Debian’s Quality Problems
June 13, 2011
For the last 8-10 years I have been using Debian. And when Debian Squeeze came out I happily upgraded. The upgrade went fine, but using Squeeze has been very annoying. The quality has been abysmal, and not at all what I have come to expect of Debian.
My main complaint is the Gnome experience. Epiphany, which I used to be quite happy with, crashed a lot and Gnome recommended Iceweasel anyway. Iceweasel do not have the nice bookmark system of Epiphany, but it works well. But I was annoyed of having to deal with the buggy Epiphany.
My earlier chat client, Pidgin, did not work very well in Squeeze either, so I decided to try Empathy. After some tweaking, looking though bug reports, I got Empathy working all right. The sound is still not working, which is annoying, but you can live without sound in a chat client. Also, Empathy sometimes do not login to MSN and Google Talk when starting the computer. Restarting Empathy fixes the login problem, but it is quite annoying. Something so common as a chat client needs to work out of the box. No tweaking.
Today, I needed to use my Evolution calendar for the first time. Every time I try to save an appointment, Evolution says “The name :1.164 was not provided by any .service files”, and “The Evolution calendar has quit unexpectedly … Your calendars will not be available until Evolution is restarted”. Again, something common, like the standard Gnome calendar, needs to work without any fuzz. I tried googling, but that did not help much. Anyway, I am tied of tweaking.
What's more, I have seen a couple of kernel panics in a couple of month. This is quite unusual for a Debian system. I suspect that it might be related to running a Xen kernel, but I do not really know.
I guess I am just fed up, and I have started to consider something besides Debian. Linux still got a lot going for it, but the Debian version of Gnome do not seem to be part of it. I still feel “at home” when using Gnome. I think the at-home feeling stems from Gnome’s nice and simply design, but that is not enough when core applications is so much hassle.