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Shuttleworth on Ubuntu's Direction and Intent

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the reasons-for-the-season-of-brown dept.

Linux 242

cj2003 writes "Mark Shuttleworth has released a FAQ about Ubuntu's Direction and Intent. It comments on the discussions of funding, of being a Debian-fork or not, of the strange names, and many other 'hot topics' relating to Ubuntu. In his own words: 'This document exists to give the community some insight into my thinking, and to a certain extent that of the Community Council, Technical Board and other governance structures - on some of the issues and decisions that have been controversial.'"

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very VERY important! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708168)

I found some FORST in my PIST!

Re:very VERY important! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708305)

That's rather unfortunate for you, maybe you should see an urologist.

Professional Addition (4, Funny)

Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708178)


  If you don't make a commercial "Ubuntu Professional Edition", how can Ubuntu be sustainable?

I am puzzled, don't Home Editions make money?

Re:Professional Addition (4, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708188)

Not if you give away the discs with free shipping.

Re:Professional Addition (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708865)

You lose a little money with each one ... but you make it up in VOLUME!

Re:Professional Addition (4, Insightful)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709239)

They have a foundation that helps take care of some of the administrative costs. One of the ways they make some money back is by paid tech support as an option from a third party provider (Canonical is technically that in this case). There is also free tech support, boards, etc at no cost. Their intent is that if you have no money you should not be denied anything from them - its nice to just see people being nice in the world for a change.

Re:Professional Addition (5, Funny)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708200)

Professional addition? I mean, humans can be fast, but I thought calculators kinda put an end to all those professional adders.

Re:Professional Addition (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708206)

> all those professional adders

In fact, the original meaning of "computer" was a person who did math calculations for a living.

Re:Professional Addition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708646)

There must be a joke about Python or ASP there somewhere, but I can't be bothered to find it at 1 AM.

Re:Professional Addition (3, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708207)

The tagging of "Professional Edition" on to an OS or piece of software is the equivalent of " FROD LOCUST GT EDITION ... 2.6 cam engine Car " .There is likely no real advantage for most users and perhaps a few disadvantages , but people like to think they are getting the best .
The easy answer ;Name the normal version "Professional " or "Power user" and name the true pro version "industry " or such like .

I disagree. (4, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708231)

Windows has taught the world that "Home Edition" is synonymous with "Crippled Edition."

Re:I disagree. (4, Informative)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708288)

Windows has taught the world that "Home Edition" is synonymous with "Crippled Edition."

Come on now, XP Pro has, what, Active Directory/Windows Domain/whatever-else-Microsoft-tried-to-replace-LD AP-with support? A nice GUI for managing NTFS ACLs which you can manipulated in XP Home with cacls? As far as I know, Pro is only really useful if you're managing a large gaggle of Windows boxes. For instance, at home I run all my network services under Linux. I've a few boxes dual-booting with XP Home, and one with XP Pro. Pro sees no benefits whatsoever in this environment; it's no more stable, functional or secure.

Re:I disagree. (4, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708325)

Remote Desktop is very nice in all sorts of situations. It is far more forgiving on slow connections than X over ssh. The other thing I find myself using is XP Pro's built-in file encryption.

Re:I disagree. (2, Insightful)

BridgeBum (11413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708417)

The only thing I miss in Home Ed vs Pro is Remote Desktop. VNC will do (of course), but sound integration in RDP is nice.

Re:I disagree. (3, Informative)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708556)

gpedit.msc

compmgmt.msc

I'm not positive, but I don't think either of those extremely useful utilities are in XP Home. (Can anyone confirm?)

Re:I disagree. (1)

GrungyLotG (890944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708873)

Just tested it on my XP Home box, yup, neither utility exists.

Re:I disagree. (2, Informative)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708680)

Home edition also only supports two CPUs max, is missing software RAID, and cannot be configured to host Remote Desktop connections. It has remote assistance, but not RDP. I'm sure that there are several more features that are sorely missed in XPHome.

Re:I disagree. (3, Funny)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709436)

I can tell you for sure that I'm pissed that I can't run Windows XP Home on my quad Opteron machine. Pissed, I tell you! And the lack of software RAID, which is clearly better than spending a few bucks on better performing, platform-independant hardware RAID? Why, if it weren't for the availability of VNC servers for free, XP Home would be totally useless.

Re:I disagree. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708982)

Pro sees no benefits whatsoever in this environment; it's no more stable, functional or secure.

When XP came out, the logic was that anyone on 98/ME could move to XP Home, while XP Pro was for those who needed 'that weird esoteric enterprise stuff' that was only in windows 2000 professional.

So when all these users got their new laptops and desktops with xp home preinstalled it was a pretty rude awakening that MS had actually removed the webserver and disabled the ability to connect to a domain entirely.

It wasn't simply that Home was a watered down version of XP Pro (people were pretty much expecting that)...in some significant respects it was a waterned down version of 98!!! "Upgrading" from 98 to Home actually removed 2 pretty major features.

A lot of hobbyists, tele-communters, home-based web developers, power users, savvy gamers, and so forth got burnt by Home Edition. It was aggravated by the price difference, and the fact that many system builders didn't offer XP as an option in their more home-consumer targeted products... yet many "home consumers" needed XP Pro, but had no reason to pay 60% more for an 'enterprise workstation model of pc/laptop' ... forcing them to accept the bundled home edition and then buy XP Pro separately... (and at a rather ridiculous price considering how similiar the products are.)

Additionally the watered down security model, the lack of support for encryption (what?! Home users don't need privacy??) and limiting users to the "Microsoft Way" of setting up shared folders etc (hiding all the details where users literally could not meaningfully get to them -- yet all the details were there for misbehaving software to bungle up) was a real disservice to consumers.

Finally the loss of remote desktop, has saved the day for countless thousands as more clued friends family are able to solve their problems. (Sure home comes with remote assistance which is much much much clumsier and more of a pain to setup, especially when all parties are behind NAT boxes. Getting RD up and running is a few checkboxes and an easy nat/firewall tweak...)

Home solidly deserves its reputation for being crippled.

Re:I disagree. (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709021)

Two hugely important differences (for me anyway):
1. Remote Desktop
2. IIS (yeah some people have installed IIS on XP Home but it sure didn't work for me)

Re:I disagree. (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709484)

CACLS is useless if you aren't booted into safe mode. The changes won't take properly. Try and make OpenSSH for Windows work with strictmodes=yes and key authentication only set in sshd_config. The trick? You run it with user/pass authentication to create the directories and copy the key file to make the permissions correct. CACLS fails every time. They well and truly crippled any sort of controls on XP Home.

Re:I disagree. (2, Insightful)

kubevubin (906716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708361)

Although I don't quite agree with you considering "Home Edition" crippled, I must say that it would make sense to "cripple" a home version of Windows (or a user-friendlier version of Linux) to aid in helping newbies learn the ropes. It may seem a little drastic, but you'd be surprised just how many people honestly don't read the plethora of popup dialog boxes and system tray bubbles that appear.

And - funny as it may sound - you'd be surprised just how intimidated newbies are whenever the Start menu automatically pops up the first time that they boot into Windows XP.

Re:I disagree. (2, Insightful)

mikek3332002 (912228) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708995)

I agree it makes sense to MS to cripple a windows versions so they become expensive demos. If you want IIS pay(IIS is useful if you're playing around VS.net, apache much better though), if you want RD pay, if you want lock your kids accounts pay.... Though its not cripp,ed if all you want to do is download porn, spyware, addware, surf the net, check email, piss off the *AA.

Re:Professional Addition (1)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708910)

The tagging of "Professional Edition" on to an OS or piece of software is the equivalent of " FROD LOCUST GT EDITION ... 2.6 cam engine Car "

2.6 cams? Wow, I didn't realize they come in fractional values.

Re:Professional Addition (1)

citog (206365) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709369)

Must be some kind of logical partitioning, I hear you can do it on many platforms now (surely a Frod Locust runs Linux?).

Re:Professional Addition (2, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708219)

Whoa — or, "Ubuntu Starter Edition"!

I think we're on to something here!

Re:Professional Addition (5, Funny)

JPriest (547211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708854)

How about "Ubuntu Reduced Media Edition"?!

Good idea. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709125)

Let's call it ...

Linspire.

Stopped Reading (1)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708190)

"There is already Ubuntu code in Linspire, which you can pay for (w00t!)."

I stopped reading right there.

Insightful indeed... (5, Interesting)

menorikey (915085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708216)

Personally I think Ubuntu is great, probably one of the better distros of Linux that I've seen to date. The only problem I've run across is that it doesn't want to play nice with my Inspiron 9300, but that's not specific to Ubuntu; I have the same issue with SUSE as well, so mod me down if you think it's a dig (which it's not).

(As an aside, Ubuntu "Live" was great for testing out that OS X x86 release that was going around, so in that regards, kudos to Ubuntu for being straight-forward to provide the means to get OSx86 up and running.)

Re:Insightful indeed... (1)

sik0fewl (561285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708496)

...so mod me down if you think it's a dig (which it's not).

I won't mod you down, but I probably would have if you had said "digg".

I could be wrong (-1, Troll)

kubevubin (906716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708220)

...but wasn't this posted several days ago?

In either case, I don't really mind Ubuntu. It's one of the nicer Linux distros that I've had the [dis]pleasure of using. I just don't feel as though I'm on a level where I can comfortably use Linux as a replacement for Windows.

Touché!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708224)

Touché!!!

Jambo Ubuntu (5, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708225)

Ubuntu 5.04 was like Windows 2000, and before that Windows95, and MacOS7.0 before that (and Win3.1 before than, and DOS, and VMS, and CP/M...): each of those was a desktop OS that "finally arrived". Easy enough to install, reliable enough to use all day, integrated enough not to miss the predecessor it supplanted. So when each of those rolled around, I switched. This time, I quarantined my old Windows machine in a closet, just opening an Ubuntu VNC window on it when absolutely necessary. If Ubuntu could just include a Multisync that syncs my Treo 600 (including Calendar and noncorrupted Contacts) to Evolution properly, I wouldn't even have to look in the VNC rearview mirror.

use rdesktop for windows (3, Informative)

Splork (13498) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708479)

vnc isn't idea. you should try windows remote desktop with the open source rdesktop client. it works better.

Re:Jambo Ubuntu (1)

crimsun (4771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708633)

Please give a daily build of the live CD (http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/ [ubuntu.com] ) a whirl if you have time, and be sure to update your packages using System> Administration> Update Manager. A slew of GNOME 2.12.1 packages were uploaded today (including Evolution updates). If you can still reproduce your issues, please file bugs in Ubuntu's Bugzilla. Thanks!

Re:Jambo Ubuntu (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709208)

The Ubuntu Update Manager says: "Your system is up to date!"
evolution --version says "Gnome evolution-2.2 2.2.1.1"
Should I file a bug report on that ;)?

Re:Jambo Ubuntu (1)

crimsun (4771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709570)

You need to click Reload.

$ evolution --version
Gnome evolution-2.4 2.4.1

Propietary Software Industry (4, Interesting)

knightinshiningarmor (653332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708227)

From the article: I have no interest in taking Ubuntu to join the proprietary software industry, it's a horrible business that is boring and difficult, and dying out rapidly anyway.

I agree that some tactics of the proprietary software industry are less than desirable, but how many of us would be able to earn a living without them?

I also agree that many businesses (Google for example) are offering a free interface while keeping their proprietary software on the back end. However, the majority of companies AREN'T going in that direction (Adobe for example). That they're "dying out rapidly" is a ridiculous statement.

Re:Propietary Software Industry (4, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708260)

> I agree that some tactics of the proprietary software industry are less than desirable, but how many of us would be able to earn a living without them?

From available evidence, the outstanding majority. In fact, a majority (approx. 90% by some counts) of all programmers already do earn a living working directly for companies that use the software, rather than for those companies which sell software for others to use. Beyond that, of course, I'm sure companies existing and new will learn to adapt as the market changes. Once, all computer companies sold their own, incompatible, proprietary machines; now most sell open, compatible, semi-generic systems. And yet, the industry is hardly any poorer for that.

Re:Propietary Software Industry (2, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708291)

yeah.. in finland, there's wide amounts of software production.

but a tiny, miniscule amount of that software ends up packaged on store shelf.

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708346)

In fact, a majority (approx. 90% by some counts) of all programmers already do earn a living working directly for companies that use the software, rather than for those companies which sell software for others to use.

And, in fact, about 7 or 8% of the other 10 are niche products in very niche markets (think computational chemistry, IC design, fixed-income securities analysis, etc.) where the programmer encapsulates fairly complex domain knowledge. These apps are also not going away.

As for the rest - well, who needs another WordPad or gedit? And, if you do come up with the next killer text editor app, I'm sure you'll find someone to pay for it before someone codes an open source look-alike. The only difference is that you'll need to have initial payoff in 6 months rather than 6 years and need to actually improve the product afterwards if you want the revenue stream to keep flowing.

In short, the market isn't dying. It's only building YALAA (yet another look-alike app) and trying to keep the revenue stream from it going forever that is.

Re:Propietary Software Industry (4, Informative)

david.given (6740) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708348)

From available evidence, the outstanding majority. In fact, a majority (approx. 90% by some counts) of all programmers already do earn a living working directly for companies that use the software, rather than for those companies which sell software for others to use.

Don't forget the third option: I work for a company that produces software that is licensed to hardware manufacturers who then ship actual devices. Mobile phones, in my case. The software is never sold directly to the primary users of the software.

I suspect there's a hell of lot of this going on, too.

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708858)

In what way are the people developing directly for the companies that use their software not developing proprietary software?

Open source software notwithstanding, what percent of corporations give out their internally-developed business code for free?

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709076)

This is a fair response, but I think the important thing to keep in mind is that free/open source is absolutely no threat to the in-house software market -- in fact, it's a great benefit to it, since even the most narrowly-licensed open source software (i.e. GPL'd software) can be used and modified for in-house applications without releasing the source.

The central point remains: free/libre/open-source software is no threat, and has potentially great benefit, to nearly all programmers.

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709221)

The answer to that is simple. Free Software allows the small custom developer and the in-house developer to deliver large and complex custom applications (based on Free Software frameworks) with more functionality and a lower cost than proprietary software. Parts of these applications will probably always remain "secret" to the company, but it is almost always advantageous to share improvements to the framework and core application. As someone who has tried to maintain their own parallell version of a popular Free Software library I can guarantee you that it is often easier to simply share and in return get some help maintaining your patches.

Profuse apologies (0, Offtopic)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708870)

and a mea culpa. A combination of a brain fart and a database fart has somehow resulted in three drafts actually getting posted, all of which are at least mildly embaressing, and are hugely embaressing en toto, and I'm not particularyly easy to embaress. Where's an edit function when you really need one?

I think I'll go watch the Packer's game, have a glass of wine and play some fiddle.

Maybe I'll be willing to show my "face" again in a week or two as well.

KFG

Re:Propietary Software Industry (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708281)

I agree that some tactics of the proprietary software industry are less than desirable, but how many of us would be able to earn a living without them?

See here [slashdot.org] .

Trend: Products (before) -> Services (after)

Re:Propietary Software Industry (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708363)

. . .how many of us would be able to earn a living without them?

Pretty much all of you. This may come as a shock, but the majority of people in the world manage to get by without ever writing a single line of code.

This may also come as a shock to you, but the world doesn't give a flying you know what about what you wish to be paid to do. In fact, it works the other way around, you either have to take care of yourself or be willing to do whatever other people are willing to pay you for.

I do not owe you a living. I have a hard enough time scraping up my own.

KFG

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

MarkJenkins (902580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708492)

but how many of us would be able to earn a living without them?

All of us.

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708502)

. . .how many of us would be able to earn a living without them?

Most of you. We've invented this stuff called "Work."

KFG

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708596)

. . .how many of us would be able to earn a living without them?

All of you? Although some of you might have to turn to something known as "work." This may be hard to believe but there are many ways to earn a living other than writing code.

Remember, jobs are not there as a means for you to fulfill your fantasys. They are there because someone else finds you useful in acheiving their ends.

. . .a free interface while keeping their proprietary software on the back end.

Which somebody has to write, no?

KFG

Re:Propietary Software Industry (1)

digitect (217483) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709371)

Indeed, in fact Shuttleworth is apparently blind to the contradiction he offers through two examples in adjacent paragraphs:

There will never be a difference between the "commercial" product and the "free" product, as there is with Red Hat (RHEL and Fedora). Ubuntu releases will always be free.

....There are likely to be many specialised versions of Ubuntu, under other brand names, that have commercial or proprietary features. They might have proprietary fonts or software or add-ons or integration with services, etc. There is also likely to be quite a lot of proprietary software available for Ubuntu.

[Emphasis mine]

So how is Ubuntu's model any better? He paints Red Hat as evil for offering both a commercial and a free version, but then expects Ubuntu to be extended in exactly the same way (or worse)!

The only difference here is that Red Hat is a single shop. But since the GPL guarentees the same enduring freedoms for Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu and Ubuntu-derivative distributions, why should we care who encourages an effort, especially when they have everything to gain by doing so? I would think the collection of talent working on both together would have a better synergy: design, bug fixing, packaging should all be improved.

To top it off, Shuttleworth then waffles his philisophical comments by closing with:

It's also important to distinguish between Canonical, which is a for-profit services operation, and the Ubuntu Foundation, which has capital from me, on a non-profit basis, to continue Ubuntu's work.

Uh, if Ubuntu is so free, why is it necessary to make this distinction? Does it mean Ubuntu's leader could be associated as having the same commercial structure previously vilified in the competing distribution?

Look, I have nothing against Ubuntu or Shuttleworth. The distro is solid and working hard toward the goal of free software that does what people need. But this continuous bashing of Red Hat serves nothing. It is especially ironic when it comes from individuals who have to equivocate on their own position to avoid appearing the same way! These arguments are naive, poorly constructed, petty, and generally irrelevant. They only stir up trouble and are the perfect distraction from the real work at hand.

Please Ubuntu cheerleaders, focus on your project and stop bashing everybody else. There is plenty to do and many good people working alongside.

hmmm (-1, Offtopic)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708238)

There will certainly be no "Ubuntu Vista".

Mix that statement with the new gpl license

and you will never have another ftp.exe easter egg :(

Money Talks (5, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708253)

And it sure does make it easy to build a better distro.

He's certainly made me believe he's sticking to Debian for the heavy lifting then Q/A and patching to make the packages perform the way he wants them.

I do wonder though if the Debian volunteers will really stick around and still take pride in working on the distro that makes Ubuntu so good.

Re:Money Talks (4, Funny)

tvon (169105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708501)

So someone finally made a great distro out of Debian and it's a bad thing?

Re:Money Talks (2, Informative)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708508)

The debian devs/fanboys seem to do this in exchange for the opportunity to mercilessly tear to shreds anyone who asks about Ubuntu or Knoppix in #debian. Just speaking from experience here...

Re:Money Talks (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708554)

I do wonder though if the Debian volunteers will really stick around and still take pride in working on the distro that makes Ubuntu so good.

I'm inclined to believe that merging with Debian Unstable every six months will be the downfall of Ubuntu. That was cool when Debian had taken forever to get a new release out and unstable was more like testing is now, but unstable is now much more "broken". They'll be wasting a lot of effort rushing to a release before the Debian people (who are, in some sense, experts on the topic) consider it appropriate, so they'll just duplicate a lot of effort, at best.

Unstable: Perfect Storm (3, Informative)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708998)

There are a quite a few major transistions all happening at the same time. Debian is adopting the GCC 4.x ABI for C++, going from XFree86 to X.Org, and there are new releases of KDE and GNOME. Because of when Sarge froze, these all started hitting Unstable at the same time. I went through this with Breezy over the summer. There just isn't a smooth way for a development distro to handle this many at once. I'm sure Gentoo's dev branch went through it to but I bet they only got them one at a time. Come to think of it, they went GCC 4.x pretty early. That is the ugliest one and has directly affects KDE and GNOME.

Once these are over, Debian Unstable will be its usual not-really-unstable self.

Re:Unstable: Perfect Storm (1)

jsight (8987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709043)


I'm sure Gentoo's dev branch went through it to but I bet they only got them one at a time.


Yes, basically. The exception is GCC, as Gentoo is insanely slow about that. They are currently on 3.3 (not 4... not 3.4... 3.3!). :)

Re:Money Talks (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708562)

Well, they call it open source for a reason.

And who knows ... if what Unbuntu is doing is really so good, maybe some of it will end up back in the parent distro. Stranger things have happened.

Re:Money Talks (3, Informative)

Examancer2 (606336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708885)

Actually, if you had read the interview, there is compelling evidence that this is already happening. Debian is already incorporating a lot of the advances from Ubuntu.

Re:Money Talks (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709392)

Yes, but if I had done that my comment would have been well-informed and insightful, leaving no room for anyone to complain. This being Slashdot, I felt it was my duty to shoot from the hip, as it were, and simply fire off my post.

The should be... (2, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708584)

If they're doing it for the reasons they claim they're doing it, it shouldn't matter. If they're all talk, well, you'll see the mass exodus. Guess it's a nice little "trial by fire".

Re:Money Talks (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708681)

It not quite as simple as leeching and rebranding. Debian isn't what makes Ubuntu good, it's what makes the system gel as a whole, IMO. What makes it good is the enormous focus on the user-experience, and the responsiveness of the developers. That's not so much about pretty icons, but about usability and stability ( and some automagic hardware support - Debian? I think not! ;-) ).

I'm not really involved with Ubuntu, but I submitted a bug report for a package that was sent upstream to Gnome - not Debian. They're not officially binary compatible, many many packages are different, and they offer the changes back to Debian. Remember also that Mandriva (ex-Mandrake) was originally a Red Hat "based" distro once.

Grumpy Groundhog info (5, Informative)

jtatum (164201) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708335)

Mr. Shuttleworth mentions the as yet unannounced Grumpy Groundhog project in TFA. He says it's ToBeAnnounced which I took as a hint that info is in the wiki:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/GrumpyGroundhog [ubuntu.com]

It's an ubuntu distribution for developers that has the daily builds of everything:
Upstream development in the open source world moves at a tremendous pace. Many developers like to keep up to date with specific upstream products, but the work involved in building from CVS every day is substantial. With The Grumpy Groundhog Project, Ubuntu provides those developers with a ready source of packages containing the latest upstream code.

These same packages will allow cutting-edge developers to keep track of changes in the upstream codebase that might affect the distribution later down the line. For example, these packages can be auto-built with the latest compiler and toolchain packages to test compatibility with the versions that may be used for the next release of Ubuntu.

The strange names... (0, Flamebait)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708355)

...have really got to go. I think Ubuntu is a decent distro (have it on my laptop), but their "marketing" is unprofessional, to say the least. First it was the half naked and interracial menage-a-trois, which they mercifully 86'ed, and still these ridiculous names. It'd be one thing if they were codenames for release candidates and died with the final - numbered - release, but no, the names live on, in all their campy glory (cf. the dapper drake "gay duck" future release, mentioned in a recent review of Ubuntu). I suppose now might be a good time to point out that their release numbering scheme is very nice, also, I can't argue with the free CDs.

Ubuntu might be popular within its own community, but the distro won't go mainstream until its image matures past high school sophomore.

They're CODENAMES! (5, Insightful)

a.different.perspect (817184) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708933)

You know like Windows Whistler, or Longhorn? I mean, Longhorn could be the name of a porn movie. I certainly wouldn't want my child using it, especially if Bill were in it. But it doesn't matter, because the actual release is called Vista. Similarly, Ubuntu codename "Breezy Badger" is, officially, Ubuntu 5.10; "Hoary Hedgehog" was Ubuntu 5.04; "Warty Warthog" was Ubuntu 4.10. As you so astutely notice, naming as a matter of "marketing"; how much marketing do you want them to put into the names of unreleased software? When the final releases are professionally, numerically named, what, exactly, are you complaining about?

Re:They're CODENAMES! (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709319)

When the final releases are professionally, numerically named, what, exactly, are you complaining about?

Go to the official download page [ubuntu.com] .

Now what do you find there?:

Download the latest Ubuntu!

Ubuntu 5.10 "The Breezy Badger" Preview Release

Ubuntu 5.04 "The Hoary Hedgehog"

MS never put their codenames on the boxes

My Gawd ... Shocking! (2, Funny)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709458)

Maybe you should stick to XP & VISTA. Else, what would people think? And lets not even go into the fact that as a Linux variant, Ubuntu is a member of the unix family. Unixs shouldn't be able to have families anyway. Huh?

Re:They're CODENAMES! (1)

Signbarn (917950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709468)

The CD I received for free from Ubuntu doesn't mention the codename on its case. It's simply Ubuntu 5.04

Re:The strange names... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708966)

That's complete bullshite...

It's been the number one distro on distrowatch.com for some time now and it's only had two releases. It's already well on it's way to becoming mainstream (if it isn't already). No one would care if it had homosexuals dancing on the cover burning American flags on it, it is a polished distro that you can install on a wide variety of systems and have all the various components Just Work (TM).

The amount of work you have to put into a distro post install is what "talks" when it comes to the desktop market, the stupid development names and half naked dancers are what "walks". It could have purple monkies and I would still use it just for the simple fact that I need to do next to nothing after an install to get my hardware up and running. A lot of other people no doubt feel the same way, otherwise there would not be big debates about it or high numbers on distrowatch for it. Call us back when you figure out what really makes desktop Linux tick.

Call me a fan boy - I just want a nice, clean, no fuss desktop distro where I won't have to think "well, it's not windows so no wonder some stuff doesn't work".

Re:The strange names... (3, Insightful)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708976)

Ubuntu might be popular within its own community, but the distro won't go mainstream until its image matures past high school sophomore.

Or until some people become less anal-retentive. Did you read the part about NASA being one of their customers? And is an interacial menage a trois somehow worse than a single race one?

the marketing worked for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708988)

the half naked and interracial menage-a-trois

What on earth could be wrong with that? I still have a bunch of those CD cases around, and I find them quite aesthetically appealing.

Pffft (4, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709276)

Ubuntu is Linux for Human Beings and thankfully most humans aren't humourless.

Criticising Ubuntu's 'marketing' is ludicrous given that they have had outrageous success in accruing brand recognition very quickly.

I don't think the problem you see really lies with Ubuntu. With your references to "half naked and interracial menage-a-trois" and Dapper Drake being a "gay duck" I think it is you that has maturity problems, not Ubuntu.

Funky Fairy! (4, Funny)

jonasj (538692) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708366)

Now we are on the naming thing, what's with the "Funky Fairy" naming system?

Funky Fairy would be an AWESOME name for Ubuntu 6.10! :-)

hmm (1)

xant (99438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709077)

Sadly, a Fairy isn't technically an animal, so I don't think it'll be accepted. (I agree though. :-)

I wonder if we could get Clumsy Clawshrimp [penny-arcade.com] accepted?

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13709165)

I usually find Penny Arcade very unfunny (but I'm not a gamer so I don't get the jokes I suppose)

That, however, is one of the most fantastic things I've seen in a while.

Thanks for the link.

launchpad is proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708372)

keep in mind that distinction between ubuntu the free distro, and the tools used to create it (malone,rosetta) at the canonical developed launchpad which are *not* open source. sort of like building a foundation on quicksand.

\ a happy ubuntu user

So which is it? (1)

bshellenberg (779684) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708373)

From the article: "... will never introduce a commercial version of Ubuntu." followed immediately by: "There will never be a difference between the commercial product and the free product..." and then: "We have been contracted to produce customised distributions..." So what *IS* the deal??

Re:So which is it? (1)

muszek (882567) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708893)

they will customize ubuntu for some org that wants some tweaks or new features. they'll collect money and that's it. it's not like they're gonna sell it later on as an "improved" (pro/plus/whatever) version.

imagine you're rich and you want to have phpMyAdmin with a pink theme. the easiest way is to go to PMA's devs and tell them "modify it for me to be pink and I'll give you $xxx.

Maybe now (2, Insightful)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708395)

we won't have to hear questions of why Ubuntu isn't part of the 'DCC', From TFA:

Why is Ubuntu not part of the DCC Alliance?
I don't believe the DCC will succeed, though its aims are lofty and laudable. It would be expensive to participate, and it would slow down our ability to add the features, polish and integration that we want in new releases. I'm not prepared to devote scarce resources to an initiative that I believe will ultimately fail.

Ouch. I thought the simple fact that DCC is based on Sarge, and Ubuntu on Sid was reason enough.

Also, this FAQ should put to rest the question of leeching and other dumb shit that Ubuntu has been accused of.

The strange names... (0, Redundant)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708400)

...have really got to go. I think Ubuntu is a decent distro (have it on my laptop), but their "marketing" is unprofessional, to say the least. First it was the half naked and interracial menage-a-trois, which they mercifully 86'ed, and still these ridiculous names. It'd be one thing if they were codenames for release candidates and died with the final - numbered - release, but no, the names live on, in all their campy glory (cf. the dapper drake "gay duck" future release, mentioned in a recent review of Ubuntu). I suppose now might be a good time to point out that their release numbering scheme is very nice, also, I can't argue with the free CDs.

Ubuntu might be popular within its own community, but the distro won't go mainstream until its image matures past high school sophomore.

Re:The strange names... (1)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708464)

Slashcode is really screwed up. I posted this earlier, and it got submitted with someone else's sig and didn't even show up in the thread. As I write this, both submissions have not yet appeared in the thread.

More like: Shuttleworth on Atsroturfing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708563)

of course, the whole point of this story is to give a chance to ubuntu fanboys and let them karmawhore.

What a nice guy (5, Insightful)

barkholt (881649) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708577)

How wonderfull the world would be if his behaviour and attitude was the default among rich people - using his money with a vision to improve the world, instead of getting 8 sportcars and a larger penis.

Re:What a nice guy (1)

Eric Pierce (636318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709406)

Actually, he has all that too.

The crux of the article... (5, Informative)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708581)

The most important part of the wiki is towards the end, when Shuttleworth states that the real reason for funding Ubuntu is to solve the "distro collaboration problem" by collaboring with other distros on bugs, translations, technical support, revision control systems. These tools will allow Ubuntu to make its work available easily to Debian, Gentoo, and the rest of the upstream community.

Yuo F4il It! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708669)

leaving the pl4y IF DESIRED, WE

It's a Wiki?? (0, Troll)

xant (99438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708781)

There's something strange about one of his FAQ answers. It's the one that goes:

"Where can I find some hot Goat Sex in Ubuntu?"

A: "Just go to http://..../ [....] "

*shrug* he's a very open-minded individual, I guess.

Re:It's a Wiki?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708890)

Urm. Did you read the same FAQ that I did, or were you just trying to make the mods look stupid? That's not in there!

Ubuntu Talk at Debconf 5 (3, Insightful)

jooon (518881) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708787)

If you want to see and hear him talk about many of the things he mentions in the FAQ, you should watch his Ubuntu talk at Debconf this year. Theora 132MB [debian.net] , MPEG 257MB [debian.net]

If only I didn't have to install stuff AFTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13708790)

I love Ubuntu, really I do...it is the slickest desktop Linux around and it's nice to see it forking off into KUbuntu and EDU-buntu
But it still bugs me that after I install it, I still need to find an MP3 player, which, in this day and age, seems like it should be in ANY default
(and yes, I know about it's the patent issue that's stopping them from distributing a player with it)

With all his wealth (2, Interesting)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13708985)

You'd think Mr Shuttleworth could afford to buy wiki.ubuntu.com a real SSL certificate...

Re:With all his wealth (2, Interesting)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709154)

Especially since his wealth came from Thawte ;-)

Moving from RedHat/Fedora to Ubuntu? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13709010)

I was wondering if any one out there has made the move from a RedHat/Fedora Core based desktop system over to Ubuntu? Was it worth the effort? Is it better? Is it worse?

I use Fedora, with freshrpms, kderedhat, and some other public repositories. I like some of the Ubuntu concepts such as the warm fuzzy humanity thing feels really good to me. But I'm wondering if it's practically worth the effort switching? The hype is enticing, but what's it really like?

thanks

Re:Moving from RedHat/Fedora to Ubuntu? (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709068)

It's like a better distro than Fedora. I use it on my laptop and it works great. CentOS goes on my desktop.

Re:Moving from RedHat/Fedora to Ubuntu? (2, Interesting)

tfiedler (732589) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709244)

I have migrated two servers to Ubuntu 5.04 and they run spectacularly well. I will be migrating some more later this fall too.

I hold RHCE for 9 and Enterprise 3 and while I like certain aspects of Red Hat, I can't justify the cost when Ubuntu is perfectly suited.

The problem with Fedora/RHEL is that I have to pay to get easy updating. I know I can jump through hoops to make it work without paying, but it's not worth it to me, especially when Ubuntu's apt works wonderfully. I plan on asking my employer, in exchange for not buying licenses each year for our servers which in turn saves us considerable cash, if I can give back to the community by hosting a mirror for Ubuntu. Of course, this won't happen quickly but I believe that since my employer is an edu, it will happen.

In short, switch. In long, test it for awhile and you'll answer that question for yourself.

Re:Moving from RedHat/Fedora to Ubuntu? (2, Informative)

concept10 (877921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709363)

I will proudly say that I moved from Red Hat/Fedora Core and not because of the hype, but for very good reasons that I will explain.

* Centralized resources: Everything is one spot. You say that you use 'public' repositories. Almost all of the packages that you could ever want are available within the Ubuntu ecosystem. Fedora Core uses yum and I preferred apt-4-rpm. Some repos support apt4rpm, some do not. I do not know what the case is now. APT is much faster and mature than yum. Also, you may run into trouble with mixing repos with Fedora Core. Everyone doesnt package apps uniformly.

* Superior hardware detection: Developers test, improve and fix alot of thingsand as a result, more functions work out-of-the-box. The latest development release automatically configured many items I could'nt get working with Fedora Core. Examples: Processor Speed Scaling (P4 mobile), the laptop Function keys for display dimming, volume, CD eject, etc. YMMV with wireless.

* Community: The best community ever. Nice people that help anyone out. Everyone is welcomed. From power-users to noobs. Server, Desktop, Gaming, programmers. Everyone is welcomed. Less corporate politics and leet-ness with user contributions. I will admit that I still use Debian Sarge for servers.

* Vision and milestones: Criticise if you like, but Mark Shuttleworth has a great vision of what he wants to accomplish with the distro. He gives so much back to education and people. Everything also happens in the public.

If you want a stable Linux distro based on Debian with a great selection of packages and easy install, you can't go wrong with Ubuntu.

Most people just criticise the color of the default theme, or Debian ABI compatibilty or the stupid controversy regarding the codenames. These are all ignorant arguments IMHO. No one rants this much about Linspire, or Xandros..

DCC... (2, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13709243)

I'm glad to see that explanation. A lot of people gave Ubuntu flak for not being part of it.

Honestly, I agree with him. It has marginal chance of success over the attempt that was UnitedLinux, by not having the commercial interest muddying the waters. However, the crux of the problem is that it flies somewhat in the face of the whole point of different distributions. The theory may be that distros distinguish themselves at a higher level and by forcing common underpinnings doesn't impact the ability to differentiate, but if that were truly the case, there wouldn't be such variation today.

For example, let's assume a member of the DCC is a tad more enthusiastic about GNUstep than the others. Hypothetically, GCC 4.2 releases with ObjC++ support as a significant feature. That distro may want to break with the conservative members to provid the GCC that would allow easier porting of a wider range of OSX apps. What's perceived commonly as a 'boring underpinning' becomes a potential significant factor in differentiation for a distro, but requires breaking compatibility with the rest of DCC.

Just as UnitedLinux made it impossible for the members to meaningly be different, everything ending up essentially being SuSE with different artwork and corporate propoganda, the DCC just simply can't occur and preserve meaningfully unique identies of member distributions.

Debian has always been about open source, and by not even having the illusion of binary compatibility amongst them, it perhaps encourages practices of distributing description files, tarballs, and diffs rather than binary .deb packages...
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