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Comment to Mark Shuttleworth

Mark announced he is stepping down as head of Canonical to work on design and quality, and this is what I wrote in his blog comments section:

You should focus on the buglist as one of your most important metrics, surely more important than boot time! You should use your Bully Pulpit and rally each team in the Ubuntu community, and those who work with Ubuntu, to get the buglist under control. Software that has bugs is like a house with 99% of a roof. It is impossible to have a quality product with an out-of-control buglist. I get concerned that every new release of Ubuntu has some ADD-like focus on a shiny new feature, and the fundamentals are being ignored.

The answer is not to be more or less “conservative” about software versions. I’m not going to argue that new Ubuntus are less reliable than previous releases as all releases have had bugs. (Breezy would sometimes hang on boot on my dual proc machine with some sort of race condition.) But it is not getting better. I live in Seattle, and if a Boeing crashes, it is very bad news. Pretend the same for Ubuntu.

Set goals and measure progress against them. Perhaps the most important is hardware because you can’t use any of the software until your hardware works. Step 1 of Linux World Domination is World Installation.

My book has more than one chapter full of advice for the Linux community.

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