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Mark Shuttleworth Comments Following Ubuntu Community Friction, Uncertainty

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  • #51
    Originally posted by Mez' View Post
    schmidtbag : I understand your points, and I guess the actual truth lies in the middle. Canonical wasn't heard on several projects but maybe because they were not reasonable. Now they're contributing smaller chunks to these projects though.


    I don't know what would have happened If they had involved the community more.
    But if they had joined another project to mutualize efforts, they would have brought possibly better (and finished) products, sure, but 5 years too late. By 2014-2015, the phone war was lost for everyone but Android-iOS. If the Ubuntu Edge had hit the target, they would have had to come with a short term solution. Possibly not as good, but it would have allowed them to catch the train, while reusing other projects wouldn't. It doesn't prevent from working in parallel for a longer term and cleaner solution.
    Of course, in retrospect it didn't work and it might sound silly, but I still believe it made sense at the time they made some of their decisions.

    I personally miss:
    - Ubuntu One. It was available on Ubuntu/Android (phone)/Windows (work) which was very convenient. It was much better integrated than Google Drive was/is through grive, insync..., and only Gnome online accounts a few years later made it half alright. Also, you could buy 320 kbps mp3. :-)
    - Unity. Still the best DE for my workflow. It lives on with a limited set of features through the Unite extension and Dash-to-Dock fortunately. And my BQ tablet would have been better with Unity 8 than with Android.
    The involvement of the community does not necessarily mean changing the project, but only involving your community in what you are doing. It happens everywhere in GNU / linux ...
    On the timing of the project ... well if you can't do it with the contribution of the community, all the more reason you will never succeed without it, unless it is a large company with capital to invest, but it is not the case by Canonical.
    Then perhaps the project would have stalled anyway, but at least they would have used all their resources.
    Again, the majority of Gnu desktop projects are community projects and we shouldn't be surprised at this.
    Then there are companies that help these projects, even economically, but Gnome, KDE, XFCE etc. they are all community projects, like most GNU applications.

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    • #52
      Originally posted by bregma View Post

      No. The Community Lead is someone who is not afraid of technology but excels at organizing and interpersonal relationships and is an extrovert (things that are very very rare for an engineer to have in combination).
      You are implying that Jono Bacon is an engineer? He has quite a few attributes (self-promotion being not the least of which), but an engineering degree, in any discipline, is not among them (and, if memory serves, Bacon's official title at Canonical was 'Ubuntu Community Organizer'. SOMEone had that last word changed--unofficially, or not--to 'Manager').

      Attributions, citations, and (a lot of) homework needed, please, regarding Jono Bacon's possessing an engineering degree.

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      • #53
        Originally posted by danmcgrew View Post
        You are implying that Jono Bacon is an engineer? He has quite a few attributes (self-promotion being not the least of which), but an engineering degree, in any discipline, is not among them (and, if memory serves, Bacon's official title at Canonical was 'Ubuntu Community Organizer'. SOMEone had that last word changed--unofficially, or not--to 'Manager').
        A quick summary of my argument, in context, is that being a technical person is not a requirement for the job. This summary was even included as the final paragraph of my post. How you came to the conclusion I was asserting that one particular individual, among several, who had filled that position years ago was an accredited Professional Engineer is beyond my kenning. I am also missing some context as to why it's so important that I be publicly corrected on the same matter and instructed to offer attributions and citations on something that I did not say and that contradicts what I did say. Perhaps your meds need a little adjustment?

        (a lot of) homework needed, please
        OK. Your homework assignment tonight will be to reread my posting in its entirety and write a 200 word essay describing how you could come to the judgement you did based on the words that were written and only the words that were written. You will receive a mark of zero if it is handed in late.

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        • #54
          Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
          True but web browser companies chuck one out on a nearly daily basis. They mistakenly call them releases when really they are really only minor sub-releases.
          "If it compiles without errors, that means it'll run without errors, right? Ship it!" :P

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          • #55
            Originally posted by lyamc View Post
            All you guys complaining about Canonical forking a project are complete hypocrites.

            Do you really love freedom or do you just love freedom if it's what you like?

            What absence of self-awareness you guys have.

            Furthermore, Canonical doesn't have the same responsibilities as you or me. If Gnome decides to break the backwards compatibility with their shell AGAIN, then what does Canonical do other than roll back the changes and wait another few weeks, delaying the rest of their development due to dependencies? And in the meantime their corporate clients, the ones giving money for the developer's paychecks, are frustrated by Canonical's inability to control their own OS.
            This deserved to be modded up far more than it has been, though in fairness that's hardly surprising. After all, anyone using Ubuntu is $whatever, and everyone knows REAL Linux users run $distro-of-the-week. :P

            Ubuntu has made plenty of mistakes, certainly, but it's also done a lot of good. Much of that good vanished though even on the occasions when Canonical DID actually follow through and deliver it, because Red Hat doesn't want competition, and has enough muscle to ensure that whatever serves their consulting business wins. Upstart "solved" the init problem without any of the negatives of systemd, and yet we got systemd. I hated Unity, but Canonical had no choice but to roll their own DE ** because the GNOME team rejected any sort of cooperation at all; and any sort of stability; and any timetable that wasn't Red Hat's.

            Ubuntu / Canonical will doubtless keep screwing up, but they've been an enormous force for good in the Linux ecosystem: far more so than Red Hat, despite everyone singing RH's praises on a regular basis. Ubuntu has done far more to advance the *reality* of Linux on the desktop than any other organisation, and that would still be true even if they dropped out of the space tomorrow.

            (** Not quite true: they also had the correct and obvious choice, which was to fork GNOME. But that was one of the "plenty of" mistakes).

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            • #56
              Originally posted by sb56637 View Post

              Interesting. Is there still a long freeze in the Testing and Unstable branches as they get closer to the next Stable release? I used to run Debian Testing back in ~2009 but it started really lagging behind for many many months as they established a vertical freeze across all their branches while trying to finalize the next Stable release.
              There is abt. a 6 months freeze for testing before it becomes stable. No real freeze for sid but it does get affected by the testing freeze.

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              • #57
                Originally posted by DRanged View Post

                There is abt. a 6 months freeze for testing before it becomes stable. No real freeze for sid but it does get affected by the testing freeze.
                Thanks for the reply. So I found this:

                https://wiki.debian.org/DebianTesting
                It is a good idea to include unstable and experimental in your apt sources so that you have access to newer packages when needed. With the APT: Default-Release apt config setting or with apt pinning you can have packages from testing by default but if you manually upgrade some packages to unstable or experimental, then you will get upgrades within that suite until those packages migrate down to unstable or testing.
                I couldn't find much about the APT: Default-Release thing, but it appears to be in the etc | apt | apt.conf.d | 00local file (forum won't let me post forward slashes???), according to this. So it looks like the Unstable repos can be added without apt pinning (which I don't like dealing with) and by default it will pull from Testing unless I decide to upgrade to a version in Unstable, and then it will automatically keep tracking Unstable for just those packages until that version gets pushed to Testing?
                Last edited by sb56637; 09-14-2020, 09:56 AM.

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                • #58
                  Originally posted by sb56637 View Post

                  Thanks for the reply. So I found this:

                  https://wiki.debian.org/DebianTesting


                  I couldn't find much about the APT: Default-Release thing, but it appears to be in the etc | apt | apt.conf.d | 00local file (forum won't let me post forward slashes???), according to this. So it looks like the Unstable repos can be added without apt pinning (which I don't like dealing with) and by default it will pull from Testing unless I decide to upgrade to a version in Unstable, and then it will automatically keep tracking Unstable for just those packages until that version gets pushed to Testing?
                  My sources.list contains the following:
                  deb https://deb.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
                  deb https://deb.debian.org/debian/ testing-updates main contrib non-free
                  deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security/ testing-security/updates main contrib non-free
                  # deb https://deb.debian.org/debian/ sid main contrib non-free

                  Do note the sid line is only there if I absolutely need it (mostly for older packages not found in testing). Still using gnome-mplayer which I got from somewhere compiled without musicbrainz.

                  Usually I upgrade with sudo apt update && sudo apt list --upgradable && sudo apt full-upgrade. For locking versions I use synaptic with a symlink to set it globally, like /var/lib/synaptic/preferences /etc/apt/preferences.d/preferences

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                  • #59
                    Originally posted by Mark Shuttleworth, quoted in article
                    I am rather frustrated at my own team, because I have long allocated headcount for a community lead at Canonical, a post which has not been filled.

                    Filling a post just to have a post filled is a recipe for disaster. It's how you get people in positions they are completely unsuited for (whether by skill, by temperament or by ego) which usually results in absolutely horrendous messes. I (and I'm sure many others here) have seen it happen first hand when a good manager gets replaced by a bad one who refuses to acknowledge that someone "under" them might know more than them.

                    I quite like Ubuntu as an OS - the recent obsession with snaps notwithstanding - although I'll freely admit I don't get involved in "the community", much like I avoid social media like the plague. But if Ubuntu did fail? Well, one of the advantages of Linux is that there isn't really a single point of failure as there would be with Windows.

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                    • #60
                      I worked with Jono in the Ubuntu community many years ago. It was very hands off, and there wasn't any commitment to open source values or community. I left for Debian and it was a much better experience. I still miss it (I use macOS now).

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