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Ubuntu Open Source

Mark Shuttleworth Complains About the 'Open Source Tea Party' 419

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-are-the-knights-who-say...-NIH! dept.
slack_justyb writes "In a blog post, Mark Shuttleworth sends his congrats to the Ubuntu developers for the recent release of 13.10 and talks about 14.04's codename (Trusty Tahr). He also takes aim at what he calls 'The Open Source Tea Party.' He writes, 'Mir is really important work. When lots of competitors attack a project on purely political grounds, you have to wonder what their agenda is. At least we know now who belongs to the Open Source Tea Party ;)' He cites all the complaints about Mir and even calls out Lennart Poettering's systemd, who is the past has pointed out Canonical's tendency to favor projects they control. Shuttleworth continues, 'And to put all the hue and cry into context: Mir is relevant for approximately 1% of all developers, just those who think about shell development. Every app developer will consume Mir through their toolkit. By contrast, those same outraged individuals have NIH’d just about every important piece of the stack they can get their hands on most notably SystemD, which is hugely invasive and hardly justified. What closely to see how competitors to Canonical torture the English language in their efforts to justify how those toolkits should support Windows but not Mir. But we'll get it done, and it will be amazing.' However, not all has earned Mark's scorn. He even goes so far to show some love for Linux Mint: 'So yes, I am very proud to be, as the Register puts it, the Ubuntu Daddy. My affection for this community in its broadest sense – from Mint to our cloud developer audience, and all the teams at Canonical and in each of our derivatives, is very tangible today.'"
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Mark Shuttleworth Complains About the 'Open Source Tea Party'

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  • Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stephenmac7 (2700151) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:36AM (#45173975)
    You're referring to the fact that both groups like to stick to their values? I may not agree with one of them but they both have a very good record of not switching sides in the middle of a debate.
  • Re: Of course... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:41AM (#45173999)

    I think we'd (the Linux community) be a lot farther ahead if they got together and implemented a single solution that solved all the known requirements.

  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:41AM (#45174003) Homepage Journal
    Smells like Alinsky's dirty socks.
    Anybody not agreeing with the Ruling Class is now "Tea Party", huh?
  • Yikes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cookYourDog (3030961) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:43AM (#45174011)
    When you can turn a grass roots political party into a pejorative, you have succeeded. Well done American media and the powers that be.

    I never thought that desire for fiscal responsibility, constitutional rule, and limited concentration of power would be masked over with such a contrived caricature. Then again, Americans who reveal widespread domestic spying by the government are called 'leakers' and 'traitors'. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
  • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:44AM (#45174019) Homepage Journal

    People with flexible ethics are often inconvenienced by those with principles that they don't compromise.

    LK

  • Politics matter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chemisor (97276) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:50AM (#45174055)

    When you get to choose which country to live in, you will without a doubt check its politics. An authoritarian regime that can throw you in jail or kill you on a whim is probably not a good place to live. Likewise when choosing an OS or a desktop environment it is prudent to check the worldview and the attitude of the developers to gauge the direction in which these projects are going and decide whether that's the direction you'll want to be pulled in.

    Just as moving to another country is difficult and expensive once you put down roots, have a job and a family, moving to a different OS or DE is difficult and painful as you find your favorite progams only work on what you used to use. As things stand, I have no desire to move to Mark Shuttleworth's kingdom.

  • Re: Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:55AM (#45174079)

    I think we'd (the Linux community) be a lot farther ahead if they got together and implemented a single solution that solved all the known requirements.

    I agree. As long as it is mine, Mine, MINE, MINE DAMNIT!!!!!!!!!

    The picking of that solution is the hard part.

  • Re:$$ for software (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:56AM (#45174081)
    Trust me, it still happens, just behind closed doors but it at least stays internally. Problem with that is there is a hierarchy and you don't get the views from outsiders which can be refreshing in such instances.
  • Re:$$ for software (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:57AM (#45174087)

    I'm SO happy that I pay for software. I don't have to deal with all of this open source drama bullshit, and have to worry about when somebody's temper tantrum decides to end or radically change some software that I rely on for my business. My eyes glazed over halfway through the story summary, and I really don't care.

    I agree with you in concept, but how does Windows 8 fit in with that world view?

  • by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @08:59AM (#45174097) Homepage

    hey...it's always good politics to strike while iron is still hot.

    the media has force-fed the "Tea Party Is The Whole Problem" narrative into gullible mouths for a few weeks now...why waste all that free brain-washing on just the federal budget?

    expect a few more metaphorical comparisons before things cool down...i'm sure they are coming

  • Re: Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:03AM (#45174119)

    I think we'd (the Linux community) be a lot farther ahead if they got together and implemented a single solution that solved all the known requirements.

    Except that people don't agree on what the requirements are. Your requirements are not the same as mine. Even people that share requirements may not agree on what is the best solution. Your proposal will likely lead to this [xkcd.com].

  • Re:Yikes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blahplusplus (757119) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:11AM (#45174157)

    "I never thought that desire for fiscal responsibility, constitutional rule, and limited concentration of power would be masked over with such a contrived caricature."

    Except that's not what it's about, the tea party are willing dupes to D&R. If they were serious they would be voting third party. Not republican. The oligarchy just steers these people into the system and keeps them confused by taking advantage of their hopes.

    Not only that, 'limited government' just means even more power for corporations (aka dictatorship and more corporate control of the law, less environmental regulations, more pollution, etc).

    There's no good answer because people are immature and desperately uninformed. Nobody should be FOR polluting the fucking planet, but tea partiers definitely are because they don't understand historically GOVERNMENT has been the only force with the kind of power to go after serious polluters. The reason government is so bad is because it has been captured by corporate interests. Tea partiers if they had any intelligence at all would call off the stupid bs between left and right, form a coalition with others and vote both D&R out of office.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daemonik (171801) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:19AM (#45174205) Homepage
    People with uncompromisable principles are often an inconvenience to everyone.
  • Bad analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:20AM (#45174213) Journal

    This "Tea Party" isn't getting funding from the execs of the top closed-source megacorps, are they?

  • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:22AM (#45174235)
    Not nearly as much as those who change with the breeze.
  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:25AM (#45174255)
    "That's the best way to deal with stupidity."

    Erm, no, it is not and your very post is an excellent example of why. You come across as an adolescent ranting about people who don't do things their way.

    Dehumanization is done by those who don't think their idea can stand on its own. Often they are correct.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:25AM (#45174257)

    The Tea Party suffers from the same problem that the FSF and the GNU project suffer from: a reasonable enough ideology, but a total lack of pragmatism.

    Without a good amount of pragmatism to go along with their ideologies, they often come off to some as extremists or crazies.

    Just look at GNU project versus the various BSDs, for example. They have a similar enough underlying ideology regarding software freedom, but take slightly different approaches to practicing this ideology. The BSD community is grounded in reality, and have created superb operating systems with very reasonable licensing. The GNU project, on the other hand, is not grounded in reality, and instead has managed to only produce rip-offs of traditional UNIX utilities (still without a home-grown kernel!), extremely restrictive licenses, and strife.

    Regardless of whether we're talking about politics or open source software, those with pragmatism and ideology always come across as more reasonable and sensible than those with ideology but no pragmatism, who instead come off as zealots and freaks.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:36AM (#45174347)

    Without people with uncompromisable principles it's the law of the jungle, and most of us will soon be reduced to serfdom again where might and money makes right.

    Shut up and stop trying to sound clever without actually being it. As the last few years clearly have shown, we desperately need more inconvenient people.

  • Re:Yikes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @10:03AM (#45174573) Journal

    Not only that, 'limited government' just means even more power for corporations (aka dictatorship and more corporate control of the law, less environmental regulations, more pollution, etc).

    No it does not mean that. That is a lie the Democrats keeps telling to thwart the Republicans who are lying about trying to implement limited government. Limited government DISEMPOWERS corporations. It removes barriers to bring products into the market place which enables smaller cottage players into the game. We only have BIG corporations BECAUSE OF BIG GOVERNMENT. None of the mega banks would have survived the financial crisis without the BIG GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS; without BIG GOVERNMENT we would have nothing but SMALL BANKS today. Without FDIC we could never have had mega banks in the first place.

    BIG Government and BIG corporations go hand in hand. Even look back in time. Which industries were most abusive: rail, mining, oil would be likely candidates and hmm which industries did the Government have the biggest roles in....

    There are certainly some corner cases like shared resources "environmental regulation" where the free market alone might create some perverse and undesirable incentives, but in the vast vast majority of cases more regulation means more regulatory capture. It reduces competition making incumbent players more secure and lets them get bigger. When they get bigger they get more influence, which they in turn used to get more regulation that they might pretend not to like for public spectral but secretly support because they know it cements them in place.

    Look at Amazon they are not even trying to hide it. They took advantage of the sales tax loop hole as a small org but once they go big suddenly they were for closing it because its going to make it easier for them stay on top with their specialty stores. Tax compliance is hard, unless you a big enough operation you can handle the overhead. So now its much much much harder for anyone to start up niche webstore and sell in multiple states, Amazon though just has to register a domain and change some style sheets. Funny how that works....

  • Re: Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod (1080919) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @10:22AM (#45174701) Homepage

    It's often the wrong part. Sometimes there's two solutions to the same problem because there's two ways of people looking at the problem.

    Who needs to pick a solution that everyone has to use when you can pick a solution that you want to use?

  • Re: Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday October 19, 2013 @10:38AM (#45174809) Homepage Journal

    I think we'd (the Linux community) be a lot farther ahead if they got together and implemented a single solution that solved all the known requirements.

    A single solution? In Linux?? You're as crazy as whoever modded you "offtopic". Mods, read the FAQ. He isn't offtopic. I disagree with him, too, but that's not a reason to downmod someone.

    Nerdfest, choice is one of the best things about open source. You're wrong, Shuttleworth is wrong, and those opposed to him probably are, too.

    If you want a single solution, get an Apple or a Windows machine. Leave my choice alone, I LIKE choice.

  • Re:Yikes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @11:02AM (#45174937)

    Yeah, intelligence doesn't mean sane. The Tea Party's problem is that they're crazy.

  • Re: Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chmod a+x mojo (965286) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @11:16AM (#45175061)

    Except that people don't agree on what the requirements are. Your requirements are not the same as mine. Even people that share requirements may not agree on what is the best solution. Your proposal will likely lead to this [xkcd.com].

    Not really. If we standardized everything ( or at least as much as humanly possible) similar to LSB it would make support of specialized distros much easier. Then it would all come down to who uses what standard modular configurations and / or provides the best support.

    As an added bonus devs could not only write once but only have to worry about what particular package extension the program is packed in. If you know for a fact that lib X is going to be named exactly X and is in directory C you can just put out RPMs / DEBs that will install on any system using those types of packages.... as it is now, Ubuntu names things slightly differently than Debian / Mint / Other derivatives and you have to tweak the packages to install on each system. It would save a LOT of time if distro maintainers didn't have to customize the installs of thousands of different packages.

  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by visualight (468005) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @11:24AM (#45175101) Homepage

    Wow. What we've had (and loved) for decades is a clusterfuck. How enlightening. Don't complain about dependencies -why the hell would you want to choose your own system logger or cron daemon. Idiocy!

    Also, no one reinvent anything ever okay? Unless your name is Lennart and you want to replace all that modularity and flexibility with one big thing.

    Hey, lets have a registry while we're at it okay? /sarcasm

    Language like yours typifies pretty much every pro systemd statement you can find.

  • Re: Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @11:36AM (#45175167)
    This is very true.

    we had a standard with X11. The problem with X, is that it was holding linux in GUI space back, and it was hard to work with(makes a port harder, scare new devs), screen tearing, multi-monitor support was hard.

    So some people started working on a new standard, wayland, which everyone uses but cannocial.

    As for standards that help everyone, low level standards, such as TCP/IP, freedesktop.org, provide just enough compatibility between projects, while not getitng in the way with varying demands.

    freedesktop.org is the reason why your settings in XFCE remain in GNOME, and KDE, etc...
  • Re:Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quacking duck (607555) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @11:53AM (#45175279)

    A healthy balance between any extreme is usually ideal.

  • Re:Of course... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TrekkieGod (627867) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @11:53AM (#45175287) Homepage Journal

    You're referring to the fact that both groups like to stick to their values? I may not agree with one of them but they both have a very good record of not switching sides in the middle of a debate.

    You say that as if it's a virtue. People willing to change their stance when presented with evidence their stance is incorrect are to be valued, not shunned. Willingness to concede a point in a debate is virtuous. The alternative, sticking to your guns no matter what, is a character flaw.

  • Re:B-O-O H-O-O. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @11:57AM (#45175321)

    Actually, systemd's kind of socket activaction has one use: if you run a large server bank of small customers' virtual machines whose daemons stay off a vast majority of the time. For any other use, it's useless or even actively harmful: you won't know the daemon fails to run until you actually need it.

    Another part of systemd is that it cripples cgroups for any other users, forcing them to beg systemd for any action. Again, this matches Red Hat's server farm's needs, but not those of most of us.

  • Re:Yikes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evilviper (135110) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @12:20PM (#45175483) Journal

    Limited government DISEMPOWERS corporations. It removes barriers to bring products into the market place which enables smaller cottage players into the game.

    That's utter nonsense that has been extensively and repeatedly disproven. There is no government involvement that causes "economies of scale", which naturally favors big, entrenched players. Government involvement PREVENTS collusion that would lock-out smaller players. And we have ample historical references for exactly what you're proposing, and it led to giant monopolies, robber barons and the great depression.

    None of the mega banks would have survived the financial crisis without the BIG GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS;

    Several big banks were well capitalized and did not need the government bail-out, UNTIL it came time to acquire some of the failing players, in which case the fed helped to cover some of the massive losses they inherited.

    Which industries were most abusive: rail, mining, oil would be likely candidates and hmm which industries did the Government have the biggest roles in....

    Standard Oil developed WITHOUT government involvement, and it was the Supreme Court ruling that broke it up. They're a good example of what a large company will do to squash all competitors, if there are no government regulations around to stop them. You should seriously read up on it, because this one company alone stands as stark proof that everything you're saying is patently false, and directly contrary to all reality.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @01:16PM (#45175823)

    remote using X requires a bit of thought to setup

    Adding -X to the ssh command is really freaking hard.

  • Re: Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 19, 2013 @01:46PM (#45176023) Journal

    No it isn't, not really. Right now FOSS is suffering from three MAJOR problems, which seriously hamper progress. If these problems were to be soled things would be a LOT farther along.

    1.- The "Taco Bell" problem. This is where limited resources are squandered on the illusion of choice and ego stroking and its a serious issue. How many distros on distrowatch fit this description? "Its (insert Ubuntu/Debian) with (insert KDE/Gnome or derivative) along with (insert LO/FF/Gimp/Chromium) and just enough changes to make things incompatible"? Probably a good 90% at least. If this ego stroking illusion of choice were removed and that effort instead put to use fixing issues with one of the big three? It would go a LONG way to fixing the second problem.

    2.- The "busted shitter" problem. You ask someone to paint you a picture or write you a song for free? You'll have plenty to choose from,many of which might even be good. Ask them to fix your stinking shitter for free? Better get used to pissing in the sink. All the "easy and fun work" in Linux is pretty much done,while all the nasty work, regression testing, documentation (how many place holder help files are in your average distro?) bug fixing, drier testing, application compatibility testing, all the nasty work that really adds polish to an OS and make it shine? Too much of it simply isn't getting done. For proof go look at any distro's forums after a major release and how many "update broke my driers" posts you see. More importantly look at how many of these are involving the "bog standard" hardware, the Realtek and Via sound, Realtek and SiS networking, the major wireless chips, things that should frankly NEVER be allowed to break because of the number of people using those chips...yet they are crapped on constantly. It doesn't matter how well your OS looks, the second it starts crapping on bog standard hardware it looks Mickey Mouse.

    3.- The "FOSSie faction" which is frankly what TFA is talking about. Right now there is a war going on in the FOSS camp, on the one hand you hae the pragmatists that want Linux to be able to compete and hold its head up high when compared to OSX and Windows, then you have the "FOSSies" which I use that term because like Moonies its ALL about the dogma, who frankly don't care if Linux is a broken POS as long as its "purity of essence" with regards to GPL remains 100% intact. Try to bring up the lack of a hardware ABI and you'll find out soon enough its not a technical issue, not a design issue, its a RELIGIOUS issue. You'll quickly hear things like "it would allow companies to put out non GPL drivers" (Newsflash, they already do and ya know what? They are often the ONLY drivers that work worth a shit, see Nvidia) and "spirit of the GPL" and other such nonsense. At the end of the day you can have a useless "GPL pure" distro, see GNUsence, or you can compromise and actually make something work.

    At the end of the day his calling them the TEA party is an apt description, as like the frankly ever more militant RMS there is NO talking to them, NO compromise, its their way or the highway PERIOD. This frankly is trashing Linux as Joe and Sally Average don't give a shit about your "GPL Spirit" all they know is their wireless was trashed and video wonked on the last update. Its sad really, to have so much good work, killer DEs, better than Windows now honestly, plenty of killer software, but the whole driver and subsystem situation really isn't any better than a decade ago and sadly its not the code, as Shuttleworth is finding out its the politics.

  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @03:01PM (#45176551) Journal

    I've been in IT for coming about 18 years, working with end-users to one degree or another the entire time, and I've never met anyone who didn't understand that the apps they used under Citrix, RDP, or VNC were running remotely and just being drawn locally. They may have been frustrated that they couldn't access local resources (this can be good or bad), but few if any of them thought the programs were installed locally.

    It should be dead simple for most people to use a remote desktop capability without much thought on how to set it up because most people are not interested in anything other than the apps appearing on their screen. Microsoft has refined this well enough that it's used in enterprise environments large and small with enough auto-configuration that it will adapt to the local capabilities but can be overridden by a power user if so desired. Anyone who wants to see Microsoft's dominance at least challenged should accept that this is the way it needs to be.

    I understand that X does its job well. But there are those who believe that the system in place does not do it well enough. Wayland's devs are in that group and are trying to address it. What concerns me is the group of people who refuse to accept that it should be done any other way and actively try to shoot down alternatives, even before they've had any real chance to use it. That contradicts the foundation of the open source community.

  • Re: Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RMingin (985478) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @04:02PM (#45176939) Homepage

    While I agree that "FOSSies" can be detrimental to some proposed feature additions, I disagree with your general sentiment that they are detrimental to all progress.

    If you take the opposite point, that anything should be added if it adds to the user experience, you'll end with a distro that is Windows. Fully binary, almost impossible to support or troubleshoot, but it has SOO MANY shiny things, also binary-only.

    The FOSSies may be extreme, but they built and maintained the sandbox up from nothing. While you think you have grand plans for that sandbox, you MUST respect those who set the original rules, or you will not be welcomed in their sandbox.

    For a real world example, I run Debian on my laptop. In it's purest post-install form, it is lacking quite a few things, a very few I consider essentials (needs binary blobs to make the Intel WLAN go), and some others that I very much like but could live without (Chrome with all the Google services instead of Chromium). I even installed a few things that would make the Debian purists cry (Steam, which is binary-only, and on my desktop, the binary-only Nvidia driver).

    What's the point? With a few minor tweaks, I can add any binary-only shinies that I'd like. Debian doesn't stop me. It just doesn't offer them out of the box, which seems to be your preference. The difference between us? I accept a little adjustment and tinkering to make everything Just So, and acknowledge the POV and desires of the DFSG or FOSS purists, even where I disagree or don't feel as strongly, while you mock and deride them and seem to expect the distros to package things YOUR WAY and support YOUR vision.

    If you don't understand why the GPL is important, you're still free to use and abuse Linux. Just don't expect anyone who DOES understand it's importance to care about your POV.

  • Re: Of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jasno (124830) on Saturday October 19, 2013 @09:53PM (#45178545) Journal

    I'm not trying to be too snarky, but do you work on open source projects?

    Whenever I hear someone talk about what the FOSS community should or needs to do, I first ask myself that question. This 'FOSS community' is not some monolithic entity which acts in some coordinated way to make you or anyone else happy. The 'FOSS community' is a collection of folks ranging from developers donating their time and efforts to paid devs hired by companies that derive benefit from FOSS software. Sure, that s/w engineer with too much time on his hands could probably advance the 'FOSS cause' by shuttering his unique distro and instead running regression tests of recent packages against modern hardware, but what makes you think you or anyone else can place those moral obligations on him? Did you ever think that many folks in the 'FOSS community' are having fun and enjoying their hobby?

    What you call 'an illusion of choice' is *actually* choice. You can choose not to use those developers efforts and instead donate your time to a project you deem worthy.

    Have a problem with the "busted shitter" problem? Are you offering to spend your time and energy on a thankless project with little personal rewards? Why not? This is one of the problems for which distributions were created in the first place. Companies charge money for their software so they can pay people to do these thankless, mind-numbing tasks. Support one of them, or figure out a new way(bug bounties maybe?) to motivate people to work on the broken shitter, or, you know, stop putting moral obligations on the 'FOSS community'.

    I'm sorry - I know this is coming off as rude. You sound, to my ears, like an idealistic kid who points his fingers at the world but doesn't actually pitch in. Try to understand what the 'Foss community' is, and how it got to be what it is.

    The 'Foss community' is many things, but it is not slave labor. It is not here to provide you with no-cost software that performs as you wish.

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