Linked by David Adams on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 16:05 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Linux As we mentioned in a previous article, Red Hat advocate Greg DeKoenigsberg claimed that due to the much larger amount of code it's contributed, Red Hat is a better open source citizen than Canonical, adding, "Canonical is a marketing organization masquerading as an engineering organization." A Computerworld blog retorts that that's no insult; and that marketing Linux could be just as important to the cause as contributing code. Updated
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Lunitik
Member since:
2005-08-07

Thing is, if people spend their money on Canonical instead of Red Hat, where does that leave Linux as a whole?

Canonical even has a stated goal of not reinventing anything themselves - that means they would never create things like udev or dbus, which have both made Linux a whole lot better. Granted they've changed this, but those changes are being done behind closed doors for the most part. Things like Unity are just bad, the whole community is working on gnome-shell, but Canonical has to do their own thing?

If Canonical wins, Linux loses. You can't have multiple enterprise leaders in the Linux sphere, Novell proved that. Red Hat has to win in that arena for Linux to keep improving rapidly since they're the only ones actually driving Linux as a whole forward.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Both Vistauser and Lunitik make the point that if Ubuntu “wins” and Redhat looses this is bad for Linux, however, this seems to me to be based on a wrong headed view, Linux is not a single hierarchical structure with all the contributers attempting to race to the top. Its not a case of Redhat or Canonical assuming “the” leadership role but “a” leadership role. I think this wrong headed view may explain why Lunitik “hates” Ubuntu which is a shame.

Now turning to some other points, It seems to me that through Ubuntu, Conical has tried to create a usable desktop, and make it known, and available to ordinary users. To this it has had some success. I disagree with Lunitik that Shipit was a waste of time, for me it was the only way to get Linux I was on a 33K modem (with only a lease line alternative) at the time and the nearest Linux magazine a 200 mile round trip (although I did get a Suse boxed set once). Certainly Shipit was significant for me, less so now that broad band is now beginning to penetrate even into darkest Africa. I have tended to stick with Ubuntu and not because it is crap, having used Xandros and Mandrake in the past I would say that Ubuntu is certainly better than Xandros and I prefer its less proprietary philosophy, more to my taste than Mandrake now Mandriva and as a desktop more responsive and easier to setup than Opensuse. Is Ubuntu bug free - no but is Fedora or even a non Linux OSes such as Vista? No for me on the desktop no bug has been a showstopper and usually easy to fix or work round.

I don't see, how Canonicals effort here has damaged Redhat and would argue that Ubuntu has improved the culture of Linux for desktop users from the bad old RFM power of the commandline days. Is Canonical steeling business from Redhat? on this I think I would take an old fashioned competition is a good thing line, but are they even in competition? If I was setting up a Enterprise IT system I wouldn't be thinking about Canonical (am I being unfair - possibly) but here Redhat is dominant. One might consider using Ubuntu server in a small to medium sized business where Canonical aims its Ubuntu server. I would have thought that CentOS was more damaging to Redhats business than Canonical.

Would I like to see Canonical make more contributions upstream, yes, but I understand Canonical has had some difficulty getting some of its modifications excepted upstream. I have no doubt that Canonical has no wish to kill the goose that lays the golden egg and little doubt that canonical will attempt to play its part as a good citizen

Edited 2010-08-04 08:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

Red Hat basically hires every important developer in the Linux ecosystem. They are leaders in every facet of Linux, and they are the single most innovative company in the open source arena. Canonical is a bit player, they do not innovate as a rule. I wish people would stop crediting Canonical for getting the word out about Ubuntu too, that was their users by way of word of mouth. Canonical has never had a hand in that.

All you can actually say about Canonical's contributions to the desktop is they have created nice themes - and even then, most do not like their color schemes. People read reviews, and they dislike distros like Fedora because of the default theme, not realizing that it is trivial to change such cosmetic things. Beyond that, they have created tiny semi-useful tools like computer-janitor and done things in a lazy way such as apport and upstart. They have also ridden the coat-tails of Debian and Synaptic and built on top of those tools some nice interfaces for package management. They do next to nothing within important upstreams that span the entire community, and don't deserve any type of leadership role because of this.

You don't see how taking money away from Red Hat - away from the guys actually developing software - is damaging? Can you imagine where Linux would be if Canonical put Red Hat out of business? Canonical has no development expertise, they are a packaging company that can throw together lame python apps that do simple tasks. Until they start contributing in a significant way, I will always consider them leeches.

You know what other companies do when their contributions don't get accepted? They clean them up until they are acceptable. It really speaks volumes in my opinion to the Canonical developers skills if they can't get things accepted in places like GNOME, it means either they can't write portable code, or their coding standards are laughable.

Reply Parent Score: 5