Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Apr 2017 17:28 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth, dropping a bombshell on a boring Wednesday:

We are wrapping up an excellent quarter and an excellent year for the company, with performance in many teams and products that we can be proud of. As we head into the new fiscal year, it's appropriate to reassess each of our initiatives. I'm writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.


I took the view that, if convergence was the future and we could deliver it as free software, that would be widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry, where there is substantial frustration with the existing, closed, alternatives available to manufacturers. I was wrong on both counts. In the community, our efforts were seen fragmentation not innovation. And industry has not rallied to the possibility, instead taking a 'better the devil you know' approach to those form factors, or investing in home-grown platforms. What the Unity8 team has delivered so far is beautiful, usable and solid, but I respect that markets, and community, ultimately decide which products grow and which disappear.

That just happened.

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RE[3]: Finally
by DeadFishMan on Thu 6th Apr 2017 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Finally"
Member since:

You do realize that Upstart precedes and was actually one of the reasons behind systemd creation, don't you?

I'm not an Ubuntu user (it is openSUSE all the way for me) but I never understood all the hate toward them, even by Debian people when Debian was not on anyone radar to be the suggested choice for newbies.

It always smelled like a kind of prejudice and envy because, for some time, Ubuntu were the only distribution really biased toward making Linux easy for newcomers.

All of us that love Linux systems should recognize that the Ubuntu guys not only identified problems at hand but also worked hard to fix them, even if they did not got it right sometimes.

Have a pint Ubuntu guys, best wishes from an openSUSE user.

Ah, that's easy! Canonical has always had a weird attitude towards the rest of the Linux ecosystem including its parent distro Debian, a strong NIH syndrome which leads to their strong unwillingness to cooperate at any level with others, proposing stupid things like CLAs that benefits only one side, pushing unwanted "features" such as Mir, Unity, Upstart, libindicator, etc. even when the alternatives are tried and tested in the field and thus clearly better among a few other things. They strive their best to distance themselves from the "Linux brand" even though that's where they made their fortune on.

Its users also kind of deserve some of the blame due to their naivety to the point of crediting Ubuntu and Canonical for good stuff that they clearly didn't do such as better hardware support - that one fuckin' KILLS ME every time! - and don't get me started on those articles on Linux sites that supposedly show things like "amazing FTP client for Ubuntu" and when you see the article, it is talking about plain old Filezilla, as if it is some sort of Ubuntu thing.

I do agree that when Ubuntu first came out, there was room for a distro tailored for newbies, with good hardware detection (even if it was essentially Debian Testing and standard GNOME repackaged) but that was a long time ago. Ubuntu is no longer above the others in this regard and it hasn't been for a long time despite what the "experts" say.

I am happy that they managed to dig a good niche for them in the cloud and the IoT businesses as they actually do a lot of good work and deserve the credit for it despite their weird attitude towards open source in general. But I for one will not miss some of the garbage and attrition that they unnecessarily brought to the table...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Finally
by ssokolow on Thu 6th Apr 2017 21:28 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
ssokolow Member since:


This. If there was ever a case of a new implementation of an existing spec (KStatusNotifierItem) hurting the original implementation, it's libindicator.

For the longest time, I worked very hard to purge any DBus-based tray icons from my system because the effects of libindicator's crippled API wrapper were all I knew.

(The protocol doesn't force you to make your primary action a menu. That's libindicator. KDE apps actually do what makes sense... which is often exactly what the old XEmbed tray icons did. ...and because Unity bound primary action to Left AND Right and secondary to Middle, most developers didn't know there WAS a secondary action and didn't hook one up.)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Finally
by acobar on Thu 6th Apr 2017 22:16 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
acobar Member since:

Hum, the CLA episode was clearly the result of them overestimating their position and underestimating the compromises developers were willing to accept. Really bad done from any perspective, blame the lawyers and PHB on that.

About Upstart, I already said what I wanted, it was kind of needed at that time but not very well conceived. Almost the same could be said about Mir and Unity, the first iterations of Wayland and Gnome were really bad.

Its users also kind of deserve some of the blame due to their naivety to the point of crediting Ubuntu and Canonical for good stuff that they clearly didn't do such as better hardware support - that one fuckin' KILLS ME every time! ...

You see, that is what I'am talking about. They never claimed to have invented things that already existed, at least, not that I remember so, but they applied the patches available before most would (many times hurriedly) do to try to fix the issues at hand. They also tried to make the desktop beautiful, what is certainly important to attract regular users. People started to put Ubuntu on their computers when they would not give any other Linux a try. My entire University installed a version of Ubuntu on public computers.

So, why and where the hate came from? Because someone with not enough knowledge attributed to Ubuntu things that were not really developed by them and the actual developers felt they were not recognized and prized by their hard efforts. Most of the distributions collect patches and apply them without crediting the origin of them on release notes, just like Ubuntu does, why are developers not crying foul about it? Because Ubuntu was the first distro to really break in and attract a significative wave of newcomers and the actual developers felt like the distros they worked for were pretermitted. They started to look at Ubuntu with a mix of prejudice and envy instead of ponder about problems related to human habit of misplace credits. Do they need better examples than our politicians and regular voters when figuring out this huge problem of attribution ignorance? I will repeat what my father said to me (miss you!!): do the right thing not because of others but because of you, and remember it if something goes wrong.

They tried and failed many times and, with the exception of the horrible CLA episode, that was not a bad thing because many people started to talk about Linux and many developers started to scratch the heads and said "Oh f., lets do it right.".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Finally
by DeadFishMan on Fri 7th Apr 2017 13:11 in reply to "RE[4]: Finally"
DeadFishMan Member since:

Well, you were asking where the bad blood comes from; I merely stated some of the reasons though I am sure that there were plenty of others.

I remember one instance in particular when Mark tried some weird power play offering financial resources, manpower and what not to Debian developers *if and only if* they agreed to align their release schedule to Ubuntu's fast six months release schedule (it should be mentioned that Canonical mostly repackages Debian Testing and only a small subset of packages and only on x86 - and perhaps ARM now? I dunno - whereas Debian still handles a bunch of architectures to this day and literally thousands of packages).

It also should be noted that both Unity and Mir are results of their unwillingness to cooperate with others and/or not having their way on major projects such as GNOME and Wayland respectively. I can kind of understand on GNOME as they can be arseholes sometimes. But their excuses to abandon Wayland and create Mir citing "problems" that did not exist were pathetic at best.

Of course, Canonical is no stranger to controversy. It has been involved in very public licensing disputes with the Free Software Foundation. Its decision to include Amazon ads in Ubuntu's menu system was seen as a crass attempt to cash in on users. And, there have been concerns over the company's treatment of private data, with users' search information transmitted to its corporate servers.

They rarely push useful patches upstream.

I feel that this - somewhat old, 2014-ish - article summarizes the issues with Canonical and Ubuntu best than I could:

I am not disputing that they made an important contribution in terms of bringing Linux to the masses and that cannot be understated. Ubuntu server is a decent product although I fail to see the difference between running that and plain old Debian sometimes.

But Canonical and Ubuntu have always had a troubling relationship with their brethren, only play nice when called on to it and have a weird unhealthy attitude towards open source in general. Some people think it is good that they try so hard to differentiate themselves no matter what and that's fine; I don't and think that they should give something back to the pool where they take their resources from.

Edited 2017-04-07 13:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3