Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Oct 2010 19:00 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Well, this is sure to raise a few eyebrows here and there. Today, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Mark Shuttleworth held his keynote speech, and in it, he announced that Ubuntu will switch to the Unity user interface come release, for both the netbook as well as the desktop, leaving the GNOME user interface behind (but keeping the GNOME platform).
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earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

I'm not saying anything about the desirability or long-term viability of Canonical's practices, all I'm pointing out is that for the first time it seems like Canonical is backing a serious FOSS project with significant resources devoted to coding. (Though saying that Corel/Xandros/Linspire have failed because of the development model you've outlined is a post hoc fallacy. I would also point out that Linspire didn't "fail" per se, it got bought out by Xandros, and Xandros itself is still around.)

Unity seems like a major software project to me, but then again I've never coded an entire GNOME shell before, so maybe it is actually trivial. On the other hand, Ubuntu's other code contributions so far really haven't been all that grand, as in custom volume control applets, the Ubuntu Software Center, etc.

Originally the complaint was that Ubuntu doesn't do enough to contribute code back to the Linux ecosystem. Now that they're doing that, apparently the complaints have shifted to how they're contributing code. AFAIK, Unity is open source, and until someone tells me "I tried to work with the Ayatana design team and the Unity devs but they didn't want anything to do with me because Ubuntu is secretly Oracle in disguise and Mark Shuttleworth is Bill Gates's long lost cousin", I will assume that it is a cooperative project that other developers can sign onto.

One other point: why do people bring up Shuttleworth's money as if it's a bad thing? People are so locked into this false ideology that FOSS is a Panglossian utopia of eminently rational social democratic unicorns (like Thom Howlerda). Money talks. The fact that some dude is bankrolling Unity with his own cash speaks more to me than ten volunteers working for a year on the same project.

Edited 2010-10-26 15:37 UTC

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