Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the stone-the-popular-kid dept.

Ubuntu 155

puddingebola (2036796) writes "Bruce Byfield looks back at the soured relationships between Canonical and the free software community. Partly analysis, partly a review of past conflicts, the writer touches on Mir and Wayland, and what he sees as Canonical's attempts to take over projects. From the article, 'However, despite these other concerns, probably the most important single reason for the reservations about Ubuntu is its frequent attempts to assume the leadership of free software — a position that no one has ever filled, and that no one particularly wants to see filled. In its first few years, Ubuntu's influence was mostly by example. However, by 2008, Shuttleworth was promoting the idea that major projects should coordinate their release schedules. That idea was received without enthusiasm. However, it is worth noting that some of those who opposed it, like Aaron Seigo, have re-emerged as critics of Mir — another indication that personal differences are as important as the issues under discussion.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

fuck Bruce Byfield (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584357)

He is a moron with no development skills

Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584367)

The second any one party becomes big enough, or popular enough, to start making meaningful changes in the way Linux is implemented in their distributions, the knives come out.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | about 7 months ago | (#46584535)

We already have Apple. Thus anyone trying to be an Apple wannabe in the Linux community is redundant.

Not that being Apple has done that much good for their computing platform. They are still the same marginal also-ran that they have been since before Linux ever started.

No one is interested in corporate megalomania. We already have enough corpses of the companies that tried to do things in all of the ways that "helpful" people think Linux should.

One party "in charge" just makes Linux an easier target.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584579)

Not that being Apple has done that much good for their computing platform. They are still the same marginal also-ran that they have been since before Linux ever started.

With $160 billion in the bank. And growing about $1B/week.

I think they're ok with you calling them an also-ran.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (-1, Troll)

blue trane (110704) | about 7 months ago | (#46584829)

I hope Steve Jobs is enjoying all that hard-earned money! oh wait

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (2, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46585469)

It's not about money! It's about Freedom.

That's brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585603)

I don't understand how that money is benefitting the OS and thereby staving off the charge of them being a technological also-ran.

Are you saying that by stockpiling that cash instead of spending it on development, Apple has avoided the developers' trap of constantly trying to make things work better, which ultimately results in dangerous technologies (like how 1930s research ultimately resulted in nuclear weapons) that perversely may lead to technological collapse (e.g. WW3), which everyone agrees is a technological downgrade (WW4 fought using sticks and stones)? And that Apple's shrewd far-seeing decision to stockpile instead of develop, is preventing a destructive singularity which could end up with us all forced by robots into abacus-labor-camps where we do their computations, and then they layer abstractions upon our manual computing and invent yet another computing infrastructure (which we cannot even perceive at our level; we're just moving little beads around), with AIs running on our abacuses, and Those AIs develop magic spells and use them to summon Yog-Sothoth (the gatekeeper and the key) That Which Sees All Time as a zero-dimensional point, and It makes it so, thereby collapsing all time into nothingness, crashing the universe? Because I agree that a crashed universe has NO TECHNOLOGY AT ALL.

Holy crap dude, that's a complicated argument you're making there. But I don't see a problem with it. I think it's sound and you may be right. Let's hold off on the accusations of them being an also-ran. Their cash may show they have found the optimum level of tech, that we must not exceed.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

dk20 (914954) | about 7 months ago | (#46586615)

So, you are saying you are proud to overpay for products that allow apple to have that money?

PS. it is NOT in any US bank, or they would have to pay taxes on it. Its all offshore benefiting whom?

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46584593)

One party "in charge" just makes Linux an easier target.

That, and the collective mentality of open source is not unlike a bunch of cats which have no desire to be herded by anybody who claims to be in charge.

People work on projects they like, for their own reasons. Not to make something which benefits Canonical.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (3, Interesting)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 7 months ago | (#46584897)

which is fine when you're a cat, but when you're a group of supposed computer experts who think the world should be a better place and want to improve upon the old, it's not fine, it's a complete waste of energy and the top #1 reason why linux only makes steps forward when somebody steps forward to take that charge, e.g. Linus, Google (with android), Nvidia, ATI, the wayland team

can you remember how bad the linux desktop was before ubuntu? it was atrocious....what about before x.org?

the list is probably endless if you ask somebody for other examples, but I think I've made my point

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 7 months ago | (#46585349)

and the top #1 reason why linux only makes steps forward when somebody steps forward to take that charge, e.g. Linus

Are you forgetting that Linus created Linux? He didn't step forward to take charge. You can't even include him in that list.

can you remember how bad the linux desktop was before ubuntu? it was atrocious....what about before x.org?

When I started using Linux (0.99a Kernel, Slackware on a million floppy disks), the X interface (and OS) was several years ahead of anything Microsoft produced. And I still consider fvwm to be one of my favorite desktop environments of all time, because it was lean, and worked quite well.

I finished university using that machine, and having learned UNIX and C on it, it got me my first job.

You know what I think are terrible desktops? The new stuff which looks like a dumbed down Windows from 10 years ago.

the list is probably endless if you ask somebody for other examples, but I think I've made my point

Well, you've made a point. I don't find it nearly as compelling as you do.

Is open source fragmented and beset with infighting? Sure it is. Has it created really cool stuff despite that? Yup. Has it needed someone to be in charge of it (especially when that someone is a for-profit entity)? Nope. Is this likely to change? Doubtful.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46585523)

The Linux kernel was nothing special. Seriously. There were many such hobby projects at the time, and it wasn't a particularly great one. The success of Linux was the success of Linus as "the guy in charge" of an open source project. It grew and flourished because of leadership, not (early) technological advantage.

The open source community certainly needs more such strong leaders. What it doesn't need is CEO-style wankers. Any sort of "business leader" needs to find a new space. What's lacking are engineering leaders, who have a strong and consistent vision of what say, the desktop, should be that resonates with contributors, and who has the political savvy to lead. You can't boss around an open source project based on any granted authority, but you can lead and inspire people to follow. That means you have to appeal to the people who'd likely do the work, not follow some business plan to grow the customer base.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 7 months ago | (#46586689)

The Linux kernel was nothing special. Seriously. There were many such hobby projects at the time, and it wasn't a particularly great one. The success of Linux was the success of Linus as "the guy in charge" of an open source project. It grew and flourished because of leadership, not (early) technological advantage.

I hear you say it but my impression is that Linus personally wrote a lot of the critical code in early Linux. To use a car analogy, it's a whole lot easier to get people to work on fenders and windshield wipers if you know the engine is developed by someone with real drive so you won't end up with all the accessories (GNU utils) with no engine (HURD). It's easy to sit at the top and say this is the direction we're going and by we I mean you because by myself it's not moving at all, compared to actually taking charge and inviting others to tag along. True it doesn't scale as eventually the project needs more and more management, but Linux would never have gotten off the ground if Linus was just a good technical manager.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46586819)

Yes: part of being an engineering leader is building credibility with the engineers. No one can force them to listen to you (this is true for closed-source jobs as well), but demonstrate that you know what you're doing and they will. The code Linus wrote established his creds, gave coders a reason to follow him early on. Later of course (for most of the life of Linux thus far) it was his demonstrated skill at running the project.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (4, Insightful)

AxeTheMax (1163705) | about 7 months ago | (#46585921)

can you remember how bad the linux desktop was before ubuntu? it was atrocious....what about before x.org?

I'm afraid some of us think the ubuntu desktop was and is atrocious.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (4, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 7 months ago | (#46584911)

Not that being Apple has done that much good for their computing platform. They are still the same marginal also-ran that they have been since before Linux ever started.

Last year, the Mac took 45% of all profits in the PC market and earnt an average 19% operating margin on its Mac sales.

In comparison, it was 4% for Dell and less than that for HP, Lenovo, and Acer.

Pretty good for a "marginal also-ran" if you ask me.

source [asymco.com]

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46585495)

I've noticed a number of Mac computers running Windows 7 lately. It's kind of disturbing.....like seeing a Chevy engine in a Ford Mustang. Just wrong.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585521)

I don't believe that this figures are for the whole world. US only - ok, but outside of the US Apple is marginal.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46586065)

I'm sure Dell and HP could too if they put 200%-2000% markup on the same components apple uses just to get a nice log sticker on it.

A few year ago our org. had to upgrade a user's mac pro tower from 4GB to 8GB, Even the apple sales people said "We can quote it but you should get it from somewhere else because it will cost more from us"

Apple price for same RAM in system (doubled): $4500
Price from other vendor for the exact same generic part number (minus the apple logo): $250 (the only Fu^&*ing difference was no apple logo all other specs including the part number were identical)

This only proves that apple users are suckers and will spend Thousands$ more for the exact same product. They use the same damn intel, broadcom, and realtek chips, boards, and CPUs that all other generic PCs use but somehow that shiny fruit logo is just "better" components. (They all come from the same foxconn assembly lines)

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (1)

dk20 (914954) | about 7 months ago | (#46586633)

So you are saying by your comparison apple's products are overpriced? Apple, HP, Dell, Acer and Lenovo all make their stuff in China. Most of it from common producers but some have 4% margins and some have 19% margins?

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584983)

Apple isn't just "user interface", they are also "store + free tech support". None of this exists in the Linux world, Ubuntu just wants to fuck around with the UI and leave the hard part of sales & support to someone else.

And Macs are doing quite well. With a heavy concentration in professional workstation segments, Mac marketshare continues to grow as overall PC sales shrink. This makes Jedidiah endlessly buttmad, so he pathetically attempts to troll Apple while the Linux Desktop dies in obscurity.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46584993)

Yet more people use apple for desktop computing than all linux combined. Stop with the hater bullshit. Linux has a long way to go for even OSX level of adoption on the desktop. I LOVE linux, but I cant use it because 90% of the apps I need are not on it nor have any real viable replacements.

Example: video editing suites. NOTHING useable on linux compared to Final Cut X, AVID, or Sony Vegas. NOTHING on linux even close to After Effects.
Nothing in linux even close to Lightroom.

I want them to exist, but they dont.

Hell even for business, NOTHING on linux even close to a real business accounting package. etc...

every year I try to use linux in one way or another, and every year I have to go back to Windows or OSX because it just is not there yet.

I WANT to use linux, sadly all the linux people are busy screwing around with bullshit like Desktop UI changes and doing nothing to make the platform useable for the masses.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585383)

This is why android needs to come to the desktop. Smartphones galore with video cameras and really no decent video editing is pretty retarding... I don't care if my open source OS runs applications in a layer of Davlik JIT compiled bytecode. Face it: Android has the adoption AND user purchasing practice to drive development of desktop software as well as mobile apps.

Yes, I've tried Android-x86, it was buggy crap. Make Android essentially usable like an advanced WM: A VM backed UI layer with optional separate data partition, Using Linux Kernel based VM would be bad-assery, as one could swap out of the Android interface and fire up Gnome, KDE, XFCE, etc. to run those native apps (and games).

It's really not the fault of the OS that application developers did not start with a cross platform tool-chain. There's really no reason that any new desktop software couldn't run across all major desktop OSs. The problem is the software itself is facing OS vendor lock-in bullshit because they didn't realize it costs little or nothing extra to select a cross platform toolchain in terms of development time, and you get free money from the increased market share. Just as the cross platform market force worked its magic in console games, it can do so for desktop software. Games are the most demanding pieces of software, they literally do everything the computer can do, and even small indie devs can release cross platform games... It makes no sense to refuse free money, and the publishers will make this decision for developers eventually: If not via cross platform dev environments, then Linux will win out by underscoring the cross platform application environment (Android).

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46586907)

Android carries with it expensive patents, I think this is why chrome os exists.

Linux weakness (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585579)

Interesting point on lack of business and video suites buy why blame Linux for that. When vendors look to port their apps, Windows and Mac are considered, forget Linux. For crying out loud, ever tried to use a web app like Netflix! Supported by everything but Linux. Many vendors are scared to death of Linux and open source with other vendors pushing FUD so nothing gets done. Find a way to overcome all the "haters" and may have something.

As for replacements, I agree. For personal use, other than Netflix and Turbotax, I've used Linux for years without issue. Office apps, programming, other uses, all works great. For specialized software mentioned, users will not accept an alternative even if something does exist. Sometimes their are apps, ie Gimp, Blender but not the features or polish. Other issue, try to get your boss to accept running Linux on your workstation. In many businesses, just not an option unless you are IT with a special use case. Sometimes apps other times for a host reasons, much of it FUD from commercial interests who don't want the competition.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (2)

u38cg (607297) | about 7 months ago | (#46585063)

Being a marginal also-ran with a cash pile of $50bn doesn't seem so bad to me.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46584605)

That's why I still laugh every time I hear someone predicting "This is Linux's year!" For that to even have a chance of coming true, there would first have to *BE* a "Linux OS." If you put 10 random Linux fans in a room with a ticking time-bomb set for an hour, they would spend 1 minute agreeing that something needed to be done, and the next 59 minutes arguing over 200 proposed competing solutions.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584741)

I have used it on the desktop for 15+ years, it works like a charm for my uses. then everyone else can fight over which distro is "best" or that it is not ready to for the desktop. i will just go on using it on my desktop.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584863)

linux has already had its "Year" its called android.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 7 months ago | (#46585301)

Mobile yes, Desktop not even close...

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46585537)

That is the beauty of Linux. It'll never be mainstream and I'm okay with that.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584627)

Where did you pull that shit up from? I think red hat is a huge linux company, and i don't see any knives against them. Also IBM, where are the knives? The only knives against canonical is because their own fucking up and acting like they don't need to care and not contributing, and it's not the kind of knife you are thinking of.

Leadership is both good and bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585269)

People don't like/want leaders. Think about presidential candidates: as soon as one stops talking about how he'll competently adminstrate, and starts going on about leadership, you start thinking, "oh well, I sure ain't gonna vote for that one." What people want, is for others to get the fuck out of the way and stop putting up obstacles. And while most leadership isn't about really creating obstacles, if you have any ideas of your own, someone else's leadership is usually going to look like that.

Sure, you can see that as a Linux "weakness." But if the community didn't have this weakness, then it would be just another Windows or Mac OS, where the dictator says how things will be, and it might even have an internal logic and not necessarily be a bad idea, and yet 99% of the users are prevented from getting what they want. And if that's your idea of strength, then you already use Windows or Mac OS.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585665)

Who the hell wants some self-elected twat to make "meaningful changes"? Linux is a community, it is lead by the community. The knives should come out.

Strength is weakness (1)

bregmata (1749266) | about 7 months ago | (#46585769)

Yes, damn Canonical for not toeing the party line as set forth by the self-appointed central committee of the supreme soviet who decide what The Software should be. The whole gang of miscreants should be banished to the gulag until reeducated properly to the free market, that is to say the market fee of competitive ideas. Only then will the One True Way be realized. Until then, they are stealing bread from the mouths of our software children.

Re:Infighting: Linux's biggest weakness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46586435)

I can't agree more with your comment. I'm not sure why the Linux community fights so hard against being a little more disciplined and coordinated in their efforts. Also, I believe that one of the things that has held Linux back is the fact that there is no single leader moving the projects forward. Yes, Mr. Torvalds has the kernel thing going smoothly but desktop Linux really needs someone to coordinate all the components/features and make sure they work, and work well.

My one cents worth....

They may not officially coordinate (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#46584373)

but from what I can tell, the Ubuntu style release schedule took off over-all.

And as long as things are consistent, it will have the effect Ubuntu wanted (or close too it, they basically wanted upstream to release 4 months before them, so they could integrate if memory serves).

Re:They may not officially coordinate (2, Insightful)

keltor (99721) | about 7 months ago | (#46584397)

Back when these guys were best buddies with KDE and GNOME, both orgs thought this was a perfectly fine plan. Things have since heavily soured.

Re:They may not officially coordinate (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#46584509)

yeah.

Ubuntu started projects used to get adopted, as time went on, they went more off the walls, and their projects became tainted.

The Mir thing is really upsetting to me as a user, because Wayland has demonstrated the ability to take feedback and adapt, making the whole split seem like lies.

Wayland really seems like a smartly run project handled very well, that seems to be a huge mistake.

Even if in principal I like the idea of Android drivers working, I think Wayland has been working on that too though.

Upstart vs Systemd I have no specific opinion of (though systemd I think addresses a security risk designed into upstart), but at this point upstart is done, everyone else has chosen, even those that initially used upstart (Fedora).

They need to take credit (even false) for spreading ideas (upstart, actually using wayland, experimenting with what it can and cannot do), and use what gets settled on, unless there truly is something missing.

Re:They may not officially coordinate (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584589)

Ubuntu is switching to systemd:
http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/1316

Lets hope they'll eventually switch to Wayland, too.
Unfortunately it also remains true that Ubuntu is the most usable Linux distro out there for the "I'm not afraid of computers, but also don't have the time to learn Linux, I just need a working environment and the ability to quickly google stuff" crowd.

Re:They may not officially coordinate (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#46584681)

And Unity isn't terrible, as long as they keep things easily replaceable (by using Wayland etc. under it), they have real potential I think.

What they are doing with phone has real promise too. They really need to work within the system though. KDE is working on similar things with Plasma (netbook, vs desktop, vs active), it'd be great if at least some of the work between the two is sharable. Not just great, but part of the platonic idea of FOSS.

Re:They may not officially coordinate (1)

chris.alex.thomas (1718644) | about 7 months ago | (#46584955)

thats not an unfortunate consequence, thats a proof, that when you move your ass forward in some meaningful way, nobody really cares about the technical details, if they did, they wouldn't use it, but they do, because users have got better things to do and all this flip flopping does is give programmers code boners

but everybody else, doesn't give a flying squirrel.....

Re:They may not officially coordinate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46586905)

Believe it or not most individuals don't want to sudo to fix something or twiddle with some config file to get the video working correctly. Ubuntu might have a lot of flaws but one thing they got right was their focus on making it easy to use.

Re:They may not officially coordinate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584641)

Even if in principal I like the idea of Android drivers working, I think Wayland has been working on that too though.

The library supporting Android drivers, libhybris, does not come from Canonical. It was developed by a Jolla employee, and is already in use in the Wayland powered Jolla phone. Canonical just gave the impression that they were the ones creating it -- one more reason for the current bad blood in the community, I guess.

For a short history of the library, check http://mer-project.blogspot.fi/2013/04/wayland-utilizing-android-gpu-drivers.html.

Re:They may not officially coordinate (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#46584703)

I did state take credit for "ideas", "even falsely".

I thought the wayland/android thing was a response to Mir though. And that part of the reason Mir came to be was to use Android driver.

Re:They may not officially coordinate (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584809)

No. The idea was to make things easier for upstream. If every distro pulling in for example VLC at the same time, VLC would have less of a problem coordinating all the issues. Problem is everyone is so blinded by their canonical hate that they don't see these good ideas that they come out with.

Oh, MS/Apples shills aren't enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584379)

Or maybe Aaron Seigo is technically competent, and thinks both are bad ideas.

troolkoRe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584455)

year contract. Abysmal sales and PWould take abouty 2

Sadly for Canonical... (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about 7 months ago | (#46584507)

... they and Shuttleworth disappeared up their own backsides in a blinding flash of self importance and inability to listen to users (Unity - the OSS version of Windows 8 Metro, need I say more). I'm afraid their We Know Best doesn't tend to adhere them to many people and I suspect they've now peaked in terms of their importance in the free software world and will slowly fade away as the years go by.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584533)

That and once they decided to monetize our search results and share it with Amazon ... well, I'll never have an Ubuntu installation again.

My perception of Canonical is now "greedy assholes who don't care about user's privacy"

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (5, Insightful)

NaiveBayes (2008210) | about 7 months ago | (#46584775)

Canonical have been making a major loss for years and yet still put more and more money into Ubuntu and open source software development. You may still want to see them as greedy, but is it greedy to not want to make losses year on year?

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (0)

blue trane (110704) | about 7 months ago | (#46584895)

They should do it because they like to code and produce something. When they start thinking about profit, they become control freaks.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46585799)

Yea! Like GNU Hurd!

What version are they on again?

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584953)

You may still want to see them as greedy, but is it greedy to not want to make losses year on year?

Of course not, but there are other, less scummy, ways to make money beside exploiting your users by installing spyware (that is not easily removed) on their computers.

Re: Sadly for Canonical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585333)

Since when is a setting that is clearly visible in the GUI "not easy to disable"?

Re: Sadly for Canonical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585583)

Since when is a setting that is clearly visible in the GUI "not easy to disable"?

I didn't say disabled (which isn't too tough, I'll concede [omgubuntu.co.uk] , but it should still be opt-in instead of opt-out), I said removed. Actually removing that 'feature' is nontrivial, even for an intermediate user. A newbie wouldn't have a chance.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (2)

iroll (717924) | about 7 months ago | (#46585545)

Canonical also dump buckets of money into a lot of things that are either of no interest to me (Ubuntuphones) or actively putting me off Ubuntu (divergence away from mainstream Debian and linux in general because of NIH syndrome). Covering such losses with cheap tricks like feeding Amazon search (yes, I know I can turn it off) just makes them even more unappealing.

If Canonical stopped tilting at windmills for five minutes and invested their money in finding ways to sell more real services, they'd probably be better off.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585275)

yeah, fuck them for not wanting to be in the red in perpetuity. They apparently care about user privacy enough to anonymize the data and allow to opt out entirely.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585909)

Yeah, we should be tolerant of them because they're just trying to make money. Who cares if it's unethical? You have to have an unethical business model to thrive. Like Red Hat's business model, for example! Oh, wait, they just sell service agreements.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46586883)

apples to oranges.

enterprise where multimillion dollar deals for support are normal != users not willing to pay for linux desktop
Canonical offers support but desktop users don't take it and in enterprise they can't really compete with Red Hat which is the default choice of most linux based commercial endeavors.
So how much do you pay Canonical for support? $0? Just like i thought.

If you have a suggestion how to break even according to your ethical standards, I am sure MS is willing to listen.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46586495)

Anonymized data is not necessarily anonymized. I don't know how they implement it, but removing a few bits of data here and there doesnt prevent deanonymisation.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46586671)

If they really cared it would be opt-in. They only added the opt-out after people got pissed.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (1)

horza (87255) | about 7 months ago | (#46586179)

Yup the Facebook of Linux distros. The worst thing is when you are wiping all your friends and families Ubuntu and putting on Mint instead, you get the groans "I have to learn a new desktop AGAIN?". It was an uphill battle shifting people from Windows to Unity. Having to shift people between distros makes it look pretty unstable and fragmented.

On the plus side, nothing like an impending reformat to remind people to back up their data!

Phillip.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584875)

You're wrong. I like unity and I'm glad as a ubuntu user that they developed it. It disgusts me how many self claimed free software users get angry when someone wants to go off and make something different.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (1)

quonsar (61695) | about 7 months ago | (#46584999)

adhere: stick fast to (a surface or substance).
endear: cause to be loved or liked.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (4, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 7 months ago | (#46585297)

... they and Shuttleworth disappeared up their own backsides in a blinding flash of self importance and inability to listen to users (Unity - the OSS version of Windows 8 Metro, need I say more). I'm afraid their We Know Best doesn't tend to adhere them to many people and

The same load of BS is repeated over and over again. That doesn't make it true.

Unlike Metro:

1. Unity actually provides some benefits. Like for example full screen zoom on smaller laptop screens.

2. It breaks much less of UI conventions.

3. You can actually replace Unity with something else within minutes. (Or you can even install the Ubuntu edition without it.)

First two are also applicable to GNOME3 v. Unity comparison.

I suspect they've now peaked in terms of their importance in the free software world and will slowly fade away as the years go by.

Yeah. Ubuntu is going to be replaced by Mint. Oh wait, Mint *is* an Ubuntu-based distro.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 7 months ago | (#46585805)

Yeah, this is basically how I feel. I use Ubuntu with XFCE. I don't even have Unity installed so it doesn't bother me any. The main reason I use Ubuntu is that I can easily find answers with a quick Google search when I run into problems. I just don't have time to spend hours dealing with minor driver issues or finding out why my OS isn't playing nice. As much as the idealistic "fragmentation leads to competition which leads to more and better options" sounds nice, I think it's good that Ubuntu provides a more accessible option for people who want to use Linux without devoting their life to it. That's not to say that I think all the other distros should just go away and Ubuntu should be the one Linux to rule them all -- I just think the community's recent hostility toward Ubuntu and Shuttleworth is a case of cutting off its nose to spite its face. It's almost as if these members of the community don't want Linux to be successful outside of the server space.

Maybe CentOS will succeed in getting the community behind it while simultaneously extending Linux's popularity beyond its current niche, but I fear that if Red Hat succeeds in making CentOS more popular and accessible then the community will just turn on them the minute they try something new.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (2)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 7 months ago | (#46585969)

Maybe CentOS will succeed in getting the community behind it while simultaneously extending Linux's popularity beyond its current niche, but I fear that if Red Hat succeeds in making CentOS more popular and accessible then the community will just turn on them the minute they try something new.

That has already happened - with the Red Hat Linux 8 & 9, the predecessor of Fedora.

I was there and the results were not pretty. I mean: it looked very very pretty, but the rest of it was turning ugly very often.

Red Hat is too much of a mindless corporation to deliver any innovation. (On desktop one needs to tell users what to do - RH fails at that. Mindlessness works on server side, because there customers are engineers and can tell you what they need.)

Canonical's problem is that they overplay a visionary. That obviously hurts ego of way too many F/LOSS developers. Thus the bitterness. The thing many miss when criticizing Canonical's decisions is that they are pretty small company with very limited resources: they simply do not have the weigh to skew the whole Linux landscape. It is IMO miracle that they have managed to get as far they have got.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585977)

1. Unity actually provides some benefits. Like for example full screen zoom on smaller laptop screens.

The start screen provides benefits as well. Larger shortcuts allow for information to be displayed (live tiles) which means I don't have to open some applications to get the information I need. The ability to customize the layout via drag and drop is a vast improvement over the start menu. The ability to deep pin shortcuts is another big advantage as well (i.e. I can pin shortcuts to websites, or shortcuts to albums that I frequently listen to). Also the start screen and all my preferences sync across all my devices. I can keep going on if you want more.

2. It breaks much less of UI conventions.

They both break conventions, and that's part of the backlash. I'd say they're about equal here.

3. You can actually replace Unity with something else within minutes. (Or you can even install the Ubuntu edition without it.)

You can replace the start screen and all of metro with any of dozens of replacement shells with a few clicks.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 7 months ago | (#46585803)

Yup. I suspect Canonical is going to continue down a path towards irrelevancy. They've got a solid userbase and a pretty good lead for now, which means it's not going to happen soon, but I can't see anything but a decline in the future for them.

I'm seeing a lot of parallels with Cyanogen Inc, the company that was formed by some of the CyanogenMod leads. They're delusionally self-important and consistently speaking things in direct conflict with their actions ("Everything you see now will remain open-source" at the same time they're trying to force a contributor to dual-license a major GPL work so they could have commercial rights to it. Fortunately their CLA wasn't as powerful as Canonical's). I suspect they're going to wind up going down the same road as Canonical.

Cyngn is doing EVERYTHING in nearly the exact same way Canonical has - and seems oblivious to the fact that Canonical has been doing a good job of alienating all of their potential partners and many of their contributors. Canonical should serve as a shining example of how NOT to monetize open source software in a sustainable fashion (especially by coopting existing projects), yet certain people feel that Canonical's example is the best one to follow.

Re:Sadly for Canonical... (5, Interesting)

Tempest_2084 (605915) | about 7 months ago | (#46586077)

Am I the only one who LIKES Unity? Ubuntu is the distro that got me to switch from Win 7 to Linux (still have to keep Win 7 around for one or two things though). I really don't understand all the hate other than the stupid Amazon search lens thing (which I disabled). My best guess is that it might be because I'm a new convert to Linux rather than a long time user.

Not really a problem (0)

StripedCow (776465) | about 7 months ago | (#46584523)

As long as they don't push changes just for the sake of pushing them...

systemd. That is all that needs to be said. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584597)

Unfortunately it has spread to other distros.

Re:systemd. That is all that needs to be said. (2)

0racle (667029) | about 7 months ago | (#46585413)

systemd is from Red Hat. It was adopted by other distros because they believed it solved a problem, not because Red Hat tried to tell others that they must use it.

Re:systemd. That is all that needs to be said. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46585599)

yea the problem it solved is ensuring there will exist continued access to udev and udisks which are a hard dependency a long way up the stack now. The systemd folks are doing everything they can to make sure the udev and udisks projects end up having systemd as a dependency.

So in short no I guess nobody held a gun to any other distro maintainers heads and forced them to package systemd but its been made abundantly clear that not doing so means they will have to devote enormous resources to maintaining compatible forks of udev an udisks.

Systemd. No more needs to be said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584635)

Of all of stuff that has come down the road, I find systemd to be the most obnoxious invasions of the Unix religion.
 

Re:Systemd. No more needs to be said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584795)

Then use a real Unix if your religion matters so so much to you, personally i use what works (i have nothing neither for or against systemd - everything i do is on a higher level and it does not bother me either way)

Bazaar anybody? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584645)

Once dubbed the official version control system of GNU (partly because of Git's GPLv2-only licensing and stuff), it's been sunk into oblivion, mostly by Canonical pulling off their own workers and nobody wanting to fill the void given Canonical's assignment policies and contracts (in contrast, the FSF at least gives guarantees regarding free-only use in return for an assignment).

Now even Emacs, once the poster child for Bazaar, is organizing its transition to Git.

Here is a major concern (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46584653)

Here is what I think is a major concern. As Linux gains popularity, commercial companies see Ubuntu as the only package format to release software in. This is a problem for others using RPM based and Arch disrtibutions to name a few. We want a package format that is installable in ALL distiributions, not something tied to a commercial venture such as Canonical.

As an example I run an Arch based distribution and tried to install Makerware for a 3D printer. There is no generic install of that package, there are only RPM and DPKG versions and often only a repository that is more difficult to extract the package from. Further there is a license on Makerware that does not allow it to be pulled apart and repackaged. Most other players will at least provide a tar.gz file that one can install.

I see more and more Ubuntu only packages. Do we really want to go down that road? I don't think so.

Re:Here is a major concern (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 months ago | (#46584723)

What is this Ubuntu package format you speak of? dpkg, apt and the like are all Debian. Ubuntu is just a Debian variant run by a megalomaniac.

Re:Here is a major concern (1)

JucaBlues (990708) | about 7 months ago | (#46584957)

Makerware is proprietary software. Live with it.

Re:Here is a major concern (1)

neonKow (1239288) | about 7 months ago | (#46585257)

I see no problem with this. You had to deal with it when people only released software for Windows. How is this any different?

Re: Here is a major concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585395)

Considering that a .deb is nothing more than a zip file with scripts that you can open with most archive softwares I would say that it's vastly different.

Re: Here is a major concern (1)

Arker (91948) | about 7 months ago | (#46586827)

"Considering that a .deb is nothing more than a zip file with scripts that you can open with most archive softwares I would say that it's vastly different."

Apparently you dont know what a windows .cab file is.

However it is different, because Windows has never really been a platform that claimed to respect user freedom.

Re:Here is a major concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585289)

funny how i have the opposity problem: every other out-of-repo application comes as rpm, but no deb in sight

Open Source Is About Decentralization (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 7 months ago | (#46584671)

'... probably the most important single reason for the reservations about Ubuntu is its frequent attempts to assume the leadership of free software ... [S]ome of those who opposed it, like Aaron Seigo, have re-emerged as critics of Mir â" another indication that personal differences are as important as the issues under discussion.'

Seeing the same critics reappear does not necessarily mean it is a personal difference. It really only indicates that the underlying disagreement remains. Mark Shuttleworth believes in centralization of authority, Open Source is implicitly about decentralization of authority. That is a difference with Mark Shuttleworth's world view; as long as he holds it, and particularly when he tries to be the central authority, he will not fit in the Open Source world. That is not personal in the sense of holding a grudge, but it won't change unless Mark genuinely embraces the decentralized nature of this method of software development.

Re:Open Source Is About Decentralization (1)

spacepimp (664856) | about 7 months ago | (#46585775)

What is the purpose of benevolent dictators for life then? (Torvalds/Stallman/ blender/drupal/mullenweg etc.)

Re:Open Source Is About Decentralization (2)

Arker (91948) | about 7 months ago | (#46586731)

I will disagree with those that say there is no place for it.

I was actually hopeful when Shuttleworth first got into the OS business he would provide a much needed benevolent-dictator function in exactly this way. And he's tried to. But I am afraid they have bungled it so badly and often his credibility is shot.

What's he actually produced? A distro with advertising, and a UI even more broken than is typical.

As a KDE user... (5, Interesting)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about 7 months ago | (#46584693)

... I gave a chance to Unity about 3 months ago, with 12.04 LTS. I liked the desktop disposition (Mac global menu with side launcher), and the general integrated look and feel. Use of apt-get is really nice (as in Debian), and with use of PPAs I can keep almost all my software update to date in a global way. Almost all configurations are simple, which helps new users. Driver support is good (I just had to setup the hybrid graphical cards with Bumblebee). In the other side, I thought the fonts were a bit big, and I don't like the dark theme. How to text font sizes? Install third part software. How to install new themes? Install other third part software (themes is one of the most cool features of Linux DEs!). Can I change the duration of notification? Re-position launcher? No, no, only using more third part softwares. But ok, in my mind, all the problems can be fixed in the future. Then I started to look into launchpad to see the bugs opened, and the future plans. Almost all important issues related to Unity are still open, with almost no comments from Canonical (usually in KDE we have an official dsposition after few hours). Most of Canonical efforts then are focused in "convergence", which my question is "who asked for?". As the future Ubuntu phones will not use the same desktop applications, why I need a new Linux based device? I'd love if Canonical works in better integration with Android: the MTP support is a joke (stop to work after few minutes), and would be nice to attend my mobile calls with my desktop headset, read my SMS on systray, etc. I think that offer a better support for the most popular linux based mobile will be a nice flag. And then, I tested the new Ubuntu version. And I saw that I have Amazon over all the places: in desktop search, in the launcher, all activated by default. Why this? In these days of all the concerns about NSA and privacy, why not sell the "you're using an open source product with all the privacy concerns" flag? If they want financial support, why not allow users to donate, like on KDE? (I'm a KDE e.V. member). I remember too, the old Mandrake club, where users have access few days earlier than "normal" users. In my minds, it's a shame that the most talked Linux distribution has enabled, by default, a shareware scheme. And the worst: the dash search do not works well. I have avidemux installed, and if I type "demu", I got nothing. If I want to run the calculator, and I type "calc", I'll get "OpenOffice Calc" as first result. So, I mean, I can understand when Canonical choose the Unity way. Gnome team is out of this planet, removing all basic features from applications, and forcing a tablet/mobile interface too. But I cannot understand why force the shareware behavior, or other duplicate efforts, like Mir, Ubuntu mobile, etc.

Re:As a KDE user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585183)

Definitely being able to move the launcher is my biggest gripe. If I could move it, I'd be happier (On the bottom, auto hiding would rock).

Re:As a KDE user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585763)

As a KDE user I gave up on *buntu years ago after giving kubuntu a try for more than 2 years.

I have been a happy OpenSUSE user for 5 years now.

Re:As a KDE user... (1)

geek (5680) | about 7 months ago | (#46586745)

Its sad that these days it is easier to theme Windows than it is Linux. It's also sad after so many years of mocking Windows users for their unstable desktop experience that we're now stuck with Unity, GNOME 3 and KDE 4 which are less stable than Windows ME. It's like Linux on the desktop is going backwards instead of forwards. I have all my hopes on Wayland but if I don't see major improvement in Linux desktop distro's within the next year I'm just going to give up and move to FreeBSD for servers and Mac OSX for desktops. Enough with the endless beta test.

As the Sun sets (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 7 months ago | (#46585197)

Is this different from how Sun tried to become the defacto standard UNIX? I never cared much for their tactics, eventually they burned out too.

Re:As the Sun sets (3, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | about 7 months ago | (#46586049)

I thought that Sun was the de facto UNIX standard. SCO lacked a proprietary hardware platform that could have locked them in, IBM had too many options, same for HP, DEC was more into VMS and NT, SGI was a niche player initially in visualization workstations and later in supercomputing. Essentially, Sun was the standard, until Linux came along.

LMDE (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 7 months ago | (#46585459)

I think rather quickly, Linux Mint Debian Edition will rise to greater prominence, eclipsing even the Ubuntu-based Mint for the same reasons.

Re:LMDE (1)

geek (5680) | about 7 months ago | (#46586769)

Not likely. You can already see most people moving to Arch, Gentoo or one of the RPM based distros in greater numbers. Linux Mint is just a slightly less ugly Ubuntu and the Debian edition doesn't offer any compelling benefits over the Ubuntu edition for end users. I'm sorry to say but apt/dpkg really haven't aged well and are replaced nicely by yum/pacman and other tools.

walked away from 'buntu (0)

rkhalloran (136467) | about 7 months ago | (#46585649)

After the Unity GUI issues (didn't the Windows 8 One GUI to Rule Them All FUBAR show them anything?), the Mir/Wayland disputes, etc etc, I shifted over to Fedora 20 late last year and haven't looked back. I haven't had any problems finding any desktop packages I wanted to install as RPMs, and it Just Damn Works, which is why I run a Linux desktop to begin with. With the upsurge in interest in both Mint and Fedora, I think Shuttleworth/Ubuntu should be feeling a little pressure to return to the fold rather than continue pushing their own solitary agenda.

Personal Differences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46585925)

Personal differences have been the hallmark of FOSS.

proprietary firmware (1)

JucaBlues (990708) | about 7 months ago | (#46586345)

That's for sure a trouble with the free software movement!

Weasel words (4, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | about 7 months ago | (#46586655)

Just some days ago we were already told that the Free Software Community hates Canonical. Then again, who is this Free Software Community? I've been using free software since before it was fashionable to call it thus, so I think that I use lots of software coming from the Free Software Community. Today I happen to use some pieces of free software from Canonical. Of the works by some of the persons spotted in TFA as speakers for the "Free Software Community", I use nothing, so I see more contribution to the Free Software Community from Canonical than from them.

Don't like software form Canonical? Don't use it. They're a commercial company, so they have to break even ultimately. I understand if, after listening to everyone, they make their own decision. Their Mir project is all about Ubuntu phones: should that platform be successful, they'll take the merit, should they fail, the Free Software Community will still have Android as their reference platform. Even if Google is a commercial company, too, and compared to them Canonical is Candy Candy.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?