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[4]: Rant disguised as keynote
by irbis on Sun 21st Sep 2008 20:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Rant disguised as keynote"
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

What Usability work? Apart from the press release(s) have they actually done anything?

Huh? Yes, of course they have. Otherwise I would still be using Debian on my desktop right now too, instead of Ubuntu. I love Debian but I love ease of use even more and therefore decided to swicth my main desktop to Ubuntu.

The huge amount of other distributions based on Ubuntu is another testimony to that.

However, many things sponsored by Canonical/Ubuntu are now part of GNOME and Debian too so they are not Ubuntu-only things. But that's is how open source projects are supposed to work. You are not trying to reinvent the wheel but cooperate with others.

These are a direct quotes from Wikipedia:
Ubuntu focuses on usability, including the widespread use of the sudo tool for administrative tasks. The Ubiquity installer allows installing Ubuntu to the hard disk from within the Live CD environment without the need for restarting the computer prior to installation. Ubuntu also emphasizes accessibility and internationalization, to reach as many people as possible.

Wubi allows the distribution to be installed on a virtual loop device requiring no partitioning. Wubi also makes use of the Windows migration tool to import users' settings.

Non-free software is usually unsupported (Multiverse), but some exceptions (Restricted) are made for very important non-free software. Supported non-free software includes device drivers that are necessary to run Ubuntu on current hardware, such as binary-only graphics card drivers.

Also many new things in GNOME desktop environment were first introduced by Ubuntu. And so on.

Reply Parent Score: 4

VistaUser Member since:
2008-03-08

Such as?

I know of Upstart which seems to be pretty successful and also used in other distributions.

There is also bulletproof-X which is less successful and reportedly can cause problems.

Apart from that I am not really aware of much that Ubuntu has contributed. It may just be that I am ill informed, but my impression is that there is not much else. (and from my erading of some mailing lists, a further problem is that when they DO fix something, they do not always communicate well upstream to let them know a fix is available...)

To me Ubuntu seems to wait for others to do the work, then the marketing spins up and it claims "Great Feature X is now available to Linux users Via Ubuntu!"

(I assume all this can be debunked by a link to a contributions page on the ubuntu website?)

Reply Parent Score: 3

irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

You have to compare Ubuntu to its mother distribution, Debian. Basically, Ubuntu is only aimed to offer a more user friendly "Debian experience".

Just put an average person in front of a PC and ask them to install, configure and use Debian and Ubuntu and then compare the user experience. Do you think they will find Debian easier to use? Hardly.

Although Debian has seen many great improvements in its usability lately, Ubuntu is simply much easier to install, configure and use to an average person, and also implements some new advanced technologies faster than Debian (stable) does. A stable Ubuntu release is usually also more stable than Debian Testing, not to mention Debian Unstable release, is.

You simply get a relatively stable and cutting edge Debian-like distribution, readily configured and streamlined for typical desktop use by installing and using Ubuntu instead of Debian.

Such as?
I know of Upstart
There is also bulletproof-X

Well, many things, maybe small or usually rather invisible, like improving automatic hardware configuration, improving GNOME menus and their structure, having sane software defaults instead of offering dozens of applications choices for the same tasks, replacing some default GNOME applications with newer and better alternatives - like when replacing the GNOME browser with the (then) better choice Firefox, etc.

So what if some other people may have usually developed the software used in Ubuntu? Ubuntu does not need to reinvent the wheel every time, just use Debian as base and then pick up and offer customers a good and streamlined selection of open source software in an easy to use form. If others have failed to do the same as successfully, it is not Ubuntu's fault.

Edited 2008-09-21 22:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Huh? Yes, of course they have. Otherwise I would still be using Debian on my desktop right now too, instead of Ubuntu.

You're going to need an awful lot more than that I'm afraid, and it's the sort of wishy-washy comment about what Ubuntu does I see an awful lot of.

Also many new things in GNOME desktop environment were first introduced by Ubuntu. And so on.

I don't see them I'm afraid. I don't see Canonical addresses on Gnome's mailing lists, see very little in the way of downstream patches pushed to upstream, and for a company that is trying to outdo the Mac I see no discussion at all on GTK and Gnome 3 when you would have thought that this would have been vitally important to them.

In short, it's all hot air.

Reply Parent Score: 4