Linked by Perry Helion on Fri 15th Mar 2013 18:20 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Ubuntu has come under a decent amount of flack over the past few months, particularly over their decision to use the 'Dash Search' to return results from Amazon by default in their most recent release.
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Yeah, no
by NuxRo on Fri 15th Mar 2013 19:00 UTC
NuxRo
Member since:
2010-09-25

Celebrate them, but be wary? Why, when there is so much choice? Just use something else folks.

Reply Score: 8

The adware is small stuff.
by r_a_trip on Fri 15th Mar 2013 20:31 UTC
r_a_trip
Member since:
2005-07-06

How about derailing the switch to the Wayland display server with their Mir solution? Keeping quiet for two years and then going peek-a-boo we have something else... and causing unnecessary fragmentation.

Keeping an eye on them isn't enough. They need to be locked away for general safety.

Reply Score: 8

RE: The adware is small stuff.
by hhas on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:20 UTC in reply to "The adware is small stuff."
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

How about derailing the switch to the Wayland display server with their Mir solution? Keeping quiet for two years and then going peek-a-boo we have something else... and causing unnecessary fragmentation.


Wayland's goal is to solve everyone's problems. Canonical's sole, pressing need is to solve their own. Yeah, they flubbed the announcement and don't communicate as well as they could/should with other development groups (and the Wayland team is rightly peeved about that), but if Canonical fulfill their own requirements with Mir faster than they can with Wayland then for them it's the right thing to do. Idealism is admirable, but when push comes to shove, pragmatism will out.

Canonical are a smallish commercial operation trying to compete against vast entities like MS, Apple and Google. That's an infinitely harder nut to crack than cooking up a new display system, especially when they're already trailing right at the tail of the pack. Purist FOSS ideology may have many strengths, but rapid, responsive development and change in a fast-moving global marketplace that has no intention of waiting for them is not amongst them. (You can argue the overall wisdom of Canonical's business strategy and its chances of success, but that's nothing to do with the debate here, so let's not get sidetracked with that.)

...

As for Canonical "derailing" Wayland (or any other Linux entity for that matter) - what rubbish. Sure, it'd have been a damn nice feather in Wayland's cap to be a key component in the world's most popular Linux distro, but them's the breaks: you get over yourself and carry on. OTOH, if the Wayland project somehow can't function without being inextricably bound to Canonical/Ubuntu, I'd say it has a pretty disastrous problem on its hands already. Abstraction 101: High cohesion + Loose coupling = Good; Low cohesion + Tight coupling = Please find a career in fast food preparation instead, because you cannot design software for squit.

Insisting every part of the Linux ecosystem be tied to the activities of every other part of the Linux ecosystem is about as appalling an exercise in exascale coupling as I can possibly imagine (not that it stops the Linux peanut gallery advocating it constantly). But, you know, I bet the Wayland project will do just as well with or without a Canonical connection, precisely because any project with an ounce of sense will know better than to rope their horses to anyone else's. The Wayland team's fate is their own, and the same applies for Canonical too.

As for all the never-ending bitching by various FOSS/Linux fanboys over Canonical [or whoever] lacking ideological purity or showing insufficient deference to their religious betters, said whiners are welcome to put up - e.g. by providing Wayland with sponsorship, assistance, or even just good constructive criticism - or shut up. Because something tells me the ones who make the greatest racket aren't the ones doing all the actual hard work, and it does the FOSS and Linux world absolutely no favors at all.

Reply Score: 8

RE: The adware is small stuff.
by sicofante on Sat 16th Mar 2013 02:19 UTC in reply to "The adware is small stuff."
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

1. Wayland had its chance. It's been there for five years and we'll be always waiting "a few more months". Sure, it's "ready" now, but why isn't everybody implementing it then? Why hasn't been X.org been replaced in every distro?

2. What "two years"? If you're going to lie, why not make it, let's say, twelve? Mir development started just a few months ago. Sure, they might have said so publicly or asked questions to Wayland developers. They decided to make some research by themselves first and they don't trust a group of devs that couldn't get a display server ready in five years. I can't blame them for acting like this.

I don't give a damn if Canonical takes some steps in house, then make their plans public. All this noise about Mir is idiotic and you know what? By announcing publicly they would be trying/making their own display server when they started working on it, the noise wouldn't have been lower, so why should they even care?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The adware is small stuff.
by moondevil on Sat 16th Mar 2013 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE: The adware is small stuff."
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Because resources are limited?

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Because resources are limited?


That's a silly argument because, you know, it could be used for anything. Why continue working on Wayland, for example, because resources are limited and could instead be used on working on X.Org itself? Why continue working on X.Org when those same limited resources could instead be used on working on real-life stuff? And so on.

On the same note, there is no guarantee that even if those resources being used on developing Mir were used for something else that they'd be used for doing something you approve of simply because these guys are doing what they feel is worth their time, of their own volition.

Reply Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

"Because resources are limited?


That's a silly argument because, you know, it could be used for anything.
"

No, it just means Wayland progress is slow, because not enough people are working on it.

Why continue working on Wayland, for example, because resources are limited and could instead be used on working on X.Org itself?


Because X is already way past its due date in this day and time of multimedia desktops. Which is recognized by its developers, since they were the ones creating Wayland.

Why continue working on X.Org when those same limited resources could instead be used on working on real-life stuff? And so on.


This is why I seldom spend time with distributions that don't work out of the box on my hardware. Life is too short to spend on hacking configuration files.

I used to try everything back in the university, when Linux was still using a.out format and for a few years afterwards. And every window manager that used to be part of the distributions.

Nowadays I use whatever works out of the box.

On the same note, there is no guarantee that even if those resources being used on developing Mir were used for something else that they'd be used for doing something you approve of simply because these guys are doing what they feel is worth their time, of their own volition.


As for Mir, I don't care as long I can get a working desktop system that is able to make proper use of my graphics cards.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The adware is small stuff.
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Mar 2013 03:38 UTC in reply to "The adware is small stuff."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

and causing unnecessary fragmentation.


OMFG! There are now two choices! How shall we ever manage to handle so much variation. We're doomed I tell you, DOOOOOMED!

They need to be locked away for general safety.


I guess we'll have to lock RH away too then for causing unnecessary fragmentation with systemd.

And that's not even getting into how different distros have for a long time been configured differently. Damn, how did we ever survive making all these choices and learning and supporting different solutions?? It's miracle, that's what it is.

Edited 2013-03-16 03:38 UTC

Reply Score: 9

That's life
by stanbr on Fri 15th Mar 2013 21:20 UTC
stanbr
Member since:
2009-05-22

I think its really funny when open source guys say fragmentation is bad. That's the freaking nature of open source. If you are against it, do not publish your code under GPL/BSD/Apache/whatever.
In fact, I like OSX exactly cuz it takes the best of both worlds. I have all the open source softwares I want, on a stable and solid OS (no OS/APIs fragmentation).

Reply Score: 2

RE: That's life
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 15th Mar 2013 21:57 UTC in reply to "That's life"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, choosing osx severely limits your hardware options.

Its a pain in the but to get the open source software I want on it ( current versions of pyton, java, php, apache, X11, gcc). Darwin ports and fink tend to fail me pretty often.

Not to mention the difficulty of getting KDE and its associated applications on it these days.

Not to mention the continuing ios-ification.

Don't get me wrong it looked really cool years ago when none of the above (except the hardware) was true, but I've grown jaded against it over the years.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: That's life
by moondevil on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE: That's life"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I think Mac OS X being UNIX based is just a matter of luck.

They needed Steve back on board and NeXT being a UNIX helped to save Mac OS, while bringing more developers on board.

If Apple had gone BeOS there wouldn't be a UNIX base to talk about.

Now that they have lots of people on their systems, there is no need to captivate the UNIX crowd for software.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: That's life
by stanbr on Sat 16th Mar 2013 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE: That's life"
stanbr Member since:
2009-05-22

The hardware part is very true. But I really like the apple hardware (specially the notebooks). Even when I used Ubuntu, it was on a macbook. So that's not really an issue (for *me*).

And I don't even have X11 installed, so no x11/kde (and I don't miss it a bit). What softwares written for this architectures do you miss so much?

As a Java and Ruby developer, the 1.6.0_43 java version is ok for me right no, and the RVM gives me any ruby version I want. BTW, at work I was trying to run a new version of Ruby and some gems on a Debian stable and after many many hours I just gave up (on Ubuntu it was fine). And dealing with Java versions on Ubuntu was always a pain in the arse (I use it at work, unfortunately). One time, Chrome was using one version, ff another and console was using the right one. No freaking idea why. And not installing the Sun java by default is not very pragmatic at all.

Anyway, if Linux suites you best, I'm happy for you ;) I wish I could say the same.

Reply Score: 2

RE: That's life
by NuxRo on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:08 UTC in reply to "That's life"
NuxRo Member since:
2010-09-25

I'm going to nuke from orbit the next person who's going to say OSX is "the best of both worlds".

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: That's life
by Hiev on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE: That's life"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

I'm going to nuke from orbit the next person who's going to say OSX is "the best of both worlds".

Why?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: That's life
by NuxRo on Fri 15th Mar 2013 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's life"
NuxRo Member since:
2010-09-25

Cause it comes from people who have not tried Linux, or have come to it with a brain already washed by mr. Steve.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: That's life
by Hiev on Fri 15th Mar 2013 23:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's life"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Cause it comes from people who have not tried Linux, or have come to it with a brain already washed by mr. Steve.

Why are you assuming that?

Edited 2013-03-15 23:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: That's life
by siride on Sat 16th Mar 2013 04:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's life"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

I've used Linux exclusively for several years, and I've done the same with Windows. I've also used OS X and enjoyed it in its way. I really don't like it when people like you make these broad statements about what is or isn't good for people as if they don't have a clue. Maybe you don't have a clue. Maybe Linux is only good at a subset of the things most desktop users need. Maybe people are fine with the tradition Unix shell and utilities, but don't want to have to deal with desktop implementation issues that have been long solved in other mainstream OSes. Some people have work to get done that doesn't involve writing C in Vim or Emacs.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: That's life
by moondevil on Sat 16th Mar 2013 07:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's life"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

When I met Linux, I already knew UNIX, so what I what is a nice multimedia environment that feels like Amiga days and a development environment for my work.

Windows + (Linux | BSD) have been enough for the type of work I do, but if Macs were cheaper with more hardware options, then it would be surely the best of both worlds.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: That's life
by stanbr on Sat 16th Mar 2013 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's life"
stanbr Member since:
2009-05-22

Sorry dude, but I used linux-only at home and work for 7 freaking years. But then one day I was really really pissed of cuz kdenlive crashed on me every 2min and I needed to edit a video. Since I had a macbook (but never used OSX, I had Ubuntu installed on it) I decided to give OSX a try, and in a few minutes my video was very nicely edited under iMovie. Then I tried Garage Band and Logic Pro, and my home-studio audio quality improved 1000%, this day on I never used Linux as a desktop anymore.

I used mostly Debian and Ubuntu, but tried 'em all. What I think is exactly the opposite. I'm pretty sure you never used OSX for more than a few minutes. Try it for 2 months as a desktop alternative and THEN you can give a serious opinion about it.

Btw I still use Linux/Ubuntu/Debian at work. For some things, it's the best out there (specially the server side). But as a desktop solution, for me, it sucks compared to OSX.

[]'s

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: That's life
by zima on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 23:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: That's life"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

iMovie has its own issues... http://eugenia.queru.com/2009/04/11/stay-the-fuck-away-from-imovief...
(that said, it's probably better than anything available on Linux; but there are better choices, like Sony Vegas on Windows)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: That's life
by Soulbender on Sun 17th Mar 2013 05:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's life"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Cause it comes from people who have not tried Linux, or have come to it with a brain already washed by mr. Steve.


Oh the irony...

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: That's life
by BallmerKnowsBest on Mon 18th Mar 2013 03:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's life"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I'm going to nuke from orbit the next person who's going to say OSX is "the best of both worlds".

Why?


Because it's the only way to be sure.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: That's life
by shotsman on Sun 17th Mar 2013 03:17 UTC in reply to "RE: That's life"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

What a load of Baloney

I use Linux (I'm a RHCT/RHCE) professionally and I also use OSX. As other replies have said, as a desktop, it works with the added bonus of a Unix system underneath the GUI.

I have not been brainwashed by the Cult of St Jobs. I have been around IT and Software for more than 40 years and can make up my own mind about what works for me. I am also open to the suggestion that what works for me may not work for you but to make the suggestion your did is simplistic beyond belief.

Reply Score: 6

RE: That's life
by hhas on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:51 UTC in reply to "That's life"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

I think its really funny when open source guys say fragmentation is bad.


I think what the Linux peanut gallery really mean is "any fragmentation that doesn't fit with my own personal ideology is bad". (Whereas Kosher fragmentation is perfectly hunky-dory as it provides ever more bragging rights: "Now available in two billionty flavors!") But they're probably not the ones doing all the work, and even if they are it does not matter what they think. As long as it's FOSS-compliant, that's what freedom is.

Now, there is a genuine problem with fragmentation in Linux land, but it's not in the fragmentation itself: it's in the inability to reintegrate the fragments at regular intervals. Which again I think has far more to do with personal egos and ideological differences than any technical cost. For instance, the Linux desktop would be vastly improved if 90% of desktop environments fell on their swords tomorrow, leaving the remaining 10% to focus all 100% of resources on providing the best possible experience to each distinct Linux market ("ordinary joe user", "cutting-edge leet", "crusty conservatives", "lower-power boxes"). But good luck trying to get any Linux desktop project to volunteer themselves as first for the chopping block. And so it goes.

(As for OS X, that's every bit as much of a double-edged sword - it just slices a different angle is all. Better GUI shell and better apps, but little user control over direction, and can crap on OSS work just as soon as embrace it. You pays your money...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: That's life
by zcal on Sat 16th Mar 2013 21:51 UTC in reply to "RE: That's life"
zcal Member since:
2012-07-27

For instance, the Linux desktop would be vastly improved if 90% of desktop environments fell on their swords tomorrow, leaving the remaining 10% to focus all 100% of resources on providing the best possible experience to each distinct Linux market ("ordinary joe user", "cutting-edge leet", "crusty conservatives", "lower-power boxes"). But good luck trying to get any Linux desktop project to volunteer themselves as first for the chopping block. And so it goes.

Improved according to whom? Part of the benefit of the Linux ecosystem is the ability to do things differently. I, for one, would hate to lose the choice.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: That's life
by hhas on Sun 17th Mar 2013 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That's life"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Improved according to whom? Part of the benefit of the Linux ecosystem is the ability to do things differently. I, for one, would hate to lose the choice.


Urghh. It's simple math. You don't get anything for nothing in this world, and Linux developers (amongst other things) are a finite resource. You can either pool those resources into developing a small number of well focused DEs each of which caters to a specific market, or you can spread those resources thinly over a large number of mostly overlapping DEs all trying to cannibalize existing Linux user base (another finite resource) from each other.

This is not to say branching or forking DE projects is a bad thing: it's can be an extremely powerful tool as it allows forks to experiment freely with new ideas. But if it isn't offset by a similar frequency of merges taking the most successful ideas from each branch and folding them back together into a strong and coherent whole, eventually development and support resources are spread so thinly that everyone is resource-starved, and none strong or vigorous enough to face the real competition - Microsoft, Apple, Google, et al - never mind make a dent in them.

...

To be blunt, any idiot can create a piece of software - it's no big achievement. The really hard part is building a large enough initial market for that product that growth becomes self-sustaining, enabling it to become a popular success. More users for a particular distro makes it more worthwhile for application developers to support that distro, it makes it more worthwhile for writers to produce documentation and training materials for that distro, it makes it easier for business users to find IT personnel to support that distro, and so on. (See: "network effect", particularly as it applies to software and software markets.)

To illustrate the critical importance of building market share above everything else: I've created some really good software over the years, but all that hard work has ultimately been wasted because the project never grew big and strong enough to hold its ground in an unforgiving, ever-changing world. So the first external challenge that did appear just uprooted it and blew it away. So what exactly have I achieved through this, other than upsetting a few thousand committed users by having to pull the plug on the thing right when they were achieving their own goals through it? The best code in the world isn't worth squat once it's dead in the water.

...

For 99.99% of people in the world, software is merely a means to a much greater end, never an end in itself. The true value of a piece of software is in how much it empowers users to achieve their own life's goals, not in how much it fluffs the egos of a handful of self-indulgent fanboys who've nothing better to do than tinker with "vanity press" projects and proudly proclaim the year of the Linux desktop right around the corner.

Look, I've nothing against hobbyist OSes myself, and if that's your thing then more power to you. But please then don't ever fool yourself that you and your pet indulgence are ever going to do anything that changes or improves the world for everyone else, because you're not.

Companies like Red Hat and Canonical understand this: that the purpose of software is to work for a living, not remain a special pampered flower with an audience of one. Which is why their true contribution to the FOSS and Linux worlds should not be measured in how many lines of code they contribute to other people's projects, it's how much market share they tear away from the powerful grasp of Microsoft and Apple and Google, who would otherwise forever stitch up the whole show to their own benefit.

/rant

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: That's life
by Alfman on Sun 17th Mar 2013 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's life"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

You have some valid points, however it's a question of balance.

Very few of us in the linux end of things want a monoculture. Competition is good not just because we have more choices, but because it allows us more freedom to try out different approaches that wouldn't get the chance to evolve otherwise. Another benefit is that isolated projects can incorporate ideas from each other. Also, having a few entities in charge is bad because it results in "feature governance", where those at the top dictate how the system must be for everyone else. This is an equally negative trait whether we're talking about Open Source or not (apple, ms, etc).

I'm not saying the world needs hundreds of distros (which there are), but at the same time it's great to have several popular ones that are actively competing. Most of us do recognize the need for this balance, hopefully you do too.

You brought up dilution of developer efforts, that can be true. Things like drivers shouldn't need to be rewritten by several distros. But there's only so much value in grouping developers under the same organization due to diminishing returns. A team of 100 is going to be somewhat less than 10X productive as a team of 10. A team of 1000 is going to be far less than 10X as productive as a team of 100. A team of 10000 might not be any more productive than a team of 1000. There are so many open source developers that we are already well beyond the point of diminishing returns, the existence of indy distros isn't detracting from the main distros and in fact the main distros may very well take inspiration from the indy ones.

Again, it's a question of balance. I think having so many distros can be a problem for different reasons though, too many choices does confuse new users. But IMHO having some choice in distros is still much better than what we have from commercial offerings (consider how many people would opt for a win8 minus metro distro if they had the choice).

Edited 2013-03-17 18:05 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: That's life
by hhas on Sun 17th Mar 2013 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: That's life"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Very few of us in the linux end of things want a monoculture.


I made no suggestion it should be. My point was you could cover pretty much all areas of the Linux user base with just four DEs. That is not a monoculture, nor does it rule out the creation of purely experimental DEs for long-term research purposes, but let's not confuse those with production DEs. Neither does it eliminate vigorous competition within each of those DEs as they are free to fork in order to experiment with new ideas or modified designs. However, once those developments which have proven themselves independently and sufficiently matured to allow general adoption, they should be folded back into the main branch, a process that should be rigorously meritocratic, unhindered by individual politics or egos (a serious hindrance in the current Linux ecosystem). So I think that covers your concerns there.



You brought up dilution of developer efforts, that can be true. Things like drivers shouldn't need to be rewritten by several distros.


So drivers should be commoditized, in your opinion. You readily recognize that drivers are merely a means to an end, but then turn around and treat DEs as a special case - an end in itself. Whereas 99% users recognize that DEs are merely one more means to an end too.

This is a classic problem in the Linux world: kernel fans see the kernel as the end in itself; DE fans see the DE as the end in itself; application fans see the application as the end in itself. Whereas >99% of users understand that all of these layers are merely means to the one end that truly does matter: the ability to achieve useful work (recreational or professional).

Everything below that that is unimportant in itself: either it facilitates their goal - in which case it isn't even noticed - or it frustrates it, in which case it will be noticed for all the wrong reasons. The kernel, the shell, the applications are all reduced to commodities, at which point it becomes a question of which has the most users: because that in turn dictates which attract the most training resources, the most user support, the most transferable skills, the biggest network effect. Hence Window's near-monopoly of the desktop market, and the current rise of Android to much the same position in mobile - not because they're the best or the most ideologically pure in themselves, but because they have successfully grown the largest, most active ecosystems around themselves.

Oh, and it's not just the end users who benefit either: the application developers benefit because they only have to target one or two platforms, so can devote more of their resources to improving their own products instead. Look at the range and quality of applications available for Linux and compare to Mac or Windows, and tell me that the plethora of DEs and distros is doing them any favors. Remember: Means to an end. Means to an end.

There are so many open source developers that we are already well beyond the point of diminishing returns


I think you greatly overestimate the number of OSS developers who do the vast majority of the work on major projects (i.e. core contributors), versus the number of OSS developers who are merely users of those products. This is not to say the latter do not provide useful contribution in the form of isolated bug reports/patches or user-to-user support, but that is still not the same as building core infrastructure in the first place. And, don't forget, the more projects exist, the thinner those folks' contributions will also be spread.

You are quite right that 1000 core developers in a project will not achieve 10 times the work of 100 core developers. However, the real problem here is that the Linux world has quite forgotten the philosophy of the original Unix creators: to create many small, independent, focused components that can be freely combined to form larger systems. Hence the vast, sprawling monolithic designs of DEs and desktop applications which prevent them from effectively employing more than a fraction of OSS developers even if they want to.

MS and Apple can afford to brute-force giant monolithic solutions that are "good enough" within a reasonable timescale, because they have the commercial resources to build and sell such products. The Linux world, from looking at everything from drivers to X to DEs to Open Office, clearly cannot afford the same indulgence. The only way Linux will ever get ahead as a widespread user-facing system, rather than a boutique techie-only platform - is if they stop trying to play the game by MS/Apple/Google rules, which means lots of small, agile components that are fast and cheap to create and support and play really well together (IOW, the embodiment of Unix Philosophy).

But let's face it: as it stands the Linux community cannot even marshal their existing resources into one or two focused goals, such as winnowing down their plethora of DEs to a more application developer-, distributor- and user-friendly headcount. So what are the chances of them ever evolving any of those behemoths into an adaptable, devolved, cooperative architecture that enables users and groups to tackle individual problems of particular interest to them without forcing them to wade through bureaucracy or reinvent wheels just to get to the starting point?

...

So, apologies for length (I'm out of time for further editing), but as a relative outsider I think these points bear making as there are certain parts of the Linux mentality which are something of a monoculture themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: That's life
by Alfman on Mon 18th Mar 2013 03:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: That's life"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

hhas,

"My point was you could cover pretty much all areas of the Linux user base with just four DEs. That is not a monoculture, nor does it rule out the creation of purely experimental DEs for long-term research purposes, but let's not confuse those with production DEs."

Topping out at four rules out indy participation, which is (very) bad. Knoppix came about as a specialized debian distro. I highlight it as an example because although debian is a great distro, it shows how someone else can remix it into something more useful in it's own specialized way. The distro specialization goes further than this but I think you get the idea; Why discourage independent distros just because an arbitrary number of four already exists?


"So drivers should be commoditized, in your opinion. You readily recognize that drivers are merely a means to an end, but then turn around and treat DEs as a special case - an end in itself. Whereas 99% users recognize that DEs are merely one more means to an end too."

That's not exactly my opinion. Technically drivers are shared because they are part of the linux kernel, which is often shared itself. Hypothetically though if a distro wanted to differentiate itself somehow with specialized drivers (I have no idea what this would be, it's hypothetical), then I wouldn't have a problem with it. Other distros could always merge their drivers if there were merit in doing so.



"I think you greatly overestimate the number of OSS developers who do the vast majority of the work on major projects (i.e. core contributors), versus the number of OSS developers who are merely users of those products."


I haven't really estimated the ideal number of developers per distro. Someone with more project management experience could chime in, however just recently there was an article about how it took two developers to build the distro used by raspberry pie. They were undoubtedly exceptional developers, but it still shows how much work can be done in small teams.




"But let's face it: as it stands the Linux community cannot even marshal their existing resources into one or two focused goals, such as winnowing down their plethora of DEs to a more application developer-, distributor- and user-friendly headcount."

The alternative is what, design by committee? Who gets to decide what's best for everyone? Realistically what do you tell others who want to do it their own way? These are things you'd have to answer.


"as a relative outsider I think these points bear making as there are certain parts of the Linux mentality which are something of a monoculture themselves."


Well, I'd like to welcome outsider ideas, and to the extent that we can work better together, we should. But alas I think you go too far in asking us to put alternative distros on the chopping block. That is a bit of a slap in the face to those who find value in them and I have to disagree with you that their existence is a huge problem.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: That's life
by hhas on Tue 19th Mar 2013 03:06 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: That's life"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Well, I'd like to welcome outsider ideas, and to the extent that we can work better together, we should. But alas I think you go too far in asking us to put alternative distros on the chopping block. That is a bit of a slap in the face to those who find value in them and I have to disagree with you that their existence is a huge problem.


The existence of many dozens of small, overlapping DEs/distros is a problem, because there is more to achieving mass adoption than merely having a nice bit of tech. The bigger the market you want, the more that other less-technical factors such as public image and user confidence matter. And it's hard to project a strong, clear public image or convince users that a platform chosen today will be vigorous and strong some years from now when all you've got to show is random rabble of many small projects, no two pulling in a common direction.

That's fine if your only ever goal is to create fun toys for yourselves to play with (for there's absolutely nothing wrong with play itself), but it does pretty much rule out ever building a stable, standard platform that can grow a large, rich, permanent ecosystem all around it. And don't tell me that none of the Linux DEs and associated distros don't secretly dream of being The One That Makes It BIG, because I won't believe you.

So maybe "slaps in the face" is exactly what the desktop Linux world needs? As any good gardener will tell you: the way to achieve big, strong, healthy plants from an original seeding is to wait till they sprout, then pull all their weaker ones with a vengeance.

Reply Score: 1

RE: That's life
by ggeldenhuys on Sun 17th Mar 2013 09:04 UTC in reply to "That's life"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

In fact, I like OSX exactly cuz it takes the best of both worlds. I have all the open source softwares I want, on a stable and solid OS (no OS/APIs fragmentation).

And exactly why I now use FreeBSD. No "distro" fragmentation, way more consistent configs, all open source, and very stable.

Reply Score: 3

RE: That's life
by thesunnyk on Tue 19th Mar 2013 02:02 UTC in reply to "That's life"
thesunnyk Member since:
2010-05-21

While you're right in the general case, one of the issues with Wayland / Mir specifically is that it needs an integrated driver stack in order to work. For Linux, you just write a driver for Linux -- there's no "incompatible Linux" per se.

The problem here is that companies like AMD, NVidia, and the PowerVR guys have had a single target: XFree86, then Xorg, and now Wayland. However, now they have two targets, and a choice: Support Wayland, Mir, or both. The Free Desktop + X guys have been working really hard to make it so that people can write this stuff once and the same code applies everywhere. However, Mir muddies the waters. This will mean slower drivers, or drivers that only work with one of the stacks. This is both annoying and unnecessary.

Reply Score: 1

I have no need for LTS
by Nossie on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:19 UTC
Nossie
Member since:
2007-07-31

And with that thought I left Ubuntu for mint as soon as I could.

*shrugs*

spyware issues aside, as far as I'm concerned unity, did a 'windows 8' on the Linux community.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: I have no need for LTS
by crhylove on Mon 18th Mar 2013 07:35 UTC in reply to "I have no need for LTS "
Comment by Auzy
by Auzy on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:30 UTC
Auzy
Member since:
2008-01-20

I tend to agree. The dash issue is probably the most prevalent, but exaggerated issue with Ubuntu.

Firstly, they have poor QA. Unity is incredibly slow. Games on it run at unplayable performance (I didn't believe it until I tried it myself, but it is true). The first impression of a new gamer to Linux will be that Linux is garbage (and, its a problem that affects Unity only as KDE/GNOME/etc all run at native speeds).

Neither Microsoft nor Apple would EVER allow such a colossal buzz-kill to be made default on their platform until the performance issues were fixed, and honestly, I'm surprised why the media hasn't ridiculed Ubuntu over it! Unity's performance is like an egg to the face to all Linux distros.


I also feel they break the Ubuntu Promise: "we encourage you to use free and open source software, improve it...". Ubuntu often refuses to collaborate, and instead develops/forks projects which solve no problems. Projects like Bazaar, their Wayland alternative, Upstart and Unity were always unnecessary, and their developers should assist with the more-established projects, with the same goals.

Even worse these forks are actually a burden on the community (especially Upstart), as developers need to waste time developing code for these additional projects.

Ubuntu needs to ask themselves what they want to accomplish, and start asking themselves if their actions are good for Linux. If they care, they need to stop integrating garbage like Unity, which clearly needs more work to improve performance. Otherwise, all Linux newcomers who try to play a game, will have good reasons to leave.

Edited 2013-03-15 22:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Auzy
by WorknMan on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Auzy"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

And they need to stop integrating garbage like Unity, which clearly needs more work to improve performance, otherwise, people generalise and think Linux is garbage in general.


That's because Linux IS garbage in general. If you try out a flavor of Linux and have a miserable experience, there'll be at least 20 people to tell you that you were using the wrong distro. That's because there is no 'right' distro, which is a big reason why it sucks.

You will probably have to try at least 3 or 4 before you find one that really works for you, and the big problem with that is that most people aren't in high school anymore, and don't have time for that shit. So these distro makers need to find a way to come together and work out their differences to create ONE solid, kick-ass distro for the masses. Sure, that does eliminate a lot of choice, but we see how well having lots of choices has worked out for desktop Linux so far. I'm sure we all know the definition of insanity ...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Auzy
by NuxRo on Fri 15th Mar 2013 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Auzy"
NuxRo Member since:
2010-09-25

Linux is excellent in general. Depends what you want to do with it.
For me Windows is garbage and OSX even more so.

Distros will not come together, the great thing about Linux (and distros) is that it allows people make them be, or at least try whatever they want. This means there will be a lot of versions as people try to scratch their own needs, satisfy their own egos and so on.

Do you honestly think that had OSX been open source we wouldn't have had by now a good number of forks and variants? Same goes for Windows.

Get serious.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Auzy
by WorknMan on Fri 15th Mar 2013 23:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Auzy"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Distros will not come together, the great thing about Linux (and distros) is that it allows people make them be, or at least try whatever they want. This means there will be a lot of versions as people try to scratch their own needs, satisfy their own egos and so on.


Well hey, that's fine. I mean, if you guys are happy with the 1%+ marketshare you currently enjoy, more power to you.

That being the case though, why are so many people bitching about Ubuntu fragmenting 'the community'? Aren't they just doing what FOSS does? Forking the shit out of everything and/or re-inventing the wheel?

It seems there are two camps in the FOSS world - those who want less fragmentation in favor of more marketshare, and those who are happy with the way things are.

Make no mistake about it though - Linux on the desktop is never going to take off as long as the fragmentation continues. That may not be a bad thing, depending on your perspective... I'm just sayin' ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Auzy
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Mar 2013 04:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Auzy"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You will probably have to try at least 3 or 4 before you find one that really works for you,


I've been trying Windows since 3.11 and it still doesn't work for me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Auzy
by WorknMan on Sat 16th Mar 2013 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Auzy"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I've been trying Windows since 3.11 and it still doesn't work for me.


Great. So, what's your point? Not like I'm a Windows fanboy... I don't give a shit what you use ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Auzy
by Soulbender on Sun 17th Mar 2013 03:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Auzy"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So, what's your point?


That Linux is not garbage in general.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by Auzy
by siride on Sat 16th Mar 2013 04:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Auzy"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Windows 7 works fine here and it now has very little in common with Windows 3.1 except vaguely in the API and not at all in the implementation. What are your problems, specifically? Or are you just trying to make a lame joke that ignores the fact that Windows actually works for a lot of people just fine, including power users, programmers and other techies?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Auzy
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Mar 2013 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Auzy"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I dunno, I guess it's just as lame as stating that Linux is garbage in general, completely ignoring that it actually works for a lot of people just fine, including power users, programmers and other techies.

Edited 2013-03-16 07:16 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Comment by Auzy
by siride on Sat 16th Mar 2013 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Auzy"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Maybe, but I think that Linux objectively has some major issues that have led to its lack of widespread adoption. Any statement along the lines of "xyz is utter garbage" is probably not true anyway.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Auzy
by zcal on Sat 16th Mar 2013 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Auzy"
zcal Member since:
2012-07-27

That's because there is no 'right' distro, which is a big reason why it sucks.

As long as we're treating subjective topics objectively:

Your opinions are wrong.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Auzy
by hhas on Fri 15th Mar 2013 23:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by Auzy"
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Ubuntu often refuses to collaborate, and instead develops/forks projects which solve no problems. Projects like Bazaar, their Wayland alternative, Upstart and Unity were always unnecessary, and their developers should assist with the more-established projects, with the same goals.


As I mentioned in another comment, it's not Canonical's responsibility to do other projects' jobs for them. FOSS means the ability to use other people's work if you like it or write your own if you don't. Canonical's only obligation either way is to contribute back as licensing terms require.

For example, you mention Bazaar but neglect the fact that Git didn't appear until the same time Bazaar was publicly released. If Git had appeared several years earlier and was already well matured and easily usable by the great unwashed masses by the time the Bazaar foundations were laid then you'd have a point. But both systems originally evolved in parallel, with different motivations and requirements, so who could've said at the time which was the sure bet? Now that Git has come out the clear winner (in large part thanks to the third-party GitHub rather than Git itself), it'd be great if Canonical were to migrate to Git as time and resources allow, thereby eliminating a small amount of redundancy from the Linux ecosystem. But I don't imagine replacing a working SCM system is as pressing a priority for them as bringing new product to market before the window of opportunity completely closes, so don't hold your breath.

Much the same can be said of Upstart, which appeared more or less in parallel to systemd. It'd be great if Ubuntu were to switch to systemd now that the latter has matured a bit, as it is the stronger design. It'd be even better if all the other distros finally consolidated on systemd too, and the mess that is SysV init finally pensioned off for the good of all. Oh, and it'd be no bad thing either if the systemd folks could set out a clear line in the sand so that everyone knows exactly what its current and future responsibilities are and where all its boundaries lie, and it doesn't keep growing into a never-ending sprawl that eventually reads email too.

And Unity? Once again, Canonical and Gnome had diverging plans, so the break was sensible. I'm guessing none of the other desktop shells then available quite fit their needs either, so they did their own thing. Which, you know, they're allowed to do. And while Bazaar, Mir and Upstart are underground plumbing of interest to only a subset of geeks, Unity is the public face of Canonical and Ubuntu that every single one of their users will see, so from a marketing and presentation perspective alone it makes a great deal of sense for Canonical to take control of that. So I can't fault them for that decision (even if I can fault them for quite a few of the implementation details).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Auzy
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Mar 2013 03:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Auzy"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Projects like Bazaar


You mean unnecessary like Git, Monotone, Darcs, Arx, SVK, Codeville & Mercurial etc etc?

their Wayland alternative,


I still don't see whats bad about this. It either works out or not. If it does we get improvement, if not it only affect Ubuntu.

Upstart


No, Upstart was necessary because traditional SysV init is a goddamn abomination that should have been gotten rid of a long time ago.

Unity

How is it any more "unnecessary" than Blackbox, xmonad, gnome shell or RazorQT?

Even worse these forks are actually a burden on the community


None of the things you mentioned are forks, they're new projects.

(especially Upstart), as developers need to waste time developing code for these additional projects.


Have you actually worked with Upstart? It's a helluva lot easier and better to make your service run with Upstart than it is creating a convoluted init script.
Heck, it's not even code, it's just a configuration file.

Reply Score: 6

...
by Hiev on Fri 15th Mar 2013 22:49 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I'm using Ubuntu Gnome Shell Remix, and I love it.

Reply Score: 2

Fragmentation is a matter of perception
by cjosc99 on Sat 16th Mar 2013 00:20 UTC
cjosc99
Member since:
2011-07-13

Fragmentation is a term invented by the Apple funbois when Android emerged and it keeps coming back over and over. Back then, Apple was the king of the hill as far as mobile OS. Many things have changed and all thanks to fragmentation. Apple is no longer numero uno and Microsoft has all kinds of troubles getting their products known. Android has emerged as the so called fragmented OS and yes, they are on the top. Samsung has far better software and hardware than apple just to name one.
Ubuntu is a great product. It has it's pros and cons but still is a great product, a free great product and I don't mind the fragments.

Reply Score: 3

shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Fragmentation has been used around Linux a long time before the advent of the iPhone. All the different versions of Mandriva/Mandrake etc, many here today gone tomorrow distros etc etc etc all contributed to the use of Fragmentation as a way of describing the overall Linux ecosystem.
Nowt to do with Apple methinks.

As for it's use with respect to Android Phones then there is a good deal of it around. How many versions of Android let alone the Manufacturers re-spin's are in us on phones today? There are even new Samsung phones for sale running Android 2.3. wtf?
Of course there is fragmentation and the device makers are solely to blame for it. All they want to do is ship a device and get their money for it. They don't care about support (in general and there are some exceptions). This was one reason why I ditched my Android Smartphone and went back to a decade old Nokia 6310. IT actually does everything I need from a phone.

Reply Score: 3

but keep an eye on what they're up to...
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Mar 2013 03:31 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

That pretty much goes for any company.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sat 16th Mar 2013 12:59 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

There are at least two ways of looking at FLOSS these days. Each one of it has different reasoning, target audience, etc.

1. OSS - Open Source part of the Software:
is all about making software open in a matter of code. It also strives to make it functional and usable, profitable for the markets [for example: building around "open core" development model]
2. FLOSS - Free/Libre part of the software:
is all about making software and user free/libre [in terms of freedom of code and user's freedom], that is: independent.

Now, Ubuntu fits perfectly into the OSS model. It doesn't care for the user's freedoms for the most part. It mostly cares about shipping the product for the wide audience, just like most proprietary software vendors do. While there's nothing wrong with it itself, it - however - brings many problems:
- OS isn't a community distro: cares for a 'market', not individual people
- it strives to benefit from the work of its developers: it needs to pay for itself, thus ads, monetization of userbase
- it considers "innovation" to be simply "releasing something new", not necessarily when it's really needed

The problem is, GNU/Linux roots are not corporate. It doesn't care for the marketing, products and popularity. It always cares for the end user, for his freedoms, independence, code openness. This is where it all comes. This is the valid point to start from. That's why most commercial stuff that doesn't respect user's rights **will fail miserably**.
If you want to make money of your users - fine - charge them XYZ dollars, make them pay and give them what they want. But don't pretend that you're a community-based distro which cares for the individual user, selling their privacy away at the same time and forcing some new [not "innovative"] stuff down their throats. That won't work.

The reality is really simple: you're either open/community-based/free or your open/corporate-based/non-free.
People will not buy it if you cheat to them. Be honest, no matter what you do. Nobody will punish you just because you want to charge for your distro. Actually, more businesess will love to get your support in return.
Just don't play with conscious, wise FLOSS users. They won't buy that. They're too smart for this. They know the difference for years.

Reply Score: 2

Picking sides...
by kurkosdr on Sat 16th Mar 2013 13:28 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

If the FSF people get super annoyed by a stupid lens which can be turned off, then the schism between the FSF people and the average people who just want an alternative OS to Windows cannot be bridged. Average people think ads are acceptable in a free (as in beer) product. Average people don't consider the ability to get the source and compile the product for free a necessary freedom, so ad-supported gratis software (open source or not) is perceived as good, as they get a free product and the author gets money to continue. Win-win. Look around you. People have no problem with Gmail's bots going through their email, have no problem exposing their life to Facebook and freeware apps with ads and dubious privacy policies are the most popular. And even if you try to educate them (see the anti-gmail ads), they just don't care (I don't).

Essentially, distro vendors will have to pick a side. The FSF crowd or the average people crowd. Canonical needed monies to replace the awful X.org (and couldn't wait ages for Wayland), so they picked the "average people" side and partnered with Amazon.

IMO it's not the loss of Ubuntu as a choice that angers the FSF crowd (there are so many compatible alternatives out there), it's the shattered illusion that an OS which pleases both the FSF crowd and the average people can actually exist. Aka the shattering of the illusion you can have a product that meets FSF's guidelines and is popular too. That must have hurt indeed (there was hope among the FSF crowd that Ubuntu could help spread FSF's ideals, now it's gone).

PS: Each downvote must be accompanied by a justification otherwise you suck.

Edited 2013-03-16 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Picking sides...
by hhas on Sun 17th Mar 2013 22:28 UTC in reply to "Picking sides..."
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Downvoting for the lulz... nah, just kidding.

But yours is a key point: if FOSS/Linux truly wants to 'free' people, it is not enough to scold them: "Stop doing that!" Instead, it must figure out how to enable users to achieve their desired goals, while also providing better levels of personal control, privacy and trust than current non-Free products such as those you describe.

Take PGP, for instance: great tool, but the average person never uses it, even for sensitive communications, because the user experience is just lousy. But if the FOSS folk were to figure out how to make ubiquitous PGP "just work" in email communications - i.e. without the user having to think about it (or even know what it is) - and suddenly they've got a potential game-changer. Google isn't likely to make users' emails unreadable by its bots - it's hardly in its own self-interest - but FOSS is not bound by the same limitations as Google is.

Heck, while you're at it, why not simply eliminate email altogether? There's nothing about email-based communication that couldn't be better done by sharing editable documents over local and/or internet-wide clouds, crypting their contents outside of trusted scopes, automatically replicating changes as they're made, preserving full discussion history and making it instantly accessible without the need for repetitive re-quoting, allowing additional users to be brought into the discussion at any point, allowing free hyperlinking between discussions and to other internet resources, and so on.

That's the sort of innovatory HCI work FOSS could, and should(!), be doing. Yet, they'd rather putter out yet another bloody Win95-style DE for the hundredth time that simply reheats worn-out, decades-old concepts lifted from Xerox, and all to the utter indifference of the entire planet (save a handful of idle hobbyists who'd rather kvetch about Canonical's ethical faults than build a better world for all).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Picking sides...
by Alfman on Mon 18th Mar 2013 03:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Picking sides..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

hhas,

"Take PGP, for instance: great tool, but the average person never uses it, even for sensitive communications, because the user experience is just lousy. But if the FOSS folk were to figure out how to make ubiquitous PGP 'just work' in email communications - i.e. without the user having to think about it (or even know what it is) - and suddenly they've got a potential game-changer."


It's not a technology problem, or a FOSS problem, it's a chicken and egg problem. Any developer possessing cryptographic skills (including yours truly) could single-handedly re-implement email with fully transparent public key end to end encryption. The problem is getting universal adoption.

Look at SPF records, designed to detect and block smtp domain spoofing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework

They'd be effective if they would only be adopted, but therein lies the chicken and egg problem again. It's ineffective, but *only* because so few are using it. I can't even use it for my own domains because my registrar doesn't allow me to control SPF records - in fact most don't either.


Another example is ipv6, in theory moving would solve a lot of problems. But it's pretty lonely in there unless you tunnel back into ipv4 space. It's another chicken and egg problem.


"That's the sort of innovatory HCI work FOSS could, and should(!), be doing. Yet, they'd rather putter out yet another bloody Win95-style DE for the hundredth time that simply reheats worn-out, decades-old concepts lifted from Xerox, and all to the utter indifference of the entire planet"

Various projects are not mutually exclusive to each other, some devs prefer working on DE, others can work on distributed file systems, etc. For every single DE developer, there must be thousands more already working on other problems. Use the DE you like best and you can ignore the rest, why can't that be a win?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Picking sides...
by hhas on Mon 18th Mar 2013 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Picking sides..."
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

The problem is getting universal adoption.


Oh, I totally agree - it's often much easier to create a completely new, disruptive technology and get people to jump on that than make them accept non-trivial changes to an existing one. A classic example: look at what happened when Apple finally acknowledged it had lost the PC war, and instead set about massively redefining what "personal computing" actually meant. Much as Apple won by selling people a slightly better telephony solution, then waiting for the penny to drop as users start asking themselves "Hmm, wonder what more I could use this for?"

This is why I also suggested figuring out how to get the cloud to work right, because that would then eliminate the need to "fix" existing email or build a new ground-up architecture to replace it. Since ordinary operations on shared documents (read, write, share, notify, etc) could do everything that email can do, plus a whole lot more (trust, security, robust history, etc), why not put all your energies into ironing out that system and ensuring it achieves its full potential?

Users are already using the current [ill-defined, shlonky] cloud for basic non-sharing tasks (e.g. backing up personal files). So it's just be a matter of time before they naturally slide into sharing activities too: making photos available to family and friends, popping up a document tagged for attention of someone else on their contact list saying "what do you think?" and getting a notification back when the other person's annotated it with their thoughts, and so on. The trick is make the whole experience polished and seamless, so that it's quicker and less painful for folks to start working this way for everything than continue with the gnarly old ways (emails, chat, Word attachments, etc).

Once the network effect takes hold, you're well on your way to superseding the entire email architecture without any need to build a completely new technology, since all the relevant operations can be expressed as ordinary cloud interactions. Put your feet up and relax as traditional email usage eventually fades away. Result: not only have you gotten users onto a much better system, you've actually managed to consolidate and simplify[1] a decent chunk of the whole damn internet as well. ;)

And that's the sort of crafty lateral thinking that the FOSS world could do wonders with, if only they had a bit more of vision and boldness. Cheers.

...

[1] Not directly related, but always my favorite story on simplification: http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?story=Negative_2000_Lines_Of_Code....

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Picking sides...
by Alfman on Mon 18th Mar 2013 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Picking sides..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

hhas,

"This is why I also suggested figuring out how to get the cloud to work right, because that would then eliminate the need to 'fix' existing email or build a new ground-up architecture to replace it....why not put all your energies into ironing out that system and ensuring it achieves its full potential?"


Thousands of FOSS devs are already working on everything you can conceive under the sun, your just not giving them credit for it because your too busy holding some grudge against unrelated FOSS developers.

Secondly, your logic is a bit hypocritical, you criticize those who reinvent the Desktop Environment, yet you propose doing exactly that for email because you feel it should work differently.


"And that's the sort of crafty lateral thinking that the FOSS world could do wonders with, if only they had a bit more of vision and boldness. Cheers."


This is trolling.

Let me make a suggestion here: If you really do have an interest in certain types of projects, you could do some research and join existing FOSS projects that you are interested in to see what kind of help you can offer. If nothing else, you could spread adoption by promoting them by encouraging others to use them too. This would be far more productive than the non-constructive criticisms that you are posting here.


Edit: I do understand your motivation for wanting to improve email systems, I do too, but please consider that blanket criticism of linux distro devs gets us no further to realizing these improvements. We'd need the widespread cooperation of millions of people and corporations to pull it off: banks, governments, ISPs, schools, end users, software providers, etc. It's a much larger problem than FOSS can handle alone.

Edited 2013-03-18 14:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Picking sides...
by hhas on Tue 19th Mar 2013 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Picking sides..."
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

your logic is a bit hypocritical, you criticize those who reinvent the Desktop Environment, yet you propose doing exactly that for email because you feel it should work differently


This is getting sidetracked from my original point, but one of these things is not at all like the other (and hence not hypocritical at all):

1. Email falls short in a whole bunch of ways, not least modern essentials like security and trust. It's a creaky, clapped out old platform, and most folks are blind to its failings only because they're so conditioned to it that they can no longer conceive of anything different. There are excellent reasons for replacing it with something radically new and better.

2. The plethora of Linux desktops available today are all mostly just tired rehashes of the same handful of HCI concepts that date all the way back to PARC in the 1970s, plus whatever superficial eyecandy is the fashion of the day. Were any of them actually doing anything truly innovatory, I'd be praising them like a shot. But merely retreading the same ground over and over again with, at most, minor differences in superficial form, is starting to look like a bit of a circle-jerk.

To give one example of how DE creators could genuinely innovate for a change: Imagine a Linux DE that fully embraced Unix Philosophy by being constructed from ground-up as a wholly component-oriented architecture (think a modern version of OpenDoc). That would be great for GUI application developers because it'd make it much quicker and easier for an individual developer to write a complete component that does something useful when plugged together with other components. OSS developers wouldn't be shackled to vast, slow-moving, monolithic projects like Open Office any more, forever trying to catch up with MS Office by playing by MS's rules. Instead, they could churn out lots of lightweight components, rapidly iterating and refining, figuring which work best and tossing away the rest (which is easy to do when they don't require a crippling investment to create and maintain in the first place).



"And that's the sort of crafty lateral thinking that the FOSS world could do wonders with, if only they had a bit more of vision and boldness. Cheers."

This is trolling.


Oh please. Someone points out that the Linux community lacks a soup├žon of imagination, and that's trolling? Back under your own bridge.


Let me make a suggestion here: If you really do have an interest in certain types of projects, you could do some research and join existing FOSS projects that you are interested in to see what kind of help you can offer.


I have created and supported my own OSS projects in the past, and provided input to others. Right now I am working towards releasing a dual OSS+commercial licensed project (end-user programming plus automation). At some point I will probably do some OSS work relating to HTTP+REST (I don't imagine I will be able to undo all the mess that many thousands of web developers have been making over the years, but maybe I'll put some small dent in it, and might also help clarify my own ideas of what a cloud-based www ought to be all about). Were I to run across an OSS project that was doing really interesting HCI work I would certainly consider getting involved in that.

OTOH, I have no interest in just hopping onto some random FOSS project just so I can inflate their tribal headcount or feel important now I'm part of the larger whole. And - as has already been illustrated, there are plenty in the Linux world who really don't much care for being disrupted - even when that's exactly what's needed. I may occasionally blow off some light steam on osnews or whatever to relax, but if I'm going to make a full-on commitment I'd better know in advance that there's a non-zero chance I can make a substantive difference by doing so. I already have a history of approaching more orthodox devs offering constructive criticism, being rebuffed (something about challenging their world view...), and in response going off and writing my own product that consequently boots theirs into oblivion. (So...hey, instead of me joining someone else's project, perhaps others should try joining one of mine for a change?:p)

Edit: I do understand your motivation for wanting to improve email systems


Actually, I want to see the entire email system nuked out of existence. Coming to software from the art world, it horrifies me to see the pathological pack-rat clinginess, inextricably entwined egos, and raging resistance to any sort of self-disruption. As my old art teacher taught me, the moment you realize you've fallen into that trap, you tear up that work and start afresh. Otherwise you spend all your time congratulating yourself on your wonderful skills while the work itself degenerates into crap. It's very freeing; y'all should try it.


I do too, but please consider that blanket criticism of linux distro devs gets us no further to realizing these improvements. We'd need the widespread cooperation of millions of people and corporations to pull it off: banks, governments, ISPs, schools, end users, software providers, etc. It's a much larger problem than FOSS can handle alone.


That's pure defeatist talk: "we can't do everything ourselves, so let's do nothing". Not to mention complete and utter bollocks - remember, it took just five guys to found the entire freaking WWW [1][2]. I rest my case.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21831916

[2] (Plus a hundred thousand to find ingenious ways to screw it up again.)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Picking sides...
by Alfman on Tue 19th Mar 2013 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Picking sides..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

hhas,

"This is getting sidetracked from my original point, but one of these things is not at all like the other (and hence not hypocritical at all):"

I honestly don't blame you for wanting to reinvent (insert your technologies here), but it most certainly is hypocritical to judge those who have their own ideas about reinventing the other technologies that are important to them. It's best to simply admit that you have a different passion than to arrogantly proclaim that your ideas are worth pursuing and theirs are not. Unless you're paying somebody to do what you ask, the choice of how someone spends their time is nobody's business but their own.



"OTOH, I have no interest in just hopping onto some random FOSS project just so I can inflate their tribal headcount or feel important now I'm part of the larger whole."

That's totally your prerogative, however don't you admit that having other people to join in on the promotional effort can make all the difference in a project sinking or floating? Even for your current project, having others join you could be a huge boon.


"I already have a history of approaching more orthodox devs offering constructive criticism, being rebuffed (something about challenging their world view...), and in response going off and writing my own product that consequently boots theirs into oblivion."

Opinions will be all across the board, especially with linux we're a highly diverse group. If you want 100% agreement, well you'll never get it, but that can be good since it inhibits group think. Obviously disagreements can give rise to tensions, but the great thing about linux is that, developers can always implement their own ideas without anybody else's permission, just like you did.



"(So...hey, instead of me joining someone else's project, perhaps others should try joining one of mine for a change?:p)"

That's fine, but if your attitude here is at all indicative of your personality in real life, there's a risk that your general negativity towards other FOSS developers will drive them away from you. Maybe I'm talking at the wind here, but is it conceivable to you that if you respect other developers then they're more likely to respect you as well?



"That's pure defeatist talk: 'we can't do everything ourselves, so let's do nothing'. Not to mention complete and utter bollocks - remember, it took just five guys to found the entire freaking WWW [1][2]. I rest my case."

I think you misunderstood me, we could obviously write the protocols & software, but the real challenge is actually solving the chicken and egg problem and getting everyone to hop on board. Otherwise it'll just be a niche solution that will fall into obscurity like so many before it. We *need* the participation of groups much greater than ourselves to become invested in the project if it's going to succeed at displacing something like email.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Picking sides...
by zima on Tue 19th Mar 2013 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Picking sides..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Google Wave was doing something similar to your envisioned email successor ...didn't really work, didn't really go anywhere.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Picking sides...
by Alfman on Tue 19th Mar 2013 19:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Picking sides..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

I was thinking of that too. For better or worse, SMTP is entrenched everywhere. Replacing it universally would require coordination across hundreds of thousands of organizations, not even google could do it alone. Realistically it would need the cooperation of microsoft and apple too, and I'm not sure how keen they'd all be working together.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Picking sides...
by zima on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Picking sides..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I meant more than that - the supposed successor didn't really pan out, wasn't really better: it was this awkward experimental thing nobody really knew how to utilise.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 16th Mar 2013 19:22 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

So the solution to the issues with the current Ubuntu 12.10, is to ignore it and focus on the previous version? That's dumb. Ubuntu 12.10 gets bashed on certain points because it's deserving. You have to be pretty lame to think sticking your head in the sand and crossing your fingers the problems are solved by the time you gather the courage to pull it out. How you can admit to that game plan and not be embarrassed it beyond me.

Reply Score: 4

Today in my ubuntu word...
by Chompjil on Sun 17th Mar 2013 05:18 UTC
Chompjil
Member since:
2013-03-17

....Kubuntu is my choice, firsly, Canonical's stupid design and developing descicions are not there as Kubuntu has been put into another entities hands, Blue Sytems, and KDE is very customizable, has a fullscreen mode, e.g. when running full screen apps like a steam game , a lot of components of the window manager and Desktop enviroment are turned of. This is much better over the dully complying Compiz and Unity, ugh, well there's always 900+ distros to try out, rather not waste my time on Ubunity 12.10 hyper HD remix

Reply Score: 1

RE: Today in my ubuntu word...
by silviucc on Mon 18th Mar 2013 11:15 UTC in reply to "Today in my ubuntu word..."
silviucc Member since:
2009-12-05

Since you don't use Unity you probably also don't know that since it got unredirected full-screen, running fullscreen games is as fast as running them on LXDE or other DE that does not have a compositor.

Check phoronix for some benchmarking results.

For customizing Unity, there is Unity Tweak (google it). In 13.04 Canonical will include this application in the Software Center.

The other aspects of the Ubuntu desktop that are less easy to customize are the parts from the Gnome project: nautilus and the other assorted apps.

Reply Score: 3

chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

To all of you screaming "fragmentation": The competition of ideas can lead to better solutions than design by committee which happens when everybody works on the same project. Best examples of this are AES and IPSec, the latter suffering from the complexity introduced by the committee effect.[1]

The only ones who need to worry about Mir are the people who use the AMD/NVidia proprietary drivers. It seems that Ubuntu is pulling a Google Chrome/Flash/PPAPI style stunt here, which could ultimately lead to the those drivers shifting attention away from X.org. But frankly, those who buy hardware that depends on proprietary drivers have not deserved any better.

[1] http://www.schneier.com/paper-ipsec.html

Reply Score: 4

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

But frankly, those who buy hardware that depends on proprietary drivers have not deserved any better.


Ah, the good, old "my way or the highway" - mentality.

Reply Score: 5

chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Ah, the good, old "my way or the highway" - mentality.

Nah, I am not calling for users of proprietary drivers to be expelled from free software projects.

It's more like demonstratively not caring about them. Or as Linus Torvalds put it best:
I want people to know that when they use binary-only modules, it's THEIR problem. I want people to know that in their bones, and I want it shouted out from the rooftops. I want people to wake up in a cold sweat every once in a while if they use binary-only modules.
http://lwn.net/1999/0211/a/lt-binary.html

Reply Score: 3

I don't understand
by 3rdalbum on Sun 17th Mar 2013 12:48 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

I've figured out why people are so butt-hurt over Ubuntu.

It's a popular distro, backed by a millionaire and developed to be commercially-viable. It became popular quickly. Ubuntu has tried to work with upstream developers, only to be shunned (for example, Gnome). Ubuntu has tried to tread a line between freedom of code and pragmatism, but then gets attacked by the FSF for not being free enough, and by users who say "Just use Linux Mint because it comes with everything".

Ubuntu has twice developed a fully-FLOSS version of Ubuntu and encouraged the community to get involved, with no success in engaging any interest in these efforts.

It's not a case of "I hate Ubuntu because of privacy concerns" or even "I hate Ubuntu because of Unity"; remember all the loathing directed at Ubuntu's two colour schemes and the decision to move three buttons from the right side of the screen to the left? It's something more automatic and instinctual than intellectual. It seems like people in the community hate Ubuntu because it's a commercial distro and it's successful. A bit of anti-capitalism, mixed with tall-poppy syndrome.

When Ubuntu partnered with Amazon, the reason given was "privacy", but this obviously isn't the real reason as Ubuntu's Video lens sent your video search queries to China for six months before Amazon. No, it's because Amazon is a large, successful business, therefore it's the enemy.

By the nature of what Ubuntu is trying to do - a free-to-use distro that is commercially successful - it will always face a hostile Linux community and so can't rely on the community to be of much assistance.

The Linux community is like the gang of protesters who are trying to stop a cave being turned into a tourist cave. The protesters claim to be trying to protect the environment, but really they just want to be one of the exclusive people who possess the equipment and skills to spelunk the cave; not one of the riff-raff. The government department wants to install lights and stairs and hire tour guides so more people can enjoy the cave without needing special equipment and super fitness.

Unfortunately quite a few people won't see this post because it'll get downvoted, but I think I'm probably closer to the truth than any previous comment-er on this post.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I don't understand
by Alfman on Sun 17th Mar 2013 19:24 UTC in reply to "I don't understand"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

3rdalbum,

Ubuntu criticism may very well be more strongly pronounced owing to it's popularity, but that really is not the underlying cause.

If you really think ubuntu is criticized due to it's success, then I suggest instead you take a new look at the collective criticisms in the light of an underdog who has no significant market share. Most of the criticisms would still hold in the eyes of those who posted them, therefor there's probably more to it than you've concluded.

Personally, I left Ubuntu for Mint, and trust me it had nothing to do with Ubuntu's success, but rather that Ubuntu's management doesn't seem to have much regard for user feedback. For me, it really was as simple as that.

Reply Score: 3

It's about Money
by runjorel on Sun 17th Mar 2013 14:26 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

I haven't read through all the comments here, so I am sorry if I am just repeating someone else's comment, but I think the crux of it is, what you are searching for and what you select after a search is valuable data. Valuable data that people are willing to pay for to better understand you as a 'consumer'. Now I have no idea (as I have not looked at the actual source code) but I would imagine Ubuntu will utilize this data for commercialization if it has not already (which I am assuming they already do without looking at any code). I think Ubuntu is trying to find an economical way to sustain itself and this is one way to bring home the bacon. Yes Canonical offers support options, but I bet there are more workstation Ubuntu users than there are Ubuntu servers with support packages.

So, I don't think the dash is so much a feature Ubuntu thinks will be really awesome for the user experience as it is a way for Ubuntu to bake in financial sustainability into the product without having to charge for other things or other 'inconvenient' things to disrupt it's free software vibe.

Reply Score: 4

Good article, Bad Ubuntu
by benali72 on Mon 18th Mar 2013 05:48 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Thanks for your thoughtful, heart-felt article.

Ubuntu's problem is that Canonical lurches to new ideas without user-testing them first.

Dash is a great example. I thought that typing what you wanted went out with the command line back in the early 1990s. Apparently not. Imagine the poor Windows user who enters "system resource manager" to Dash and retrieves nothing (instead of Ubuntu's System Monitor). If you don't know the correct phrase or term for what you're looking for, Dash doesn't work.

Linux good, Ubuntu bad.

Reply Score: 2