Finally we have the words of the fearless leader of Canonical/Ubuntu, “When we started, we said we wanted to deliver the best of open source on a cadence. It was up to KDE, GNOME, XFCE to define what that was going to look like, we would just integrate and deliver (a hard problem in itself). By 2009 I was convinced that none of the existing free software communities could create an experience that could challenge the existing proprietary leaders, and so, if we were serious about the dream of a free software norm, we would have to lead.”
see Not convinced by rolling releases.
I am sad to read those words of a man who has done a lot to promote GNU/Linux and FLOSS. He has lead Ubuntu GNU/Linux right up the hill of the battle for desktops etc. and is going to break up his army right before the final battle. In the smoke on the battlefield, Shuttleworth seems not to see that Apple and M$ have ceased to innovate and that Android/Linux and GNU/Linux are far ahead of anything of which those two are capable.
All the progress he has made used the output of a million FLOSS developers and thousands of kernel developers and the general is now telling his troops that if they don’t like the way he is doing things they should quit…
“If you’ve done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on. That’s normal – there’s no need to poison the well behind you just because you want to try something else.
if we want to get beyond being a platform for hobbyists, we need to accelerate the work on Unity to keep up with Android, Chrome, Windows and Apple. And that’s more important than taking care of the needs of those who don’t share our goal of a free software norm.”
What a flawed vision of the situation… equating not following blindly with not having a vision of Free Software everywhere. It’s a disaster. It’s the leader who is blind.
Really, the market share of Ubuntu GNU/Linux was made not with Unity or Canonical’s latest product but with the seeds planted in the minds of OEMs, retailers and consumers over years of effort. The battle will not be won or lost depending on the outcome of Unity but by the combined effort and all that mind-share. Throwing that away leaves Ubuntu a hollow shell.
Of the more than 1K packages that make up an Ubuntu GNU/Linux OS, only a fraction have anything to do with Shuttleworth and his generals. The vast majority is shared wisdom and software, a product of the world, not Canonical.
It’s as if the last decade of GNU/Linux never happened:
“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.”
I haven’t heard anyone say GNU/Linux had to be hard. In fact, my toddling granddaughter has no problem at all with Debian GNU/Linux with xfwm4 and xfce4. What’s he thinking?! No one is saying that GNU/Linux has to be hard. Plenty are saying Unity is shoe-horning a desktop GUI into a smartphone… Hasn’t he been listening?
I despair that Ubuntu GNU/Linux is about to crash and burn. I see no good end to this disaster. Certainly the OEMs and other distros can come to a meeting of the minds to save us from Wintel or Linpus… Will they, sooner rather than later? We shall see. The folks who have an installation of Ubuntu may be able to keep using it for quite a while but if OEMs aren’t cranking it out and Ubuntu goes bust, they will have to migrate to Debian GNU/Linux or other distro. That can work. I’ve done some of it myself but it is probably beyond the consumer unless they just pave things over after backing up data. Debian GNU/Linux is certainly easy enough to install.
Ubuntu was a great idea and it did a lot of good but it seems to have terminal cancer of the brain. Canonical did accomplish a lot by getting more OEMs to ship GNU/Linux but they are about to throw all of that away by cutting off their tree at its roots. After saving $billions by using Free Software some people still don’t understand that they depend on Free Software and not that Free Software depends on them. Even Canonical is just a small part of the picture. The progress of Free Software will continue with or without Canonical.