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Old 11-21-2011, 09:19 AM
Iain Lane
 
Default Default Music Player in Ubuntu 12.04

Hello,

On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 05:14:46PM +1030, Jason Warner wrote:
> Hi Everyone -
>
> Thank you all for sending feedback[1][2][3] on the default music player for
> 12.04. It is clear the right decision for 12.04 is to make Rhythmbox the
> default music player. Thank you, above all else, for keeping the
> conversation cordial and making the decision about what is best for Ubuntu.

Sorry, but it doesn't seem 'clear' to me. Please explain more.

More constructive would have been sound technicals argument that could
have been presented to upstream. Things they would have been able to
work on.

What is 'clear' though is that the default application selection process
should not work like this. I would like to see us learn lessons from
this situation so that our upstreams and users are treated with greater
respect.

Most importantly, we need to be having more constant and constructive
dialogs with upstreams throughout the whole cycle and not just at
application selection time (actually in this case there has been very
poor communcation with upstream even since the discussion). Using the
promise of being on or threat of being removed from the install to
cudgel projects into the direction you want is not very satisfactory.

Chopping-and-changing doesn't do people any favours either. There should
be some commitment from Ubuntu; being the default app brings upstreams a
lot of users (which is great), but also increases the support and bug
workload (which is not so great). If Ubuntu could be relied on more
then upstreams would not be so burdened.

PiTiVi was treated in a similar way a few months ago. It is sad that no
lessons were learned from that situation. Please do not let it happen
again. None of this should have come out of a UDS session. If there are
such serious issues then they should have been raised months ago.

>
> [1] -
> http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/11/banshee-tomboy-and-mono-dropped-from-ubuntu-12-04-cd/
> [2] -
> http://news.softpedia.com/news/Do-You-Want-Rhythmbox-or-Banshee-in-Ubuntu-12-04-233449.shtml

I don't think we should be relying on news media (especially hilariously
biased articles like the second) to be making decisions like this for
us.

> […]

Cheers,

--
Iain Lane [ iain@orangesquash.org.uk ]
Debian Developer [ laney@debian.org ]
Ubuntu Developer [ laney@ubuntu.com ]
PhD student [ ial@cs.nott.ac.uk ]
--
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:58 AM
Christopher James Halse Rogers
 
Default Default Music Player in Ubuntu 12.04

On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 9:19 PM, Iain Lane <laney@ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 05:14:46PM +1030, Jason Warner wrote:
>> Hi Everyone -
>>
>> Thank you all for sending feedback[1][2][3] on the default music player for
>> 12.04. It is clear the right decision for 12.04 is to make Rhythmbox the
>> default music player. Thank you, above all else, for keeping the
>> conversation cordial and making the decision about what is best for Ubuntu.
>
> Sorry, but it doesn't seem 'clear' to me. Please explain more.
>
> More constructive would have been sound technicals argument that could
> have been presented to upstream. Things they would have been able to
> work on.
>

From this thread, I think the summary of the issues raised and the responses is:
1) Banshee has been crashy
- This seems to have been a gconf bug, which is fixed. Better
communication between the Banshee maintainer and the desktop team
would help resolve future problems like this more rapidly.
2) Banshee is slow to start
- A fairly simple change to the mono packaging scripts can enable
AOT compilation, which significantly reduces start up time,
particularly where IO is much cheaper than CPU.
3) Banshee uses GTK+ 2
- The GTK+ 3 port is much further along than I thought, and looks
like it could be ready by an early Alpha.
4) Mono sucks on ARM
- I got nothin'. Xamarin's business model relies on mono not
sucking on ARM, though, so this seems like something that should be
fixable.

It would be reasonable to say something like “shifting to GTK# 3 for
the LTS release is too drastic a change, and we won't ship with GTK#
2”, but I don't think - at least without additional rationale - that
the reasoning for Rhythmbox is obvious from this thread.

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:23 PM
Sebastien Bacher
 
Default Default Music Player in Ubuntu 12.04

Le 21/11/2011 11:19, Iain Lane a crit :


Sorry, but it doesn't seem 'clear' to me. Please explain more.

More constructive would have been sound technicals argument that could
have been presented to upstream. Things they would have been able to
work on.

What is 'clear' though is that the default application selection process
should not work like this. I would like to see us learn lessons from
this situation so that our upstreams and users are treated with greater
respect.

Hi Iain,

Thanks for staying constructive in those discussions, I think there is
an agreement than topic has been handled in a pretty suboptimal way and
lessons have been learnt, next time we will for sure do a call for
topics before UDS, lock the list before the session and make sure to
discuss what issues we are having and how we can solve them rather than
trying to kick out things.



Most importantly, we need to be having more constant and constructive
dialogs with upstreams throughout the whole cycle and not just at
application selection time (actually in this case there has been very
poor communcation with upstream even since the discussion).
Right, that requires somebody from the distribution is feeling "in
charge of the software" and is representing the distribution view
though. I don't want to dismiss anyone from the desktop group but nobody
looking at GNOME or Unity has been watching on the media players this
cycle, the work has been mainly done by you and some of the other Debian
pkg-mono people, I'm not sure how the group is feeling like an active
part of Ubuntu and representing the opinions and issues there, or how
much the group is focussing on Debian and considering their derivates as
well?


I don't mean to offence anyone there, but the question is to know if
somebody is feeling like in charge of banshee in Ubuntu and representing
Ubuntu views, or if the people maintaining it are cross Debian,Ubuntu
groups with a focus on Debian (in which case we might need somebody on
the Ubuntu side as we do for i.e GNOME)?



Using the
promise of being on or threat of being removed from the install to
cudgel projects into the direction you want is not very satisfactory.
That's not really what happened, if that was the case we would have come
with a list of "you should be looking at those if you want to stay on
the CD". While it would make sense to tell upstream what we like or
dislike about their software, I'm not sure we should try to "use" our
position to demand things to be done or fixed for us. I would feel
uncomfortable telling any upstream "you should fix those bugs or your
software will be out of the CD", while in practice it's true that some
issues lead us to decide what to ship or not.


Chopping-and-changing doesn't do people any favours either. There should
be some commitment from Ubuntu; being the default app brings upstreams a
lot of users (which is great), but also increases the support and bug
workload (which is not so great). If Ubuntu could be relied on more
then upstreams would not be so burdened.

PiTiVi was treated in a similar way a few months ago. It is sad that no
lessons were learned from that situation. Please do not let it happen
again. None of this should have come out of a UDS session. If there are
such serious issues then they should have been raised months ago.



The pitivi situation is similar, while we could have made a better job
at keeping upstream people in the discussion and decision I don't think
that what we need is "upstream lobbying for their software" during the
discussions, we rather want people who are not part of those project
enough to have a if-possible unbiased view on the pro and con of the
situations. Once we have this summary we could let upstream know the
trend, i.e "we are unhappy with your software because of those reasons:
... and if it keeps this way we might look at replacing it in the next
cycles". I will come back in reply to some of the others emails about
the issues with music players specific case.


--
Sebastien Bacher

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:28 PM
Sebastien Bacher
 
Default Default Music Player in Ubuntu 12.04

Le 21/11/2011 07:44, Jason Warner a crit :

Hi Everyone -

Thank you all for sending feedback[1][2][3] on the default music
player for 12.04. It is clear the right decision for 12.04 is to make
Rhythmbox the default music player. Thank you, above all else, for
keeping the conversation cordial and making the decision about what is
best for Ubuntu.


Hey Jason,

I think that discussion is lacking a bit of "why" and "how", we didn't
do a very good job at exposing the issues and the motivations there I
think nor to put a plan in place for the switch. When we switched the
default email client we had several milestones during the cycle and the
decision pending on those, could we maybe try to ponder what are the
challenges there and define what we would want to see from both
softwares during the cycle (or from rhythmbox rather since that the one
"trying to get in") and how we validate of those are good enough or not?
I would like at least to see regulars tarballs for rhythmbox, signs that
usability issues are being worked and that stability measured through
users feedback and bugs reports is matching what we want, what do you think?


--
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:44 PM
Sebastien Bacher
 
Default Default Music Player in Ubuntu 12.04

Le 21/11/2011 11:58, Christopher James Halse Rogers a écrit :

It would be reasonable to say something like “shifting to GTK# 3 for
the LTS release is too drastic a change, and we won't ship with GTK#
2”, but I don't think - at least without additional rationale - that
the reasoning for Rhythmbox is obvious from this thread.

Hey,

Thanks for doing that summary, my view based the discussions we had:

- stability in Oneiric has been an issue, it might be due to gconf, u1
or whatever but that's not excuse for shipping something buggy in
Ubuntu, I'm not blaming anyone there but as a team we need to figure a
way to make sure that the default music player is working. Doing finger
pointing to other components to justify the issues is not good enough. I
would be interested to see proposal on how we solve those stability
issues and figure where we stand at any time regarding those.


- startup speed: that as been mentioned often, while being suboptimal
that's not a blocker


- support for armel: nobody mentioned it during the session, it would be
better if issues there would be solved but that doesn't seem to be a blocker


Other subjects that have been taking in consideration during that
discussion:


- CD space (we don't especially need it but we tend to be short on it
and any CD space win is a welcome)


- having to maintain mono in the LTS: while in practice the LTS support
is mainly security fixes and important bug fixes and mono is probably
not requiring a lot, what does that mean exactly? If we stop shipping
mono on the CD can we lower our commitments to it? One issue raised
there is the low number of software on Ubuntu written with that stack
and the outdated binding, it doesn't feel like the stack is being pushed
forward by anyone on the desktop at least.


- the gtk2->gtk3 transition, while it seems the new version is mostly
reading in git the gtk3 mono bindings have not landed in the
distribution yet nor got real world testing:
- do we trust them to land in the lts cycle, be tested and show as
being reasonably bug free
- do we trust the banshee gtk2->gtk3 transition to be ready and having
the quality needed by a lts
- if we don't want to maintain 2 stack of mono gtk bindings, do we
think tomboy will be ported to gtk3 this cycle? would it be an option to
keep banshee 2.2? (it would keep webkit-gtk2 on the CD which has been
pointed as an issue)


The gtk2 to gtk3 transition issue and the "what does it mean to maintain
mono in the LTS" question seems to be the most important ones there,
they are not especially things uptream has an answer to or control on,
but that's thing we should have an opinion on as a distribution.


While we are speaking about quality I think it would also be good if the
qa team (hey pedro as well ;-) could review the Oneiric feedback from
banshee and rhythmbox and tell us what they think the trend on the bug
reports is.


--
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:56 AM
Jason Warner
 
Default Default Music Player in Ubuntu 12.04

Agh. Broke my own rule and sent an email when sick and full of meds.*
First, I should have said "clear to me".*
Second, I'll detail the thinking (in no particular order).*



1. Based upon broader community feedback[1], it seems the preference is RB. Now, we have to be careful with that, obviously, but we simply use that as a data point.*2. Size of both projects on CD. Alone, not a deciding point, but another data point.*


3. Stability in core function. Banshee has many features, though the general impression is that it has stability issues with frequent crashes and hangs needing force quits. RB is known to be quite stable.

4. User Experience (including usability, overall feel, responsiveness). Banshee has the edge here, though can be less responsive (UI hangs). RB has some UI challenges that were detailed in Charline's usability report.*


5. Speed in start up and operation. This seems mostly a draw. Tweaks can be made to Banshee to improve cold startup time, though it does have moments were it hangs mid operation, but they seem more related to overall stability.

6. ARM - Big unknown for Banshee.*7. GTK3 - RB is already GTK3. Banshee is almost there, but carries more risk as it would be new binding stack

So these are the various data points we have (among others, but I consider these the most relevant).*
Third, what do we make of this?*
200 million users. When I'm thinking about the desktop I'm thinking about 200 million users. I'm thinking about what it means to have that many people using our desktop and apps. I'm thinking about what they expect out of a desktop and default application set. I'm thinking about what they will tolerate and what would cause them to write off our product.*



How often would you use an email client that lost your draft email, or worse, your entire email library? A backup solution that couldn't recover from its own backups? A web browser that crashed, for whatever reason, and lost all your tabs etc? Most people using the traditional "Linux Desktop" are vocal, though forgiving, when it comes to applications. I firmly believe that mass market users will neither be vocal nor forgiving and they will not tolerate systems they can't trust or feel are unstable. They simply won't use our products and apps.



IMO, the default apps need to be the best foot forward, the showcase for Ubuntu. If a users first experience with our product is poor, we have a problem from which it will be very hard to recover. Rhythmbox, while not pretty or as featureful as Banshee, does the core function more reliably and more stably. And it isn't about number of features or breath of feature scope, but rather how well the application does what it says it does. I would rather have a less featureful application that is stable,*reliable*and responsive.*This, to me, is Rhythmbox in this discussion. It isn't the prettier of the two, it doesn't have the same feature set but it does its core function more reliably.*



I believe the default experience must make a user comfortable and willing to explore the system more. If we can make the default experience a great one, everything else would be additive as a user can always go back to a known stable platform if they choose. The converse, however, is not true. This is why I believe we must prioritize stability,*reliability*and responsiveness very high, to ensure a net positive user experience using the default system.*



So, in the end, it is clear to me that Rhythmbox is the right choice for Ubuntu 12.04. Banshee will always be in Software Center for those who want to use it, and I hope many do choose to use it as diversity in application usage will ultimately make all of them better.*



I hope I was able to articulate my thoughts well enough. I'm still a bit medicated and fuzzy headed from getting over a recent flu :/
* Jason
[1] -*http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/11/banshee-tomboy-and-mono-dropped-from-ubuntu-12-04-cd/




On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 5:14 PM, Jason Warner <jason.warner@canonical.com> wrote:


Hi Everyone -
Thank you all for sending feedback[1][2][3] on the default music player for 12.04. It is clear the right decision for 12.04 is to make Rhythmbox the default music player. Thank you, above all else, for keeping the conversation cordial and making the decision about what is best for Ubuntu.*




Cheers,* Jason
[1] -*http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/11/banshee-tomboy-and-mono-dropped-from-ubuntu-12-04-cd/



[2] -*http://news.softpedia.com/news/Do-You-Want-Rhythmbox-or-Banshee-in-Ubuntu-12-04-233449.shtml



[3] -*https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-desktop/2011-November/003393.html*(this thread)






On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Jason Warner <jason.warner@canonical.com> wrote:




Hi All -*
Thanks for all the feedback on default music player. We have to nail this down soon so if have any further feedback for the list, please send it now. I want to take a final decision for Precise by Monday, November 21st.*





Thanks everyone,* * *Jason

On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 9:17 AM, Jason Warner <jason.warner@canonical.com> wrote:





Hi All -

During the recent Ubuntu Developer Summit we discussed moving from Banshee back to Rhythmbox as the default music player for Ubuntu 12.04. No definitive decision has been taken yet (major default apps tend to have many integration points and broader discussions are needed before we can make that decision, such as the Thunderbird decision in Oneiric) as we need to kick off the further discussion.

It was an interesting discussion overall and I wanted to reach out to the broader Ubuntu community to get further feedback. So, feel free to reply with your thoughts in this thread.

For context, here are some of the discussion points.

Areas of concern in Banshee were stability, start-up time, the overall resource intensive nature of the application and how responsive an upstream they were to Ubuntu specific needs. It was noted that Banshee is by far the better UI, but many people experienced significant issues in stability thus making it feel less usable.

Areas of concern in Rhythmbox were U1 music integration, usability and how active an upstream they were. Most people in attendance felt that Rhymbox "just worked" but needed quite a bit of UI/usability work to make it a great default application choice.

I would like to welcome further feedback on the proposal to move back to Rhythmbox here. Thanks in advance for your input.

Jason






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Old 11-22-2011, 06:34 AM
Chow Loong Jin
 
Default Default Music Player in Ubuntu 12.04

On 22/11/2011 05:23, Sebastien Bacher wrote:
>> Most importantly, we need to be having more constant and constructive
>> dialogs with upstreams throughout the whole cycle and not just at
>> application selection time (actually in this case there has been very
>> poor communcation with upstream even since the discussion).
> Right, that requires somebody from the distribution is feeling "in charge of the
> software" and is representing the distribution view though. I don't want to
> dismiss anyone from the desktop group but nobody looking at GNOME or Unity has
> been watching on the media players this cycle, the work has been mainly done by
> you and some of the other Debian pkg-mono people, I'm not sure how the group is
> feeling like an active part of Ubuntu and representing the opinions and issues
> there, or how much the group is focussing on Debian and considering their
> derivates as well?
>
> I don't mean to offence anyone there, but the question is to know if somebody is
> feeling like in charge of banshee in Ubuntu and representing Ubuntu views, or if
> the people maintaining it are cross Debian,Ubuntu groups with a focus on Debian
> (in which case we might need somebody on the Ubuntu side as we do for i.e GNOME)?

I've been in charge of Banshee in both Debian and Ubuntu for the past few
cycles. My focus is on both equally, but considering most of my bugs come from
Launchpad, most of my time is spent on Banshee in Ubuntu instead. I just make
sure that fixes go up to Debian as well.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "representing Ubuntu views" though.
If you mean representing Ubuntu when speaking to upstream, I handle that, except
for the UbuntuOne Music Store, where the UbuntuOne team talks to Banshee
upstream directly.

>> Using the
>> promise of being on or threat of being removed from the install to
>> cudgel projects into the direction you want is not very satisfactory.
> That's not really what happened, if that was the case we would have come with a
> list of "you should be looking at those if you want to stay on the CD". While it
> would make sense to tell upstream what we like or dislike about their software,
> I'm not sure we should try to "use" our position to demand things to be done or
> fixed for us. I would feel uncomfortable telling any upstream "you should fix
> those bugs or your software will be out of the CD", while in practice it's true
> that some issues lead us to decide what to ship or not.

It would be nice for those issues to be communicated to the downstream
maintainers at least in some form or another.

--
Kind regards,
Loong Jin

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