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Shuttleworth On Ubuntu Community Drama

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

Ubuntu 302

In the wake of the Ubuntu Developer Summit, a number of contributors from its community have been speaking out, saying they're uncertain about their role and their future working on Ubuntu. They're concerned about how Canonical is making decisions, and also how (and when) those decisions are being communicated. Now, Mark Shuttleworth has addressed the issue in a blog post. He said, "The sky is not falling in. Really. Ubuntu is a group of people who get together with common purpose. How we achieve that purpose is up to us, and everyone has a say in what they can and will contribute. Canonical's contribution is massive. It's simply nonsense to say that Canonical gets 'what it wants' more than anybody else. Hell, half the time *I* don't get exactly what I want. It just doesn't work that way: lots of people work hard to the best of their abilities, the result is Ubuntu. The combination of Canonical and community is what makes that amazing. There are lots of pure community distro's. And wow, they are full of politics, spite, frustration, venality and disappointment. Why? Because people are people, and work is hard, and collaboration is even harder. That's nothing to do with Canonical, and everything to do with life. In fact, in most of the pure-community projects I've watched and participated in, the biggest meme is 'if only we had someone that could do the heavy lifting.' Ubuntu has that in Canonical – and the combination of our joint efforts has become the most popular platform for Linux fans. If you've done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on. That's normal – there's no need to poison the well behind you just because you want to try something else. It's also the case that we've shifted gear to leadership rather than integration." He also had an interesting comment about Ubuntu's target userbase: "I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say."

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302 comments

Somebody needs to remind him (-1, Troll)

inode_buddha (576844) | about a year ago | (#43115971)

Somebody needs to remind him that "ubuntu" is African for "I can't install Debian".

Linux didn't get to be as good as it is by pandering to every mercantilist interest.
.

Re:Somebody needs to remind him (4, Insightful)

znanue (2782675) | about a year ago | (#43116079)

It is a false choice to say that pandering to mercantile interests will always go against the FOSS/Server interests. They often can align. Plus, Linux has succeeded despite its desktop and difficulty to install, not because of it. Shuttleworth isn't advocating putting trusted computing in the hands of MS, he just is saying things should be easier on the desktop. And why the hell not?

Z

Re:Somebody needs to remind him (2, Insightful)

dimeglio (456244) | about a year ago | (#43117033)

I definitively agree. Canonical is taking a leadership role and there's nothing wrong with that. It often easy for a few developers to say "hey, let's implement a FOSS version of c#, Java, Windows, SMB, etc." Sure people want these but at the same time, where is our new desktop paradigm, our more efficient file sharing protocol? MIR is an example of getting out of this pattern where we simply FOSS things but actually show some innovation. Obviously there is innovation in the FOSS arena but it need to be more up front.

Re:Somebody needs to remind him (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116147)

Well it's a good thing that IBM, Red Hat, and Microsoft (you know, the people who write so much of the kernel thee days) have no mercantilist interests, then.

Re:Somebody needs to remind him (2, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43116745)

'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say.

He's right, you know,

Re:Somebody needs to remind him (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117173)

'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say.

He's right, you know,

Yes, he is. Only he's NOT, because the whole argument is a straw man. I haven't *ever* heard or read someone in the community say anything remotely similar. Except as an straw man, you know.

Re:Somebody needs to remind him (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116823)

Somebody needs to remind him that "ubuntu" is African for "I can't install Debian".

Man, that's funny, considering "debian" is French for "we'll update stable next decade".

True (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43115973)

"I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say."

They should all run plan-9 or Haiku

Re:True (5, Informative)

khasim (1285) | about a year ago | (#43116131)

I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say.

Where is the "crowd" that he referred to? Who wants Linux to be "hard"?

Everyone I know wants Linux to "work". And to work "consistently" with an internal "logic".

Re:True (4, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43116201)

It's not as bad as it used to be, but when I purchased redhat (back when one could go to the store and buy it), some random guy sneared and said "i wish people would use slackware, then you really have to know Linux"

I see here plenty of comments about this vs that leaning the same way.

Re:True (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43116619)

"i wish people would use slackware, then you really have to know Linux"

That's kind of funny. All my Slackware installs just seemed to work right out of the "box". My main problem with Linux in general is the lack of compatibility amongst distros. "Packages" are dumb. I like a distro that can take a program, binary (especially binary) or source, without any modifications, or RPMs, DEBs, or any other wrapper.

Of course the biggest problem still is licensing that hinders distribution rights. It's why dependency hell is such an issue.

Re:True (4, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | about a year ago | (#43116959)

I have seen this as well. It's not uncommon for someone coming from Windows to ask "What is a good Linux distro to learn on?". Some knucklehead will pipe up with Gentoo, LFS, or Slackware so that they "learn" linux.

Most new users have embraced Linux by starting with Ubuntu rather than getting frustrated and giving up like in the "good ol' days".

Re:True (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#43116451)

Yes, consistency is important - a lesson Microsoft has also forgotten.

If I am to support users, I need to know that they can find programs and applications by following my instructions, and that it doesn't change for them depending on what they do.

And I don't want replacement apps for the standard apps, powercharged to do things badly - Unix and Linux follows a toolbox approach for good reason. If I need to calculate a value in a script, I expect bc to be present. Not having to pull up a fancy schmanzy calculator and manually feed in the numbers. By all means, give the user that too, but don't get rid of the baseline.

Re:True (4, Informative)

ftobin (48814) | about a year ago | (#43116505)

Where is the "crowd" that he referred to? Who wants Linux to be "hard"?

I can guarantee such a mentality exists.

From http://dwm.suckless.org/ [suckless.org]

Because dwm is customized through editing its source code, it's pointless to make binary packages of it. This keeps its userbase small and elitist. No novices asking stupid questions.

Re:True (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116527)

The crowd he is talking about are busy; they will be back when they finish compiling Gentoo...

Re:True (3, Funny)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year ago | (#43116631)

Where is the "crowd" that he referred to? Who wants Linux to be "hard"?

You must be new around here. Welcome to Slashdot!

Re:True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116639)

There's an enormous amount of Hipsterism in the Linux world. A huge portion of the userbase is 20-year-old computer science students who want the coolest new bleeding-edge distro or window manager (and doesn't care if it 'works').

Then there's the graybeards who think Unix was perfected in 1992.

Linux Desktop community is very small and filled with "oddballs". There's very few people in the middle -- the "just works" crowd sticks with Windows/Mac where there's commercial software support. It's unclear who Ubuntu is really trying to attract.

Re:True (2)

DarenN (411219) | about a year ago | (#43116853)

I think that your "huge proportion of the userbase" is actually "loudest proportion of the userbase". Linux is used widely in industry and that dwarfs individual use. Most of the kernel is maintained by people working for commercial companies, furthering that company's agenda.

Re:True (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117293)

Disagree that Desktop Linux is "widely-used" outside of the programming or scientific niches. Gnome 2 was supposed to be the 'enterprise desktop', but that effort appears to be dead.

Ubuntu suffers from the longstanding practice of targeting the abstract group of "normals", even though those people have no desire/ability/need to obtain a Linux computer. If they actually surveyed their userbase, I'd bet it would be 75% *nix grognards and programmers. A wiser strategy would be a "just works" distro aimed specifically at power users.

Re:True (5, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | about a year ago | (#43116943)

Yes, the criticisms of Ubuntu are that they are largely fragmenting from the norm without a lot of coordination with community projects, not that they are making Linux 'too easy', that would be absurd. It is ironic, as one of the things I appreciated about it versus suse or fedora back in the day was how they made the most straightforward use of 'upstream' function whereas other distros added a lot of distro-specific fluff for management. I was out at Unity, and they continued on to Mir.

I will say that I am also disappointed at what the Linux desktop has been becoming. Ten years ago, Windows was an inscrutable mess of an OS under the covers. If you wanted to do nearly anything from a programming/scripting perspective in terms of managing the platform, you had to understand a ton of obscure stuff off of MSDN if it were possible at all. Linux was a lot more transparent and easy to understand how it worked at a glance. There were some limitations that were rough going from workstation/server to desktop/laptop market (e.g. making a wifi config without root privilege wasn't feasible, handling the acpi sleep button took some contortions, and controlling shutdown/restart similarly required explicit root authentication all the time).

Ten years later, MS has either replaced or hidden much of their overly complex stuff as they have advanced powershell (still a ways to go, and winmgmt is still a lot more fragile than it should be). Meanwhile, the typical Linux distro now has dconf, network manager, polkit, systemd, and worst of all dbus. Some more capability has come about, but it has become pretty inscrutable to the admins with a bourne shell scripting level of understanding. More advanced programmers appreciate some of the additional structure, but shell commands to script some capabilities are no longer easy (complex dbus-send commands, non-obvious configuration location and no longer human readable content) or impossible. The Linux desktop of today is growing a lot of the badness of the Windows desktop of a decade ago, and the Windows desktop is growing a lot of the goodness of the Linux desktop of a decade.

Re:True (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116329)

Every post Shuttleworth plays this "1337 crowd" card just to avoid actually discussing the issues.

The issues at hand this time were "Mir" and "the lack of descision power from the Ubuntu community". But he choose yet again to blame everything on the "1337 crowd".

Re:True (5, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43116663)

True? this is utter bullshit.

Or more speciffically, it's utter bullshit in the way that he's talking about.

Noone wants Linux to be hard.

The trouble is that he's focussing solely on a minority of desktop users, labelling their problems as more importand then dismissing everyone else as "leet" and saying they want it to be hard.

That is bullshit.

I don't want Linux to be hard. I want it to be easy. As easy as possible, in fact. This is why I'm in general getting rather leery of Ubunbu and have moved to Arch on a number of my systems.

Basically, ubuntu is so full of magic to make it "easy" that it's getting harder and harder to make it work the way I need to, and figure out what the hell is going on under the hood when something does go wrong.

Arch by comparison is much simpler, and much better documented. Therefore getting it to do interesting and useful things is often considerably easier than the same with Ubuntu. And if it's set up you can have all the user nicieies that one expects in a modern system (sane audio, 3D graphics, sane hot plugging, sane package management).

I mean sure, he can go nuts with ubuntu if he wants. It's his distro. Just don't expect me to help create a system I don't enjoy using and don't be surprised if people wanting control over their own system abandon it for an easier, simpler distro.

Re:True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116725)

True

Very true. But the recent wave of of criticism (that I expect sparked this post) was about building Mir instead of improving (or forking) Wayland.

WTF does that decision have to do with wanting linux to be hard? Sure some people do say that, but those are infrequent posts by idiots.

Why the heck do they... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43115999)

keep on calling it Ubuntu when it should be GNU/Linux: oh, wait

Linux is supposed to be hard (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43116017)

I can leave my girlfriend at a Gnome 2 machine forever and not get any questions about how anything is supposed to work, because it's functionally very similar to Windows.

Put her in front of a machine running Unity and she's continually asking 'why is this doing this?', 'how do I do this?', 'where did that window go and how can I get it back?', and 'what is this crap anyway?'

So I would say that Canonical has gone out of its way to make Linux hard to use.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116047)

Obvious troll. We all know that you don't have a girlfriend.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43116101)

Obvious troll. We all know that you don't have a girlfriend.

He did until he left her at that Gnome 2 machine

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116581)

I hang out at gnome 2 screens all the time! I never run into any women there.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43117187)

He did until he left her at that Gnome 2 machine

Doesn't Unity show JPGs? If so, I can understand why the nerds hate it.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116191)

Not since foisting Unity upon her, that is.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116125)

My own chain of UI did not include Gnome 2, but I did eventually find a viable choice.

After an initial uncomfortable usage of Gnome 3, I accidentally "upgraded" to Unity. This was followed by a very frantic install of KDE, which worked but had memory issues. After a few too many days watching x.org become an absolute resource hog, I installed LXDE, and it works well enough.

I've read some claims here that Mint is inherently superior to everything, but I haven't tried it myself.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43116241)

I've switched to XFCE on my Ubuntu laptop, mostly because I don't want the hassle of moving to Mint yet. It's OK, but there are things I miss about Gnome 2.

Xfce rocks (1)

durdur (252098) | about a year ago | (#43116271)

I'll be back as an Ubuntu user when they have a reasonable UI again. Unfortunately I have one box xUbuntu won't install on, so I have to run Mint on it (that's my 2nd choice).

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116337)

Have you tried MATE? It's the fork of Gnome 2 that is currently active.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (2)

Nite_Hawk (1304) | about a year ago | (#43116551)

I've got most of my machines running Ubuntu with the cinnamon repo and my wife's laptop running Mint. It's fantastic and I don't find myself missing gnome2 much. Takes a slight amount of readjustment and a bit of tweaking but it's not bad and I was die-hard gnome2 user. It's really worth the switch at this point.

Mark

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43116301)

That you use ubuntu don't mean that you must use Unity. You can complain all you want about the only possible desktop environment in windows or mac, but in linux you have plenty of options.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (1)

andydread (758754) | about a year ago | (#43116585)

haha you're a moron and obvous troll. Or maybe your GF is so old that she wouldn't be able to figure out where the windshield wipers are after moving from a Ford to a Chevy.

Re:Linux is supposed to be hard (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43116897)

Agreed, I installed Ubuntu not so long ago on my XBMC PC... and when Unity popped up I was like "What on earth is this?!?" I couldn't figure out how to navigate it. I could have spent a while getting used to it, but why bother? I formatted and had another distro on the machine in less time than it would have taken me to learn Unity. I've no interest in using a Tablet UI on a desktop. There should be a pop up that asks "Is this a tablet? y/n" and be done with it.

He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one. (4, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | about a year ago | (#43116069)

This was the core of his rant:

The combination of Canonical and community is what makes that amazing. There are lots of pure community distro's. And wow, they are full of politics, spite, frustration, venality and disappointment. Why? Because people are people, and work is hard, and collaboration is even harder. That's nothing to do with Canonical, and everything to do with life.

He's side-stepping the issue in that the point is that Canonical wields more power than the average contributor, and thus is in more of an authoritarian relationship.

However, he's hit on a bigger point, which is that in any collaborative software project, someone needs to be the silverback who forces everyone else to focus, or people do only what they want to do and blow off the unfun stuff.

Unfortunately, unfun stuff includes refinements to code to make sure it works well, drivers, documentation, gnarly bug fixes, and the like.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (3, Insightful)

Covalent (1001277) | about a year ago | (#43116251)

+1

The unfun stuff is the killer every time. Either you pay somebody to do that work, or it doesn't generally get done. I have used Ubuntu for several years now, and I have never seen the reason for the wrath some people have toward Unity. That said, there are a few glitches and odd functionalities that, were I a programmer, I would contribute fixes for. But I'm not. And the work required to correct these problems is certainly going to be time-consuming and tedious. Therefore, it probably won't get done.

In total, though, I'd still rather work on Ubuntu than Windows or Mac any day. Windows because it seems to be able to slow down the fastest machine in no time flat, and Mac because despite its reliability I don't like it and I can't change the things I don't like. With Ubuntu I (generally) can.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (2)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#43117215)

> I have used Ubuntu for several years now, and I have never seen the reason for the
> wrath some people have toward Unity.

It's funny - I went from Windows to Ubuntu and was happy until Unity came out (didn't work, everything was different and unintuitive, it wasn't anywhere near configurable enough - it was as if the developers didn't want me to configure it so there was One Experience for everyone). I moved to Mint (apparently I wasn't alone) and tried gnome 2,3, kde, lxfe and some other variations on those letters but found that I still have problems with basic functionality like 'setting the background and expecting it to appear after a reboot' and 'when I move files somewhere where there's not enough space, don't continue to attempt to move then, deleting as you go because then I'll lose all my files` and `why can't I see the mp3 tags in the file explorer like I can in windows` (no, I don't want to have to use another app to do this, pasting in the path as I move between folders because it's inefficient, and no, I don't want to use the command line to move 12 out of 88 files from a to b.

I take issue with Shuttleworths' "keep up with Android etc" statement because Ubuntu - Unity or other - is nowhere like as intuitive as Android. Perhaps it's just not possible for a desktop OS to be compared in such a way, as I don't develop on my phone, though.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (4, Interesting)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43116257)

He's side-stepping the issue in that the point is that Canonical wields more power than the average contributor, and thus is in more of an authoritarian relationship.

There is also a golden rule in life -- The one with the most gold makes the rules.

Seriously though, Canonical has more "skin in the game" than any other Ubuntu contributor and they are funding the lion's share of the expenses. You'd think this would be justification enough for them to "wield more power than the average contributor". Unlike other "authoritarian" regimes, you are free to leave and start your own fork without fear of being hunted down and shot. You can always go help Mint. I agree with Shuttleworth, if you don't like the conditions at Ubuntu then go somewhere else and try to be grown up and not poison the well when you leave.

However, he's hit on a bigger point, which is that in any collaborative software project, someone needs to be the silverback who forces everyone else to focus, or people do only what they want to do and blow off the unfun stuff...

I agree. I think Shuttleworth is just voicing his frustration with the very vocal few who dust up drama whenever they feel slighted like the recent announcement that Ubuntu Developer Summits will be held online and happen more frequently.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (-1, Troll)

equex (747231) | about a year ago | (#43116327)

'very vocal few' what a douche.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116373)

'very vocal few' what a douche.

Yep those few usually are.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (1)

curcuru (758240) | about a year ago | (#43116369)

It is what it is. Just be aware that while Ubuntu may be open source and have community governance participation, it's still partially a Canonical-driven project. That's fine, and the partnership has certainly gotten Ubuntu further (in terms of impact on the world in general) than it would have without a direct commercial driver. It's always interesting seeing these things from the Apache perspective (which on the technical side is quite different from linux distros, I admit). Apache projects themselves are required to act independently. But that in no way means that the projects don't have a lot of drivers from commercial interests. It's just that the Apache board is a stop to any one commercial interest being the sole driver. In any case, while personally I'm interested in the ubergeek commentary from Ubuntu insiders and /.ers, I'm professionally interested in communities that can tell a story to the world at large. Someday an linux distro will be something commonplace in the average human's life - and in a way that the human is actually aware of it. Perhaps Android is starting on that front, in terms of the human awareness of it.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (4, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year ago | (#43116411)

There seems to a common denominator in "unfun" stuff as regards coding. It's the bits which rely on libraries, protocols, formats or hardware which haven't been standardized yet. If we all had two image/sound/video formats (lossy and non-lossy), one time format, one type of graphics card and CPU, one file format or data transmission format, one (spoken) language (which we'll all move to eventually given enough centuries), or (horror) one OS or programming language, software would be much more exciting to write, knowing it will stand the test of time.

The tedium is found in writing code multiple times for uncommon formats, CPUs and OSs, increasing code complexity (bugs), and knowing that it will probably be dead one day. Yes, competition and multiple standards is probably a good thing initially, and hardware is certainly changing and improving for a while, but when things finally settle down in a century or two (?), the real productive work will have just started.

Food for thought regarding standardization. (3, Interesting)

hessian (467078) | about a year ago | (#43117029)

If we all had two image/sound/video formats (lossy and non-lossy), one time format, one type of graphics card and CPU, one file format or data transmission format, one (spoken) language (which we'll all move to eventually given enough centuries), or (horror) one OS or programming language, software would be much more exciting to write, knowing it will stand the test of time.

I get dreamy thinking about this. It would simply everything. However, I have one thought of caution.

Standardization creates a single point of failure.

Allowing solutions to exist simultaneously, and develop independently, allows there to be no single point of failure and for multiple solutions to be tried at once.

I think there's a reason nature (insert name of deity or deities if you'd prefer; I'm agnosticism agnostic!) chose to go with natural selection. While less efficient on the surface, it works in every situation and eventually, produces a time-tested quality result.

Just food for thought, not a contrarian argument.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116741)

"He's side-stepping the issue in that the point is that Canonical wields more power than the average contributor, and thus is in more of an authoritarian relationship."

well duh.. what average contributor does more than Canonical? I'm sorry but your argument makes no sense to me.

Re:He side-steps the issue, confronts a bigger one (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43117093)

Actually, the really big problem that he's ducking here is the question the complaining community developers may not have explicitly asked but were probably thinking, which is: "Is Mark Shuttleworth basically just treating us like free labor for Canonical? And if so, why are we bothering to help him?"

However, he's hit on a bigger point, which is that in any collaborative software project, someone needs to be the silverback who forces everyone else to focus, or people do only what they want to do and blow off the unfun stuff.

How that works in a lot of projects is the BDFL: Linus, Larry Wall, Guido van Rossum, etc. And that seems to work well enough, without being tied into a specific for-profit company's bottom line.

Unity is hard (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116099)

So why did he force unity down the users' throats? XFCE is much easier to use!

Re:Unity is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116193)

Unity is the distro's default. You can still install any desktop/window manager/UI you want (and there's a lot in the repos).

Re:Unity is hard (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116277)

Because Unity's license forces contributors to give their copyright over to Canonical, which is the only reason it exists.

Here's a fun exercise: Go to the Ubuntu website and try to find the word Linux anywhere on the front page. It's as if they're trying to hide the fact that they're a distribution of Linux all of a sudden, as if they want to sell themselves as Ubuntu the -platform- (for tablets and phones) rather than Ubuntu the distribution. And there's no room for freedom on a tablet or a phone.

Re:Unity is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117021)

Debian's home page also doesn't have the word Linux on the front page (unless it's currently under security advisories)! It must be a conspiracy!

Re:Unity is hard (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117023)

Because Unity's license forces contributors to give their copyright over to Canonical, which is the only reason it exists.

That's an outright lie, plain and simple. Look up the Canonical Contributor License Agreement and then promptly eat your hat.

What you're saying is a prime example of poisoning the well, or, at least, an irresponsible level of applied ignorance.

Re:Unity is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116427)

It is? Ok so where is the search function in the file manager?

No one care anymore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116109)

Linux desktop is dead I repeat. LINUX DESKTOP IS DEAD.

No body cares anymore, Ubuntu, Unitiy, GNOME or KDE. Its over.

You just playing the ball until some one migrate Debian with android then realize. Its over.

Desktop / laptop is over. It becomes specialist tool something like lathe or cnc.

After 20 fucking years. First time in my life, I did not try to replace my failed desktop. Just looking around to find way to install a linux distro to my new deadly cheap chinese knock off tablet.

Attach a keyboard and mouse.

Volia.

Re:No one care anymore (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#43116195)

Linux desktop is dead I repeat. LINUX DESKTOP IS DEAD.

After 20 fucking years. First time in my life, I did not try to replace my failed desktop. Just looking around to find way to install a linux distro to my new deadly cheap chinese knock off tablet.

Attach a keyboard and mouse.

Volia.

So what you're saying is you installed a full Linux distro - ie a desktop distribution - on a tablet. And you're saying it's dead? Riiiight...

Re:No one care anymore (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116215)

Shut up Hairyfeet, we know it is you hiding behind that bad English.

Translation: It's mine, and you don't matter (5, Insightful)

undeadbill (2490070) | about a year ago | (#43116115)

To an extent, I like the distro, but I've had similar complaints about how they have changed user level features in the past without offering any kind of migration path. Now it looks like the same mentality behind Canonical's management and release style has finally reached developers as well.

Well, it isn't the end of the world. There are plenty of other distros. I wouldn't be surprised to see most of the devs just go back to Debian.

Re:Translation: It's mine, and you don't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116901)

Except it isn't really any developers of significance that are complaining, just the Ubuntu emo members writing their GBCW blather on Planet Ubuntu.

Re:Translation: It's mine, and you don't matter (4, Informative)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year ago | (#43116969)

"I wouldn't be surprised to see most of the devs just go back to Debian."

That is exactly what I did. It's the same thing, less the fluff, less the drama and less the commercial interest.

Re:Translation: It's mine, and you don't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117161)

There are a lot of things to dislike about Ubuntu and Mark Shuttleworth. I don't think he is wrong here though.

But... anyway:

1. We need backports integration for LTS releases (newer kernel, newer openoffice, newer hplip, etc) for better support on newer hardware
2. We need to stop focusing on cell phones; they don't matter; this should be a different project but unfortunately that is where the company is focusing and destroying the desktop
3. We need a solution to the proprietary dependencies issue and hardware problem (stuff stops working after an upgrade or doesn't integrate properly with free software because companies refuse to release source code)

I think all of these are solvable issues and we don't have to eliminate all proprietary pieces all at once. Lets just start by eliminating the proprietary firmware in Ubuntu (copy Debian's approach). The easy solution to this is to simply point users at companies that actually support free software: ThinkPenguin. Then you won't have the masses abandoning Ubuntu because of the lack of proper hardware support (which a big part is due to non-free software). The other part is we need consistency (so better books can be written) in the user interface between releases. Lets release LTS releases and backport critical pieces (like LibreOffice, HPLIP, and the kernel).

Then we can move on to fixing other issues like Adobe Flash. We shouldn't be reliant on companies like this that push propitiatory software. They will drop support for Ubuntu on a dime if they think it is in there best interest. We don't need that. We can develop solutions to digital restrictions on media ourselves. Why not put out a free software friendly portal for email, entertainment, music, news, and more? It is certainly doable and probably not that terribly expensive in the scheme of things. We just need a single developers to work on it exclusively full time and then a few more people to administrator the services.

While cell phones are great and that is an effort worth putting resources into it isn't that important. If your not going to release a more free software friendly solution to android you might as well shelve the project. There is nothing your going to bring to the table that others can't do as good or better job on. Your ideas just aren't that unique, interesting, and have already been tried. I haven't seen anything that looked like it had been done drastically different than before. It would appear nobody else thinks so either from the reviews I've read.

It's a fine line. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116183)

"I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say."

The flip side of that coin is that you never go full retard. Microsoft is straddling the line, and it seems Canonical is following suit.

Re:It's a fine line. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43116229)

I find it hilarious that he states he has zero interest in just being different.

Yet they continue to do stupid shit like whatever that UI was they slapped on top of Gnome 3, or Wayland, or... whatever the next one is (I can't recall exactly)

Remember... (1, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43116255)

Ubuntu has some power to make Linux more known in general crowd, which in turn helps the Linux ecosystem as whole. Thus it might be good to let Ubuntu flourish on the side, even if you are a user of some other distro.

Re:Remember... (1)

kestasjk (933987) | about a year ago | (#43116549)

If it's not the GnuSense Linux fork GnuTense it's worth actively working against, because anyone we can persuade to stop working on other distros will start working on GnuTense!

Let's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116273)

fork it! fork it! fork it!

Fuck a sponge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116281)

users. BSD/OS ~280MB MPEG off of BSD addicts, flame other members in to dief. I will jam

It's not that we don't get what we want. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116297)

It's that as users we don't understand why we have to either choose the Ubuntu way or the highway. Unity is forward thinking, but it is also single minded and isn't very customizable.

I've sung the praises of the HUD to everyone I know who's moderately interested in computing. It's great. But the fact that I'm stuck into the Ubuntu way of managing my windows and desktop just grates at me. As amazing as HUD and lenses are, I still choose to go with MATE because it gives me an expected, customizable and sane way of managing my desktop that I can't seem to duplicate with Unity.

I hope Ubuntu succeeds, but damned if you aren't ignoring us when we ask for some simple customization.

Re:It's not that we don't get what we want. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43116453)

You might like KDE too. Stable and very customizable.

Re:It's not that we don't get what we want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116821)

I do like it. After years of Gnome 2, it and it's forks became the default I go to. I've been impressed with KDE the last time I used it. I found it to have the most beautiful window/gadget rendering of the desktops.

too bad it's true (2, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43116321)

He also had an interesting comment about Ubuntu's target userbase: "I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say."

Too bad that's the opinion of way too many people on too many Linux forums. In fact, that attitude launched Linux. It wasn't about total computer cost or features. It was about "I'm better than you" and they shut out all the other problems Linux had to pretend it's an ideal OS instead of addressing them to make it more user-friendly.

Re:too bad it's true (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43116701)

This post makes you sound like a dumb person with a massive chip on your shoulder.

In fact, that attitude launched Linux.... It was about "I'm better than you"

No, the attitide that launched Linux was: I'm writing a kernel for fun and I want to share it with you.

The fact that this has transformed in your warped little brain to other people trying to make themselves look better than you has become a self fulfilling prophecy. They gave away cool stuff for free and you complain aabout it. Now, they do look much better than you.

Re:too bad it's true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116807)

This post makes you sound like a dumb person with a massive chip on your shoulder.

In fact, that attitude launched Linux.... It was about "I'm better than you"

No, the attitide that launched Linux was: I'm writing a kernel for fun and I want to share it with you.

The fact that this has transformed in your warped little brain to other people trying to make themselves look better than you has become a self fulfilling prophecy. They gave away cool stuff for free and you complain aabout it. Now, they do look much better than you.

Psst, serviscope_minor..., just a tip, Shuttleworth was talking about people like you.

Re:too bad it's true (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43116771)

That is a problem, but I don't think Shuttleworth is the cure. Superficial complexity is to a large part just that, a thin skin on top of a mass of the same complexity. You can take away all the screensaver options you'd like but it doesn't make it simpler when people have hardware that doesn't work right or upgrades that has regressions or the desktop is messed up or applications that crash or don't work right. Every time I've had to fix things with command line-fu it's because things don't work as they ought to in the first place. It's just an option to open the hood and start poking at the innards when the car won't run or the lights are out or the windshield wipers won't wipe.

In all honestly, I can probably figure out how to use any clusterfuck of a user interface you throw at me, I'd probably grumble at that but if it meant it was a silly coating on a solid rock I'd deal with it. But in my experience it's not, it's just the same rough unpolished rock in a new and poorer wrapper. Because window dressing is easy, fixing those deep underlying technical issues is really not. If the code is overall not that great, everyone will run into bugs but it won't be the same bugs and it's just a gigantic whack-a-mole fixing bugs for 10-100 users at a time, hoping you don't add more faster than you can stomp them out.

Re:too bad it's true (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43116817)

Too bad that's the opinion of way too many people on too many Linux forums. In fact, that attitude launched Linux. It wasn't about total computer cost or features. It was about "I'm better than you" and they shut out all the other problems Linux had to pretend it's an ideal OS instead of addressing them to make it more user-friendly.

I agree that there are elitists who join Linux forums, but this is no different than any other OS or pretty much anything else.

I disagree that this elitist attitude launched Linux. The way I remember it was that Linus posted an announcement on usenet and the contributions grew from there. Sure there were flamewars over how things would be implemented but that is to be expected when you have two groups who have different ideas on how something should be done and their way is the obvious correct method. In the end, things settle down and kernels get released.

Yes the thread can appear downright hostile to the new person who wants to help. This hostility originates from frustration not elitism. Nothing can be more annoying than having to stop a conversation and answer a question that has either been answered multiple times or worse not even on topic of the forum. You can't simply ignore the questions because people will just keep asking it until they get a response. Imagine having to deal with this on the scale of a popular open-source project.

Sure they can tone their hostility a little, but it is hard not to sympathize with them since a lot of their frustration originates with the new comer's inability to read the FAQ's or go to the correct forum.

Re:too bad it's true (1)

Pale Dot (2813911) | about a year ago | (#43116847)

I thought Linux was started by people who had nothing better to do. It wasn't like the GNU Project that Stallman started because he wanted to make then world a better place at least for fellow geeks if not for ordinary users. Linus started coding because he found it interesting and maybe he didn't have a girlfriend at the time. By the time he found a girlfriend (or she found him), he could no longer quit because it had become much more than a pastime, like a Youtube video that went viral and became big business.

Tribalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116349)

For a guy so against tribalism this Shuttleworth guy sure seems to be intent on eking out his own tribe, including doing his best to push out members he feels do not share share his 'vision'.

The man is 100% right (3, Insightful)

bazorg (911295) | about a year ago | (#43116383)

At some point someone has to say that "I can't run this ship by consensus". Now that everyone and their dog have access to the internet it is very visible that whenever something changes, there are people who voice their disagreement with the new thing; and if there's no change, then people will vote with their feet and say that they will choose the most innovative product/company/project.

What is regrettable with all this is that whenever there's news from Ubuntu, there's no shortage of people saying that they moved away to Mint or whatever. If that is the case, why comment Ubuntu stories at all?

Re:The man is 100% right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116589)

I agree.

Red herring (5, Insightful)

JonJ (907502) | about a year ago | (#43116417)

It's not about difficult vs easy when it comes to distributions. Both Fedora and OpenSUSE installs with relative ease these days. But Canonicals insistance of doing everything alone, fragmenting with new upstream projects. There's no rhyme nor reason for Mir, and all it does is cause headaches everywhere. And that's what they've gotten most shit for these past days. Not their ease of use.

Re:Red herring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117131)

There is no rhyme or reason behind throwing their weight behind un unfinished product they don't believe in either. Red Hat does this shit all the time too (making choices and backing them with cash), but somehow Canonical is only supposed to do... what exactly? Why not bark up Debian's tree for daring to patch packages? Why the fuck is everyone else free to make choices about their distros but Canonical?

If You Don't Like Ubuntu Use Something Else (4, Insightful)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about a year ago | (#43116541)

At the end of the day it's his company and if he wants to take Ubuntu in his/their own direction that's up to them.

I used Ubuntu for many years and was really happy with it. I moved on since then and use another distro.

Ubuntu has done a lot of great work for the Linux community and also got a few things wrong (in my humble opinion).

There is no reason to hate them for it. People make the opinions known and it's up to Conanical to take these opinions on board or not.

There is so much choice out there for Linux and if you don't agree with Ubuntu's direction use something else. Ubunutu is open-source so you can roll your own version or use a derivative.

  But really all the hate for Ubuntu and Shuttleworth is childish.

Freedom as in speech not beer.

tedious excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116569)

"...How we achieve that purpose is up to us, and everyone has a say in what they can and will contribute." --as long as it falls in line with whatever Shuttleworth wants.

He's right... (0)

malv (882285) | about a year ago | (#43116769)

The Linux community is full of egotistical dickheads that like to control the product and then work it when the move on. Miguel De Icaza is a perfect example of this type of characters.

Let's face facts. A good number of Linux developers do it for the power and pride it gives them, not because they want to design a product that serves the needs of a diverse audience. They are the Josef Stalins and Chairman Maos of the Linux world. Totalitarian to the core. Self-serving egomaniacs in essence.

I respect Mark Shuttleworth because he has a vision of a product, and that vision drives his decision process. He's authoritarian in his process, but a slave to his vision and humble in his own status. And that is exactly why he has been successful thus far, and why he will continue to succeed.

Re:He's right... (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year ago | (#43117053)

And what do you know about Mark Shuttleworth's motivation? How do you know that Mark Shuttleworth is a nice guy? How much longer is Mark Shuttleworth gonna stay with the project if he can't turn any profit? How can you prove that your statement won't go both ways, like:

"The Linux community is full of egotistical dickheads that like to control the product and then work it when the move on. Mark Shuttleworth is a perfect example of this type of characters."

Ubuntu is obsolete, use Debian, CentOS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43116893)

no need to use Ubuntu these days: the linux desktop is in good shape now, just use Debian 7 or CentOS 6.4

Ubuntu is obsolete

Ok but (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | about a year ago | (#43116895)

"He also had an interesting comment about Ubuntu's target userbase: "I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say."

I'm cool with that, as long as it's not used as an excuse to block me from doing what I want to do. Don't take the Apple approach to dumbing tech down please.

Re:Ok but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117219)

Right on!

The problem I see with the "make it simpler" approach (or "easier", "more accesible" or whatever) is that the most frequently seen path is to dumb things down, and in the process making the not-so-dumb or really-smart features and functions harder to reach. And this second part, to me, is the real problem.

I can understand the probable thinking behind this, the "hard" parts shouldn't be "easy to find" because then the not-so-smart users wouldn't be able to tell it apart from the actual "easy" stuff. It won't matter how many warnings and "Are you sure? yes/no" dialog boxes you put in front of them, we've done a great job of desensitizing people to just click through them without minding what they actually mean. So to be safe, and protect the users from themselves, they make the smart stuff *impossible* to find; after all, who wants to break their own desktop environment? we can't risk that.

I can understand that, but it doesn't mean I like it or agree with it entirely.

Fortunately, linux still has enough flexibility that the right set of skills and knowledge can help get past this hurdle. Maybe to a lesser extent Mac can still allow for this, thanks to its BSD heart and things like MacPorts...maybe. I think Windows long ago lost sight of this (just look at Win8), but I'm not too experienced on the Win side.

perhaps when mister shuttleworth said (1, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43116951)

Hell, half the time *I* don't get exactly what I want.

he has forgotten that community is the very essence of open source, and that for a business leader as he is be forced to compromise is a fine indication the project is proceeding normally.

people are people, and work is hard, and collaboration is even harder. That's nothing to do with Canonical, and everything to do with life.

stop making excuses for yourself and your company; it cant be helped. your business has been the core concern of many developers and yet youve only now chosen to speak up in defense of your arrogant mailinglist decrees to blame us for being who we are?

in most of the pure-community projects I've watched and participated in, the biggest meme is 'if only we had someone that could do the heavy lifting.'

who the hell do you think you are? if anyone has done the heavy lifting, from wireless to pcmcia to the acpi im sure youre using on your ubuntu laptop, mtp support and bluetooth its been the efforts of hundreds of thousands of community members from other projects. if by 'heavy lifting' you mean commercial branding, syndication, and profit from the sweat of our collective brow then yes. bravo.

I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different.

Linux is about choice, and people can choose to differentiate themselves substantially from one another in the pursuit of the freedom to choose. to say you simply dont care for 'different' is as infuriating as it is disappointing. a fairly evident red flag to most community members that ubuntu will become the 'be different: conform' distribution. if i squint hard enough, i can see the desicated corpse of steve jobs in the canonical logo.

It's a philosophical question (1)

joelholdsworth (1095165) | about a year ago | (#43117001)

I guess I hoped Ubuntu would succeed because it was good Free Software not in spite of it. It seems like Ubuntu is cooling off on some of the values that make free software great including openness (secret Mir developments), collaboration (going their own way on new infrastructure), respect for privacy (Amazon Dash) etc.

I wish the Ubuntu guys would stop trying to be another Apple, and instead focus on what they and the community can offer than Apple never could.

On the subject does can anyone make a suggestion about where best to go in terms of other distributions. I want to stay in the Debian family. Debian Stable is too behind the curve. Debian Testing seems rather volatile - a friend told me wine disappeard for a while on his install. Mint seems quite ok, but does it try too much to be a windows clone. Really I want something like debian but with some user polish, and a ~6-month release cycle.

"different" is part and parcel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117073)

It's apparent that Shuttleworth is attempting to channel the late Steve Jobs as far as his vision for Ubuntu is concerned. The problem is, it's almost as hypocritical, scheming, unethical and as-closed minded as Jobs himself was.

Canonical is benefiting from an entire community whose collective goal is the betterment of computing, driven by philosophies founded in liberty and transparency, of openness and spirit of mutual respect and cooperation. Even the name of Canonical's "Ubuntu" is borrowed from African philosophy and is centered of humanity and mutual respect. The hypocrisy arises when, under the guidance of Shuttleworth's vision for this OS, Canonical introduces mainstream concepts that are, in fact, contrary to the philosophies of the open source community, and tarnishes its namesake "Ubuntu". Time and time again, Canonical has pushed scopes and lenses down the community's throat, automatically opting-them-in to whatever deal Shuttleworth has struck with the devil.

I recognize (and this has been argued many-a-time on various forums) that Shuttleworth/Canonical isnâ(TM)t in the business of philanthropy; however, what he is doing is effectively selling-out a community, the same community that helped Canonical and Shuttleworth attain its current status.
While every user has control to un-tick certain boxes, opt-out of these services, or remove said scopes and lenses, there is an inherent violation of permission, a breech in philosophy, and a usurpation of a user's right to inititate these things, to have absolute control and betrays an entire community who have given their time and knowledge to something, someone whom they once believed in.

These actions on Canonical's part are presumptuous. They assume that everyone wants to board the train to the mainstream, but the fact of the matter here is this: many a disillusioned person has left Windows or Apple OSes for these very reasons; the gnu/linux community is inherently different - and Shuttleworth does his best to discard this fact as easily as user's rights to privacy. Canonical (and Shuttworth himself) very much operate on the assumption that anyone and everyone willing to download, install, and utilize Ubuntu shares Shuttleworth's vision of joining the 'mainstream'.

This vision is myopic, impractical, and an embarrassment to an entire community. When a person like Shuttleworth, or a company like Canonical, begins to act with such disregard and blatant impunity toward the people who made them both what they are today, it is a knife in the back. Itâ(TM)s as simple as that.

He totally doesn't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117097)

"I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say."

There is absolutely no Linux user who wants Linux to be hard. It is very revealing that Shuttleworth needs to defend himself by pointing to non-existent people.

We want a UI that's optimized perfectly for the desktop. An uncustomizable smartphone UI simply doesn't cut it when you've got two 30-inch monitors. We're not "different" and we're not "leet" -- we're Linux desktop users who use it professionally all day every day for productivity.

I wish he would just be honest and admit that he has made a unilateral decision to make Ubunutu a mobile-only distro. We're not stupid -- we can see what he's doing. Shuttleworth deliberately abandoned desktop users, and then he rationalizes it by falsely claiming that we're "different" and "leet" and want to make Linux "hard".

Switched to Mint (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43117107)

Ubuntu was a simple choice to recommend for businesses between 2010 and 2012, but now I recommend Mint (Mate normally). That's all I have to say on this issue, Gnome 3 and then Unity have killed 'classic' Ubuntu distributions for me (even though Mint itself is based off of Ubuntu). I tried xubuntu for a few months, but it has various problems itself, so I had to stop with that.

!Hypocrisy! (3, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43117157)

He said he wants nothing to do with the crowd who wants to be diffrent

upstart, now unity, now mir.

Ubuntu is at the forefront of non-standard projects that fracture the GNU/Linux community, with software that generally sucks btw.

Mir has yet to be seen but going by upstart and unity, I don't have much hope.

No, I don't want linux to be exlcusive for experts only, I want it to be easy to use, and I want it to use compatible software as everyone else, so what runs on ubuntu runs on red hat, runs on arch, so we have a shared knowledge base.

This was a reality since glibc became ABI stable.

Dude, get a clue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43117239)

Both Ubuntu with Unity and Gnome with Gnome 3 ruined their user interfaces and they wonder why their communities are falling apart and hate them!? Microsoft is going through the same thing with Windows 8, rushing something called "Blue" out this summer. The users who use your stuff are all you have. If you alienate them, you're done.

wanting to be different (3, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43117303)

I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different

And that's why he keeps breaking long-established UI convention and keeps reinventing the wheel in any shape but round?

"Wanting to be different" is what is destroying Ubuntu.

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