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.
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RE: Comment by Kroc
by segedunum on Sun 21st Sep 2008 13:07 UTC 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[3]: Comment by Kroc
by KAMiKAZOW on Sun 21st Sep 2008 15:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

How does booting a live CD give an overview about how much Cannonical contributes to open source?

Reply Parent Score: 3

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[3]: Comment by Kroc
by segedunum on Mon 22nd Sep 2008 17:26 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Holy unsubstantiated and sensational claim, batman!

In what way? Currently Gentoo contributes more to stuff like the Linux kernel with probably less resources than Canonical does, and if Shuttleworth wants people to fork out and get Ubuntu supported in a data centre or on a bunch of desktops (yep, hardware support is needed there as well) then Canonical aren't doing anything to convince me.

The so-called rebuttals didn't do anything to rebut that either. They don't even contribute much upstream to desktop projects either, despite fairly feeble claims that that is the market that they're in. Calling it unsubstantiated and sensational is plain wrong because it is substantiated. If Canonical want to change that, they know what they can do.

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.

Hmmmm, no. I'm not exactly Novell's biggest fan around here, but I'm just interested in whether there is something there or not. Unfortunately, Canonical's contributions and ability to support people don't match up to their marketing hype, and yer, it's slightly below the belt, but that's life.

If you think it unethical and shocking for a company in one market to point out the shortcomings of a competitor then I think you and Canonical need to take a trip into something called the real world. Canonical knows what it can do to shut Novell up here.

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.

When you get yourself a clue give us a call, right sweetheart? KDE 3.5 is by no means a dead-end project, and will exist for as long as there is demand and contributors, as said by KDE's developers themselves. It will probably be maintained for a few years yet, and yet, Canonical couldn't be bothered to contribute something to that.

All you're telling me here is that Canonical will merely support what other people are supporting and will contribute little themselves, even when it makes little logical sense to do so and hurts their userbase. Repeating Canonical's part line as fact isn't going to do anything to make it less wrong.

The KDE project is trying to move forward, Canonical and other distributions are respecting that decision and agree with it.

Apparently Canonical doesn't respect the decision of KDE's developers to continue to maintain KDE 3.5 as well, and help them to do so when it makes a lot of logical sense within a LTS release.

It was a silly, knee-jerk decision which wasn't based on feedback or dialogue with KDE's developers, and has led ultimately to the detriment of Canonical's userbase.

Your "investigations" really don't amount to anything when apparently you do your "investigating" by perusing the GNOME mailing list.

Well, yes they do because code, dialogue with others and contributions that match up to the hype and the soundbites count in my book, and in the open source world.

At the risk of repeating myself, I still don't see Canonical addresses on Gnome's mailing lists and I don't see Canonical taking an active role in the future of Gnome, and particularly Gnome and GTK 3. If they want to be on a par with Mac OS in two years then you would have thought this was important. But, whatever.

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)

There is ample evidence for the Mac worship, and denying it is a bit sad:

http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/12068_3757246_2

....our goal, very simply, is to make sure the Free software ecosystem can deliver a Mac OS-like experience, or an experience that will compete with the Mac OS...........We see Apple as the gold standard of the user experience.


after deriding the contributions Ubuntu has made to the GTK/GNOME development process.

I don't see what contributions they have made, apart from a rather dubious six-month fixed release cycle that delivers nothing but tangible features bumped to later versions.

...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.

I think you should take the time to read around here and elsewhere, because you clearly haven't. Gentoo and companies like Mandriva have less resources than Canonical, and they contribute more to software components like the kernel than Canonical does.

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?

No, but I expect it to at least be on a par with companies like Mandriva and non-profits like Gentoo.

...and is trying to do the right thing by getting Linux to more people and making it accessible.

When all else fails, tell everyone that Ubuntu is user friendly and accessible. Unfortunately, they're not doing anything other distros aren't already doing.

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.

Errrrm, they could actually do what they're promising rather than dishing out soundbites about it, and get people to want to pay for something they're doing?

I really am interested how you are so quick to talk trash about the support services Canonical offers.

Because when I look for one I want to know that said company knows enough about the software they package.

Where's the beef?

Ha. I take it you'll be repeating that as the Emperor runs naked through the town square?

Reply Parent Score: 6