes time to do it properly and having it all rock hard stable in a year, where the majority hasn’t even started to be tested I think is a stretch.

Lastly, Gnome 3.0 may not be the best release to base an LTS on. There may be some small “KDE 4.0” effects that would be nice to have an extra 6 months to iron out. Your end users would like to have a polished Gnome 3.X version.

So, again, I like your post and applaud your idea to move the LTS back to 10.10. That is when I believe it will “be ready”.

Open Source Is The Pinnacle Of The Free Market

March 31, 2009

Though I am not going to advocate Laissez-faire economics, I do want to point out that the open source world is as close as you can get to a pure free market. The reason is because if you make a product in the open source world, anybody is able to study it, modify it, redistribute it and even sell it without many restrictions.

If person A delivers a great product, but person B is able to study the product and make it better in a cheaper way, the free market has done its job. This can happen in the open source world but has a hard time happening in the proprietary one.

Current Patent Laws Prevent True Market Freedom
Take the iPod. Steve Jobs admits the iPod has been fully patented through and through. If somebody has the ability to deliver the same product, just better and cheaper, his/her hands are tied.

We will never know if Apple is the company who delivers the iPod at the greatest value for customers since nobody is legally allowed to try.

Proves Red Hat Is The Best
This is not true of Red Hat. Red Hat makes billions, and if someone was able to take Red Hat, make it better and cheaper in a way that pleases customers there is nothing stopping them.

Guess what, Oracle recently tried and failed. Despite the open possibility, nobody can deliver Red Hat software with as great of value as Red Hat can. This proves Red Hat is truly the best at what they do.

If You Really Provided Your Product At The Best Value You Wouldn’t Need Patent/Proprietary Protection
Look again at Red Hat. They don’t need them. They still make billions. I have a feeling Apple and Microsoft would run scared stiff if you took their patents and proprietary licenses from them for the risk of someone doing it better and cheaper would be extremely high.

Edit: When I said Red Hat makes billions I mean they have made billions over the years. (total)

Another 100,000+ week for Fedora 10

March 10, 2009

Fedora 10 has been gaining new users at impressive rates.  This past week alone Fedora 10 has picked up over 100,000 more.  This puts the total number of Fedora users somewhere around 12-13 million, higher than any other Linux distribution. (If you disagree, please direct me to numbers.)  At last count, Fedora 10 has a 15% gain in users over Fedora 9.  This measurement was taken before this impressive week so the total gain might even be more than that.

Why is this?  I can think of at least 3 reasons:

1. An unparallelled commitment to innovation: While some communities have adopted ‘feature stagnation’ as their method of innovation, Fedora has been relentless in bringing new features to the Linux forefront.  I have already blogged about how Fedora 11 may possibly be the most innovative Linux release ever.  And, like always, these features are the kind that other distros get very excited about adopting.  This is the ultimate acknowledgment that your feature set is full of great ideas.

2.  Increased quality of release: Paul Frields recently articulated how release quality has become a major goal of the Fedora project.    Fedora has shown it is possible to be a very innovative Linux distribution while at the same time giving users a solid experience. To quote the media: “The best thing of all [these features] is that they all work smoothly and seamlessly together. Fedora 10 is what a cutting edge Linux distribution should be. You don’t have to take my word for it. You can download this free community Linux distribution today from the Fedora download site. ”

3. Fantastic community:   Fedora’s commitment to community can be seen at all levels.  In time where many companies are distributing layoffs Red Hat continues to hire established community leaders, projects like fedora-community and the Mokhsa are in full force, and new ambassadors are joining the project literally every day. (Statistically)  The Fedora Project not only produces great software, but has built a community people are excited to be a part of.  That makes a difference.

Fedora 11 Will Have An Incredible Number Of New Features

February 28, 2009

Fedora 10, an amazing Fedora release in its own right, had 28 approved features. Fedora 9 had 30 and Fedora 8 had 21.

As of writing this Fedora 11 has 51 which have already been approved, plus another 9 waiting to be approved any day now. That means in the end there should be ~60 approved features which make it into Fedora 11! This doesn’t even count the work going into external things such as overhauling the documentation or the community work going into the Moksha project.

The features on the list aren’t trivial either, take a look. Almost every aspect of the OS is having some substantial work going into it.  You name it, boot time, instant messaging, delta RPMs, 64 bit kernel in 32 bit system, the media player, networking, security, KMS for nearly all open source drivers, compilers, etc.. will be seeing a lot of new love. (Much more than just upgrades) This list will have other distros playing catchup for some time to come.

So, show your appreciation by testing the new release.  It may be best to start with the upcoming beta to be released on March 24, so mark your calendars.  Even better, in addition to testing sign up and become a part of the Fedora Project.  You won’t regret it, the community and innovation you will come across will never be matched anywhere.  Guaranteed. 🙂