Betsy’s giving me a really hard time and she’s taking all my focus lately. I’m weeks behind the team in development, I hear the devs talking about cool stuff.. dalcde landed his multi-panel implementation, mtwebster is pushing for maintenance releases on Cinnamon 2.4 and I’m ranting about some critical bugs of my own… This is the time in the release cycle when I feel the most lonely and depressed to be quite honest. From experience I know it’s only temporary.. I guess it wouldn’t be fun if it was easy. Right now though I can’t wait to look back at all that, get these bugs fixed and get Betsy out the door :)
Things started great, as time went on she was getting prettier and prettier, leaner and leaner and bugs were vanishing by the dozens. The QA process killed most of the remaining bugs but also revealed how different Betsy was than Rebecca.
The bases for Linux Mint started in 2006 and the recent move to LTS since version 17 meant we could focus on improving things without having to fix anything that would break in between. Once it’s out, Betsy will give us that base for LMDE, but as it is now it’s a brand new distribution and so what had been taken for granted in Linux Mint requires attention in LMDE.
Our release cycle for LMDE is extremely flexible so we’re able to postpone features in order to focus on critical issues and get Betsy out. So far we postponed the following things:
- Installer: Home directory encryption
- Installer: Localization of the slideshow
- Live media: Eject media at live session shutdow
- MATE: Compiz integration
- Caja: Dies on its very first run before being automatically launched again by mate-session, the user can see the desktop icons disappear for a second before they appear again (seems to only happen in Virtualbox)
These will be implemented at some stage, but we’ll release Betsy without them, they’ll become available as upgrades or as updated ISO images.
Many bugs were fixed and we’re down to just a few.. some of them are quite critical though and a few of them are also very hard to fix (I spent my entire Tuesday on libpam-systemd and I still don’t have a complete fix… and my entire Wednesday on libpam-gnome-keyring which I’m hoping but not sure to be able to fix today):
- Critical: Fstab sometimes incorrect post-installation
- Critical: Libpam-systemd runtime dir collisions
- Critical: Adding missing libpam-gnome-keyring results in being unable to login https://github.com/linuxmint/mdm/issues/92
- Gtk apply 17.x sauce
- Gtk filechooser dialogs, too much vertical space between elements in the sidebar
- Missing plymouth-text theme
- Mintlocale doesn’t show flags
Earlier this week we fixed a critical bug with plymouth (on many computers, the OS would not boot without removing “quiet splash”). In what’s left the first three bugs are very important to fix. The fstab issue should be relatively easy to address. The libpam-systemd issue makes applications crash or freeze when applications are being run with elevated privileges. It’s one of the worst bugs I’ve seen since I work with Linux, it affects all distributions, was fixed in Mint, partially fixed in LMDE 1 and it was fixed upstream in systemd… yet we’re still getting collisions, so it’s not good enough. The issue with gnome-keyring is quite simple.. it makes it impossible for you to log in (it can’t get much more critical than that) :)
Of course we’ll get all of this fixed and hopefully it won’t take too long. If you want to follow our progress, keep an eye on the LMDE section of https://github.com/linuxmint/Roadmap
Also don’t hesitate to join #linuxmint-dev on irc.spotchat.org, whenever I need to vent or rant about some issue, ask a question, or proudly share some progress I made.. that’s where it happens.