miércoles, 22 de mayo de 2013

Mageia 3, the WONT FIX scim bug, and iBus

Mageia 3 has been released and, so far, the distro is getting very positive reviews.  Well, given the fact that I have been using Mageia since version 1, I believe that the team behind the distro truly deserves words congratulating their efforts.  As a Mageia user, I must say that I am very pleased with the OS and thankful for the work that has been done.

However, I received yesterday an email that, like a cloud on a blue sky, announced that not everything is rosy in the Linux world.

During my walk in Linux land, I have had the chance to read the complaints of users that get angry when developers refused to fix a bug they filed.  They vented their frustration and slashed to the right and left with sarcasm sharp as swords.  I read their sometimes long expositions and missed the spirit of their rants... until yesterday, when I received a reply from a developer concerning a bug that I filed.

First, allow me to present the context.  Three days ago, I described my experience trying to make Mageia 3 work with Japanese IMEs.  My first attempt was iBus, of course, although I knew it was not working properly in Mageia 2.  As it did not go well, I worked with SCIM and, after a battle, I made it work thanks to a package I "borrowed" from a PCLinuxOS repository.  Then, I filed the bug.

That's the point where my new story starts.  The reply came, brandishing a WONT FIX status that made me uneasy.  However, the comment from the developer bit me with angering poison; it read:

"We are promoting ibus for years. So there we do not include all scim packages in live ISOs."

The "live ISOs" part was bad enough because I obviously gathered the packages from the full list of repositories, not just the Live Core and Live Nonfree ones.  Hey, I can presume that, if you enable the Core Release repo, you should have access to the same packages that a Mageia 3 full DVD install gets, right?

The real sting was on the former part, though.  I can understand the efforts to promote iBus, but I tried that IME first to no avail.

Allow me to show you my case.  After installing iBus, anthy, and all required dependencies, you log out and back in to get iBus working. This is what you get:

iBus is active, showing only "English keyboard"

You right click and go to preferences to add extra languages

You scroll down and locate Anthy by expanding "Japanese"
After adding it, Anthy should be working.  But you click on the iBus applet and...back to square 1: English keyboard only. You can repeat that as many times as you like, using all languages that you desire.

Regardless of what you do, iBus simply refuses to "remember" any additional language you choose.  Not a very usable IME, right?

In Mageia 2, iBus would work, but would mess up with the Spanish keyboard map, ruining your chance to type accents correctly.  In Mageia 3, the said IME is simply dysfunctional and the developer won't add the scim-anthy package that is missing in SCIM so that Japanese input works...because the idea is to promote iBus, an IME that is now in a worse state than it was in Mageia 2.

I must confess that, for a moment, I got really angry.  I finally grasped the spirit of the hurt users who got the infamous WONT FIX tag for the bugs they filed.

But then my anger ebbed when I tried to see the position of the developer.  iBus is, in all accounts, a great tool.  SCIM is a good oldie, but it is somewhat difficult to get working.  Developers have the right to work on what they choose, especially when they squash bugs voluntarily and without any monetary compensation.

So, instead using this as an excuse to release all the tension that has accumulated lately (these last two weeks have not been a ball, really), I decided not to show how fluent I am in sarcasm when rabid. Ken Starks said that "rants are best served cold".  He is right.

For my part, I waited until my wrath, the propeller that efficiently takes me to the Land of a Thousand-and-One Regrets, ceased to spin.  Then I filed another bug.  This time, for iBus.

I truly hope they get to fix the problem.

UPDATE (May 23, 0:23)
I recently changed my desktop install from Mageia 3 Live to Mageia 3 DVD.  It turns out that iBus works now like a charm.  I guess the bug only affects Live installs. 

1 comentario:

  1. Hopefully they will squash the new bug you filed. But even with the bug they didn't want to fix, I think it's good that the developers got in contact with you and told you the reasons for their refusal. Even if your wish was not granted, they took the time to communicate with you, and that's important.