Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Reflecting on Ubuntu

It's been a while now since I moved to Ubuntu as my Haskell development OS. On the whole working in Ubuntu is a pleasant experience. I adapted easily to the UI, the support groups have loads of answers when I have an issue, and things usually install well, be it Haskell libraries or additional tools. I like that 99% of the time the upgrades do not require a restart. I have a few gripes, though.

  • Eclipse is not always stable and crashes from time to time (a couple of times a week), say. I haven't found any fix for that yet. It seems to be a UI library issue, maybe something to do with SWT. 
  • Maybe it's linked, but I've had some cases where Eclipse seemed to starve the machine of resources, and it was a huge pain to kill it. In Windows I go Ctrl-Alt-Del and kill the process via the task manager, and that's not an issue. On Ubuntu going Ctrl-Alt-F1 to go to another session, login, find the process and kill it tooks ages. I tried to change to setting to forbid an application to take to much resources but I don't think it helped. There's maybe another way to kill a misbehaving application that I'd love to know...
  • There are still some rough edges for things that should be simple. I can't get my printer to work (a run of the mill Canon printer), and there's a limit to the number of hours I'm willing to spend on getting something stupid like that to work. The other day RhythmBox (the software that apparently tries to play my CDs) crashed repeatedly after the first song on a CD that plays fine on Windows (maybe RhythmBox doesn't like Michael Schenker?). Seriously? Playing a CD is too hard?
So in the end, after hearing for years that Windows was not a great OS, I don't find Ubuntu that more stable or solid. I love not to be on a third-grade OS for Haskell libraries, don't get me wrong, so I'll stick with it, and hopefully the issues will go away!