Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Oct 2010 19:00 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Well, this is sure to raise a few eyebrows here and there. Today, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Mark Shuttleworth held his keynote speech, and in it, he announced that Ubuntu will switch to the Unity user interface come release, for both the netbook as well as the desktop, leaving the GNOME user interface behind (but keeping the GNOME platform).
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Meh!
by DeadFishMan on Tue 26th Oct 2010 18:10 UTC
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

I don't really have a horse to pick on this race being an user of neither desktop shell for the most part but Canonical's actions have been troubling me for a while and I think that this gentleman, whose incredibly insightful and timely accurate post I am copying verbatim from Ars, nailed it.

Okay, I can't just continue to sit by and let this continue without any fact-checking. There's so much misinformation in this article and the comments; it's really disappointing. Especially coming from Ars.

First, Zeitgeist hasn't been rejected for 3.0; the proposal period just ended today. It was previously rejected for lack of project coordination and quality issues but things have improved. Decision is a ways off.

Second, Canonical has not participated in any of the design process with regard to GNOME 3.0, at all. With regard to performance, they haven't contributed any code to Mutter or Clutter (even though they've been using it for over a year) or even raised their concerns on IRC or on the Shell/Mutter mailing lists.

On the contrary, they have been actively working to fork the GNOME experience since two weeks after the 2008 GNOME User Experience Hackfest in which all *designer* attendees agreed on a new notification principals and a new GNOME shell design which came to be called GNOME Shell, later. Ted Gould made the first commit to what became notification-applet two weeks after that UX Hackfest and right before the 2008 Boston Summit (source http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~indicator- ... revision/1 ); he attended the 2008 Summit and said nothing of Canonical's plans or objections, there (source http://live.gnome.org/Boston2008/Participants ). Notification-applet implements a standard submitted to freedesktop.org by KDE, by the way, and was already rejected by the GNOME community at the time of this first commit. None of the work on the standard was done by Canonical; they merely implemented it. To imply that they designed anything would by revising history.

Ted Gould, on behalf of Canonical, attended the *2009* Boston Summit in which vast and wide-ranging Shell and user experience topics were discussed. I documented the entire conference (with help from a few others) here http://jasondclinton.livejournal.com/tag/summit . Ted said nothing in any of those sessions; he did attend. I kept looking at him trying to read his facial expressions since Canonical has been utterly silent, but he said not a word. (He did chip in on the Geolocation session.)

Specifically with regard to Ted attending but not participating on behalf of Canonical, I don't know what his marching orders were and so I cannot fault him personally for the actions of his employer. We don't know what Mark's plan has been all along because Canonical has been nothing but silent about design issues--and because Ubuntu is a top-down organization.

Last, they haven't contributed any work to making the open source 3D drivers work without installing the proprietary bits. All of that heavy lifting has been--and is still--being done by Red Hat with community contributions. If indeed they manage to get a wide swath of graphics card working on Compiz; it will be because of work *NOT* done by Canonical.

It's been said before by many others in various forms with actual evidence backing it up but it's still true today: Canonical excels at PR but fails at substance. Sadly.

In any event, Canonical has always been a bad community member and if they continue to wonder off in their own direction, it doesn't really hurt the rest of us because they've been contributing absolutely nothing in the way of actual upstream code. Best of luck to them.


I, together with others, have been saying for a while that Canonical talks the talk but does NOT walk the walk when it comes to collaborate on a truly free and open source manner and we were sometimes treated as if we were saying some heresy here.

If Canonical wants to differentiate its products from its competitors, it is OK by me. In fact, they really should do it if they really want to stand out from the crowd. Just do not pretend to be a FOSS player because it is clear where its interests are...

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