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.

1 comment:

  1. Bashing something that breaks your stuff does give you a good feeling though, so I guess it accomplishes something.

    (I sympathize because I recently followed this link in order to be able to get sound at least to work in skype. yes, it's proprietary, yes, pa people say it's okay to break apps. no, switching is not an option.