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Old 12-11-2007, 05:14 PM
"R. Scott Belford"
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

I have been using, supporting, or advocating for thin client computer
labs for 5 years. I've always tracked the K12LTSP project. Beginning
about 3 or 4 years ago, I began tracking the Skolelinux, now debian-edu,
project. By tracking I mean that I subscribe to their user's mailing
lists and watch the action. I have given a substantial portion of my
time, energy, and income to promote FOSS in education.

I am very disillusioned with Edubuntu, the leadership (or lack thereof)
and the false claims of functionality. I'll start with the last issue -
false claims of functionality. Please read the release notes for 7.10,

http://www.edubuntu.org/news/7.10-release

"The Edubuntu classroom server install builds on the functionality from
the previous release simplifying common Linux classroom server
deployment processes. It includes the very latest thin client software,
LTSP-5. Thin client deployments offers clients a lower TCO (total cost
of ownership), simpler installation and easier maintenance than typical
IT deployments. With all data stored on the server, administrators have
substantially eliminated the cost of updating individual workstations to
ensure their security."

We can't say that 7.10 built on the functionality of 7.04 - it actually
regressed. Now, if you are upgrading from 7.04, I guess that you can
get away with that claim since new installations don't work for most,
but upgrades from 7.04 seem to mask the bugs. We *definitely* cannot be
making the claim that "Thin client deployments offers clients a lower
TCO (total cost of ownership), simpler installation and easier
maintenance than typical IT deployments". The K12LTSP can, Debian-edu
can, but Edubuntu has absolutely no right. We can't even support the
same older clients used by 7.04 (without hacking an lts.conf file).

Now, for the lack of leadership, please take a look at the recent
release note for Debian-edu

http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/ReleaseNotes

and the centralized, updated, and consistent documentation for it

http://maintainer.skolelinux.no/debian-edu-doc/en/release-manual.html

Is there *anyone* in the Edubuntu community either a. working on a r1
release for all the bugs in 7.10 or b. working on consistent
documentation for the varying incompatible releases? If so, then where,
so I can help. If not, then why not, and should we change this? I have
tried to find ways to help by starting here

> If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

http://www.edubuntu.org/Community

which took me to here

> Getting involved
>
> We use Launchpad to track the Edubuntu teams. Even if you can't program, there are many ways to get involved with the Edubuntu project, whether it's documentation, testing, packaging, artwork, or reviewing of material.
>
> If you'd like to get involved, please send an e-mail to the edubuntu-devel mailing list, explaining where you would like to get involved, and how you would like to contribute.

So I went to Launchpad to search for edubuntu, and, well, there is no
way to help. I've been looking at the edubuntu-devel list, but there is
no discussion amongst developers addressing the issues that arise on the
users mailing list. In fact, I see people asking for help, and getting
none, on the developers list.

Last week I asked this question

>
> It seems in so many ways that 7.10 is a debacle. There, I said it. Were there *any* production labs using a mixture of older clients that successfully tested the upgrade procedure from 7.04 to 7.10 *before* the release? If not, are there *any* production labs actively participating in the bug squashing for the next release so that these problems never happen again? I am personally offering myself to help, but I am not sure if any of the developers are actually on this list.

I am no troll. I am the person that the FOSS community needs if we are
going to grow past an insular morass of slightly advanced and eager
computer enthusiasts. We cannot be Edubuntu and claim to be Linux for
Human Beings while going AWOL when the Human Beings struggle with our Linux.

Edubuntu is doing a tremendous disservice to the FOSS community by
riding on the coattails of the K12LTSP and Debian-edu while pretending
to be just as capable. People are being fooled, drawn in, and then
disappointed. This is not honorable.

Is there anyone around capable, willing, and prepared to keep this from
happening in future releases?

--scott


--
R. Scott Belford
Founder/Executive Director
The Hawaii Open Source Education Foundation
P.O. Box 2644
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
808.689.6518 phone/fax
scott@hosef.org

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Old 12-11-2007, 10:09 PM
Jeremy Visser
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

On Tue, 2007-12-11 at 08:14 -1000, R. Scott Belford wrote:
> I am very disillusioned with Edubuntu, the leadership (or lack thereof)
> and the false claims of functionality.

I can't tell you how happy I am to see this post — and happy to see that
somebody else sees it the way I do. I don't see your post as a troll
(although it is certainly flamebait).

I have been trialling Edubuntu LTSP on-and-off for the last couple of
years, and every experience has been nothing short of painful. It's been
riddled with bugs, visual glitches, incomplete documentation, and is
generally of inferior quality compared with the quality and polish of
the Ubuntu desktop distribution.

I'm not saying it's the developers' fault that Edubuntu is like this.
Obviously, it's the lack of contributors and bug testers (QA currently
sucks) that is really hurting the project (so, if anything, it's my
fault, as I should be contributing). My point is that what _really_ gets
to me are the false claims that the project makes that the parent talks
about.

If Edubuntu is "riddled with bugs, visual glitches, and is generally of
inferior quality" (quoting myself here), then don't say "Thin client
deployments offers clients a lower TCO (total cost of ownership),
simpler installation and easier maintenance than typical IT
deployments."

I think we need to see respins (a.l.a. 6.06.1) instead of turning a
blind eye (ignorance is bliss), longer development cycles, and possibly
even skipping shipping Edubuntu every other Ubuntu release to focus on
quality.


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Old 12-11-2007, 10:34 PM
Alfred Nutile
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

Thought I was the only one here.
I agree below, slower cycles.
I am using Feisty at work and a library since Gutsy seems like a wash.
(one is running 5 computers the other 4 on a LTSP setup)
Though I run it on my laptop.
Sometime I rather just go back to LTSP 4.2 but I was believing Edu would
take off with LTSP 5.
But it really seems like some of the core needs get ignored.
I agree too that it is partly my fault for not being more involved with
bug reports. I will try and do better.

This effort may be way ahead of it's time. But with the focus on low
energy computers it could really find a place it the Green movement
going on.

Al

On Wed, 2007-12-12 at 10:09 +1100, Jeremy Visser wrote:
> On Tue, 2007-12-11 at 08:14 -1000, R. Scott Belford wrote:
> > I am very disillusioned with Edubuntu, the leadership (or lack thereof)
> > and the false claims of functionality.
>
> I can't tell you how happy I am to see this post — and happy to see that
> somebody else sees it the way I do. I don't see your post as a troll
> (although it is certainly flamebait).
>
> I have been trialling Edubuntu LTSP on-and-off for the last couple of
> years, and every experience has been nothing short of painful. It's been
> riddled with bugs, visual glitches, incomplete documentation, and is
> generally of inferior quality compared with the quality and polish of
> the Ubuntu desktop distribution.
>
> I'm not saying it's the developers' fault that Edubuntu is like this.
> Obviously, it's the lack of contributors and bug testers (QA currently
> sucks) that is really hurting the project (so, if anything, it's my
> fault, as I should be contributing). My point is that what _really_ gets
> to me are the false claims that the project makes that the parent talks
> about.
>
> If Edubuntu is "riddled with bugs, visual glitches, and is generally of
> inferior quality" (quoting myself here), then don't say "Thin client
> deployments offers clients a lower TCO (total cost of ownership),
> simpler installation and easier maintenance than typical IT
> deployments."
>
> I think we need to see respins (a.l.a. 6.06.1) instead of turning a
> blind eye (ignorance is bliss), longer development cycles, and possibly
> even skipping shipping Edubuntu every other Ubuntu release to focus on
> quality.
>
>


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Old 12-11-2007, 11:21 PM
"Todd O'Bryan"
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

I use LTSP in a high school, but I got annoyed with Edubuntu and
switched to Ubuntu with the LTSP package installed. It seemed to be
more stable, at least as of 6.10 and 7.04.

Todd

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Old 12-12-2007, 05:33 AM
Sameer Verma
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

Todd O'Bryan wrote:
> I use LTSP in a high school, but I got annoyed with Edubuntu and
> switched to Ubuntu with the LTSP package installed. It seemed to be
> more stable, at least as of 6.10 and 7.04.
>
> Todd
>
>

We (SF State, College of Business) run a lab with 32 clients (2GHz
Dells) running off a Dell Precision 670 workstation acting as a server.
It works well for my purposes. We use all 32 twice a week when my class
meets. We started with Feisty and upgraded to Gutsy with minimal upgrade
changes (some ethX numbering changed, but other than that it was smooth).

So, I am a bit surprised to hear all the items on this thread. What
specific problems are you all seeing?

Sameer

--
Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA
http://verma.sfsu.edu/
http://opensource.sfsu.edu/


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Old 12-12-2007, 06:12 AM
Bill Moseley
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

On Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 08:14:23AM -1000, R. Scott Belford wrote:
> We can't say that 7.10 built on the functionality of 7.04 - it actually
> regressed. Now, if you are upgrading from 7.04, I guess that you can
> get away with that claim since new installations don't work for most,
> but upgrades from 7.04 seem to mask the bugs. We *definitely* cannot be
> making the claim that "Thin client deployments offers clients a lower
> TCO (total cost of ownership), simpler installation and easier
> maintenance than typical IT deployments". The K12LTSP can, Debian-edu
> can, but Edubuntu has absolutely no right. We can't even support the
> same older clients used by 7.04 (without hacking an lts.conf file).

I'm not running Gutsy in production yet (so my comments may be of
little value), but I installed a fresh 7.10 Edubuntu and the clients
worked the first time. I was impressed at how easy it worked
considering how little I knew about LTSP.

Now, it took me a few days to mess with things to get some old
1999-2000 iMacs to boot. And I needed a little help from the list for
a few items, but overall it worked amazingly well.

And I've had kids use the clients and they seem very happy.

It does seem (from watching the list) like some serious problems show
up under loaded conditions with some applications, but I have not been
in that situation yet.

My biggest frustration is finding items on the wiki. Seems like
there's a lot of good information available, but I never found an easy
way to scan the wiki pages. I miss good old manuals. With chapters
and sections, logically organized. Printed, too.

I also wish I could find an up-to-date list of schools using LTSP,
too, and a description of the experience moving to LTSP, how it's
helped or not, and statements of cost savings. I have found trying to
explain LTSP to others that the first question they ask is who else is
using it.


--
Bill Moseley
moseley@hank.org


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Old 12-12-2007, 06:40 AM
Asmo Koskinen
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

Bill Moseley kirjoitti:

> I was impressed at how easy it worked
> considering how little I knew about LTSP.
>
>


Me, too.

http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Ubuntu_7.10_LTSP5
http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Edubuntu_7.10_Classroom_Server
http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Edubuntu_7.10_Classroom_Server_%28x86_64%29

> And I've had kids use the clients and they seem very happy.
>
>


Me, too. Pictures:

http://www.mantykankaankoulu.kokkola.fi/vme/tunninal/tunninal.html

These pictures are this one - two servers - dhcpd master and slave -
"Mntykankaan koulu"

http://wiki.ubuntu-fi.org/Ubuntu_6.06_LTSP42#head-13981f562e9fe5a5b78532b8a843fa4ee00f6a06


> My biggest frustration is finding items on the wiki.

Me, too. My english is so bad, so I do have to do all my Wiki's in
finnish :-)

How many of us are speaking or witing english as mother language? Me, I
can read quite well, but writing - no way.

> I miss good old manuals. With chapters
> and sections, logically organized. Printed, too.
>

Me, too. But they all are "For Dummies". Someone should write much more
deeper book.

Why, oh Why, Dave?

"I spent many hours thinking about ways to present this material. The
problem is that every single reader will have completely different
requirements, user counts, staff, software and money. It would have been
easy to write 400 pages describing in great detail our exact thin
clients, our exact distributions and software packages. But that
wouldn't have been useful for most readers."

http://davelargo.blogspot.com/2007/09/humble-book-announcement.html

Dave has made amazing things with LTSP, but he is using Novell Suse
10.x, hmm...

http://davelargo.blogspot.com/2007/12/friday-afternoons.html

Best Regards Asmo Koskinen.

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Old 12-12-2007, 07:35 AM
"R. Scott Belford"
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

Sameer Verma wrote:
> We (SF State, College of Business) run a lab with 32 clients (2GHz
> Dells) running off a Dell Precision 670 workstation acting as a server.
> It works well for my purposes. We use all 32 twice a week when my class
> meets. We started with Feisty and upgraded to Gutsy with minimal upgrade
> changes (some ethX numbering changed, but other than that it was smooth).

You upgraded. You did not do a clean install. A clean install works
great, as many have pointed out, if you happen to be well-funded enough
that your thin clients can handle 32 bits of color. Obviously this is
the future of thin client computing, but in the mean time there are
plenty of schools successfully using older clients with the K12LTSP and
Debian-Edu. We cannot invite them to try Edubuntu, and them send them
to hacking an lts.conf file, unless the hardware requirements and
documentation are more explicit.

>
> So, I am a bit surprised to hear all the items on this thread. What
> specific problems are you all seeing?

The items long pre-dated this thread, and many keep repeating themselves
in the form of new posts asking the same questions about the same
limited functionality from 7.04 to 7.10.

>
> Sameer
>

--scott

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Old 12-12-2007, 08:08 AM
Alfred Nutile
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

I have not upgraded to Gutsy due to see on the thread problems.
Local device problems was one of them.
Speed on older clients another.

On Tue, 2007-12-11 at 22:33 -0800, Sameer Verma wrote:
> Todd O'Bryan wrote:
> > I use LTSP in a high school, but I got annoyed with Edubuntu and
> > switched to Ubuntu with the LTSP package installed. It seemed to be
> > more stable, at least as of 6.10 and 7.04.
> >
> > Todd
> >
> >
>
> We (SF State, College of Business) run a lab with 32 clients (2GHz
> Dells) running off a Dell Precision 670 workstation acting as a server.
> It works well for my purposes. We use all 32 twice a week when my class
> meets. We started with Feisty and upgraded to Gutsy with minimal upgrade
> changes (some ethX numbering changed, but other than that it was smooth).
>
> So, I am a bit surprised to hear all the items on this thread. What
> specific problems are you all seeing?
>
> Sameer
>
> --
> Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Information Systems
> San Francisco State University
> San Francisco CA 94132 USA
> http://verma.sfsu.edu/
> http://opensource.sfsu.edu/
>
>


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Old 12-12-2007, 08:09 AM
Alfred Nutile
 
Default Edubuntu 7.10 - A Released Debacle and a Practice in Failure

I could put up a drupal site to more easily (??) handle the data for us
to collect as How to's problems etc arise.
Maybe the Edu site is fine as well.

On Tue, 2007-12-11 at 23:12 -0800, Bill Moseley wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 08:14:23AM -1000, R. Scott Belford wrote:
> > We can't say that 7.10 built on the functionality of 7.04 - it actually
> > regressed. Now, if you are upgrading from 7.04, I guess that you can
> > get away with that claim since new installations don't work for most,
> > but upgrades from 7.04 seem to mask the bugs. We *definitely* cannot be
> > making the claim that "Thin client deployments offers clients a lower
> > TCO (total cost of ownership), simpler installation and easier
> > maintenance than typical IT deployments". The K12LTSP can, Debian-edu
> > can, but Edubuntu has absolutely no right. We can't even support the
> > same older clients used by 7.04 (without hacking an lts.conf file).
>
> I'm not running Gutsy in production yet (so my comments may be of
> little value), but I installed a fresh 7.10 Edubuntu and the clients
> worked the first time. I was impressed at how easy it worked
> considering how little I knew about LTSP.
>
> Now, it took me a few days to mess with things to get some old
> 1999-2000 iMacs to boot. And I needed a little help from the list for
> a few items, but overall it worked amazingly well.
>
> And I've had kids use the clients and they seem very happy.
>
> It does seem (from watching the list) like some serious problems show
> up under loaded conditions with some applications, but I have not been
> in that situation yet.
>
> My biggest frustration is finding items on the wiki. Seems like
> there's a lot of good information available, but I never found an easy
> way to scan the wiki pages. I miss good old manuals. With chapters
> and sections, logically organized. Printed, too.
>
> I also wish I could find an up-to-date list of schools using LTSP,
> too, and a description of the experience moving to LTSP, how it's
> helped or not, and statements of cost savings. I have found trying to
> explain LTSP to others that the first question they ask is who else is
> using it.
>
>
> --
> Bill Moseley
> moseley@hank.org
>
>


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