Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Nov 2008 19:08 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Last week, during Ubuntu's OpenWeek, Mark Shuttleworth joined in for a two hour Q&A session, where he answered a wide range of questions regarding Ubuntu and its parent company, Canonical. They ranged from questions regarding Canonical's relationship with Dell, all the way up to Shuttleworth's response to Greg Kroah-Hartman's criticism of Canonical.
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Greg KH
by Rahul on Mon 10th Nov 2008 20:26 UTC
Rahul
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Greg was saying "the things I care about are the only things that matter"."

With all due respect to Shuttleworth, I think putting words into other people's mouth is rude. Remember, that the keynote was on "Linux Plumbers Conference" so Greg KH naturally talked about kernel, glibc, gcc etc changes rather than some of the higher level layers.

I think, the larger message is about the value of participation in upstream projects is a good message nevertheless. If you are going to form a opinion, you might as watch the talk first

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3385088017824733336

http://www.kernel.org/pub/media/talks/gregkh/talk_2008-06-05_Greg_K...

Read Greg KH's earlier response as well

http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/lpc_2008_law_and_gospel.html

Reply Score: 7

Free Riders, Canonical and Greg KH
by Moulinneuf on Tue 11th Nov 2008 01:37 UTC in reply to "Greg KH"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

From : http://www.linux-foundation.org/weblogs/amanda/2008/09/19/free-ride...

On Wednesday kernel developer and Novell fellow Greg KH opened the first annual Linux Plumbers Conference with a keynote aimed squarely at the team behind Ubuntu, Canonical. I think Greg could have used the opportunity to inspire more than attack, but Greg obviously feels strongly about the necessity for upstream development. It's also Greg being Greg: I believe he carries around a spoon just in case he encounters a hornets nest.

Does he have a point?

Greg's contention is that Canonical is a passive member of the Linux community since they do not contribute code upstream. The operative point, that Greg left out, is they do not contribute much to the projects that Greg defines as "Linux" (namely the kernel, GCC, binutils, etc.) I found his focus solely on this projects, at the exclusion of such key upstream projects as Gnome, mis-leading. The kernel is the core of a Linux distribution, so I understand why Greg feels kernel patches are the most valuable, but you can't discount Canonical's support of Gnome and other desktop projects.

Why Pick on Canonical?

Perhaps Greg likes to pick on Canonical because they are so successful. A lot of people use Ubuntu (me included.) This isn't sour grapes. As Greg pointed out it's precisely because Ubuntu has so many users that their lack of upstream support is so important. The patches/bugs those users report to Ubuntu could be extremely useful to all Linux users, if they were contributed upstream. Greg's contention is that because Ubuntu merely consumes the kernel and other elements of Debian, (effectively pushing it even farther removed from upstream development) they are not fully participating in Linux. His point is that if you are a developer you should use your skills with those companies who actively support upstream development. By all reasonable estimates, this is a lost opportunity.

But I also wonder why Greg doesn't pick on other "free riders?" For instance, could Amazon have built their Kindle business without the $1 billion in free software in the Linux kernel? I don't see them on the list in Greg's presentation or the paper we did earlier this year. Why Canonical and Ubuntu? Is it because they much more actively market "Linux" as powering their product? They highlight it much more than Amazon, or Google with Android, or Tivo, or Motorola. Should they be punished for choosing to do something I consider to be a huge service to the Linux community?

So do I think Greg should go after Amazon in a similar fashion? Not at all. Linux is free (as in freedom.) That means you can use it without giving back. That means you are free to become a free rider if you want to. Companies who give a lot back upstream should be rewarded. These are companies like IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Oracle and Novell, among others. But if we get into endless bickering about free riders, this makes the Linux community appear vindictive and petty. Just using Linux makes the ecosystem so much bigger for the rest of us. This is why it's so important that anyone can use it as they wish. Vote with your dollars, vote with your technology choices, vote by sending letters to companies. Reward good behavior.

So What Constitutes a Contribution?

In open source communities "code talks" and rightfully so. Canonical saw a need for a software project/company to contribute to Linux in a unique way. They focus on building a usable, more polished, more designed, better branded and better supported Linux distribution for the consumer market. By any one's measure they have been successful in that endeavor. By my measure that is a very valuable contribution to the greater Linux movement.
Does that mean they shouldn't contribute upstream? Absolutely not. If they can push more code/bug fixes upstream all users, not just Ubuntu users, will benefit. But Linux is also all about choice, and they have decided to fit in where they saw a need not being addressed. That is their choice. Do I agree with all of their choices? No. For instance I think including closed modules with their distribution is the wrong decision yet understand their reasons for doing so.

Ubuntu founder (and benefactor) Mark Shuttleworth recently addressed Greg's criticism in his blog:

In Ubuntu we have in general considered upstream to be "our ROCK", by which we mean that we want upstream to be happy with the way we express their ideas and their work. More than happy - we want upstream to be delighted! We focus most of our effort on integration. Our competitors turn that into "Canonical doesn't contribute" but it's more accurate to say we measure our contribution in the effectiveness with which we get the latest stable work of upstream, with security maintenance, to the widest possible audience for testing and love. To my mind, that's a huge contribution.

I happen to agree. Open source is all about "scratching your itch." About 200 companies contributed to the last kernel release. Mark saw a need for integration and distribution, which builds on the contributions of those 200 companies (and countless others outside the kernel.) It's also interesting to note that Ubuntu itself is a "victim" of free riders. Many of the new Mobile Internet Devices gaining in popularity take Ubuntu and customize it to fit those machines. They slap a new brand on it and it's no longer Ubuntu. This is the way Linux works.

I think it's unfortunate when we get into such public Linux community "us vs. us" debates. (I feel conflicted about adding my voice to it.) Greg.s points do have merit, but they are too simplified. While I find Greg to be a very effective and strategic communicator about kernel issues, I wish he would use those considerable skills to inspire rather than castigate. Then again, he's very good at stirring up those hornet's nests.

Edited 2008-11-11 01:41 UTC

Reply Score: 12

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So do I think Greg should go after Amazon in a similar fashion? Not at all. Linux is free (as in freedom.) That means you can use it without giving back. That means you are free to become a free rider if you want to. Companies who give a lot back upstream should be rewarded. These are companies like IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Oracle and Novell, among others. But if we get into endless bickering about free riders, this makes the Linux community appear vindictive and petty. Just using Linux makes the ecosystem so much bigger for the rest of us. This is why it's so important that anyone can use it as they wish.


Ya, when you have a system like this, you've got to realize that a lot of people are going to leech off of it and never give anything back ... kind of like socialism, I guess ;) If you don't like that, then don't make it available for free.

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

when you have a system like this,


There not even discussing the system , but the amount contributed to particular part of the system and why it don't make sense to compare a billion dollar company to a million dollar company.

you've got to realize that a lot of people are going to leech off of it and never give anything back .


GNU/Linux as more people contributing back then any other free system , so your false painting and own definition of leech as anyone who don't pay anything with money does not apply.

kind of like socialism


Kind of like you not knowing what socialism is , in comparison you got more leech in capitalism then in socialism.

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=100&v=94

That's just external debts.

then don't make it available for free.


Again cost is not the problem here but , painting false image over competitors.

Reply Score: 6

pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

If you are the same Moulinneuf I have been reading for years here, then you vary greatly in both your coherency and the balancedness of your comments. Great comment, this one!

Reply Score: 4

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

I largely agree with you.
However you said you use Ubuntu and you seem to agree with Greg KH that it's a lost opportunity that few if any patches in the "linux plumbing" make it upstream from Ubuntu users. Why not use Fedora, or Debian, for instance, if you think that is important?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Greg KH
by Moulinneuf on Tue 11th Nov 2008 01:43 UTC in reply to "Greg KH"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

from : http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2008/09/what-behind-gregkh-latest-ra...

If you haven't seen the latest rant from Novell's Greg Kroah-Hartman, I'm not going to link to it. You'll have to find it on your own.

Greg has used at least two high-profile speeches this year (a Linux Plumber's Conference keynote, and a Google Tech Talk) to tear down the contributions of Canonical to the Linux ecosystem.

I hope that people take it for what it is, pure and simple...
a negative marketing campaign
engineered by a high-profile Novell employee
against a key competitor

Greg threw out some numbers in his slides, usually showing a very small number next to Canonical, and then much larger numbers next to Red Hat, Novell, and others, such as IBM.
Full Disclosure...
In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that:

1. I am currently employed by Canonical
2. I was an IBM employee from 2000 - 2008
3. I spent most of 2005 as an IBM employee on-site at Red Hat

Some missing numbers...
I dug up a few numbers that Greg missed.

* Worldwide Employees (2007)
o Canonical: ~130
o Red Hat: ~2200
o Novell: ~4100
o IBM: 386,558 ...note that IBM's headcount is accurate to 6 significant digits, and the others are fuzzy :-)
* Revenue (2007):
o Canonical:(probably somewhere south of the following numbers)
o Red Hat: $523 million USD
o Novell: $933 million USD
o IBM: $98,786 million USD (yes, that's a hundred billion dollars)

* Years in Existence
o Canonical: 4 (founded in 2004)
o Red Hat: 15 (founded in 1993)
o Novell: 29 (founded in 1979)
o IBM: 119 (founded in 1889)

So, yeah, Canonical is a small, young company. It would be nice if Greg would normalize some of his numbers against each company's size.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Greg KH
by VistaUser on Tue 11th Nov 2008 02:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Greg KH"
VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

None of that matters - the figures Greg uses are not for contributions over 10 or 15 years. They are going off recent history.

and if you think comparing against Red Hat or Novell is unfair, fine. Compare against Mandriva or Gentoo. Ubuntu still does not come off well.

(and the comparison was about nuts and bolts since it was a plumbers conference, not a desktop conference.)

All these figures only matter if you are trying to prove that Ubuntu does/does not work upstream and wether it provides a rosy future for itself/linux as a whole.

However if all you care is that Ubuntu is a good distribution to use *now* (which, to be fair, is all that matters to a lot of people), none of the above matters.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Greg KH
by Soulbender on Tue 11th Nov 2008 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Greg KH"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Compare against Mandriva or Gentoo


Except, you know, both of those have been around a lot longer.
It's also obvious that Ubuntu is not going to have as large a developer community as, say, Gentoo since Ubuntu is not primarily targeted at developers.
All you really need to know though, is that GregKH is working for Novell and is slandering a competitor. Trustworthy? Not any more than Mark would be if he went out and stated that Novell does not contribute.
This is one of those very rare times when I find myself agreeing completely with Moulinneuf. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket today.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Greg KH
by VistaUser on Tue 11th Nov 2008 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Greg KH"
VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

"Compare against Mandriva or Gentoo

Except, you know, both of those have been around a lot longer.
"

And how is that even relevant to comparing the output for the last few years where all of them have existed?

It's also obvious that Ubuntu is not going to have as large a developer community as, say, Gentoo since Ubuntu is not primarily targeted at developers.


and lets forget about Mandriva here ;)

Yes, that comapny has been mismanaged and is largely responsible for its own demise from being King-of-the-Hill to an also-ran, but it still contributes more to upstream than Ubuntu.

All you really need to know though, is that GregKH is working for Novell and is slandering a competitor. Trustworthy? Not any more than Mark would be if he went out and stated that Novell does not contribute.


It all boils down to numbers. People may be and regularly are biased. Numbers can be so too, but they are often less so.

Lets see the numbers to "defend" Ubuntu. Numbers of their contributions.

Or just admit that Ubuntu is not a big contributor and either see that as a bad thing, or a thing that does not matter - if there are other people are willingly doing the work, why does Ubuntu/Canonical have to? It does not. It is totally free to take the work of others, repackage it and try to make money off that. It has every right to do so.

For most end users, this debate matters not a jot. All they care is that they get a usable, working distro that they like.

The only people that this debate matters to is those that try to make out that Ubuntu is a big contributor to upstream, or those that get riled by the first lot. For (almost) everyone else this is a moot issue.

Edited 2008-11-11 16:02 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Greg KH
by Soulbender on Tue 11th Nov 2008 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Greg KH"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

And how is that even relevant to comparing the output for the last few years where all of them have existed


If you dont understand how a long history and community and developer buildup over many years affect todays output I cant help you.

Numbers can be so too, but they are often less so.

That's bull. It is trivial to bend numbers and statistics in your favor.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Greg KH
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 11th Nov 2008 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Greg KH"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

None of that matters - the figures Greg uses are not for contributions over 10 or 15 years. They are going off recent history.


Of course it matters. Smaller amount of resources == less resources that can be expended on upstream contributions.

Reply Score: 3

It was about Ubuntu's kernel claims
by cjcox on Mon 10th Nov 2008 20:57 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

It may have just been bad terminology. When you make a large claim about the amount of Linux code you've contributed or helped out with, purists are going to assume you mean the kernel. GKH pointed out in his presentation that Ubuntu really doesn't contribute anything towards the kernel. GKH also said, it you're talking about FOSS, then you are a FOSS contributor... you help Linux, Solaris, etc. with your contributions. Which is very true... and nothing wrong with that. So... IMHO, the whole thing was about Linux contributions... and technically, that's the kernel.

Reply Score: 2

Non-issue
by Ford Prefect on Mon 10th Nov 2008 22:06 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

This whole stuff about wether Ubuntu contributes to the kernel or not is a non-issue.

People should not waste their talk on what X said or Y responded, while X and Y are not really interested in this "discussion" themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Non-issue
by satan666 on Mon 10th Nov 2008 22:38 UTC in reply to "Non-issue"
satan666 Member since:
2008-04-18

This whole stuff about wether Ubuntu contributes to the kernel or not is a non-issue.

I think that this whole stuff about whether Ubuntu contributes to the kernel or not is not a non-issue.
Wouldn't it be better if Mr. Shuttleworth spent more money on improving Ubuntu instead of marketing?
Is Ubuntu marketing really hurting Windows market share or other distros' market share?
here is an interesting point of view: http://www.happyassassin.net/2008/10/28/why-i-dont-like-canonical/

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Non-issue
by segedunum on Tue 11th Nov 2008 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Pretty decent analysis from Adam, and he's brought up a lot of points that I've came up with before about funding, where that funding comes from, how long it can last and what you can actually sell to people as a distributor. Mark always mentions services as a source of future funding. Adam says "What services?". There is no answer. He gives a decent example of Canonical's service page versus Red Hat's services page as to what they're up against.

There's an element of "It's not fair!" from Adam from the perspective of Mandriva, but he makes a fair point in that sucking away the market for other distributors contributing to the very same software Ubuntu uses doesn't strike me as a great idea - for Ubuntu or anyone else - all for something that, as we know, (and they've admitted) is not sustainable.

Unfortunately, you can't make these points to the vast majority because the hilarious luser posters on places like ZDNet and on SJVN's blog think that a trust fund is going to be set up with Mark's money that will keep Ubuntu going in perpetuity, without bringing in enough to fund itself ever, and it is going to live forever without all those pesky venture capitalists demanding their money back like they have done with so many before - Eazel and Ximian spring readily to mind. It's a really refreshing new take on how to keep a Linux desktop business afloat.

It's all so clueless it brings tears to the eyes. Linux Hater might have rode off into the sunset and caused a large rumpus, but he/she(?) was spot on in most cases.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Non-issue
by Moulinneuf on Tue 11th Nov 2008 02:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Wouldn't it be better if Mr. Shuttleworth spent more money on improving Ubuntu instead of marketing? "


The way you say it , is as if the marketing budget was more important then the development budget. Most of Canonnical marketing is done by it's user's. Red Hat , Novell and other's spend millions more on marketing to the business. It's a balance you need otherwise people don't know you exist.

Is Ubuntu marketing really hurting Windows market share or other distros' market share?


Windows market share , it used to be only Microsoft OS on default hardware. The other's don't have any real interest on the general desktop market. Since Canonnical as opened the door a bit wider , others are getting in too. Strangely Linpus is almost never discussed but they are a company who's been default on major OEM for years.



It's not interesting , neither factual or accurate.

Adamw is a nice person , who do a decent job at Mandriva. He is also entitled is opinion and has earned the community respect.

That being said , AdamW was hired to take care of the MandrivaClub , not the Mandriva user club , The Mandrivaclub is now closed , costing hundred of million in development funding to Mandriva.

Mandriva is also a company that should be on par with Red Hat and Novell budget wise , But with a Management who pay itself millions when the company is in the red , who take paying user's customer money to divert in business product that don't sale and when you undermine and hide the product you have and make them only for France , you really don't have any business talking about other's people who's management at least make them be seen as #1 in mind share.

Ubuntu user's , customer's and partners are not scared that Cannonnical is going to fold every week.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Non-issue
by FooBarWidget on Tue 11th Nov 2008 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Wouldn't it be better if Mr. Shuttleworth spent more money on improving Ubuntu instead of marketing?


No. One of the biggest reasons why Fedora/SuSE/Mandriva/whatever is less popular is because of less marketing. But face it: no matter what you do, unless you market your product, people aren't going to know about it. Marketing is important. Marketing is not evil, it is necessary and normal. Fedora/SuSE/Mandriva/etc fanboys fail to realize this, and as long as they fail to realize this they will always stay behind.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Non-issue
by Soulbender on Tue 11th Nov 2008 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Wouldn't it be better if Mr. Shuttleworth spent more money on improving Ubuntu instead of marketing?


Perhaps that what he'll do once Ubuntu/Canonical is in the black.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Non-issue
by Soulbender on Tue 11th Nov 2008 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18



Uh, Mandrake, Bussines Model, Keep company in business. Does not mix.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Non-issue
by sakeniwefu on Tue 11th Nov 2008 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Is Ubuntu marketing really hurting Windows market share or other distros' market share?


Canonical's marketing is successful because they do have a product to sell. As opposed to the other distros that have no nothing.

Ubuntu has the best hardware support, the best package manager and repositories, and one of the very best desktop experiences.

Somehow, companies and communities with 20 times as many people working for them than Canonical has employees, are unable to release a usable OS.

The other distros should be worried about their own internal organization if they are unable to put the code they themselves developed to good use and stop blaming Ubuntu for their demise.

Edited 2008-11-11 17:33 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Non-issue
by irbis on Tue 11th Nov 2008 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08


I don't like the tone of that blog text by Adamw. If I had to choose one word to sum it up, the word would obviously be: envy.

Adamw considers money to be the deciding factor in the success and development of Linux distributions and forgets all other facts. His excuse for Ubuntu becoming more popular than Mandriva is only: it has to be because of Shuttleworth's money. He forgets, for example, that Ubuntu is based on the solid Debian foundation, and thus had a very good infrastructure from the start and that it still depends on.

The problem for Mandriva, or for other commercial desktop distributions is not competing with Ubuntu. They had problems already before Ubuntu. The basic problem is that it is difficult to make money selling free software. many have tried and failed miserably. Mandrake / Mandriva tried many kinds of ways to do that too (Mandrakeclub, expensive pro versions of their distro etc.) but not very successfully, and pissed of many of its users in the process of doing that.

The Redhat way of doing Linux business has been succesfull, however.

There are also many quite succesful non-commercial Linux distributions: Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Mepis, PCLinuxOS etc. Is Adamw pissed off also because neither do those distros follow the same business model as Mandriva does but are popular nevertheless? Ubuntu is as much a non-commercial as commercial distribution too, so not very much different from Mepis or PCLInuxOS, for example.

It is a free world and Linux (+GNU and other open source) is free software. Mark, Debian, Mepis, Mandriva and anyone can do what ever they like with it, as long as they follow the licenses of that software. And in this free world there's also nothing preventing Mandriva or others from becoming more popular than Ubuntu. Just because Ubuntu has sent people free CDs containg their distro is not enough for making anybody, not to mention former Madriva users, to convert to it.

It was quite enlightening to read that comment by Adamw anyway in order to understand the reasons for the large amounts of similar anti-Ubuntu and anti-Canonical comments elsewhere. Maybe it also tells something about Novell's GrekKH's motives too, I don't know? After all, in business sense Novell's SUSE distro is in quite a similar situation with Mandriva, although doing better financially. Simply, many people at Novell's SUSE business must have had similar emotions of envy when they watch Ubuntu's growing success.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Non-issue
by Soulbender on Tue 11th Nov 2008 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-issue"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I especially like how he, using that wood etching story, tries to make it sound like Shuttleworth has more money than, say, IBM or Novell and is just using his insanely immense wealth to ruin other Linux distros.
It's also neat how he insinuates that it is some sort of sin to be a privately held company. Congrats to Mark, I say, for not falling for the "lets get VC capital, go public , burn all our money on executive salaries and f--k up our product" trap. You know, what mandrake did.
Some of the worlds most successful companies are privately held.
How someone taking his own hard earned money (money that is much less than the competition, I should add) to create a product he believes in is unfair competition is beyond me.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Non-issue
by segedunum on Mon 10th Nov 2008 23:44 UTC in reply to "Non-issue"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not sure that it is a non-issue, and Mark Shuttleworth tries to wave it away with something of very little substance:

"I believe Ubuntu and Canonical are making a very big difference in free software, and that has little to do with how many patches in the kernel have an @canonical.com email address associated with them."

Like what? In the free software world the ultimate argument, and answer, boils down to code. Ultimately, pushing free software, and the desktop forwards which is Ubuntu's main interest, boils down to making the software do what you feel it needs to do, feeding off others and taking a lead, taking an interest in how your kernel performs in a desktop setting and getting code into various desktop projects to move the Linux desktop forwards. I don't see Canonical doing what other distributors aren't, and it can't all be run by marketing.

For example, we get this question:

"MS Office is the anchor application in the Windows experience for a lot of people. OpenOffice and Evolution provide a good analog to Office but lack feature parity and innovation. What is Canonical doing about inspiring vision in these important packages?"


and this as the answer:

"neither is a big focus for us, i'm afraid"

How can an office suite and an e-mail client not be a focus for a desktop focused organisation?! Regardless of the specific applications, how can that functionality not be a focus? If it's too difficult to do what you want by yourselves then collaborate more with others or choose projects where the burden is far less, but that can be improved at a faster pace.

This is where he really doesn't get it:

"Following codeweavers lame duck challenge givaway of crossover office etc, could you ever see a day were that software was incorporated into Ubuntu through a partnership agreement, potentially that could widen the actractability of Ubuntu if it gave users (particularly business users) the opportunity to use the software they're used to..."


and the answer:

"we would not include non-free apps in Ubuntu, so MS would have to do more than make it easy to use with Linux :-)"

Hmmmmm, why would Microsoft do that Mark? That's your job. People just want to be able to install some non-free apps so they can use your platform.

You've got a piece of software sitting there that would allow lots of people to potentially get lots of software up and running on Ubuntu, some of which have been abandoned by newer versions of Windows, and give developers and users an 'upgrade' path by potentially allowing them to import existing functionality and keep on programming for your platform into the future - and you're going to say "Thanks but no thanks"?! (Mind you, you can level that at other distributors, but Mark chose to produce a desktop)

"slowly slowly catchee monkey :-)"

Yer. Very slowly ;-).

OK, you want to channel people to your own native applications, and you can certainly still do that by paying attention to legacy applications (what few you have - see above), but you've potentially got a very large disaffected userbase there that you're passing up completely.

What does Mark think is really needed?

"compatibility with ipods"


Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff.

When Steve Ballmer got up on stage and shouted "Developers, developers, developers, developers" I think a lot of people claimed to know what that meant, but when it comes to putting it into practice no one has a clue. In short, I wouldn't hang your hat on Ubuntu ;-).

Edited 2008-11-10 23:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Non-issue
by FooBarWidget on Tue 11th Nov 2008 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Like what? In the free software world the ultimate argument, and answer, boils down to code.


No. A large part of a software's success is thanks to marketing, whether free or not. Firefox wouldn't be where it is today were it not for both marketing and technical merit. Chrome wouldn't instantly have gained 1%-2% market share were it not for both marketing and technical merit. If you leave out the marketing and rely on technical merit only, you will not become successful.

And this is what you anti-Ubuntu fanboys keep failing to realize. Marketing is important. It is not evil, it is necessary. You are constantly underestimating the need for marketing, which is why Fedora/SuSE/Mandriva/whatever will always stay behind. You are constantly complaining about Ubuntu being a leech/being unfair/taking all the credits/etc but when will you stop complaining and actually do something about it? Complaining is always easy, but until you start improving your marketing, you really have no right to criticize Ubuntu for their success.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Non-issue
by segedunum on Wed 12th Nov 2008 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-issue"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

No. A large part of a software's success is thanks to marketing, whether free or not. Firefox wouldn't be where it is today were it not for both marketing and technical merit.

Errrrrr, no. If all you have is marketing, which is what Ubuntu has, then all you have is hot air. Ultimately, the common denominator is the code and it has to match up to the marketing. You even hint at that with 'technical merit', but alas, Ubuntu has precious in the way of technical merit because they're not producing enough code.

And this is what you anti-Ubuntu fanboys keep failing to realize. Marketing is important.

Plant your colours in the sand why don't you? ;-) What you Ubuntu lusers fail to realise is that marketing without code and functionality hurts open source software, hurts other distributors and is just.........hot air. Nothing more. We've had lots of cry wolf articles and marketing regarding desktop Linux for some time, and the hype hasn't matched up to reality.

...which is why Fedora/SuSE/Mandriva/whatever will always stay behind.

Behind what? You're attaching an awful lot of significance to the lusers who've stuck with Ubuntu because they think it's l33t. Those people are a splash in a small rock pool when compared with the wider market, and competition with Windows ultimately.

Yer, Ubuntu is top of distrowatch and those who have been bothered to install Linux will probably choose Ubuntu as a result, but I don't see developers creating applications for Ubuntu en masse and I don't see demand for it to be pre-installed and offered to people as a result. Indeed, the vibe from many pre-installation has been that it has been a failure.

If you think that Ubuntu currently constitutes success then that's sad.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Non-issue
by FooBarWidget on Wed 12th Nov 2008 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Non-issue"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Errrrrr, no. If all you have is marketing, which is what Ubuntu has


Which is what Ubuntu is not.

What you Ubuntu lusers fail to realise is that marketing without code and functionality hurts open source software


It doesn't, it's good because the people writing the code aren't doing much marketing at all!

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Non-issue
by segedunum on Wed 12th Nov 2008 22:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Non-issue"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Which is what Ubuntu is not.

What is Ubuntu not? Ubuntu is fuelled by marketing, nothing more, and is certainly not fuelled by features. Unless you count the unquantifiable 'ease of use' of course. ;-)

It doesn't, it's good because the people writing the code aren't doing much marketing at all!

What peopl writing what code, exactly? ;-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Non-issue
by FooBarWidget on Wed 12th Nov 2008 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Non-issue"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

What peopl writing what code, exactly? ;-)


Actually I'm talking about the kernel developers. You're ridiculing your own kind.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Non-issue
by irbis on Tue 11th Nov 2008 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-issue"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

You are not fair to the man, I'm afraid, and read into Shuttleworth's comments claims and words he didn't have and never said.

How can an office suite and an e-mail client not be a focus for a desktop focused organisation?!

He obviously doesn't think so and never said anything like that anywhere. The only thing he meant - also adding the words "I'm afraid" to the comment - is that they may unfortunately not have lots of resources to put into OpenOffice and Evolution upstream development now, although they are already taking some part in the OpenOffice development too:

Shuttleworth:
As for inspiring vision, i don't know that it would be well received in those upstream communities unless we were also willing to write a lot of code there. We focus our code on integration, making sure that the pieces work well together, rather than the pieces themselves. Though that is changing with our new desktop experience engineering team. Even there - the emphasis is on how the whole desktop fits together, the whole experience rather than any particular part.

So the restricted Ubuntu resources concentrate on integrating software, not so much on usptream development. It is good thing to focus, you know... Neither does OpenOffice.org team take a huge part in the development of, say, Linux kernel, or of your favorite Linux distro...

I also don't quite understand what is pissing you off in Mark's reply to the Codeweavers / CrossOver / MS Office on Ubuntu related question?

Ubuntu is free, both in money and as in free software. MS Office is not free in neither sense of the word, nor is there a Linux version of it. Of course it would be a non-optimal and extremely difficult thing to try to make MS Office for Windows to run on Linux fluently and withouth bugs using some unstable and easy to break Windows emulation layer on top of Ubuntu. Besides, the commercial alternative supporting it, CrossOver Office is commercial software. If you want to buy it as an Ubuntu user, nobody is preventing you. According to a review it should run fine on Ubuntu too. Ubuntu just doesn't have it by default because: A. it is not free software, B. it costs money.

How many other Linux distros have MS Office support by default? Xandros? Not sure how bugfree their CrossOver solution is? Xandros also costs money partly just because of that reason, while Ubuntu wants to stay free. If you want to use commercial proprietary software, you buy it yourself - that simple.

He also adds:
In principle though, I would like people to be able to build solutions on top of Ubuntu. If that means ubuntu+codeweavers+msoffice, that's fine by me.

But Shuttleworth and Canonical themselves don't have endless resources to put into such projects as making a complicated non-native MS Office suite run seamlessly and without endless bugs and crashes on Linux. And like Shuttleworth says, Microsoft itself could lend a helping hand too.

What does Mark think is really needed?
"compatibility with ipods"

Nowhere he claims that ipod compatibility would be of highest priority in the Ubuntu development. He simply tells what do potential Ubuntu users tell him are among the biggest obstacles for not using Ubuntu yet. It is not Shuttleworth's fault if so many of those people seem to love their iPods and Britney Spears MP3 collections so dearly...

But, obviously supporting iPods on Ubuntu would be way easier than running MS Office on Ubuntu, so iPod support may also be a much more realistic short term goal of those two now.

Edited 2008-11-11 19:18 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Non-issue
by segedunum on Wed 12th Nov 2008 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-issue"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

He obviously doesn't think so and never said anything like that anywhere.

Pffffffffffff. It gets rather sad when you get to a stage where you have questions and answers that leave little to interpretation, and then people say "Oh, he didn't really say that". He did. He said specifically said that "neither is a big focus for us", and I specifically used the word 'focus'. He does not say that they don't have the resources, and even if they don't, it's still a problem. If that is the problem and such functionality is required, which it is, then they need to question whether they use those applications.

As a desktop focused distributor that is desktop functionality, and the marketing doesn't match up with the reality. You can't produce a desktop without having some vision of where you want that software headed and what functionality your users and customers need. That means code.

It is good thing to focus, you know... Neither does OpenOffice.org team take a huge part in the development of, say, Linux kernel, or of your favorite Linux distro...

What..........................? Well of course they don't because they're completely bloody unrelated. However, a desktop distributor needs to have some vision and provide some guidance for what is desktop functionality. Ultimately, that means code.

Besides, the commercial alternative supporting it, CrossOver Office is commercial software. If you want to buy it as an Ubuntu user, nobody is preventing you.

Because that's something called an impediment, and it's an impediment for people using Ubuntu. If you want to try and push open source desktops forward and get on a par with Windows then you have to pay lots of attention to the existing applications people run, and if you do that they will happily move to your platform. If you don't do that then you are full of hot air and nothing will happen.

Wine is not closed software itself, and a certain amount of vision regarding the above problem would move things forward substantially. Mark doesn't have it.

If you want to use commercial proprietary software, you buy it yourself - that simple.

If people have already bought software and they have zero chance of getting it running on your platform ever unless they do some huge tinkering, and you have no replacements, you are dead in the water. Regardless of the philosophy on free software, that is the way of things. You remove those impediments.

In principle though, I would like people to be able to build solutions on top of Ubuntu. If that means ubuntu+codeweavers+msoffice, that's fine by me.

Alas, he doesn't understand what is required for that to happen. Without attention to existing applications there are few users and developers, and few developers means no applications and few users. It's a cycle that needs to be broken, and no distributor currently realises that let alone working out how to do it.

But Shuttleworth and Canonical themselves don't have endless resources to put into such projects as making a complicated non-native MS Office suite run seamlessly and without endless bugs and crashes on Linux.

I said nothing about getting MS Office running on Ubuntu, but if they can't get a certain amount of integration with the existing applications that people use then they are going nowhere because they won't break the above cycle.

And like Shuttleworth says, Microsoft itself could lend a helping hand too.

Yet again, why would they do that? Have I just slipped into a parallel universe or something? Ubuntu has created some hype for itself, it has to live up to it on its own.

Nowhere he claims that ipod compatibility would be of highest priority in the Ubuntu development.

I know he didn't say it would be a priority for Ubuntu development, and that's not what I said either. I suggest you re-read the Q and A:

"(11:01:37 AM) jcastro: QUESTION: What in your opinion is the biggest challenge to acceptance of the Ubuntu desktop?
(11:02:01 AM) sabdfl: compatibility with ipods"


He simply tells what do potential Ubuntu users tell him are among the biggest obstacles for not using Ubuntu yet.

The biggest obstacle is applications, installation of applications and backwards compatibility with what people already have. If he thinks that the biggest obstacle is iPod compatibility then I'm afraid he has no clue.

It is not Shuttleworth's fault if so many of those people seem to love their iPods and Britney Spears MP3 collections so dearly...

If they paid attention to development frameworks, and getting open source and commercial developers to develop and install for Ubuntu then this wouldn't be a problem ;-).

But, obviously supporting iPods on Ubuntu would be way easier than running MS Office on Ubuntu

Where have you picked up this insane idea that I'm saying that getting MS Office on Ubuntu is important? I said no such thing anywhere. I talked about getting applications that people have bought and paid for up and running with Ubuntu, possibly using Wine, and there is an awful lot of stuff people have bought and paid for than MS Office. It's not even preferable since strategically it wouldn't be a good idea - you want to get people from office documents to something you can support.

The very fact that you substitute a wide body of applications that people already have with MS Office shows what little clue you have, and that is reflected just about everywhere by a lot of people and anyone who talks about desktop Linux.

Edited 2008-11-12 16:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Non-issue
by Hollow on Wed 12th Nov 2008 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Non-issue"
Hollow Member since:
2008-11-11

Perhaps you should look at your own posts and see what you've said, I too thought you were talking about using Crossover and other likewise applications to get MS Office working on Linux, whether you like it or not thats how it came across.

All this bitching really is pointless, I've seen some excellent points made here FOR Ubuntu and all you guys have done is try and turn them out of context, twist them, spin them and constantly go back to the kernel issue, you're not even reading into the importance of what's being said to you, so there is no point.

You can make a monkey understand english, you can't make him listen to it.

That's an analogy by the way, I'm not actually calling you a monkey.

Edited 2008-11-12 20:48 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Non-issue
by segedunum on Wed 12th Nov 2008 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Non-issue"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

.....I too thought you were talking about using Crossover and other likewise applications to get MS Office working on Linux, whether you like it or not thats how it came across.

Hmmmmm, no it doesn't. This was the first comment I made from the question put to Mark about Wine usage:

"You've got a piece of software sitting there that would allow lots of people to potentially get lots of software up and running on Ubuntu, some of which have been abandoned by newer versions of Windows, and give developers and users an 'upgrade' path...."

That's just one of many where I mentioned existing 'applications' specifically with regard to Wine being useful, and important, to Ubuntu. Those might be custom VB applications, financial packages etc. anything really. I was more interested in using Wine as a means to get access to existing functionality from Linux desktop applications. I never mentioned Microsoft Office at all as the one sole application that was vitally important to Ubuntu with regards to the question put to Mark about Wine usage.

Great. Not only can you idiots not even read Mark Shuttleworth's comments properly, you can't even read the comments on this article either.

It was never even implied, and certainly not mentioned, which I find quite interesting, because it seems that if you mention Wine to people then the automatic assumption is that you want to run Microsoft Office ;-).

All this bitching really is pointless, I've seen some excellent points made here FOR Ubuntu and all you guys have done is try and turn them out of context, twist them, spin them and constantly go back to the kernel issue.....

Out of context in what way? I believe that's called discussion. There's not some rule somewhere where we have to make points for Ubuntu and ignore what's been said. I would actually find it pretty damn difficult, and I haven't seen any points to be honest - apart from the usual hot air of "I like it" and "It's easy to use".

....you're not even reading into the importance of what's being said to you, so there is no point.

Errrr, that's kind of like what is being discussed, and I don't read what I want into things - I look at what's been written. You know, I've actually, like, quoted Mark's answers to various questions and asked myself whether the reality matches the hype and whether Ubuntu is actually going somewhere?

You can make a monkey understand english, you can't make him listen to it.

Personally, I wouldn't insult monkeys because this has been an object lesson in not understanding English. You lusers can't even read what Mark Shuttleworth has written, because let's face it, the reality would hit you like jumping into freezing water. ;-)

That's an analogy by the way, I'm not actually calling you a monkey.

To understand you first need to listen, so congratulations, you even got your analogy totally wrong :-).

Reply Score: 3

I like Ubuntu
by roger64 on Tue 11th Nov 2008 04:01 UTC
roger64
Member since:
2006-08-15

I like Ubuntu. I enjoy their distro, their forum, I do support them. Other things....

Reply Score: 3

Contributions should be welcomed
by binarymutant on Tue 11th Nov 2008 05:42 UTC
binarymutant
Member since:
2008-11-11

This was a great keynote but whats wrong with keeping new users away from upstream development? I would think clogging up upstream forums, irc channels, and mailing lists with support questions should be considered a bad thing. Also, it should be pointed out that the amateur category didn't show which distribution they were using. Contributions should be welcomed and not compared on the table with rulers.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Contributions should be welcomed and not compared on the table with rulers.


Hey, everyone need to compare their penis size to others now and then. Don't go dissing that basic male need.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Traumflug
by Traumflug on Tue 11th Nov 2008 08:49 UTC
Traumflug
Member since:
2008-05-22

Hmmm. Pretty heated discussion here.

For me, the equitation isn't that difficult: Many Linux distros existed for years. Now an (admittedly well funded) start-up comes along and seems to take over the market. The only conclusion I can draw from this is, obviously the others paid not enough attention to some critical part of the playfield.

Regarding money - $10M over four years is a lot for the average world citizen, but only peanuts for big companies. For sure, Ubuntu isn't successful because it has more cash at hand. IBM, Suse, RedHat, each of them outperforms Canonical by almost an order of magnitude here.

Regarding code - quite possibly Ubuntu doesn't provide as much actual code as the others. Yet, they collect a lot, a really lot of user experience and work hard on getting good bug reports (Apport etc.). Everybody serious in software development knows: fixing a bug is easy, once you found a repeatable test case.

Regarding stability - Ubuntu is actually proud of supporting 85% of the available x86 hardware and regressions occur regularly. Others do a lot better here.

Regarding feature completeness - Ubuntu comes along with sufficient applications to stand the competition. Yet it has (almost) nothing the others don't have, either. Still no reason for Ubuntu's success.

Regarding user experience - here Ubuntu puts a lot of effort into and they do well. Almost one-click installation, sensible packaging, assisting software. Ubuntu is far away from Gentoo-like approaches, aimed at the unexperienced computer user.


I'm pretty sure the latter, together with sufficient marketing, makes the difference. For example, look at Apple products: they are technically good, but by no means better than most of the competition. Yet, they are better designed, have a better user experience. $200 Apple iPods sell better than technically comparable $50 WalMart MP3 players. Doesn't exactly sound logic, but this is how the world obviously works.

So, Ubuntu fills a gap the others left open: First class, simple, idiot-proof User Experience. This why they are successful and I hope the technical geeks learn a bit from this.


Traumflug

Reply Score: 5

Canonicals achievments.
by Kishe on Tue 11th Nov 2008 10:55 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

Canonical hasn't maybe bring as many patches to kernel etc than others but they have brought tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of new linux users to the community.

Being the most successful desktop linux in the world means they have done SOMETHING right.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Canonicals achievments.
by someguy10 on Tue 11th Nov 2008 11:16 UTC in reply to "Canonicals achievments."
someguy10 Member since:
2007-08-01

"Being the most successful desktop linux in the world means they have done SOMETHING right."

...

Yep, sending media like crazy while others do the 'dirty' job innovating every day and spending countless hours coding. When you can't create, when you can't code and when you can't submit, marketing is the last resort ;) .

Hey, i don't blame Ubuntu for being an opportunist player on this 'match' ... but it's a bit sad. Anyway, enough talking about Ubuntu and Co., let's talk about the companies and people that really contribute to Linux and make it really shine ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Canonicals achievments.
by FooBarWidget on Tue 11th Nov 2008 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Canonicals achievments."
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

What's really sad here is that you think of marketing as some kind of "last resort" or "leeching". It isn't, it is a vital part any software's success, open source or not. The fact that Fedora/SuSE/Mandriva/whatever are less popular is the direct result of people like you failing to realize this important fact.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Canonicals achievments.
by risbac on Tue 11th Nov 2008 11:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Canonicals achievments."
risbac Member since:
2007-03-29

Hey, i don't blame Ubuntu for being an opportunist player on this 'match' ... but it's a bit sad. Anyway, enough talking about Ubuntu and Co., let's talk about the companies and people that really contribute to Linux and make it really shine ;) .


I don't believe this is so easy. "Ubuntu" is getting more or less more searches in Google than "Linux". I would very very curious to know where Linux would be today without Ubuntu. I know people using Linux now by choice and who are not technical people, and they are ALL using Ubuntu. I mean 100%. Does it ring a bell? Why all of them? If the other companies are making Linux really shine as you say, why do their distros are not more used?

Honestly, it's quite simple, you just have to make people use them. I'm a ubuntu users, and I try most of the big distributions when they have a new version. I don't have particular problems using them, but I'm an advanced user, even if not an expert. But every time I notice too many things which makes those distributions not good enough, not user friendly enough.

So I find it really a pity to see Ubuntu getting critized that much for bringing more attention to Linux. Microsoft must be smiling a lot at all those comments and discussions. But I don't think they must be smiling that much when Ubuntu get installed on Dell's computers.

Let's face it, it's not only about kernel patches and lines of code. You can it opportunism, I just call it "understanding better your potential users".

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Canonicals achievments.
by Soulbender on Tue 11th Nov 2008 11:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Canonicals achievments."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Hey, i don't blame Ubuntu for being an opportunist player on this 'match' ... but it's a bit sad.


Oh, you mean just like Novell and IBM are? You don't seriously think these companies are into Linux because they believe in the ideals of free software, do you?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Canonicals achievments.
by irbis on Tue 11th Nov 2008 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Canonicals achievments."
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

while others do the 'dirty' job innovating every day and spending countless hours coding.

Your comment looks like worthless trolling only, but anyway: What do you think most people hired by Canonical do as their work for Ubuntu? They are programmers. They code, fix bugs and try to innovate too. Countless hours.

Edited 2008-11-11 19:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Canonicals achievments.
by h3rman on Tue 11th Nov 2008 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Canonicals achievments."
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

That's not the point.
The point is, where does all the coding end up?
I'm not in the mood to side with anyone here but check out the differences in for instance the Fedora development model (move things as much as possible upstream) as compared to Ubuntu's.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Canonicals achievments.
by Soulbender on Wed 12th Nov 2008 06:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Canonicals achievments."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The point is, where does all the coding end up


In Ubuntu's source code repositories? You know, those that are available to the public at archive.ubuntu.com.

Edited 2008-11-12 06:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Canonicals achievments.
by h3rman on Wed 12th Nov 2008 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Canonicals achievments."
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

"The point is, where does all the coding end up


In Ubuntu's source code repositories? You know, those that are available to the public at archive.ubuntu.com.
"

Cool, so upstream can plow through that for hidden treasures. That must be lots of fun.

Reply Score: 2

Ubuntu's success
by pepa on Tue 11th Nov 2008 12:59 UTC
pepa
Member since:
2005-07-08

We might get some clues about Ubuntu's success reflecting why its users choose it over other options.
I have used Ubuntu for the last few years after having tried many distributions and used a range of others since 1999. Firstly, I really like working with deb, more than rpm, having extensively used both emerge and portage as well. This limits my choice of distribution already somewhat. I like Debian (and prefer it on servers for its reliablility and predictability), but on the desktop Ubuntu I quite like the default configuration. Another major factor in my preference is that I don't like to use KDE (haven't tried 4 though), and use Gnome as my daily environment. I find this also works well when I set up desktops for non-geeks. Other important factors for me are the large number of packages and the large userbase, both in user contributions and in third parties providing (packages) for Ubuntu, just very convenient.
Apart from Mint and Eeebuntu, I haven't tried many derivatives much, but I like the idea of staying with the (much larger) 'mothership'. And, not so important, I like Mark :-).

Reply Score: 3

all valid arguments
by TechGeek on Tue 11th Nov 2008 15:29 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I think most of the people have valid arguments. What will happen to Ubuntu if Mark decides to call it quits? The company is NOT making money. Also, Adamw has a valid point. Ubuntu, which IS taking users from other distro's, isnt matching those distro's contributions. That means less patches will be produced overall. I don't use Ubuntu but I understand why people like it. It would have been nice if instead of open attacks, the kernel developers urged Mark to devote some people to fixing problems. Maybe that has already been tried and thats why we are here now, I don't know.

Reply Score: 5

Only counting the kernel?
by protomank on Tue 11th Nov 2008 16:39 UTC
protomank
Member since:
2006-08-03

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ubuntu is a desktop focused distro, so it pays a lot of attention to the X/gnome layer. I believe it contributes a lot of code and usability studies back to gnome,X,etc, doesn't?

If I create a distro that only works the UI, and only submits patches to the UI, is it fair to say I'm not contributing because I do not patch the kernel?

PS: I'm a KDE user, but I like what Canonical does to Gnome and I do not think not submiting patches to the kernel is a crime.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Only counting the kernel?
by WereCatf on Tue 11th Nov 2008 16:48 UTC in reply to "Only counting the kernel?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

If I create a distro that only works the UI, and only submits patches to the UI, is it fair to say I'm not contributing because I do not patch the kernel?

PS: I'm a KDE user, but I like what Canonical does to Gnome and I do not think not submiting patches to the kernel is a crime.


I have to agree here. Not everyone has to contribute to the same part. Usually people contribute to the areas they know most about.

Submitting useful patches to ANY part of a functional distro is always useful, no matter which part.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Only counting the kernel?
by VistaUser on Tue 11th Nov 2008 20:10 UTC in reply to "Only counting the kernel?"
VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ubuntu is a desktop focused distro, so it pays a lot of attention to the X/gnome layer. I believe it contributes a lot of code and usability studies back to gnome,X,etc, doesn't?


I have not heard them beat their drums on this matter, so I would assume that they don't (they beat their drums so often about things which they are not leading, so I would expect them to do the same for their own initiatives...).

But recently this may have changed - I have read about them being involved/organised/turned up to a gnome desktop summit or something of that sort in the past month.

and Inkscape has upstream hosted at launchpad. One of Canonical's developers came up with upstart - something that is being adopted by others now too, so there is good stuff coming from there.

Reply Score: 1

More important
by binarymutant on Tue 11th Nov 2008 22:29 UTC
binarymutant
Member since:
2008-11-11

It's more important that Ubuntu contribute back to Debian than to upstream projects right now anyways. If Ubuntu stops using the Debian repos as a base, only then should contributing to upstream projects scale.

Reply Score: 1

Should I contribute to the kernel?
by Hollow on Tue 11th Nov 2008 23:06 UTC
Hollow
Member since:
2008-11-11

I run a company which produces both open and closed source software, I sell I.T. services, branding services, Web Design and Graphic design, I use Linux on my servers, my desktops and in virtual machines for testing applications etc. I'm taking lots from the Linux community on a daily basis, without the Linux operating system and the community behind it I would not be able to run my business the way I do. Did I forget to mention that we sell custom made machines with Linux installed? Oh and that we offer Linux installation and maintenance services.

So should I be contributing to the Linux Kernel as well? I'm taking a lot more from the open source community with much less return than canonical, does that automatically mean I'm a bad person and my company is a terrible blight on the world?

I'm a developer sure, but I'm not a kernel or operating system developer so I wouldn't know where to start with contributions. Canonical contributes so much to Linux in other ways, as others have said it has brought more users to Linux than ANY other distro EVER has, it contributes more to bug fixing in X, Gnome and KDE than ANY other distribution EVER has and whats more it's got an astronaught (sp?) running the company with his own money and isn't stood there bitching about the fact that he isn't making any profit! Stop moaning for crying out loud and look at the bigger picture.

BECAUSE of Ubuntu, Linux now has OEM presence with BIG manufacturers, BECAUSE of Ubuntu I can now sell a new PC to a 70 year old person with Linux installed and not worry that they won't know how to use it, BECAUSE of Ubuntu Linux is now getting more press than EVER before and is taking more and more market share from Windows every single day. Stop BITCHING and start enjoying!

Reply Score: 1

VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

It depends:

1. Do you make additions/changes to the upstream that everyone will benefit from?

2. Do you claim leadership over the projects that you use software from?

3. Does your business model mean that there will potentially be less involvement of others upstream?

4. Do you tell everyone that you do all the work upstream?

None of those mean that you should/should not do more work upstream. However, in the case of number 1, it might make your life easier to share the burden of work, and with the others you will potentially leave yourself less open to marketing attacks from your competitors.

Reply Score: 1

Hollow Member since:
2008-11-11

<?RANT

At this moment in time we don't make any changes to existing projects in Open Source as we don't incorporate anything that already exists into our own projects, everything is written from the ground up, were we to do so however, then we would of course return the contribution to the community so that everyone could benefit.

The point I was trying to make which you seem to have missed is that I'm using open source software in my business, day in, day out, I use Linux to promote my business, I use Linux to carry out my business and in general I actually make money from Linux, which is more than Mark Shuttleworth can say, but I don't put contributions into the Linux Kernel or any of the other major projects which make up Linux as an Operating system.

This is not only my business model, but that of hundreds of thousands of other businesses globally who use Linux in their business, use it to make money and use it to promote their own products, that's all Canonical is really doing. They are using Linux to promote their own product, the fact that it actually is a distribution of Linux as opposed to a secure backend for a website or an office application is neither here nor there, there are plenty of other distributions out there which contribute NOTHING to Linux, or it's kernel, or any of the major projects that make up the operating system, yet they don't get this kind of crap.

Let's just take hosting companies as an example of a business model using Linux, they make hundreds of thousands of extra dollars per year in revenue BECAUSE they use Linux servers instead of Windows servers, they use PHP, MySQL, Apache, Tomcat etc. Yet they contribute NOTHING back for the most part and in fact tend to be very closed off companies, any software they develop tends to stay theirs (With a few exceptions).

Jealousy is an ugly thing that only ever rears it's head when someone is successful, would this discussion even exist if Ubuntu hadn't been so successful? No of course not, because this discussion doesn't happen with regard to all the other distributions who don't contribute anything at all to the code base, but they're not successful so it doesn't matter right?

If canonical starts to MAKE money instead of LOSE money THEN this discussion is valid, until then, it's simply back biting, jealousy and envy at someone doing a brilliant job of bringing the most users to Linux EVER in it's history. Like it or not Canonical has the least resources in comparison to the other major distros, yet contributes the most to the desktop side of things and the least to the core. Red Hat is the biggest, oldest and most successful commercial distro out there, with the most resources and in keeping with that they contribute the most, Novell coming second in terms of size, resources and age, with Ubuntu basically being a very small distro that simply shot to fame through marketing, yet it has less resources technically speaking than Gentoo does for crying out loud and Gentoo is a voluntary operation entirely, which isn't even trying to make money and has no employees!

I wouldn't be at all surprised if in a couple of years time, Shuttleworth shut you all up by being the biggest distro, with the most resources and contributing the most to everything, including the kernel, will he then have the right to bitch at you lot for the way you've treated him? No of course not because that would be unacceptable as well.

People keep telling you lot to shut up and stop back biting because it puts off new users and commercial sponsors, which it does, but I've come to the conclusion that those of you who bring up discussions like this, are simply afraid that their precious "Geek Only" OS is becoming widely used and far from your claims of wanting to raise awareness of it you actually want to keep it all for yourselves and if backbiting and bitching in public to turn people off, is what you have to do then that's what you'll do! Grow up and if you're so desperate to have a "Geek Only" OS, go make one yourself, that's mega stable, ugly as sin and impossible to use for anyone but you because you wrote it, that way it'll never become popular and you'll never lose it.

I actually meant no offense by this reply, but I'm fed up with all the bitching and backbiting that goes on myself, we're now seeing Linux shipped on ALL major brands of Laptop and lots of Desktops as well (With the exception of Apple but that would be virtually impossible to achieve), I would like to see that trend continue, more businesses to start or continue using Linux and moving away from Microsoft, forcing them to start adapting to our way of thinking instead of believing theirs is gospel, and it's only going to go slower with this kind of shit.

RANT?>

Reply Score: 3

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Freedom of speech baby.
People can speak their mind on Ubuntu so one knows what thoughts and feelings are out there. Doesn't really matter whether it's envy speaking or whatever, you don't always have to look at it from the fanboy angle.
For the same reason I liked, as a Linux-only user, the "linuxsucks" blog.

(And by the way I think the cheap mini-laptop market is not yet a success for Linux, let alone Ubuntu. The laptop makers keep baking their own, imho silly, interfaces. It doesn't look all that serious and convincing right now. It's more the last cramps of consumerism before the West goes 'bankrupt' than the growth of Linux. You know something's wrong when Acer with its total crap keyboards and build quality dominates even that market.)

Reply Score: 2

VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

I am confused.

Does this business exist in the real world?

The point you were trying to make was IMO flawed and incorrect.

If I walked into a building and started giving orders, assumed a leadership position, the people in the building will have every right to ask for credentials, and then get potentially agitated at the lack of them.

If the building was a library and all I did was go in and browse some books, there will be less people agitated.

People are not agitated by Ubuntu/Canonical because it uses open source code - it has every right in the world to do that. They get agitated with both the marketing and the assumption that Ubuntu does a bulk of the work. An assumption supported by Mark shuttleworth when he says things like other distro's should use the Ubuntu kernel as it be more stable, better tested than anything else out there.

Some developers may also get annoyed when Ubuntu takes credit for their hard work.

There is also a Ubuntu backlash out there after the years of Ubuntu hype (which was really annoying. Any discussion about any subject would have an early post telling people to try Ubuntu and how it cures all the worlds cancers). It'll fade and move over to some other distro at some point.

Reply Score: 2

Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

Canonical ..snip.., it contributes more to bug fixing in X, Gnome and KDE than ANY other distribution EVER has


No they don't, and the commit logs from said projects proves that. It's not only the Kernel that gets little upstream contribution from Canonical employees.

According to comments that Canonical concentrates on the desktop, at least the Gnome commit logs should be flooded with their contributions. If you check, you clearly see that this sadly is not the case. And it's far less than one should expect.

And adding KDE to the list was just funny. Until recently Canonical has had only one employee contributing to KDE, and if I'm not mistaken he averages with less than 5 commits a month. Compared to Mandriva, where one of their developers have been among the top 5 contributors nearly every week the last 2-3 years.

Reply Score: 4

Hollow Member since:
2008-11-11

Mandriva being excellent at KDE means I am not surprised that Mandriva devs/a dev would be the higher contributers to KDE, they are the ONLY distribution I've found to do a genuinely GOOD job at KDE4.1 out of the box, 2009.0 just works.

At this point I'm going to clarify a few things about myself, I DO use Kubuntu as my day to day work hack, but I'm still on 8.04 and am currently re-organising my file system to prepare for Kubuntu to be replaced by Debian Lenny, I'm not happy with how restricted I am in Ubuntu. However, regardless of being displeased with their latest offering and regardless of me feeling far too restricted with it, it served extremely well, over many other different distros I thought about using for my "hack" in terms of speed to install, stability and usability.

I'm not an Ubuntu fan boy believe it or not, I do recognize the number of users it has brought to Linux though, I also recognize the number of PCs I can sell/revive with Ubuntu installed and then give them back to customers with no complaints.

I don't take part in upstream development much and of late I haven't been all that active in any downstream projects either, so I had made an assumption that Ubuntu would be putting back whatever they developed, into the community, if that genuinely isn't the case then that's my mistake to assume it, however there are still better ways to address one of the most famous and fastest growing distros than an attack from within the community at a conference, which then gets broadcast all over blogs like this one and then ends up giving us a bad image again to the currently non linux public.

Reply Score: 1

Silly infighting
by FooBarWidget on Wed 12th Nov 2008 22:21 UTC
FooBarWidget
Member since:
2005-11-11

Now I'm beginning to understand why Eugenia has become so bitter. All this infighting is utterly pointless does not contribute to making Linux more successful.

Regardless of whether Ubuntu really is a "leech", what they're doing is absolutely legal and within boundaries of open source licenses. The fact that so many people still like to throw mud at Ubuntu even though what they're doing is explicitly allowed by the spirit of open source, shows that the community is still full of immature and jealous kids. At times like this, I feel ashamed to be a Linux user.

Edited 2008-11-12 22:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Silly infighting
by google_ninja on Wed 12th Nov 2008 22:39 UTC in reply to "Silly infighting"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

LH summed the whole thing up really well here http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/2008/09/free-as-long-as-you-give-ba...

Reply Score: 2