Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 LTS - CRAP + Stable Stuff = JULinux 9

I don't like to badmouth anyone or anything but I want to tell you what is happening in the JULinux world. For reasons still unknown to me JULinux 8.5 beta has issues with the Finish Install script that I need to fix or have a friend fix.

So what will JULinux 9 be? Well it will be what JULinux has always been. We take Ubuntu and fix Canotical's mistakes the best we can and then shrink it down as small as we can and put a Finish Install script in it. Sounds easy doesn't it? You would think so but Ubuntu is becoming more and more unique and all together different from what Debian based distributions looked like and acted like just a few years ago when we were still using xorg.conf files, were able to change the settings for screen savers and customize them, had a customizable ALSA mixer, and every game made to work on Ubuntu just worked, and the hardware support was great. Also the people in the IRC chat rooms were uber geeks who could diagnose and fix any problem.

Now days it seems like everything has changed. Although NVIDIA's proprietary drivers still rely on the xorg.conf file to load and save settings Ubuntu has stopped providing support for it crippling NVIDIA's awesome configuration tool. PulseAudio is suppose to be completely reverse compatible with ALSA and allow ALSA dependent apps to run correctly however this is not always the case. I have to admit ALSA does not play nice when an HDMI video card is present. Wine just doesn't work like it use to on it's own and needs PlayOnLinux to be complete but most people don't know that. Having the computer save in .doc, .xls, and .ppt by default is a must for M$ office bound users but instead users are daunted with strange open source file formats that their bosses and teachers can't open and will not accept. Everyone is pushing for ATI's use with Linux because it's more open source but lets face it NVIDIA just works better. The Gnome interface scares my clients when I try to introduce them to Linux so JULinux has the well known ( ) custom interface based on GnomeXP that is much easier for users to interact with and is much more intuitive.

JULinux 9 presents more challenges because Ubuntu seems to have removed Gnome ALSA and other ALSA packages from the repositories so the existing JULinux scripts will not work. Libraries and codecs for OpenShot Video Editor have also been removed. The solution is to get these packages from a different source and insert them into the Finish Install. The problem is that mixing packages into Ubuntu that are designed for a pure Debian distribution can cause problems. The plan is to at least temporarily enable Debian repositories in Ubuntu where the packages can still be found and then after the packages are installed remove these repositories so that there are no conflicts with Ubuntu. I have done this before with Ultumix. Why not just stick with Debian? Debian just doesn't have the same hardware support Ubuntu has. Another issue I hope they get figured out is getting the right version of Blender installed so OpenShot Video Editor will work with it. It would be nice to have the new CG stuff work in OpenShot.

A lot of people are telling me people are in the mood to revolt against Ubuntu and start over with another distribution to replace it that is once again community driven and not Canotical driven.