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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What Canonical does is reminiscent of the old UNIX vendors. Just futz in your own code base and don't pay attention to compatibility with your competition. The different versions of UNIX, fundamentally incompatible with each other, did that platform in. Until the advent of Canonical's version of contributing, Linux and the associated projects were consistent and source compatible over the different distros. Now we have the traditional "Linux" projects and the increasingly incompatible Canonical versions of it (with their Indicator framework, Windicator framework, Unity interface, Upstart, etc.) How long before an application written on Ubuntu doesn't work on any non-buntu distribution?

That's the problem and that draws the criticism. Not their end user marketing and care for their user base, which is outstanding.

What he said! (The emphasis was mine on what I think is the most thoughtful observation so far that nobody seems to be willing to address.)

While I have little to no problem with the fact that Ubuntu gives a higher visibility to Linux outside of technical realms which obviously benefits the Linux platform and nobody is denying that, it baffles me that many *seasoned* FOSS users here cannot see outside of their shitty brown desktop and realize that Canonical is not exactly a good team player. They do not give enough back to the codebase that they tap into to develop their own product!

Imagine if everybody else took a page from the Ubuntu conduct and said "Screw this! I'm taking the ball home with me!" and all of a sudden Ubuntu can no longer take advantage of Debian's enhancements because it is too damn hard to figure out what is going on in the code and it would have to employ additional resources and duplicate a lot of efforts just to get parity or everybody gets stuck with the current NetworkManager and/or KVM because RedHat is no longer opening the god damn code and keeping the enhancements to themselves or some such silliness...

But fine... If all that you want is the bling, stupid-proof user experience that keeps getting more and more unstable with each iteration - and this is coming from a proud Sid user! - that has to be reinstalled every six months because it will not survive an upgrade then I guess that it is easy to overlook such glaring faults.

Meanwhile the rest of us will keep rooting for those companies, communities and individual developers that actually contribute to the overall Linux platform.

Edited 2010-09-15 16:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

You do realise that distributions were incompatible with one another long before Ubuntu, right?

Reply Parent Score: 1

DeadFishMan Member since:

You do realise that distributions were incompatible with one another long before Ubuntu, right?

Hell yeah! That's why it is nearly impossible to have GNOME in all these different distributions... Oh, wait...

Reply Parent Score: 4

felipec Member since:

You do realise that distributions were incompatible with one another long before Ubuntu, right?

That's irrelevant; they all share the same upstream code.

Reply Parent Score: 1