Prioritizing bugs to boost Linux adoption

Prioritizing bugs to boost Linux adoption

Summary: What are the problems that need to be solved to boost Linux adoption? And in what order?

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What are the problems that need to be solved to boost Linux adoption? And in what order? If we get the order right, we can make more users happier faster, says Scott Ritchie.

Ritchie starts by looking at bugs in Wine. After 16 years in development (give or take), Wine is pretty good, but it still can't run all Windows applications perfectly. It runs some very well, and some not at all. But it's not yet where users can simply run their Windows apps on Linux.

Ritchie looks at the bugs that Wine needs to solve before being able to run all Windows applications, and estimates about 10,000 bugs before it will be complete. That's a lot of bugs, but not all bugs are equal. Some fixes will make more users happy than others:

Now let’s define an application as some subset of these bugs.  A working application is one that has all its bugs solved.  We can also give each bug a different relative probability of affecting an application - maybe bug x is 10 times more likely to affect an application than bug y.

A user is then defined as a set of applications he needs.  A “happy user” is one who has all his applications working.  Just like with the applications, we can assign relative probabilities to reflect the real world - World of Warcraft is 60 times more likely than CuteCatExploderPro.

After doing some thinking along those lines, and some scripting to model different scenarios, Ritchie comes to the conclusion: "The strategy we use - the order we tackle various bugs - really does matter.  Every strategy gets to the perfect 100% end after solving all the bugs, but some get you 10 times as many happy users when you’re only half done.  In practice, having far more users likely translates into extra developers and a much faster rate of development."

The same thing is true of Linux: If you look at some of the barriers of entry for potential users, some are much higher than others. Driver support affects more users than other bugs or potential improvements. Now the question is, which barriers to knock down to make the most users happiest the fastest?

Topics: Operating Systems, Linux, Open Source, Software

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  • Prioritizing bugs to boost Linux adoption

    How about starting with making it not suck? You know, provide a useful user environment. Segfaults and kernel panics should not be a daily occurrence. Stop being a hack of patches that don't work well together. Close the telnet port, don't make it required to compile the applications. Try to work on playing more than one sound at a time. Tell your community to stop being a bunch of elitists. That is just to name a few, the list goes on and on.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Rockhead is the CMIC

      Enough with the lies. Try coming up with something truthful just once in your life!
      linux for me
      • ...he could at least come up with new BS

        Would be at least more entertaining if LoverC... would come with some even slightly newer BS, it gets boring when a poor troll acts only as broken record repeating the same (word to word) lines over and over again... No fun but I guess I pity a man with such level of no-life that is needed for writing these repeating posts again and again and again ad infinitum. Poor guy really if you think about it :(
        robsku
    • Substantiate your allegations Lunatic. Please specify

      the distro you're referring to, it's version and the packages that behave the way you described.
      InAction Man
    • Par for the course.

      We all know people who need to talk, even if they do not know anything about the subject and/or have nothing worthwhile to contribute. If you can't talk I guess you can type to fill the same need.
      Economister
    • Saturation point reached, loverock

      It's rather sad. You start off trying to be a Mike Cox 2 - you fail miserably because nobody thinks you're funny. Then you try to come across as reasonable (someone with an informed opinion) - and that doesn't work very well either. Most people here don't take you serious. Then you start to write wilder and wilder posts (what was it yesterday? that you couldn't download your porn?). The only constant being that you are always against anything that is competing with Microsoft, and that you are always for Microsoft. Now, that would be ok if you are actually informed. But you're not.

      Frankly, I get the impression that you're either a paid ZDNet blogger to generate hits, or that you're a typical 12/13 year old male basement dweller who's trying to get attention. In either case, we're not exactly impressed with you.
      nizuse
    • What's a segfault?

      I've never seen one LD. Not in 4+ years of using Linux.
      kozmcrae
      • He's never seen one either,

        He's told us many a time that its too difficult for him to install linux so now you can see what level of person you are trying to respond to.
        deaf_e_kate
      • What's a segfault??

        (sarcasm)
        (satire)

        [b]That describes a situation where the mouth wanders off on a diatribe without having the brain fully engaged.[/b]

        (/satire)
        (/sarcasm)
        fatman65535
    • RE: Prioritizing Bugs....

      (sarcasm)
      (satire)

      [b]LD, please return to your underground bunker![/b]

      The world is safer without you!

      Go back to your dinosaur M68K machine and compile a kernel.

      (/satire)
      (/sarcasm)
      fatman65535
    • Helpful

      A very helpful analysis, everyone can work on those
      specific problems. What suck ass company do you
      work for, MS? Sounds about the level of specificity
      that I got from their help desk.
      bigpicture
    • loverocks

      Well,

      1. I have a useful GUI, it's called Gnome
      2. I Never experienced a kernel panic.
      3. All ports are by default closed.
      4. I Never had to compile an application.
      5. Plays as many sounds as you want.

      I'm using ubuntu 9.04 on 2 desktops, 1 laptop and Android on a smart phone. So loverock. Who pays you for spreading FUD and lies?
      kikl
  • Good idea. One of my gripes has already been written about

    right here: http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12554-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=62587&messageID=1175162#7468564444263411314&authId=Z6HGiN/lieHAYr2cBP3nkh6ZvIQSz/q5p+rs/WKQqRniE3yqBqrAzZ3UEVN5DV2K

    - Kc
    kcredden2
  • Windows applications under WINE......

    have to be well written apps, conforming to Microsoft's Windows API's. Any application that uses "tricks", or undocumented calls, will not work under WINE. I would not refer to these as "bugs".

    But the effort to write the code to emulate the Windows API's is a massive effort, and no complex code written today, is free of bugs. They just haven't been found yet.
    linux for me
  • Regressions...

    I have an HP laptop and since 2.6.27 there is a kernel regression that makes booting impossible without holding down a key. This still exists and I see no fix released. After years of using Linux, I personally have given up. Linux has no future when these types of failures occur. HP is the number one laptop manufacture and here we are, unable to boot.
    LandonAB
    • Regressions... ?

      <font color=#808080><em>"<font color=#000000>After years of using Linux</font>, I personally have given up."</em></font>

      Always mention a distro and year, it matters to those in the know.


      ^o^
      <br>
      n0neXn0ne
      • And that's one of the bigger problems...

        .
        Beat a Dead Horse
    • What you talkin' 'bout Willis?

      More details please.

      Model, Distro, etc.
      no_zd_user_name
    • What you lack in details you hold in unsubstantiated claims

      Please provide details. You do want to know what is causing your alleged problems, don't you? I'm assuming you came here to do more than just vain allegations, I and many others are willing to help you out.

      Just post the details.
      InAction Man
    • I had the same kind of problem.

      I had a blue car. It wouldn't start unless I held the key a certain way. Damn those blue cars anyway!
      kozmcrae