Archive for June, 2009

Lisp Examples Frustration

June 25, 2009

Before I say anything else I have to say that I love LISP and I find the community really help full. I appreciate all the hard work that people put into open source lisp applications that they put out there. I know, I tried it and just never could pull of spending that amount of time on a give back to the community.

So what is my frustration you might ask. Well its the lack of simple yet comprehensive front to back examples by the authors of software. There is no one better to give a simple example than the creator of a piece of software. That person knows what their software can do and what it should not do instinctively. A well though out example can be like a picture, worth a thousand words. A few word with the example would not go amiss either 😉

Such an example is an invaluable tool for the user of the software. Users are just that users. Users don’t want to wade through source code or copious but terse documentation to figure out what is what. Users don’t always have the time or the skill to figure it out on their own but they are still potential users, even potentially loyal users.

Yes the community will eventually come round and do the simple front to back example article, even a couple of them, but I will put money on it that they will pass on some misconceptions via there coding style or their depth of understanding of the subject matter. Those misconceptions or bad practices can cost the new user valuable time and hair.

Please guys don’t skimp on those examples, if nothing else it will cut down on all those “how do I do x?” questions in mailing lists etc.

Ubuntu slipping?

June 25, 2009

I have been using Ubuntu for close onto 2 years now and have converted just about my whole family to Ubuntu in that time. But I am becoming more an more disillutioned with Ubuntu. I think the first dent in in my Ubuntu utopia came from running Kubuntu 9.04 on two laptops. Lets just say after a month I brought both the machines back to stock standard Ubuntu 9.04.

I understand that Ubuntu is free and the software that goes with it is free and thus what you get is what you get. However Ubuntu and its supporters are making claims of solidity so whats up? (I use to be able to make such claims to my family and friends aswell.)

Its the essential applications that should work well that are being neglected in my opinion. For example since version 6 (my first version) the network manger has been erratic to say the least. Its an essential tool, and not that a complicated piece of software either but it still does not work properly. Loosing your network settings every fourth time you get an update from Ubuntu is a serious issue. Think of it this way, if network settings go for a ball I end up running around and resetting six machines in my house alone. Now imagine a company with a hundred machines!

Evolution hanging a couple of times a day and asking for passwords that are saved, a couple of times a day is another majour nightmare. Yes Evolution is not Ubuntu but it is the default mail application so it should be stable. Everybody uses mail and uses it daily. Once again imagine the support calls!

As far as I understand some substantial money is going into Ubuntu so why not get it a bit more rock solid. And by rock solid I don’t mean take us back three versions on all the included software because in the end of the day older versions of software are not necessarily more stable. Rather spend some of that cash/clout and effort into ensiting the communities around those essential applications to raising the bar. Such an effort can only be good for Ubuntu and open source.