Aug 02, 2013
3:33 AM EDT
|I think this article needs the title changed. It should be "Why Mark Shuttleworth Is Important to the mainstream adoption of Desktop Linux". As is, the title implies that mainstream adoption (the only thing Canonical can do for linux) is somehow relevant to desktop linux. This is a false premise, since mainstream adoption would do little for the current user-base (home, commercial, embedded, etc) of the operating system. Granted, nice things _have_ come from organizations choosing to contribute to linux for pragmatic reasons...man power, drivers, steam, etc. However, there is no lifeline attached to linux that have been created or are sustained by the existance of Canonical. In other words, desktop linux will be here even after virtual-reality glasses take over the world...still serving the majority of its current userbase. Too many people fail to understand that the very nature of linux makes single individuals or organizations...irrelevant. Desktop linux doesn't need to fight for market-share...it already does what it needs to do...perfectly.
To your point of Canonical's work being of use to the rest of the non-Ubuntu universe...the R[he]D that Canonical has poured into tools that are _trully_ distro-agnostic seems (no quantitative data) largely negligible. Sure, they do a lot of work for the kernel and other miscellaneous bs...but again, not to an extent that would make me worried of losing Canonical. Most efforts are focused into tools that never make it outside of Ubuntu...interfaces, artistic work, upstart, mir, etc. Sure...GPL, but GPL that other people cannot easily use or modify is only nice in a strictly philosophical sense[/he] pragmatically, not so.
The article raises some interesting points nevertheless...but I am a bit tired of people trying to convince me that linux (or desktop linux) owes anything to X ( here...X = Ubuntu). To me, it always seems like a blatant case of missing the point of linux. The "year of desktop linux" might make some people all warm and fuzzy inside...but gnu/linux doesn't care, and neither do I.
Note: It is late...so I might have to come back and add some clarifications later.
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