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  • #46
    Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
    Still, you are assuming desktop users and mobile users want the same
    For starters, a desktop user is usually a mobile user too (the opposite isn't necessarily true, even if most of the time it is anyway).

    It's not exactly that I'm assuming that, though. I do, however, think that a convergent OS like the one Canonical proposes is a genius idea and people will "buy" it when they see it. If Canonical implements it well (we have yet to see it truly developed, but it looks good so far) they will offer something unique that I think will be easily appealing to consumers and some big hardware names too. (If Canonical's mysterious smartphone hardware partner does desktops as well, you'll see a huge promotion of the concept in a year's time, that's for sure.)

    The only reason MS and Apple haven't made a convergent OS is about backwards compatibility. MS has gone as far as shoehorning their mobile paradigm onto the desktop, and mix it horribly with the older paradigm. That's a mess, but they'll keep taking advantage of their position in the desktop and pouring millions in mobile until people either fall for it or send MS to the history books. Apple is betting the house on mobile (mostly tablets), but people still need laptops and they are trying to fulfill the convergence somehow importing things from iOS to OS X. And finally Google, who doesn't give a damn about desktops, is making inroads in that territory with Chromebooks. If they ever get some significant numbers there, you bet Android and Chrome OS will somehow merge.

    So yes, I do believe convergence is what people want, even if they don't know yet. I might be wrong, though.

    Regarding Steam bashing, I hope you're right. I just see that going your own way in Linux is usually cause of bashing, and God knows Valve is REALLY going solo.
    Last edited by Aleve Sicofante; 12-15-2013, 07:34 PM.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
      No, you're not "basing only on facts". "Any concerning way" is pure opinion and that -not the true fact that they are indeed diverging and going solo, exactly the same as Ubuntu- is as much assuming as you say I do. The importance of the concern is yet to be analyzed in depth. We are confronting just a beta. Let's talk when SteamOS reaches release status. And let's not forget that every single piece of code that makes SteamOS what it is -i.e. the Valve Steam client- is closed source. I'm eager to see how the "community" keeps bashing Canonical for releasing open source code and live peacefully with Valve's vendor lock-in through their Steam client... LOL

      Of course we're discussing what will happen in the future and making assumptions (we still haven't got crystal balls do we?). All I'm saying is your "facts" and my "assumptions" are probably of the same nature: educated guesses. You have your reasons and I have mine. You think their diverging is non-critical and won't provoke Linux fanatics; I happen to think the opposite. You think my vision of Canonical's future is "a lot of assumptions" but I don't make them in a vacuum. There are lots of facts sustaining my assumptions. You just need to follow Canonical in the press everyday and you'll come to pretty much the same conclusions.

      The fact that many parts of Ubuntu are maintained by the community doesn't mean a thing. Ubuntu's "community" has been basically dismantled long ago, by Canonical no less. The parts that the community maintains for Ubuntu aren't just for Ubuntu only. Once the leader shuts down, Ubuntu will probably break up in a myriad of hobby derivatives and factually disappear from the landscape in the real world (of course those myriad derivatives will show up in Distrowatch, and there'll be fans of each claiming that's the real successor, and blah, blah, blah...). In the meantime, non-basement ex-Ubuntu users will look for another company backed distro.
      Steam client is closed source, and who cares? It's an userland application. It'll stay closed source, whether it's on windows, mac, or linux. The good part is that the OS that the steam client now runs on (steamOS) is an open source OS, and even better, it's based on Linux.

      Anyway, you're comparing apples and oranges here. SteamOS is meant as a console OS. It's only purpose is gaming. It's miles away from Ubuntu, which markets itself as a full-fledged desktop OS with all the features thereof. They shouldn't and aren't compared directly, there are different expectations on a desktop OS meant for general-purpose computing, and an OS that is only meant for gaming.

      Canonical attempted to forcefully direct the development of desktop Linux to a direction that would suit their purposes. They introduced Mir, which was the stupidest, most nonsensical move ever made. It was an attempted powergrab, but it failed, because they failed to get anyone else's support for the project. So if they're smart, they'll probably just fold and go with Wayland in the future. If not, they're just isolating themselves into an island, and wither away due to increasing incompatibility with the rest of the Linux ecosystem. Valve basing on Debian, and using an X-based display server, and possibly in the future Wayland - this means that probably in the future, the Steam client will not run natively on Ubuntu. All the other, interesting developments on the Linux world are moving towards a different direction than Ubuntu. They can keep struggling, trying to do their own thing, but in the end it'll end badly for them - someone like Google can get away with doing their own thing, they're big enough to bruteforce their way through, but the same strategy will not work for a bit player like Canonical. A small company needs to play nice with the community in order to maximize their limited resources.

      Ubuntu's forays to the mobile world don't seem very convincing either. Vaporware, big announcements, failed crowdsourcing campaigns... Will there ever be a Ubuntu phone, well, I'll believe it when I see it, but so far it looks like eternal vaporware that will never materialize. Meanwhile, Jolla has already brought a phone running Wayland on the market, a phone that is being shipped right now, Firefox OS is also shipping already, and Tizen is right around the corner. Ubuntu had a chance to make it on mobile but they missed their mark, it seems (no pun intended).

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      • #48
        One thing to suggest to Valve is to start blogging about what they are changing, and why, in their kernel and OS. It can also help with eventual upstreaming of their patches (that makes life easier for them in the long term).
        Obviously that stuff can be useful beyond SteamOS as it fixes Linux problems related to gaming (and Linux still predominantly isn't a gaming OS).

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Aleve Sicofante View Post
          but they're all around the internet.
          Where? We already know that all these statistics are wrong (Ubuntu derivatives like Kubuntu report themself as Ubuntu. These website don't show all users but the ones visiting their website only. What if one user visits such a page daily with a new IP (24h disconnect) while another user visits it once in a few months only, ...).
          Ubuntu is by far the most used Linux desktop.
          Ubuntu is a Distribution, KDE a DE used by distributions, so you are comparing apples to oranges anyway. If you want to compare than compare the use of Unity vs. the use of KDE. Good luck finding non-biased sources for this.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            Wow, You just made the dumbest ever list....
            yea that guy is so dumb his head whistles in a cross wind.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by mrugiero View Post
              Not always. In fact, I recall someone checked the ld output on Steam itself, and it is directly linked to X.org. I don't know about Valve's people, but if I don't call X specific code, I avoid linking directly to it.
              AFAIK, SDL provides abstractions for all of the direct X.org use, so rewriting those pieces shouldn't be hard. But if I have to guess, they ARE there.


              I don't know about you, but I get concerned if targeting Ubuntu becomes different than targeting another distribution, as this makes the already slight chance of having support on Linux, even slighter to touch my distro of choice.

              Having said this, I think all of those concerns are overblown. This doesn't make them invalid, so I can understand some people bashing Canonical for the choice of making Mir. Of course, there are ALSO zealots, and those will bash anything but their distro of choice. But I see them as pretty much negligible.
              Well that's my point though, it doesn't make targeting Ubuntu any different for high level software developers, so why should I care as a user? Maybe Steam links to X.org now, (if true that is weird imo) but they would only do that because all distros use it, it's not like using Mir instead is going to make it more complicated for games to be released because a simple abstraction layer like SDL could be targeted instead. Of course that isn't the case for low level software that involves drawing to the display, so it is a valid concern for them when multiple display servers are being proposed. So for those developers I get the agitation, but when I see complaints from normal users (unless they provide good reason) my first thought is that they don't like something about Ubuntu or Canonical and this new display server just acts as another avenue of attack for them. This irks me, because it amounts to attacking them for straying from the herd, which ignores a lot of the positive attention that Ubuntu has brought to linux and open-source projects in general.

              Honestly I'm ambivalent about Mir. It's preferable imo to use and contribute to community projects over developing your own in house stuff when possible. It's the spirit of collaboration that makes open-source interesting for me. On the other hand, I also support competition when goals diverge and you think you can do better. So I'm cautiously optimistic overall, but I wish more people would sit back and watch how things play out rather than jump into camps of support or against. Ubuntu is still a part of the community as long as they continue to make free and open-source software and try to make the experience of Linux better for their users.

              Originally posted by dee
              Canonical attempted to forcefully direct the development of desktop Linux to a direction that would suit their purposes. They introduced Mir, which was the stupidest, most nonsensical move ever made. It was an attempted powergrab, but it failed, because they failed to get anyone else's support for the project. So if they're smart, they'll probably just fold and go with Wayland in the future. If not, they're just isolating themselves into an island, and wither away due to increasing incompatibility with the rest of the Linux ecosystem.
              This is the kind of crap I'm talking about. Forcefully direct? Attempted powergrab? What is this sensationalist nonsense? What about ALSA, Enlightenment, GTK, or systemd? They are all alternatives to what already existed, which some argue are better and others argue are worse. Their authors were also trying to direct the development of Linux to a direction that would suit their purposes. In fact, so is everyone who writes software for Linux! But somehow it is bad because it's Canonical doing it. It's not like they are writing proprietary software or forcing anyone to do anything. I just don't understand this kind of negativity, this need to attack and belittle over nothing.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by cynical View Post
                Well that's my point though, it doesn't make targeting Ubuntu any different for high level software developers, so why should I care as a user? Maybe Steam links to X.org now, (if true that is weird imo) but they would only do that because all distros use it, it's not like using Mir instead is going to make it more complicated for games to be released because a simple abstraction layer like SDL could be targeted instead. Of course that isn't the case for low level software that involves drawing to the display, so it is a valid concern for them when multiple display servers are being proposed. So for those developers I get the agitation, but when I see complaints from normal users (unless they provide good reason) my first thought is that they don't like something about Ubuntu or Canonical and this new display server just acts as another avenue of attack for them. This irks me, because it amounts to attacking them for straying from the herd, which ignores a lot of the positive attention that Ubuntu has brought to linux and open-source projects in general.

                Honestly I'm ambivalent about Mir. It's preferable imo to use and contribute to community projects over developing your own in house stuff when possible. It's the spirit of collaboration that makes open-source interesting for me. On the other hand, I also support competition when goals diverge and you think you can do better. So I'm cautiously optimistic overall, but I wish more people would sit back and watch how things play out rather than jump into camps of support or against. Ubuntu is still a part of the community as long as they continue to make free and open-source software and try to make the experience of Linux better for their users.
                I pretty much agree with you, except for the goals differing. I haven't seen yet where the goals between Mir and Wayland really differ. But, yeah, if they do differ, I agree with you.

                This is the kind of crap I'm talking about. Forcefully direct? Attempted powergrab? What is this sensationalist nonsense? What about ALSA, Enlightenment, GTK, or systemd? They are all alternatives to what already existed, which some argue are better and others argue are worse. Their authors were also trying to direct the development of Linux to a direction that would suit their purposes. In fact, so is everyone who writes software for Linux! But somehow it is bad because it's Canonical doing it. It's not like they are writing proprietary software or forcing anyone to do anything. I just don't understand this kind of negativity, this need to attack and belittle over nothing.
                I agree on ALSA and systemd, but GTK, AFAIK, arose when there was no GPL toolkit, as Qt was proprietary at the time (or at least not GPL, I'm not sure if it was before or after they stopped having only the proprietary license), and Enlightenment follows a different approach as to other desktops.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by cynical View Post
                  This is the kind of crap I'm talking about. Forcefully direct? Attempted powergrab? What is this sensationalist nonsense? What about ALSA, Enlightenment, GTK, or systemd? They are all alternatives to what already existed, which some argue are better and others argue are worse. Their authors were also trying to direct the development of Linux to a direction that would suit their purposes. In fact, so is everyone who writes software for Linux! But somehow it is bad because it's Canonical doing it. It's not like they are writing proprietary software or forcing anyone to do anything. I just don't understand this kind of negativity, this need to attack and belittle over nothing.
                  ALSA ans systemd are clearly better compared to the components they were made to replace (OSS and sysvinit). And Mir isn't. Mir does nothing that Wayland doesn't do. There was never any reason for Mir to exist. And it causes fragmentation problems - mostly for low-level developers, yes, but those are still problems, problems that arise from the biggest distribution adopting an unnecessary graphical server that nobody ever asked for. People don't necessarily bash it because it's Canonical, but rather because it's planned to be set as the default for the largest distribution, which then creates a rift between it and the rest of GNU/Linux. Mind you, this is just one of the flops that Canonical has done recently, so it's not that surprising that some people are disillusioned with Canonical itself, too.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by cynical View Post
                    This is the kind of crap I'm talking about. Forcefully direct? Attempted powergrab? What is this sensationalist nonsense? What about ALSA, Enlightenment, GTK, or systemd? They are all alternatives to what already existed, which some argue are better and others argue are worse. Their authors were also trying to direct the development of Linux to a direction that would suit their purposes. In fact, so is everyone who writes software for Linux! But somehow it is bad because it's Canonical doing it. It's not like they are writing proprietary software or forcing anyone to do anything. I just don't understand this kind of negativity, this need to attack and belittle over nothing.
                    I don't really know much about the history of ALSA, but from what I gather, it was made because the only alternative at the time, OSS, sold out and went partially proprietary, so a totally free alternative was needed. The later developments on the sound stack (Jack, Pulseaudio, GStreamer, etc.) all build on ALSA, which is the low-level component of the Linux sound system. It remains in use to this day.

                    GTK is a toolkit. Toolkits are low-level components and don't conflict with each other. You can have different software on your computer that each uses different toolkits - GTK2, GTK3, Qt, EFL, WxWidgets - and they can all happily coexist together. You can use a desktop that uses GTK and run Qt-based software on it just fine.

                    Enlightenment is similarly just another desktop environment. You can install several desktop environments on your computer. You can have GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Enlightenment, etc. easily installed on the same OS, and switch between them when you want. They can coexist easily.

                    systemd is an init system, and again, there isn't many software that depend on the init system. You can run most software just the same, no matter if your OS uses systemd, OpenRC, SysVinit or Upstart.

                    It's different with toolkits or DE's or window managers - they come and go, but X has been a fundamental cornerstone of desktop Linux, something that everyone has been able to take for granted. The problem is, X has become outdated and suffers from bloat and design flaws. So Wayland was created, and most of the community had agreed on Wayland as the next step ahead. With a compatibility layer, Xwayland, the transition would be made easy - there'd be a transition phase where things would be slightly confusing with two display systems, but Xwayland would solve most issues and allow a smooth transition from X to Wayland. Canonical had also expressed support of Wayland, back in 2010 Mark said Ubuntu would support Wayland and be in the front line of adopters. Things were looking good, we could have a smooth transition to a modern display system, and create a really powerful software ecosystem, making Linux a truly powerful entity in the OS space.

                    So then, sadly, Canonical dropped the ball and created this mess of confusion, where we can no longer look into a smooth transition from point A to point B - instead we're going from point A to points C, D and maybe E, and that's going to cause some real fragmentation and problems and stomachache for everyone.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                      About Debian - it was more than expected. Valve had zero reasons to put themselves in position on depending on Canonical's mess with Mir and etc. This way they can depend on rock solid Debian, and switch to Wayland with the rest of the Linux world when that time will come.
                      I chose Debian GNU/Linux because it is the best when all things are being considered. I am happy Valve think the same.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                        About Debian - it was more than expected. Valve had zero reasons to put themselves in position on depending on Canonical's mess with Mir and etc. This way they can depend on rock solid Debian, and switch to Wayland with the rest of the Linux world when that time will come.
                        Valve will never switch to that slow Wayneland crap.

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