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Story: Mark Shuttleworth: Canonical leads Ubuntu, not 'your whims'Total Replies: 14
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Mar 08, 2013
1:39 PM EDT
That's how I read Mark Shuttleworth's efforts. Despite his comments about "massive" community contributions it really seems those contributions are only welcome if they come without criticism and are within line with what the corporate side, meaning Canonical, wants. The community has no real input and no ability to make changes. If you want to "contribute" you basically are an unpaid employee who must tow the line just like paid employees. Thanks, Mark, but no thanks.

Mar 08, 2013
3:12 PM EDT
Canonical is his money, Ubuntu is his idea, he *can* speak as he does. But let's wait and see if he attains the goal that we all have here, i.e, Linux Distros becoming the norm and not the exception.

Suppose there were not Mark and Ubuntu. Then one might have wished there were a sponsor with enough financial power to forge a huge Linux distribution. There's one who invested his own money. Yet that business is not profitable, he keeps investing and many are crying : "He wants money, bouuhhh !". Yes, he's a business man, where's the problem ?

Mar 08, 2013
4:39 PM EDT
The problem, as I wrote three or four years ago, is that people equate Ubuntu with Linux and, honestly, the quality of the distro in that time has ranged from meh to incredibly poor. (Yes, 12.10 is better in a lot of ways.) They also touted their community roots and their desire for community input and now are basically spitting in the face of those community members who helped them build the distro. I have no problems with making money from Linux. I just don't like the attitude displayed by Mr. Shuttleworth (an attitude we don't see from Red Hat or SUSE, BTW) or his willingness to disparage those who are genuinely trying to help.

Mar 08, 2013
4:47 PM EDT
Yeah, I pretty much agree with nmset. You may not always like what Mark Shuttleworth has to say, but he is promoting Linux at the end of the day. We should be behind his efforts even if we don't personally like to use Ubuntu.

Mar 08, 2013
5:02 PM EDT
How is he promoting Linux when he refuses to use the word Linux when talking about his distro? How does he promote Linux when you're hard pressed to find the word Linux on the Ubuntu website? He promotes Linux now about as much as Google does with ChromeOS and Android, which is to say almost not at all. Sorry, I don't see it. What you say was true once upon a time. It isn't now.

Mar 08, 2013
6:43 PM EDT
Quoting:How is he promoting Linux when he refuses to use the word Linux when talking about his distro? How does he promote Linux when you're hard pressed to find the word Linux on the Ubuntu website?

I agree Caitlyn, if he succeeds there will come a time that people believe Linux came from Ubuntu. I can't knock a man who is making decisions that are good for his company but when the company has benefited from a massive community that helped it make its name and an existing distro's infrastructure (Debian) I would be of the mind that maybe he would not have wanted to say
Quoting:If you've done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on

It basically says to me "Thanks for the help, suckers lol."

Mar 08, 2013
7:09 PM EDT
Well, I must say: you can say a lot about Shuttleworth, but whatever he wants, it's working. I myself have never been a Ubuntu guy, but lots of my co-workers have. All very good guys, good at what they do, experts all the way. I do think the last one converted to Debian Mint about half a year ago. So yes, I can confirm all the 1337 people are turning their back on Ubuntu - including the community and the work they did.

Yes, he's definitely having his way. I gotta give it to you, Mark, you're the best!

Mar 09, 2013
2:27 AM EDT
Sigmund Freud once said: I don't have any problems with my enemies. It's my friends that are causing me headaches.

The Ubuntus bark but the Slackware moves on. (Old Arab saying)

Mar 09, 2013
4:25 AM EDT
>How is he promoting Linux ...

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. No company can market the brand without Linus' consent,. They may have it or not, free or paid, but we have to remember it is a registered trademark.


Mar 11, 2013
11:27 AM EDT
Red Hat and SUSE, both corporations out to make money, promote Linux and have Linux in their name. The trademark issue doesn't prevent anyone from promoting Linux. What Red Hat and SUSE did need was permission to incorporate Linux in the name, not to promote the trademark.

I would also say that both openSUSE and Fedora seem to do more with community input and are less in-your-face about the fact that it's a business than Mr. My-Way-Or-The-Highway Shuttleworth.

Mar 11, 2013
12:05 PM EDT
Quoting:I would also say that both openSUSE and Fedora seem to do more with community input and are less in-your-face about the fact that it's a business than Mr. My-Way-Or-The-Highway Shuttleworth.

@caitlyn, I don't know exactly how true that is. SUSE and Red Hat both started with a non-community distro and then created community projects (OpenSUSE and Fedora, respectively), and I think that everybody knew the deal when those projects were started -- the corporate parent would be putting a lot of effort into the project, and by virtue of meritocracy/sweat-equity would wield considerable influence.

It's not like Fedora didn't push GNOME 3, PulseAudio, SystemD, KMS and a host of other before-their-time innovations in come-hell-or-high-water fashion. But the deal with Fedora is that it's a somewhat-bleeding-edge technology-preview distro, so users appear to understand that. And they can use CentOS/Scientific Linux or RHEL if they don't.

Both projects have a corporate presence baked in from the beginning. Mark Shuttleworth is throwing more corporate powder into the already-risen mix. It seems that he wants to start over.

To some extent, I think that OpenSUSE and Fedora listen to their current users.

Canonical/Ubuntu's problem is that they are trying, in one way, to listen to their FUTURE users. They take the fanboys for granted. I can't say I blame them, because while fanboy popularity is necessary, if that's all you've got there is no room for growth.

Trying to please users you don't have while pissing off those you do? It doesn't always end well.

Sure, Shuttleworth is positioning himself as the free-software Steve Jobs and Canonical as the Unity-shilling Apple. That's obvious.

He wants to change the world. In his mind. Did Ubuntu change the world from 2005-12? It certainly changed the Linux world. But in the consumer space outside all of us geeks, it's barely a blip.

Canonical is Shuttleworth's company. It's his millions/billions driving it. There's no getting around that.

There's always Xubuntu, the Ubuntu GNOME remix, Kubuntu and the many hundred other distributions out there for your computing needs and wants.

The future is phones and tablets. Hell, the PRESENT is phones and tablets. But desktop and laptop computers are far from going away. By virtue of the nature of Linux, there will be distributions that focus on the desktop/laptop PC for decades to come. We don't know how we'll be computing 15 years from now. Even 10 years out is a bit of a crapshoot; will we all have Google Goggles wrapped around our faces? Will everything be cloud-based?

Don't cry over the changes in Ubuntu. Many, many projects out there today would welcome the volunteer effort, advocacy and mindshare that has been in Ubuntu's orbit for the past seven or eight years.

Mint has been not-so-quietly grabbing it for the past three or so.

I hope Shuttleworth and Canonical succeed. I really do. The world could use more than one Apple, more mobile OSes than Android and iOS (though I think Mozilla has the edge here). It's his ball. He can bounce it the way he wants. He can take it and go home.

Mar 12, 2013
5:07 PM EDT
++1 caitlyn for at least TRYING to reveal Canicomical M$huttleworth's MWOTHW attitude for what it really is!!

@Steven_Rosenber, > I hope Shuttleworth and Canonical succeed. I really do...

And FWIW, _I_ happen to note that regardless of your disclaimers that you are absolutely NOT a Baboontu fanboi whatsoever, you DO seem to all-too-quickly quickly come to the rescue and defend Canicomical's M$ as of late.....

Just my 2c

Mar 12, 2013
6:25 PM EDT
My defense of Ubuntu/Canonical, as far as it goes, is based on the following:

-- It's Shuttleworth's money, and he has always been SABDFL; what he says goes and always has -- There's no money in being a great, community-driven desktop operating system -- I think the gamble -- "weaken desktops today for potential mobile gains tomorrow" -- is risky but offers substantial upside financially, technologically and in the oft-cited ability to "change the world" -- He's not trying to cut community out but get a community that's comfortable living in the app space and not the core-OS space; Android wants developers to make apps, not to participate in core development. Ubuntu is going for the same thing -- Everything runs its course, and Ubuntu both seeking and now wanting desktop-computer domination had to end at some point. Looks like that happened.

As I say in one of my recent posts, if you love the desktop, there are plenty of better places upstream to focus your time, skills and energy.

Mar 12, 2013
8:36 PM EDT
I don't think people are upset with the MWOTH (My Way Or The Highway) approach -- at least not those who appreciate that it's Shuttlleworth's own money at stake.

What seems to have people upset is the unpleasant suspicion that the policy has turned out to be, in reality, more of a Mushroom approach (Keep Them In The Dark And Feed Them Bull****).

People who were actually quite happy to contribute to Ubuntu -- on the clear, upfront understanding that they were giving up control and rights over their work, perhaps even assigning those to Canonical -- are now feeling deceived and mistreated. They didn't mind being unpaid, very, very junior partners, given very little say, for a worthy cause, but they would object to being merely unpaid, exploited peons, taken for stooges.

Canonical has not handled the community relations side of this attempted transition very well -- perhaps they have been too focused on persuading OEMs and the IT industry that they are a "real" business. (Conspiracy Theory Alert: Perhaps this brusquely discourteous attitude to community contributors is even part of that corporate image management?) But when your volunteers, who understood their place in advance, and were pleased to participate anyways, nonetheless STILL feel abused, and disenchanted, then something has clearly gone wrong.

Mar 12, 2013
10:03 PM EDT
I think it's the dishonesty the bait and switch of making the Ubuntu Community to appear to be one thing and then it's when expedient Making it to be something else that most People are upset by

It has in all Probability been exactly what it now appears to be. But at the outset the rhetoric was that it was thing some else, and it was the Something else that many, if not Most members Joined for.

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