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Shuttleworth Answers Ubuntu Linux's Critics 382

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what's-in-a-name dept.
climenole writes "Technomancer wrote: 'Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu Linux's founder, maintains that he and Ubuntu are doing right by the Linux community and the even larger open-source community. In recent weeks, Ubuntu has been criticized for not giving Linux enough support. Specifically, the complains have been that Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, doesn't do enough for producing Linux source code.'"
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Shuttleworth Answers Ubuntu Linux's Critics

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  • Proper link (Score:5, Informative)

    by yelvington (8169) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:44PM (#33581488) Homepage

    The IT world link takes you to an interstitial ad, followed by a godawful mishmash of crap.

    Here's a link to the original post: http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/517 [markshuttleworth.com]

    • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HermMunster (972336) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:53PM (#33581586)

      I'm a regular Ubuntu user. I use it on 13 machines in my shop and personal life. Having it done and well integrated with easily obtainable extras makes my life much easier. From less powerful to my most powerful this product just seems to work. So, to that end I do thank Mark Shuttleworth for his efforts and I hope he realizes that he has made other's lives better.

      Not everyone contributes back to society or to the world at large in equal measure. Canonical does some things that others don't and others do what Canonical doesn't. To use code contributions to the kernel and to Gnome as a measuring stick just doesn't seem right. Let's be smart and look at the overall effect this has on the world.

      Here's to you guys.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Good point. We should judge them on their use of brown. I think they're first place, ahead of the microsoft zune.
        • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Informative)

          by Artifakt (700173) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:25AM (#33583482)

          The value of contributions to Gnome depends so much on the rest of the Gnome community, on the long standing Gnome/KDE rivalry, and other external factors. If you use contributions to Gnome as a major metric, shouldn't Canonical get some points for indirectly contributing to KDE, XFCE and such via their Kubuntu/Xubuntu connections?
                  There's also Canonical's hardware certification program and their 3rd party software certification program. The hardware cert program has three tiers, and these are designed to give some needed flexibility to hardware makers and software (particularly driver software) authors.
                  Ubuntu Certified is the most involved, and from Canonical's viewpoint, probably the most rigorous. OEMs submit systems to Canonical's testing facility. Certification and testing is done by Canonical's engineers.
                  Ubuntu Ready is much easier for Canonical, as the OEMs self-test their systems using Canonical's certification test suite. OEMs still have to submit their results to Canonical for final review if they want to claim to be Ubuntu ready, but can also use some elements of the test software for other purposes such as internal validation. A good way to evaluate Canonical's over all contribution to the Linux community might be to include how well they have shared this and related code and how well they have modified it based on OEM feedback.
                  Works with Ubuntu. This designation is used for peripherals, such as printers or USB storage devices, that don't usually need the time and associated costs of a more rigorous certification process for testing before it's reasonable to certify them. It makes it easier for makers of such peripherals to keep up with the Ubuntu 6 month release cycle.
                  Canonical offers frequent symposiums and group meetings for hardware makers wanting to use this process - in fact, there's one scheduled this month.

      • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geekmansworld (950281) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:20PM (#33581848) Homepage

        So we can see the thought process here:

        Developing Linux Kernel = Valuable

        Getting Linux into users hands with convenient, easy-to-use installers, providing support, etc. = Not Valuable

        To borrow one of Shuttleworth's analogies, a brain can't function without a body to house it.

        • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Flamekebab (873945) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @09:03PM (#33582166) Homepage
          I'm sure someone else will have said it, but I reckon this is one of those cases of "it can't be measured, therefore it must have no value". Ubuntu has done amazing work getting Linux more visible and better established, that alone is worth a significant amount.
        • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Millennium (2451) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @10:22PM (#33582476) Homepage

          So we can see the thought process here:

          Developing Linux Kernel = Valuable

          Getting Linux into users hands with convenient, easy-to-use installers, providing support, etc. = Not Valuable

          That seems to be the gist of the article, and is one case where some members of the OSS community have really lost sight of something important: code is not the only thing projects need. It is true that Canonical hasn't done particularly much in the way of code, but it has found other ways to pull its weight, particularly in terms of user support. And pull its weight it most certainly does. Whether or not it does more than other companies, I can't say: you can't measure it like you could lines of code or number of applications. But it is grossly unfair to call it parasitic: it does things that frankly nobody else is bothering to do on the scale that Canonical does it. It has earned treatment as an equal to the more established players, even if it fulfills a very different function from them.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by MBGMorden (803437)

            This I can definately agree with. I recently attended an open source software conference. Ubuntu and Fedora sent people there (I remember that Jono Bacon was there from Ubuntu specifically).

            The Ubuntu folks seemed actually far more enthusiastic about drumming up COMMUNITY support, rather than just digging up more programmers. They were encouraging everyone to help - not just with code, but with testing and QC, and their biggest push was talking up the importance of volunteers for doing user documetation

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by walshy007 (906710)

              and Ironically, the first distro that I could completely get rid of my windows partition was fedora core 3, which was released about the same time as the first version of ubuntu (2005 or so I believe)

              Ubuntu succeeds in marketing more than anything else, they had a clean name already when the linux desktop was becoming easier for the masses, and rode the wave.

              Initially the only difference with ubuntu as compared with other distros was the inclusion of proprietary codecs and drivers.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Rogerborg (306625)

              The Ubuntu folks seemed actually far more enthusiastic about drumming up COMMUNITY support

              Bingo. I've been using and developing on UNIX and then Linux for close on to twenty years now, and I now choose to use Ubuntu on my home machines because of one thing and one thing only: the Ubuntu community forums. It's the first UNIX/Linux forum that I've ever used where the default answer to any question isn't "I'm far to busy to answer this. You've got the source, debug it yourself, noob". More often than not, t

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by BrokenHalo (565198)
          Getting Linux into users hands with convenient, easy-to-use installers, providing support, etc. = Not Valuable

          I can see how this might be a perception, but it's not reasonable. Lots of good C programmers are quite poor at systems administration. Maintaining a distro can be a horrible task, since you are essentially being sysadmin for a completely unknown system. The situation is made worse when programmers who write the source code you're implementing capriciously change things around (or break them) for
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by index0 (1868500)
          By that logic, you admit sales people are just as important as the engineers?
          • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Myopic (18616) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @11:27PM (#33582870)

            Without attempting to establish equality, let's just say both of those are essential.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HermMunster (972336)

            An engineering project that can't be sold is just a project.

            • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:46AM (#33583362) Homepage Journal

              An engineering project that can't be sold is just a project.

              You hit the nail on the head. I've recently been promoted to a more bureaucratic place at my company, and I've come to realize that a lot of things I considered of uttermost importance in software development were not as crucial as I thought. Now, I'm not saying they're not necessary. But I overestimated them. Also, I've learned that it's the sales department which makes the companies earn their income. No income, no salaries. No salaries, no employees.

              Linux devs who have never understood the management and marketing side of companies, simply lack the vision needed to improve and promote the kernel/OS they love so much.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by walshy007 (906710)

                Or it is entirely possible that the devs conclude it suits their needs, and the needs of their clients and don't really care what other random people think of it.

                Linux doesn't need to take over the world (as nice as that would be) it only needs to be good enough for your own uses for it to be of utility for yourself.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by the_womble (580291)

          There are other distros with equally good installer that are more user friendly in some ways, which still manage to contribute code as well.

          Consider Mandriva. Much less well funded than Canonical. Better installer. Better config (I find myself needing to edit config files in Ubuntu for stuff I can use the Control Centre GUI in Mandriva). Mandriva all time contributions to Gnome 's are about half of Canonical's, and they have contributed significantly to KDE, and are still doing quite a lot of other stuff ht [mandriva.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by scdeimos (632778)

        From less powerful to my most powerful this product just seems to work.

        Granted, Ubuntu works pretty well with modern hardware. I've been surprised at how well it works with pluggable devices like printers, controllers and iThingies.

        Except when doesn't.

        After SMB mount found itself deprecated you wouldn't believe the pain I had to go through to get CIFS mount to work properly with a remote SMB share whose file system contained folders and files with Asian characters in their names. And it still doesn't create folders and files with the correct ugos - they're visible on all the U

      • by INT_QRK (1043164)
        Hear-hear!
      • Re:Proper link (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @02:14AM (#33583676) Homepage

        Linux is GPL licensed.
        Ubuntu is using Linux according to the GPL license.
        If the developers didn't want this to happen, they shouldn't have used the GPL license.

    • Re:Proper link (Score:5, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:00PM (#33581684) Journal

      I like this article even better: http://blogs.computerworld.com/16651/ubuntu_vs_red_hat_who_really_contributes_the_most_to_linux [computerworld.com]

      To summarize:

      Atari vs. Commodore!
      ST vs. Amiga!
      Nintendo vs. Sega!
      Mac vs. PC!
      PS3 vs. Xbox 360!
      Ubuntu vs. Debian!

      All stupid and silly arguments that serve no purpose. Especially when Debian and Ubuntu are both part of the same family. (Of course that didn't stop Catholics and protestants from fighting.)
      .

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851)
        To be fair, unlike those other fights, Protestants versus Catholics is a pretty important one. Religion as we know it, at least in the Christian parts, was seriously shaken up by the reformation. Even the Catholic church which insists upon being the one true Christian faith, was forced to make serious changes some of which are still being debated nearly 500 years later.
  • Shuttleworth's Post (Score:5, Informative)

    by fandingo (1541045) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:45PM (#33581498)

    We could link to Mark's actual blog post http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/517 [markshuttleworth.com] instead of linking to some crappy IT World "article."

  • Is it his opinion that the [default] desktop environment that Ubuntu provides is better for the Linux desktop ecosystem than all other environments at the moment?

    Having tried the few options available, I hereby submit that there is an environment that in my opinion, is better for desktop Linux in functionality and license as compared to the default. I leave names out on purpose.

  • Crowd sourcing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WarJolt (990309) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:51PM (#33581566)

    Ubuntu has encouraged me to submit bugs and even maintain a ppa for packages I couldn't find on ubuntu. Ubuntu has encouraged me to contribute because the community is active and friendly. Redhat never did that for me.

  • Critics are MORONS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by airfoobar (1853132) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @06:59PM (#33581678)

    A lot of Ubuntu's critics say what they say because they think they are "too good" for it since it comes with training wheels on. Ubuntu, being a distro, has no obligation to write source code -- that is done by thousands of programmers elsewhere, and they are doing a damn fine job. A distro is meant to package the work of those programmers in a way that people can use it without needing a CS degree, and Ubuntu is getting that right imo.

    So, the critics need to stfu and stick with their obscure distros.

    This is the "cool people" phenomenon, like we see in music. These people will go round telling everyone how much they like X niche band as long as nobody knows about it, but if/when that band becomes popular, they'll start saying "Oh, I don't like that any more!". Same here, except with niche software.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I love it on the desktop and use it on all my desktops, laptops and even HTPC, but ubuntu server needs some work. The fact that it comes with a splash screen boot by default is a clear indicator that Canonical does not spend enough time thinking about the server version.

      • The thing is, Ubuntu server isn't trying to necessarily capture the marketshare of "serious" servers because those are already well-entrenched with contracts but rather competing with offerings like Windows Home Server.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Yeah, but they could. I would love to have support contracts on something less out of date then RHEL and I swore off SuSe long ago.

          If they would just put out a windows AMD64 bit kvm driver, I would buy a half a dozen support contracts that day. Instead I am stuck with RHEL5 running a kernel older than dirt.

          • by nxtw (866177)

            If they would just put out a windows AMD64 bit kvm driver, I would buy a half a dozen support contracts that day. Instead I am stuck with RHEL5 running a kernel older than dirt.

            RHEL5 kernel is hardly old. It has thousands of patches.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          It doesn't matter if it is "trying to capture marketshare" or not. Some design decisions are just boneheaded for the use case in question. It has nothing to do with whether or not you're trying to take over the world.

        • by nxtw (866177)

          The thing is, Ubuntu server isn't trying to necessarily capture the marketshare of "serious" servers because those are already well-entrenched with contracts but rather competing with offerings like Windows Home Server.

          Nuh uh. Ubuntu Server is certainly marketed towards enterprises, and not just very small ones. Canonical advertises its support for virtualization, cloud computing, and integration with enterprise authentication systems.
          Let's look at the Ubuntu Server [ubuntu.com] web page:

          • "Ubuntu Server mixes effortles

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by baka_toroi (1194359)
      Could you tell me what "training wheels" means in this context? Having a streamlined distro? Fixing bugs? I know you haven't said that, but it sounds so utterly retarded that I'm having a hard time just trying to understand the concept.
      • by Pharmboy (216950) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:25PM (#33581886) Journal

        My guess is that "training wheels" means using a GUI and a mouse click to do configuration, instead of vi and editing the config file directly, then sending a SIGHUP signal to the process directly.

        Personally, I lean toward the manual editing (using nano/pico, not vi) but I mainly use Linux on servers with no GUI. For individual use, it would seem a GUI would make more sense, assuming your goal is to make it easier for more people to actually use the software.

    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      A lot of Ubuntu's critics say what they say because they think they are "too good" for it since it comes with training wheels on.

      I don't hate it because it has training wheels. I hate it because it has some of the worst hardware support I've seen out of any Linux distro that I've tried. I've seen way too many people try Ubuntu, have some problem with poorly supported hardware (or the installer entirely refusing to run), and go 'wow, Linux sucks.' and give up. That is why I always recommend Mandriva. I have yet to find any hardware it won't run on. Even the weird Dell branded broadcom wifi chips usually work without any extra effort.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kestasjk (933987) *

      So, the critics need to stfu and stick with their obscure distros.

      Red Hat are the main critics as far as I know, and they're not obscure or trying to look "cool". Their criticism is that they pay a lot of money to develop Linux's core software while Canonical doesn't pay nearly so much, which is true.

      On the other hand you're right that Canonical have no obligation to do so, and you can make the case that Canonical are much less profitable and don't have the sorts of clients which need to kind of support provided by having programmers which work on Linuxes core software

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        (...) you can make the case that Canonical are much less profitable and don't have the sorts of clients which need to kind of support provided by having programmers which work on Linuxes core software.

        I think the last bit is really important. A lot of the core kernel stuff that Red Hat does are things that aren't very relevant to the average desktop user like heavy multi-CPU/NUMA/virtualization/network/other server loads. The average *buntu user would be much better served if they e.g. funded a flash replacement or ran a laptop compatibility testing program or shaved 10 seconds off the boot process. Don't get me wrong, there's things in the core systems that would help the desktop too but I don't feel th

    • This is the "cool people" phenomenon, like we see in music. These people will go round telling everyone how much they like X niche band as long as nobody knows about it, but if/when that band becomes popular, they'll start saying "Oh, I don't like that any more!". Same here, except with niche software.

      There's some of that, but mostly, I think it's that people (almost always wrongly) assume that everyone else is like them. I think Canonical does a good job with Ubuntu, but Slackware suits my purposes better. I don't for a minute assume that most users would benefit from my personal choices -- Ubuntu is probably the best distro for non-technical users -- but a lot of people, like some of Canonical's critics, are unable or unwilling to see things from any point of view other than their own personal interest

  • A solid distro (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:04PM (#33581724)
    Ubuntu is without a doubt the best distro for most users. Yeah, I know I could have more customization with Debian, yeah, I know I could be faster if I ran Gentoo, yeah, I know I could be more on the bleeding edge if I used Fedora, but when it comes down to it, Ubuntu is the best distro for most people. I -like- the fact there is a forum where I can post a question and it is answered in about 15 minutes, I like the fact I can do 99.999% of the things I need to do without using the CLI, and I like the fact that I have a lot of software in the repository.

    And the best part is there isn't really any sacrifice. Is there anything that I can't do with Ubuntu that I can do with Debian? Just because I don't have to use a CLI for everything doesn't mean I can't if I want, etc.

    Yeah, so Ubuntu doesn't have the nerd "cred" that I'd be getting if I ran Gentoo, but I have a usable system that is nearly infinitely customizable without having to sacrifice usability.
    • by cynyr (703126)

      Is there anything that I can't do with Ubuntu that I can't do with Debian?

      Yes, ARM platforms, embedded devices, use a vanilla kernel.

      ... I have a usable system that is nearly infinitely customizable without having to sacrifice usability.

      Install Transmission on ubuntu without installing QT4 and half of KDE.

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:23PM (#33581866) Journal

    Ubuntu is a very popular Linux distro, which I can only assume is pulling quite a bit of interest to Linux. A fraction of these new Linux users are also logically speaking developers. And these would then be potential Linux contributors.

    I have a hard time seeing how spending a lot of effort into making the most popular desktop Linux distro on the market could be a bad thing even when going as specific as Linux contributions. Developers are just a subset of users! Any successful distro is a good distro for Linux, and heck, it's not even important to be successful. That's kind of what this whole open OS is about. Play around and have fun. If you're doing well too, well, that's a nice bonus for Linux!

    And Ubuntu is among those that are doing well.

  • I've done a little back reading on this now to see what it's all about. And all I can say is for goodness sake, don't bite the hand that gives you free stuff. Personally, I usually choose gentoo or fedora. But I still recognise the value of Ubuntu.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:38PM (#33581974) Homepage

    I am an old school user from the beginning with Slackware and such. I settled on Redhat because it felt the best to me. This was before Ubuntu came out and Debian was on the map but no competition yet for Redhat. (I'm sure that will be a matter of opinion for many though.) In spite of all the great things about Ubuntu, I'm stuck with Redhat because I simply know it too well. It is largely quite predictable in the way they do things and in their philosophies. That they are active contributors to the source and supporting software is nice but not the reason I continue using and supporting Redhat.

    I was dismissive of Ubuntu at first. One of the biggest turn-offs to me was the fact that nearly everyone refuses to say the name properly. (Damnit! The U makes the same sound each time! Ooo-boon-too! Why is it so frikkin hard?!) To me, that aspect alone makes me think idiots will use it. (I know I am WRONG as hell about that, but at some level, I tend to tie intelligence with linguistic skill) On top of that, I don't like the colors the defaults are using. Moreover, the naming convention? What plans have they after "Zippy Zebra?" And really? Are they intentionally copying famous comic books where the first letter of the first and last names have to be the same? (You know, like Peter Parker, Bruce Banner and all that?)

    But you will notice I make no TECHNICAL complaints about Ubuntu... (well, there is one... apparently the way they set up their Avahi daemon doesn't work well with my SME DNS server... turn that off and it works fine.) That is mostly because I don't have any.

    As far as the response of Shuttleworth? He's right on all counts. I completely agree with his responses. If any one distro helps make Linux a household word, it's Ubuntu. It's slick. It's polished. It seems to perform well everywhere I have seen it. And it is especially true about the source for information for the most solutions. It is the Ubuntu forums... good for me that I don't have much trouble translating from Ubuntu to Fedora. In some extremely important ways, Ubuntu is a huge contributor.

    If Linux is being taken more seriously by the various industries out there, you can thank Ubuntu for a big part of it.

    • by dangitman (862676) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @09:13PM (#33582184)

      Are they intentionally copying famous comic books where the first letter of the first and last names have to be the same? (You know, like Peter Parker, Bruce Banner and all that?)

      Yeah, because as we all know, comic books invented alliteration. It was a completely original idea of the comic book writers, and certainly not something that is so commonplace there's a word for it in the dictionary.

  • Almost all of the vocal critics of Ubunutu I've seen have been trolls, FUDsters, and other worthless people. Has anyone raised serious legitimate criticism of Ubuntu?

  • what's up with doing things their own way, instead of the standard way? On every other apache distribution I've seen httpd.conf is the main config file, but not on Ubuntu... it's apache2.conf. I had to look that up. Ubuntu is full of things like this.

    Mind you, their way works, and Ubuntu has great support and lively community and so on... but why do they insist on being different?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by xthor (625227)

      on Ubuntu... it's apache2.conf.

      It's been quite a while since I was an admin in a Debian shop, but I'm pretty sure that's how it is in Debian. Which makes sense, since Ubuntu is based on Debian, right? I guess I'm sayin' it's not hard to say "the standard way" and mean "the way I'm used to doing things." I prefer Fedora since I use CentOS/RedHat on all my servers, but I don't know if their way is "the standard way" or if that's just how they do things.

    • That's the way it is in Debian which is why Ubuntu is doing it too. The reason is because they're using the modular configs for Apache2 and are making that explicitly clear.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @10:21PM (#33582472)

      That's a Debian peculiarity. The Debian way is quite logical and clean, and recognizes that Apache2 and Apache are separate software packages that may collide. It also supplies a nice and clean modular configuration system for Apache2 which avoids cruft, and demarcates maintainer and sysadmin configs clearly.

    • by seebs (15766)

      This is silly. I've seen lots of systems pick various different conventions for naming the Apache configuration file -- or files, as some people split them up.

      There's not a standard being violated, you're just having baby duck syndrome. Not that I can blame you too much; I learned on 4.xBSD and I'm still surprised on a pretty much daily basis by Linuxes.

  • Specifically, the complains have been that Canonical ...

    Is this usage meant to be cute, or just plain illiterate?

    The verb is complain (3rd person singular present = complains), the noun is complaint.

  • by emblemparade (774653) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @10:45PM (#33582614)

    Most people don't seem to understand the criticism that Shuttleworth is responding to.

    The open source community does not begrudge Ubuntu's success at all. The issue is that the Ubuntu project fixes a lot of bugs from "upstream" open source projects, but has so far done a poor job at submitting these patches back to the upstream projects.

    I can understand why this happens: It's very, very hard to manage a project as big as a complete operating system, and very, very time consuming to have to adhere to every single protocol for contributing patches to every single upstream project. If the point is to get things done for the end user, then it happens that the upstream packages lose here. And that's where the bitterness comes in: because the upstream packages don't get these patches, it means that other operating systems that use these projects don't get these patches, either. It thus seems as if Ubuntu is only patching for itself.

    I'm sure this isn't the intent, though. Some of the critics have gone a bit overboard in accusing the Ubuntu project of doing this on purpose. I think that's shortsighted and unhelpful, and that's what Shuttleworth is responding to here. Though, as eloquent as he is, he's not doing a good job in this post of addressing the critique.

    My own opinion is that the fault is not with Ubuntu, but with the staggering diversity and fragmentation of the open source world. It's hard enough to create a distribution that consumes all these projects, to produce back to them is monumentally hard.

    What should be done is create a more uniform way for projects to receive patches. Perhaps a central repository where these patches could be places, and project maintainers can pull these from and merge in, if they think it's appropriate.

    Fat change this will happen? Maybe, maybe not. I'm very impressed by Ubuntu's leadership in getting the open source world to think more about diverse end users. I think there's an opportunity to use this leadership to try to create a more streamlines path for "upstream" contribution. Projects would benefit from bug fixes and patches, other operating systems will benefit, and everybody will just be so happy forever.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That is why I left Ubuntu. I game a lot on my PC, and I couldn't stand PulseAudio. I don't give a rat's behind about slinging audio over the network, or bluetooth support. I just want the sound to come out of the speakers ASAP with low resource usage. Debian is my new distro of choice. For a time, I contemplated just going back to Winflaws, but then I had to re-install XP on another box the other day and I was reminded how MS treats it's customers like ****.

    That said, even if they made PulseAudio an option

  • Ostrich algorithm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by notandor (807997) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @11:59PM (#33583092) Journal

    In the blog entry, Mark writes about "... a willingness to chase down the problems that stand between here and there." From my experience, problems are not chased down but rather the Ostrich algorithm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrich_algorithm [wikipedia.org] is applied.

    While running karmic (9.10), I noticed a bug with the network-manager pertaining static IP addresses and wireless connectivity, which made it unable to connect to certain configured wireless access points. Lets take a look at the network-manager released with 9.10: http://packages.ubuntu.com/karmic/net/network-manager [ubuntu.com] , it is (0.8~a~git.20091013t193206.679d548-0ubuntu1).

    Now lets look at the updates for karmic at http://packages.ubuntu.com/karmic-updates/net/ [ubuntu.com] , there is not a single one (!) for network-manager. For the whole six months until the next release of 10.04, not a single update for it has been provided! They just took the git snapshot and left it in 9.10.

    Just compare it to Fedora 12 and their updates on http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/buildinfo?buildID=172857 [fedoraproject.org] , karmic (9.10) was released at October 29th, and one can see the fixes and updates through Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan for F12.

    I do not care about the marketing strategies and public image of Linux distributions, but rather about exactly what Mark said, about " ... a willingness to chase down the problems that stand between here and there."

    For me, Ubuntu did not deliver that.

  • by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @02:27AM (#33583744)
    I have used and toyed with Linux as a desktop OS since the mid 90's, beginning with Slackware, then including distros such as Red Hat, Debian, Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mepis, Gentoo, Mandrake, Sabayon, and several others. I settled on Linux Mint a few years ago, which is known as a "more complete" and better derivative of Ubuntu; Mint is Ubuntu-based but includes a number of independently developed tools and a great user interface, though it is developed by a small group of fanatics. For a change, the Mint team recently released an excellent Debian-based version, in addition to their usual Ubuntu-based releases, which has been met with a lot of excitement.

    I am already using Linux Mint Debian Edition as my main OS, but I still have a ton of respect for Ubuntu and Canonical. They have done a lot to raise awareness for Linux, and have developed a very usable OS that non-expert enthusiasts can use, as well as providing a great base for many other distros. Ubuntu is not an ideal server OS, or the be-all end-all OS that is absolutely perfect, but Canonical have done a great job with it and have worked admirably to promote free and open source software. If nothing else, they have inspired their competition to make things easier for home desktop users.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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