Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:07 UTC, submitted by Jim Lynch
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu How surprised would you be, if I walked up to you and told you that every human needs oxygen to survive? I'm assuming that you wouldn't at all be surprised - you might start feeling a little uneasy that a random stranger walked up to you with such a crazy question, but you wouldn't be surprised by the we-need-oxygen fact. Apparently, people are surprised that Ubuntu is not a democracy.
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well obviously
by shadoweva09 on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:23 UTC
shadoweva09
Member since:
2008-03-10

It's just another project where many of the users use open source to satisfy their religious needs. (specifically the need to believe in something.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: well obviously
by DavidCollins on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 10:35 UTC in reply to "well obviously"
DavidCollins Member since:
2010-03-22

Irritatingly enough, I'm finding myself agreeing with you.

The idea that people follow FOSS projects in a similar way to religions is something that I'd never quite thought about before, but at the same time makes sense when you think about it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: well obviously - second most popular
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:18 UTC in reply to "RE: well obviously"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Religion is probably the second most popular comparison for analogies next to cars. There are points it's extremely accurate on.

Reply Score: 2

RE: well obviously
by KAMiKAZOW on Wed 24th Mar 2010 09:59 UTC in reply to "well obviously"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe people are passionate about something, but that doesn't mean that they have divine believe in it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: well obviously
by shadoweva09 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE: well obviously"
shadoweva09 Member since:
2008-03-10

The very moment people start ignoring logic is when it crosses the line into religious belief. If you argue against a one click self contained installer for Linux even though it is industry standard and the simplest and easiest for the user despite small prices such as disk space, you are on the religious belief side. Like when someone tries to argue logic with the remaining Republicans here in the U.S. the person will being argued with will only feel better because they are reciting there mantras on why open source is better.

Reply Score: 1

kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

The developers(or their employer) are the security council and get to veto everything.
If you are .tv and you want global warming to stop and .us draws the veto card there is not much you can do. (And as always there are more dimensions to this. Money, military strength etc.)
In NATO Latvia is more equal to the US than in the UN, because proportional to military might everybody is equal. There are no special privileges.

On topic: Dark theme and widget movement in a LTS is stooopid and I love dark themes.

Reply Score: 4

Good
by darknexus on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:33 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Too much democracy and not enough decisiveness is what kills most open source projects in the end. It's what has kept most Linux distributions from putting something together that's coherent enough to really take on the big boys. Ubuntu's not there yet, but it's getting closer than any of the others, primarily because the leaders know exactly what they want and where they want to go and are willing to piss off a few winers to get it done. If you don't like where they're heading, you're free to take Ubuntu and run in your own direction so long as you follow the licenses. That is the power of open source: not that you have an influence on everyone in your favorite project, but that you're free to take that project in your own direction should you wish and know how to do so.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Good
by kragil on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:48 UTC in reply to "Good"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

I call BS.

Just look at all the brainstorms and longest bugs in KDE, Ubuntu etc.

If the devs would implement exactly those things that are in highest demand in those places where users decide than KMail would have perfect HTML editing and Ubuntu would have had a new color theme years ago and codec/flash/driver installation would have been automatic since 2002, the list goes on.

The problem is that FOSS is democracy among developers not between developers AND users. Users know and get good features when they see them anywhere and demand them. You don't need to be Apple to give users what they want. You just need to listen.

Edit: The devs are perfectly allowed to behave that way and do only the things the like to work on. I wasn't judging just stating how things currently are.

Edited 2010-03-22 00:53 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Good
by pompous stranger on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
pompous stranger Member since:
2006-05-28

The problem is that FOSS is democracy among developers not between developers AND users.

"Talk is cheap. Show me the code."

— Linus Torvalds, who runs a fairly successful OSS project

You don't need to be Apple to give users what they want. You just need to listen.

Users "want" Flash and they wanted copy/paste out of the box on the iPhone. The first they aren't getting and the second they didn't get for a while, for sound pragmatic reasons.

Apple is probably the last pertinent example if we're arguing about "democracy." That is a dictatorship and it works because the leader is decisive and usually right.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Good
by bousozoku on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

I call BS.

Just look at all the brainstorms and longest bugs in KDE, Ubuntu etc.

If the devs would implement exactly those things that are in highest demand in those places where users decide than KMail would have perfect HTML editing and Ubuntu would have had a new color theme years ago and codec/flash/driver installation would have been automatic since 2002, the list goes on.
...


They would get those things in place and an equal number of people would complain that someone just took away their near-perfect functionality.

The project leaders are always better to find visionaries to push the project toward the future, though it wouldn't hurt to clean up the past, either.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Good
by kaiwai on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 03:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I call BS.

Just look at all the brainstorms and longest bugs in KDE, Ubuntu etc.

If the devs would implement exactly those things that are in highest demand in those places where users decide than KMail would have perfect HTML editing and Ubuntu would have had a new color theme years ago and codec/flash/driver installation would have been automatic since 2002, the list goes on.

The problem is that FOSS is democracy among developers not between developers AND users. Users know and get good features when they see them anywhere and demand them. You don't need to be Apple to give users what they want. You just need to listen.

Edit: The devs are perfectly allowed to behave that way and do only the things the like to work on. I wasn't judging just stating how things currently are.


100% agree with what you say which comes back to the question I keep posing to open source advocates; if you as a developer are only interest is scratching you itch then why should you care if most people are using Windows? if you're interested in getting more people to use your software then it stands to reason that you'll have to address some issues that aren't particular all that interesting to you.

The problem is that it seems open source developers want their cake and eat it too; they want developers whilst at the same time maintaining their puffed up existence in the ivory tower. If you're not interested in addressing the needs of the average user then don't then turn around moaning and complaining that the average user has no interest in using your particular piece of software.

Btw, this lack of direction isn't something unique to the open source world - Microsoft is another example where engineers are given a free reign to do what ever they want and there is no top down over arching goals which a product must achieve, there is no communication between the various groups to ensure that a consistent user interface principles are adopted across the whole company and so on. So bad management of projects is hardly a phenomenon unique to the open source world.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Good
by Anonymous Penguin on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

100% agree with what you say which comes back to the question I keep posing to open source advocates; if you as a developer are only interest is scratching you itch then why should you care if most people are using Windows? if you're interested in getting more people to use your software then it stands to reason that you'll have to address some issues that aren't particular all that interesting to you.

The problem is that it seems open source developers want their cake and eat it too; they want developers whilst at the same time maintaining their puffed up existence in the ivory tower. If you're not interested in addressing the needs of the average user then don't then turn around moaning and complaining that the average user has no interest in using your particular piece of software.


I believe we are saying exactly the same thing, only with different words.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good
by boldingd on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I think you're generalizing a perceived behavior that you don't like onto all "Open-Source developers." Most, I'm willing to bet, don't give a rat's ass what software you're using.

There's also something to be said for the previously-submitted quote. Describing a feature is easy; actually implementing it is harder. Sometimes, a lot harder.

Edited 2010-03-22 16:28 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Good - codecs and such
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I agree with the exception of codecs and such. In a lot of cases, codecs are being left out because of license limitations rather than distribution maintainers choice. DVD description can't legally be included for free in various patent crippled software markets. H.264 is suspect also. Where there is no legal limitation on including user requested items, I'd like to see the maintainers support there choice to reject the request. I can't hold the maintainers responsible for not including items that put the distribution and users in legal risk though.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Good - codecs and such
by boldingd on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good - codecs and such"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I remember a few years ago, when iTunes proudly advertised that they where "now using LAME for mp3 encoding." There was a little, "What is LAME, what does this mean?" blurb on the iTunes web-site, where they unashamedly stated that LAME offered detectably superior sound quality at a given bit-rate than their own encoder.

There are great Open-Source encoders and decoders out there. They just can't be distributed. Thank you, I.P. law.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

.. involve a politician. Even with the majority of people becoming vocal about the idiocy of the USPTO, they muster on.

I can only complain so much though. Red Hat dropping mp3 support was what pushed me to Mandrake back in the day and I've never looked back.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:51 UTC in reply to "Good"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Too much democracy and not enough decisiveness is what kills most open source projects in the end.

No. Not really.
Debian (after all, it's Ubuntu's foundation) would never been so successful and long-lasting if it wasn't a democracy.
Every major component in a Linux distro's stack is the product of a democratic project: GNU/FSF, X.org, GNOME/KDE, Apache, Samba,...
Democracy keeps a community vivid. A vivid community result in contributions. Contributions result in better software.

The non-democratic projects are even the minority. They only work, because they are funded by corporations that can afford to not have a contributing community (eg. MySQL).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

GNU/FSF, X.org, GNOME/KDE, Apache, Samba


What makes you think these projects are democratic? Because they sometimes vote on issues? Not even Linux itself is democratic, Linus himself has said so.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[3]: Good
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 10:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good"
RE: Good
by Delgarde on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:32 UTC in reply to "Good"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Too much democracy and not enough decisiveness is what kills most open source projects in the end.


That's *one* thing which kills projects. But so does antagonizing your users, something Ubuntu is doing a lot of at the moment. They don't need to do everything the wider community demands, but if they choose to do something controversial, they really need to be prepared to explain that choice.

And that's not happening here - apart from vague hints that they might use the space for something in future, this seems a change entirely lacking in any purpose. And users, for the most part, don't like unnecessary change...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Good
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 05:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If we'd let the users decide we'd still be using typewriters and punchcards.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Good
by KenJackson on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 03:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Oh? I'm a user, and I wouldn't decide to use a typewriter or punchcards.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I think you missed the past tense in my sentence.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Good
by KenJackson on Wed 24th Mar 2010 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

The tense makes no difference. Your comment seems to suggest that users make (or would have made) bad choices. I don't think that's a reasonable assumption.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good
by wirespot on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

[...]if they choose to do something controversial, they really need to be prepared to explain that choice.


No they do not. And here's why (sorry for the lengthy explanation):

The term "democracy" is widely misunderstood. There's seldom such a thing as the ideal form of "one person, one vote". There are all kinds of qualifiers for who gets the vote. Across the ages, people have been excluded from getting the vote based on various factors: wealth, gender, color of skin, age, mental state, conviction record, citizenship etc.

FOSS projects are quite far from being democracies. They are usually a cross between enlightened despotism (where the dictator usually has the best interests of the people at heart) and a meritocracy (where power and clout goes to those who put in most work on the project). Usually the dictator(s) are quite high on the worth-to-the-project scale, thus justifying their position.

There's also the money factor, where someone contributes cash or employment or hard resources to the project and thus gets a say. It must be noted though that such contributions are always screened by actual worth to the project, and that initiatives that are largely seen as "bad" for the project can't get through this way.

So, what about the issue of toppling or questioning the leadership, or "revolutions"? Theoretically, they are very easy to achieve with FOSS: you simply fork the project. However, this doesn't necessary bring along resources needed to continue to develop the fork, of which the contributions to the code are the most important.

Debate, in all these politics of FOSS, plays a rather flimsy role. While discussing issues is good and counts as feedback, talk is cheap in the sense that it doesn't necessarily count towards decision making. The leaders are still the ones who make the decisions.

And sometimes, in spite of all the talk and the opinion of the many, the leaders make decisions that seem to contradict the feedback of the many (well, the feedback of the most vocal, really). And it just so happens that the users are second-class citizens in all this: they mostly talk but contribute little.

The most heated debats ensue when these overriding decisions seem based on ideology or usability (which are always debatable) and seem to go against sound technological reasoning. The case of the window buttons in Ubuntu 10.4 is one example. Here is another (the libnotify timeouts won't go below certain thresholds):
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/notify-osd/+bug/390508
And you can also google for "pidgin groupmsg" and find that the group messaging in Pidgin is not included by default with Pidgin because of its "high abuse potential".

The bottom line is that there's nothing non-contributing members can do about it. If enough developers (or productive enough developers) fork, things may change (they may not; simply forking is not enough, you also have to get people to switch). But I'm afraid simple users who stop using the project don't count. For one thing, correctly assessing user numbers is notoriously hard for FOSS projects. Secondly, non-contributing people are regarded, remember, as second-class citizens in FOSS.

So, what can one do in such cases as above? Cope, basically. Fork is not a reasonable option when it's just a minor issue, or when you don't really have the time and resources to maintain the fork. As a developer, or power user, you learn how to do with a hack (tweak your gconf config to change window button placement); you compile your own version (and get the groupmsg plugin in Pidgin this way); or you turn to other libraries (since you can't use libnotify because it doesn't fit for your purposes).

And if you're a simple user... you take it or leave it.

Reply Score: 4

Fettarme H-Milch
Member since:
2010-02-16

Ubuntu is not a democracy, because Ubuntu is a product by a commercially acting enterprise (Canonical).

Actual community projects like Debian or KDE are of course democracies. FOSS projects like these usually have councils that are elected every 12, 24, or so months. Within such communities to certain rules, eg. Debian's Social Contract, but those rules are meant to sustain the democratic model (like laws in democratic countries).
I don't know about every FOSS project out there, but at least KDE's entry barrier is very low. I got my SVN account after two tiny patches and in theory I could now modify every bit of KDE SC, Extragear, or KOffice.

Reply Score: 4

It's my design, and you'll like it OK?
by HappyGod on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:47 UTC
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

Shuttleworth's reply was clear. "We all make Ubuntu, but we do not all make all of it," he writes, "This is not a democracy. Good feedback, good data, are welcome. But we are not voting on design decisions."


Why aren't they voting on design decisions? I should have thought that would be a great way to get a design that most people approve of?

Also agree that the placement of the close button is nuts. Putting the close button in the corner allows the user to use muscle memory to close windows, and also increases accuracy as you can click in any corner of the screen very high accuracy.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why aren't they voting on design decisions?


Because people frequently do not know what's good for them or the project. What most people want is not necessarily the right thing to do.
Managing a project is not about voting on issues, it's about making decisions that moves the project forward.

Edited 2010-03-22 01:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

"Why aren't they voting on design decisions?


Because people frequently do not know what's good for them or the project. What most people want is not necessarily the right thing to do.
Managing a project is not about voting on issues, it's about making decisions that moves the project forward.
"

Yeah, that's pretty insulting to your users, and pretty much assumes that they're idiots who need hand-holding.

While agree that many aspects of managing a project should not rely on a vote to proceed, I don't think that UI design is one of them.

I think even non-technical people are quite capable of deciding what they think looks good, and is easy to use ... or not.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, that's pretty insulting to your users, and pretty much assumes that they're idiots who need hand-holding.


No, quite often users resist change based on the fact that they don't like change, not because there's something wrong with what is proposed.

I think even non-technical people are quite capable of deciding what they think looks good, and is easy to use ... or not.


Is that why we have car designers? I mean come on, let people design their own cars. How hard can it be?
Or furnitute. Seriously, everyone knows what a nice chair looks like.
If they don't like what the design is they're free to move on.

Reply Score: 4

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

You've missed the point.

I'm not suggesting users actually come up with the designs, but that they vote on a set of professionally made designs.

Your point is also weakened by the fact that generally the guys calling the shots with Linux UI flavours aren't professional designers. So what's the difference?

At least by exposing it to a larger group of non-designers we might arive at a slightly less-crap interface.

Reply Score: 5

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Connonical isn't removing theme support so I'd simply select a theme I liked better. Themes can also effect window button location (with KDE at least).

Reply Score: 3

wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

Yeah, that's pretty insulting to your users, and pretty much assumes that they're idiots who need hand-holding.

While agree that many aspects of managing a project should not rely on a vote to proceed, I don't think that UI design is one of them.

I wouldn't attribute good taste of design to most Linux users, I'm sorry. In fact, I would say that a lot of Linux users have a horrible taste regarding (UI) design. The only Linux that looks pretty and is well designed from top to bottom is Palm webOS. And that's because they paid actual designers to make it look good. It's the same reason why car manufacturers have a dedicated design department and not trust in the engineer's taste.

Edited 2010-03-22 09:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

thelastdodo Member since:
2008-10-07

It's not because 1 000 000 people say something stupid that it is not stupid.

As long as Ubuntu grows, they must be doing something right.

Canonical never asked people to vote on their design decisions as far as I know, never.

Reply Score: 1

I like them there..
by ajslye on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:49 UTC
ajslye
Member since:
2009-11-25

Yea, sure it took me about a day to get used to it, but all in all, Linux or gnome or KDE or whatever should always stride to be at the least different enough from Windows, Mac., and each other as to be original. In my opinion the last thing we need is to be another look alike, if you get my meaning. Each distribution should take Ubuntu's lead here and no mater what desktop or package manager, etc. they choose at least be bold enough to be an individual and not just be another Debian, Fedora or whatever variant. I do realize there is under the hood differences but the average user needs to see that we are not trying to be just another name in the Linux crowd but a name in and of itself, each with it own set of strengths and weaknesses. I don't mean to rant here but, even in a democracy we elect official to represent us, these officials then make the decisions for us and vote on our behalf, the usually do this by listening to our need and wants and deciding what would be best for all, however sometimes it doesn't work that way as they are also influenced by their constituents and lobbyists and sometimes they make decisions based on what they see and here from others, rather than taking the time to understand the situation themselves and form their own opinion first.

Edited 2010-03-22 01:01 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Not exactly
by r_a_trip on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 00:49 UTC
r_a_trip
Member since:
2005-07-06

The latest furore is not about Canonical owning Ubuntu, nor Mark S. calling the shots or buttons changing position.

The latest tempest is people realizing (myself included) that they swallowed Canonical's brilliant marketing hook, line and sinker. It seemed too good to be true. A corporation fostering an inclusive community of outside developers and end users alongside of the corporate staff.

Now that Mark S. has pierced the "OMG community, rainbows, ponies and warm fuzzies" from the community illusion with his authoritative statements, a lot of people realize they have duped themselves into believing the marketing ploy.

Such a thing hurts. When you've been with Ubuntu from the Warty days, it means you've been masterfully managed to be a free force of labor for over six years. You've put in effort to push Ubuntu out there out of your own accord. You realise you've helped Ubuntu (however little) gain a sizeable piece of the market based on your naiveté that Ubuntu was somehow different than other commercial distro's.

Being played skillfully to promote and support a bog standard distribution and then have the blinders ripped from your eyes to see it was business as usual all along... That caused a lot of rage and emotional reactions.

To me a wise lesson. If you don't pay for all of it or if you don't code it yourself (which I can't), you don't have any freedom in software whatsoever. The best an end user can do is just pick the one that is the least hassle and which costs you the least.

Take advantage of the fact that most distro's are gratis. Forget about warm fuzzies. The party is by and for programmers. End users are just convenient collateral to gain clout.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Not exactly
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:00 UTC in reply to "Not exactly"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Wow, so much drama.

Being played skillfully to promote and support a bog standard distribution and then have the blinders ripped from your eyes to see it was business as usual all along... That caused a lot of rage and emotional reactions.


Rage and emotional reactions? Seriously? Tried growing up?

The best an end user can do is just pick the one that is the least hassle and which costs you the least.


If you ever thought anything else you're incredibly naive.

The party is by and for programmers. End users are just convenient collateral to gain clout.


If anything, Ubuntu is about the end user and not the devlopers. Just because they don't vote on every single issue doesnt mean it's not about the user experience.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Not exactly
by r_a_trip on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Not exactly"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu is about the end user

No, End Users are what Canonical needs to get at what it really wants. Money.

Business as usual. Yes, I was naive. But I see it very clearly now.

Microsoft, Apple, Red Hat, Mandriva, Canonical, etc. All different shades of the same beast.

The beauty of all this is that I don't owe any vendor any loyalty. They either make what I want or I ditch them. In the case of Canonical, I don't have money invested in them or their products, so it's very easy to just move to something else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not exactly
by Ripples on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not exactly"
Ripples Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu has done a lot to help out end users, and contributed by paying developers to add fixes and features. You may switch to another vendor because you are not loyal, but you probably will not have any problems using the code that Canonical was responsible for contributing to FOSS. Sometimes you need someone to make a decision, not put it up to a vote.

As far as I am concerned, I believe anyone who can compare Microsoft and Apple business practices to a Red Hat, Mandriva and Canonical isn't just naive, but absurd.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Not exactly
by r_a_trip on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 08:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not exactly"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

As far as I am concerned, I believe anyone who can compare Microsoft and Apple business practices to a Red Hat, Mandriva and Canonical isn't just naive, but absurd.

Primary business practise of all the companies mentioned is making profit. Some are less aggressive then others, but the bottom line will always be prevailing over whatever "community" concerns pop up.

Once you can bring yourself to strip away the warm fuzzies of thinking there exists a large, coherent "community" of FOSS people and see it like it really is, large disparate groups somehow operating to further their own agenda under a certain type of license, it becomes clear the only difference is in business model.

FOSS gives you the source code and a broad license to work with that source. CSS doesn't. For an end user, the difference is that he/she can choose from a larger pool of overlords in the FOSS sphere, because half of the "Four Freedoms" don't do squat for a non-programmer.

Before anyone trots out the classic "but you could learn how to program and FOSS makes that easier", yeah, and I could also learn to become a brain surgeon and I could try to become a God or I could wear pink tutu's and twirl with batons. If I were to be a programmer, I would have been one many years ago. Not all people will become programmers. As a non-programmer, you will always be beholden to a programmer to make software for you.

FOSS licensing is easier to comply with and more flexible in day to day use. FOSS licensing won't bring about Utopia though.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Not exactly
by boldingd on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not exactly"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Microsoft, Apple, Red Hat, Mandriva, Canonical, etc. All different shades of the same beast.


I think the problem is, most people never thought otherwise. There wasn't this conspiracy to manipulate you that you seem to think existed. I mean, obviously, in any exchange, both participants are going to try to gain in subjective value. That's how economic exchanges work. TANSTAAFL. No surprise.

It's shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Canonical wants to be a profitable company. That's also not a bad thing. I like Ubuntu; I like Debian more. And Fedora's nice. If their corporate sponsors make enough money somewhere that they keep funding those projects... then so much the better for me!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not exactly
by spikeb on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 02:25 UTC in reply to "Not exactly"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

you should have freedom, even if you can't code.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not exactly
by r_a_trip on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Not exactly"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

you should have freedom, even if you can't code.

What form does that freedom take? If I may ask?

The only big freedom I see is a choice in distributor. As a non-developer, I don't have the necessary skills to effectively integrate the different components and roll my own. (LFS is just a recipe to build the software as provided.)

It is also a matter of time. My life did not take a course towards software development. My skills lie elsewhere. I'm perfectly happy with that and with what I do, so I don't feel that I should expend time to go in the direction of software development. The consequence of that choice is that I am dependent on others for my software.

The Four Freedoms only contain two provisions that affect me directly:

0.) The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

This is the one that affects me the most and which has made me switch to FOSS. No use restrictions on what I do with the software, provided that the software does what I want.

1.) The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish . Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Freedom 1 is academic to me. I'm not a programmer. I could, in theory, learn how to program, but at 35 I won't rize to the ranks of master and even then, I would probably only be able to zoom in on a minute part of the available software. Influence? None whatsoever.

Even Linus himself chose to leave Gnome, because it didn't do what he wanted and the incumbent developers where in Linus' own words "Interface Nazi's". In theory he could have forked Gnome and maintained his own version. In practise he doesn't have the time as kernel maintainer and family man.

2.) The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.

The possibility does affect me and I like being able to do this in theory, but I haven't really had a lot of people clammoring for a copy of a Linux distro. If someone wants a copy, I'll happily fire up my burner.

3.) The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Again, this only (directly) affects programmers with the skills to make changes. In as far as they can manage the codebase.

I won't claim that FOSS is just as bad as CSS. It isn't. There are a lot of benefits to the licensing. Even the availability of the source code brings indirect benefits to non-programmers.

However, as a non-coder you have to accept what coders put out there and in that respect there is no difference between FOSS and CSS. Theoretical "but you could" arguments don't change that, because in theory we could all be king of the world.

As an end user you can only pick what is out there. Since you don't have control over what is put out there, that power lies with the developers, there is no need to develop warm fuzzies over the software you chose to use. It is provided as is and if it moves in a direction you dont want to go, you can do exactly squat about it. As an end user you only have feet. That is why an end user shouldn't be loyal beyond what is right for that user. Anything else is just fooling yourself you are part of something you simply aren't part of.

When it comes to Canonical's product, it is moving in a direction I don't want to go. So it's so long and thanks for all the fish.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not exactly
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 11:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not exactly"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

The only big freedom I see is a choice in distributor. As a non-developer, I don't have the necessary skills to effectively integrate the different components and roll my own.

Oh, come on. We're no longer living in the last century. Today we have tools like Build Service and KIWI that make it rather easy to roll out your own distro.
The openSUSE project developed those tools to make their own work easier, but you can also start from scratch and make your own distro if you really want to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not exactly
by r_a_trip on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not exactly"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Today we have tools like Build Service and KIWI that make it rather easy to roll out your own distro.

But what do these systems do? Move around some packages, they can't fundamentally alter the base you are working with.

That is my point. As a non-programmer, you might be able to futz around a bit with software selection and default settings, but that is it. The software functionality itself can't be altered without knowing how to program.

Then again, how far do I want to go as an end user? I have no desire to become a distro maintainer. When you have to muck about with build services to get a disc that installs something that is halfway palatable, you've left the realm of end users.

But your reply illustrates the problem pretty well. If you don't like it, build it yourself is not something you can say to an end user. End users do other stuff that needs to be done. The world doesn't run on building distro's alone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Not exactly
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Not exactly"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

As a non-programmer, you might be able to futz around a bit with software selection and default settings, but that is it.

Of course you can change default settings without programming a single line.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not exactly
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not exactly"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

0.) The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

As you point out; the end user can run a program for there purposes without wondering "is this what the vendor allows me to do with the software?"

1.) The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish . Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

You benefit indirectly because those who are programmers can see the source and those who will develop future generations of FOSS have easy entry to learning resources. This is part of the reason that bug reports for FOSS projects often include a patch correcting the bug; faster vulnerability patching and faster overall software evolution.

2.) The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.

You can freely hand that install CD to anyone without breaking any laws.

3.) The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

This is often referred to as the viral clause in the GPL but it's only a restriction that effect developers and is what keeps someone from taking the source code and reselling it as a closed "I made this" product. You benefit indirectly from this.


While you can choose to go with a more democratic community based distribution; I'd suggest that even the dictatorship distributions are providing you much more choice and easier switching costs between products compared to Windows or osX which are beyond dictatorships and well into Despot states. I spent many years with a lot of brand loyalty towards Mandriva but when the distribution stopped meeting my personal needs better than other options, it was time for a switch.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not exactly
by Symgeosis on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 14:55 UTC in reply to "Not exactly"
Symgeosis Member since:
2005-09-13

Ubuntu has never labeled itself as a "democracy" nor has this ever been kept a secret. From day one, Shuttleworth has been referred to as the "sabdfl" or "self-appointed benevolent dictator for life."

Certain aspects of Ubuntu might be rather democratic but that does not necessarily imply that the design process must be democratic.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not exactly
by r_a_trip on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Not exactly"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu has never labeled itself as a "democracy" nor has this ever been kept a secret. From day one, Shuttleworth has been referred to as the "sabdfl" or "self-appointed benevolent dictator for life."

Certain aspects of Ubuntu might be rather democratic but that does not necessarily imply that the design process must be democratic.


Which is fine. If you've read what I wrote, you'd see that it was naivety on my side to expect more from Canonical. All the community talk was just that; talk. The Ubuntu community is comprised of Canonical's payroll. It was my flawed perception that made me unable to see this.

I don't like where the product Ubuntu is going. Since Canonical is the company calling the shots and end users are things to be ignored, I vote with my feet. Canonical owes me nothing and I owe Canonical nothing.

Thank you, Canonical, for six years of willingly given OS upgrades. Now it is time for me to move on.

Or do you suggest that I am now forever bound to express eternal gratitude to Canonical?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not exactly - corporate product
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 16:12 UTC in reply to "Not exactly"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Canonical has made no secret that Ubuntu is a corporate product. There was no years of development on a mysterious community distribution where Canonical suddenly stepped out from behind a curtain waving "jazz hands" and saying "surprise!" It really should be no surprise to anyone when the distribution head for life points out the blatantly obvious.

The real surprise is people blindly ignoring this detail. If you want a more democratically run distribution then stick with the parent; Debian. If you want to contribute to Ubuntu for whatever reason; accept that it's corporate product and get on with it. I don't expect Novell to vett changes with me for Suse. Mandriva isn't calling me for recommendations on PowerPack. Red Hat isn't expected to care about my thoughts on Fedora.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not exactly
by boldingd on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 17:01 UTC in reply to "Not exactly"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I agree and disagree with you. On the one hand, you're certainly correct that the most fundamental choice you have is to use a given bit of software or not, depending primarily on whether it works well for you or not. Equally, I'd agree that "warm fuzzies and feelings of community" should not be mistaken as a more central concern than the quality of the software.

I disagree, however, with the idea that you've somehow been mistreated or abused. The transaction of receiving software from a distributor, whether in exchange for something of value or not, must be mutually beneficial. If a bit of Free Software works best for you in performing a given task, and you use it, then you've gotten a good tool for free, which is inarguably a benefit. If it doesn't work well enough for you, you can try another tool, possibly payware, live with the Free Software tool, or just not perform that task. But you have the freedom to pick whichever of these options provides you with the most utility, and I would expect any of them to be a mutually beneficial arrangement for all participants.

There is no cruel exploitation by evil FOSS religious-fanatic egomaniacs. They're giving you a tool. If it works, use it; if it doesn't, use something else. That's pretty much it.

Reply Score: 3

Interesting
by spikeb on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:03 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

Ubuntu never was a democracy, and I think this has been kind of a rude awakening. I think we need a real community developed desktop distro, anyone interested? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Interesting
by darknexus on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:12 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Nice idea, but the community is diverse enough that if every single issue were voted on there wouldn't be many clear winners, nothing would move ahead, and everyone would get annoyed at one decision or another. Sometimes decisions have to be made at the top, this is the case with any project.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Interesting
by spikeb on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

The community is very diverse, but I don't think the entire community can ever be represented in one distro, so my basic idea is to create a fairly narrowly focused distro. but yes, it would be democratic and community orientated ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Interesting
by Laurence on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 13:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The community is very diverse, but I don't think the entire community can ever be represented in one distro, so my basic idea is to create a fairly narrowly focused distro. but yes, it would be democratic and community orientated ;)

I already have that with ArchLinux.

The team at Arch have created a foundations which I happen to like (pacman and the BSD-style config files) and from then on I choose exactly what I want to load and how it is to be set up.

In many ways, it's my own personal distribution as the software loaded is unique to me yet. (after all I've seen fork projects with less changes to boast than what I've done to Arch)


So the point I'm trying to make is this:
We don't need MORE distros. We need people to use existing distro's more intelligently.
So in the case of Ubuntu: if you don't like this new theme, then change it (or write your own one).

While Linux may not be a democracy, it's also not a closed platform. Canonical may roll out their default view of Linux but, once it's installed, us users can do whatever the hell we want to it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Interesting
by spikeb on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

also, you are right about how every project needs some decisions that come from up top - the key thing is how those people that are at the top got there, i think.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting
by spikeb on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:13 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

To explain a little, I'll reply to myself.

I think that there's a very real need for a community developed and maintained competitor to ubuntu, and I also don't see anything that does that, for varying reasons. I happen to have some ideas, and a bit of the "vision" thing going on if anyone would be interested in helping start Yet Another Distro.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 11:24 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Ubuntu never was a democracy, and I think this has been kind of a rude awakening. I think we need a real community developed desktop distro, anyone interested? ;)

http://www.debian.org/
And if you want a pre-packaged version ready for desktop use as live CD: http://sidux.org

Reply Score: 1

Democracy
by ajslye on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:09 UTC
ajslye
Member since:
2009-11-25

Does everyone think that in a democracy every issue is voted on, NO it's not. Sometimes decisions are just made on our behalf because of various other factors, some good (sometimes we just don't know whats good for us) and some bad (The US governments support of stupid things like the R.I.A.A., frivolous Software Patents, etc.) do you all think US citizens should get a vote on what color the Presidents bedroom should be during HIS term in office or where in the room HIS bed should be, I say no WE don't)

Edited 2010-03-22 01:13 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Democracy
by ajslye on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:19 UTC
ajslye
Member since:
2009-11-25

Just because something is "community orientated" does not by any means make it a democracy, the is also Socialism and a few other Social structures that follow the "community orientated" approach to management. You also have to realize that in the business world, not all company's are run in a democratic fashion. I my self own a computer company and a DJ Company, I'm the owner, I may or may not take the advice of my employees and or customers but in the end, I make the decisions Period.. For the sake of all things they are just widgets, if you don't like the placement edit the configuration and put the back where you want them, or how about suggest that they add to the first run a wizard that gives you a few choices on where you want them, but please quit bellyaching over something so trivial, you probably one of those people that go overseas and complain about the placement of the steering wheel..

Edited 2010-03-22 01:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v It doesn't matter
by twitterfire on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:43 UTC
RE: It doesn't matter
by boldingd on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 17:12 UTC in reply to "It doesn't matter"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Speak for yourself. The bazaar model may not produce software you want, but it's working pretty well for me. If you don't like any of the distro's available... then use Windows or OS X. But don't assume that "doesn't work for twitterfire" means "works for no-one."

Reply Score: 3

Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

That open source is not a democracy became quite clear to everybody at the time of KDE4 first "stable" (?) releases.
There was tons of criticism. But what was the devs' reply? The infamous "Who needs users"!
Something similar happened many years ago (around 2003) to Ark Linux. It was a very nice distro, bleeding edge and meant to be extremely newbie friendly.
It had, however, a very provisional, extremely buggy installer. More knowledgeable users were begging the devs to "adopt" an installer, like the Red Hat or Mandriva one. They wouldn't listen.
Worse, when furious newbies complained that the Ark installer had destroyed their Windows partition, the standard reply was: "which part of "alpha" don't you understand?" That was an obvious contradiction, as their home page stated that Ark was meant to be newbie friendly.
Users can't vote with their wallet, because open source software costs no money nowadays.
But they have another, perhaps more powerful way: send projects into oblivion.
How many people remember Ark Linux any longer?
As to KDE4, every opinion poll on the internet states that at least two thirds of users now prefer GNOME.
At the time of KDE3 it was always less then 50%

Edited 2010-03-22 01:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

That open source is not a democracy became quite clear to everybody at the time of KDE4 first "stable" (?) releases.


No, it was said the first releases was not for users. If the user won't listen to clearly stated advice it's no one's fault but their own.
Only someone who does not understand what democracy is and do not understand how OSS works could possibly think it's a democracy.

As to KDE4, every opinion poll on the internet states that at least two thirds of users now prefer GNOME.


Ah yes, the vaguely allured to "internet poll". The true pinnacle of trustwhorthyness and reliability.

Edited 2010-03-22 04:26 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

That open source is not a democracy became quite clear to everybody at the time of KDE4 first "stable" (?) releases.
There was tons of criticism. But what was the devs' reply? The infamous "Who needs users"!

First of all, KDE never ever said "Who needs users". That's a lie you made up yourself.

Secondly the decision how and when to release was made in a democratic way on mailing lists and IRC meeting.
Your definition of democracy is deeply flawed. It's like not participating in an election and when the outcome is not what you like then shouting "I didn't vote for this!". Yes, you didn't vote for this. You didn't vote at all. So stop your whining and participate.

Reply Score: 5

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

You can say whatever you want but you can't call me a liar, because I remember very well.
These are the first articles I could find:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9981288-16.html

http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/3535

KDE, like many other open-source projects, doesn't really need users at all, whether they are poisonous or not.


It is said quite politely, but there are no doubts about the meaning.

As to your "So stop your whining and participate." what do you mean, I should become a developer?
If I were a dev I wouldn't devote my time to a project that has gone a direction I don't approve of.

Edited 2010-03-22 16:28 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Nice how you quote out of context.
1.) This doesn't reflect the opinion of the whole KDE project. It never did.

2.) That comment was made after countless attacks by trolls against KDE members.

3.) The comment is distinguishing between "users" (who just take the fruits of other people's voluntary work) and "contributors" (the people who are actually participating -- just as I wrote before).

"So stop your whining and participate." what do you mean, I should become a developer?

Do you really not understand the difference between developers and contributors?
Contributors participate in the project, even if they don't code.

FOSS projects can't survive if all users are just consumers. FOSS projects need participants/contributors.
If you participate on mailing lists, your voice is heard.

As I already wrote: You don't participate. You didn't make yourself heard when the actual decision making took place.
You sat on your hands until KDE 4.0 was released -- when it was already clear that most participating people agreed on shipping 4.0 as it was and then adopting a 6-months release cycle. And only then you started whining.

(Amusing side note: You whine against the wrong people. KDE didn't put its Software Collection into end users' hands. Linux distributors did.
Fedora adopted the "screw KDE 3.5" route, while the KDE project itself prepared 3.5.10 (released after 4.1).)

Reply Score: 2

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Nice how you quote out of context.
1.) This doesn't reflect the opinion of the whole KDE project. It never did.

2.) That comment was made after countless attacks by trolls against KDE members.

3.) The comment is distinguishing between "users" (who just take the fruits of other people's voluntary work) and "contributors" (the people who are actually participating -- just as I wrote before).


And yet it was said. Thus it was *very* rude of you calling me a liar.



As I already wrote: You don't participate. You didn't make yourself heard when the actual decision making took place.
You sat on your hands until KDE 4.0 was released -- when it was already clear that most participating people agreed on shipping 4.0 as it was and then adopting a 6-months release cycle. And only then you started whining.


You just dreamt all that. I was *always* against "throwing" KDE 3.5 "away" and starting from scratch and I made that very clear.

(Amusing side note: You whine against the wrong people. KDE didn't put its Software Collection into end users' hands. Linux distributors did.
Fedora adopted the "screw KDE 3.5" route, while the KDE project itself prepared 3.5.10 (released after 4.1).)


That has some merit. However, KDE 3.5 was abandoned after 3.5.10, and nobody can convince me that KDE4 has the same functionality and ease of use, even now. That is why now I prefer GNOME.

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

FWIW, I really like KDE 4; I think the KDE team's done an excellent job. I think it's a huge improvement over KDE 3.5. It may finally pull me out of the GTK world.

I've had an OS X use get his interest piqued by my KDE 4 desktop at work. I told him it was just vanilla, out-of-the-box KDE/Sidux. I think he thought Linux desktops couldn't look that good.

I think the issues around KDE 4's release have been overblown. I think there's more of "they changed it nao it sux" than a genuine grounds for complaint there. Speaking solely for myself, I suppose.

Reply Score: 3

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

It looks good, that is true (that is why I didn't mention look). But there were many ways of improving KDE 3 look.
O.T. I am also an OS X user

Reply Score: 2

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

And yet it was said. Thus it was *very* rude of you calling me a liar.

It was so deeply put out of context that you draw a completely false picture.
You also claimed that every single poll results in a win for GNOME against KDE's desktop. Considering that Novell asked all openSUSE users which desktop they are using and the result is that two thirds use KDE desktops (3 & 4 combined), that claim of yours is also false.

KDE 3.5 was abandoned after 3.5.10

Another lie. KDE 3.5 is still maintained. The last commit is two weeks old: http://websvn.kde.org/branches/KDE/
On top of that there's the separate KDE3-based "Enterprise" branch of KDE's PIM apps: http://websvn.kde.org/branches/kdepim/enterprise/
While I'm writing this post, the most recent commit is just 30 minutes old.

If you like GNOME's workflow better: fine. Use that one. Nobody cares.
But don't spread misinformation about KDE.

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

It was so deeply put out of context that you draw a completely false picture.


I linked entire articles, man. Those articles have comments in turn. You can't dismiss facts that easily, you can't say that "I" put it out of context and draw a completely false picture.
You can't deny that kind of discussion was actually going on.
Here is another one:
http://troy-at-kde.livejournal.com/17753.html

OK, he says it was a "rant". But it is still there.

Edited 2010-03-23 06:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

And he also writes that he's not writing the opinion of the KDE project and he writes that a few days after the rant his opinion will have changed and because of that nobody should quote that.

You post false "facts" about "every opinion poll on the internet states that at least two thirds of users now prefer GNOME".

You post lies that KDE 3 "was abandoned after 3.5.10" (when in fact it still receives fixes) and so on and so forth.

Take your whining and your FUD and go to some GNOME fanboy forum.

Reply Score: 0

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Fettarme H-Milch trolled...

And yet it was said. Thus it was *very* rude of you calling me a liar.

It was so deeply put out of context that you draw a completely false picture.


Now you're moving the guideposts. You claimed it had never been said, so when the man gives you a direct quote now you want to argue and whine that those words were taken out of context? Obviously you're trolling...

As it happens I remembered reading those same words myself back when the KDE 4.x switch over occurred, and even if they were a misquote or taken out of context, something you have to remember is that people remember what they remember. There are two of us now to your one who recall those words being said in this way, and how many more others who heard it our way and simply walked away from KDE? It's something Ubuntu and Shuttleworth need to bear in mind when they ignore the community as they have been.

Fettarme H-Milch trolled...
You also claimed that every single poll results in a win for GNOME against KDE's desktop. Considering that Novell asked all openSUSE users which desktop they are using and the result is that two thirds use KDE desktops (3 & 4 combined), that claim of yours is also false.


NEWSFLASH: This just in, traditionally KDE-centric distro found to have high usership of KDE, film at eleven... In other news people who like ice cream also drink milk, scientists baffled...

Fettarme H-Milch trolled...
KDE 3.5 was abandoned after 3.5.10

Another lie. KDE 3.5 is still maintained. The last commit is two weeks old:

http://websvn.kde.org/branches/KDE/

On top of that there's the separate KDE3-based "Enterprise" branch of KDE's PIM apps:

http://websvn.kde.org/branches/kdepim/enterprise/

While I'm writing this post, the most recent commit is just 30 minutes old.


That's great. Now tell me which distro(s?) will be pushing those patches out as updates? Yeah I thought so...

Fettarme H-Milch trolled...
If you like GNOME's workflow better: fine. Use that one. Nobody cares.


Thank you. We have. We do. The problem is some of us used to like KDE's workflow better, maybe you should ask yourselves why those people no longer do?

Fettarme H-Milch trolled...
But don't spread misinformation about KDE.


Oh boy... Pot have you met my good friend Kettle yet? I think you'll find you have much in common...

--bornagainpenguin

Edited 2010-03-23 18:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Many of us have never suffered from the delusion of a democracy in the first place. Some FOSS projects are meritocracies, some are democracies, and some are dictatorships. Many of us use FOSS software for the simple reason that it provides the best ratio of utility to opportunity cost.

You've always had the freedom to choose what software you'll use. And to deny a project that does something you don't like access to the resources you might otherwise have provided. That's how natural selection works, and it's just as much at work in the FOSS world as in the closed-source world. And that's been the idea from the beginning.

Reply Score: 3

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06



You've always had the freedom to choose what software you'll use. And to deny a project that does something you don't like access to the resources you might otherwise have provided.


That is undoubtedly true and it is basically what I said: you "vote" by using or not using a project (and possibly with your resources.

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

"You've always had the freedom to choose what software you'll use. And to deny a project that does something you don't like access to the resources you might otherwise have provided.


That is undoubtedly true and it is basically what I said: you "vote" by using or not using a project (and possibly with your resources.
"

The point I disagreed with you on was that this was either news or a form of coercion. I apologize if that's not what you where saying earlier; I misunderstood.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ajslye
by ajslye on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 01:56 UTC
ajslye
Member since:
2009-11-25

I don't know about them being accidents, I do agree they are a bunch of individual parts that work together to an end, as is all (and I use the term lightly) operating systems, BSD is the same thing as is all Unix and Unix like systems, you have Free-BSD, Net-BSD, Open-BSD, etc. all of which are variants of BSDi, as is OS10 scince it is based of BSDi as well. By Definition an operating system is just that, a way in which to Operate a System of parts (in this case a computer), the Software that runs on top of that is the Interface and other various parts, Windows works the same way, the only difference is you only have one entity dictating how all the parts should work together.

Edited 2010-03-22 02:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by ajslye
by danieldk on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 17:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by ajslye"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

For factual correctness: BSDi was a commercial derivative of BSD. NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and Darwin are not based on BSDi. Only some code trickled into FreeBSD after the FreeBSD Mall (Walnut Creek) and BSDi merger. The aforementioned BSDs are either direct or indirect derivatives of plain old Berkeley BSD.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ajslye
by nt_jerkface on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 18:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by ajslye"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

By Definition an operating system is just that, a way in which to Operate a System of parts (in this case a computer), the Software that runs on top of that is the Interface and other various parts,


He was talking about the disjointed development between the Linux kernel and the rest of the OS which doesn't exist with the BSDs.

It does lead to chaos because you have some very basic OS components like the audio stack that end up being inconsistent across distros. You have endless fighting over aspects of the system that should be chosen by the same team that works on the kernel.

Edited 2010-03-22 18:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thing is...
by vinterbleg on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 06:19 UTC
vinterbleg
Member since:
2005-07-11

I'm all for dictating leadership in software development, but the problem is when the dictator is simply incompetent.

I say this not to mock the fantastic job that the Ubuntu developers and Canonical has done with developing the best Open-Source operating system out there.

I say it because the decision to place the "close" button the farthest from the edge of the window is a plain wrong decision. Not morally wrong or wrong in my opinion, but wrong in the factual sense -- anyone with half an hour of user interface design lessons in their backpack can tell you this. It violates several fundamental principles of 2D UI design, including the very serious offence of "just being different".

People argue that Ubuntu "should be different" -- This is the stupidest thing for an emerging product in a highly competitive market to do! It should strive to be better than the competition, but this is not an improvement, and it's not even a matter of opinion. The *only* thing people will think about this is "what, why did my window minimize instead of close?!"

User interface design is a very thoroughly researched field, and both Apple and Microsoft implement this research in their product development (Apple to a slightly higher degree than Microsoft). Canonical, however, seems to be giving research the finger, and I'm pretty sure that attitude will be its demise some day.

Reply Score: 10

Democracy
by Neolander on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 08:19 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Sure, open source is not democracy, but as of today we still have the right to choose our dictator, and I think that shuttleworth's product will disappear from my PC once a competitor is mature enough.

For years, I've been struggling with ubuntu breaking some things because it looks cool.

-The free radeon driver (don't remember when, but they ditched it in a release and let me forced to use the marvellous AMD linux driver on my old radeon 9600, eventually leaving X always crashing)
-Audio (On 8.04 and 9.10, due to pulseaudio nonsense. But oh well, being able to play sound over a network is so much better than stability...)

And now, they're going to push forward new windows buttons just because they look cool and different, and do it horribly wrong. Close button must be quickly accessible, and that's why it has to be put in a corner. On a system where menus are nested in the windows, buttons should be on the right, because it avoids accidentally pushing them when trying to click on a menu. And let's not think about the fact that about every Ubuntu user comes from the Windows and Mac OS X world and actually likes that some things still work the same way.

Don't know where I'm going. I'm getting fed up with the linux world, with Fedora being too much experimental for everyday use, OpenSUSE being more bloated than Windows and more silly about drivers than Debian, Mandriva being unable to switch to the standard-compliant Network manager since so many years.

More generally, I'm getting fed up with those projects which simply don't seem to understand that UNIX won't adapt itself to GUI operation by tweaking X11, that it was designed with console work and procedural programming in mind and has several major design flaws in that area (like a X11 crash making you loose all data in opened applications).

Maybe going to code haiku drivers for my hardware. Maybe going back to Windows or ReactOS, Windows 7 is not that bad when you look at it. Maybe taking a look at those x86-compatible AmigaOS clones. But having found only one ubuntu release (9.04) satisfying my needs in a while is not enough. Once it dies, I'll go somewhere else.

Edited 2010-03-22 08:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Democracy
by Anonymous Coward on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 10:32 UTC in reply to "Democracy"
Anonymous Coward Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't know where I'm going. I'm getting fed up with the linux world, with Fedora being too much experimental for everyday use, OpenSUSE being more bloated than Windows and more silly about drivers than Debian, Mandriva being unable to switch to the standard-compliant Network manager since so many years.


Have you given CentOS a whirl?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Democracy
by Neolander on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Democracy"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Have you given CentOS a whirl?


Not yet, gonna try.

So? Fedora is meant to be bleeding edge.

Sure, but it does not make it a better distro for my use ;)

[q]How is that? openSUSE ships on single CDs (one with KDE SC and one with GNOME) with pretty much the same software collection as Ubuntu/Kubuntu etc.
The only major difference is slightly different software versions shipped because of openSUSE's longer testing period (2 months extra).


Don't know how they manage to do that. It boots up slowly, and using YaST is extremely slow, even for simple tasks

Huh? Why?


Just still angry about them removing madwifi from the liveCD when ath5k was still alpha-grade software that couldn't even connect to a network. Network drivers should be available right avay, how are we supposed to get them otherwise ? (Except by carrying around outdated RPMs)

Which standards does Mandriva not support?


Network manager. They keep using their ugly network configuration interface where you have to go through several layers of menus and obscure windows in order to connect to a Wi-fi network.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Democracy
by Fettarme H-Milch on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Democracy"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

It boots up slowly, and using YaST is extremely slow, even for simple tasks

openSUSE boots slower, because -- being a more conservative distro -- it didn't (yet) adopt Upstart. openSUSE still uses classic SysV init. SysV isn't super fancy, but is tried and works.
That has nothing to do with "bloat".

YaST works smooth for me since 11.0. Package management was slow in 10.x, because it was completely rewritten and had a rocky birth, but that's more than 2 years ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Democracy
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 11:04 UTC in reply to "Democracy"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

I'm getting fed up with the linux world, with Fedora being too much experimental for everyday use

So? Fedora is meant to be bleeding edge.

OpenSUSE being more bloated than Windows

How is that? openSUSE ships on single CDs (one with KDE SC and one with GNOME) with pretty much the same software collection as Ubuntu/Kubuntu etc.
The only major difference is slightly different software versions shipped because of openSUSE's longer testing period (2 months extra).

and more silly about drivers than Debian

Huh? Why?

Mandriva being unable to switch to the standard-compliant Network manager since so many years.

Which standards does Mandriva not support?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Democracy
by AdamW on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:53 UTC in reply to "Democracy"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"Mandriva being unable to switch to the standard-compliant Network manager since so many years."

Erm. What 'standards' are you talking about?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Democracy - network-manager
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Democracy"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

After years of Mandriva use, I must say that network-manager plus network-manager-kde (or network-manager-gnome) is a very nice replacement for Mandriva's tool.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Democracy
by Neolander on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Democracy"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"Mandriva being unable to switch to the standard-compliant Network manager since so many years."

Erm. What 'standards' are you talking about?

It's supported by freedesktop, the closest thing to standards for anything that's GUI-related on linux. And last time I used Mandriva (2009 or 2009 spring I think), the default Mandriva One install still included some horribly impractical software in place of it.

(If I remember well, to connect to a wifi network, you must
-Right-click on the tray icon
-Click on some wireless-related menu item
-Wait until a window displays
-Wait for a refresh
-Click on the network you want to connect to
-Click "connect"
-Enter your user password
-Wait for a new window to show up
-Choose the right encryption method, type in your wi-fi password
-Wait until the network connects
-Close the first window that's still around
-Browse the web

On NM, you...
-Click on the tray icon
-Select your network menu
-Type in your wifi password
-Wait until the network connects
-Browse the web

The last one is sure inspired by the Mac (and does even better since ethernet is available at the same place), but it works so much better...)

Edited 2010-03-22 18:22 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Democracy
by vivainio on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Democracy"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

The last one is sure inspired by the Mac (and does even better since ethernet is available at the same place), but it works so much better...)


Since when did not sucking horribly require inspiration from mac? ui design for network connector is not rocket science.

I'd rather have it work like my n900 though - no queries for gnome keyring passwords or annoying stuff like that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Democracy
by Neolander on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Democracy"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Since when did not sucking horribly require inspiration from mac? ui design for network connector is not rocket science.

First, I did not say that (or at least did not mean it). My point was that NM design appeared after OS X and looks strangely close, so that it is probably reasonable to say that they didn't find it out all by themselves.

About rocket science... I would think the same way as you if I did not met the way of...
-Windows network assistants (95->XP)
-Messy third-party tools for network connection when Windows was not good at it
-Vista/7's network center (when I see that, I have a feeling of nostalgia about assistants)
-Network management on Mac OS Classic

It looks like making network connection that just works is not that obvious...

I'd rather have it work like my n900 though - no queries for gnome keyring passwords or annoying stuff like that.

Well, I usually answer "continue" without typing a password when I see that window, it tells me that what I do is extremely dangerous and then never annoys me again.

Edited 2010-03-22 19:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Democracy
by AdamW on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Democracy"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

It should display a list of available networks when you left-click, much as NetworkManager does.

But I'm not debating which tool's better, I was just a bit puzzled by the OP's reference to 'standards'. There are no standards for Linux network configuration tools.

Mandriva's drakconnect wireless functionality considerably pre-dates NetworkManager, in fact. It also works within the traditional Red Hat /etc/sysconfig/network* + 'network' service paradigm, rather than replacing it as NetworkManager does, so ironically it's more compatible with the old Red Hat way of doing things than NetworkManager is =)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Democracy
by AdamW on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Democracy"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

forgot to mention - NetworkManager isn't 'supported' by freedesktop.org. It's hosted on their servers, but there's no draft or final fd.o policy which makes any reference to it.

Reply Score: 4

Who Cares?
by Dano on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 12:00 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

There are a million other distributions. It's not a democracy, more like Stalinism...

Reply Score: 0

ubuntu
by hussam on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 12:10 UTC
hussam
Member since:
2006-08-17

I read the title of the news article but I'm not gonna bother reading the actual article or any of the comments this time. It is because I know ubuntu is ebul and likes to kill kittens.

Reply Score: 1

Sentence truncated.
by Mr.Manatane on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 12:14 UTC
Mr.Manatane
Member since:
2010-03-19

I would like to experiment in 10.10 with some innovative options there (from Apple and Microsoft)


Corrected now.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Sentence truncated.
by spiderman on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 12:45 UTC in reply to "Sentence truncated."
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

" I would like to experiment in 10.10 with some innovative options there (from Apple and Microsoft)


Corrected now.
"
Because Apple is so innovative. They invented wobbly windows and buttons on the left. And yet if you look behind the interface they took the BSD kernel, the BSD tools and KHTML to run their stuff because their own tools were so much behind. They would have been stupid not to take something from their superior competitor, especially when it offers it for free (in both senses). Then they "invented" the app store. They can thank Debian for that. So Ubuntu is using buttons on the left like Mac OS X. Look at all the features Ubuntu 10.04 and I bet you will see them in Windows and Mac OS X soon.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Sentence truncated.
by Mr.Manatane on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Sentence truncated."
Mr.Manatane Member since:
2010-03-19

They should thanks debian for what ?

You think that distributing software solutions were not existing before debian ?

You are kidding right ?

And you seems not to know what you are talking about.

It's not BSD kernel but Mach kernel.

Then KHTML was not used by anyone out of Konqueror almost never used for web browsing. Apple took it, and created Webkit which is now the most used web engine.

Look at all the features Ubuntu 10.04 and I bet you will see them in Windows and Mac OS X soon.

No, I took a look at all the features of Ubuntu 10.04 and saw what I got since many years on Windows and Mac OS X ...

Now get the facts: sadly, designers doesn't work for free contrary to developpers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Sentence truncated.
by spiderman on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 17:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sentence truncated."
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


Now get the facts: sadly, designers doesn't work for free contrary to developpers.

Because you think developers work for free? You obviously don't live in the same planet as mine. Down here on earth, developers get paid. Perhaps you can tell me where you live so I can get an army of developers for free and get rich on their back?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Sentence truncated.
by Mr.Manatane on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sentence truncated."
Mr.Manatane Member since:
2010-03-19

[quote]Because you think developers work for free?[/quote]

Yes, in most open source project. A lot of contributions are made by student / professors from university and people's hobbies. They don't get paid for that.

It seems your are not knowing the OSS community very well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Sentence truncated.
by spiderman on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sentence truncated."
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

[quote]Because you think developers work for free?[/quote]

Yes, in most open source project. A lot of contributions are made by student / professors from university and people's hobbies. They don't get paid for that.

It seems your are not knowing the OSS community very well.

Some of them don't get paid in dollars. Student/professors get paid in knowledge. Hobbyists develop software they need. None of them do it for nothing. The biggest contributors (Red Hat, IBM, ex Sun, Ubuntu, Mozilla, and even Apple ...) do it for the money and they pay their developers in dollars.
You think you know the OSS community but it does not exist. It's not a crowd of hippies that develop software and eat the food from their garden. It's the superior way to develop software. Even Apple got it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Sentence truncated.
by strcpy on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Sentence truncated."
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Look at all the features Ubuntu 10.04 and I bet you will see them in Windows and Mac OS X soon.


Hopefully that does not mean regressions too ;) .

Reply Score: 2

Big fuss for nothing
by spiderman on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 12:55 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

My take on this is that it is so easy to change and put the damn buttons on the right hand side that this is looking ridiculous. People want to vote on that? That's even more ridiculous. Just change put them on the right side on your desktop and be done with it.

I see people getting on their high horse about democracy and yet they don't know what it really means. The most democratic thing to do is to let people change it if they want to change it and that is exactly what is being done. Democracy is not about voting, never has been. Democracy is about the people having the power and they have.

Also, please don't use the term open source when you really mean free software. SAP is open source but if you want to change a line of code you have to pay an arm and a leg, send them the line you want to change and if they agree with it they will change it on your computer. Ubuntu is open source, yes but in this article what you really mean is that it is free software.

Edited 2010-03-22 12:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

This is stupid
by sorpigal on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 13:42 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

No, this isn't a democracy, as anyone who's ever read the LKML can tell you, but that's not the real news here.

Placement of window widgets is a user preference and while it may be suggested by a theme it is not a design decision and must not override the user preference, if set.

In fact this setting is a user preference for metacity, though it is not exposed in the normal GNOME UI. This is a bug. (A user preference that is set in a place that is impossible for users to discover is no preference at all!)

The solution is simple and obvious: Set the default to whatever Shuttleworth wants and add a UI for changing it to some Appearance-related control panel. It should allow full control but a simple "Old style" / "New style" radio button choice would be sufficient.

Instead of this we get Designers and Authority Figures vs. Angry Users. This is stupid.

Reply Score: 6

RE: This is stupid
by r_a_trip on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:59 UTC in reply to "This is stupid"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

The solution is simple and obvious: Set the default to whatever Shuttleworth wants and add a UI for changing it to some Appearance-related control panel. It should allow full control but a simple "Old style" / "New style" radio button choice would be sufficient.

Instead of this we get Designers and Authority Figures vs. Angry Users. This is stupid.


The problem is that it is a user preference now, but since the Self Appointed Dictator For Life has claimed the space on the right for his "innovative ideas" in Ubuntu 10.10, the user controlled placement will probably become infeasible.

I doubt it will be feasible to swap whatever Mark S. wants on the right with the buttons on the left. It will probably yield a greater UI mess than the current placement.

Maybe the Mac-style placement would have been palatable if we were told beforehand what they want to experiment with. But no, Mark S. donned his virtual turtleneck and told us to just accept it.

Maybe I'm wired weirdly, but such antics don't make me all excited and anticipating for Ubuntu 10.10. My reaction wasn't "Ooh, ooh, what will it be?!? I can't wait for October 2010!" I simply got royally pissed off at the assumption that my investment in motor memory and acquired workflow was less important than some undisclosed plaything Mark S. wants to implement.

I decide if some new fangled thingamajigs are worth clicking on the left side for, not Mark S. I'm not just going to blindly click on the left for 6 months and then discover that Mark S. put some useless garbage on the right and that this is the reason my day to day computer use has been inconvenienced. How's that for merit?

An OS is an application launcher and needs to get out of the way. Right now Lucid Lynx gets in the way.

The harshness in this reply is not personally aimed at you, sorpigal. It's just that I think Canonical overstepped their perceived importance here. I don't exist to serve Canonical, Canonical exists to serve end users (including me). If Canonical wants me to start paying for Ubuntu One services, they better provide a base that I find acceptable to use and this includes an attitude of "Customer is King". Right now, they can keep the whole kit and caboodle.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: This is stupid
by sorpigal on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE: This is stupid"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

If Microsoft did it would you take it so personally? It's exactly the same except that you have more power to change it back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: This is stupid
by r_a_trip on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is stupid"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

No, probably not. Then again Microsoft never claimed to be extraordinarily open and community oriented. With MS you know what you get. Give MS the money, stick to the license, now go buy a boatload of third party software to make Windows functional.

The problem with Canonical is they think they can adopt cathedral style development and then drop the code out there under a FOSS license. They can of course, but they still expect knowledgeable FOSS end users to just accept that and stay with Ubuntu.

Mr. Shuttleworth might be banking on the fact that Windows refugees don't know any better, but not all his users are coming fresh from dungeons of Redmond. While it must be kick ass for a "SABDFL" to play Steve Jobs and anounce unknown but coming miracles ahead of time, not everybody buys into that.

Incidentally, I discussed the new Lucid button placement with a Mac user today and he was quite blunt about it. "It's bad. It looks slapped together. Didn't they think this through?" He agreed that the reason it works in OS X is the global menu. In Lucid it is just a crowded mess on the left side, with a vast wasteland on the right.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: This is stupid
by boldingd on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This is stupid"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Incidentally, I discussed the new Lucid button placement with a Mac user today and he was quite blunt about it. "It's bad. It looks slapped together. Didn't they think this through?" He agreed that the reason it works in OS X is the global menu. In Lucid it is just a crowded mess on the left side, with a vast wasteland on the right.


That's a pretty good point. Do recall, tho, this is just Beta 1, and this is an incremental change that they plan to build on later; theoretically, at least, they'll eventually be putting something in that empty wasteland. (That's an effect of having a six-month release cycle rather than several years, like other OS vendors: sometimes, changes come in steps.) It's at least possible that they could do something interesting with that space. I'm not holding my breath, but still.

Edited 2010-03-23 16:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: This is stupid
by sorpigal on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This is stupid"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I made another post more centered on the button placement, as opposed to the democracy thing, elsewhere in this article (http://www.osnews.com/thread?414887) which goes in to my thoughts on button placement and why cloning OS X is a bad idea. I'd be interested in your thoughts on that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: This is stupid
by boldingd on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 17:28 UTC in reply to "This is stupid"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Yes, but if we allowed the issue to be that simple, there wouldn't be all kinds of entertaining drama, and people wouldn't get to gripe about the stupid, eletist/religious fanatic commie-hippie FOSS bastard-snobs not reading their minds and making exactly the software they want.

Reply Score: 2

Freedom > Democracy
by Yamin on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:27 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

Democracy is a horrible system to handle most things. Freedom is by far a better system.

What is better?

1. A bunch of people trying to create one solution and forcing people to use this one solution?
2. A bunch of people trying out different solutions and each people chooses the solution they like the best?

I'm going with 2. This goes for most things in life as well (education, health care...). There are very few things that only require one solution (law enforcement, military...). It is those one-solution items where democracy is essential.

For everything else, there should be choice and freedom. Let the solutions rise and fall as people voluntarily choose them.

People who worship democracy as the end all of discussion should just take it down a notch. You have 10 people in the street. Do you all get together and decide where you all go on vacation together? Or do you just let each person go on vacation where they want?

Ultimately all institutions are going to have leaders. It is better to have 1 million institutions and a million different leaders, but have them rise and fall by people voluntarily adopting them. As opposed to one leader one one institution.

The million institutions are more resilient and provide better long term advancement as if any leader/institution makes bad decisions, you can quickly adopt any of the other solutions without battling the powers that be.

If this sounds political, it is ;) I've just met too many people seem to think democracy should be worshiped and that voting is justification for forcing people to do things. They literally take the morality of democracy (rule by majority) akin to the religious nuts of old who thought they have the right to dictate what you should do because 'god tells them what to do'.

Who are you to question God?
Who are you to question democracy?

Reply Score: 4

Mint
by ajslye on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 15:52 UTC
ajslye
Member since:
2009-11-25

I say if you don't like the default look and feel of Ubuntu but like everything else about it then give Linux Mint a try, it looks and feels more like windows but based off Ubuntu.

The reason 10.04 has a more stable pulse audio is because as a LTS its based of Debian testing branch and not Debian Unstable.
8.10, 9.04 and 9.10 we're normal releases with the Debian unstable branch as it's base.
8.04 / 10.04 are LTS releases with the Debian Testing Branch as it's base.
If you want even more stability than that you can run a Debian stable branch based distribution or Debian itself.
Debian has the most extensive testing phase than any other distribution out, and also why the applications in the stable branch are so far behind.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

It's certainly not more efficient, especially when compared to a competent dictatorship or monarchy. Some of the most prosperous times in Roman history were under a dictator.

The big problem is when you have a dictator that puts his own personal desires over the welfare of nation which can lead to total destruction.

In the business world where the nation is not at similar risk a democracy moves too slowly to be useful. The democracy will spend endless hours debating and voting while the business with a strong hierarchy will simply get things done.

But with that said a good business listens to its customers, and sometimes lets them have their way if it is clear that the majority feels strongly about it. The business can't risk losing the customer base.


Oh and one more thing I found this comment by Shuttleworth to be very strange:
Our design roadmap calls for us to reduce the visibility of scrollbars,
and emphasise:
- touch scrolling
- scrollwheels
Most people don't scroll with the scrollbar any more. The use the
scrollbar to gauge "how much fo the document am I seeing".


Most people I know use laptops and find the touchpad scroll to be annoying. It really makes you question how much he researches user interaction.

Reply Score: 3

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Oh and one more thing I found this comment by Shuttleworth to be very strange:
Our design roadmap calls for us to reduce the visibility of scrollbars,
and emphasise:
- touch scrolling
- scrollwheels
Most people don't scroll with the scrollbar any more. The use the
scrollbar to gauge "how much fo the document am I seeing".

This is one decision that I agree with 100%.

Most people I know use laptops and find the touchpad scroll to be annoying. It really makes you question how much he researches user interaction.

Are you talking about the touch-pad edge scrolling, or two finger scrolling? I have never seen anyone who likes edge scrolling. I don't know how much others like two finger scrolling, but I personally love it. I have no idea how I ever lived without it.

As Shuttleworth said, I just use the scroll bar to see how much of the document I am seeing. If there is some way to make the scroll bar disappear of be less visible, while still having the information readily available, then I'm all for it.

Less widgets = More content = More productivity (which is why I use Chrome and not Firefox, which I would otherwise prefer)

A few more things about scroll bars:
* If you can't use the vertical scroll bar with the mouse on the edge of the screen when the window is maximized, the app is WRONG. The only apps I know do this correctly are Firefox and Chrome.
* The only case where I ever click on the scroll bar is when I want to go to roughly a certain point in a 400 page PDF - something you can't do with the scroll wheel or touch pad

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Um, no. Please. Scroll wheels are okay only if there is very little distance to scroll at a time, which is the case at best 50% of the time. Any time I have to run my finger over the scroll wheel more than once I get irritated and reach for the scroll bar. I don't use scrollbar buttons much--those could be safely de-emphasized, for me--but I absolutely rely on the scrollbar handle.

Anything that makes grabbing that handle and precisely moving it is helpful.

Scrollbar buttons have only one virtue over the scrollwheel: They cannot be absent and they have a higher precision (one scroll of the wheel is often about 3 clicks of the button). That said, their present placement makes no sense. I think a great optimization would be to make the scrollbar like this:

[------------------<=ooooo=>-----------------]

(Forgive my crude ascii mockup.)

Where --- represents the empty scrollable area, ooo represents the grabbable handle and <= and => are the scroll arrows themselves. This would allow me to drag-scroll to an approximate location and then fine tune placement with the buttons at a very small movement cost (since my mouse is already there).

Obvious counter arguments:

1) Harder to hit the scroll buttons if they're floating in the middle of the window.

But, aren't they already floating in the middle of the screen? Rarely the bottom one will nearly at the edge, but that's about it.

2) It will be 'harder' to find them if their placement is not always the same.

Some testing would be required for this (which is a polite way of saying Nuh Uh.)

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Actually, I can think of a third problem with putting the scroll button on the scroll bar: they'll move when you click them, and having a widget move around while you interact with it can end up being very annoying. You'll click one of the buttons, and the bar will scroll in that direction... and the scroll button itself will move slightly. Click on it enough, and you'll have to move your mouse to keep up with it. Hold your mouse down on it... and it'll move out from under your mouse. This puts the user in the position of not only having to find the button once, but to follow it up and down the screen while they use it.

I think I've done something like this before -- not a scroll bar specifically, but a widget that moved around while you tried to use it. And it started to drive me bat-shit insane pretty quickly, because I had to pay attention to where it was and what it was doing, and follow it around the window.

Edited 2010-03-24 22:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

My premise is precisely that you won't ever click it enough. For me, movement requiring more than two clicks is always done with a scrollwheel or a click+drag on the handle.

Reply Score: 2

Classic Themes
by ParadoxUncreated on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 09:42 UTC
ParadoxUncreated
Member since:
2009-12-05

Personally, I'd much rather see a more classical theme, with lines, used in workbench3.0 on the amiga, and also windows 95, in various places.

I acually downloaded some themes from gnome.org, and they came quite close. Maybe some editing would take them closer, to what I would believe is the ultimate UI.

http://www.paradoxuncreated.com/Various/theme.png

If anyone wants the theme just let me know.

Reply Score: 1

Wrong wrong wrong
by sorpigal on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 11:49 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

If you're going to clone MacOS button layouts you should be cloning the right version, namely <= OS9. The MacOS X button layout never made any sense and is a clear usability regression. Color blind users have a harder time distinguishing between the buttons. Initially the buttons had no iconography apart from the color until mouseover, when a small icon appeared. These points are sufficient to illustrate the fact that MacOS does not hold some special usability knowledge and is not automatically worth copying.

That said, cloning any Mac button layout is not ideal.

The "dangerous" close button should be isolated from other buttons, or visually very distinct. MacOS 9 and below did this by putting it on the left, by itself. Windows, recently, has done it by changing the size and shape of the button.

Having any buttons on the left-hand side is a problem as long as the menus for the application are also on the left. In classic MacOS this was less of an issue because maximized windows were not the norm and the menu bar was disconnected from the application. If the menus are on the left and the menu bar is in the application window and the close button is on the left then there is a probability that close will be clicked by mistake. Having "less-dangerous" buttons on the left is also problematic in this scenario, but not as catastrophic. Since Ubuntu uses in-window menus it is not advisable to have buttons on the left at all.

Intuition is a hard thing to pin down. It is my perspective that computer UIs are never intuitive and must always be learned; thus, there is an advantage to not requiring unlearning and relearning but no advantage to making the initial learning "intuitive." Once something is learned the most intuitive type of UI will be similar to the learned UI, regardless of what the learned UI looks like. Given that appealing to Windows users is a stated goal of Ubuntu keeping the window control buttons in the learned location makes sense.

Whatever goal might exist with regards to moving the default button location it should be remembered that this is not a design decision but a user preference. Users can, and will, change it back. When they do it is important that the experience remain pleasant; the theme must adapt to the button location and not appear 'ugly' as a result. Further, whatever is eventually meant to occupy the right hand side of the title bar must be equally able to occupy another place on the title bar, or even be absent, depending on where the user has chosen to place his buttons.

If a change were to be made then the ideal placement for window control widgets would be the bottom left of the window, not the top at all. When dragging and resizing a window the titlebar and right-hand side are the most common places people place their pointers. By putting the buttons, especially close, at the far opposite end of the window it becomes a very deliberate operation to access them. In addition, typically nothing else is "nearby" the lower left corner of a window on an Ubuntu desktop (on Windows this would still be an issue since the Start menu is there for maximized windows.) This is the least dangerous position for close and a not unthinkable position for the other controls--though I would put the Max Size toggle in the upper-left (with Sticky if present) and the Iconify button in the upper-right. The lower-right ought to be empty or reserved for a large surface area window resize handle.

Reply Score: 2

Misleading title
by abraxas on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 15:08 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

First Linux is conflated with Ubuntu and now in this article all of open source is being conflated with Ubuntu. Ubuntu isn't a democracy and neither are most distributions. That says nothing of the nature of open source in general though. There is nothing about open source itself that is in opposition to democracy. It's not hard to imagine a democratic open source project and in fact a few distributions DO elect people as opposing to being appointed or hired.

Reply Score: 2