Today I tried to install Debian Wheezy on a Lenovo X220, in preparation for the upcoming release.
It generally went well, with just a couple of incompatabilities:
- the wireless card requires some firmware in non-free
- the fan seems to be constantly on at a low speed
Generally though, the install went very smoothly. At that point, I booted up and greeted by the new Gnome 3 desktop, which is where my troubles started. It seems that the fonts are fairly poorly rendered, either far too small or far too large. There doesn't appear to be any way of changing workspaces using the keyboard. [edit: ctrl+alt+arrows works] Using a second screen placed above the first produces some... interesting effects with moving windows around, as can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yTr12Q7CYU.
The result is that I've gone back to using XFCE. It seems to actually work well, which is kinda important when trying to be productive.
One of the things that Collabora does is work with other open source projects to improve things for open source software in general.
I was chatting with Michael Meeks of SUSE fame and we had a chat about my recent decision to buy Microsoft Office 2010 for the city council.
One of the overriding problems with the comparison was the lack of support for macros within OpenOffice and I was glad to hear about improvements being made in that area. However, there was still an issue. Doing improvements like this cost lots of time, and therefore for a commercial open source company, money.
A question arises as to who can pay for this. A district council has limited funds, and can't devote it to (essentially what equates to) a large search and development software engineering task. Companies themselves won't want to take the risk that comes with the large development without a buyer, as once the work is done, it is open source so is harder to monetize.
In the mean time, millions of pounds of public money is being siphoned into a private company, and vendor lock in continues. An easy out for a councillor can be to say "Central Government should pay" but given the current state of the economy, I can't see is happening in the immediate future.
However, there is a consultation on Open Standards that's currently accepting submission until May, and if that insisted on ensuring that open standards are adopted throughout the UK, it may help unlock this chicken and egg problem.
Labour have recently announced their answer to youth unemployment, but the numbers are just not behind the headlines.
All policies cost money, and this is to be funded by... you guessed it, an attack on banks and bankers. It's interesting to note the amount of times Labour have spent this money, again and again. You would think that recent financial times may have taught the party that refinancing the same money over and over may be a bad plan, but perhaps that's why people do not trust Labour with the economy.
But apart from the income not existing, it's WORSE than the coalition government is doing at the moment!
A full summary is at http://www.scribd.com/doc/85652418/Coalition-Youth-Contract-compared-to-Labour-s-Real-Jobs-Guarantee-Mar-2012, but in summary the government are spending more than Labour and will be available earlier (after 9 months rather than 12).
But let's not let facts stand in the way of a good headline, hey?