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

No. He praised the open-source driver which is YET to be as good as the binary blob. In fact, I understand very well the necessity and the usefulness of having an open-source nVIDIA driver. I mentioned "on my card" because someone would otherwise come with the Universal It WorksForMe Argument.

Not that you'd understand, but most users ARE shortsighted, short term and selfish. Yes, I'm able to put up with even broken drivers if needed, but the average guy will think Linux sucks and move back to Windows cause his drivers work!

End users can support this by being patient and looking long term.

"I want the one with better gee-bees." Yes, that's gonna work so well for them.

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.

It doesn't, but it offers a USABLE desktop. That's what people don't get and that's why even now I have to jump through hoops to install basic playback support in Fedora. Ubuntu? It's one click away. As they say, it just works.

Edited 2010-09-15 12:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

r_a_trip Member since:

I totally get what you are saying, but being a Linux user is something different than being a mere entitled consumer of whatever the vendor stuffed down your throat. It takes an active decision to become a Linux user, you don't inadvertently stumble over a retail Linux computer and get it home without knowing what you bought.

The only point I would like people to realize for themselves is that the privileges that Linux gives you as an end user should come with the realization that those privileges are a result of the "obligations" that using the platform brings. To be able to sustain the freedom in the platform, it is necessary to look beyond small and short term inconveniences from time to time and see if the rough new technology can be accelerated.

Everybody dumped on Ubuntu for the premature inclusion of PulseAudio, but in the end, it accelerated the stabilization of the sound daemon for the betterment of everybodies experience. Same with Nouveau. Fedora is to be applauded for it. (Even if I find their general no-closed-bits policy a bit too strict).

I'm not against making it easy to add the closed bits and bobs in a humanly feasible way (Yay Medibuntu), but it should not be the whole focus. We also need long term open code and even more important, real collaboration on fundamental infrastructure that the whole community depends upon. Including the end users supporting the developers, when they temporarily break things to make stuff fundamentally better.

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:

"being a Linux user is something different than being a mere entitled consumer of whatever the vendor stuffed down your throat"

Choosing to be an active member of a FOSS community may include social obligation but being an end user has none. Most people don't care about how the software was developed just so long as they press the power button and blinky lights turn on. This elitist arrogant attitude that it has to be something different is a problem not a benefit that attacks new users. "oh, you didn't suffer like I did back in the day with Slackware" yeah.. well.. when I started, you had to boot a floppy and prey your ftp connection didn't fail mid way through a critical package.. while walking up hill too and from the computer shed.. in dead of winter.. with a turnip on our belt and wolves on our heals.. - who give's a shit. This isn't a religious trial; one must be this pias to compute here. That's IBM priesthood bullshit not hackerdom. So what if new users don't have to go the rough early distro days? Just be glad they have any interest in using the platform; maybe they grow into contributing good little Cathlinux's and maybe they never develop beyond being simple users. Either way, most users can at least help convincing hardware and game vendors to pay more attention.

"you don't inadvertently stumble over a retail Linux computer and get it home without knowing what you bought"


Reply Parent Score: 2