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Thread: It's beta, what do you expect!

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    It's beta, what do you expect!

    At first try with Natty, I was not impressed. I thought Unity was really buggy and lacked the ability to customise. Yeah, I knew it was in alpha and know that Unity was in its infancy, and I too complained about it. But here I am in beta 2 and running Unity in 2d, I am actually getting used to it and find it works pretty well in my routine. Sure, there are still issues with the nvidia driver that in time, will work out. Folks need to remember when KDE switched over to 4, there were major issues. It took time and yes, everyone complained. Over time though, it got better and continues to mature. So, Unity will mature too with newer features being implemented and ideas moving foreword.

    I got away from Windows because I got tired of all the garbage I had to deal with just to keep my machines running. I have been a user of Linux now for a few years and chose Ubuntu as my distro. I am not sorry I did as I have watched this grow and evolve by all the hard work that people do to make it happen. And one day, I hope to join the ranks and code to make it better too. Bottom line is this, Unity is here to stay, Gnome 3 made its birth cry, and Ubuntu is moving foreword. If you still want to use Gnome 2.x, what is stopping you from doing so? Better yet, if you are able too, fork 2.x into your own version of Gnome and give choice to others that share your views. That is what open source is all about. I have heard of Gubuntu as a possible fork and looked at the website. Great! Help make it a reality! Look, I have multi versions of Ubuntu running on different machines, such as the old Dell C600 running 9.10 that I am typing this post on. I love it! Unity is on my test machine and my main unit runs 10.04. My development machine is also 10.04 and set only to upgrade to the next LTS release. My garage pc runs 10.10 and quietly crunches numbers for World Community Grid. I am immersed and dug in. I will advance with Ubuntu and embrace the change that is coming.
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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    some miracles maybe

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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    I try not to gripe much about it, personally, but; I don't like it one bit. The inidcator-applet crashes daily, and compiz crashes every few days. The whole thing is buggy, but this is to be expected, and I understand it.

    From what I can tell (I do have Natty as the sole OS on my wife's machine) Unity appears to essentially be GNOME sans the bottom panel, and with a broken and poorly integrated dock stuck in your face in the most awkward of places. I don't like that at all. The other aspects of Unity, though, I do like, and fortunately these are easily available in the "Classic" desktop, which is what we happily use.

    This is, of course, my own personal tastes and opinion. So long as I have GNOME 2 available to use - or until I slowly become accustomed to Unity, which is bound to happen one day - I'm happy.

    Off-topic: I am curious, though, whatever happened to the "Windicators" thing Shuttleworth was babbling about last year. Some of the speculations about it interested me.
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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    I expect more than a blank desktop... am I asking for too much?

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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    christ, I've got to stop with these long *** posts that nobody reads.

    What do I expect?

    A working system with minimal regressions, to quote linus himself:

    http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2009/0...for-gnome.html

    I thought KDE 4.0 was such a disaster I switched to GNOME. I hate the fact that my right button doesn't do what I want it to do. But the whole "break everything" model is painful for users and they can choose to use something else.

    I realise the reason for the 4.0 release, but I think they did it badly. They did so may changes it was a half-baked release. It may turn out to be the right decision in the end and I will re-try KDE, but I suspect I'm not the only person they lost.
    That's from 2009, why am I repeating it 3 years later? With not 1 but 2 MAJOR desktop environments? Did they really learn nothing from KDE 4.0 at all? -_-

    Quote Originally Posted by as2000 View Post
    Folks need to remember when KDE switched over to 4, there were major issues.
    Just because KDE 4.0 had major issues on release, and now Gnome 3 has major issues, doesn't mean it's cool for Ubuntu to follow with a derp of its own.

    All 3 major Desktop environments have failed in one major way, they made huge changes in a relatively short time, which really appears to this noob (me not you) to be a basic misunderstanding of the linux development process in general.

    "Release early, release often"

    ie, make smaller incremental changes over time, release those changes frequently and address any issues that appear. As opposed to the Unity development cycle which I saw went like this:

    Alpha 1: no real changes, everything works fine
    Alpha 2: 2nd buggiest Ubuntu alpha I have tested in 4 years.
    Alpha 3: buggiest ubuntu alpha I have ever tested.

    Beta 1: still buggy and usability nightmare

    Beta 2: still buggy and usability nightmare confirmed with usability report released

    Release: Buggiest ubuntu release yet, I hope this doesn't happen but sitting 5 days out with a common ati graphics card with buggy drivers, virtualbox still isn't working right, and tons of bugs still being reported every day I'm not holding my breath.

    What should have happened?

    The 6 month release cycle is NOT flawed, it works great, the flaw was a basic misunderstanding of WHY there's a 6 month release cycle in the first place, and thus it was poorly implemented.

    The whole point of the 6 month release according to Canonical:

    We feel that a time-based release process enables us to provide our users with the best balance of the latest software, tight integration, and excellent overall quality.
    Which is a web 2.0 way of saying "release early, release often works, and we're going to use it".

    How does release early, release often work in the kernel world:

    http://ldn.linuxfoundation.org/book/21-the-big-picture

    January 24 2.6.24 stable release
    February 10 2.6.25-rc1, merge window closes
    2 weeks of new stuff

    April 16 2.6.25 stable release
    2 months of testing and bug fixing.

    With this as a basis, how should natty and the Unity release have gone.

    Ubuntu 11.04:

    Alpha 1: as per normal, toolchain updates etc

    Alpha 2: Gnome 2.32 as base

    Users notified that this will be the last release using the Gnome 2.3x code base, as 11.10 will be using Unity 2d and 3d.

    Beginnings of BFB and Dash implemented, new application indicators uploaded.

    Gnome 3 released: great job gnome!

    Alpha 3: Testing, testing, testing.

    Beta 1: Still Testing, loads of feedback on the dash given, updates and changes are made to improve usability significantly.

    RC: Bugs are squashed, usability is improved even more.

    Release: Happy bug free experience and wow new features! nice!

    All the while, sitting far off in a universe some place else is the Gnome shell code base, and the full Unity 2d + 3d experience.

    Ubuntu 11.10:

    Alpha 1: as per normal, toolchain updates etc

    Alpha 2: Gnome Shells code base to be used, Unity 2d and 3d which had been in co-development for the last 6 months debuts, the already heavily tested and improved App indicators, BFB and Dash are included in Unity 2d and 3d.

    In addition the launcher and global menu debuts for the complete Unity experience.

    Alpha 3: testing and feedback.

    Beta 1: testing and feedback.

    RC: more testing. (and feedback)

    Release: Happy bug free experience and wow new features! nice!

    12.04: A huge focus on bugs and usability fixes inc!

    - No regressions between 10.04 and 12.04 the aim. (Would be nice to see a "We want you! to join the Ubuntu Bug Traigers! style campaign started.
    - Capitalise on a years worth of usability increases over Dash and BFB, and on the concerns of the launcher and global menu from the last 6 months.
    - Unity 2d and 3d with a years worth of dev time should be relatively mature, any "flys in your ice cream" further ironed out.

    12.10: hello wayland!

    The end result:

    - The move to Gnome Shell happens over a year instead of 6 months, which means more time to test and fix bugs.
    - Because the changes are smaller no one is overwhelmed, not the end users or the devs.
    - Constant evolving feedback about the usability, trust me Canonical, we're here to help, we want Ubuntu to be uber usable as well, more usable than OS X and windows combined, but we still want to be here to test your alpha releases.
    - Frequent releases means bugs frequently get squashed.
    - 11.04, 11.10 and 12.04 are all fantastic releases and Ubuntu continues to grow in popularity.

    that's my 2c

    - ikt
    Last edited by ikt; April 19th, 2011 at 07:28 PM.
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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    I'm happy if I can get at least a vt. An upgrade my wife did last night apparently didn't have its depends sorted properly, so she got stuck at plymouth when she booted several kernels at lunch today. (half hour ago.) I couldn't even switch to any of the vt's, but fortunately sshd had started successfully so I could get in. An update and upgrade allowed her to boot again though.

    Whew.
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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    @ikt

    I read your post. Although lengthly, made a lot of good points.

    I have thought to myself (until now) that the 6 month release schedule may be too short to implement a radical change such as Unity. Perhaps stretching the release cycle to a year would allow more time to test and bug fix all the snarling issues such as the nvidia issue that I experience rather than push for another release.

    I have not read Linus's thoughts on the KDE switch until you quoted and think that plays well into what I am saying about a 6 month cycle on releases. Natty for all it has become in a very short time, is a bold release. But Linus said it best that a push into something that is buggy will drive some away. Again, that plays into my other statement well that I believe if some are dissatisfied with Unity or Gnome 3, start your own fork of 2.x or get behind the grassroots efforts of Gubuntu.

    This is not Redmond where code is proprietary (an bloated I hear) and copyrighted. This is open source where any one of us make contributions through writing code, donations of money, writing the manuals, or simply trying the releases and filing bug reports. We all make a difference in some way or another. I am not saying stop complaining and shut up or go somewhere else if you don't like this or that, I am saying that we all contribute in many positive ways through developing this stuff. And yes, the freedom is to try something else if we don't like something is what makes this great. The powers at Redmond would just melt down if Windows code would be open sourced as that would mean choice. Think of what Windows would be like now had Gates opened the code and allowed it to be forked?

    Linux and Ubuntu is cool. So is every other flavor distributions that regularly make the ranks on Distrowatch.
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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    Think of what Windows would be like now had Gates opened the code and allowed it to be forked
    well it might be a lot faster and a lot more user friendly than 7 is at the moment
    I am running beta 2 I havent had a lot of problems since my clean install on a new hard drive apt daemon crashed 2 days ago after a download but is ok now so I am happy and unity seems to be ok on my machine
    Last edited by rbrick49; April 20th, 2011 at 02:05 AM.
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    Re: It's beta, what do you expect!

    Do remember that there is no RC this cycle.

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NattyReleaseSchedule

    The betas are pretty much final Natty.

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