28 November 2007

No more bug reports from me

Inkscape changed the bug tracking system from SourceForge to Launchpad: I don't feel compelled to create an account at the closed system from Ubuntu only to be able to make a bug report and occasionally some triaging (I used to do that on sf.net), so for the time being I will step back and become a simple user.
This is somewhat unfortunate, there are bugs that bother me a lot: the autopackaged nightly builds don't work on Fedora since F8 was released due to bad dependency requirements and reporting on the mailing list seems not enough (for those wondering, this is the reason I didn't published any Inkscape tutorial lately: I want but I objectively can't, the stable version has an obsolete GUI, is OK for own usage but not for public tutorials).


  1. I hope you get the irony of your statement...

  2. Too bad - IMHO Launchpad is less closed than SourceForge (which isn't open source anymore and whose parent company is far less aimed at supporting the open source community than Canonical is). In fact, Launchpad *will* become open source, however, they are still working on a way to keep everything connected so bugreports won't stay littered without connection throughout the web for every different project.

  3. Launchpad being closed is NOT a requirement for a central service so that excuse is deceptive. Bugzilla XML RPC interface can very well serve the purpose a central proprietary web service can do without the need for data lock-in.

    What the real reason is that Canonical wants to have it as a proprietary service to earn some revenue which might be ok and they have themselves admitted that on occasions but now the facts are being twisted and I don't like that. If Canonical wants to provide a commitment to open source launchpad, they should provide specific roadmaps and deadlines rather than some vague promises that nobody can hold them accountable towards.

  4. anonymous, that Launchpad will be opened up once they have *implemented* the centralisation (e.g. with the Bugzilla XML RPC interface) is something you'd just have to trust them on. Seeing their recent release of some part of the Launchpad code I think they are trustworthy enough of that.

    However, even if you would still consider Launchpad closed, keep in mind that SourceForge is far more closed. The SourceForge software has been closed-sourced (the GForge fork is based on a very old version) and its parent company has done far less for the open source community then Canonical has.

    Also, as for the profit argument: sourceforge.net contains quite some ads, while launchpad.net is completely ad-free.

  5. At least, compared with Launchpad, sf.net is distro independent.

  6. Launchpad is distro independent too. Inkscape's page is completely distro independent, just as Ubuntu has its own project page below which all bugreports regarding packages in Ubuntu are reported. Bugreports for Inkscape are in no way bound to Ubuntu.

  7. yeah, so distro independent that nightly builds refuse to work on other distros...

  8. Ehm, how are nightly builds and their incompatibility with other distro's Launchpad's responsibility?

  9. Vincent, You claim that launchpad will be opened after feature X is implemented. Can that promise be listed in the front page of launchpad? No? Why should I trust Canonical? Just trust us is not a good answer. When I work on Fedora, I am completely free to fork any part of it but I have to trust my data with Canonical in launchpad. Why?

    Launchpad translation interface completely discourages distro colloboration and only benefits Ubuntu by default. That kind of actions don't inspire any trust with me. Sorry. You just have to open up instead of go with unverifiable claims.

  10. Even if you don't trust Canonical (though I think they've provided enough reason to trust them), it still stands that it is more open than sf.net .

    And how do you think Launchpad should support upstream collaboration when translation, other than the maintainers of a certain package often sharing them with upstream?

    Also, once they do open up, would you then join?

  11. I don't know about the others, but I would join it only if it is run by a 3-rd party (ideally in the freedesktop.org style).

  12. Launchpad run by Canonical is bad, but Fedora's bugzilla run by Red Hat is ok? You are a hypocrite.

  13. Call me hypocrite if you want, but Fedora's Bugzilla is for reporting bugs in Fedora, not in 3-rd party applications. If you report a generic bug here, you will be advised to report it upstream.
    Inkscape is an independent project (or used to be?), so I see it best fitted with an independent big tracker.

    And BTW, Bugzilla is Open Source, Lanuchpad is not.

  14. So once Launchpad is open source, you wil report bugs there?

    Also, you're saying Inkscape should host their own bug tracker and maintain their own server? Because otherwise it definitely isn't independent, and, heck, a lot more expensive than Launchpad too.

    By using Launchpad, Inkscape is in no way related any more to Ubuntu. The status Inkscape has on Launchpad ("project") is the same status as Ubuntu has ("project").

    Then there's the package Inkscape ("package") that is specific to the Inkscape package in Ubuntu. That one was present there already. And if you report a general bug there, then you will (or at least, should be, according to Ubuntu's policy, just as Fedora's policy) be advised to report it upstream too (in fact, you will even get a direct link to Inkscape's "project" page).

  15. Inkscape has its own server, hosted at OSUOSL and its affiliate sister project, the Open Clip Art Library uses a bugzilla hosted at freedesktop.org. Those are independent 3-rd parties.

    It is a waste of time to talk about "when" Launchpad will be Open Source, as this will never happen (according with Mr. Shuttleworth).

  16. nicu, Mark Shuttleworth has said himself that Launchpad will be open source:
    "We are steadily releasing pieces of Launchpad, but the whole thing still has proprietary elements. We offer services to people who make Ubuntu derivatives using it, and that revenue stream is important. You can get all your data out easily (and this will soon get even easier to automate) so you’re not locked in. In time, LP will all be published under a free software license, but for now it is not."
    (Emphasis mine)

    Anyway, the Inkscape developers have decided (and I am inclined to agree) that Bugzilla was too clunky.

    Furthermore, though Inkscape might have its own server, it's obviously much cheaper to have it hosted elsewhere. Canonical is just as independent as freedesktop.org and OSUOSL. They all have the same mission (supporting open source), so I don't see why Canonical would be more evil than the other two. Sure, they aren't a non-profit, but they have run losses since they exist, so why would that make them evil?

  17. I didn't say Canonical is evil (some other maybe said it, but not me). I said I don't want to make any contribution to Canonical. Not because I think they are evil, because I am a free person and I can make my own decisions.

    When I say "independent" I mean "distro-independent".

  18. Hmm, ok. But how is submitting a bugreport for Inkscape a contibution to Canonical? I really can't see the logic in there.

    I also don't see why the host ought to be distro-independent as long as the project itself is allowed to be distro-independent (and Inkscape is perfectly distro-independent, even on Launchpad).

  19. As long as I am forced to create an account, I see it as a contribution. Canonical will claim I am an Ubuntu developer.

    As for how independent Inkscape is, look at the pre-built binary packages and see on which distros they work...

  20. "Canonical will claim I am an Ubuntu developer."

    What?! That's ridiculous! I've never heard Canonical saying everybody who has an account at Launchpad is an Ubuntu developer. Heck, I've got a Launchpad account and I'm nothing close to an Ubuntu developer. If you could point me to a source then I'd greatly appreciate that.

    As for how independent Inkscape is, look at the pre-built binary packages and see on which distros they work..."

    I see Fedora. Well, I dare to bet that if anyone would make a package for another distribution and request that the Inkscape website maintainers link there that they'd add it. They also mention that you can download those packages through SourceForge or or through your distro's update capabilities.

  21. Who cares about packages from the ancient stable build, which are available in any distro using the distro's specific channels? Try the development branch.

    And yeah, you are not an Ubuntu developer, but this is because you are a Xubunu developer :D

  22. Hmm, it only provides an AutoPackage build and a ZeroInstall feed, and mentions that it is available in Debian unstable and something about Gentoo. Am I looking at the wrong place?

    Hehe, I wish I were a Xubuntu developer, but I haven't got the skills. I only take part in some discussions on the mailinglist and IRC, and I did some upstream translation work for Xfce. For now, there's not much work I do... (And it's not like Canonical regards Xubuntu as such an important project anyway)

  23. About the wrong place, just try to install that autopackage.

  24. I installed the AutoPackage but noticed nothing odd (because I'm using Xubuntu?). Though I must say, Inkscape looks very nice, and I think I'll keep using this version even though I prefer native packaging systems over AutoPackage ;)

  25. Indeed. That autopackage does not work for me on Fedora and other people reported about it not working on OpenSuse and Slackware.
    Ant the change to Lauchpad happened (just a coincidence) exactly when I wanted to make the bug report.

    For someone like me who use to write tutorials is very important to track the development, fortunately I found a package made by someone else and hosted on his personal website.

  26. Then wouldn't it be better to just submit that bugreport so the Inkscape developers/packagers can work on it? Also, perhaps the author of that package can contact the website maintainers to also host/link to his package...

  27. And we are going full circle :D
    This was my point: I can't report the bug properly without a Launchpad account.
    Of course I talked about it on both Inkscape's users and development mailing list, the issue is known.

  28. O ok. But I understand you cannot create a bug report without an account, but I still don't get why you wouldn't create an account...

  29. Because I don't feel comfortable doing so. Is that hard to imagine there are people who don't consider Ubuntu the best thing since the sliced bread?

  30. Of course I can understand that a lot of people don't consider Ubuntu to be that great, but I just cannot see how signed up for an account at Launchpad equals finding Ubuntu the best thing since sliced bread.
    Launchpad is a product separate of Ubuntu, even though the Ubuntu project makes use if it just as Inkscape does.
    According to your reasoning, if someone would sign up for Launchpad, they would not only be devout followers of Ubuntu, but also of Inkscape, or Avant Windows Navigator, of Miro and of many more projects that make use of Launchpad.
    Similarly, if someone were to sign up for an account at SourceForge.net, they would be endorsing Filezilla, eyeOS and whatnot...

  31. No, is not like this: a subscription to Launchapd is an endorsement to Canonical/Ubuntu the same way as a subscription to OpenOffice.org is an endorsement to Sun, a subscription to Mozilla is an endorsement to the Mozilla Corporation/Firefox and so on.

  32. Sorry, I fail to see the logic in that. I have an account at SourceForge.net but I *definitely* do not endorse SourceForge, inc. I also have a Hotmail account but, as I suppose you can guess, do *not* endorse Microsoft ;-)

    I'm signed up for a gazillion of services, but nobody has ever understood that to be an endorsement of the company behind those services.

    On the other hand, when I file a bugreport for a certain open source application, I do that because I endorse that application :)

    But in any case, if you're submitting your bugreports to Inkscape's mailinglist I guess there's not that much of a problem (apart from the little extra work for the Inkscape developers).

  33. I would not touch Hotmail even with a 10 feet pole, I guess this is a major difference in our point of view.

    As for application endorsement, look at the authors list in Inkscape's about dialog. Seeing my name listed there is and endorsement (even if I was listed for some minor contributions).

    And some Inkscape devs (employed by Canonical, BTW) seems to see my logic.

  34. Hehe, don't worry, that Hotmail address is my spam account. On the other hand, I do user Gmail and I also definitely do not endorse Google.

    Also, I'm not saying you do not endorse Inkscape - I figured by now that you do ;)

    I guess it's just a matter of different interpretations - though perhaps you could just state on your Launchpad user page that you explicitly do not endorse Canonical?

  35. No, I don't need and don't want a Launchpad user page.

  36. OK, that's your decision to which you have the full right of course. I guess we'll keep it at 37 comments then? ;)

  37. 38 is a nicer, even number.
    But I bet another *buntu fanboy will show up and continue...

  38. Ouch. I hope I didn't come across as an Ubuntu fanboy, because I definitely realize there is still much work to be done on Ubuntu. In fact, if I didn't prefer Xfce, I imagine I'd try Fedora rather than Ubuntu, since I've heard many more things I like about it than I've heard them about Ubuntu.

  39. You are a little too insistent in pointlessy (won't get anywhere) trying to change my mind.
    There is an Xfce spin for Fedora in the work, I believe it will be available soon.

  40. Well, not so much trying to change your mind, more trying to understand your reasoning.
    And I'll keep an eye on the Fedora spin :)

  41. I don't make Microsoft accounts, I don't make Canonical accounts, I don't make Novell accounts and so on.
    And I really feel Launchpad is mostly a developer recruitment tool for Canonical/Ubuntu, but I will talk about this later, in a full blog post.

  42. Heh! another flame war in the making? I am a bit busy these days, but I'll get to it...

  43. I have a Launchpad account, Novell bugzilla account, Red Hat bugzilla account and many more. But I don't feel like a Red Hat or Novell developer. And even when RH and N would call me their dev, I just would not care - they won't make any money by using my name.
    Why do you say that registering a project on Launchpad makes it Ubuntu-dependant?
    Does it force you to make Ubuntu packages?
    Does it force you to file bugs in Ubuntu?
    Does it force you to mention Ubuntu anywhere?
    No, it doesn't!
    Launchpad only requires projects to have a free licence. You can even register a Windows-only project as long as it's open source!

    You said: "As long as I am forced to create an account, I see it as a contribution." - that is just plain stupid. When I have to register a sourceforge account to file a bug in Filezilla, does it automatically make me a phpMyAdmin (also registered on SF) contributor? Hell no!
    Or does having a Red Hat bugzilla account to file bugs in Fedora make you a JBoss contributor?
    Launchpad is not an Ubuntu-only bugtracker. Launchpad is a service that is used by Ubuntu and other projects, and Ubuntu happens to be the biggest project of them. But it's not tied to Ubuntu in any way. You can host Windows software on LP, you can host Mac software, Solaris software, even DOS software if you wish.

    "I don't make Microsoft accounts, I don't make Canonical accounts, I don't make Novell accounts and so on"
    Then why do you have a Red Hat account?

    And if you're such a FOSS purist then stop using Google and every other search engines which don't have their source open. And throw out your PC because it has non-free hardware. Buy an OpenSPARC with an FPGA. Or build your own from scratch.

  44. Oh, and your blogspot address - nicubunu.blogspot.com - is strangely similar to... nicubunTu!!!!!!111ONE
    ZOMG!!! You're an Ubuntu derivative!!!!! :D :P

  45. Then you escape the the most important role of Launchpad: it is a developer recruitment tool for Canonical. It does not force me to do anything but it tries to lure me. And I don't like that. The second role would be advertising, and I don't like that either.

    I have a Fedora account and a Red Hat account and I call myself a Fedora contributor. I signed even the CLA.

    I am not a FOSS purist, I gladly use my AMD powered PC, host my blog on Google's blogger (even if I have my own hosting solution where I can install Wordpress), use Gmail, deviantART, Flickr and other services, but those are my choices, I wasn't forced to.

  46. Azrael Nightwalker said...
    > Oh, and your blogspot address -
    > nicubunu.blogspot.com - is strangely
    > similar to... nicubunTu!!!!!!111ONE

    Man, that was so cheap... I own the nicubunu.ro domain name (my main website) for so long... many years before Ubuntu was even an idea in its founder's mind.

  47. "Then you escape the the most important role of Launchpad: it is a developer recruitment tool for Canonical."
    The same goes for Red Hat bugzilla and Fedora CLA. They're Red Hat's recruitment and advertising tools :P

  48. Nope, those do not pretend to be independent. A better comparison would be with fedorahosted.org, but not even that pretend to be independent.