Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

Linux Software

Shuttleworth on Ubuntu's Direction and Intent 242

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the reasons-for-the-season-of-brown dept.
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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Shuttleworth on Ubuntu's Direction and Intent

Comments Filter:
  • by Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:50PM (#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?
    • by aichpvee (631243) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:54PM (#13708188) Journal
      Not if you give away the discs with free shipping.
    • by agraupe (769778) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:56PM (#13708200) Journal
      Professional addition? I mean, humans can be fast, but I thought calculators kinda put an end to all those professional adders.
    • by FidelCatsro (861135) < minus cat> on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:58PM (#13708207) Journal
      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. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Henry V .009 (518000) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:02PM (#13708231) Journal
        Windows has taught the world that "Home Edition" is synonymous with "Crippled Edition."
        • Re:I disagree. (Score:5, Informative)

          by ettlz (639203) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:16PM (#13708288) Journal
          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. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Henry V .009 (518000) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:23PM (#13708325) Journal
            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. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by BridgeBum (11413)
            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. (Score:4, Informative)

            by Skye16 (685048) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:52PM (#13708556)


            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. (Score:3, Informative)

            by JFitzsimmons (764599)
            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.
            • by cloudmaster (10662) on Monday October 03, 2005 @10:20PM (#13709436) Homepage Journal
              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. (Score:3, Interesting)

                by swillden (191260)

                better performing, platform-independant hardware RAID?

                It's common wisdom that hardware RAID is better than software RAID, but I'm not so sure. Performance may or may not be better, depending on workload, but I think the "platform independence" of hardware RAID is highly overrated. Hardware RAID solutions are platform-independent in the sense that you can theoretically access the data with any other operating system, but they're extremely dependent on the hardware platform. If your hardware RAID contro

          • Re:I disagree. (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 03, 2005 @08:53PM (#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) 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.

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

            It is more secure. The Pro version supports Encrypted File System, which is quite useful because it's not a cooperative security measure like NTFS permissions. If I use NTFS permissions to secure a folder, then browse the folder under Linux, I can read everything. This doesn't work if you encrypt the file with EFS, unless you take the time to crack it somehow. EFS has it's faults, but IMHO it's a useful featur

        • Re:I disagree. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by kubevubin (906716)

          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 automa

          • Re:I disagree. (Score:2, Insightful)

            by mikek3332002 (912228)
            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, 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.
      • 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.
    • Whoa — or, "Ubuntu Starter Edition"!

      I think we're on to something here!

    • Where is ubuntu for servers? That's what I want to know.
  • Insightful indeed... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by menorikey (915085) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:59PM (#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.)

    • 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".

    • being a Redhat->Fedora person, I'd tried ubuntu on a dell d610 laptop with mostly success. Modern enough to support the i915. (as long as the crappy Dell cmos can init the video to the video of the laptop you're golden.)

      The biggest problem I've had is with environment vars.... I just want to put a system wide set-when-you-boot-env-var and call a command reliably at boot time. /etc/bashrc.rcsomething is great if you want your bash shell updated. /etc/profile is ignored. /etc/profile.d/ is non-existant.
      • The proper way is to use /etc/environment in conjunction with pam_env.

        Pam, being responsible for the initialization of all login sessions is in hte perfect position to do this. /etc/environment is not a shell script however, and for good reason... what you are launching when you launch gnome is not a shell script. You are launching a binary named gnome-session. There is no bash involved.
  • Jambo Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:01PM (#13708225) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by Splork (13498)
      vnc isn't idea. you should try windows remote desktop with the open source rdesktop client. it works better.
    • Please give a daily build of the live CD ( []) 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!
      • The Ubuntu Update Manager says: "Your system is up to date!"
        evolution --version says "Gnome evolution-2.2"
        Should I file a bug report on that ;)?
        • You need to click Reload.

          $ evolution --version
          Gnome evolution-2.4 2.4.1
          • Pretty obscure - I guess that red icon that shows up in the taskbar needs 48 hours to expire before reminding me to OK an update.

            So I click Reload, and get 7 packages to install: 5 GTK packages,, and update-notifier (maybe it will automatically "Reload" on startup...).

            After I tell "Software Updates" to "Install" those 7 updates (and even reboot, just to see whether that's necessary for all those GTK updates), evolution --version still says "Gnome evolution-2.2"
  • by knightinshiningarmor (653332) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:01PM (#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.
    • by Xtifr (1323) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:09PM (#13708260) Homepage
      > 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.
      • yeah.. in finland, there's wide amounts of software production.

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

      • 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,

      • by david.given (6740) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:27PM (#13708348) Homepage Journal
        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.

      • 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?
        • 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.
        • 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 po

      • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54@y[ ] ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @12:15AM (#13709993)
        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
        Where did you get the 90% figure? I've seen comments like this before but I've never been able to find details on the studies that arrived at numbers such as this.
    • 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 [].

      Trend: Products (before) -> Services (after)
    • . . .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 liv
    • 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 w

      • 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.

        And? It sounds like what you are calling "the only difference" is what is actually the whole point - especially in the context of the cross distro collaboration efforts he talks about. The contradictions are entirely in the way you chose to interpret them.

        But si

  • Money Talks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpapet (761907) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:07PM (#13708253) Homepage
    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.
    • by tvon (169105) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:45PM (#13708501) Homepage
      So someone finally made a great distro out of Debian and it's a bad thing?
    • Re:Money Talks (Score:3, Informative)

      by agraupe (769778)
      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...
    • 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, exper
      • by dmaxwell (43234) on Monday October 03, 2005 @08:56PM (#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.

        • 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!). :)
    • 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 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Examancer2 (606336)
        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.
    • The should be... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by saleenS281 (859657)
      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".
    • 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. The
  • by jtatum (164201) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:24PM (#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: []

    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.
  • by jonasj (538692) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:31PM (#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! :-)
    • by xant (99438)
      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 [] accepted?
  • Maybe now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i_should_be_working (720372) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:36PM (#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.
    • by bcrowell (177657)
      And what exactly is DCC? I'd never heard of it until reading Shuttleworth's FAQ.

      Debian Cello Conservatory?

      Desktop Cruft Collection?

      Dramatically Capable Computers?

      D C Cisnotanacronym?

      Don't Clutch your Crotch?

    • On the whole it's wonderful what he's doing, but I'm sorry he isn't being more supportive of DCC.

      If DCC does fail he will have contributed to this by not supporting it in some manner (even if just giving it his moral support).

      In my opinion, DCC is good for debian, and good for LInux.
  • What a nice guy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by barkholt (881649) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:54PM (#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.
  • by sweetnjguy29 (880256) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:55PM (#13708581) Journal
    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.
  • by jooon (518881) on Monday October 03, 2005 @08:21PM (#13708787) Homepage
    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 [], MPEG 257MB []
  • With all his wealth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Trogre (513942) on Monday October 03, 2005 @08:54PM (#13708985) Homepage
    You'd think Mr Shuttleworth could afford to buy a real SSL certificate...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    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?

    • It's like a better distro than Fedora. I use it on my laptop and it works great. CentOS goes on my desktop.
    • 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 ex
    • Since you mention kde-redhat I assume that you are a KDE fan (like myself). In that case you should try Kubuntu [] which is basically Ubuntu with KDE in place of Gnome. You COULD install Ubuntu and then apt-get the KDE metapackage, but then you would have both environments and you may not want that.
    • What keeps me with debian is the QA and integration of _everything_. Unlike using a public repository, everything in the debian project is made to work with everything else. It's not perfect, but it's damn close.

      FC3 came on four CD's, I believe. I think sarge comes on 11, if I remember right (I only download the first CD and apt the other stuff I need, personally). All that extra software is part of the debian project and fits seamlessly into it. Everything is available from one place, which makes sear
  • DCC... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Monday October 03, 2005 @09:51PM (#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...
  • by Quash (793610)
    Mark wrote: "Though Linspire is not (yet) based directly on Ubuntu, it's not infeasible that the Linspire guys figure out what a good option that would be for them sooner rather than later. 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." If I were a Debian developer and read this, this would not make me rest easy. Mark in a colourf
  • by FishandChips (695645) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:16AM (#13710982) Journal
    It's so refreshing to see someone in his position tell things straight and in a way we can all understand.

    Even so, I suspect there's a problem here that's slowly appearing on the horizon and that's the future of Debian. It's beginning to resemble an old tramp steamer. Years of sterling, cargo-carrying service but now the crew are arguing on the bridge and some are even trying to force the captain's safe. The engineers (fewer than there were) are desperately trying to keep the ship's rather aged boilers from bursting. And a flotilla of other vessels, some flying the skull and crossbones, are circling, many darting in to nick some of the deck cargo and occasionally a few crew members to boot (although the chief purser has so far proved too weighty to carry off in a pirate lighter). If the old girl starts to founder then a whole lot of people are going to be in a serious pickle.

    It may be that simply contributing patches back up to Debian isn't enough. Debian is a huge and amazing project, but for that reason is needs a lot of organization and talented manpower to keep it not merely going but a beacon of excellence. If it catches a cold, so does everyone else. With Debian being pulled in different directions, you have to wonder how long it can hold up for without beginning to suffer.
  • by Zarf (5735) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @08:26AM (#13711342) Journal
    I installed Ubuntu on an old Compaq Laptop (a horrid old Presario) I have lying around and everything just worked! Even my Orinoco Wifi card just plain worked. Even Suspend just plain worked. I couldn't believe it. They're doing something right. I just hope Shuttleworth's profit model works out for him.

User hostile.