The impending demise of Ubuntu...

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The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby cynwulf » April 11th, 2017, 11:30 am

So Unity is no more and the writing is on the wall for Mir... ... nvergence/

In a nutshell, outside investors are in - and the "dead wood" is getting pruned.

Unity was and still is notoriously difficult to "port" to other Linux distributions. This means less people working on the code, less contribution, less adoption - what I would term "proprietary in all but licence" and as with most proprietary software, if the funding is removed... this means that no one will pick up the slack and continue to develop it - long term anyway.

Mir, as with most Canonical software, was released under the GPLv3 and the Canonical CLA. (aka the sounds-good-until-you-realise-they-can-make-all-your-contributions-proprietary licence). As with upstart it has major corporate sponsored, community supported, MIT licenced "competition" and will become less and less relevant as time goes on.

It was Canonical/Shuttleworth who chose to diverge away from Debian/Red Hat norms and develop software such as upstart, Mir and Unity. Coming up with something different is good - but especially if all of that is contributed back in kind. This is where canonical consistently failed - contributing to upstream and giving back useful software which could be built, used, tested and improved on other distributions.

Shuttleworth has written about some of this in his blog: ... LYubpaHUHH
The whole Mir hate-fest boggled my mind - it's free software that does something invisible really well. It became a political topic as irrational as climate change or gun control, where being on one side or the other was a sign of tribal allegiance. We have a problem in the community when people choose to hate free software instead of loving that someone cares enough to take their life's work and make it freely available.

I came to be disgusted with the hate on Mir. Really, it changed my opinion of the free software community.

I used to think that it was a privilege to serve people who also loved the idea of service, but now I think many members of the free software community are just deeply anti-social types who love to hate on whatever is mainstream. When Windows was mainstream they hated on it. Rationally, Windows does many things well and deserves respect for those. And when Canonical went mainstream, it became the focus of irrational hatred too. The very same muppets would write about how terrible it was that IOS/Android had no competition and then how terrible it was that Canonical was investing in (free software!) compositing and convergence. Fuck that shit.

I think this exposes a few notable failings and assumptions in this person...

- People always "hate" certain software. It was a financial decision for Canonical to do what they did. Inciting against "Mir haters" shows the contempt Shuttleworth has, not just for these "haters", but for the fanboys as a whole. It's unbelievable that one could think for one minute that supposed hatred from certain quarters could be a factor in closing down these projects and sacking the employees involved.

- He has positioned himself as a "servant" or a great beneficiary who has given so much. And this is where it all went wrong and smelled bad from the start. Canonical were and still are out to make money - the "freedom" mantra was always just part of their marketing and as times changed, that also changed until Debian, Linux, etc ceased to be mentioned in it's propaganda. None of the other big FOSS projects/project leaders are feeling the need to remind everyone of this kind of thing solicit gratitude and blame others for their commercial failure. It was a similar case with the horrendous unity "shopping lens" Amazon fiasco. Users were again presented with the "it's free" propaganda - but also the infamous "we have root" comment.

- The people - or the "servants" - who fueled his fanboy forums and bought into his bullshit and used his distribution and provided the free volunteer tech support for years are finally shown the contempt we knew they were held in all along. The "windows haters" who swallowed "bug #1" and believed they were a part of some big wind change in the operating system landscape, were simply motivated by hate - and he knew that - but they were a means to an end in getting Ubuntu to "top favourite no. 1 distro" status.

- The "problem in the community" is very different to what Mark Shuttleworth envisages, but he's right on a few counts. What he refers to as the "community" is misinformed and prone to double standards and fanboyism. By "the community", he seems to refer to users rather than developers - and that's telling - because for me and most others the "community" is developers. I stopped paying any attention to users a long time ago. Red Hat, the Debian project and many more also stopped paying attention. The same goes for the Linux kernel. If you are contributing code, you matter a little, if not then you're simply noise. This is may not sound ideal, but Linux has changed to developers on one side - mostly backed by corporations - and users on the other side - nowadays treated almost like "customers" and with many behaving like that. Canonical and others promoted culture this and when the "customers" aren't happy, ranty blogs are probably not the best type of response.

- And finally he lets it out - but admittedly did hint at this before with the closing of bug #1 - they should have done an Android...
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Re: The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby jheaton5 » April 11th, 2017, 5:41 pm

Well said. Good to see you, by the way.
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Re: The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby deanmean » April 16th, 2017, 7:36 pm

hey lets use gnome....fuck this shit of trying to convince people that reinventing the already reinvented wheel is a great contribution that should have everyone down on their knees...

oh no our cult of fanbois have turned against us.....damn fanbois....haters...fuckers......
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Re: The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby deanmean » April 16th, 2017, 8:27 pm

canonical/ubuntu tries to be more like redhat/fedora....???

debian tries to be more like ubuntu....???

or is it going to be canonical/debian trying to be redhat/fedora...
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Re: The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby cynwulf » April 18th, 2017, 10:34 am

Good to see you both.

I've always seen Shuttleworth as a Citizen Kane type character...

Regarding that link in the above post: I don't get the obsession with promotion and marketing, but I can also recognise the bureaucracy heavy project which Debian has become. The "marketing" thing usually comes from periphery people and/or those seeking recognition. There are many who can write acceptable code and then pad out their "role" with important sounding stuff. There are others who can write very good code, have no interest in marketing and feel no compulsion to "market" themselves, by setting out all their achievements / writing a mini biography. I said it years ago and I say it again (much to some peoples' dismay): Ubuntu people in Debian. Nowadays the lines are blurred, it's pretty much the same thing.

It was inevitable and things will come full circle eventually. The problem is people. People seek to replace the thing they despise with something which will replicate it and become the thing they despise - but for the architects it will be wonderful of course - as one's own shit smells sweet.
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Re: The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby Randicus Draco Albus » April 21st, 2017, 2:30 am

So Shuttleworth is upset that his attempt to make money off of the work of other people failed, and he blames the people who were foolish or naive enough to join his cult. Why am I not surprised?
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Re: The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby cynwulf » April 21st, 2017, 4:00 pm

It's not at all surprising, because Canonical is a corporate entity and the "truth" tends to be very flexible and dynamic, or simply becomes a matter of (in)convenience / whatever supports it's commercial interests. In fact the "impending demise of Ubuntu" doesn't surprise me at all, though this "scaling back" has happened a bit sooner than I had expected. But, believe it or not, I don't revel in it! I came to dislike Canonical's entire approach, but the gnome project are not any better, when it comes to shoving their ideals down your throat and ensuring that your desktop works best for them.

I think honesty counts when it comes to free operating systems and you can't simply "sell" the idea of free operating systems to Windows/macOS people, using the same style of marketing, buzzwords and content devoid "web 2" style websites. This is because Windows and macOS are already well established and to the end user the OS and hardware it comes preinstalled on are one and the same.

This is why popular and enduring distributions have "something" more to offer and retain a long term user base of Linux users who are in for the long haul. With Ubuntu it was always about a forum full of short term fanboys, which seemed to fuel the whole thing - all kept in check by ultra fanboy moderators and which the project didn't seem to want. Once fanboy started to think for himself, tried out other distros and moved to another distro - no longer welcome. Lots of such members were targeted and banned for language, trolling, etc - whereas when they had previously been zealous 'buntu fans, it was all very permissible.
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Re: The impending demise of Ubuntu...

Postby JohnDeere630 » April 21st, 2017, 8:16 pm

I like the Citizen Kane comparison to Shuttleworth. I am neither happy nor unhappy if Ubuntu is indeed on it's way out. Meh. I never could see any long term viability in Shuttleworth's approach, but I am also not the smartest guy on the planet, so figured I was just missing something.(Besides a few chromosomes, that is...) One positive thing Ubuntu did was get some stuff put out as .deb packages, but I can easily live without even that.
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