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  • 1. Ubuntu 2.0 - Twobuntu
      • Outsider's Perspective on
      • Ubuntu & Debian
      • Keith Curtis
      • [email_address]
      • Talk loosely based on May, 2006 post:
      • Version History
      • June 17: Debconf 7
      • June 20: Minor tweaks
  • 2. Background
    • 11 years at M$, 2.5 years with free software
      • I worked on the text engine for Bob ;-)
    • Free software kicks ass
      • Don't need to join a company anymore to learn the craft of programming.
    • The musings of someone trapped in dark Seattle and Sweden for the last 13 years
  • 3. Can Ubuntu and Debian work better together?
    • Yes, but why and how?
    • Ubuntu threatens Debian
      • Few news articles about Etch's release
    • Ubuntu needs Debian's help
      • Ubuntu is buggy
    • Mark was not trying to hurt Debian
      • But, what about the law of unintended consequences?
  • 4. Two issues
    • Efficiency
    • Can you build a Universal OS?
  • 5. Division of Labor
    • One of my lessons at Microsoft: my smart, senior bosses couldn't make the best fixes in my code.
    • It takes time to get up to speed on someone else's code.
    • That is why Ubuntu 7.0 patches were just a “starting point” for Debian
      • In other words, little more help than if they didn't exist
    • This reason is the biggest cause for inefficiency between Ubuntu and Debian
  • 6. Division of Labor
    • Today:
      • Ubuntu does a feature
      • Throws it over the wall to Debian, where it gets re-understood and likely improved
      • Now, you have 2 people who have bothered to learn the exact same thing
      • With one codebase, this wouldn't happen
        • Ubuntu often throws away their patch, and uses upstream version
  • 7. Division of Labor
    • Even worse: when Ubuntu does a feature, this is expertise that Debian is not getting
      • Center of gravity shifts away from Debian
    • Ubuntu's current list of features means they are not waiting for any features from Debian.
      • Did Ubuntu come to this conference with a list of workitems for you?
      • Ubuntu is on course to completely grab center of gravity
  • 8. Division of Labor
    • Bug process according to DCT
      • Ubuntu finds a bug
      • Maybe files a bug in Debian
      • Maybe Debian reproduces the bug
      • Now, who is responsible for it?
      • Will any patches work unchanged between the two codebases?
  • 9. Division of Labor
    • Other impacts
      • Debian is playing catchup, not seeing Ubuntu's changes
      • Departure of Ubuntu developers robs them of Debian's expertise, which is one reason why Ubuntu is buggy
      • Many choices arbitrary -> divergence
        • What if Debian does not adopt Upstart?
  • 10. Efficiency - bugs
    • Background: only bugs are holding up World Domination
      • Linux needs no “bolt of lightning” feature
      • Donald Rumsfeld: “It's a long, hard slog.”
      • Fixing bugs faster is the only way to get there faster
  • 11. Efficiency - bugs
    • Ubuntu is swamped in bugs
      • In May, 2006, Ubuntu had 10,000 active
      • In May, 2007, Ubuntu had 30,000 active bugs.
    • Ubuntu needs 1,000 contributors
      • Where could it get that?!
      • (First distro with 10,000 contributors wins)
  • 12. Efficiency - bugs
    • Current situation has challenges
      • Ubuntu LTS snapshots Debian-unstable
    • Many of Ubuntu's bugs exist in Debian but who is keeping track?
      • If you don't know about your bugs, what was the point of shipping at 0?
  • 13. Efficiency
    • Brand
      • HP supports Debian on their hardware. What does this mean for Ubuntu?
      • Do .DEB files work from one OS to the next?
    • Other Infrastructure
      • BTS, security bug-fixers, source control, forums, build servers, etc.
        • Imagine investing that time/money to improve Debian's rather than reinventing wheel
  • 14. Efficiency
    • Community
      • Ubuntu is exciting! This brings in more people and causes existing people to work harder
      • If Debian is perceived as irrelevant, existing DDs will quit working, leave
  • 15. Two issues
    • Efficiency
    • Can you build a Universal OS?
  • 16. Mark Shuttleworth:
    • “It’s hard to know what Debian’s goals are”
    • Good question to ask: goals create a vision which bring people on board
    • Thinks Ubuntu is: “a few specific use cases.”
      • Laptop, desktops, server and now embedded is “a few specific use cases?”
  • 17. Universal OS
    • Debian motto is Universal OS
      • Hardware platforms and software packages
        • Debian runs on Nokia 770 -> servers
      • Most Debian derivatives are subsets, or region-specific which don't disturb center of gravity
      • One Wikipedia, one Linux kernel
      • Software is infinitely malleable
    • Ubuntu's motto obviates Debian's
  • 18. Debian wants Ubuntu's features!
    • What feature, other than orange, has Ubuntu added that Debian doesn't want?
    • Does Debian want:
      • Ease of use
      • 3-D desktop, 2.6 kernel, faster startup
      • Better power management
        • Most people who want good laptop support are now using Ubuntu, so Debian's code isn't getting tested
  • 19. Anything Ubuntu doesn't want?
    • Ubuntu wants to support less platforms
      • Kernel hides 99% of this work
      • Supporting one 64-bit gets you all
      • Upstream, not Ubuntu's responsibility
      • Platform maintainers keep things in shape
        • i.e. Ubuntu gets this for free already!
      • ...In other words, this cost has not been quantified, and is likely overstated
    • Any others?
  • 20. Ubuntu is exploiting a “loophole” in the GPL
    • Ubuntu fork goes against the spirit of GPL and cooperation
    • Generally, changes should be made to upstream
      • And, take ownership so someone else doesn't have to learn the same code
    • When someone improves the Linux kernel, they don't use that to make a new, competing Linux kernel
  • 21. Many ways to work better together
    • This is where you guys come in
    • Dramatic changes...
    • Or, Have Ubuntu devs do core work in Debian, “fluff” work in Ubuntu
      • Is there any “fluff?”
    • Different ship cycles harder but doable
      • Or, Debian could switch to time-based releases (Martin Michlmayr's thesis)
  • 22. Thought Experiment
    • Suppose you decided that Ubuntu and Debian should merge:
      • All DDs resign to be Ubuntu developers
        • Would Mark trade never getting another patch if he got 1,000 new developers?
      • Ubuntu community could re-join Debian
        • Remove animosity, bring excitement and more users to Debian
    • I believe either would be better than current situation
  • 23. That's my talk!
    • A few misc slides...
  • 24. Advice
    • Attention to detail
      • OOB, bugs
    • Keep doubling the number of DDs
      • Wikipedia's motto: “Don't scare the newcomers”
    • The competition has 5,000 full-time programmers
    • Spend your 2 or 8 hours per week productively
      • Spend more time coding than sending e-mails
    • New software is better than old software
  • 25. Challenges (incomplete)
    • Are DDs still passionate?
    • What does a DEB mean in a managed world?
    • Can I install FireFox off the web?
    • Do I have to upgrade my kernel when I install new hardware?
    • Can I never have to “upgrade” my OS?
  • 26. State of Ubuntu in 1 slide – Buggy!
    • My computer resumes 9 of 10 times
    • I'm using ATI's drivers, yet cannot enable Compiz/Beryl. 2-D graphics perf sometimes slow.
    • Took an hour to enable playing DVDs
      • Kinda works in Kaffeine
    • Wine did not enable clicking on EXEs
      • IE 6 installs but does not run
    • I cannot double-click on a DEB which has uninstalled dependencies
    • Few apps as polished or reliable as Firefox
  • 27. Many ways to work better together
    • Goals
      • One tree
      • One bug database
      • One conference schedule
      • One fat and happy community
      • Linux will achieve... World Domination, and faster if we want
    • Thanks for listening!