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Thread: Mark Shuttleworth Talks About What Ubuntu Contributes

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    Default Mark Shuttleworth Talks About What Ubuntu Contributes

    Phoronix: Mark Shuttleworth Talks About What Ubuntu Contributes

    For those wishing to spend some time reading a long blog post or are interested from Mark Shuttleworth's perspective regarding what Ubuntu / Canonical contributes to the free software ecosystem (since it's widely regarded that their actual code contributions are very low), here's the post for you...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODU5OA

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    that's pretty good.

    but a lot of people see that canonical is not red hat. we can't just expect other companies to be as awesome as red hat is with contributions.

    and hey, it could be a lot worse. imagine if canonical was completely ungrateful and ordered around kernel or x server developers to fix things.

    or worse yet, what if every bit of code canonical wrote was binary only and dynamically linked to the vanilla code that make up a distro. and if part of that code was written by microsoft through a strange deal.


    hahaha. see how good canonical looks now compared to the above?

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    The point was that free software didn't require another Red Hat or IBM. The ecosystem was already in place when Canonical was founded, all it needed was a vehicle to attract users.

    And that is what Ubuntu is.

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    Well spoken, BlackStar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    The point was that free software didn't require another Red Hat or IBM. The ecosystem was already in place when Canonical was founded, all it needed was a vehicle to attract users.
    That's crap, it's not like there were too many developers working on free software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    The point was that free software didn't require another Red Hat or IBM. The ecosystem was already in place when Canonical was founded, all it needed was a vehicle to attract users.

    And that is what Ubuntu is.
    Agreed. But it would help to give credit where credit is due, as well. The very substantial portions of Ubuntu's top applications that are written by the likes of Red Hat, Collabora, Novell, and (as much as I hate to say it) Oracle, should somehow get free name brand recognition from using Ubuntu. If I were an ordinary end-user, I wouldn't mind at all seeing a splash screen pop up giving credit to "Red Hat and contributors" for some popular Gnome program. OpenOffice and Firefox already have fairly prominent advertisement for their primary sponsor; the Know Your Rights thing on Firefox's first launch, and the Help -> About on Firefox, both advertise Mozilla Foundation prominently. Similarly Oracle is given credit twice for OpenOffice: in their splash screen on every startup, and in About.

    Ubuntu is/was necessary, but it is important that the companies who put actual engineering effort into the projects Ubuntu depends on remain visible, rather than invisible. You see, Ubuntu has an incentive to ensure that these companies stay in business, and that they continue to employ the engineers who work on the projects they depend on. Without them, "the community" may take up some of the slack, but the fact is that there are quite a few projects that are primarily driven by the commercial open source model. We (the users) need to financially support these companies when we are able. Well... maybe not Oracle, but definitely the others I listed.

    Also, I'll point out that one of the top 5 or top 10 GNU/Linux desktop engineering companies, Novell, already produces a distribution that (imho) directly competes with Ubuntu on ease of use. Now don't get me wrong; OpenSUSE as old as version 10.0 was really, really user-unfriendly. But I've been using 11.3 for a few weeks, after being a long-time Ubuntu user, and my impression is that the community built around OpenSUSE, and the distribution itself, is so polished and fresh that it could very well become just as popular as Ubuntu. And the funny part about that is that Novell is also one of the top engineering companies, so they aren't "just" a vehicle for delivering GNU/Linux to the masses.

    If Novell can do it, why can't Canonical? Do your fair share of engineering, and let your user enthusiasts and fans build out the community. It's a successful model for OpenSUSE. Build it, and a few people will come; then they will tell their friends; then everyone will come. It's a latent effect, but you've gotta have patience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    Agreed. But it would help to give credit where credit is due, as well. The very substantial portions of Ubuntu's top applications that are written by the likes of Red Hat, Collabora, Novell, and (as much as I hate to say it) Oracle, should somehow get free name brand recognition from using Ubuntu. If I were an ordinary end-user, I wouldn't mind at all seeing a splash screen pop up giving credit to "Red Hat and contributors" for some popular Gnome program. [...]
    If the developers of said popular Gnome program put in a splash screen, the user will see it. If not, they won't. Can't see what Ubuntu has to do with this.

    For what it's worth, many applications come with a Help -> About screen that lists contributors.

    If Novell can do it, why can't Canonical? Do your fair share of engineering, and let your user enthusiasts and fans build out the community. It's a successful model for OpenSUSE. Build it, and a few people will come; then they will tell their friends; then everyone will come. It's a latent effect, but you've gotta have patience.
    But Canonical does create code (do read the Mark's blog post, it's an interesting read). They may not spend as much energy on Mono/Gnome/[your favorite app] but they write code and share it with the rest of the ecosystem as they should.

    Frankly, this "Canonical doesn't write code" mantra is bollocks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    The point was that free software didn't require another Red Hat or IBM. The ecosystem was already in place when Canonical was founded, all it needed was a vehicle to attract users.

    And that is what Ubuntu is.
    I see. So they are a marketing company... which should make the companies who pay Canonical for support feel just awesome.

    "Sorry we can't fix your issue fast enough, all we are setup to do is attract users and take your money. "

    If Canonical only had a community supported distro, that would be one thing. But since they sell support for the release, they need to put more into the engineering side, and not lean on upstream to work on the hard issues for them.

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    Canonical should stand up and seriously invest in Linux as a platform for opensource entertainment and gaming(subscription, head money etc), instead of shifting around icons on desktop.

    I know people are willing to pay good money for GOOD drm-free games and there are methods to make them real.

    Do something that is real. Like RedHat does.

    Then, Mandriva will eventually vanish or will have to change as well.

    And they should really stop pushing unfinished unstable code into mainstream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgonzales
    I see. So they are a marketing company...
    Which is exactly what Linux needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazycheese
    Canonical should stand up and seriously invest in Linux as a platform for opensource entertainment and gaming(subscription, head money etc), instead of shifting around icons on desktop.
    I'm getting the distinct feeling that this is part of what they are trying to do. The new Software Center and the (quite successful) MP3 store both hint at this.

    The underlying platform is slowly becoming more stable (10.10 is looking better than 10.04, which was significantly better than 9.10) but it still needs a lot of work to reach the user-friendliness and mind-share of Win7 and OSX. Because, unlike geeks like you and I, users don't like playing with their computers. They just want to get things done (facebook, music, photos, games).

    I don't know if Canonical will succeed in the end, but they have the vision and will to pull this off: they understand Linux is a means to an end, not the end itself.

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