Is Ubuntu for human beings?
I’m not really Ubuntu person, before Ubuntu, I’ve never even run Gnome for more then an hour. Mostly I’ve been running simple customizable window managers like FVWM, WMii and Xmonad. KDE and Gnome seem to me just to damn complicated. But I have strong background with Debian which Ubuntu is build on. Since forever all servers that I’ve run for example at Netrunner are Debian based.
So almost two years ago I’ve decided to give Ubuntu a chance at my work laptop, as I shouldn’t worry much about my work desktop environment and just focus on the job that had to be done. This is what is being advertise by mass media around and I’ve fallen into it.
My journey started pretty smoothly, that was 9.10, and for the time being I was pretty happy about it. I’ve missed some tiling managers features, but I’ve decided that I will not spend time working on desktop and so not to implement them ( you can run Xmonad as window manager for Gnome ). With time something weird happened. Since 10.04, instead of getting better with every release, things started to break bit by bit. First my Ipod stopped syncing with Banshee. I’m big podcast listener, so I depend upon syncing almost every day ( Rhythmbox support for podcast is just not there ). That was a big deal breaker, but I’ve managed to write my own sync with a help of BashPodder. Then came Gwibber which started to crash randomly, that part was never important for me so I’ve just ignore it. Oh yeah and Empathy was refusing to reconnect when coming back after laptop suspend, you have had to restart it. Next thing that I’ve ignored replaced by Ekg2 running on remote server with autossh, at least it was reconnecting ;-)
With 10.10 a new problem surfaced, connection to corporate exchange. Exchange Evolution plug in just stopped working. I’ve seen some solution for it, but original bug was still there, I’ve decided also not to use IMAP connection from Evolution ( cause for that I have many other – better clients ) and switch to something that I feel more comfortable with, Mutt.
So here I was, running 11.04, with Xmonad and none of the programs from original Ubuntu Gnome stack.
Conclusion? My laptop got replaced and so Ubuntu. I came back to Debian with Xmonad where I’ve started. I totally don’t get Ubuntu way of getting new release and worry about bugs later, cause from my perspective bugs in this distribution are never fixed. For all of those problems or I’ve created bugs on Launchpad or subscribed to already open ones. Most of them are still open and not fixed and most of them are Ubuntu specific, for example Exchange plugin always worked on Debian and actually one of the workarounds was to install original package. It’s not a rant against Ubuntu in general cause I know many happy (L/Kubutu) users and they do awesome marketing for Linux on desktop but rather a dis for default choices that have been made. None of the default stack ( well besides Firefox ) is stable enough to give it to your mother and what is even more puzzling there isn’t enough attention to fix those. Some people my be happy with default Ubuntu, but then or they are power users / developers who can fix those problems or just regular users who barely use something more then a browser and a text editor.