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[5]: Rant disguised as keynote
by VistaUser on Sun 21st Sep 2008 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Rant disguised as keynote"
Member since:

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:

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:

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.

No, but the notion that Ubuntu is the only distribution providing a half-decent installer is complete baloney. When anyone is pushed as to what Ubuntu actually does the only thing you usually get back is "Oh, it's user friendly" painting over the fact that it's really no better than what OpenSuse, Fedora or one of the other smaller distros like PCLinux are putting together.

Reply Parent Score: 4

KAMiKAZOW Member since:

I'm sorry, but I fail to find the innovations. Don't compare Ubuntu just to Debian. Debian was never been meant to be easily installable be Joe User. Debian is made for servers and system administrators. Other distros made moves similar to Ubuntu before.

Cannonical wrote a new installer. Wow, basically every distro does that. I remember Caldera Open Desktop (or whatever it was called) from around 1999. Its installer was great. Yeah, the hardware had to be mostly manually configured by that time but it was as easy as it could get; and later it offered the user to play Tetris. That was awesome.
It took other distros years to catch up with its usability.
The problem with Ubuntu's installer is that it's too simple. It doesn't offer a real "advanced" installation routine if the user wants to. The user has to get the Alternate CD that comes with a text mode installation.
Compare that to YaST: Inexperienced users can just click "Next".

I've first seen a live CD installer in BeOS. The same applies for a Windows based installer that installed the OS into a virtual partition (BeOS 5 Personal Edition did that).
OK, that's not Linux and that stuff was not open source, but IIRC Knoppix came before Ubuntu and did that whole live CD installer thing.

Ubuntu replaced a few default applications, eg. ship Firefox by default and not a gazillion apps that all do the same. Ubuntu was hardly the first distro to do that. My example is again Caldera Open Desktop. I got that one from a magazine CD. Unlike "old SuSE" Caldera didn't ship on 5 CDs, but 1. I can't remember which defaults Caldera used (hey, it's been 10 years) but I was a total Linux noob then and I was not confused.

Most of GNOME's polish comes from Sun Microsystems, not Ubuntu. And KDE... well... not really polished at all:

Reply Parent Score: 3