Re: Ubuntu DOES create something
Posted Oct 18, 2008 19:19 UTC (Sat) by jengelh
In reply to: Ubuntu DOES create something
Parent article: Fedora and long term support
Yes they create something, here is what...: an unnecessary indirection. 1. Replicating bugs from Debian (as unfortunate as Debian bugs are), 2. adding more bugs not present in Debian, 3. bad bug management and 4. bad user impression.
We all probably agree that distros are a good idea, because you, as a user, possibly do not want to do everything by hand. (Even Gentoo is automated.) There is however a difference between doing it and doing it wrong.
1. Now all Debian bugs are REPLICATED. I will ignore the OpenSSL debacle, but consider for example the long-standing lack of UTF8-by-default in earlier Debian versions. This propagated, and now I am stuck for years with that issue in enterprises having made the idiotic choice for Ubuntu6LTS. (Is it because of the LTS sticker? Failure to see that Debian has a stable that is at least as good? Or is it blindly following the Ubuntu hype.)
2. This indirection introduces ADDITIONAL bugs, example here is the drop of privileges in the login process after the user was authenticated. (Ubuntu6; it eventually got fixed in later ones.) This horribly broke the PAM session closing code because some modules relied on having the superuser privileges that all other major distros retained.
I agree with you that they should not send the user to Debian maintainers after all, it might be an Ubuntu-specific bug.
3. Consider a relatively small package that nothing depends on and which has a bug. Commonly, sid is updated with the new version and users will usually pick the package from sid, silently, to get their bug fixed.
You are absolutely right: I just looked at the package I was secretly implying. Of all the bugs filed in the last 6 months, they DID NOT SEND bugs to either Debian or upstream, causing at least one bug that I would mark as confirmed to be missed. They also do not close as WONTFIX (just as you said), leaving bug reports TOTALLY UNANSWERED instead!
4. As a result, users continue to hit the bug and complain in forums. Many of these users cannot distinguish between (a) it is a newly-discovered bug, (b) bug is fixed upstream, but Ubuntu does not update it, (c) bug in the Ubuntu package (see item (2)). This puts the software into an incorrect bad light because users just claim xyz not working, software sucks.
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