Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Sep 2010 22:42 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu If there's one consistent piece of criticism that gets lobbed in Canonical's and Mark Shuttleworth's direction, it's that they do not contribute enough code - or anything else for that matter - to the Free software world. Mark Shuttleworth has apparently had enough, and has written a very, very lengthy blog post detailing how he feels about this criticism.
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ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

Why? Because Ubuntu made Linux visible and usable for a lot of people and end users.

That's a lot of contribution.

Reply Parent Score: 5

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

Why? Because Ubuntu made Linux visible and usable for a lot of people and end users.

That's a lot of contribution.


"contribution" to what? The end-users perhaps (which is called distribution), not the linux community.

As an example I put PackageKit, developed by Fedora in a distribution-agnostic way. Then comes Archlinux, who provides a module for their package management system. That is collaboration of two members of the linux community in a common technology.

Ubuntu doesn't do anything like that.

So, how would an Evil Canonical behave? Isn't gathering end-users pretty much what any company tries to do? So how is Canonical not being a self-interested, non-collaborative leecher?

Reply Parent Score: 2

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Man, I do not know if Ubuntu contributes and collaborates with the Linux or GNOME community through source code, but they contribute to make the whole Linux software stack available to end users. Such kind of contribution is not technical at all, but I do not see it as less important:
If you are a great developer and you do not have a channel to reach to your final user, the pristine code you write will just be useful for one person: you... If you write your code and you have also a team that compiles it, distributes it, sells it and makes it popular... don't you think such team is collaborating and contributing indirectly to your work? I do think so.

Edited 2010-09-15 02:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

The end-users perhaps (which is called distribution), not the linux community.


Making such a clear distinction between the "Community" and "end-users" worries me...

It is a worrying sign of the mentality which is holding some OSS projects back as far as the "ready for the desktop" kind of realm is concerned... where UI design, usability, sane defaults, and a generally "it just works" feeling rule or should rule.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Why? Because Ubuntu made Linux visible and usable for a lot of people and end users.

That's a lot of contribution.


Contribution to make Linux more usable? show me 6 contributions that have made Linux more usable. I can't think of a single thing that comes to mind right now of something that is home grown by them that actually helps when it comes to usability.

Reply Parent Score: 3

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Off the top of my head. One CD distro. They weren't first but definitely the best at the time. And no I don't need examples of some hacked Fedora image that wasn't half a DVD's worth of crap. Ubuntu's installer was better and still is, imo, than any other distro. Pop in the cd, see if it works, install. Fast boot times and shutdown times, and no I don't need to see a hacked version of Damn Small Linux with a hacked kernel that can boot faster, yeah good luck getting a new user to use that.

I've been using Linux since Debian Potato, When Red Hat basically dropped the desktop user market and decided to make the guinea pig bate Fedora. I moved to that after going through Mandrake, and Suse. The first time I popped in Ubuntu, it was like a breath of fresh air, one cd, 10 minute install and very little crap installed that I don't need. Debian's apt-get (best package manager imo) and a huge repo. NOTHING, other than maybe debian after being hacked and prodded to oblivion, even came close and still doesn't. The amount of repos, launchpad packages, and sites just dedicated to Ubuntu is staggering compared to anything else.

Finally the biggest usability feature that Ubuntu had compared to other distros. The community. They wouldn't berate you for asking a newb question, you can almost always find answers to almost any Linux issue in their forums. DO a google search and the first queries usually point you to their forums with an answer. Compare that to the other communities at the time. You couldn't even go to the debian forum without someone jumping down your throat if you asked a simple question. Fedora was almost the same with all the Redhat gurus except everyone knew that all the users were there as test subjects. "Get RHEL" they would say, if you don't want to deal with simple installer issues. Suse support was almost dismal as they expected users to rely on the admittedly great documentation at the time, or since you most likely had bought it retail you could contact someone for support. Mandrake was probably the most friendly but the distro was always cutting edge, beautiful, but a hacky, buggy piece of shit. Its like they didn't even test the thing before release. Trust me what Ubuntu has done for quality control alone in distroland is a HUGE contribution, imo.

Oh and before Ubuntu most distros that had any modicum of polish wanted to charge you for something you would most likely replace in 6 months with a newer version and they weren't even that polished or worth the cash, imo. Now I like to pay for things but not what passed for "desktop" linux not that long ago.

Edited 2010-09-15 04:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

One CD, Wubi, Ubiquity, sane defaults, themes that don't look like out of Windows 95, Papercuts. I'm sure I could give out even more examples.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Why? Because Ubuntu made Linux visible and usable for a lot of people and end users.

That's a lot of contribution.

First fact:
Pretty much all usability work in GNOME ("the Linux GUI") was done by Sun.

Second fact:
Canonical does not make "Linux" visible. In fact they try very hard to avoid using that term at all on ubuntu.com.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Canonical does not make "Linux" visible. In fact they try very hard to avoid using that term at all on ubuntu.com.


Right, because Apple talks about XNU on apple.com/macosx all the time, and the Windows 7 page is riddled with references to the NT kernel.

Funny how people hammer on and on about how Linux is not an operating system, yet when Ubuntu adheres to that meme, it's suddenly an evil plot to destroy Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 3

collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

like mandriva, opensuse, xandros, linspire...

you remember corel linux?
it existed a lot of years before ubuntu and was very user friendly...

Reply Parent Score: 2