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Ubuntu Open Source Linux

Shuttleworth On Ubuntu Community Drama 302

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
In the wake of the Ubuntu Developer Summit, a number of contributors from its community have been speaking out, saying they're uncertain about their role and their future working on Ubuntu. They're concerned about how Canonical is making decisions, and also how (and when) those decisions are being communicated. Now, Mark Shuttleworth has addressed the issue in a blog post. He said, "The sky is not falling in. Really. Ubuntu is a group of people who get together with common purpose. How we achieve that purpose is up to us, and everyone has a say in what they can and will contribute. Canonical's contribution is massive. It's simply nonsense to say that Canonical gets 'what it wants' more than anybody else. Hell, half the time *I* don't get exactly what I want. It just doesn't work that way: lots of people work hard to the best of their abilities, the result is Ubuntu. The combination of Canonical and community is what makes that amazing. There are lots of pure community distro's. And wow, they are full of politics, spite, frustration, venality and disappointment. Why? Because people are people, and work is hard, and collaboration is even harder. That's nothing to do with Canonical, and everything to do with life. In fact, in most of the pure-community projects I've watched and participated in, the biggest meme is 'if only we had someone that could do the heavy lifting.' Ubuntu has that in Canonical – and the combination of our joint efforts has become the most popular platform for Linux fans. If you've done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on. That's normal – there's no need to poison the well behind you just because you want to try something else. It's also the case that we've shifted gear to leadership rather than integration." He also had an interesting comment about Ubuntu's target userbase: "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."
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Shuttleworth On Ubuntu Community Drama

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  • True (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:22AM (#43115973)

    "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."

    They should all run plan-9 or Haiku

    • Re:True (Score:5, Informative)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:33AM (#43116131)

      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.

      Where is the "crowd" that he referred to? Who wants Linux to be "hard"?

      Everyone I know wants Linux to "work". And to work "consistently" with an internal "logic".

      • Re:True (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AvitarX (172628) <me@brandywinehund[ ].org ['red' in gap]> on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:40AM (#43116201) Journal

        It's not as bad as it used to be, but when I purchased redhat (back when one could go to the store and buy it), some random guy sneared and said "i wish people would use slackware, then you really have to know Linux"

        I see here plenty of comments about this vs that leaning the same way.

        • "i wish people would use slackware, then you really have to know Linux"

          That's kind of funny. All my Slackware installs just seemed to work right out of the "box". My main problem with Linux in general is the lack of compatibility amongst distros. "Packages" are dumb. I like a distro that can take a program, binary (especially binary) or source, without any modifications, or RPMs, DEBs, or any other wrapper.

          Of course the biggest problem still is licensing that hinders distribution rights. It's why dependency

          • by the_B0fh (208483)

            Exactly! My slackware installs are much *MUCH* easier than effing around with RedHat.

          • all distros can take a statically compiled package that don't rely on any assumption about the filesystem, I guess. They'd depend on kernel and installed modules only.

            Start shipping those and see if people like it.

            If not, try arch, which has the most lightweight wrappers.

            Personally I think packaging the original source plus the diff (like .deb format does) is the best thing when your distro gets big. Arch begs to differ, but Arch is a german word for "didn't work with PCs long enough to really appreciate de

        • Re:True (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bigredradio (631970) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:39PM (#43116959) Homepage Journal

          I have seen this as well. It's not uncommon for someone coming from Windows to ask "What is a good Linux distro to learn on?". Some knucklehead will pipe up with Gentoo, LFS, or Slackware so that they "learn" linux.

          Most new users have embraced Linux by starting with Ubuntu rather than getting frustrated and giving up like in the "good ol' days".

          • Re:True (Score:5, Insightful)

            by faedle (114018) on Friday March 08, 2013 @02:33PM (#43118413) Homepage Journal

            The rub comes in that Ubuntu is not necessarily a "fair" representation of what "the Linux" is, anymore than Android is.

            I've seen many a person who has been using Ubuntu for a significant amount of time flounder when given another distro to work with: even Debian. There is a "*NIX way of doing things", and Ubuntu often deviates from that. Sometimes dangerously far.

            And it can hurt the community. Many an Ubuntu user comes wandering in to the support forums for (insert FOSS project here) all confused, and it is difficult for the community to help them because between Debinization of the package and what Ubuntu does to the Debian package it's often hard to figure out where things have moved.

            Ubuntu is walking a path away from what Linux (and other Unices) have been in the past towards something of their own design, often not asking what Linux people want. That's all fine and dandy, but for Shuttleworth to basically tell long-term users "we're gonna do what we want, go fuck yourself" is not right either. And that's basically what he's saying.

      • Re:True (Score:4, Insightful)

        by arth1 (260657) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:01PM (#43116451) Homepage Journal

        Yes, consistency is important - a lesson Microsoft has also forgotten.

        If I am to support users, I need to know that they can find programs and applications by following my instructions, and that it doesn't change for them depending on what they do.

        And I don't want replacement apps for the standard apps, powercharged to do things badly - Unix and Linux follows a toolbox approach for good reason. If I need to calculate a value in a script, I expect bc to be present. Not having to pull up a fancy schmanzy calculator and manually feed in the numbers. By all means, give the user that too, but don't get rid of the baseline.

      • Re:True (Score:5, Informative)

        by ftobin (48814) * on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:06PM (#43116505) Homepage

        Where is the "crowd" that he referred to? Who wants Linux to be "hard"?

        I can guarantee such a mentality exists.

        From http://dwm.suckless.org/ [suckless.org]

        Because dwm is customized through editing its source code, it's pointless to make binary packages of it. This keeps its userbase small and elitist. No novices asking stupid questions.

      • Re:True (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:07PM (#43116527)
        The crowd he is talking about are busy; they will be back when they finish compiling Gentoo...
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Gentoo is by far the easiest Linux distro to use. I remember a discussion I had with a Windows user the other day:
          "Windows is soo much easier and less complex than Linux"
          My reply? "No, it just seems easier since you know nothing about it."
          That is the real problem here, we confuse obfuscation of system functions with easy of use. As long as it work it works fine its easy to use but if something fails or you need to do something else then the majority of the user base, you are in a nonstandard undocumented ni

          • by sirlark (1676276)

            I'd agree with this. Ease of use is more often than not a bad phrasing of "familiar to the user". Windows isn't easy to use. My parents can't use it any more than they can use linux. They could use WP 5.1 and DOS just fine, but back then my dad was writing a Phd and my mum was drafting municipal legislation, both of them using them the computer daily. Since then their computer usage has eased off to the point of just email and web browsing, and the odd letter. I could give them an XFCE desktop with firefox,

            • by Unknown Lamer (78415) Works for Slashdot <clinton@NOSPAm.unknownlamer.org> on Friday March 08, 2013 @02:38PM (#43118481) Homepage Journal

              My Grandmother's hard drive died a few years ago and ... I got a cheap 1TB drive to replace it (nothing cheaper available really at the time) and of course the XP restore disk decided she was a filthy pirate and that was that.

              After installing Debian and KDE for her, my support requests have become nil, except when any of my younger cousins visit and why does this flash game not work... because Adobe hates your freedom children, that's why. But my Grandmother just readers her email and plays KPatience and it Just Works (tm).

      • Re:True (Score:4, Funny)

        by Dragonslicer (991472) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:14PM (#43116631)

        Where is the "crowd" that he referred to? Who wants Linux to be "hard"?

        You must be new around here. Welcome to Slashdot!

      • Re:True (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Junta (36770) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:38PM (#43116943)

        Yes, the criticisms of Ubuntu are that they are largely fragmenting from the norm without a lot of coordination with community projects, not that they are making Linux 'too easy', that would be absurd. It is ironic, as one of the things I appreciated about it versus suse or fedora back in the day was how they made the most straightforward use of 'upstream' function whereas other distros added a lot of distro-specific fluff for management. I was out at Unity, and they continued on to Mir.

        I will say that I am also disappointed at what the Linux desktop has been becoming. Ten years ago, Windows was an inscrutable mess of an OS under the covers. If you wanted to do nearly anything from a programming/scripting perspective in terms of managing the platform, you had to understand a ton of obscure stuff off of MSDN if it were possible at all. Linux was a lot more transparent and easy to understand how it worked at a glance. There were some limitations that were rough going from workstation/server to desktop/laptop market (e.g. making a wifi config without root privilege wasn't feasible, handling the acpi sleep button took some contortions, and controlling shutdown/restart similarly required explicit root authentication all the time).

        Ten years later, MS has either replaced or hidden much of their overly complex stuff as they have advanced powershell (still a ways to go, and winmgmt is still a lot more fragile than it should be). Meanwhile, the typical Linux distro now has dconf, network manager, polkit, systemd, and worst of all dbus. Some more capability has come about, but it has become pretty inscrutable to the admins with a bourne shell scripting level of understanding. More advanced programmers appreciate some of the additional structure, but shell commands to script some capabilities are no longer easy (complex dbus-send commands, non-obvious configuration location and no longer human readable content) or impossible. The Linux desktop of today is growing a lot of the badness of the Windows desktop of a decade ago, and the Windows desktop is growing a lot of the goodness of the Linux desktop of a decade.

        • Meanwhile, the typical Linux distro now has dconf, network manager, polkit, systemd, and worst of all dbus. Some more capability has come about, but it has become pretty inscrutable to the admins with a bourne shell scripting level of understanding. More advanced programmers appreciate some of the additional structure, but shell commands to script some capabilities are no longer easy (complex dbus-send commands, non-obvious configuration location and no longer human readable content) or impossible.

          And

          • I don't think so. Right now, sure that's the alternative, but it needn't be that way.

            See Emacs. You start off with tool bars and menus... maybe interacting with the graphical customize system to tweak a few things. But then you hit your first "I wish it...", something small. Next thing you know, the interface is peeled away; you check the help page for a similar command, see that you can visit the source there, realize the source is sensible and short, copy and paste and modify one or two things, and ... co

        • by aussersterne (212916) on Friday March 08, 2013 @03:07PM (#43118915) Homepage

          Linux was always a system that required system-level tweaking in order to get and keep a system up and running. Defaults weren't particularly sensible for most use cases, drivers and components were unstable and needed to be replaced/reconfigured/updated/patched in order to achieve a stable, functioning work environment, and so on, and some things weren't "done yet"—drivers still under development years after hardware releases, and so on, with users waiting for them and needing to install/make use of them as soon as they were released.

          That's just the nature of the beast when you're talking about a community-driven system with myriad code inputs that bases bunches of code on reverse-engineering.

          But so long as Linux was reasonably transparent, anyone that valued free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech software could make the cost-benefit calculation that the amount of extra work and patience required to get and keep a system up and running was justified by the benefits involved.

          Already by 2009, however, I felt as though the costs were growing while the benefits were the same as they had always been. An accelerating decrease in the transparency and modularity of desktop Linux distributions led the kinds of tweaking necessary to get and keep a linux system up and running to take longer and longer for me, and the continuous rush of new code and new subsystems that significantly different from the UNIX classics meant a corresponding increase in the need to continue to study and learn how these worked.

          But my job wasn't and has never been Linux development, so this extra learning and work didn't contribute to my bottom line. It was just an increasing quantity of valuable time and energy being siphoned away from it, in fact.

          There is still a market for a stable, easy-to-use, transparent Linux system with a smooth learning curve from easy-to-use/easy-to-learn through master-tasks/hard-to-learn, one that can open all of the documents, media, and network streams that mass market users need to be able to open and that is also free and open in all senses.

          The problem isn't that Canonical is leading, it's the content of the leadership—both in terms of social/political issues, and in terms of the technical result, that aren't encouraging. Maybe one day someone will take up the mantle and finally deliver an easy-to-use, modular, transparent and powerful Linux system that's stable, has sensible defaults, and is both free and open. But to date nobody's come near the target, which is kind of a shame, because everyone's been able to see it for a decade, and it's often seemed as though "just a little bit of leadership" would get Linux there.

          But I don't think Canonical is it; they're out to fulfill other goals/purposes, leaving that opportunity to continue to be open.

    • Re:True (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:49AM (#43116329)

      Every post Shuttleworth plays this "1337 crowd" card just to avoid actually discussing the issues.

      The issues at hand this time were "Mir" and "the lack of descision power from the Ubuntu community". But he choose yet again to blame everything on the "1337 crowd".

    • Re:True (Score:5, Informative)

      by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:16PM (#43116663) Journal

      True? this is utter bullshit.

      Or more speciffically, it's utter bullshit in the way that he's talking about.

      Noone wants Linux to be hard.

      The trouble is that he's focussing solely on a minority of desktop users, labelling their problems as more importand then dismissing everyone else as "leet" and saying they want it to be hard.

      That is bullshit.

      I don't want Linux to be hard. I want it to be easy. As easy as possible, in fact. This is why I'm in general getting rather leery of Ubunbu and have moved to Arch on a number of my systems.

      Basically, ubuntu is so full of magic to make it "easy" that it's getting harder and harder to make it work the way I need to, and figure out what the hell is going on under the hood when something does go wrong.

      Arch by comparison is much simpler, and much better documented. Therefore getting it to do interesting and useful things is often considerably easier than the same with Ubuntu. And if it's set up you can have all the user nicieies that one expects in a modern system (sane audio, 3D graphics, sane hot plugging, sane package management).

      I mean sure, he can go nuts with ubuntu if he wants. It's his distro. Just don't expect me to help create a system I don't enjoy using and don't be surprised if people wanting control over their own system abandon it for an easier, simpler distro.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Basically, ubuntu is so full of magic to make it "easy" that it's getting harder and harder to make it work the way I need to, and figure out what the hell is going on under the hood when something does go wrong.

        You really need to remember that you are not Ubuntu's average target user. Metaphorically, you are complaining that the lemon you bought from the supermarket is too sour and not sweet enough. Maybe you should have bought some sugar.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:25AM (#43116017)

    I can leave my girlfriend at a Gnome 2 machine forever and not get any questions about how anything is supposed to work, because it's functionally very similar to Windows.

    Put her in front of a machine running Unity and she's continually asking 'why is this doing this?', 'how do I do this?', 'where did that window go and how can I get it back?', and 'what is this crap anyway?'

    So I would say that Canonical has gone out of its way to make Linux hard to use.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:27AM (#43116047)
      Obvious troll. We all know that you don't have a girlfriend.
    • by gmuslera (3436) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:48AM (#43116301) Homepage Journal
      That you use ubuntu don't mean that you must use Unity. You can complain all you want about the only possible desktop environment in windows or mac, but in linux you have plenty of options.
      • That you use ubuntu don't mean that you must use Unity.

        By even using Ubuntu, you are enabling the bad, increasingly draconian behaviour of Shuttleworth. The main freaking point of Linux was to no longer be dictated to by the powers on high - a point he is willfully dismissing in his pursuit of money.

      • by DuckDodgers (541817) <`keeper_of_the_wolf' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Friday March 08, 2013 @05:46PM (#43120905)
        Well, what if you're trying to convince your less technical friends to try Linux? You are not likely to say, "I recommend Ubuntu. Install that, and as soon as it's installed replace the default graphical user interface layout Unity with something else, like XFCE." Most likely, you'll recommend a version of Linux that has a desktop layout you think they would find easy to understand, useful, and visually pleasing as the default.

        I don't hate Unity. I think it's decent, just not good enough for me to recommend it to a newbie over XFCE, KDE, or Cinnamon.
    • by andydread (758754)
      haha you're a moron and obvous troll. Or maybe your GF is so old that she wouldn't be able to figure out where the windshield wipers are after moving from a Ford to a Chevy.
    • Agreed, I installed Ubuntu not so long ago on my XBMC PC... and when Unity popped up I was like "What on earth is this?!?" I couldn't figure out how to navigate it. I could have spent a while getting used to it, but why bother? I formatted and had another distro on the machine in less time than it would have taken me to learn Unity. I've no interest in using a Tablet UI on a desktop. There should be a pop up that asks "Is this a tablet? y/n" and be done with it.

    • by div_2n (525075)

      My wife actually prefers the Unity layout to the older Gnome 2 style. I actually asked her what her feeling was when I upgraded her laptop and she was faced with Unity where just a few hours earlier she had been using (for many months) the traditiional Gnome DE. She never complained after that.

      For her, the layout and most specifically the "dock" on the left made more sense than a menu driven experience.

      Personally, I hated Unity at first. But since they've fixed many of the worst bugs and I've learned my way

  • by hessian (467078) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:29AM (#43116069) Homepage Journal

    This was the core of his rant:

    The combination of Canonical and community is what makes that amazing. There are lots of pure community distro's. And wow, they are full of politics, spite, frustration, venality and disappointment. Why? Because people are people, and work is hard, and collaboration is even harder. That's nothing to do with Canonical, and everything to do with life.

    He's side-stepping the issue in that the point is that Canonical wields more power than the average contributor, and thus is in more of an authoritarian relationship.

    However, he's hit on a bigger point, which is that in any collaborative software project, someone needs to be the silverback who forces everyone else to focus, or people do only what they want to do and blow off the unfun stuff.

    Unfortunately, unfun stuff includes refinements to code to make sure it works well, drivers, documentation, gnarly bug fixes, and the like.

    • by Covalent (1001277) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:45AM (#43116251)
      +1

      The unfun stuff is the killer every time. Either you pay somebody to do that work, or it doesn't generally get done. I have used Ubuntu for several years now, and I have never seen the reason for the wrath some people have toward Unity. That said, there are a few glitches and odd functionalities that, were I a programmer, I would contribute fixes for. But I'm not. And the work required to correct these problems is certainly going to be time-consuming and tedious. Therefore, it probably won't get done.

      In total, though, I'd still rather work on Ubuntu than Windows or Mac any day. Windows because it seems to be able to slow down the fastest machine in no time flat, and Mac because despite its reliability I don't like it and I can't change the things I don't like. With Ubuntu I (generally) can.
      • by Threni (635302)

        > I have used Ubuntu for several years now, and I have never seen the reason for the
        > wrath some people have toward Unity.

        It's funny - I went from Windows to Ubuntu and was happy until Unity came out (didn't work, everything was different and unintuitive, it wasn't anywhere near configurable enough - it was as if the developers didn't want me to configure it so there was One Experience for everyone). I moved to Mint (apparently I wasn't alone) and tried gnome 2,3, kde, lxfe and some other variations o

    • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:46AM (#43116257)

      He's side-stepping the issue in that the point is that Canonical wields more power than the average contributor, and thus is in more of an authoritarian relationship.

      There is also a golden rule in life -- The one with the most gold makes the rules.

      Seriously though, Canonical has more "skin in the game" than any other Ubuntu contributor and they are funding the lion's share of the expenses. You'd think this would be justification enough for them to "wield more power than the average contributor". Unlike other "authoritarian" regimes, you are free to leave and start your own fork without fear of being hunted down and shot. You can always go help Mint. I agree with Shuttleworth, if you don't like the conditions at Ubuntu then go somewhere else and try to be grown up and not poison the well when you leave.

      However, he's hit on a bigger point, which is that in any collaborative software project, someone needs to be the silverback who forces everyone else to focus, or people do only what they want to do and blow off the unfun stuff...

      I agree. I think Shuttleworth is just voicing his frustration with the very vocal few who dust up drama whenever they feel slighted like the recent announcement that Ubuntu Developer Summits will be held online and happen more frequently.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        There is also a golden rule in life -- The one with the most gold makes the rules.

        That always true on community distros though. Influence is power in large community-based distros, moreso than money.

        I agree. I think Shuttleworth is just voicing his frustration with the very vocal few who dust up drama whenever they feel slighted like the recent announcement that Ubuntu Developer Summits will be held online and happen more frequently.

        This is the conflict. Shuttleworth has a lot of money, but there are others who have a lot of influence. Why is it OK to use money to hire developers to work on one set of priorities, but it is not OK to use influence to get a lot of other developers to work on a different set of priorities? The former just tends to be a lot less visible and doesn't involve making a stink on public lists.

    • by Twinbee (767046) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:57AM (#43116411) Homepage
      There seems to a common denominator in "unfun" stuff as regards coding. It's the bits which rely on libraries, protocols, formats or hardware which haven't been standardized yet. If we all had two image/sound/video formats (lossy and non-lossy), one time format, one type of graphics card and CPU, one file format or data transmission format, one (spoken) language (which we'll all move to eventually given enough centuries), or (horror) one OS or programming language, software would be much more exciting to write, knowing it will stand the test of time.

      The tedium is found in writing code multiple times for uncommon formats, CPUs and OSs, increasing code complexity (bugs), and knowing that it will probably be dead one day. Yes, competition and multiple standards is probably a good thing initially, and hardware is certainly changing and improving for a while, but when things finally settle down in a century or two (?), the real productive work will have just started.
      • by hessian (467078) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:44PM (#43117029) Homepage Journal

        If we all had two image/sound/video formats (lossy and non-lossy), one time format, one type of graphics card and CPU, one file format or data transmission format, one (spoken) language (which we'll all move to eventually given enough centuries), or (horror) one OS or programming language, software would be much more exciting to write, knowing it will stand the test of time.

        I get dreamy thinking about this. It would simply everything. However, I have one thought of caution.

        Standardization creates a single point of failure.

        Allowing solutions to exist simultaneously, and develop independently, allows there to be no single point of failure and for multiple solutions to be tried at once.

        I think there's a reason nature (insert name of deity or deities if you'd prefer; I'm agnosticism agnostic!) chose to go with natural selection. While less efficient on the surface, it works in every situation and eventually, produces a time-tested quality result.

        Just food for thought, not a contrarian argument.

        • by Twinbee (767046)
          Oh I agree, which is why I pointed out that competition and choice is good at first. Just that it shouldn't be the end goal. We'll evolve towards the best (well at least a very good one) by learning from the past standards.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Actually, the really big problem that he's ducking here is the question the complaining community developers may not have explicitly asked but were probably thinking, which is: "Is Mark Shuttleworth basically just treating us like free labor for Canonical? And if so, why are we bothering to help him?"

      However, he's hit on a bigger point, which is that in any collaborative software project, someone needs to be the silverback who forces everyone else to focus, or people do only what they want to do and blow off the unfun stuff.

      How that works in a lot of projects is the BDFL: Linus, Larry Wall, Guido van Rossum, etc. And that seems to work well enough, without being tied into a specific for-profit company's bottom line.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Friday March 08, 2013 @01:27PM (#43117533) Homepage

      He's side-stepping the issue in that the point is that Canonical wields more power than the average contributor, and thus is in more of an authoritarian relationship.

      Well duh, are you also going to complain that Red Hat calls most the shots for Red Hat Enterprise Linux? Unless things have changed radically while I wasn't paying attention, Ubuntu is still very much Canonical's product. Working with the community and being run by the community are two entirely different things and Canonical clearly isn't planning to let someone else tell them what to do. This is more of a wagon train, if you want to join up with Canonical because you're going in the same direction you can, but they still set the destination and if you don't like it, well maybe you shouldn't be in it instead of complaining that this not where you'd like to go. There's not really a shortage of other distros to work with if their goals are more similar to your own, is it?

  • by undeadbill (2490070) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:32AM (#43116115)

    To an extent, I like the distro, but I've had similar complaints about how they have changed user level features in the past without offering any kind of migration path. Now it looks like the same mentality behind Canonical's management and release style has finally reached developers as well.

    Well, it isn't the end of the world. There are plenty of other distros. I wouldn't be surprised to see most of the devs just go back to Debian.

  • Remember... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896)
    Ubuntu has some power to make Linux more known in general crowd, which in turn helps the Linux ecosystem as whole. Thus it might be good to let Ubuntu flourish on the side, even if you are a user of some other distro.
    • by kestasjk (933987) *
      If it's not the GnuSense Linux fork GnuTense it's worth actively working against, because anyone we can persuade to stop working on other distros will start working on GnuTense!
    • by equex (747231)
      Ubuntu HAD that power before they went full retard. Canonicial are now riding out the last waves of Ubuntu success before Mint will rise. And when Ubuntu dies, guess what, Mint thought of that too with their Debian project.
  • too bad it's true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:49AM (#43116321)

    He also had an interesting comment about Ubuntu's target userbase: "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."

    Too bad that's the opinion of way too many people on too many Linux forums. In fact, that attitude launched Linux. It wasn't about total computer cost or features. It was about "I'm better than you" and they shut out all the other problems Linux had to pretend it's an ideal OS instead of addressing them to make it more user-friendly.

    • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:20PM (#43116701) Journal

      This post makes you sound like a dumb person with a massive chip on your shoulder.

      In fact, that attitude launched Linux.... It was about "I'm better than you"

      No, the attitide that launched Linux was: I'm writing a kernel for fun and I want to share it with you.

      The fact that this has transformed in your warped little brain to other people trying to make themselves look better than you has become a self fulfilling prophecy. They gave away cool stuff for free and you complain aabout it. Now, they do look much better than you.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      That is a problem, but I don't think Shuttleworth is the cure. Superficial complexity is to a large part just that, a thin skin on top of a mass of the same complexity. You can take away all the screensaver options you'd like but it doesn't make it simpler when people have hardware that doesn't work right or upgrades that has regressions or the desktop is messed up or applications that crash or don't work right. Every time I've had to fix things with command line-fu it's because things don't work as they ou

    • Too bad that's the opinion of way too many people on too many Linux forums. In fact, that attitude launched Linux. It wasn't about total computer cost or features. It was about "I'm better than you" and they shut out all the other problems Linux had to pretend it's an ideal OS instead of addressing them to make it more user-friendly.

      I agree that there are elitists who join Linux forums, but this is no different than any other OS or pretty much anything else.

      I disagree that this elitist attitude launched Li

  • by bazorg (911295) on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:54AM (#43116383) Homepage

    At some point someone has to say that "I can't run this ship by consensus". Now that everyone and their dog have access to the internet it is very visible that whenever something changes, there are people who voice their disagreement with the new thing; and if there's no change, then people will vote with their feet and say that they will choose the most innovative product/company/project.

    What is regrettable with all this is that whenever there's news from Ubuntu, there's no shortage of people saying that they moved away to Mint or whatever. If that is the case, why comment Ubuntu stories at all?

  • Red herring (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JonJ (907502) <jon.jahren@gmail.com> on Friday March 08, 2013 @11:58AM (#43116417)
    It's not about difficult vs easy when it comes to distributions. Both Fedora and OpenSUSE installs with relative ease these days. But Canonicals insistance of doing everything alone, fragmenting with new upstream projects. There's no rhyme nor reason for Mir, and all it does is cause headaches everywhere. And that's what they've gotten most shit for these past days. Not their ease of use.
    • . Both Fedora and OpenSUSE installs with relative ease these days.

      I don't know about Fedora (not a user), but OpenSUSE has had an utterly super-simple and super-smooth install for several years, now. I think you have the best chance of installing (Open)SUSE on a problematic system, than any other Linux distro.

  • by mrpacmanjel (38218) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:08PM (#43116541)

    At the end of the day it's his company and if he wants to take Ubuntu in his/their own direction that's up to them.

    I used Ubuntu for many years and was really happy with it. I moved on since then and use another distro.

    Ubuntu has done a lot of great work for the Linux community and also got a few things wrong (in my humble opinion).

    There is no reason to hate them for it. People make the opinions known and it's up to Conanical to take these opinions on board or not.

    There is so much choice out there for Linux and if you don't agree with Ubuntu's direction use something else. Ubunutu is open-source so you can roll your own version or use a derivative.

      But really all the hate for Ubuntu and Shuttleworth is childish.

    Freedom as in speech not beer.

  • "He also had an interesting comment about Ubuntu's target userbase: "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."

    I'm cool with that, as long as it's not used as an excuse to block me from doing what I want to do. Don't take the Apple approach to dumbing tech down please.

  • Hell, half the time *I* don't get exactly what I want.

    he has forgotten that community is the very essence of open source, and that for a business leader as he is be forced to compromise is a fine indication the project is proceeding normally.

    people are people, and work is hard, and collaboration is even harder. That's nothing to do with Canonical, and everything to do with life.

    stop making excuses for yourself and your company; it cant be helped. your business has been the core concern of many developers and yet youve only now chosen to speak up in defense of your arrogant mailinglist decrees to blame us for being who we are?

    in most of the pure-community projects I've watched and participated in, the biggest meme is 'if only we had someone that could do the heavy lifting.'

    who the hell do you think you are? if anyone has done the heavy lift

  • I guess I hoped Ubuntu would succeed because it was good Free Software not in spite of it. It seems like Ubuntu is cooling off on some of the values that make free software great including openness (secret Mir developments), collaboration (going their own way on new infrastructure), respect for privacy (Amazon Dash) etc.

    I wish the Ubuntu guys would stop trying to be another Apple, and instead focus on what they and the community can offer than Apple never could.

    On the subject does can anyone make a suggesti

  • !Hypocrisy! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Friday March 08, 2013 @12:56PM (#43117157)
    He said he wants nothing to do with the crowd who wants to be diffrent

    upstart, now unity, now mir.

    Ubuntu is at the forefront of non-standard projects that fracture the GNU/Linux community, with software that generally sucks btw.

    Mir has yet to be seen but going by upstart and unity, I don't have much hope.

    No, I don't want linux to be exlcusive for experts only, I want it to be easy to use, and I want it to use compatible software as everyone else, so what runs on ubuntu runs on red hat, runs on arch, so we have a shared knowledge base.

    This was a reality since glibc became ABI stable.
  • by stenvar (2789879) on Friday March 08, 2013 @01:08PM (#43117303)

    I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different

    And that's why he keeps breaking long-established UI convention and keeps reinventing the wheel in any shape but round?

    "Wanting to be different" is what is destroying Ubuntu.

    • by Luthair (847766)
      Exactly what about Unity is new? I haven't seen anything but an attempt to mimic a lot of the behaviour of OSX (which personally I abhor, but that's personal preference.)
  • I can think of lots of dumber things a smart person could say.

  • His posting reminds me of a Antebellum planatation owner insisting that his actions are benevolent and noble; that his slaves would be utterly lost without his loving guidance.

    --An LMDE convert
  • I have been a user of Ubuntu for many years. Since 2005 or so.

    All these debates about Ubuntu, Shuttleworth and Unity do not affect me in the least.

    Why?

    Because I use KDE Ubuntu (Kubuntu), not Gnome/Unity at all. I also stay with the latest LTS and not upgrade to the twice annual releases.

    The same goes for servers. I use Ubuntu Server LTS, which has a longer support cycle of 5 years vs. 3 years for the desktop.

    Not affected by any of those ongoing debates or controversies ...

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