Ubuntu updates still suck

My father is running (K)ubuntu Linux. A few days ago I helped him update from the previous release (6.10) to the most recent one (7.04). After the upgrade, his scanner and sound card stopped working. In the case of the scanner, the culprit was bug #85488, which was triggered due to an experimental feature enabled in the kernel of the latest version. I managed to pull a workaround from one of the comments, but I spent several hours on these two problems. (ALSA sound configuration is almost as horrible as CUPS.)

Rolling out upgrades that kill hardware == bad. Not even rolling out any kind of fix or workaround == worse. “It’s going to be fixed in the next release” is terrible policy when you introduce new problems that the user didn’t have before! If my choice on Ubuntu is between an out of date “long-term support” release and an extremely unreliable up-to-date “current” release, I might as well go back to Debian.

While I was at it, I also gave the Google-sponsored Tesseract and Ocropus projects a whirl. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, it is still going to take years until we have commercial grade open source desktop OCR under Linux. (The Tesseract command line client produced passable results on some input files, and zero byte files on others; Ocropus produced crap even on its own test files.)

1 Comment

  1. Hi,
    it’s great to have a bugfixing son! Thanks again, Erik!


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