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Canonical Moving Away From GNOME Control Center 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-want-something-done-right dept.
jones_supa writes "This announcement comes from the ubuntu-desktop mailing list. Due to GNOME Control Center already being a heavily patched version in Ubuntu, Canonical is planning to found their own fork called Unity Control Center. This would be a fork with a limited lifespan and later on they would move to something called Ubuntu System Settings, an in-house project. For now, a PPA has been set up to test the new fork."
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Canonical Moving Away From GNOME Control Center

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  • NIH (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:01PM (#45662597)

    It's weird how a project that consists of repackaging everything Debian has developed such a NIH problem.

    • Re:NIH (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rahvin112 (446269) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:14PM (#45662743)

      Mod Parent up.

      You shouldn't have posted anonymous because you nailed it with the first post. This NIH syndrome they've developed will ultimately be the end of Canonical. In the long run they can't sustain the independent development on all these separate and diverse features, not unless Shutleworth is going to continue to fund this with millions of his own money in perpetuity.

      • Re:NIH (Score:5, Informative)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:22PM (#45662821) Homepage

        This NIH syndrome they've developed will ultimately be the end of Canonical.

        For me, their desire to monetize our searches and undermine our privacy is what is marking the end of Canonical.

        Now I just need to find a suitable replacement, because every time I hear about Canonical these days I like them even less.

        • Re:NIH (Score:4, Informative)

          by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:31PM (#45662911)

          Linux Mint, if you want a distribution geared towards the same kind of modernity and ease of use that made Ubuntu so popular to begin with.

          Or Debian, if you want to pick a distribution whose organization is least likely to fuck it up or sell out.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Thanks, I'll look into those.

          • Or Linux Mint Debian Edition, if you want modern ease of use and lack of selling out. There's bread, there's eggs, and there's breaded eggs [tvtropes.org].
        • "For me, their desire to monetize our searches and undermine our privacy is what is marking the end of Canonical."

          For me, it's both. There is that, AND the fact that Canonical has been becoming ever less and less "canonical" Linux.

          In fact it's getting rather difficult to even call it legitimate Linux anymore. I suppose it is, but in a way that hasn't been pleasing very many people.

          • As I always say^H^H^Hask: point me to the word Linux on any of Canonical's web pages.
            • "As I always say^H^H^Hask: point me to the word Linux on any of Canonical's web pages."

              My point was that the word "canonical" has a meaning: "In simplest or standard form."

              In the beginning, Ubuntu could at least lay some claim to being a "canonical" Linux distro. It was plain, simple, and had few frills, but had everything needed to make it usable.

              Since then, it has deviated ever farther from "canonical" Linux. Now it's hardly recognizable. Ubuntu appears to be about as much Linux as OS X is BSD. (I'm exaggerating a bit, but not really that much.)

              • by Burz (138833)

                The problem with this notion of "standard Linux" is that it exists only in the minds of a small subset of techies, and the reality of distros that are patterned after it is that after all these years, you still can't even GIVE them away to most people.

                So your griping over canonical's definition is pretty ironic, IMO. Also, the suggestion that Ubuntu used to be better than other distros because it lacked a bunch of extras is pretty moronic; it succeeded because it was better at configuring most hardware, whe

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        Mod Parent up.

        You shouldn't have posted anonymous because you nailed it with the first post. This NIH syndrome they've developed will ultimately be the end of Canonical. In the long run they can't sustain the independent development on all these separate and diverse features, not unless Shutleworth is going to continue to fund this with millions of his own money in perpetuity.

        Actually, most people see this as a positive step. For instance, if one wanted to run pure Gnome 3 on an Ubuntu base, all of the various patches that Canonical have made to various Gnome pieces, such as the control center, get in the way. By Canonical forking the gnome-control-center, one can choose to use Canonical's modifications or not.

        That is a big step forward compared to the current situation of modifying Gnome components to make them work with Unity. That's not NIH, but being responsible as it keeps

    • Re:NIH (Score:5, Informative)

      by umafuckit (2980809) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:28PM (#45662883)

      It's weird how a project that consists of repackaging everything Debian has developed such a NIH problem.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_invented_here [wikipedia.org] Because I didn't know what it meant.

      • Re:NIH (Score:5, Funny)

        by skids (119237) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @04:05PM (#45663223) Homepage

        You should have just made up your own words to fit the letters.

      • by fnj (64210)

        NIH means National Institute of Health :-)
        Not just to pull your chain, but that's the trouble with TLAs.

        • It does mean National Institute of Health, yes. They're the people who pay my salary, so I know about them. I don't know what they have to do with Ubuntu's predicament, however. :)
      • by Burz (138833)

        Its not weird at all. They've just recognized the limitations of the prior organization and codebase, and are moving to make their own changes. Why major changes have to first be developed 'independantly' (e.g. within RedHat or other mega corporation) and then approved by a bunch of failures ("Linux desktop" distros) is quite beyond me.

        Really, I can't figure out the animosity here. If Ubuntu used to be so plain, then move to another plain distro and stop attacking Canonical with nonsense. They have the righ

        • Really, I can't figure out the animosity here. If Ubuntu used to be so plain, then move to another plain distro and stop attacking Canonical with nonsense. They have the right to fork stuff, and even a moral duty to do so given the ineptitude of the venerable 'upstream'.

          I agree with you. I continue to use Ubuntu because I like the availability of packages and the package manager. No fucking about, I can get on with my work. I don't care about all this privacy/advertising/Amazon FUD in Ubuntu: I don't use Unity so it's a non-issue. There's no tracking in other window managers. I uninstall the tracking-related packages anyway, just to be sure. I don't see the point in switching distros to get away from it. Talk about babies and bathwater...

          • by Burz (138833)

            I like Unity except for the Dash part... the results and presentation are too noisy. But that is easily solved with 'classicmenu'.

            Canonical are actually close to going over the line WRT search privacy, but they're not over it yet and its easy to remove it or turn it off. I do think this is an important issue because it affects users' expectations for privacy; people shouldn't be led to think their PCs are just like public terminals.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by KiloByte (825081)

      Considering that components of Gnome demand to replace even the init system with a NIH unmaintenable un-reasonably-modifiable monstrosity, Ubuntu distancing itself from Gnome is not a NIH syndrome, it's basic sanity.

      • by fnj (64210)

        Ubuntu also turns their nose up at a perfectly workable init script system. In the case of Ubuntu this takes the form of Upstart rather than Systemd. One can argue the merits of all three (and there are others), but Ubuntu is doing the same type of thing as Gnome in this context.

        If you prefer the real Unix philosophy [faqs.org], you probably want BSD or a Solaris spinoff or even OSX, not Linux. That's not meant as a knock against Gnu/Linux. Gnu/Linux works damn well. But if, for example, you spend effort throwing out

    • It's appropriate that Ubuntu is focused on the control center. Fuck the rest of open-source. We never got anything from this whole community approach anyway.
  • by dmbasso (1052166) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:06PM (#45662647)

    I heard they have tons of kernel patches as well, so soon they'll start a new in-house project, called Hurd!

    (Still) Ubuntu user here, but couldn't resist.

  • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:09PM (#45662689)

    Kinda strange, since Canonical and the Gnome guys definitely deserve each other.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:12PM (#45662721) Homepage

    Ubuntu is steadily moving away from Gnome and aligning more with Qt. (See: Ubuntu Phone's QML-based UI.) Getting rid of Gnome's system settings is just another small step in that direction.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:33PM (#45662939)

    ... Canonical is moving Ubuntu away from Linux to an in-house project named "invented here". Mark Shuttleworth assures that "invented here" will be ~100% backward compatible with Linux for "some time". Mr Shuttleworth went on to say "blah, blah, blah ... enhanced user experience". Many long-time Ubuntu users are annoyed and have vowed to switch to "alternate distro".

    • by StripedCow (776465) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @03:52PM (#45663097)


      # sudo apt-get upgrade
      Extracting templates from packages: 100%
      Selecting previously unselected packages.
      (Reading database ... 84711 files and directories currently installed.)
      Uninstalling package gnome
      Uninstalling package linux-kernel
      Uninstalling package X-server
      Uninstalling package posix
      Uninstalling package bash
      Uninstalling package ext3
      Installing package shuttleworth-os-almost-finished
      Done
      # /bin/bash: Text file non-existent
      kernel panic

    • by chthon (580889)

      I think Mark Shuttleworth is a Furby (r). The one my daughter has does this also: bla, bla, bla, bla, and then something unintelligible.

    • It wouldn't be so funny if it weren't so true.
  • Canonical moving away from POSIX.

  • Why anyone ever thought Canonical wouldn't end up being vile shit bags? I have never liked Ubuntu specifically because it has a corporation tied to it ... and being that the nature of corporations is to make money at all costs and above all else, their stupid anti-OSS decisions could and should have been foreseen at the start (yes, this is worth the karma hit from fanboys).

    • Why anyone ever thought Canonical wouldn't end up being vile shit bags? I have never liked Ubuntu specifically because it has a corporation tied to it ... and being that the nature of corporations is to make money at all costs and above all else, their stupid anti-OSS decisions could and should have been foreseen at the start (yes, this is worth the karma hit from fanboys).

      Fedora has a corporation tied to them as well. Fedora is so pro-OSS that you cannot even obtain it with built-in MP3 support. The Fraunhofer corporation (GmbH?) owns patents on critical MP3 technology and even though they've stated that it's available free for non-commercial use, Red Hat won't bundle it because it's not 100% OSS without encumbrances.

      A corporation doesn't have be rapacious if it doesn't want to. Fewer of them would be if we'd all stop giving our money to the ones that are.

    • Why anyone ever thought Canonical wouldn't end up being vile shit bags? I have never liked Ubuntu specifically because it has a corporation tied to it ... and being that the nature of corporations is to make money at all costs and above all else, their stupid anti-OSS decisions could and should have been foreseen at the start (yes, this is worth the karma hit from fanboys).

      What the heck? Almost all of the work in open source comes from companies. Linux would be a stone age operating system today if it wasn't for companies putting big bucks behind development.

  • Canonical is forking something?? NIH syndrome! They should totally use something that already exists.
    Canonical is using something that already exists? How dare they use something someone else made!
  • Ok guys, I'm here with the asbestos!
  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:20PM (#45664697)
    Unity might be the worst graphical interface I've ever used, it is a bad excuse at best for a high school level GUI project. Now Canonical want's to go further and decide to write a control centre? If history is any guide to how this will turn out, the control centre will be almost unusable, it will have a layout that will make you scratch your head and wonder who laid it out and overall it make more Ubuntu users jump over to gnome 3.
  • by sgage (109086) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:30PM (#45664799)

    ... that make we want to throw up my hands and just say frack it all to Linux, period. I've been working with Linux since 1998, and from the beginning, it's been whining, backbiting, complaining, dissing, bickering, moral posturing, and in general one big ball of negativity. The vast (vast) majority of it is ill-informed fanboi nonsense.

    Use what you want, work on what you want to contribute to, but holy moly can we please stop tearing down everything and anything that doesn't meet our personal code of free-open-source-grooviness?

    I sometimes think that demands for ideological purity is going to be the death of Free Software...

    • When you pay, you are paying for developers to STFU about their prima ballerina complex and get to work.

      Imagine directing a film where every actor and stagehand is an over-educated volunteer trying to pad their resume.

      People who get paid have grown up.
  • by t_hunger (449259) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:35PM (#45664861)

    Their new system is Qt based. I would not want to drag gnome dependencies into my Qt system if I could avoid it, too. even more so on a closed down device with limited resources like a phone. So they need to write a system settings app. It is only natural to use that on the desktop, too, especially when you want to sell the idea of "convergence".

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