Parallels to proprietary Linux companies
Mar 22, 2010
1:29 AM EDT
|Canonical's pseudo-democracy here (really a "meritocracy" as Shuttleworth deigns to call it) continues to have more and more similarities to the marketing tactics taken by two of the best-known proprietary Linux companies; Red Hat and Novell's SuSE.
Red Hat's business product is RHEL, see http://www.redhat.com/ Red Hat's much less commercial, community-based distro is obviously Fedora, see http://fedoraproject.org/
Novell's business products are SLES and SLED, see http://www.novell.com/home/ Novell's much less commercial, community-based distro is obviously OpenSUSE, see http://www.opensuse.org/en/
Similarly, Shuttleworth's meritocratic Ubuntu may remain "free as in free beer", but now perhaps decreasingly “free” as in “free speech” (see 'The Free Software Definition' page at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html ) The Bezemer piece addresses this very point in this excerpt:
Quoting:That's why I don't understand why InaTux gets so upset. FOSS is not and never will be a democracy in the sense he (or she?) understands democracy. Design decisions are not made by simply voting them off - and certainly not by its users.
And yet, there exists the one key Linux distro which has remained as democratic as one can possibly and even chaotically imagine; Debian GNU/Linux, (http://www.debian.org/). Debian obviously remains as the much-less commercial, widely-known, truly community-based, "universal operating system", this as compared to Ubuntu.
Whatever commercialized direction Shuttleworth may take Ubuntu, end-users and devs will continue to monitor this. The author even knows this quite well:
Quoting:If you don't like where Ubuntu is going, install another distribution. Nobody is saying that you should stick with it. It's easy.
Quoting:If too many people start doing that [leaving Ubuntu], Mark Shuttleworth has two options. Either he creates the perfect distribution for Mark Shuttleworth or he starts asking himself the right questions. A customer lost takes twice the effort to reel in than a new one.
Ubuntu's base-distro Debian will remain as yet another viable, non-commercial distro option regardless of "where Ubuntu is going" and regardless of when Shuttleworth "starts asking himself the right questions."
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