Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Mar 2013 16:13 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shuttleworth: "I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say." He's right. Lots of interesting insights in this blog post - I may not agree with everything Ubuntu does, but at least it's doing something.
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RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Fri 8th Mar 2013 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

It's kind of a double-edged sword. Desktop Linux has been a 'thing' for about 15 years (give or take a few), and they still don't have shit to show for it. I mean, what are they rocking these days... about 1% market share? It's obvious that what they're doing is not working, so somebody has to take the bull by the horns and do something different, if you don't want to see desktop Linux rocking a 1% marketshare still in 2020.

The problem hasn't been technical ability nor direction, it's been more finances. Shuttleworth has basically been running Canonical out of his own pocket to get it to the stage it's at today. But Ubuntu wasn't the first "desktop Linux" with Shuttleworth's vision (albeit without Shuttleworth at the helm) - sadly all of Ubuntu's predecessors have basically fallen by the wayside because they simple were not sustainable.

Desktop computing is such a tough nut to crack (between Microsoft's monopoly on PCs and Apple seen as the "go to" whenever anyone gets jaded about PCs/windows) that it takes a bottomless pit of cash.

I think this is also the reason why Canonical are moving Ubuntu onto mobile platforms as well. All this talk about "the desktop/laptop are dying" is sensationalistic crap, however it's also not a market that's likely to see exponential growth again. So I can't blame Canonical for wanting to hedge their bets. And let's be honest, the mobile / tablet market is far from stable at the moment so as much as Ubuntu has an uphill battle there, I think it's more of an achievable goal than desktop Ubuntu being anything more than a niche on the desktop.


If it breaks compatibility with all other distros, you know this is going to have to happen sooner or later, if you want more than the 1%. And I suspect that if Ubuntu really takes off, the other distros will follow its lead, so everything works with Ubuntu.

That's not the way how Canonical should be working though. I'm all for them driving change, but they should be working with the community. Instead they work in isolation and only really release the source as part of the OS releases. There isn't much (if anything) in the way of submitting patches back upsteam. So every other Linux developer and distro maintainer is expected to find any Ubuntu-fixes themselves and re-engineer those patches. It's not that far of how Google run Android these days.

Linux might have a number of things backwards (as I said before, it's far from perfect) and it might be terrible for fragmentation, but at least the community collaborated well. Canonical doesn't. And that's what worries me - I don't want Linux to become Shuttleworth's vision or the highway. I like the fact that there's a whole plethora of choices out there and the fact that they're all largely compatible with each other.


Personally though, I think desktop Linux is, and always will be, a 'hobbyist' OS. Having said that, I'm sure I'm going to get modded down for expressing that opinion on this site

I can't say I agree with you, but you're entitled to your opinion ;)

Edited 2013-03-08 18:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by Lunitik on Fri 8th Mar 2013 19:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

I think these announcements are an invitation for community involvement. Now that they actually have something to show, meaningful discussion can happen around that.

Canonical have a single vision, and that is where they want to invest. They aren't taking away any choice, they are providing a new one. Lots of people say "why do that when you can fix this?" or "we already have this, why do that?" but such statements are very ignorant. Just look at the current landscape, people are complaining about Mir because they think Wayland is software and we already have Xorg. Weston isn't being used anywhere right now, and even Xorg developers don't understand that codebase. Wayland introduces a new protocol needlessly because Xorg developers created it to be a simplified version of the same. It just isn't necessary...

Linux is about freedom, but I don't think we understand what freedom is. It isn't necessarily true that if they weren't working on or using one thing, they would be concentrating on the thing you care about. Just as likely is that they'd simply not be in the space at all, not contributing anything - which was a complaint people leveled at Canonical for a long time.

People are supporting Android, has that taken away from support for desktop Linux? Who is complaining that Google is competing with Gnome, KDE or Xorg? Who is clamoring for Google to adopt Weston? Where are the app developers clamoring to implement Wayland in their software?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by _txf_ on Fri 8th Mar 2013 20:18 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Weston isn't being used anywhere right now, and even Xorg developers don't understand that codebase. Wayland introduces a new protocol needlessly because Xorg developers created it to be a simplified version of the same. It just isn't necessary...


Just about everyone that works on weston and wayland has worked on X. The people working on Mir appear to be the ones that don't understand wayland and weston.

The main point behind everyone's derision is that they could have done everything Mir does on weston (or the wayland). The fact that they didn't understand this (or even ask the devs if it was possible) speaks volumes.

Canonical so far has sucked when doing Linux plumbing (i.e. few contributions). Even if they are correct in going their own way, they may lack experience about what works and what doesn't. They also lose community mentors that DO have the experience (Xorg and wayland devs).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by WorknMan on Fri 8th Mar 2013 20:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

That's not the way how Canonical should be working though. I'm all for them driving change, but they should be working with the community.


What the hell does that even mean? There is no 'community'; there's only people with 9,000 different opinions. It's not like you have thousands of people working toward a common goal, and Canonical going the opposite direction as everyone else. It's more like many groups who are doing their own thing, and somehow manage to cobble together an OS that actually works.

If Canonical has to say 'fuck all ya'll' and rebuild the whole thing from the ground up in order to build something that really feels cohesive, then I say go for it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by lucas_maximus on Sat 9th Mar 2013 09:50 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The problem with desktop Linux is due to

* Fragmentation.
* Backwards Compatibility (I mean for large programs released 10 years ago, not "I can compile the version of screen from 15 years ago".
* Drivers (and don't give me the speil about how it has more drivers than Windows, most of the drivers that aren't actively worked on are of poor quality).
* Lack of single vision.

While the situation is better than when I said fuck it and went back to Windows in 2006.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by Alfman on Sat 9th Mar 2013 15:24 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"The problem with desktop Linux is due to
* Fragmentation."

True, but on the other hand I'd honestly rather have more choices than a become dependent upon a single commercial entitee who's idea of a successful OS is vendor lock. At least with linux and open source in general one has a very practical hedge against monopolisation. That more than makes up for fragmentation in my opinion, but opinions will vary.

"* Backwards Compatibility (I mean for large programs released 10 years ago, not 'I can compile the version of screen from 15 years ago'."

Linux lacks kernel stability, which sucks, but I've found linux userspace application interfaces to be amazingly stable, do you have a real example we can try or are you just being hypothetical?


"* Drivers (and don't give me the speil about how it has more drivers than Windows, most of the drivers that aren't actively worked on are of poor quality)."

That's partly fair. But consider that the difference is that the hardware you've bought was manufacturer certified to run on your version of windows, while you probably failed to buy hardware certified for linux (right?). Still, as an engineer you should be *astonished* that you can even do this with linux and have a good chance that it will just work out of the box.

Edited 2013-03-09 15:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Sun 10th Mar 2013 12:24 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The problem with desktop Linux is due to

* Fragmentation.
* Backwards Compatibility (I mean for large programs released 10 years ago, not "I can compile the version of screen from 15 years ago".

You're just reiterating my point though.
Canonical are creating more unessential fragmentation and further breaking compatibility.


* Drivers (and don't give me the speil about how it has more drivers than Windows, most of the drivers that aren't actively worked on are of poor quality).

That's bullshit. But I expect no less from a windows fanboy.


* Lack of single vision.

Repetition. You already said fragmentation.


While the situation is better than when I said fuck it and went back to Windows in 2006.

So you've not used Linux in nearly a decade yet feel fully qualified to start a flame war. Nice one troll. But how about you actually comment on the topic (Shuttleworth and his vision of Linux) instead of constantly regurgitating your same half backed OS bigotry than you spew out whenever any topic other than Windows crops up.

Reply Parent Score: 2