Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 30th May 2011 22:04 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Canonical Ltd., the company behind Ubuntu Linux, estimates that the product has over 12 million users worldwide. And why not? Ubuntu is free and it runs more than ten thousand applications. It has a vibrant user community, websites covering everything you might ever need to know, good tutorials, a paid support option, and more. Yet I often hear friends and co-workers casually criticize Ubuntu. Perhaps this the price of success. Or is it? In this article I'll analyze common criticisms and try to sort fact from fiction.
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Very poor article
by lindkvis on Tue 31st May 2011 12:07 UTC
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It neglects to address any of the important problems discussed around Ubuntu over the last year and instead just invents a lot of not very interesting new ones.

The interesting questions over the last year has been:
1. Ubuntu does very little actual upstream work despite their popularity.

This isn't a particularly fair comment. While Ubuntu is heavily used, Canonical earns very little money from it compared to for instance Red Hat. Red Hat probably does ten times as much upstream work as Ubuntu, but they also probably earns ten times as much as Canonical from Linux, so they can afford to.

2. Ubuntu just tramples over upstream with little or no interaction backwards.

When Ubuntu DOES do upstream work, they rarely discuss requirements properly with the upstream product. Instead they just implement something (possibly requiring copyright assignment from contributors) behind closed doors and then get surprised when upstream doesn't accept it afterwards. All the other major distributions do this better. Red Hat, for one thing, had an open discussion with the community about their ideas for GNOME Shell and developed it WITH the gnome community out in the open (with no copyright assignment). Consequently, GNOME Shell is the default upstream user interface, not Unity.

3. Ubuntu rarely consults anyone about changes, but rather just "does what Mark Shuttleworth likes".

GNOME is also a bit guilty of this. However, there is a major difference. GNOME upstreams at least has the discussion in the open where people can participate, before any decisions are made. I.e. if you care enough about the direction of GNOME, you can participate on or the mailing lists. This is not true for Ubuntu, where decisions are only made public after they have been made.

Personally I like using a popular distribution, because it is well supported. But Canonical has taken some fairly massive steps to alienate me recently and so rather than upgrade to 11.04, I decided to install Fedora. I immediately missed some quality assurance, especially with regards to NVIDIA drivers and wireless, but I much prefer GNOME Shell over Unity so I'll have to see whether I will switch back or not.

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