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View Full Version : The future of Linux : freedom of choice ? Or less choice and more quality ?



the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 04:40 PM
As a spinoff of a recent discussion we're having in the community cafe, I wanted the users opinion on freedom of choice when it comes to apps and the desktop and quality of apps and improvement of desktop integration.

IMO, Canonical should benchmark apps that are listed in the repos and make sure they meet quality criteria in terms of technical maturity of the program, memory management, purpose of the program, usability and finally its design too. Then they would approve it inside Ubuntu. The rest would be TRASHED.

I care about choice. But I care even more about QUALITY.

What do you think? Are you in favor of choice, pure and complete? Do you prefer less apps and WMs but with better quality, integration and capabilities? Or do you care about something different?

DrMega
September 26th, 2008, 04:47 PM
As a spinoff of a recent discussion we're having in the community cafe, I wanted the users opinion on freedom of choice when it comes to apps and the desktop and quality of apps and improvement of desktop integration.

IMO, Canonical should benchmark apps that are listed in the repos and make sure they meet quality criteria in terms of technical maturity of the program, memory management, purpose of the program, usability and finally its design too. Then they would approve it inside Ubuntu. The rest would be TRASHED.

I care about choice. But I care even more about QUALITY.

What do you think? Are you in favor of choice, pure and complete? Do you prefer less apps and WMs but with better quality, integration and capabilities? Or do you care about something different?

I think there should be as much choice as possible, but have a star rating in when you view the apps in Synaptic. But wait. Don't we already have that?

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 04:48 PM
i think there should be as much choice as possible, but have a star rating in when you view the apps in synaptic. But wait. Don't we already have that?

+1

Edit: Who to decide what's good or not? It's a personal matter (see taste & needs).

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 04:52 PM
IMO, Canonical should benchmark apps that are listed in the repos and make sure they meet quality criteria in terms of technical maturity of the program, memory management, purpose of the program, usability and finally its design too. Then they would approve it inside Ubuntu. The rest would be TRASHED.

1. Ubuntu is not run by Canonical. Canonical owns the trademark and sponsors the project, but Ubuntu is essentially community-managed.

2. We're not talking about software with thousands of paid developers who work on it. In order to improve, a Free Software application needs people who test it voluntarily, report bugs, submit ideas, etc. How could this be done if one of the most popular Linux distribution banishes it from its repositories?

ammikulka
September 26th, 2008, 04:56 PM
Im on the fence about this one, ubuntu comes with everything you need for browsing and even doing homework. My dad has a gateway desktop with vista, and i want to put ubuntu on it so bad, but he's afraid, he knows how to use vista and doesnt want to learn another os, i think that is the view of many people, its not that ubuntu is not good, its vista is a solid os, (i dont care what anyone says bad about it, but if your careful about what you download vista will suffice.) and why fix something thats not broken? may be the views of most. not necessarily mine, but just a thought

eragon100
September 26th, 2008, 05:00 PM
I think there should be as much choice as possible, but have a star rating in when you view the apps in Synaptic. But wait. Don't we already have that?

The star rating indicates how many people use the program. An application can be the most stable and feature-rich in the world, but if it's used for drawing 3d QAD or indexing archeological finds, it's still going to get only a few stars.

I don't think unstable apps should be removed from add/remove. They are not installed by default, you aren't forced to use them, and the programs in universe are not supported by canonical, which is clearly stated to the user.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:02 PM
I think there should be as much choice as possible, but have a star rating in when you view the apps in Synaptic. But wait. Don't we already have that?

The star rating is a possibility. Ultimately, we should get rid of all programs that don't get any ratings. Also, we can extend these thoughts to window managers.

Almighty
September 26th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I for one love the whole Linux DIY mindset. Choice is incredibly important to the Linux commmunity but I feel as though there should be boundries. There should be a subset of functionality within the operating system that should never have a compromise.

Far too often I see new frameworks or software make it into a final release. A lot of times it works well, but at the same time it's pretty horrible. Innovation is wonderful don't get me wrong. I'm a big time early adopter for cool technologies, but there is a problem when I install my new Ubuntu release and Pulse Audio is pushing me back to the comforting yet controling arms of Apple.

Choice is very important, but it should never take center stage away from usability. What's the point of having the baddest car in the world if it doesn't run right?

karellen
September 26th, 2008, 05:08 PM
why should choice exclude quality? that's a false dichotomy

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 05:09 PM
The star rating is a possibility. Ultimately, we should get rid of all programs that don't get any ratings. Also, we can extend these thoughts to window managers.

Window Managers are programs.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about, so go make your own distro with only the stuff you like, and then come back and tell us how many people use it.

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:10 PM
IMO, Canonical should benchmark apps that are listed in the repos and make sure they meet quality criteria in terms of technical maturity of the program, memory management, purpose of the program, usability and finally its design too. Then they would approve it inside Ubuntu. The rest would be TRASHED.

Or how about they keep all the programs in the respository, both good and bad, as long as they work and have users, it's not like you're forced to use the bad programs in the repository, and it's not like it causes any problems.

Occasionally Correct
September 26th, 2008, 05:11 PM
I was able to glean some wisdom from a story I read in a blog post:

http://blog.labix.org/2008/08/04/write-more-to-write-better

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
I like to believe that this is ultimately what we have here: The "free software community" does stuff. It's a good thing. :)

NovaAesa
September 26th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Banishing certain applications from the repos would be against the philosophy of Ubuntu.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:13 PM
why should choice exclude quality? that's a false dichotomy

True to a point, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Yet, too much choice and not enough quality is an ongoing problem in Linux.

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:17 PM
The star rating is a possibility. Ultimately, we should get rid of all programs that don't get any ratings. Also, we can extend these thoughts to window managers.

So every software that has below a certain amount of users gets removed from the repositories.

May I ask why exactly this is in any way necessary or desirable? Does it inconveniece you to have to skip over these programs?

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 05:17 PM
True to a point, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Yet, too much choice and not enough quality is an ongoing problem in Linux.

But would less choice undoubtedly lead to better quality?

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:18 PM
True to a point, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Yet, too much choice and not enough quality is an ongoing problem in Linux.

Well, then people can choose to use what they think are quality and don't install what they don't want.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:23 PM
Window Managers are programs.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about, so go make your own distro with only the stuff you like, and then come back and tell us how many people use it.

Good idea.

DrMega
September 26th, 2008, 05:24 PM
The star rating indicates how many people use the program. An application can be the most stable and feature-rich in the world, but if it's used for drawing 3d QAD or indexing archeological finds, it's still going to get only a few stars.

But it does indicate popularity, and an app would be less likely to be popular if it is not great quality. If it was a specialist app, it would be likely that there were few alternatives so a user would be inclined to try it anyway if it was the only thing that might fulfil their needs.


The star rating is a possibility. Ultimately, we should get rid of all programs that don't get any ratings. Also, we can extend these thoughts to window managers.

Why? If we get rid of unrated apps, how would they ever get a rating? What happens if you don't rate an app because you hate it, but I really like it? Will your dislike of it mean that I can't use it?

One of the big misconceptions about Linux based OS's is that there is a lack of software for them. This isn't true, but it very quickly would become true if a handlful of people decided on behalf of everyone that some apps were no good and should be excluded.

pp.
September 26th, 2008, 05:25 PM
May I ask why exactly this is in any way necessary or desirable? Does it inconveniece you to have to skip over these programs?

Yes, it does inconvenience. Since you can't see from the description if the program is worth the price of having it on your disk, you are left with either doing much research or installing and running it.

There's an uncomfortable number of titles in the repository which is utterly disappointing and useless. Some of those are really pathetic.

Newspaper and magazine articles usually refer to the huge number of free software titles available for linux. Any user-to-be who is attracted by that number is bound to be disappointed after having to try several items only to find none that's really up to par.

The number of duds does not improve the image of OOS and detracts from the fact that there are titles of outstanding quality.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:26 PM
But would less choice undoubtedly lead to better quality?

Not if the question is asked this way. However I firmly believe that a careful selection of apps in a limited number and an optimization of these apps could lead to a better, more stable, more reliable system.

I don't care for choice if I get crap. And there is a lot of crap in the repos.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:27 PM
Aye,

It would be a good idea if "I" handle things if such "quality" control should apply.

First Ubuntu should drop Firefox, it's bloated and slow, then we'll make Epiphany or Lynx to be the standard browser for Ubuntu. :popcorn:
Azureus, bittorrent, deluge should be drop by commandline torrent.
etc.

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 05:29 PM
There's an uncomfortable number of titles in the repository which is utterly disappointing and useless. Some of those are really pathetic.

Now this is ridiculous. How many pathetic Windows applications do you think there is?

DrMega
September 26th, 2008, 05:29 PM
Not if the question is asked this way. However I firmly believe that a careful selection of apps in a limited number and an optimization of these apps could lead to a better, more stable, more reliable system.

I don't care for choice if I get crap. And there is a lot of crap in the repos.

There are other distros with a smaller range of apps. There are even one or two that have no apps for them unless you download the source and compile them yourself. If less choice is what you want you could always try one of those.

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Yes, it does inconvenience. Since you can't see from the description if the program is worth the price of having it on your disk, you are left with either doing much research or installing and running it.

There's an uncomfortable number of titles in the repository which is utterly disappointing and useless. Some of those are really pathetic.

That's why they have the star ratings. If an application has a high rating it's far less likely to be crap, people can still see what programs are liked and disliked, but they don't run into the problem of "Oh crap, the maintainers don't like my favourite program so I have to add an extra repo or build it from source."

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:31 PM
But it does indicate popularity, and an app would be less likely to be popular if it is not great quality. If it was a specialist app, it would be likely that there were few alternatives so a user would be inclined to try it anyway if it was the only thing that might fulfil their needs.



Why? If we get rid of unrated apps, how would they ever get a rating? What happens if you don't rate an app because you hate it, but I really like it? Will your dislike of it mean that I can't use it?

One of the big misconceptions about Linux based OS's is that there is a lack of software for them. This isn't true, but it very quickly would become true if a handlful of people decided on behalf of everyone that some apps were no good and should be excluded.

I agree that if there is no possible selection, new apps cannot improve or get better ratings because they are just absent from the list. So a better solution has to found.

On the other hand, I don't mind if some people choose the programs I'm going to use. For instance, when I elect politicians for office, I know they are going to apply their political program which I roughly agree with. This is somewhat similar.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:33 PM
You havn't answered who to decide which app is quality or not.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:33 PM
There are other distros with a smaller range of apps. There are even one or two that have no apps for them unless you download the source and compile them yourself. If less choice is what you want you could always try one of those.

I would do so if I knew I'd get SUPERIOR quality. With Linux distros, that's far from true.

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Aye,

It would be a good idea if "I" handle things if such "quality" control should apply.

First Ubuntu should drop Firefox, it's bloated and slow, then we'll make Epiphany or Lynx to be the standard browser for Ubuntu. :popcorn:
Azureus, bittorrent, deluge should be drop by commandline torrent.
etc.

No no no, if you want Epiphany or Lynx you build it from source, I say we need Firefox only. We don't want users to be confused by choice, we want all the users decisions to be made for them (Which is why GNOME should be the only DE in the repos... *ducks*)

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:35 PM
No no no, if you want Epiphany or Lynx you build it from source, I say we need Firefox only. We don't want users to be confused by choice, we want all the users decisions to be made for them (Which is why GNOME should be the only DE in the repos... *ducks*)

You see we can't even decide which one is quality browser, how should we decide with all the other 10000s of apps?
So who decide? You? Me? Mark?

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:35 PM
You havn't answered who to decide which app is quality or not.

I don't have to. Microsoft doesn't ask for my opinion and neither does Apple. Yet they have great products and their OS are great platforms for other companies softwares.

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 05:36 PM
One thing that would be worth discussing, though, is having some kind of Amazon-like "Feedback" thing on http://packages.ubuntu.com, so that people who have installed and used a package can share their opinions about it. This would undoubtedly be far more useful and constructive than "Thy sofrware dost not have enough users. Thou shalt be banned from Ubuntu until the end of times. Oh, and we don't ******* care that you have been developing this only for three weeks."

pp.
September 26th, 2008, 05:37 PM
How many pathetic Windows applications do you think there is?

Unfortunately this is only true but not relevant. The cases do not compare.

Ubuntu Linux offers to install any number of applications which appear to be endorsed by Ubuntu, among them those I referred to above.

Obviously, I can not remember having been invited by Windows to download and install a large number of free and/or third party apps. No matter how large the number of pathetic Windows applications a naive user is bound to find, he or she is less inclined to put the blame with Microsoft or Windows because those applications are not being offered through a channel provided by the OS.

gn2
September 26th, 2008, 05:38 PM
There may be some apps in the repos that are perhaps not so good as others, at least it won't cost you any cash to find out how good they are.
This is in sharp contrast to the massive rafts of utter garbage software for Windows lurking in www-land that does cost money.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:39 PM
One thing that would be worth discussing, though, is having some kind of Amazon-like "Feedback" thing on http://packages.ubuntu.com, so that people who have installed and used a package can share their opinions about it. This would undoubtedly be far more useful and constructive than "Thy sofrware dost not have enough users. Thou shalt be banned from Ubuntu until the end of times. Oh, and we don't ******* care that you have been developing this only for three weeks."

That makes sense. Anything to improve the system is good news IMO.

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 05:39 PM
Ubuntu Linux offers to install any number of applications which appear to be endorsed by Ubuntu, among them those I referred to above.

They are not endorsed by anyone. Maybe this should be written in HUGE RED LETTERS in Synaptic...

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:40 PM
I don't have to. Microsoft doesn't ask for my opinion and neither does Apple. Yet they have great products and their OS are great platforms for other companies softwares.

Wont you have the choice to decide which apps to use? Or which DE on your Linux OS?
Ubuntu comes with some default apps like Microsoft and Apple and they have also 100.000 of software available, why shouldn't Ubuntu?

karellen
September 26th, 2008, 05:42 PM
Unfortunately this is only true but not relevant. The cases do not compare.

Ubuntu Linux offers to install any number of applications which appear to be endorsed by Ubuntu, among them those I referred to above.

Obviously, I can not remember having been invited by Windows to download and install a large number of free and/or third party apps. No matter how large the number of pathetic Windows applications a naive user is bound to find, he or she is less inclined to put the blame with Microsoft or Windows because those applications are not being offered through a channel provided by the OS.

wrong: http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/?WT.mc_id=0806_272
and if you wonder how did I get there: in Vista -> Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and Fearures - Get new programs online at Windows Marketplace. I rest my case

issih
September 26th, 2008, 05:42 PM
I actually think that removing things would be an error. Improving the "filing system" in the add/remove utility might be a good idea though. By default people running gnome should perhaps only get gtk based programs (unless they ask to see kde ones) and vice versa.

I think that the huge choice available within Linux is a good thing from a developmental and overall community perspective, but once you narrow things down to a distribution level, you are already making choices about what you think should be included, and what should not. I think that the system would feel more of a whole if at the first level you are presented with options that fit the window manager and DE you have chosen.

By all means keep the other things in there, and allow people to have them listed if they want, really I'm just advocating better filters than we have already.

In a sense I feel that the linux community is like evolution, at the top level all the diversity is great...it means big changes can happen, it means the potential for large differences between species is high. At the lower levels though, each species becomes as specialised to its task as it can...it does the thing it does well. That is where we fail, we try to do everything, and end up doing them all to a middleing level.

Do I want to remove the capability to run qt apps from ubuntu, or vice versa for kubuntu? - no of course not, its great to have the capability if its needed. but it should be a capability that we are gunshy of using, not something to be proud of. Developments that allow qt apps to use gtk themes, etc should also be pushed forwards.

As it stands we are in danger of becoming as confusing as the myriad payment plans mobile phone operators offer. Simplicity is better than complexity, and it is much more impressive to make something complex seem simple, than to make the simple seem complex.

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 05:43 PM
Wont you have the choice to decide which apps to use? Or which DE on your Linux OS?
Ubuntu comes with some default apps like Microsoft and Apple and they have also 100.000 of software available, why shouldn't Ubuntu?

Some people seem to have problems with the facts that the additional packages are also provided by Ubuntu. However, this does not imply any kind of endorsement. The reason for this is that because there is no universal installer format in Linux, distributors have to make distro-specific packages so that people can install it without compiling from source.

Once again, this does not mean in any way that the applications are endosed by Ubuntu.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:44 PM
Wont you have the choice to decide which apps to use? Or which DE on your Linux OS?
Ubuntu comes with some default apps like Microsoft and Apple and they have also 100.000 of software available, why shouldn't Ubuntu?

That's not how I meant it. Your explanation is right and it does make sense. However, no, I wouldn't mind if there were only one DE with a limited number of apps in Ubuntu, as long as they are great and answer my needs as a desktop user.

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:44 PM
People tend to agree that removing the apps is a bad idea, and I don't think it will ever be done anyway.

But I think there should be a better rating system in place for the apps, problem is how it would be implemented, realistically 90% of users won't take the time to rate much programs, though they might take note of the ratings before installing.

Maybe the rating system could have two ratings, one for how popular it is by amount of installs, other would be user ratings.

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:48 PM
That's not how I meant it. Your explanation is right and it does make sense. However, no, I wouldn't mind if there were only one DE with a limited number of apps in Ubuntu, as long as they are great and answer my needs as a desktop user.

Yes, but almost everyone else WOULD have a problem with that, all KDE users would be annoyed if GNOME was only option. All GNOME users would be annoyed if KDE was only option. Many of them would be annoyed either way since they use both or like having the choice.

That's not mentioning people who use Fluxbox of XFCE or any other WM/DE. You seem to forget that even software YOU dislike has many users, and people other than you might use this software, regardless of whether YOU want it removed from repos.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:48 PM
People tend to agree that removing the apps is a bad idea, and I don't think it will ever be done anyway.

But I think there should be a better rating system in place for the apps, problem is how it would be implemented, realistically 90% of users won't take the time to rate much programs, though they might take note of the ratings before installing.

Maybe the rating system could have two ratings, one for how popular it is by amount of installs, other would be user ratings.

That I can agree on.

For me Epiphany andn lynx (as I used in my examples) are quality apps, where most users may not agree upon.
But by expanded rating system new users can see what to try first.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Don't get me wrong, I like Ubuntu very much and I started this thread because I truly believe the debate is beneficial (whatever the outcome is).

I'm sad to see that right now Ubuntu is "A Jack Of All Trades, And Master Of None" as the saying has it.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Yes, but almost everyone else WOULD have a problem with that, all KDE users would be annoyed if GNOME was only option. All GNOME users would be annoyed if KDE was only option. Many of them would be annoyed either way since they use both or like having the choice.

That's not mentioning people who use Fluxbox of XFCE or any other WM/DE. You seem to forget that even software YOU dislike has many users, and people other than you might use this software, regardless of whether YOU want it removed from repos.

Don't make this personal on me. YOU also have YOUR opinion. :)

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Don't get me wrong, I like Ubuntu very much and I started this thread because I truly believe the debate is beneficial (whatever the outcome is).

I'm sad to see that right now Ubuntu is "A Jack Of All Trades, And Master Of None" as the saying has it.

Removing choice will not make any of the software better in any way, it will just mean less alternatives and more angry users of software that is no longer provided.

If you believe that removing bad software will in any way improve the good software, please explain why?

(And when I say bad and good, I refer mainly to opinion, since any software which anyone likes can be considered good in some way)

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Linux from scratch and you'll get your wish fulfill, the8thstar ;)

god0fgod
September 26th, 2008, 05:52 PM
Quality is important and lacking I think.

Bachstelze
September 26th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Quality is important and lacking I think.

Your contributions are welcome.

happysmileman
September 26th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Don't make this personal on me. YOU also have YOUR opinion. :)

Yes, and I like being able to install apps which are in my opinion good, not just those which are good in Mr. X's opinion. (Mr. X being whichever person or group decides on quality)

And I'm not trying to make this personal, but I couldn't really think of a way to word it correctly, I meant no offense

pp.
September 26th, 2008, 05:54 PM
That's why they have the star ratings. If an application has a high rating it's far less likely to be crap

Possibly so. As has been pointed out, once I am looking for an application which is used by but few, the rating becomes meaningless. Also, the rating would prevent new titles from competing, no matter their perceived quality.


You haven't answered who to decide which app is quality or not.

In many cases, the lack of quality becomes apparent quite quickly. Missing elementary functions, proneness to crash, no documentation whatsoever are but a few landmarks. Presence of quality is a bit harder to detect, unfortunately.


One thing that would be worth discussing, though, is having some kind of Amazon-like "Feedback" thing on http://packages.ubuntu.com, so that people who have installed and used a package can share their opinions about it.

Indeed. The effect is a bit emulated by a forum where people discuss applications tested, used or discarded. However, finding that crucial bit of information can become quite daunting.


There may be some apps in the repos that are perhaps not so good as others, at least it won't cost you any cash to find out how good they are.
This is in sharp contrast to the massive rafts of utter garbage software for Windows lurking in www-land that does cost money.

There's also Open Source, Free- and Shareware in Windows of varying quality, ranging from terrific to garbage.

Contrary to popular belief there are apps even in the repos which do not uninstall properly. So, having tried several applications to fill one particular need, you are left with perhaps one live app and several bodies cluttering your system.


They are not endorsed by anyone.

The Gnome desktop has a menu called "Applications". One of its entries offers to "Add and remove applications". I do not think it far fetched to presume that the applications offered right in the "heart" of things are in some way or other endorsed by the publisher.

Not everyone who tries to use Linux is knowledgeable enough about OSS or FOSS to perceive the distinction.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:54 PM
Linux from scratch and you'll get your wish fulfill, the8thstar ;)

Thanks, but that's not an option for me. I am just a USER and I intend to stay on this side of the fence.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:55 PM
Your contributions are welcome.

+1

People can join a team of X,Y,Z app/lib/whatever to help improve stuff.
Noone said it's perfect, everything can improve (regarding OS, apps, etc).

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 05:55 PM
I don't understand what's being proposed here.

Ubuntu installs one application per task. So what applications are we talking about removing?

The applications in the repositories are available for installation if you choose to install them, but Ubuntu is not forcing you to install them or even look at them. If you're happy with Firefox, Ubuntu isn't twisting your arm to use Epiphany, Galeon, or Opera. If you're happy with Rhythmbox, Ubuntu isn't asking you to try Banshee or Exaile.

It's the same thing on Windows and Mac. Seriously.

Windows comes with Internet Explorer. If you choose to install Firefox, that's your choice. Microsoft can't do anything about it. Mac comes with Mail. If you choose to install Thunderbird, that's your choice.

I really don't get what the point of this thread is.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 05:56 PM
Yes, and I like being able to install apps which are in my opinion good, not just those which are good in Mr. X's opinion. (Mr. X being whichever person or group decides on quality)

And I'm not trying to make this personal, but I couldn't really think of a way to word it correctly, I meant no offense

No problem, your opinion is welcome. And I'm not always right, so confrontation is positive.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 05:56 PM
Thanks, but that's not an option for me. I am just a USER and I intend to stay on this side of the fence.


But what would you do if some of your apps/libs/games aren't in Ubuntu? If someone decide what's good and what's not and decide your favorite apps isn't quality?

pp.
September 26th, 2008, 05:57 PM
wrong: http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/?WT.mc_id=0806_272
and if you wonder how did I get there: in Vista -> Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and Fearures - Get new programs online at Windows Marketplace. I rest my case

OK. I haven't seen that before since I have not ever used Vista (and hope that I won't have to in the foreseeable future).

I am quite sure that this was not present in the precursors to Vista.

2cute4u
September 26th, 2008, 05:59 PM
What I think is there needs to be, a single toollkit at the heart of the distro, that is that allows developers to write clean consistent Apps whos UI, is completly handled by the toolkit, allowing the developers to focus on the quyality of the core function of the program. The GIU needs to have the flexiibility to allow users to configure the interface, but should enforce consistancy accross all applications. It needs to have a defaults that are robust enough to hande all applications, and as elegant as mac OSX (without copying Apples proprietary artwork).

The Distro need to have very strict quaility control of the apps that go into the Main Repository and are installed by default. Only Apps built according to the HIG of the Distro using the chosen toolkit are allowed in the main Repository (no tranvestite apps like openoffice or firefox). The Package manager should cleary show what repository a Package is from.

Of course, this doesn't limit freedom in any way, because developers can choose to use whatever toolkits they want. And users can install any non conforming programs from other repositories (the distro shoud have separate repositories for stable but non conforming programs, unstable but conforming programs, unstable and unconforming programs), or they can add them from other sources.

This way both quality and freedom are maximized.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:00 PM
I don't understand what's being proposed here.

Ubuntu installs one application per task. So what applications are we talking about removing?

The applications in the repositories are available for installation if you choose to install them, but Ubuntu is not forcing you to install them or even look at them. If you're happy with Firefox, Ubuntu isn't twisting your arm to use Epiphany, Galeon, or Opera. If you're happy with Rhythmbox, Ubuntu isn't asking you to try Banshee or Exaile.

It's the same thing on Windows and Mac. Seriously.

Windows comes with Internet Explorer. If you choose to install Firefox, that's your choice. Microsoft can't do anything about it. Mac comes with Mail. If you choose to install Thunderbird, that's your choice.

I really don't get what the point of this thread is.

To put it very simply : Too many apps, not enough quality. My proposition : trim the apps and make the remaining ones excellent. So excellent, they beat other equivalents designed on other OS. That's the plan.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:01 PM
But what would you do if some of your apps/libs/games aren't in Ubuntu? If someone decide what's good and what's not and decide your favorite apps isn't quality?

I guess there's always getdeb.net for that.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 06:01 PM
In many cases, the lack of quality becomes apparent quite quickly. Missing elementary functions, proneness to crash, no documentation whatsoever are but a few landmarks. Presence of quality is a bit harder to detect, unfortunately.

Then we would only have 25-50 apps in the repo :lolflag:

karellen
September 26th, 2008, 06:02 PM
I don't understand what's being proposed here.

Ubuntu installs one application per task. So what applications are we talking about removing?

The applications in the repositories are available for installation if you choose to install them, but Ubuntu is not forcing you to install them or even look at them. If you're happy with Firefox, Ubuntu isn't twisting your arm to use Epiphany, Galeon, or Opera. If you're happy with Rhythmbox, Ubuntu isn't asking you to try Banshee or Exaile.

It's the same thing on Windows and Mac. Seriously.

Windows comes with Internet Explorer. If you choose to install Firefox, that's your choice. Microsoft can't do anything about it. Mac comes with Mail. If you choose to install Thunderbird, that's your choice.

I really don't get what the point of this thread is.

you're not the only one...

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 06:03 PM
To put it very simply : Too many apps, not enough quality. My proposition : trim the apps and make the remaining ones excellent. So excellent, they beat other equivalents designed on other OS. That's the plan.
What does "trim the apps" mean? You want to take them out of the repositories? So no one can install additional software? They can use only the default applications in Ubuntu?

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:03 PM
Then we would only have 25-50 apps in the repo :lolflag:

Be it then. I don't care. At least the OS is free, so I'm not feeling bad.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:05 PM
What does "trim the apps" mean? You want to take them out of the repositories? So no one can install additional software? They can use only the default applications in Ubuntu?

Yes, that's pretty much the idea. Keep a select few that are going to be improved as much as possible to get the best possible integration and provide the best result when working together.

Therion
September 26th, 2008, 06:05 PM
I think having a ton of 'crap' in the Repo(s) is simply the price you pay for preserving the nature and philosophy of Linux and Ubuntu more specifically. Kind of a "You take the bad with the good" sorta thing. Besides, one mans crap is another mans treasure. I too hate having to plow through what I consider to be lot of crap to find the app that works for me, but in truth, I wouldn't have it any other way because it's not JUST about me and what I need; it's about a larger and more philosophical idea. And yes, I think that's an important aspect... It's a Principle (with a capital "P") and Principles are, our should be, considered important.

Any other prevailing attitude, I think, puts on the entire "movement" on the downhill side of a very slippery slope.

Now what software packages come with a DEFAULT install... That I think of as a slightly different matter.

Just my five-cents worth.




/wondering how many trite little idioms i can cram into one post...

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 06:05 PM
I guess there's always getdeb.net for that.

getdeb is made by volunteers in their sparetime, so if they decide to move to something else in a near future alot of people would be stranded. Also they can't make all the .debs and libs.deb and test'em as Ubuntu can (with all due respect the getdeb team, I'm in a sub-team of getdeb called playdeb).

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 06:09 PM
I don't understand how taking away applications increases their quality.

I happen to live in a metropolitan area with lots of high schools (public, private, parochial, charter). There are many teachers working in many of those schools, and the schools vary in quality and funding.

So, by your logic, it would make sense to close almost all of the schools and have all the funding and teachers go into one school to increase the quality of that school? If you believe that's the case, I don't think you know anything about how the world works.

X people working on a product of Y quality (assuming quality can be quantified) doesn't mean 2X people working on the same product will yield 2Y quality.

The more people you have working on a project, the more you'll have to deal with loss of efficiency due to a more complex infrastructure, communication problems, personality differences, bureaucracy, difference in vision and direction, etc.

Do you know the expression about too many chefs in one kitchen?

You also have to remember that Ubuntu doesn't usually develop applications. Application improvements happen "upstream" (so Gnome developers work on Gnome, Firefox developers work on Firefox, etc.). The Ubuntu developers put everything together and try to work out the bugs and conflicts. If Ubuntu excluded JuK from the Ubuntu repositories, it's not as if the JuK developers would stop working on JuK. They aren't employed by Mark Shuttleworth. All it would mean is that users of other distros would get to use JuK, and Ubuntu users would have to compile it from source or try to make and host their own .deb files for it outside of the repositories.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:09 PM
getdeb is made by volunteers in their sparetime, so if they decide to move to something else in a near future alot of people would be stranded. Also they can't make all the .debs and libs.deb and test'em as Ubuntu can (with all due respect the getdeb team, I'm in a sub-team of getdeb called playdeb).

That was meant as a pun. I'm not preventing developers from doing whatever they want, but that does not mean that I need to see everything in the repos either.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:12 PM
I don't understand how taking away applications increases their quality.

I happen to live in a metropolitan area with lots of high schools (public, private, parochial, charter). There are many teachers working in many of those schools, and the schools vary in quality and funding.

So, by your logic, it would make sense to close almost all of the schools and have all the funding and teachers go into one school to increase the quality of that school? If you believe that's the case, I don't think you know anything about how the world works.

X people working on a product of Y quality (assuming quality can be quantified) doesn't mean 2X people working on the same product will yield 2Y quality.

The more people you have working on a project, the more you'll have to deal with loss of efficiency due to a more complex infrastructure, communication problems, personality differences, bureaucracy, difference in vision and direction, etc.

Do you know the expression about too many chefs in one kitchen?

Well, not everyone who's been in school makes it to university. Think about that.

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 06:13 PM
That was meant as a pun. I'm not preventing developers from doing whatever they want, but that does not mean that I need to see everything in the repos either. So you just want to make it more difficult for users to install software that already exists? How does that make software better?

Please, explain the details of how the quality would be increased. Don't just keep repeating that you want things eliminated.

How would eliminating things from the repositories make the remaining applications better? Describe the process!

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 06:15 PM
Well, not everyone who's been in school makes it to university. Think about that.
And my cat likes to eat and barf afterwards. Think about that.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:19 PM
So you just want to make it more difficult for users to install software that already exists? How does that make software better?

Please, explain the details of how the quality would be increased. Don't just keep repeating that you want things eliminated.

How would eliminating things from the repositories make the remaining applications better? Describe the process!

Okay.

Selection :

Based on popularity (star rating) and Ubuntu teams decisions, some programs are selected and improved in-house to really work well together.

The other programs are removed for clarity and to prevent crappy software from having unwanted effects on the system (memory leaks for example)

From there users are free to do whatever they wish, even if it harms their system in the end.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:23 PM
And my cat likes to eat and barf afterwards. Think about that.

My point is: schools serve a purpose, but not all students can excel. Some students are better, some are weaker. Some become presidents, some teachers, some carpenters. There's nothing wrong with any of these professions.

Thus being said, I make a difference between someone who's a high school dropout and someone who aced his/her tests and got a scholarship thanks to their hard work. In the end, they will want to become the BEST president, or the best TEACHER or the BEST carpenter. My reflexion intends to put Ubuntu in the second category : excellence.

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Okay.

Selection :

Based on popularity (star rating) and Ubuntu teams decisions, some programs are selected and improved in-house to really work well together.

The other programs are removed for clarity and to prevent crappy software from having unwanted effects on the system (memory leaks for example)

From there users are free to do whatever they wish, even if it harms their system in the end.
See, this is where you are misunderstanding what's going on. Ubuntu's main development is not in applications. It's in putting together applications. Sometimes, if it discovers bugs, it'll submit the patches upstream, but Ubuntu developers are focused on Ubuntu, and not individual applications (perhaps with the exception of Ubiquity, the installer wizard).

Also, to the extent that Ubuntu developers can affect upstream, what you've already described is pretty much what happens already. Ubuntu is most concerned about getting the default applications working properly. The other programs are not installed by default, and the users are free to install from the repositories whatever they wish to install.

You should note that if you go to Applications > Add/Remove, the only applications that display by default are the supported applications. Many people change that to be all available applications, because they want what you call the "crappy software," but Ubuntu does not make those immediately available by default.

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 06:24 PM
My point is: schools serve a purpose, but not all students can excel. Some are better, some are weaker. Some become presidents, some teachers, some carpenters. There's nothing wrong with any of these professions.

Thus being said, I make a difference between someone who's a high school dropout and someone who aced his/her tests and got a scholarship thanks to their hard work. My reflexion intends to put Ubuntu in the second category.
And if you eliminated certain schools, that would not improve the quality (or lower the drop-out rate) of the one school that's left.

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 06:24 PM
My point is: schools serve a purpose, but not all students can excel. Some are better, some are weaker. Some become presidents, some teachers, some carpenters. There's nothing wrong with any of these professions.

Thus being said, I make a difference between someone who's a high school dropout and someone who aced his/her tests and got a scholarship thanks to their hard work. My reflexion intends to put Ubuntu in the second category.
And if you eliminated certain schools, that would not improve the quality (or lower the drop-out rate) of the one school that's left.

david_lynch
September 26th, 2008, 06:29 PM
why should choice exclude quality? that's a false dichotomy
+1

Correct, it makes it sound like quality and choice are mutually exclusive.

WTF???

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:31 PM
And if you eliminated certain schools, that would not improve the quality (or lower the drop-out rate) of the one school that's left.

True.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:33 PM
See, this is where you are misunderstanding what's going on. Ubuntu's main development is not in applications. It's in putting together applications. Sometimes, if it discovers bugs, it'll submit the patches upstream, but Ubuntu developers are focused on Ubuntu, and not individual applications (perhaps with the exception of Ubiquity, the installer wizard).

Also, to the extent that Ubuntu developers can affect upstream, what you've already described is pretty much what happens already. Ubuntu is most concerned about getting the default applications working properly. The other programs are not installed by default, and the users are free to install from the repositories whatever they wish to install.

You should note that if you go to Applications > Add/Remove, the only applications that display by default are the supported applications. Many people change that to be all available applications, because they want what you call the "crappy software," but Ubuntu does not make those immediately available by default.

Thank you for the clarification Aysiu. My topic was not meant to start a war, but from a genuine desire to help. Your explanation makes sense but the way Ubuntu is made didn't make it apparent before.

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 06:37 PM
+1

Correct, it makes it sound like quality and choice are mutually exclusive.

WTF???

Some half-baked apps can cause problems on your system when you use them. A limited selection that is known to work would prevnt these problems. Hence the topic.

bruce2000
September 26th, 2008, 06:53 PM
I voted for less choice and more quality, but I was thinking more in terms of the various distros available. There are 100s available, certainly far too many for me to try them all. I'd gladly sacrifice some of that choice if it meant improved quality amongst fewer distros, by way of developers concentrating their efforts.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 07:05 PM
I voted for less choice and more quality, but I was thinking more in terms of the various distros available. There are 100s available, certainly far too many for me to try them all. I'd gladly sacrifice some of that choice if it meant improved quality amongst fewer distros, by way of developers concentrating their efforts.

Because of fewer Distros doesn't mean better quality for the rest.

bruce2000
September 26th, 2008, 07:14 PM
Because of fewer Distros doesn't mean better quality for the rest.

How do you reach that conclusion?

Bart_D
September 26th, 2008, 07:18 PM
Quality.

I agree with the post of Bruce2000 above.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 07:26 PM
How do you reach that conclusion?

Lets say that Novell went down and OpenSuse halted, how would this improve Ubuntu?
Sure if Ubuntu have the capital to hire all the unemployed from Novell and OpenSuse. But I guess that Mark would hired more people if it was needed regardless if some other distro was halted.

Stan_1936
September 26th, 2008, 07:29 PM
IF you want something that "just works" then quality is the option. If you have a spare computer/time, then you are in the minority and don't mind heavy/TOTAL breakage and quality can be flushed down the toilet!!!

I chose quality.

ArtF10
September 26th, 2008, 07:31 PM
Quality for me. There's no point in choosing one out of a possible 234 unreliable distros. It would be better to choose from a smaller number of quality Linux distributions.

bruce2000
September 26th, 2008, 07:34 PM
Lets say that Novell went down and OpenSuse halted, how would this improve Ubuntu?
Sure if Ubuntu have the capital to hire all the unemployed from Novell and OpenSuse. But I guess that Mark would hired more people if it was needed regardless if some other distro was halted.

You're talking about hired developers. I would imagine the majority of FOSS programmers are not paid. So to use your analogy, it would be like all the Novell and OpenSuse developers begin working on Ubuntu. With more people working on Ubuntu one would expect an increase in its quality.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 07:34 PM
Quality for me. There's no point in choosing one out of a possible 234 unreliable distros. It would be better to choose from a smaller number of quality Linux distributions.

Many of them are made by private persons, who to stop them? It's afterall Open Source so people can fork, make a new distro from scratch.

Don't like them, don't use them.

emshains
September 26th, 2008, 07:35 PM
Canonical shouldn't limit our freedom by limiting the choice of software, but the could, or even should, point out the ones they think are the most useful and most ubuntu-worthy.

Therion
September 26th, 2008, 07:38 PM
With more people working on Ubuntu one would expect an increase in its quality.
That is a common assumption. Unfortunately it's also a false assumption. Having more people work on a single project does not ensure that a superior product will be the end-result. In point of fact, quite the opposite is often the case.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 07:41 PM
You're talking about hired developers. I would imagine the majority of FOSS programmers are not paid. So to use your analogy, it would be like all the Novell and OpenSuse developers begin working on Ubuntu. With more people working on Ubuntu one would expect an increase in its quality.

You can't expect that, as you said Ubuntu is some devs putting all the pieces together from diffrent projects as do they do in OpenSuse. So how would that improve Ubuntu? More Devs to put the pieces together in Ubuntu? If Ubuntu needs more to put the pieces together they properly have hire the person(s) regardless of the state of OpenSuse.

bruce2000
September 26th, 2008, 08:01 PM
You can't expect that, as you said Ubuntu is some devs putting all the pieces together from diffrent projects as do they do in OpenSuse. So how would that improve Ubuntu? More Devs to put the pieces together in Ubuntu? If Ubuntu needs more to put the pieces together they properly have hire the person(s) regardless of the state of OpenSuse.

I wasn't just talking about Ubuntu, but Linux in general.

I'm sure plenty of distros could use more "spare hands."

And by "developers" I also refer to programmers, and other support staff, not just those knitting together the distribution.

Developing a piece of software, or a software project, generally takes so many man-hours. Therefore the more people employed the faster it will finish.

Your argument that more people doesn't ensure better quality I find totally illogical..sorry. Perhaps Ubuntu should just hire 1 person to do all the work!:lolflag:

the8thstar
September 26th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Canonical shouldn't limit our freedom by limiting the choice of software, but the could, or even should, point out the ones they think are the most useful and most ubuntu-worthy.

+ 1 on that.

ArtF10
September 26th, 2008, 08:17 PM
...argument that more people doesn't ensure better quality I find totally illogical..sorry. Perhaps Ubuntu should just hire 1 person to do all the work!:lolflag:

EXACTLY!:) Well said sir.

Artificial Intelligence
September 26th, 2008, 08:20 PM
I wasn't just talking about Ubuntu, but Linux in general.

I'm sure plenty of distros could use more "spare hands."

And by "developers" I also refer to programmers, and other support staff, not just those knitting together the distribution.

Developing a piece of software, or a software project, generally takes so many man-hours. Therefore the more people employed the faster it will finish.

Your argument that more people doesn't ensure better quality I find totally illogical..sorry. Perhaps Ubuntu should just hire 1 person to do all the work!:lolflag:

Maybe in a 1+1=2 theory. But you're forgetting that alot of Open Source programmers are very passionate about "their" project which they do in their sparetime. To ask them to abandoning their project to go help somewhere else is utopi.

Try go ask in the programmer forum that all the C programmers have to start helping with X,Y,Z instead. At best they'll laugh at you, at worst you'll be flamed to death. Or that all applications should be QT instead of GTK and you'll get the same respond.

gn2
September 26th, 2008, 09:59 PM
Contrary to popular belief there are apps even in the repos which do not uninstall properly. So, having tried several applications to fill one particular need, you are left with perhaps one live app and several bodies cluttering your system.

So just delete them.

pp.
September 26th, 2008, 10:03 PM
Your argument that more people doesn't ensure better quality I find totally illogical.

There's an awful lot of literature dating back at least to the mid seventies which explains in painstaking detail that adding people to a project may or may not result in the project proceeding faster or in producing better quality.

aysiu
September 26th, 2008, 10:46 PM
There's an awful lot of literature dating back at least to the mid seventies which explains in painstaking detail that adding people to a project may or may not result in the project proceeding faster or in producing better quality.
Anyone who thinks adding more people necessarily ensures better quality should spend some more time doing collaborative work.

I've found working with two to five people to be the most efficient way to work, especially if only one person is in charge. Once you start venturing into twenty or hundred or even several hundred people working "together," you can increase the volume of output, but the quality of the output does not usually increase.

Not to mention the more you grow, the more you have to create positions just to manage other positions and not necessarily to do anything directly productive.

seeker5528
September 26th, 2008, 10:47 PM
I'm not preventing developers from doing whatever they want, but that does not mean that I need to see everything in the repos either.

If that is what you want, wouldn't the proper solution be to put a subset of stuff in a main repository, and have some additional optional repositories that can be enabled if the user wishes and that pop up a warning about possibly not being as well supported, etc.. etc... so the user not only has to take action to enable these repositories, they also have to click through a warning about the possible downside of said repositories. Then you wouldn't have to see all those extra packages.

Does any of this sound familiar, or is that just me?

Later, Seeker

SunnyRabbiera
September 26th, 2008, 10:47 PM
freedom of choice, I really dont get the Mac OSX mentality bit.

pp.
September 26th, 2008, 10:50 PM
I just remembered my source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month

zmjjmz
September 26th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Wait, since when were the two mutually exclusive?

M_the_C
September 26th, 2008, 11:11 PM
I wasn't just talking about Ubuntu, but Linux in general.

I'm sure plenty of distros could use more "spare hands."

And by "developers" I also refer to programmers, and other support staff, not just those knitting together the distribution.

Developing a piece of software, or a software project, generally takes so many man-hours. Therefore the more people employed the faster it will finish.

Your argument that more people doesn't ensure better quality I find totally illogical..sorry. Perhaps Ubuntu should just hire 1 person to do all the work!:lolflag:You're making the same wrong assumption that someone made earlier in this thread. There is only a small team (in comparison) working on the distro. All the other developers are working on software projects that are shared between distros (Gnome, KDE, XFCE etc.) 'Killing off' some of the distros would only affect the small teams working on that distro, saying they should move is, as aysiu said, like too many cooks spoiling the broth.

PhoenixMaster00
September 27th, 2008, 12:09 AM
Give me freedom and a community rated Star System anyday. People should have the chance to test it and give it a star rating giving an honest and fair point. The main reason people go away from Windows/OSX is to have the freedom to choose whatever programs they like. Take a look at programs like Mixxx, Firefox, OpenOffice, Compiz, Audacity, etc all quality programs. And as good as or slightly behind the paying equivilant, then take a look at Ardour, LMMs, GIMP, etc that are on the way to rivalling their closed source equivilants. Each idea should be allowed to flourish because the best ones attract our attention and are looked at, tested, then developed while the rest disapear or are assimilated into a more accomplished version.

Theres my 2 pence

Riffer
September 27th, 2008, 12:19 AM
Give me freedom and a community rated Star System anyday. People should have the chance to test it and give it a star rating giving an honest and fair point. The main reason people go away from Windows/OSX is to have the freedom to choose whatever programs they like. Take a look at programs like Mixxx, Firefox, OpenOffice, Compiz, Audacity, etc all quality programs. And as good as or slightly behind the paying equivilant, then take a look at Ardour, LMMs, GIMP, etc that are on the way to rivalling their closed source equivilants. Each idea should be allowed to flourish because the best ones attract our attention and are looked at, tested, then developed while the rest disapear or are assimilated into a more accomplished version.

Theres my 2 pence

+1

Like Aysiu I don't get the premise for this thread. For the basic programs that come with Ubuntu IMHO just as good as the the ones in the other OS's. And on the whole I find that most of the apps offered to be pretty darn good.

cardinals_fan
September 27th, 2008, 12:22 AM
I feel that Canonical should only include software that it deems good quality in Ubuntu by default. However, there's no need to ransack the repos and deliberately stop people from choosing their own apps. That's just silly.

SeanHodges
September 27th, 2008, 12:30 AM
Wait, since when were the two mutually exclusive?

Good point, well made ;)

Also, whose view of "quality" are we talking about here? If everyone was content with Totem, then why do other media players even exist?

I like the fact that we have a vast amount of choice available to us, but also that it is mainly the high quality poster-child applications that get the rave reviews and strong public exposure. This means that we get the best of both worlds, and it prevents anyone dictating how I should be using my computer.

wersdaluv
September 27th, 2008, 01:19 AM
As a spinoff of a recent discussion we're having in the community cafe, I wanted the users opinion on freedom of choice when it comes to apps and the desktop and quality of apps and improvement of desktop integration.

IMO, Canonical should benchmark apps that are listed in the repos and make sure they meet quality criteria in terms of technical maturity of the program, memory management, purpose of the program, usability and finally its design too. Then they would approve it inside Ubuntu. The rest would be TRASHED.

I care about choice. But I care even more about QUALITY.

What do you think? Are you in favor of choice, pure and complete? Do you prefer less apps and WMs but with better quality, integration and capabilities? Or do you care about something different?
Same here.

To be more specific, I believe that there should be more quality and not _too_ much choices. Even if I have always been a Linux lover, I would say that other operating systems are more polished than Ubuntu (and other distros of course). That doesn't stop me from using Ubuntu, though.

I think, there are some pieces of software that aren't worth our time because of their quality. It's okay to have a lot of choices if the community can manage to make those choices stable enough. Look at E17. It has its fans but I don't think its getting as much development attention as it needs.

People are going for more quality now. I always liked KDE but Ubuntu (the GNOME desktop) keeps me from using KDE as my default desktop. I know that this is the case for many other people as well.

danbuter
September 27th, 2008, 02:29 AM
I don't think unstable apps should be removed from add/remove. They are not installed by default...

Except Compiz.

the8thstar
September 27th, 2008, 12:03 PM
If that is what you want, wouldn't the proper solution be to put a subset of stuff in a main repository, and have some additional optional repositories that can be enabled if the user wishes and that pop up a warning about possibly not being as well supported, etc.. etc... so the user not only has to take action to enable these repositories, they also have to click through a warning about the possible downside of said repositories. Then you wouldn't have to see all those extra packages.

Does any of this sound familiar, or is that just me?

Later, Seeker

That sounds like a good plan.

DrMega
September 27th, 2008, 09:17 PM
I would do so if I knew I'd get SUPERIOR quality. With Linux distros, that's far from true.


I don't have to. Microsoft doesn't ask for my opinion and neither does Apple. Yet they have great products and their OS are great platforms for other companies softwares.

Your choice of OS is exactly that, your choice. If you feel that Windows apps are inherently better quality then use Windows. Personally I switched to a linux based OS because I got sick of resource hogging, slow, cumbersome apps and worse, massively overpriced stuff that in my opinion was not ready for release. That said, some people love Windows and its apps. Again, it is a matter of choice.


One thing that would be worth discussing, though, is having some kind of Amazon-like "Feedback" thing on http://packages.ubuntu.com, so that people who have installed and used a package can share their opinions about it.

I like this idea. The only concern I would have is that sometimes when I shop with Amazon, if there are two similar items and one is 5 star rated and the other is unrated, I lean towards the 5 star one when the unrated one might possibly be a better choice for me.

I think for a rating system to be really useful, it would be necessary to remove personal opinion from the equation as far as is practical. Perhaps a scoring system could be used with ratings for criteria something like this:
* Did the app install without issues?
* How much do you use it?
* Does it works as described?
* Have you encountered bugs within the app?

A rating for each of those (or similar) question could be applied (in a range of 1 to 5) with an overall score somehow. That way summary ratings would be based more on objective observation than personal opinion.

the8thstar
March 22nd, 2009, 04:01 PM
The thread is getting a little old and I was thinking I could rejuvenate it with a new idea.

I was watching the presentation of iLife '09 yesterday and I thought that Mac Apps seem really easy to use and to the point (although that's open for discussion since I don't own a Mac). I'm happy with my Ubuntu experience but I feel that I'm missing the interesting features of iLife when I compare them with the ones of my currently installed Apps :

F-Spot vs. iPhoto : winner is iPhoto
Movie Player vs. QuickTime : winner is Movie Player hands down
Kino vs. iMovie : iMovie is way above Kino

About other apps:

Gimp does a very good job with picture modifying. I don't need Adobe Photoshop CS for Mac, since I'm not a Graphic Designer.

I guess the RhythmBox I use does as well as iTunes would. Since I don't own a mp3 player, it doesn't seem to make a difference.

Finally, I haven't tested iWork '09 but I've seen MS Office 2008 for Mac in action. MS Office 2007 for PC through Crossover does just as good.

I didn't mention GarageBand. Since I'm not a musician, that application is utterly uninteresting to me.

What are your opinions? I'm especially interested in Mac users answers.

dacorr
March 22nd, 2009, 04:05 PM
Linux is what it is because people had the freedom to change it to suite their needs, and i think that is its greatest strength... Adapatability

Dac

the8thstar
March 22nd, 2009, 04:06 PM
Sure, but what about usability? Do you find it easy to get the job done?

dacorr
March 22nd, 2009, 04:09 PM
Sure, but what about usability? Do you find it easy to get the job done?

Its useable for what i need, should that change often someone has already wanted to do what i want to do and there is a solution. Additionally it is far more usable than windows meaning i do not need to buy countless additional software.

i would like it to handle games better but a PS3 handles that.

Dac

cardinals_fan
March 22nd, 2009, 05:16 PM
Sure, but what about usability? Do you find it easy to get the job done?
Sure. Getting things done doesn't require a shiny interface.

JDorfler
March 22nd, 2009, 05:20 PM
Choice equals competition. Competition creates a better product. Thus the more choice the better the quality.

God, I love Linux!

MasterNetra
March 22nd, 2009, 06:32 PM
Freedom of choice AND better quality...Why can't we have both?

shadylookin
March 22nd, 2009, 08:35 PM
Open source developers develop what they want when they want. If you drop packages from your package manager those developers aren't going to try and improve the stability of other applications that you didn't drop because they probably don't care.

the8thstar
March 22nd, 2009, 08:40 PM
Sure. Getting things done doesn't require a shiny interface.

Don't you think the Mac applications are more than *just* a shiny interface? Their way of doing things seems good and they make products that deliver.

cardinals_fan
March 22nd, 2009, 08:50 PM
Don't you think the Mac applications are more than *just* a shiny interface? Their way of doing things seems good and they make products that deliver.
How so? In my experience, they have wretched keyboard control.

the8thstar
March 22nd, 2009, 08:52 PM
I mean the end product. Or if you prefer what YOU as a user can create with the software and the data you put into it (like a homemade DVD with snazzy menus and animations for instance).

cardinals_fan
March 22nd, 2009, 09:29 PM
I mean the end product. Or if you prefer what YOU as a user can create with the software and the data you put into it (like a homemade DVD with snazzy menus and animations for instance).
I get superior photos with Picasa and the GIMP. I sort those photos better with GQView. My documents in HTML are more portable and easier to work with. Google Docs makes to-the-point presentations that convey data well. My music is clearer and easier to navigate with ncmpc. I can edit that music better with Audacity. If I feel fancy, I can get a beautiful document with LaTeX. Gnumeric is simple to work with for organizing data in spreadsheets.

Things like keyboard control are valid if they impact the ease with which I can create the end product.

the8thstar
March 22nd, 2009, 09:33 PM
Thanks for clarifying.

K.Mandla
March 22nd, 2009, 11:19 PM
I abandoned Gnome when it started to trim away my ability to change things.

Quality is something I determine, based on my needs and the capabilities of the program.

If someone suggests removing freedom from any part of the equation, I will find another program, desktop or operating system.

MikeTheC
March 23rd, 2009, 12:11 AM
I value freedom of choice quite highly; therefore, I choose the app which actually works, not an experimental one. This is particularly true when there's something I need to get done and not just play around with, hoping that the app I'm trying to use will actually be up to the task, or that the user interface is robust and solid enough to actually let me get at the feature I need, or that the function itself is actually implemented correctly.

It's kind of like a fairly popular bumper sticker here in Florida which states, in essence, that not everyone on the road is here "vacationing". I'd love to give the finger to Adobe sometimes; I would also love to give the finger to Quark. However, frankly, there are no tools in Linux that are at the level of either of those two commercial software developers. Mind you, I wouldn't necessarily expect it to be the case; Adobe and Quark have been around since the 1980s and have more lead-time for developing these apps than even the Linux kernel has years of existence to it. That, and the fact that the demographic of Linux users is far from dominated by visual and graphic-arts types.

I want choice, but ultimately a choice of apps that are "development" quality represents no practical choice at all. That being said, I think taking this very limited view is actually an insult to the many, many very mature F/OSS projects which are the equal (or better) of their commercial equivalents. One has only to consider the ubiquity of Firefox, Pidgin/Adium X, or VLC to find evidence this is the case. So please, folks, let's not perpetuate the stereotype and generate a self-fulfilling prophecy amongst Linux itself and Linux developers.

Bölvaður
March 23rd, 2009, 01:07 AM
I did not read the thread as I already suspected many people pointed out that less choice doesnt mean more quality as you cannot force developers to do anything.
While the distribution of developers per projects is not a function of how many projects there are it is useless to discuss things like this.

If there was only 1 desktop environment and we are not allowed to work any others developers would not help that 1 project out... they'd go somewhere else to start their own project or not do anything at all (most likely).

There are many interesting projects I could be helping to develop but I wish not to because they are not what I want things to be. That's why I began making blueprints of my own project.


If developers where paid to do certain jobs this would be relevant... like with Red Hat and Novell.