Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sun 21st Sep 2008 06:46 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Linux Greg KH, Linux kernel developer delivered a keynote in the Linux plumbing conference about the health of the ecosystem. His message was essentially that distributions that don't contribute to the ecosystem have to rely on the whims of others which is unhealthy for them. Here is an introduction the development model and some interesting statistics about the Linux kernel code. Update by TH: Rebuttals are appearing all over the web, like this one by Canonical's Matt Zimmerman ("He's refuting a claim which has, quite simply, never been made. [...] When this sort of thing happens on mailing lists, it's called trolling."), or this one by another Canonical employee, Dustin Kirkland.
Thread beginning with comment 330921
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 21st Sep 2008 08:20 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

All that tells me is to never use a piece of GPL'd code, otherwise I might get self-righteous people telling me what to do with the freedom I've been given.

Targetting Canonical with this blind zealotry is like cutting one's nose off to spite your face.

I've got retorts, I've got articles I can link to that debunks this whole talk - but I can't be bothered. It's like talking to a brick wall.

These people can go off, and keep chasing that kernel rainbow that's so important to them; that's their freedom. Their freedom. Not yours.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Almindor on Sun 21st Sep 2008 09:04 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

That's nice, but they have every right to do this, and IMHO are right on track with it. Sure you're not "obligated" to give back completely (I'm not talking about "making changes available" but "helping get them to base"), but you DAMN WELL SHOULD.

There are people who in their good will and free time put loads of work into the thing you're using for free AND making money off, it'd be nice if when you DO fix or enhance something you go to the extra little bit of trouble and try to get your changes backported.

Canonical SHOULD be ashamed of itself in this regard. I love Ubuntu, in fact I'm using it now, and I'm not fanatical about this so I won't stop using it for this reason but I'm disappointed in them for being so lazy in this.

I mean they are all "marketing bang" happy about "we're going to invest in the ecosystem and GUI" lately but giving back their own kernel changes and enhancements seems like an impossible chore for some reason.. doublespeak perhaps?

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by FooBarWidget on Sun 21st Sep 2008 09:58 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Canonical SHOULD be ashamed of itself in this regard


Shuttleworth recently invested millions into FOSS - again. What exactly is it that Canonical should be ashamed of? That they've invested more money into FOSS than you ever will?

Reply Parent Score: 15

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by kragil on Sun 21st Sep 2008 10:10 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Ubuntu does help upstream _A LOT_ with regards to bug reporting:

"Ubuntu users report bugs, the ubuntu developers wait for upstream to solve them, and then backport the fixes to the ubuntu packages.

In this senario, bugs are reported and fixed, but few patches goes from ubuntu to upstream."

(Quote Jonno. LWN comment)

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by BluenoseJake on Sun 21st Sep 2008 14:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Why? Ubuntu has gotten more people to try Desktop Linux than any other distro before. It got me back into it, after years of ignoring because the distros of 1998 (the last time I tried Linux) weren't up to the task of being a desktop. In the interim, I tried and really liked FreeBSD (if you can imagine that), as well as used Windows.

Ubuntu got me to try Linux again, and from there I moved to Debian proper. I think this is the case for a lot of people, they try Ubuntu and see what the fuss is about with this Linux thing, and then eventually, they move to another, more suitable desktop for their needs.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Comment by Kroc
by segedunum on Sun 21st Sep 2008 13:07 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Targetting Canonical with this blind zealotry is like cutting one's nose off to spite your face.

Yer, yer, yer, we get it. Everything negative that is said about Ubuntu is zealotry, because of course, Ubuntu and Canonical are the shining lights who will save the open source world - an open source world they don't contribute much to apart from soundbites.

Bottom line is, if I'm going to believe the hype from Canonical about Ubuntu and if I'm going to shell out for a support contract I would like to know that they have people on their payroll who know about some of the more core software they are putting in there, are maintaining said software with others and can answer my questions from the horse's mouth if and when I ask. At the moment, I am more likely to find documentation and explanations from Gentoo's Bugzilla and forums than I am from Canonical.

I've got retorts, I've got articles I can link to that debunks this whole talk - but I can't be bothered. It's like talking to a brick wall

It's typical of what surrounds Ubuntu. Rather than acknowledge the problem, let's write rebuttals and debunkings on our blogs. It's what we're good at. The biggest rebuttal in one of those blogs is "He works for Novell!" Not a good sign.

Additionally, he tries to shift things around by just implying that Canonical is maintaining parts of the desktop infrastructure. Well, I didn't see Canonical coming forwards to help maintain KDE 3.5.x for a LTS release when the KDE developers had said they would support it for as long as people wanted it. I also don't see all that many Canonical addresses on Gnome's mailing lists, nor do I see them having a hand in driving forwards GTK and Gnome 3 and having some vision for it apart from "Let's make it like Mac OS". So, that line of reasoning doesn't work either.

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 21st Sep 2008 15:01 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Canonical has it's faults, sure. Looking at patch numbers isn't how to determine that. Running the CD in the drive, is.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by OddFox on Sun 21st Sep 2008 23:41 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

At the moment, I am more likely to find documentation and explanations from Gentoo's Bugzilla and forums than I am from Canonical.


Holy unsubstantiated and sensational claim, batman!

For the Novell stuff, if you really can't see why it's disingenuous to not disclose how much you have to gain by smearing another company well maybe you need to revise your sense of business ethics, or even ethics in general.

Additionally, he tries to shift things around by just implying that Canonical is maintaining parts of the desktop infrastructure. Well, I didn't see Canonical coming forwards to help maintain KDE 3.5.x for a LTS release when the KDE developers had said they would support it for as long as people wanted it. I also don't see all that many Canonical addresses on Gnome's mailing lists, nor do I see them having a hand in driving forwards GTK and Gnome 3 and having some vision for it apart from "Let's make it like Mac OS". So, that line of reasoning doesn't work either.


Canonical has no interest in spending what funds they have on maintaining a dead-end project like KDE 3.5.x, or 3.x for that matter. The KDE project is trying to move forward, Canonical and other distributions are respecting that decision and agree with it. Your "investigations" really don't amount to anything when apparently you do your "investigating" by perusing the GNOME mailing list. You take an opportunity to cheap-shot Ubuntu at wanting to be Mac-like (Which it isn't, that's as false as saying KDE wants to be Windows and GNOME wants to be OS X) after deriding the contributions Ubuntu has made to the GTK/GNOME development process.

If you would take the time to analyze the information presented in the articles responding to the presentation (Information that really should not have been omitted from said presentation) you would notice that it's very unrealistic to complain of Canonical not doing more development on core pieces of the system including the kernel. The company is small, the main investor and contributor of funds is Shuttleworth, and you expect it to pump out the same numbers the old-name boys like Red Hat, Novell and IBM can boast? Canonical has never refused to give credit where credit is due, and is trying to do the right thing by getting Linux to more people and making it accessible. This criticism is not constructive at all, it's obvious and in poor taste to point it out as if it's some sort of failing, as if Canonical is being a bad guy. You want them to spend more money on full-time developers doing nothing but working on core parts of the system? I'm sure they would love to do just that if you were to tell them where they could come by this mystical yet-untapped treasure trove of funds.

P.S. -- I really am interested how you are so quick to talk trash about the support services Canonical offers. Did you get one for your own personal desktop? Do you have some huge personal datacenter or server farm that you operate, and you've had experiences with all the major vendors? Somehow I doubt these things. In other words: Where's the beef?

Edited 2008-09-21 23:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by rajj on Sun 21st Sep 2008 18:30 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

The only thing the GPL makes you do is make your code available; that's it. The only reason it seems more complicated than that is because people keep trying to skirt around it in various creative ways which leads to all the licensing lawyer crap, but that's true of all software licensing no matter what the terms are.

How does freedom imply immunity from criticism? You can do whatever you wish, but that doesn't mean that I or whomever else won't try to persuade --and persuade is the operative word here-- you to do something else.

It's all the more silly to claim that your freedom is being encroached upon when in regards to a written article that you choose to read. Unless you actually have people in your yard with pitch forks --which would be a form of intimidation not mere persuasion--, I'm hard pressed to see how your hand is being forced.

If one's definition of freedom includes being free of social pressure of any kind, society probably isn't the place for you.

Reply Parent Score: 4