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Ubuntu Open Source

Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community 155

puddingebola (2036796) writes "Bruce Byfield looks back at the soured relationships between Canonical and the free software community. Partly analysis, partly a review of past conflicts, the writer touches on Mir and Wayland, and what he sees as Canonical's attempts to take over projects. From the article, 'However, despite these other concerns, probably the most important single reason for the reservations about Ubuntu is its frequent attempts to assume the leadership of free software — a position that no one has ever filled, and that no one particularly wants to see filled. In its first few years, Ubuntu's influence was mostly by example. However, by 2008, Shuttleworth was promoting the idea that major projects should coordinate their release schedules. That idea was received without enthusiasm. However, it is worth noting that some of those who opposed it, like Aaron Seigo, have re-emerged as critics of Mir — another indication that personal differences are as important as the issues under discussion.'"
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Canonical's Troubles With the Free Software Community

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @11:53AM (#46584533)

    That and once they decided to monetize our search results and share it with Amazon ... well, I'll never have an Ubuntu installation again.

    My perception of Canonical is now "greedy assholes who don't care about user's privacy"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @11:59AM (#46584589)

    Ubuntu is switching to systemd:

    Lets hope they'll eventually switch to Wayland, too.
    Unfortunately it also remains true that Ubuntu is the most usable Linux distro out there for the "I'm not afraid of computers, but also don't have the time to learn Linux, I just need a working environment and the ability to quickly google stuff" crowd.

  • As a KDE user... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Parker Lewis ( 999165 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @12:09PM (#46584693)
    ... I gave a chance to Unity about 3 months ago, with 12.04 LTS. I liked the desktop disposition (Mac global menu with side launcher), and the general integrated look and feel. Use of apt-get is really nice (as in Debian), and with use of PPAs I can keep almost all my software update to date in a global way. Almost all configurations are simple, which helps new users. Driver support is good (I just had to setup the hybrid graphical cards with Bumblebee). In the other side, I thought the fonts were a bit big, and I don't like the dark theme. How to text font sizes? Install third part software. How to install new themes? Install other third part software (themes is one of the most cool features of Linux DEs!). Can I change the duration of notification? Re-position launcher? No, no, only using more third part softwares. But ok, in my mind, all the problems can be fixed in the future. Then I started to look into launchpad to see the bugs opened, and the future plans. Almost all important issues related to Unity are still open, with almost no comments from Canonical (usually in KDE we have an official dsposition after few hours). Most of Canonical efforts then are focused in "convergence", which my question is "who asked for?". As the future Ubuntu phones will not use the same desktop applications, why I need a new Linux based device? I'd love if Canonical works in better integration with Android: the MTP support is a joke (stop to work after few minutes), and would be nice to attend my mobile calls with my desktop headset, read my SMS on systray, etc. I think that offer a better support for the most popular linux based mobile will be a nice flag. And then, I tested the new Ubuntu version. And I saw that I have Amazon over all the places: in desktop search, in the launcher, all activated by default. Why this? In these days of all the concerns about NSA and privacy, why not sell the "you're using an open source product with all the privacy concerns" flag? If they want financial support, why not allow users to donate, like on KDE? (I'm a KDE e.V. member). I remember too, the old Mandrake club, where users have access few days earlier than "normal" users. In my minds, it's a shame that the most talked Linux distribution has enabled, by default, a shareware scheme. And the worst: the dash search do not works well. I have avidemux installed, and if I type "demu", I got nothing. If I want to run the calculator, and I type "calc", I'll get "OpenOffice Calc" as first result. So, I mean, I can understand when Canonical choose the Unity way. Gnome team is out of this planet, removing all basic features from applications, and forcing a tablet/mobile interface too. But I cannot understand why force the shareware behavior, or other duplicate efforts, like Mir, Ubuntu mobile, etc.
  • by chris.alex.thomas ( 1718644 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @12:26PM (#46584897) Homepage

    which is fine when you're a cat, but when you're a group of supposed computer experts who think the world should be a better place and want to improve upon the old, it's not fine, it's a complete waste of energy and the top #1 reason why linux only makes steps forward when somebody steps forward to take that charge, e.g. Linus, Google (with android), Nvidia, ATI, the wayland team

    can you remember how bad the linux desktop was before ubuntu? it was atrocious....what about before

    the list is probably endless if you ask somebody for other examples, but I think I've made my point

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @01:07PM (#46585349) Homepage

    and the top #1 reason why linux only makes steps forward when somebody steps forward to take that charge, e.g. Linus

    Are you forgetting that Linus created Linux? He didn't step forward to take charge. You can't even include him in that list.

    can you remember how bad the linux desktop was before ubuntu? it was atrocious....what about before

    When I started using Linux (0.99a Kernel, Slackware on a million floppy disks), the X interface (and OS) was several years ahead of anything Microsoft produced. And I still consider fvwm to be one of my favorite desktop environments of all time, because it was lean, and worked quite well.

    I finished university using that machine, and having learned UNIX and C on it, it got me my first job.

    You know what I think are terrible desktops? The new stuff which looks like a dumbed down Windows from 10 years ago.

    the list is probably endless if you ask somebody for other examples, but I think I've made my point

    Well, you've made a point. I don't find it nearly as compelling as you do.

    Is open source fragmented and beset with infighting? Sure it is. Has it created really cool stuff despite that? Yup. Has it needed someone to be in charge of it (especially when that someone is a for-profit entity)? Nope. Is this likely to change? Doubtful.

  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <> on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @01:47PM (#46585803) Homepage

    Yup. I suspect Canonical is going to continue down a path towards irrelevancy. They've got a solid userbase and a pretty good lead for now, which means it's not going to happen soon, but I can't see anything but a decline in the future for them.

    I'm seeing a lot of parallels with Cyanogen Inc, the company that was formed by some of the CyanogenMod leads. They're delusionally self-important and consistently speaking things in direct conflict with their actions ("Everything you see now will remain open-source" at the same time they're trying to force a contributor to dual-license a major GPL work so they could have commercial rights to it. Fortunately their CLA wasn't as powerful as Canonical's). I suspect they're going to wind up going down the same road as Canonical.

    Cyngn is doing EVERYTHING in nearly the exact same way Canonical has - and seems oblivious to the fact that Canonical has been doing a good job of alienating all of their potential partners and many of their contributors. Canonical should serve as a shining example of how NOT to monetize open source software in a sustainable fashion (especially by coopting existing projects), yet certain people feel that Canonical's example is the best one to follow.

  • Re:As the Sun sets (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:12PM (#46586049)
    I thought that Sun was the de facto UNIX standard. SCO lacked a proprietary hardware platform that could have locked them in, IBM had too many options, same for HP, DEC was more into VMS and NT, SGI was a niche player initially in visualization workstations and later in supercomputing. Essentially, Sun was the standard, until Linux came along.
  • by Tempest_2084 ( 605915 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:14PM (#46586077)
    Am I the only one who LIKES Unity? Ubuntu is the distro that got me to switch from Win 7 to Linux (still have to keep Win 7 around for one or two things though). I really don't understand all the hate other than the stupid Amazon search lens thing (which I disabled). My best guess is that it might be because I'm a new convert to Linux rather than a long time user.

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.