Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Apr 2017 17:28 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth, dropping a bombshell on a boring Wednesday:

We are wrapping up an excellent quarter and an excellent year for the company, with performance in many teams and products that we can be proud of. As we head into the new fiscal year, it's appropriate to reassess each of our initiatives. I'm writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.


I took the view that, if convergence was the future and we could deliver it as free software, that would be widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry, where there is substantial frustration with the existing, closed, alternatives available to manufacturers. I was wrong on both counts. In the community, our efforts were seen fragmentation not innovation. And industry has not rallied to the possibility, instead taking a 'better the devil you know' approach to those form factors, or investing in home-grown platforms. What the Unity8 team has delivered so far is beautiful, usable and solid, but I respect that markets, and community, ultimately decide which products grow and which disappear.

That just happened.

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RE[5]: Finally
by DeadFishMan on Fri 7th Apr 2017 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Finally"
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Well, you were asking where the bad blood comes from; I merely stated some of the reasons though I am sure that there were plenty of others.

I remember one instance in particular when Mark tried some weird power play offering financial resources, manpower and what not to Debian developers *if and only if* they agreed to align their release schedule to Ubuntu's fast six months release schedule (it should be mentioned that Canonical mostly repackages Debian Testing and only a small subset of packages and only on x86 - and perhaps ARM now? I dunno - whereas Debian still handles a bunch of architectures to this day and literally thousands of packages).

It also should be noted that both Unity and Mir are results of their unwillingness to cooperate with others and/or not having their way on major projects such as GNOME and Wayland respectively. I can kind of understand on GNOME as they can be arseholes sometimes. But their excuses to abandon Wayland and create Mir citing "problems" that did not exist were pathetic at best.

Of course, Canonical is no stranger to controversy. It has been involved in very public licensing disputes with the Free Software Foundation. Its decision to include Amazon ads in Ubuntu's menu system was seen as a crass attempt to cash in on users. And, there have been concerns over the company's treatment of private data, with users' search information transmitted to its corporate servers.

They rarely push useful patches upstream.

I feel that this - somewhat old, 2014-ish - article summarizes the issues with Canonical and Ubuntu best than I could:

I am not disputing that they made an important contribution in terms of bringing Linux to the masses and that cannot be understated. Ubuntu server is a decent product although I fail to see the difference between running that and plain old Debian sometimes.

But Canonical and Ubuntu have always had a troubling relationship with their brethren, only play nice when called on to it and have a weird unhealthy attitude towards open source in general. Some people think it is good that they try so hard to differentiate themselves no matter what and that's fine; I don't and think that they should give something back to the pool where they take their resources from.

Edited 2017-04-07 13:14 UTC

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