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 zcal on Fri 8th Mar 2013 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
zcal
Member since:
2012-07-27

I just can't understand why we continually come back to the issue of "market share" as it pertains to the "Linux desktop". The fact of the matter is that "Linux desktops" will always be cobbled together from a jumble of parts because the community and open source philosophies allow it. That's not a bad thing because it gives users more control over the tools that are their computers. And yes, that also means that "Linux" will lose out on "market share" because most computer users just want something prepackaged and uniform.

If Canonical wants to chase market share, fine. They're a commercial entity and will behave as such. And if they gain customers by breaking compatibility with other "Linux" focused projects, they'll likely draw from a crowd who wouldn't have been interested in open source or the community, anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by Lunitik on Fri 8th Mar 2013 19:49 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

What you describe is great for servers, use the best tool to deliver your services, great. Canonical have addressed this with juju and various other tools focused at developers.

Not everyone uses their system as a tool though, many want to also use their systems to play and be social. Market share in and of itself isn't important, but what it does show is a kind of democracy, people are voting with their money. In this way, it is a meaningful statistic. It means we need to look at those who are popular in the space and find ways to become more attractive.

In the server and developer spaces, Linux enthusiasts know what to deliver because they are just creating things to make their own lives easier. It is entirely symbiotic, the tools are created as a function of trying to use the system. This breaks down though when you are trying to design an appealing desktop. Many Linux enthusiasts still insist the commandline is the best interface, and for them it is far more productive. That doesn't cut it though for those that do not care about the details of an operating system, that just want to communicate with friends and play games.

They are voting for those systems that do not necessitate them becoming computer scientists, and it is wrong to ignore them. Not only is it wrong, but it goes against the primary reason for Free Software. We aren't enabling them to use free technology because the barrier to entry is so high. This only really harms us, we have to explain why their closed file format or protocol can't be accessed by us, and so we give Free Software a bad reputation. Further, it makes it more difficult to argue for open alternatives, where if they simply preferred the open platform, they would end up using the open software just because it is the default on their system.

Users do not care about the details, but if Windows remains the standard then we have to support the protocols they give users. Same with Apple and whoever else. Microsoft has started contributing to Open Source in the server space because it is what people demand. Creating a Linux system that has the same traction on the client side will force these companies to implement open standards in that space too.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by zcal on Fri 8th Mar 2013 20:56 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
zcal Member since:
2012-07-27

I'm afraid you've missed my point. Ubuntu, whether using pieces integral to the Linux ecosystem or not, is what stands to gain or lose market share. The "Linux desktop" is a blanket term that people use to try to narrow a wide range of overlapping, conflicting, competing, and modular parts. It doesn't exist as a tangible entity.

And you're right, most users don't care about the details. They care about what they see: the UI. But using an operating system skinned with Gnome, KDE, Unity, etc. isn't going to skew the development of lower level system functionality.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by WorknMan on Fri 8th Mar 2013 20:23 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

If Canonical wants to chase market share, fine. They're a commercial entity and will behave as such. And if they gain customers by breaking compatibility with other "Linux" focused projects, they'll likely draw from a crowd who wouldn't have been interested in open source or the community, anyway


Isn't that kind of the point though? Right now, you've got about 1% of users on desktop Linux. Canonical wants to go after the other 99%. They could call it 'Occupy Desktop' ;) Bahaha!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by zcal on Fri 8th Mar 2013 20:43 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
zcal Member since:
2012-07-27

I'd imagine Canonical wants to get that other 99% onto Ubuntu, specifically.

Reply Parent Score: 1