L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

08 May 2009 Blog Home : May 2009 : Permalink

The Shallowness of OpenSource Bugs

So while my installs of Ubuntu 9-04 (Jaunty) have been mostly problem free there was one issue that showed up. I have a server which I use as the home print server and has an old HP LaserJet 1100 connected to it via the parallel port. Unfortunately the printer was not being detected in Jaunty though it did work in previous ubuntus. I raised a bug - which turned out to be a dublicate of this one - and which someone figured out a fix to within a day or two.

Thanks to the open source nature of Ubuntu and its bug tracking it is easy for other people who find they have the same problem to learn what the fix is. Furthermore thanks to the way things work I was also able to add a cautionary note to the Ubuntu Commuity Printer documentation.

It occurs to me that had a similar bug showed up with a Microsoft Windows release it would be rather harder to get a response and almost impossible to flag a warning on a Microsoft site to warn others. All in all it seems like this is a classic example of Eric Raymond's statement in "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" that

Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow