Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Karmic plans

The Jaunty development cycle was a hectic, pulsating (no pun intended) ride, and Karmic's looks to be just as vigourous! Here are my objectives for 9.10:

Enable power-saving by default for HDA controllers - after fifteen seconds, power down the HDA controller to squeeze some juice for those transpacific flights. I'll be calling for testers shortly, but I'm most interested in resolving anomalies after the controller powers back up. You can already test this today if you're using karmic's kernel or a git snapshot of alsa-driver:
echo options snd-hda-intel power_save=15|sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/test_power_save.conf

Offer snapshots of ALSA drivers - transition alsa-driver stable and unstable snapshots to use DKMS, and build daily debs in an audio-specific PPA (to be established)

Offer snapshots of PulseAudio - transition to weekly snapshots of git HEAD of upstream master, and build debs in above PPA

Streamline troubleshooting - offer GUI method for resetting stream volume and sink

General packaging:
Resume mentoring - already held two classroom tutorials. We need to use #ubuntu-classroom more effectively

Set periodic runs of piuparts/autopkgtest - determine which subset(s) of main and universe and make sense; enhance any existing build harnesses. See also where LDTP fits

Engage middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, itinerant workers in FOSS

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jaunty release party; more Karmic brainstorming

We're having a Jaunty release party in Washington, DC.

I'd also like thoughts on how to make resolving bugs like this one more transparent, err, easier, to the casual user. (Sure, I could have picked any one from thousands on Launchpad.) Matt Z has already contributed apport hooks to facilitate the process, but we have a long way to go still. (Please don't castigate or indulge in overzealousness in the comments.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Further down the rabbit hole

Craig, emotional bug reporting inevitably does a disservice to bug reporters and the people working to fix bugs alike. Reporters tend to omit necessary information; triagers and developers tend to ignore vitriolic (and often misled and/or uninformed) rants. Neither helps advance the state of FOSS. While I empathize with your (and nearly everyone else's) frustration with audio in Jaunty, there's no easy solution to the mess [PDF]. Many people blame Hardy's poor PulseAudio integration, and they are well placed to decry the missing changes to /etc/pulse/ to allow most non-Free applications to play nicely. You specifically call out "functional" testing in the QA process, but are you actively involved in said QA process?

There are a shedload of shortcomings in Ubuntu related to audio. E.g., ubuntu-bug/apport could be taught to use (which isn't in Ubuntu Jaunty's alsa-driver source for various reasons but will be in Karmic's) behind the scenes; a standing FeatureFreeze exception similar to the GNOME desktop's could be requested and granted for ALSA-Lib and PulseAudio; linux's generic configuration could be "better" tweaked for desktop interactivity - and those are by no means comprehensive. However, each comes with an opportunity cost. Every single one of us needs to do a better job of working upstream, because throwing a tantrum in front of volunteers accomplishes little.