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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felipec
Member since:
2007-09-25

Canonical make Linux more accessible to a wider audience and try to make some things that have haunted Linux for years, much easier.


Imagine Canonical was evil and selfish. What would be their objective? They would want their product to be successful (as is the only way to survive), so they need users, and the way to do that is with a good user experience.

Nobody is denying that they have done good things for Ubuntu. The observation is that its only for Ubuntu, which means Canonical is not a member of the linux community, and that's fine, but they shouldn't be pulling PR stunts trying to make believe like they are.

Installation of hardware drivers like the NVIDIA graphics driver. It's so easy to install, you just activate it, simple. New users want 3D accelerated drivers, especially Windows users and they don't want to add repositories, find which packages to install, which is guess work to them.


That is fine, but Fedora goes for the home run; a public, completely open source driver that has no license issues and can be used by all the distributions.

Simple installation. Now Linux isn't exactly hard to install but the Ubuntu installer doesn't give hardly any of that verbose crap new users want to see. It's easy to install and says what it can do during the install.


Same with many other distributions which you have obviously not tried; e.g Fedora, OpenSUSE.

Media. Prompt people to install codecs easy and Flash. In fact, that happens in Rhythmbox for mp3 playback. they also provide cloud storage and a music store for main stream music which new users want.


This wasn't developed by Canonical, and in fact it was deployed first on Fedora IIRC.

Software Centre. It may need some work but it's a ton better than some of the package managers out there.


Clearly you haven't tried PackageKit, which was developed by Fedora, for all distributions and all package managers, and eventually Ubuntu would also use it.

Most Linux distros just don't care about the above things and that's why they will never meet the needs of the average computer buyer. If you like Linux like me and can use any distro, fine but don't expect the mass of people to do it, because it's not going to happen, they need something like Ubuntu.


They do care, but doing things right takes more time.

There will be eventually a company that has the right talent to create good UIs and is a good member of the open source community. At that point Ubuntu would disappear into oblivion just like it came.

Canonical could do more in fixing the lower stack of Linux that's for sure(graphics drivers), but it's not like Canonical close source their software or hide it behind closed doors(Novell did at one point with Compiz).


Canonical doesn't need to fix anything, they just need to make their code distribution agnostic, and perhaps push things in a truly open source way. See how Fedora made PackageKit available to everyone for example. But they simply don't care.

And you are mistaken, Novell closed Xgl, compiz is something totally different.

Reply Parent Score: 3

dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

Imagine Canonical was evil and selfish. What would be their objective? They would want their product to be successful (as is the only way to survive), so they need users, and the way to do that is with a good user experience.

A company is by definition selfish.

That is fine, but Fedora goes for the home run; a public, completely open source driver that has no license issues and can be used by all the distributions.

Which, last I heard, is still worse than the binary blob and at least on my card doesn't offer 3D acceleration.

Same with many other distributions which you have obviously not tried; e.g Fedora, OpenSUSE.

Yes, because things like LVM make so much sense to the home user!

Clearly you haven't tried PackageKit, which was developed by Fedora, for all distributions and all package managers, and eventually Ubuntu would also use it.

Yet Software Center is the easiest front-end. People like big buttons and fluffy clouds.

Canonical doesn't need to fix anything, they just need to make their code distribution agnostic, and perhaps push things in a truly open source way. See how Fedora made PackageKit available to everyone for example. But they simply don't care.

Why doesn't pacman work in Ubuntu? There, I suppose Arch is a selfish and evil distribution!

Reply Parent Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Which, last I heard, is still worse than the binary blob and at least on my card doesn't offer 3D acceleration.

Shortsighted, short term and selfish. I want a driver that works now, doesn't have rough edges, long term viability be damned.

Yes, Ubuntu does deliver the short term solution. What the Fedora project is aiming at is complete independence from the whims of NVidia. Long term we don't want to be dependent on when NVidia deigns to update their driver for the new X-server. We don't want to be dependent on NVidia to support new technology like KMS. Long term we don't want to depend on NVidia for support for our older videocards. Using Nouveau as the default solves that problem long term.

End users can support this by being patient and looking long term. Yes, now it's rough, but when we get through the rough patch, we have good and lasting support. It used to be that that was what it meant being a Linux user and part of the community. We were all along for the ride to ever better software, even if it gets hairy here and there.

The current "I want it all and I want it now!" sense of entitlement won't lead to a sustainable Freedom Software platform. Short term inclusion of closed bits and bobs doesn't solve the long term problem of being free of these shackling dependencies.

Reply Parent Score: 3

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

"Imagine Canonical was evil and selfish. What would be their objective? They would want their product to be successful (as is the only way to survive), so they need users, and the way to do that is with a good user experience.

A company is by definition selfish.
"
But a company that collaborates (RedHat) is less selfish than a company that doesn't (Canonical). The point here is that RedHat could be more evil by not collaborating, Canonical doesn't really have any steps up in evilness.

"That is fine, but Fedora goes for the home run; a public, completely open source driver that has no license issues and can be used by all the distributions.

Which, last I heard, is still worse than the binary blob and at least on my card doesn't offer 3D acceleration.
"
That's NVIDIA's fault, not RedHat's. Fedora is trying to help their users in a collaborative/free way, while giving the users the option to use NVIDIA by using a 3rd party repository. Ubuntu is hardly helping the situation at all. IOW Fedora is part of the solution, Ubuntu is not.

At some point the open driver would work just fine, in part thanks to Fedora, and then Ubuntu will jump the bandwagon claiming that they are giving their users the best experience... but in reality they hardly did anything.

"Same with many other distributions which you have obviously not tried; e.g Fedora, OpenSUSE.

Yes, because things like LVM make so much sense to the home user!
"
So do partitions. The user don't have to ever see them. Just say "automatic" and Fedora will pick a sensible default that would not affect your experience at all if you don't know what a partition or a volume is.

"Clearly you haven't tried PackageKit, which was developed by Fedora, for all distributions and all package managers, and eventually Ubuntu would also use it.

Yet Software Center is the easiest front-end. People like big buttons and fluffy clouds.
"
Ubuntu is going to move to PackageKit, that's a fact you can see in their notes. If they don't like the UI they can change it, or they can make "Software Center" use PackageKit's backed. You see, it was designed to fit the needs of everyone.

Ubuntu could repay the favor by improving PackageKit's UI; i.e. contributing, but I guess that would be too much to ask.

"Canonical doesn't need to fix anything, they just need to make their code distribution agnostic, and perhaps push things in a truly open source way. See how Fedora made PackageKit available to everyone for example. But they simply don't care.

Why doesn't pacman work in Ubuntu? There, I suppose Arch is a selfish and evil distribution!
"
You are punching yourself; pacman does work in Ubuntu, just like in any other distribution, I've used it in Fedora; it doesn't conflict with the system's package manager. But you chose a very bad example anyway, because by definition the package management system is the single most important thing that defines a distribution; you wouldn't want to change that unless you are creating your own distro.

Reply Parent Score: 1

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

I didn't say Ubuntu made the codec install easy, I said it's easy in their distro. Other distros just don't have this setup right or they don't have the repos to support the codecs that are being asked for.

As for Packagekit, yeah it's pretty decent(Note that I didn't mention it as one of the bad package managers) but as pointed out on planet GNOME, the update systems' descriptions of it's updates are very ambiguous.

Edited 2010-09-15 13:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

I didn't say Ubuntu made the codec install easy, I said it's easy in their distro. Other distros just don't have this setup right or they don't have the repos to support the codecs that are being asked for.

Have you tried or are you just guessing? It works just fine here.

Reply Parent Score: 1