back to article Mark Shuttleworth: Canonical leads Ubuntu, not 'your whims'

After several months without posting, Mark Shuttleworth has returned to his official blog with some harsh words for those in the Ubuntu community who have been critical of Canonical's recent efforts to transform the OS into a multi-faceted platform for mobile devices and the cloud. "If you've done what you want for Ubuntu, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mark, you keep punching that straw man...

    ... and the Tin Woodsman's gonna cut ya!

    I don't know of anybody who is saying Linux, or Ubuntu, should be "hard", or "leet". Everybody who is complaining is complaining about it violating their privacy with the Amazon tie-ins, or complaining about breaking what was working (Gnome 2 or KDE) by replacing it with something half-baked at best (Unity) (BTW: Isn't it more "leet" to favor the "new" vs. the tried and true?).

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: Mark, you keep punching that straw man...

      Shuttleworth does not want to be the next Steve Jobs, that's obvious, more like Louis XlV.

      "L'etat c'est moi"

      "If you think the grand vision should follow your whims..."

      Or to put it bluntly.

      "My way or the highway."

      Don't take it personally, this is "free software" we're taking about and people using Linux have a choice and if someone disagrees with him that does not automatically make that person wrong.

      Personally I wouldn't touch Ubuntu with a barge-pole these days although Xubuntu is still reasonably useable. It's going in the wrong direction for me and ramming Amazon down everyones throat is on a par with MS's insistance on TIFKAM. Plain arrogance.

      On second thought, maybe he's not trying to be Louis XlV but Bob Geldof,

      "Just give us your money!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Mark, you keep punching that straw man...

      Well said.

      Those who didn't like the direction Ubuntu has gone in, have simply moved on.

      Like you implied (unless I'm reading into it wrong), the developers who produced Unity seem to be the 1337 types - hellbent on 'fixing' something that wasn't bust.

      Better teams have spent far more money and effort honing the desktop experience, with the experience and knowledge to understand that pulling the rug from under your users is a terrible move.

      Changes to Windows and MacOS over the years have been incremental and careful.

      Users could jump right from Windows 95 to WIndows 7 and still get around - 15 years down the line.

      The same cannot be said for a default Ubuntu install.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Mark, you keep punching that straw man...

        >Changes to Windows and MacOS over the years have been incremental and careful.

        >Users could jump right from Windows 95 to WIndows 7 and still get around - 15 years down the line.

        This obviously was true until the disaster that has been Windows 8. Unless of course you are going to say users could jump straight from Windows 1.0 to Windows 8 - 25+ years down the line which may be true but is just plain sad (turns out MS had discovered overlapping windows is a bad idea after all).

        1. yossarianuk

          Re: Mark, you keep punching that straw man...

          > Changes to Windows and MacOS over the years have been incremental and careful.

          Sounds a lot like KDE (since v 4.0 at least) - you know the desktop that a lot of Windows Vista/Window 7 features were 'lifted' from (i.e the menu for a start)

          Every few months a new, slightly better more refined version comes out.

          After using KDE for a while most users would feel limited using Windows 7 (I am not even going to mention the Unity clone - Windows8)

    3. Connor

      Re: Mark, you keep punching that straw man...


      'I don't know of anybody who is saying Linux, or Ubuntu, should be "hard", or "leet".'

      Then you should spend some time on the Ubuntu forums. I've lost count of the amount of times I've seen people, usually new users, complain or ask about a feature, only to be told - "if you don't like it, learn to program and change it yourself or just use Windows"

      The Linux elitist hardcore still exist.

      1. Ole Juul Silver badge

        Re: Mark, you keep punching that straw man...

        "I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. 'Linux is supposed to be hard so it's exclusive' is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say," Shuttleworth wrote.

        Yep, that's about the dumbest thing that a smart person could say. . . . oh wait ...

      2. Robert Pogson

        Re: Mark, you keep punching that straw man...

        The issue is not just about developers but OEMs and ordinary users. I don't know any who share Shuttleworth's idea that Apple and M$ are absolutely wonderful. In fact, many OEMs and retailers are despairing of selling Wintel and are seeking an exit. When the battle is almost won, Shuttleworth seems to be disbanding his army.

        Where has he been the last decade? Even my toddler granddaughter can run XFCE4 on Debian. If she doesn't need Unity, who does? Shuttleworth should stick to supporting OEMs and not designing software. What's Unity as a fraction of GNU/Linux, 1%? Why does he feel so important? He's not and the world will move on without him. While millions of PCs are shipping from OEMs with Ubuntu, millions of others are shipping with other distros and the hobbyists still visit Distrowatch.

  2. Bush_rat

    Gosh, I'm gonna have tip-toe with comment, ahh screw it, as much as community based amaze me with the abillity to truly craft your experience, I think Mark COULD be onto something. If he can wrangle the community into submission, I see a great OS.

    Please don't hurt me! </cower>

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      I have to agree with the Sentiment if not the theme here. If anyones ever gonna start taking Linux seriously then it's gonna have to start taking some form of centralized development to lay down road work to actually attract the closed source Commercial Developers (e.g. Adobe, Quark, perhaps even Microsoft w/Office?) to the Linux family. As it is now it's good and although I can respect the vitriol the "Community" is spouting towards Canonical. I mean this is almost certainly not in "the spirit" of Linux.

      One the other hand If Linux on the Desktop should ever become a reality between now and when XP SP3, and O2k3 SP3 hit there EOL. In just about a Year from now. Then THIS IS the kind of leadership that Linux unfortunately needs even if it isn't the kind of "Leadership" it deserves, or wants.

      1. Paul Shirley

        leading down a sinkhole

        Leadership is necessary but the destination it leads to is more important. Strong leaders can lead to disaster, mediocrity and irrelevance or more rarely, success.

        Canonical has not been short on leadership, enough to lead Microsoft down the same dumbing down sinkhole with Win8. It's dangerously short on respect for those it leads and totally blind to criticism. Well on the way to irrelevance with hints of disaster thrown in.

        1. fung0
          Thumb Up

          Re: leading down a sinkhole

          Couldn't agree more. Shuttleworth is deliberately muddying the waters here. It's not the *idea* of a more-commercial Ubuntu that people object to, but the specific way Shuttleworth is doing it... by adding spyware, or building a UI that's needlessly unfamiliar.

          Listening to the core audience does NOT make a company weak. There's a difference between leadership and sheer bloody-mindedness.

  3. Rushyo

    So basically, "I'm the only one who can make free software relevant, I don't need or want petty human beings outside my control interfering in that?"

    The talk about 'Grand Visions' and being 'Convinced' of the benefits of 'Disruptive Changes' doesn't at all sound like a power trip.

    Nevermind, that surely makes him appropriate as the Grand Moff of an operating system. Just not one I (as a fairly 'run of the mill' Ubuntu user) find tenable. The recent changes made by Canonical have made Ubuntu very undesirable as a desktop OS and using it makes me cringe at the moment. I'll be throwing it out and finding an alternative pretty soon.

    Maybe Windows 8? /trollface

    1. Magani


      Don't be tempted by the Dark Side. Try Mint.

      1. Shagbag

        Re: @Rushyo

        EXACTLY. That's what he said: if Ubuntu is not for you then move on to something that is - there's plenty of choice.

        There's no point in moaning about Ubuntu when there's so much competition for linux users out there. I like where Canonical are taking Ubuntu. I also like Arch. However, Canonical are breaking from the pack and trying to be different. As he said, you don't have to go with him if you don't want. GPL is GPL so any upstream code changes come down to benefit all.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Why throw it out if you like the underpinnings? Just install KDE/Gnome/whatever and carry on.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A leader with vision is better than one without. At least you know what he or she stands for and can then take it or leave it.

      It's funny how some people (Eadon especially) rave on about the wonderful open source world yet it seems to have more than a few pillocks who piss people off so much that a project/distro gets forked and we end up with two average/okay bits of software not one great one.

      1. Robert Pogson

        "A leader with vision is better than one without."

        Sometimes but not always. I've heard of Hitler, Mussoline, Idi Amin, Gadaffi and some others who had plenty of vision but were just headed in the wrong direction. Shuttleworth seems intent on solving a problem that doesn't exist while ignoring the elephant in the room. The elephant is that the only thing blocking more widespread adoption of GNU/Linux is retail shelf-space. Canonical has made great progress there before Unity came to be. The GUI is not the problem. Trying to stuff a desktop into a smartphone is.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Seriously I have trancended time and space.....

      To the point that I need dumb basic layouts that have the relevant menus and sequences in place...

      Abstract things, that kind of have enormous amounts of obscure, guessing game, kinds of links / app starters / process access etc.. they tend to lose me...

      I like menus that state what they mean, not heiroglyphs.

      While I am so glad that Shuttleworth and all the others, have pushed Ubuntu / Debian far further than anything else, and it would be a much worse world without it...

      Especially in regards to the Microsoft Nazi Surveilance Spy Ware....

      But As soon as the Unity Desktop went from the incarnation with the window sizing controls on the wrong side of the screen, to the fully fucked up next incarnation, I went Xfce....

      While the Unity interface - to me, it's a crock of shit... others may like it... but in this one aspect he is right: "Shuttleworth said his goal is for Ubuntu to be not just another hobbyist Linux variant, but a serious challenger to the likes of Android, Apple, Chrome, and Windows. Achieving that, he said, would take leadership."

      I won't take swipes at him...

      While I don't like the Unity interface, you need business brains and experience to begin to undermine Microsoft.

      Not something that fanbois are generally good at.

      1. DiBosco

        Re: Seriously I have trancended time and space.....

        I say this as someone who, other than Raspberry Pi, has always used Mandrake and its successors (and recently Open SuSE). Also, I have always used KDE so I have no love for Unity at all. However...

        ...I'm not sure sure it's fair to say the window sizing controls are on the "wrong" side. Surely it's just a completely random thing? As far as I understand it, Shuttleworth wants something more like the OS X desktop (which also has its controls on the left hand side and confuses the crap out of me on the rare occasions I'm exposed to it). I suspect, though, if I used it all the time I'd soon get used to it.

        In general, even though I have no desire to use Ubuntu and think Mageia and SuSE to evey bit as good a job as Ubuntu in making Linux very easy to use, I have a sneaky admiration for him and his work. He's really brought Linux to a much bigger audience and he really is doing the right thing in trying to get it on prebuilt hardware.

        I think he absolutely right in that he needs to show leadership and he can't listen to every opinion. If he's wrong, his company will fail, but if he's right and lots of new people use Ubuntu starting with Unity maybe they'll just accept it and even like it?

      2. Hayden Clark Silver badge

        Re: Seriously I have trancended time and space.....

        The thing that gets people annoyed about Unity is the same kind of arrogance that annoys about TIFKAM. Not just "this is better" but "everything else is crap, even our old stuff".

        Unity allegedly replaced Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which was a great way of reviving an old, small-screen netbook. It came with all of the extra toys to save power, deal with 3G modems, multiple wireless links and such, all wrapped up with a simple Launcher. It was simple enough that my daughter just sat down and used it without any instruction from me.

        Now, Canonical are free to stop supporting UNR, and stop making it available in current distros. But what they have done is to go though all of the download sites for old versions of Ubuntu, and remove the UNR versions! Even though Ubuntu can be downloaded right back to 8.04, UNR has vanished, even though the last build was 10.04.

        That's not "leadership". That's just gittish.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I was very supportive of the first ubuntu release, but over time I got progressively more disenchanted with it. The last few versions I haven't even looked at.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      progressively more disenchanted

      I feel the same way. It is odd that Shuttleworth says he has "zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different", when it is the fact that Ubuntu keeps changing, and is "always different", that is causing many of us to move on.

      1. Robert Pogson

        Re: progressively more disenchanted

        Amen. How is any salesman, teacher, techie, OEM supposed to play for the team when no one knows what's going on? I love to search for data. I hate to search for applications. Is that so hard for Shuttleworth to understand? I have a monitor a mile wide. I have absolutely no use for an OS designed for a smartphone here.

        1. keithpeter

          Re: progressively more disenchanted

          "How is any salesman, teacher, techie, OEM supposed to play for the team when no one knows what's going on?"

          Isn't that exactly Shuttleworth's point? Is he not giving notice here? If you like the new shiny, try Ubuntu. If you want a stable, planned, supportable through training desktop experience, use CentOS.

          I'm tracking Ubuntu because it is interesting, innovative and I like the prospect of a phone I can dock and get basic desktop functions with. Bring it on, blingarooney.

          Canonical design are doing interesting UI things and they claim an empirical basis for the changes they are making. I wish I could find more detailed documentation of their evidence base. That would be a huge contribution.

          CentOS is my lifeboat.

  5. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    I lost interest when 10.0 Grub ate my PC's MBR...

    ..., nail in the coffin is 10,637 updates per day (just a slight exaggeration). Since I also grow to dislike Windows (because MS management is a bit thick), thank dog for Android/Apple tablets and Apple/Android smart phones.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remind me again...

    which lottery ticket paid off big for this martyr?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remind me again...

      which lottery ticket paid off big for this martyr?

      Ah. Let me stop you right there. Mark's "lottery ticket" was Thawte, also formerly known as the home of the Web Of Trust. Mark built this, and with his staff automated so well that they gave Verisign a serious run for the money - the Thawte certs were cheaper than the Verisign ones, but costed much less in terms of management overhead. What's more, Thawte did it *right* - I seriously doubt they would have handed a Microsoft cert to athrid party, to name but one of the many errors of Verisign.

      Mark sold this show to Verisign, and it's telling that the first thing he did was hand some of the loot to his staff.

      In short, Mark didn't win the lottery, he worked for it.

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    2. Connor

      Re: Guess that includes me then

      I was the same, I've been an Ubuntu user since the start and I didn't like the way it was heading. I hated Unity and stuck with 10.04 (the last one without it) for two years to avoid Unity. I tried Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Mint and Elementary. Xfce and LXDE were like going back to the 90s, looked bad and lacked basic features but were fairly fast. KDE was also like a step backward. Mint and Elementary were OK, but they just didn't seem as rounded and polished as Ubuntu and did things their own weird way. In the end I always went to back Lucid (10.04).

      Finally I decided that Unity was the lesser evil and installed 12.04 and hated it. After a few weeks I got used to it and haven't looked back. I still don't like it, but I can see where it is going and I can see its potential and I am slowly being converted. Computing moves on quickly and frankly after using Unity for a while, everything else from KDE to Xfce looks dated and old fashioned.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Guess that includes me then @Connor

        I started reading your comment, and had to check that I was not the author. I've taken exactly the same route, right up to accepting Unity on Precise (12.04).

        My Laptop is old. It's not that powerful, but it is mine and it works, and I would prefer to not have to replace it at the moment. It worked fine with Gnome 2 on Lucid, although Compiz worked better with Hardy (KMS implemented in the kernel in Lucid and other distro's broke certain ATI drivers)

        It runs Unity 2D, but the experience is awful, both because it is not the full-fat version, and because the performance is crap. Same KMS issue as Lucid preventing composite rendering, probably.

        So, I've put Gnome 3 with Cinnamon on (just install the package, and select at logon). I would prefer for it to be offered as a choice during install, but I can stay with Ubuntu and remain current enough without having to change the way I work. So far, I've managed to keep it sufficiently like I want it.

        I'm not sure that Unity will ever allow me to work the way I want to as it handles windows in a completely foreign way to what I want to do, but I guess that time will tell.

        1. keithpeter

          Re: Guess that includes me then @Connor

          "It worked fine with Gnome 2 on Lucid"

          Then it will work fine with CentOS 6. Support until 2017. Compiz, wobbly windows, and all.

      2. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: I still don't like it, but I can see where it is going

        I agree, to a point!

        I can see where Unity can be a benefit on a tablet, smart phone, and perhaps a touch enabled kiosk environment.

        But, for a standard desktop user who creates things (as opposed to just 'consuming them'), Unity, to me, is a clusterfuck. So, the first thing I do on a new Ubuntu install, (I have done many since 7.04) is to install gnome-session-fallback, and rip out that Unity clusterfuck.

        Now, I have "borrowed" one of its concepts - a left hand vertical "panel' complete with launchers for the most used of my applications, but, unlike Unity, it is only 32 pixels wide, and the icons don't animate when you click on them (to me useless ICandy, which is not the same as "eye-candy").

        At least Canonical hasn't gone WindblowZE 81 bonkers with those "live tiles".

        1 Reported by some to be in actuality Windows Vista(ster) Service Pack 3.

        1. Connor

          Re: I still don't like it, but I can see where it is going @fatman

          I used to feel the same. But you can make Unity auto hide and 32px too and believe me if you do that you can almost forget that it is there. Prior to Unity I used to use Docky and Synapse (and before that Gnome-Do) and so seldom used menus anyway, I just typed the name of a file and program and hit enter. Using Unity is pretty much the same, indeed it really is just a Dock with a text search box like Synapse with a few added extras. It is made for the desktop and when used with a keyboard it is super fast.

          I found Unity on 12.04 so crash happy that I installed Synapse and used that most of the time anyway, just as I had before so the change wasn’t so pronounced as it could have been. 12.10 is much more stable and I use Unity now most of the time as I find it more useful, especially for things like iPlayer, (e.g. hitting Super + V and typing the name of the program to download a program is just much faster than browsing there). I also like HUD for the same reasons. There are problems however and it still does feel like beta software, forced on us with little or no configuration options. However such quick and fluid access to things is the future, regardless of platform.

          As for Windows 8, I just use that in a similar way to Unity. If I want to open an app I hit the Super Key + Q and type the name, the same as Unity and again it is very fast, much, much faster than the old menu system, and that is pretty much all I use Metro for. The rest of the time I use the Desktop (just as in Windows 7). The tiles etc aren’t so bad although I don’t really see any reason to use them; Microsoft’s biggest mistake was making them the default, and forcing users to guess the shortcut keys (e.g. Super + Q). Metro should have been hidden by default and called as needed with the Windows key, with clear and accessible shortcuts. At least Canonical got that right.

  8. Greg J Preece

    I'm in two minds on this one. If Mark can drag Linux kicking and screaming past its current desktop boundaries into popular relevance, that will most likely benefit it as a whole. He's interested in making it popular, and whether or not you like Unity, it's shiny, and shiny appeals to the end user. (It's a reality I despise, but Apple's kinda proven once and for all that end users are magpies.) Besides, just because newbies use a Linux distro isn't going to suddenly turn the kernel into Windows ME.

    On the other hand, Linux bods have long since resented moves that are overtly commercial, and if he's going to continue to make Ubuntu popular, he needs the support of Linux's broad base. Move the system too far from that base, or piss people off too much, and he risks losing contributions.

    It's difficult, but I'm continuing to support him thus far. Unity isn't the horrendous system-breaker people pretend it is, no more than Metro is on Windows 8 - those are just knee jerk reactions, and I'm guilty of them too. The plan's ambitious, and he has a Molyneux-style habit of talking up shit he hasn't built yet, but if he can pull it off it'll be bloody impressive. Mithras knows, I'm begging for a proper Linux OS on a proper smartphone, like I used to have before Nokia went batty nuggets.

    Remember, no matter what vitriol you can hurl at his UI, at its core the distro is still very good. When Ubuntu has done things differently in the past, it's generally worked pretty well. I still run Kubuntu on everything I own - the solid Ubuntu base with the KDE I like over the top. (I did this long before Unity arrived.) No matter what happens at this point, it'd be impossible for him to take that solid base away from us.

    1. Quxy
      Thumb Up

      Unity and TIFKAM

      No, neither Unity nor Metro are horrendous system-breakers, and both of them may be better user interfaces for certain sorts of devices and use models. But even their fans can't argue that either of them make desktop computing more productive -- yet they have served to alienate Linux and Windows desktop users because of the way they have been forced on them as the default UI.

      It really seems that Mark is making the same mistake as Steven Sinofsky, in thinking that the same user interface was suitable for smartphones, tablets, and desktops alike. Say what you like about Apple, but Steve Jobs was always clear on the notion that the best way to interact with a tablet is not the same as with a desktop machine, despite the fact that the underlying OS core is likely the same.

      1. druck
        Thumb Down

        Re: Unity and TIFKAM

        Unity is worse than TIKFAM, because in Windows 8 once you've installed Classic Shell, the deskop becomes just like Windows 7, if not slightly nicer. The only thing you can do with Unity is to completely banish it, by installing a different Window manager, lucky there are quite a few to chose from.

        1. Fatman Silver badge

          Re: Unity and TIFKAM

          Simpler solution:

          sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

          log out, and before logging in, click on the logo next to your name (what?? you boot directly into a desktop, bypassing a login??? that's so WindblowZE like), and click on one of the gnome options.

          Log back in again. Expected results, no more Unity (but it is still there for when you ever want to embrace the dark side (oops, that would be using WindblowZE, my mistake).

        2. Quxy
          Thumb Down

          Re: Unity is worse than TIFKAM

          Yes, but for desktop Linux installations it's a choice that can be avoided altogether, rather than simply being worked around, unlike the case with TIFKAM in Windows 8. With Ubuntu, there are many other window managers that you can choose at install time instead of Unity.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux is about choice - right?

    Choice... that's the operative word. Obviously multi-millionaire Shuttleworth with an ego to match wants a software empire to equal the likes of has-been household names. Get on with it then Mark - I don't need to follow your whims or the dark path you tread because I've got choice ... to the extent that I and other Ubuntu developers can fork a version that has a decent desktop and return to the original concept of Ubuntu - something good for everyone made by everyone, and not according to one man's personal ambition.

    Perhaps you should think about hiring developers to fulfill your egotistical dream and paying them a fair wage rather than making money off thousands of people who work for nothing and using their hard work as a vehicle for your own benefit. From that point of view, at least the likes of Google and Microsoft are honest about their intentions - not that I trust them any further than that.

    Maybe that's why Mint Linux has overtaken Ubuntu in the popularity stakes? Reality check time Mark.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux is about choice - right?

      It depends what you want Linux to be. Geeks love choice - to get their terminal and emacs keyboards shortcuts "just so they work just how I like them", with their window manager, and their file system.

      For the "average joe" in the mass market choice in computing is a huge no no. Choice implies that the user is expert enough to make an informed decision. If you don't have that knowledge and don't even understand the topic enough to know how to find out, choice is a complete feckin disaster. The poor user will go through three stages typically: (1) confusion (2) frustration (3) anger. As you might expect (4) is then take it back any buy a Mac or Windows box which have "one way" of doing things.

      Canonical want to be a mass market OS distro, that means they explicitly need to _kill_ choice, or at least hide it by default. Which is pretty much what they have done - default = unity, expert = first thing I change is to get normal Gnome3.

      When will the Linux geeks learn that they are not representative of "normal people". And if you then claim "but I like it how it is" you are pretty much hitting MS's point right on the head - you like to be "l33t".


      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: Choice implies that the user is expert enough to make an informed decision.

        Which is something your average Joe (L)user is not capable of.

        Joe (L)user treats a computer like it were a toaster, put in bread, push down lever, toast pops out when done.

        Adjust darkness as desired.

        Do not use knife or other object to remove stuck bread while unit plugged into mains socket.

        No (l)user serviceable components inside.

        If it breaks, go out and buy another one!!!!!!!

        IOW a fucking appliance.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Choice implies that the user is expert enough to make an informed decision.

          Yes, your point?

          Taking your toaster analogy half of the problem is that most PC's today will (1) randomly throw toast across the room in defiance of all normal and sensible rules, (2) contain 5 different levers to put the toast down and name them all in incomprehensible shorthand, and (3) rather than giving a knob with 5 numbers on will gives you a command line to enter the amount of amps you want to put through the filament.

          Actually I think you are being unfair - most users are willing to learn how to use a PC, but don't want to learn the complex rules of which of the 5 possible ways work for each problem, for their precise distro. Infact they want to OS to (1) be invisible and (2) just work for their apps.

        2. Andy E

          Re: Choice implies that the user is expert enough to make an informed decision.

          This for me hits the nail on the head. I'd probalbly have used the anagoly of Joe (L)user buying a car. There are lots of different options including engine size, number of doors, petrol, deisel, colur internal trim, model type but which do they buy? The one on the forecourt that takes their fancy.

          The people posting are the Linux elite who have learned how to unstall different modules and who are complaining on window re-size options being on the wrong side. Given the installed base of desktop linux compared to Windows and Mac OS it's completely meaningless anyway :-)

          I'm off to learn some more completely unintuitive command line switches and options for Linuk utilities

  10. Ragequit

    If Shuttleworth was really interested in making a free operating system that could compete with closed source alternatives I can think of better ways to spend my time than alienating developers. What was one of the major contributors to MS's rise to power? MS courted developers. They used a carrot instead of a stick.

    Honestly the impression I get from what friends that are way more into the community aspect of open source than I is that Shuttleworth is just looking for ways to monetize his investment in Ubuntu and figures he can become the next Apple if he can force feed his 'vision' long enough.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Ragequit alienating developers

      "What was one of the major contributors to MS's rise to power? MS courted developers."

      Microsoft were only interested in courting developers who would write applications and do stuff with THEIR OS, they were totally uninterested in OS developers outside of MS. I suggest Shuttleworth is basically stating that Canonical are/will be doing similar however, the code will be available to other, unlike MS.

      The obvious problem is that in talking publicly about OS development, Shuttleworth does run the risk of putting off open source applications developers.

  11. Adair

    Got to say...

    ...some of us (me included on occasion), just love to whine. No one forces us to use Ubuntu, or any other distro. If we're not in charge of development and direction we're just all car and no responsibility. if we don't like the way a distro is going we can simply pack our bags for greener pastures, surely that's part of the raison d'etre of the whole FOSS scene. So, why do so many of us waste so much keyboard time moaning and bitching as though our tantrums actually matter? It is real toddler behaviour---'I'm going to hold my breath until I die if you don't do things the way I want them, and then you'll be sorry'.

    No, Mark won't be sorry. Of course if he pisses off enough people and Ubuntu goes down the toilet, well then MS clearly got it wrong, but that's the point too, isn't it, the freedom to do things and make mistakes. We're not paying for any of this, except in out own time and effort, but that's the risk we take with any distro.

    As far as I'm concerned I've stopped using Ubuntu, but I wish the project well, and I hope we all may benefit from stuff that feeds back into the wider community.


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