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Hardy Heron Alpha 4 Released 272

LarryBoy writes "Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) alpha 4 was released Friday and Ars Technica has a look at what's new in the latest builds of Hardy Heron. 'Although many of the significant architectural features like PulseAudio and GIO are still in transitional stages and aren't fully functional yet, Ubuntu 8.04 alpha 4 is still very impressive. I'm a big fan of D-Bus and I'm very pleased to see it being adopted throughout the entire desktop stack in core components.'"
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Hardy Heron Alpha 4 Released

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  • by crush ( 19364 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @06:32PM (#22276634)
    PulseAudio works great in Fedora 8. That's not really surprizing as the primary developer is a Red Hat employee (see [] ). It's weird the way Ubuntu advocacy pieces rarely mention that most of the software which is touted as being part of the Ubuntu experience is usually programmed by Debian or Red Hat or Novell developers.
  • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:5, Informative)

    by 2sheds ( 78194 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @06:39PM (#22276708) Journal
    You mean PolicyKit? Surely granular user privileges are a good thing in this day and age? It's a D-Bus interface anyway, hardly super weird.
  • by sayfawa ( 1099071 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @06:57PM (#22276866)
    The warning to not use alpha releases on production machines is a bit more severe this time. So watch out.

    Snipped from the release notes:
    Nautilus can behave erratically, especially in trash operations. Refrain from operating on valuable files with this version. []
  • by AuraOfDeath ( 895466 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @07:08PM (#22276940)
    how the hell is this newsworthy? Shouldn't this be off on Distrowatch, or some other relevant website? Goody *buntu is releasing another alpha that will bork my machine... It's Front page news... I mean Congrats for their dev team... but honestly this doesn't belong on slashdot Let alone making it THROUGH the firehose.
  • by Matt Perry ( 793115 ) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [45ttam.yrrep]> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @07:42PM (#22277232)

    However saying that it is your own work is quite different.
    No Ubuntu developers have claimed someone else's work as their own. The GP is just upset for some strange reason that Ubuntu, like all other distros, incorporates code from other distributions into its own. All distros do this, and most companies that release Linux distros employ developers to work on existing and new projects.
  • by ricegf ( 1059658 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @07:48PM (#22277298) Journal

    This is the only distro I have ever seen that gets worse in terms of stability with each release.

    I understand why that would frustrate you. My experiences were mixed - it's as stable as always on my desktop with Compiz disabled, but crashes about once a week with Compiz enabled. I enable it anyway - there's just something about people's reaction the first time I close a window and it burns up that makes me more tolerant. :-)

    On the other hand, 7.10 is the first version that worked perfectly on my laptop with no tweaking (unless you count clicking on the network control and selecting my local network from the drop-down list). It was literally easier than setting up my daughter's new Vista-based laptop - and Vista was pre-installed. Go figure.

  • by mike_sucks ( 55259 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @07:57PM (#22277394) Homepage
    Check your facts, it has been doing this for years.

    I click on a PDF link in Epiphany and it downloads the PDF and opens it in Evince (or whatever is registered as the primary PDF handler). If the website annoyingly opens a new window to show the PDF in (as if you have the plugin installed), Epy even helpfully closes the empty window for you.

    This works for all registered content types, not just PDFs. If on some occasions it does not work, it is because the server is misconfigured and is sending the wrong MIME content type. /Mike
  • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:3, Informative)

    by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @08:07PM (#22277532)
    I suggest you try wifi on Ubuntu 7.10. Don't even install the OS. Just boot the CD and try it from their. (Firefox via a liveCD is somewhat slow, but functional.) Wireless was seamless for me. It just works, to steal a phrase from Apple. It connects to a wireless connection. Click once on the connection icon and get a list of all the wireless networks the computer can detect, including icons for which require a password and bars to show the signal strength. It's fun to hop from network to network. :-)
  • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:1, Informative)

    by stefancaunter ( 1198951 ) <> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @09:24PM (#22278144) Homepage
    I prefer Vista, which shipped with my laptop. The wifi thing is and was a total showstopper for me, and rightly so. Ubuntu 7.10 was as behind Vista as RedHat 5.x was behind Win98. Just not ready in comparison. See, I don't want to have to fight with my hardware. I work all day in a unix shell, so it's not like I can't deal with this stuff. I just don't want to. HP, and Microsoft, fixed the issue with the Broadcom wireless driver; BIOS update, driver update. It now works, perfectly. It didn't when I got the machine, so I checked out Ubuntu. I'm way past being political or a bigot or an evangelist. I need to be productive and I need a working system. End of story. I get that with Vista. I didn't with Ubuntu. Vendors support Microsoft first, and that's life. This Broadcom thing will get addressed by Linux, but it's too late (again) for me. I don't care why it didn't/doesn't work, and neither does anyone else. It just doesn't work, and that don't cut it.
  • by robzon ( 981455 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @09:42PM (#22278312) Homepage
    Please file a bug report if you haven't already.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 02, 2008 @09:49PM (#22278368)
    And Launchpad is part of Ubuntu how, exactly?

    More to the point, though Launchpad isn't yet open source, Canonical have made a commitment to open sourcing it. The reasons for it not being done yet are well documented - Shuttleworth himself explained things at length in a blog post some time back. They've already open sourced Storm.

    So Launchpad isn't open source, but using that to level an accusation of Ubuntu being closed source is a fairly radical interpretation of the facts.
  • by shellbeach ( 610559 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @09:52PM (#22278380)

    Yes, but what do they do after Zoroastrian Zebra?
    Well, there was never an "A" release, so they can still have the Ambivalent Aardvark ... And besides, they've clearly got nothing against re-using letters, since Hearty Heron is using the same letter as Hoary Hedgehog ...

    (The idea of stepping through the alphabet seems to have started with Edgy, which followed Dapper. Previously it was random: Warty, Hoary, Breezy, Dapper ...)

  • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:5, Informative)

    by el americano ( 799629 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @10:10PM (#22278542) Homepage
    Yeah, but you're just one guy. If it works for the vast majority, then that *does* cut it. I also object to your comparing pre-installed Vista, with a Ubuntu you set up yourself. Pre-installed Ubuntu is available, and it comes with everything working - I can tell you're shocked. When your only criticism is getting everything working for the first time, you're setting up pre-installed Vista to win the comparison.

    To add my experiences with Ubuntu (and being more specific) I had troubles with Ubuntu 6.06 on my T42 ThinkPad trying to use wireless security, although connectivity and WEP worked straight off. Later, Ubuntu 7.10 had a greatly improved NetworkManager. It's everything thing I need. My hat's off to those guys. Even VPN works beautifully through the same interface.

    I do hope an open source 11n driver comes out soon. It's really up to which chip vendor wants write one, and it was in this area that I had hopes for the Dell/Ubuntu laptops. If they want to ship 11n, then they'll push someone to support it. You see, your characterization was mistaken. You said:

    HP, and Microsoft, fixed the issue with the Broadcom wireless driver

    No they didn't. Broadcom fixed it. HP forced them too, and Microsoft did nothing. That's the way it's going to be. Once HP and Dell care, Linux support will be there before the product is shipped.

  • by CnlPepper ( 140772 ) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @11:15PM (#22278972)
    How about the fact that mythfontend, stupidly doesn't have a "run-in-window" option. I'd like to watch TV in a small, movable window that I can put in the corner while working/reading. Mythfrontend doesn't do this nicely.
  • by Cato ( 8296 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:58AM (#22280152)
    This is complete crap - not only is Ubuntu 100% open source, with standard source packages, it is the root of many other distributions and almost encourages people to fork Ubuntu - e.g. Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Linux Mint, Fluxbuntu, and more. They do release their own contributions and actively merge them upstream into Debian, so they are also helping every other Debian-based distro (e.g. Sidux, Knoppix, SimplyMEPIS and many others).

    How did this get moderated insightful?
  • by Cato ( 8296 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:17AM (#22280224)
    Actually it's pretty complex for a GUI tool to figure out actual disk impact of its operations - it needs to consider

    - which volumes are mounted under which mount points (quite easy, but then calculate that for all files transferred, not just root of each transfer)

    - which volumes are really LVM2 logical volumes, and how those are mapped to volume groups and then physical volumes (LVM is default in Fedora and maybe also Ubuntu, I always install it explicitly)

    - is RAID in use, at level of software RAID (Linux only), fake RAID (hardware assist + Linux) or hardware RAID, and if so are you using RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, etc, and which blocks might be on which disks given different RAID striping models and which disks are in which group. (And once we get ZFS-FUSE to be stable, that has its own version of RAID...)

    - is this disk actually mapped at block level onto a network block device (e.g. iSCSI, ATA over Ethernet, etc - or even ElasticDrive which is really an Amazon S3 based storage service)

    Given LVM and RAID in particular, I can't see how any GUI tool can figure this out easily - it would really need to poke the kernel to get some hints if you want to do this, or perhaps hint to the kernel 'these 5 operations are a group, please schedule them sequentially if that will improve performance' - still very complex however you do it.

    One interesting feature here, to set priorities for I/O between processes although not threads, is 'ionice' - it's available in Ubuntu from repositories and let's you set the priority for I/O of a process - great for disk-bound transfers, e.g. set your K3B disk burning to high priority, or backup process to low. Useful blog posting at []

    Incidentally Vista added I/O priority to Windows, but XP doesn't have it, which is why I need to suspend some processes altogether when they are churning the disk on my Windows laptop.

    I would like to see the various GUI system monitor tools make it easy to see how much I/O is going on, like Windows' Process Explorer (from the great Sysinternals team, far better than Task Manager) and to view and change the I/O priority interactively.

    Having said all that - I think Nautilus is going to include a Pause transfer feature in next iteration, so you could simply use that to stop something that may be slowing things down.

  • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:4, Informative)

    by JayAEU ( 33022 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @07:32AM (#22281232)
    I've installed PCLinuxOS 2007 as a replacement for Windows XP on my wife's 6 year old laptop some 7 months ago. What shall I say, it's an absolute blessing! Boot times of 30 seconds instead of several minutes, no crashes and - best of all - everything just works, including the wireless PCMCIA card.

    My wife couldn't be happier.

    And you can rest your mind, PCLinuxOS 2007 doesn't put all users into root. If something requires administrative privileges, it will ask for the root password, which is where I come in, if it happens to my wife.

    Anyway, in terms of ease-of-use, PCLOS is still much ahead of Ubuntu. I wouldn't run PCLOS on a server, but on desktop and mobile systems, it's top notch.
  • by cjwatson ( 224090 ) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @01:47PM (#22283198) Homepage

    Canonical is still a small company, and so we certainly do a lot more integration at Ubuntu than we do from-scratch software development; however, anyone who equates integration work with parasitism has clearly never done any of it themselves. An obsession with creating things on one's own is a rather curious one in the free software community. Most of the work put in by Canonical-employed Ubuntu developers is on improving existing software.

    Anyhow, some things just off the top of my head that (variously) Canonical, Ubuntu developers on contract to Canonical, and community Ubuntu developers have been entirely or largely responsible for:

    • Upstart (event-driven init replacement)
    • significant work on improving suspend/resume support all over the place (kernel, acpi-support, hotkey-setup, etc.)
    • package management improvements, e.g. Breaks field, triggers, and various graphical tools (you mentioned aptitude; take a look at the apt changelog and investigate how many people there are involved with Ubuntu)
    • large amounts of GNOME and KDE packaging work
    • casper (live CD build infrastructure)
    • initramfs-tools
    • substantial improvements to most areas of the Debian installer, e.g. proper progress reporting for package installation, rescue mode, much of udev support, Kickstart compatibility, etc.
    • much of what became LTSP 5
    • much of the initial modular tree packaging, and xresprobe
    • usplash

    This is probably biased to things I've been near, and I'm certainly not going to try to enumerate everything as I'd like to do something else with my week, so I've certainly left out a number of interesting projects. Company-wide, our staff are in the Maintainer or Uploaders fields of nearly 5% of the source packages in the Debian archive, which is not too shabby for a small company, and in many cases they do work on those packages on work time. Aside from that, if you want to know what Ubuntu developers do all day, you could always do some genuine research and look through the mail archives of the various *-changes lists!

    I don't think the milestone release announcement (which, BTW, was sent to the developer announcement list and was not a "press release") particularly misrepresents anything as being Ubuntu's work when it isn't; right up at the top it talks about "the absolute latest and greatest software the Open Source Community has to offer". Bearing in mind that the intended audience for milestone releases is developers and enthusiastic testers, I don't think this is particularly unreasonable - the people preparing these notes are more interested in describing major things that need to be tested than anything else. However, anyone who feels they are short of acknowledgements should feel entirely free to add them, as the release notes are in wiki-mode while they're being prepared.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter