Yesterday the Songbird Dev’s announced that they will no longer be developing Songbird for Linux. Not being heavy on music being played from my dusty iPod, I’ve never really explored Songbird much. I did know that it was very popular as the go to software as an iTunes replacement in the Linux world. You can also tell that from most of the comments in their blog posting most others felt the same way.
I think we’re all wondering, “Why did they stop developing for Linux but Kept Mac support?”. Why continue to develop a iTunes replacement on the two operating systems that run iTunes natively?
My guess is that if you are going to buy a Mac, you’re going to use iTunes and nothing else. You just spent a couple extra thousand more for that Genius bar support, so why would you throw that way for Songbird? Granted this doesn’t apply to all, but I would guess most.
Windows, windows, windows. There are so many options, only a few being worth while though. One that comes to mind is, MediaMonkey. Probably the best feature it has that Songbird has yet to implement is CD-Burning/Ripping.
So Songbird, whats the deal? Windows already has enough options as is and Mac just doesn’t need your software. My first reaction to seeing this news was, “Most of your help came from the Linux Comunity.” So I went on over to their bugzilla page and ran a few reports. I first ran query’s instead of reports and found that I got different numbers for the results and I’m not sure why. So the first portion is what I ran individually in searching for bugs. The table below that is supposed to be the “Report” version of it.
Links I used to create this reports:
- Advanced Query – Running each report per OS individually at a time.
- Reports – Same options above but with graph’s. It Allowed me to select all options at once to see them all together as a comparison.
- 1187 Bug Reports.
- 282 Fixed
- 76 Invalid
- 46 Wont Fix
- 299 Duplicates
- 313 Works For Me
- 56 Enhancements
- 3996 Bug Reports
- 1262 Fixed
- 251 Invalid
- 135 Wont Fix
- 806 Duplicate
- 901 Works For Me
- 196 Enhancements
- 962 Bug Reports
- 325 Fixed
- 46 Invalid
- 35 Wont Fix
- 173 Duplicates
- 240 Works For Me
- 38 Enhancements
Report version of everything in a table
|Windows (All)||Windows (XP)||Windows (Vista)||Windows (7)||Mac OS X (All)||Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x)||Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.x)||Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.*)||Linux (All)||Linux (i686)||Linux (x86_64)||Other / Unsupported||N/A||Total|
To get the Advanced Query results I selected the following:
- Product: Songbird
- OS: All OS options Per OS. IE: Windows(all)/(XP)/(VISTA)/(7). “ALL” Does not include all from what I could tell but is away to fill the void of anything windows that is not supported but may work, IE: Windows 2000.
- Bugs – Blocker, Critical, Major, Minor
- Enhancements, only selected Enhancements. No resolutions were slected.
- Resolutions – Selected on at a time with the “Bugs” severity selections
To get the Report results I selected the following:
- Product: Songbird
- OS: Everything but the “ALL” Option.
- Severity: blocker, critical, major, minor
- Resolution: fixed, invalid, wontfix, duplicate, worksforme
- Vertical Axis: Resolution
- Plot Data Sets: Stacked
- Multiple Images: None
- Horizontal Axis: OS
- Vertical Labels: Check Marked
I ran all the query’s and reports within the hour, so I would have figured that the numbers would be the same when trying to compare the two but it’s also possible that bug reports were fixed and/or reported during this time to cause the differences. I took the results for INVALID, WONTFIX, DUPLICATE and WORKSFORME and added them all up together per OS. These resolutions seemed to me to be the “time wasters” for the developers to have to look at and deal with due to most users jumping the gun on filing what they thing is a bug report. I did the same thing for FIXED and TOTALS, then did a little math to get the following percentages(I used the Report Values).
- Fixed: 37.6%
- Wasted Time: 62.3%
- Fixed: 27.7%
- Wasted Time: 72.2%
- Fixed: 40.1%
- Wasted Time: 61%
Enhancement requests were an over all 5% for all OS’s.
As you can see, the percentages for Linux and Mac don’t add up right. Could be a mistake on my part, bugzilla or just catching certain results before and then after a time of a bug submission or fix. I don’t claim to have done this perfectly, I just wanted to see if I could find out the “why” Linux was dropped, and I think I have. Mac seems to be more supported when looking at these numbers since they had the highest percentage of bugs fixed. Linux is only about 10% less than windows but as you can see out of everything that was submitted only 27.7% got the attention of the dev’s to be fixed.
It appears that a good bunch of bug reporting came from every single OS. Windows had the most bugs filed while Linux and Mac were fairly close into their totals. More wasted time to filter out bugs or user error seems to have come more from the Linux end than Windows or Mac. Now “Wasted Time” wasn’t all necessarily time wasted by the developers. The “Fixed” bugs percentage isn’t the percentage of what they’ve chosen to fix but the overall percentage they HAVE fixed against the full TOTAL of submissions.
In my opinion, regardless of all this information, I still think it is a mistake for them to drop Linux. Something else smells of funk as to really why they’re dropping it because it’s not going to save them that much time. If they want time saved, drop Windows support. But I wouldn’t agree with that either. Users of the Linux community can only hope that someone takes it, forks it and in the end make it everything Songbird wasn’t. In the mean time, there are a plethora of alternatives for Linux users. Maybe with Songbird gone, you will start to use that application that just didn’t cut it again and with your help of filing bug/enhancement’s to them, it will become what you want.
What are your thoughts?