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Debian Software Linux

Ubuntu Dev Summit Lays Out Plans For Hardy Heron 261

Posted by Zonk
from the hee-such-humorous-names dept.
Opurt writes "On the first day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Boston this week, a roundtable session focused on the vision for the upcoming Hardy Heron Ubuntu release. Unlike Gutsy Gibbon, which brought a handful of experimental features along with some new functionality, the focus with Heron will be on robustness as it will be supported on the desktop for 3 years. 'The Compiz window manager, which adds sophisticated visual effects to the Ubuntu user interface, will be a big target for usability improvements. Keyboard bindings and session management were noted as two areas where Compiz still needs some work.' PolicyKit and Tracker will also be significantly tweaked, while Heron is also likely to see a complete visual refresh."
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Ubuntu Dev Summit Lays Out Plans For Hardy Heron

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:38AM (#21210175)
    The Debian swirl doesn't hack it any more.
  • by tttonyyy (726776) on Friday November 02, 2007 @07:52AM (#21210297) Homepage Journal
    ...as well as adding new features?

    'oops' proxy, for example. Worked great under other Debs distros, but kept crashing under FF. Left out of GG altogether.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2007 @08:19AM (#21210539)
    So why don't you try Fedora that has almost all the stuff you ask for and does most of the development anyway ?
    SCNR
  • by gclef (96311) on Friday November 02, 2007 @08:36AM (#21210721)
    There's one problem with this: Patches. One of the truly lovely things about a package manager is that it becomes your one-stop place for patches to all applications on the system. Once you leave the package manager, and have users dumping .app files randomly onto their system, you have no good way of getting patches for those apps. This dramatically weakens the security of your system.

    I can see wanting a way for little userland apps (that are unlikely to ever get patches anyway) to install in for just one user. But for big, system-wide things (like a browser, or OOo) a free-for-all /Application directory is a really bad idea.
  • by baldass_newbie (136609) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:04AM (#21211093) Homepage Journal

    Ubuntu has made more progress toward useability in the last 12 month than any other OS I know of.

    You could say that's because they had more ground to cover, but they still lag (Gnome, KDE or Enlightenment.) Package handling is still an issue and NOTHING is easier than the OS X drag and drop. Synaptic is nice. Very nice. Best thing I've seen in Linux since pkginstall on Slack.

    I also disagree with your '12 month' assessment. The big strides take longer and are an accumulation. Perhaps you've just come to realize some functionality, but a lot of it has been there in one form or another all along. I've seen no great leap in the last year that I could point to re:usability. And yes, I'm writing this from a Linux b0x3n.
  • by WheelDweller (108946) <.WheelDweller. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:13AM (#21211243)
    Well, as a total outsider to the Debian mindset, let me offer this.

    I used Redhat with the RPMS and all, even maintaining software. It was the second foray into Linux; the first time was with Slackware 2.3 and about 30 floppies. I stayed with Redhat from 4.0 until FC4, but by that time I was sick of the business bias. For about a year OpenLdap on their repo was busted. It was nearly herculean to get it to work, and keep it working. Then they offered a replacement to it in the purchase of the Netscape Directory, and I felt the time was right to look around.

    Ubuntu has done a fabulous job with Debian's beginnings. They had the resources and the passion to make releases and push the envelope....but they couldn't have done it without what I CLEARLY see as the better package manager: Debian.

    Personally, I love Ubuntu. And I've grown to love it, not just for it's lack of business bias, but for it's product as well.

    We really owe a lot to "Deb" and "Ian" for their brilliant, visionary start.
  • by tuffy (10202) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:34AM (#21211535) Homepage Journal

    * /Preferences - standard place for apps to store their user specific settings instead of hidden . files in the main user home directory

    Which user? One could expand it to /Preferences/user1/settings and so forth, but how is that better than /home/user1/.settings ? Having all the .settings files in a home directory means that backing up, restoring and transferring /home saves all those files at the same time. Thus, it is less fragile than storing them anywhere else.

    In short, /Preferences is a stupid idea.

  • by DaleGlass (1068434) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:37AM (#21211591) Homepage

    In the way that files that belong to applications are spread over a dozen directories. To name just one example: why is it considered a good idea to have a single directory with all the help files for everything that is installed? Just put them in the application directory already.

    That's because the Linux filesystem layout comes from Unix, and that was made to be optimal for system administration. Meaning, having part of the filesystem be shared through NFS. /etc, /bin, /sbin and /lib are needed for the system to boot. /usr may be mounted from a share, and can be readonly.

    The different locations for binaries, settings, etc, makes it very easy to share data between a hundred boxes, but not the configuration, or the configuration as well if you want it.

    Even if you don't need a network, this is still nice for system administration. For example my general layout is root FS on plain RAID-1, then /usr, /var and /home mounted from LVM. This ensures that even if LVM gets messed up somehow, the box still boots, and in fact it boots from any surviving drive since it's a software RAID-1. Since a functional system is already in place, recovery is much easier.

    But you do believe we should stick with the original UNIX model of storing files all over the place? I guess you must: you are violently attacking me when I support a proposed change to the original model.

    The thing is that you don't understand the original model. You seem to think that the layout is the way it is because people just threw stuff into the first place they could think of. Learn why it's the way it is, then come up with a good reason why the original reasons are no longer good, and only then there can be a sensible discussion of the subject.

    Of course, I realize this represents a Change From The Way Things Were. I understand the fear and uncertainty ANY change causes. Really! But rather than simply be an uber-arrogant asshole and say "rejected" without ANY consideration or discussion of the merits of the stated idea, we could and should have had a civilized discussion why this is good or bad.

    If I wanted OS X, I'd use OS X. Your idea isn't new, and has been discussed hundreds of times before. That Ubuntu still keeps the old layout should be a hint.
  • by m2943 (1140797) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:52AM (#21211805)
    Is anyone really going to miss the stupid sticky note or photo apps in the default install?

    In fact, in the default install, there are no Microsoft libraries installed with Mono. All that is installed is ECMA C# and the various Gnome-C# bindings. Those are no more susceptible to patent threats from Microsoft or anybody else than gcc, Gnome, or KDE.

    And, yes, people use f-spot and Banshee.

    The inclusion of that more than anything leaves ubuntu open to patent threats

    Why don't they remove C, C++, Objective-C, Firefox, Ext3, Java, Compiz, and the entire Linux kernel while they are at it? All of those are potentially threatened by patents, from Microsoft, Apple, Sun, and lots of other companies.

  • by freezin fat guy (713417) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:03AM (#21211963)

    Oh, and that attitude of yours is what I consider to be the *PRIMARY* thing that's wrong with Linux. But I guess it will be hard to fix as well...

    Ahem, "that attitude" is not a bug - it's a feature

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:22AM (#21212267) Homepage Journal

    If every application was well-behaved and stored that file in $appdir/etc/ it would be utterly clear to everyone that it was part of that specific application.

    And the tradeoff is that you have to add /usr to your backups because 512KB on that 8GB partition is now local-created data and not easily recreated by a reinstall. Also forget mounting /usr read-only for security purposes.

  • In my opinion... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Derek Loev (1050412) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:38AM (#21212593)
    Right now the biggest fault with Ubuntu is Gnome. I've been using Ubuntu since the day Gutsy was released (previously a Gentoo user) and I love so many aspects of it. I even like the simplicity of Gnome compared to KDE. But, why does Gnome lack so many customization options. I mean, seriously, with so many developers it cannot be very difficult to create some small programs that modify GConf. That should be Gnome's priority and because Ubuntu relies so heavily on Gnome it needs to be one of Ubuntu's priorities to get the ball rolling.
    I want to add different folders to my Places bar at the top of the screen, I want to add different buttons (like the Home folder, seriously, it was difficult) to the desktop. I want to be able to edit my Network servers in the Places bar.
    I've figured out how to do all of this with gconf but there is absolutely no reason for me to not to be able to go into my System tab and figure out how to do this with a nice, pretty graphical program.
    This post may be a little off topic and I know that Ubuntu comes in different flavors (Kubuntu, Xubuntu) but when the majority of users are going to be using Gnome with Ubuntu, then Gnome needs to improve to the point where it does not detract from the Ubuntu experience.
  • by ericrost (1049312) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:55AM (#21213849) Homepage Journal
    This is why I love Linux. Gnome fills my needs perfectly, but I'm not every user. KDE fills your needs perfectly, but again, you're not every user. Rather than getting into ugly pissing matches about who'd desktop is better, we can coexist and each have something we like.

    I think the reasons for KUbuntu being less polished are pretty easily guessable. Ubuntu tends to be for newer Linux users (although I fall into the PowerUser/wannabe dev category). Gnome is a good DE for the underlying philosophy of Ubuntu (usable out of the box with little to no configuration, but able to be tweaked to your level). KDE tends to be for those that just need things exactly their way. KDE is not the default, so it falls to the downstream Kubuntu dev team to put the polish into the releases, and their a minority. Their working hard (I would imagine) on finishing KDE4's integration.

    Anyhow, less of a point, more of a "this is why Linux gets my vote" post.
  • by dan the person (93490) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:01PM (#21213927) Homepage Journal
    That's because the Linux filesystem layout comes from Unix, and that was made to be optimal for system administration.

    Meanwhile, the OS X filesystem layout which also comes from Unix, has been adapted to be optimal for users.
  • Re:Experiences (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:02PM (#21213943) Homepage Journal

    It needs to run all the software people run on Windows, and support all the hardware Windows does.

    No, it doesn't.

    I needs to run all of the software that people need. With a few exceptions, Ubuntu provides equivalent software to what's available for Windows, typically at a much better price. And the exceptions tend to be fairly specialized, expensive software packages, not general desktop stuff.

    As for hardware, at this point in time Gutsy has better hardware support than Vista does, overall. There are a couple areas where Vista is better (wireless), but there is lots of hardware around, particularly older stuff, that Vista does not support and Ubuntu does.

    In any case, the real way to beat the hardware support issue is to get Ubuntu pre-installed, and put it on the manufacturer to make sure that all of the hardware in the box works. That's how it works for Windows. You also need support for add-ons, but these days those are all USB and danged near everything works (cue the anecdotes from people who've found something that doesn't) just fine on Ubuntu. In fact, it often works *better* than it does on Windows because Windows will often require you to install some driver software whereas with Linux you just plug it in and it starts working.

  • by InlawBiker (1124825) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:45PM (#21214591)
    Using the nicknames very effective in "demystifying" the whole experience.

    I've been using Linux and Unix for a long time. One thing it's never been is friendly to outsiders. Ubuntu excels at making the Linux experience seem simple and clean. The documentation, installation, desktop, even the web site is simplified and unified. Attaching an easy to remember nickname to the release is part of that plan. It humanizes the product. Techies may be chapped over it, but realize the cute nickname isn't for you. It's for people who are scared of the word "kernel."

  • by Fallingcow (213461) on Friday November 02, 2007 @02:34PM (#21216295) Homepage
    Both the OSX and Linux ways are good, IMO. OSX: every program and all its components are in a folder. Linux: this sort of program file goes here, this sort here, and you can mount these folders from various sources to achieve all kinds of neat administrative voodoo.

    Either CAN be broken, but usually isn't. They're fairly consistent.

    Windows? Let's see: how about we make a folder in "Program Files"... let's name it after our company, then make a sub-folder for each program from us! Yeah! Never mind that in three years we'll somehow manage to slightly change the company name we use on the folder by adding a dash or changing capitalization or something, and that "one folder for all our programs" goes out the window. Oh, and let's throw some DLLs in c:\windows\win32, AND write a bunch of stuff to the registry. Then, let's put a whole bunch of links in the START menu, with no regard for any categories already there (for god's sake, there's a GAMES folder in the XP start menu for a REASON, people!)

    Completely inconsistent.

    The first two are fine; even if I don't like the way they do things, I can always script around CONSISTENT stupidity. Inconsistent stupidity? Not so much.
  • by mattpalmer1086 (707360) on Friday November 02, 2007 @03:16PM (#21216903)
    Excellent point. Like many techies, I used to underestimate marketing, sneering a bit at it I guess. Then I had the privilege of working with a very astute marketing person on product development, and she totally changed my opinion. If it's going to work for many people, it has to work on many levels - technical is important, but nowhere near the only one.

  • by SparkEE (954461) on Friday November 02, 2007 @03:23PM (#21217043)
    /home/user1/preferences/settings may be nice though. Just to clean up the home directory a bit.

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