This week's episode provides further discussion of timelines as we come into Ubuntu's version of "March Madness".
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I am proud to announce the first alpha release for Muon Suite 2.0. The Muon Suite is a set of package management utilities for Debian-based Linux distributions built on KDE technologies. Packages for Kubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal” are available in the QApt Experimental PPA. Additionally, packages are available in the development release of Kubuntu 13.04, “Raring Ringtail”.
Most of the big stuff for 2.0 was announced in my previous post. This release mostly features bugfixes over the previous 1.9.80 (2.0 beta) release.Changelogs
In episode six of Adventures in Haskell we add variable assignment and simple function definition to our calculator.
There has been a humongous amount of fluff flying through the air regarding Ubuntu and Canonical as of late and it seems to be a lack of communication (as other blogs have also pointed out) between the community and Canonical. There is obviously a huge rift in the community over this and a form of exodus is happening. To be honest, I do not know whether I really consider myself part of the Ubuntu community anymore. Perhaps I am, because I am still working with the Ubuntu Beginner’s Team and have plans to continue on doing so. I do not, however, run Ubuntu, nor do I know anything about JuJu and it’s “charms” or a whole lot about Unity! Despite this, it is still one of the distributions I do recommend to total newcomers to the Linux playing field, but only alongside other suggestions (Mint or Debian, depending on the person).
Disillusioned, this one is, about Ubuntu. The shine has worn off for me but I am going to do my best to make sure that my perspective of these situations doesn’t impact others’ negatively. Ubuntu is still a great idea and Canonical is doing some truly wonderful things for getting Linux more widely known as a great operating system alternative to Windows and Mac.
At any rate, I shall still be around #ubuntu-beginners and #ubuntu-beginners-team to see how I can help rebuild from our end of the spectrum.
Perhaps I do feel part of the community, but only because it has made a rather large impact on my life. If you don’t frequent or visit the aforementioned channels, you can also find me in #ubuntu-expats on oftc.
Tonight, I was working with the developer of the wonderful little CLI application Rippit trying to get it to work on my system again. He gave me a patch to the tarball which cleared up one error, but then there was another, and GAH. Then I noticed that he used git, DUH, which I know how to clone from and then build. For instance, in this case, it was
mkdir rippit && cd rippit
git clone git://git.fedorahosted.org/rippit.git
cd rippit && mkdir build && cd build && cmake cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull $HOME/rippit/rippit
sudo make install
From the error message, Trever could tell that I wasn't using the proper branch. So:
cd srcthen, rather than ls to list all the branches, git branch -a git checkout remotes/origin/0.1 (I found this method on Stackoverflow. Thanks superlogical for your answer.)
From there, delete the build folder, and do the rest of the process as before. I love stringing together the commands with && which make it so much easier for me to copy/paste or use the up-arrow in Yakuake. I want to make it easy to rebuild so that testing can be quick.
Finally, a working Rippit again! Thanks again, Trever. You rock! KDE devels are the best.
So, I've been around the Ubuntu community for a while. I installed 4.10 (Warty Warthog) as soon as it came out, I was fighting to keep my Debian installation usable at the time. I instantly fell in love and dove into the community, I wanted to do whatever I could to make the project succeed. It was exactly what I was looking for. At the time, Canonical was also shipping CDs to anyone who wanted them, which gave the project a much more professional feel to it.
And, the focus Mark set for the project turned out to be the right one, it very quickly converted thousands of open source enthusiasts to it and a solid, technically capable community started to be built around it. Soon enough, with the focus laser-sharp on making Ubuntu as usable as possible, non-technical folks started to show up, people who were Windows users but were tired of it and looking for something better. These people gave our project an awesome foundation for support (once they figured out how to make certain things work, they'd immediately help the next person who came along with this problem). Translations grew, since it was a great way for a non-technical person to help. documentation grew, advocacy grew, communication, marketing, you name it, it was growing.
As things moved forward, there were some tough decisions to be made. I remember when Compiz came around, it was very immature and almost guaranteed it would break your system, just have a quick read through the Slashdot comments! You could very easily replace the word "compiz" for "unity" when it was first introduced and you'd have most of the same comments that went on when that first happened.
But, it was the right choice. The hard and unpopular choice. We, the community at large, mostly wanted a stable system. Mark, Canonical, were pushing to mature the technology so be able to build awesome things on top of it. It was the same story for Pulseaudio, the same for binary drivers, we've been here before, over and over.Change is very hard, and a lot of it feels wasteful. Nobody wants to waste their free time, you want to make it count.
As for where we stand today, I first want to be clear that my initial reaction to the flood of changes being proposed upset me as well. A lot. I laid low for a while so I could clear my head and understand what was going on before reacting. When the Rolling Releases proposal came out, I read the email on ubuntu-devel (which, btw, is where I read about it, there was no internal Canonical "announcement") and I was frustrated with how it was being presented. It felt like Canonical imposing whatever they wanted, bulldozing over the community. How could Rick do something like that? He's a smart and well-intentioned person, this isn't the smart thing to do. I started writing up an angry email to the Community Council, and as I did, I stopped to re-read the original email to rant with specific references. When I did, I couldn't believe my eyes. The email was clearly stated as a proposal, open to discussion with quite of bit of work done beforehand, ending the email with:
"Such a change needs to be discussed in the Ubuntu community. Therefore, I asked my team to put together a strawman proposal for how such moving to a monthly cadence with rolling release might work."
Go ahead, read it yourself. As a long-time member, my gut feeling is that in the past this would of been presented to the Technical Board first to be discussed, and then a wider conversation would be had. But the reverse makes more sense to me actually, have a wider conversation first, then bring it to the Technical Board.
So, now I deleted my email and started all over again. I explained how I was feeling rather than rant about things that apparently didn't happen as I imagined them, and just admitted that I no longer knew where we were as a project and needed to talk it out a bit.
So we did. We talked, vented, ranted, looked at the positive side of things, the negative, remembered the past, imagined the future.
The way I see things now is that the project has changed. But this was the path all along, it should of been more obvious. First we won the Linux distro user base, gained support, a community, a clearer focus on what less technical people wanted and it felt great. People were moving to Ubuntu left and right, first on the desktop, then the server migrations came along with it. But that was not the goal. The goal was (and I quote from bug #1) "Our work is driven by a belief that software should be free and accessible to all.". The "all" part of that is the key. That's why we made the desktop slow and buggy for a while to introduce compiz, even though it didn't really fill any need for technical users. Same with Unity, same with Pulseaudio, same with the Ubuntu font, same with shipping free CDs to anywhere in the world.
So as we progressed in our goal, technical users felt a bit more and more distant from what was changing, because they were no longer the primary user. It makes the "scratch your own itch" part of free software a bit harder. In exchange, I started to meet taxi drivers who were Ubuntu users, musicians, graphic designers, writers. I'd see Ubuntu out in the while in the strangest places.
And now, the world has changed. It no longer seems like the way to make computing available as free software to everyone can be accomplished with just a great desktop. Mobile phones and tablets is where most of people's time seems to be shifting to. It's a multi-device world and it's here to stay. If we want to fix bug #1, we now need to change tactics and tackle the full story. There seems to be a window of opportunity for us as a project right now, I don't think we'll get many more of these. It feels like a now-or-never kind of moment, and I can't imagine having invested most of my energy in the last 8 years fading away into a niche market. That's not what I set out to help do.
It's going to be a bumpy ride for a while, we need to move fast, and speed is not one of the easiest things to do when you need to find consensus across many different people, timezones, interests, goals, agendas and languages. I don't see what other choice we have than to rise up to the challenge and find a way to make it work.
Speaking purely from a personal point of view, I think Canonical will need to push harder for changes in processes, tools, libraries and focuses. I also happen to think Canonical has done poorly at presenting and driving these changes. Not due to a lack of trying to do the right thing, it's just really hard to do. Stress, pressure, deadlines, partners, confidentiality agreements, private negotiations, business deals to ship Ubuntu on millions of devices, it all sets you up to rush and get things done as quickly as possible. That's how the market works. But when you're not immersed in all of that, from the outside, it just looks slightly evil and a bit like bullying.
I think Canonical can and will do better, it has to, I feel the survival of the company partially depends on it.
One thing to remember though, is that free software is very much like evolution, survival of the fittest. This means trying out many different things, and the best ones overall survive and thrive. Competition is essential. The fact that Canonical is putting out there more free software projects is the best thing that can happen to the movement, no matter how many times you yell out that you know for a fact that if that same effort was spent on an existing project it would all be better. If that were true, there would be one Linux distro, period.
As long as it's free software, and Canonical is shoveling code into it, that's what counts at the end of the day. Working, maintained code. Don't forget that. If Canonical is wrong about, let's say, that investing in Mir is a better bet than investing in Wayland, ultimately, it's Canonical's money. If it's done in a way that developers are drawn to help, it'll be cheaper and happen faster. It's a win-win. The fact that they are betting on free software no matter what is what counts.
So I think it's time. In many ways this feels like the last big battle. We fought and won a lot to get here, it's now time to win or loose the war.
The original release schedule for Ubuntu Studio in Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) is to have only a Beta 2 (a.k.a Final Beta) and the release itself, just like Ubuntu Desktop. However many things have changed during the 13.04 cycle for Ubuntu Studio (including a completely new icon theme + new applications) and the Ubuntu Studio Release Team (Scott Lavender, Kaj Ailomaa and me) decided that we shall opt-in for Raring Beta 1. I will post out a call for contributors to test the ISO images when the images get into the “Raring Beta 1″ milestone in the ISO QA Tracker.
This would also be the first time we will be using our full release procedure (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuStudio/ReleaseProcedure) for our Beta 1 release.
I am really sad to see so much energy spent by the community criticizing Canonical and on Canonical’s side, trying to explain and justify so many decisions and actions.
My main concern is all this energy being directed where it doesn’t stand a chance to make a difference, as we know all the rocket pieces are being discarded. I invite you to consider focusing on other projects that need people like you:
- Start a LibrePlanet group in your area. This is very much like a LoCo Team, except its focus is on 100% free open source software. This is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation and staffed with professional, responsive, full-time system administrators. I started LibrePlanet Québec right about when I stepped down from Ubuntu Québec. They also have a mission statement and a code of conduct which will feel familiar to any Ubuntu community contributor/member.. This also means it’s inclusive of Ubuntu users in your area.
- Trisquel – an Ubuntu derivative focused on removing all non-free software while remaining as close to Ubuntu as possible. There is a lot of work remaining to achieve this. Trisquel 6 which is essentially Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, is just around the corner. I learned a lot when I started using Trisquel primarily instead of Ubuntu, about a year ago. Ubuntu help, documentation, PPAs and resources apply directly, and the community is very friendly and detail-oriented. Ethics and philosophy are valued as much and sometimes more than technical criteria when providing help.
- Debian – Where it all begun I am using this as my primary OS now. Debian is working with the FSF to be recognized as 100% free as per FSF’s guidelines. There are rough edges which I recognize as opportunities to contribute, for example the lack of language-selector-gnome. It’s taking me some time to adjust to the project’s resources but I even re-organized Debian Quebec and requested a mailing list (since approved), and got a very warm welcome from friends and colleagues using it in my area. I guess I miss my LoCo action and excitement, I hope to put my experience in this area to good use in Debian. There are even talks about forming a Welcome Committee for Ubuntu expats there.
There are many more out there, but I wanted to share my path after my past Ubuntu involvement. If you’re on IRC, come join #ubuntu-expats on OFTC, perhaps we can come up with other ideas. Perhaps it will help you actually finding a way you can contribute to free open source software in other ways than you did with Ubuntu.
Life is short!
Hoy por primera vez hemos decidido utilizar otro Sistema Operativo que no sea Ubuntu, por razones que muchos de mis compañeros conocen, el descontento total por el entorno Unity. Gracias a ese entorno hemos decidido (Mi esposa y yo), sacrificar una de las laptops personales utilizando otro sistema operativo que no sea Ubuntu, pero como mis genes aún no quiere separarse totalmente de él, hemos decidido experimentar Linux Mint, un sistema operativo basado en Ubuntu.
La versión que actualmente estamos utilizando es la 14 (Nadia) basada en Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal), de verdad es un sistema operativo bastante ligero comparado con Ubuntu y mas limpio con respecto al entorno gráfico.
Esta instalación es aplicado en una Lenovo Ideapad S10e que posee las siguientes características:
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GSE Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GSE Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family PCI Express Port 1 (rev 02)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family PCI Express Port 2 (rev 02)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family PCI Express Port 3 (rev 02)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 02)
00:1d.1 USB controller: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 02)
00:1d.2 USB controller: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 02)
00:1d.3 USB controller: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 02)
00:1d.7 USB controller: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family USB2 EHCI Controller (rev 02)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev e2)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801GBM (ICH7-M) LPC Interface Bridge (rev 02)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) IDE Controller (rev 02)
00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7-M Family) SATA Controller [IDE mode] (rev 02)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation NM10/ICH7 Family SMBus Controller (rev 02)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5906M Fast Ethernet PCI Express (rev 02)
05:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY (rev 01)
Hasta ahora solo he detectado un problema, el bendito problema de las tarjetas inalámbricas, en mi caso es una Broadcom BCM4312.
Para Linux Mint 14, Broadcom BCM4312 utiliza firmware privativo, como políticas de ellos por defecto después de haber realizado la instalación, no activa ni instala ningún firmware, sabiendo que en sus repositorios está el disponible el firmware que lo hace funcionar.
Para activarlo, solo deben hacer lo siguiente:
sudo aptitude install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer
Reiniciamos nuestro equipo y listo.
De resto no me puedo quejar, todo funciona perfectamente, tal como cuando utilizaba Ubuntu 10.04
Just for a slightly different take on the whole craziness going on in the Ubuntu world now.
Simply put, some of the things from both sides suck, communication is not working properly and everyone seems to be in a big frazzle.
In anycase, regardless of any disappointments I have, this is MY community, (and OUR community) and I am still part of it. Canonical has some very cool things happening, but the community has some very valid issues. Thing is, we can sort it out, and even if I decide to use a different distro/DE or even some different OS, the people here are still people I consider friends, and I always hold out hope that things can be sorted.
For all those that have left, its sad to see you go, but please, if you know me, I still want to hear from you.
I can’t wait to see how Ubuntu Touch works out, can’t wait to see the community bonding again and hope we can take on the world together. (I also hope lots of upstream work gets done by canonical on Qt5
I have a Asus UX31E and Ubuntu 12.10 works perfectly fine there but on Raring it seems that if I sit on the same place in my house I won’t get wifi signals or the wifi would disconnect. I am not sure what “improvements” did the latest kernels bring but this has been the case for atleast last 2 months.
From the recent minor Ubuntu “crisis”, I have managed to distill some good bits too. Here’s one from Mark: “If you’ve done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on.” I think this is great advice. Why loiter around making useless noise when a community and its project change in ways you’re not comfortable with?
To add balance, I myself have received from Ubuntu what I came for in 2004, and much, much more. I’m not very interested in any of the Special Ubuntu Stuff that we’ve been receiving in the last couple of years. I came for an easy Debian-like system with a reliable release cycle (and latest GNOME!), but Debian itself is much better with this stuff now, so there’s no reason really to keep using Ubuntu (and to keep stripping all the Ubuntu niceties and adding GNOME goodies).
Not sure what I should do, this is just a point that stood out. It’s even in our Code of Conduct. “Step down considerately.”
In any case, there are a couple of things I’ve actually committed myself to doing this year, so that’s what I’m going to do first – with minimal whineage, I promise! Who knows what I’ll be thinking this December, we’re just getting warm for this year!
I can’t precisely date back when I got involved in Ubuntu, all I do know is that Michael Vogt helped me out with some Debian CDs in university and some months later told me: “you might like this, you can upgrade to it”. I tried it and was hooked immediately.
When some time later the Ubuntu preview was announced and I learned more about the project goals and values, I felt totally inspired and knew I would totally love this. I had a hard time focusing on my thesis, I ignored it for a while and got involved in Ubuntu. Many folks encouraged me and I started to do some packaging. I packaged some software outside of Ubuntu first (coaster for example, it seems not to exist any more), but quickly got dragged into Ubuntu itself. (pyzor was the first upload I could find.)
Life in 2004 was exciting:
- Plugging in a USB key and having it show up on your desktop finally worked.
- We used GNOME 2.8, Firefox 0.9, XFree86 4.3, Evolution 2.0 and OpenOffice.org 1.1.2.
- Some months later we had Live CDs!
This was a very special time, it inspired many to do all kinds of crazy things.
Admittedly, I looked funny too.
Ubuntu was very different. Its focus on making things work and favouring simplicity won many hearts over. Also its friendly community with high social standards inspired many and made it a pleasure to be involved and try something new. Ubuntu introduced LoCo teams, which brought Ubuntu into many parts of the world, which helped many finding new friends and which brought many new opportunities to everyone.
Ubuntu always was full of change. We pioneered and forged ahead in many many places. We were the first to ship a 2.6 kernel, we modularised X, derooted many services, made it easier to upgrade and install packages, wrote upstart, made booting fast and very often were the first to think new, shake up the standards and improve things for everyone.
Each of these changes was hard work, sometimes brought some problems with it, had its opponents, but also inspired many others, often new folks to jump in and help.
Some of these disagreements were very loud, sometimes they were inside the Ubuntu community, sometimes included Canonical people, sometimes they were on the sidelines of the Ubuntu world. And they were almost accompanied by calls that Ubuntu/Canonical should do more, do less, do it earlier or do it later. Some of the decisions which were made were reverted as a result of testing and feedback, but many stuck around and proved themselves as wise choices.
We were quick to embrace and count on new technologies. Many casual Ubuntu users might not be aware of the great work and innovation which made Ubuntu quickly became a favourite in the Cloud space, which is moving fast as well. This is a significant achievement and the fast pace and amount of change might have been just unnoticed by some because they’re don’t actively use the cloud or don’t watch the space.
Being and staying relevant in the software world is tough, it requires lots of hard work, sometimes a surprise element – quite often it requires change. This is hard, especially in a large community like ours, with many subcommunities, teams, different goals and directions.
Another possible source of disagreements is the symbiosis between Canonical and Ubuntu. The ideals of Open Source communities and business decisions sometimes go against each other and trust me, I’m not always 100% convinced or 100% happy with every decision. Then again all these decisions are very hard to make. Partners, long-term plans, the press, big investments and lots more have to be considered carefully, which is not always on the radar of people who comment first.
Canonical’s and Ubuntu’s success are very tightly intertwined and it’s worth keeping these mutual benefits and what we achieved together in perspective.
Looking at the client side, I still can’t believe where this wild ride took us. We went from “working USB keys” to “favourite product” at MWC, which according to Wikipedia is the “world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry”, an industry known for moving fast and being unforgiving. This is a major achievement for us as a community. People trust us to actually pull this off.
There are many open questions right now, many uncertainties, some problems, but one thing is clear: if we want this to happen and Ubuntu on devices everywhere, this is the opportunity. This is the time and we’ve got to work together.
We have the world’s attention, we’re off to a great start, but we have lots of work to do. This year will be the year in which we make it happen.
In the last weeks I’ve been working alongside the Ubuntu Touch team and have been able to witness how hard they work and how quickly the team gained new members from everywhere, how inspired everybody was to contribute and work on core apps, port Ubuntu to new devices, write patches and kick off discussions to lead us into new places. In some ways this is not unsimilar to what Ubuntu felt like in the early days. A lot of people thought we were crazy, there were established projects and players, still we managed to bring something new to the table together.
This is exactly the pioneer spirit we need, the inspiration we need. If you want Ubuntu to succeed, ask yourself what the best place is in which you contribute. There are many, but obvious picks I can see are QA (both manual and automated testing), work on core apps, porting and fixing bugs in Ubuntu in general.
I realise that the increased pace and a set of new priorities in the project are painful for some of us and they are disruptive. There are problems which need to be resolved and as some pointed out elsewhere before, communication and compromises are hard. What I feel is most important in our current discussions is: We all care a lot, and we all agree on much more than we actually disagree on. Let’s resolve the issues and figure out what we all can do make this a success.
Ubuntu, you’ve changed, yes, but we were never closer to our goal of bringing free software to all of the world! Let’s work together to make this happen!
Mark Shuttleworth recently critized Jonathan Riddell for proposing Xubuntu and others join the Kubuntu community. I thought I could make a few amendments to Mark’s writing:
Jonathan Mark says that Canonical Kubuntu is not taking care of the Ubuntu community.
Consider for a minute, Jonathan Mark, the difference between our actions.
Canonical Kubuntu, as one stakeholder in the Ubuntu community, is spending a large amount of energy to evaluate how its actions might impact on all the other stakeholders, and offering to do chunks of work in support of those other stakeholder needs.
You, as one stakeholder in the Ubuntu community, are inviting people to contribute less to the broader project [all the X and Wayland -based desktops], and more to one stakeholder [Unity and Mir].
Hmm. Just because you may not get what you want is no basis for divisive leadership.
Yes, you should figure out what’s important to Kubuntu Ubuntu Unity and Mir, and yes, you should motivate folks to help you achieve those goals. But it’s simply wrong to suggest that Canonical Kubuntu isn’t hugely accommodating to the needs of others, or that it’s not possible to contribute or participate in the parts of Ubuntu which Canonical Kubuntu has a particularly strong interest in. Witness the fantastic work being done on both the system and the apps to bring Ubuntu Plasma to the phone and tablet. That may not be your cup of tea, but it’s tremendously motivating and exciting and energetic.
See Mark? I only needed to do a little search and replace on your words and suddenly, meaning is completely reversed!
Canonical started looking only after its own a couple of years ago and totally dumped the community. Many people have noticed this and written about this in the past two years.
How dare you say Jonathan or anyone from Kubuntu is proposing contributing less to the broader community? The broader community uses X and/or Wayland.
Canonical recently came with Mir, a replacement for X and Wayland, out of thin air. Incompatible with X and Wayland.
No mention of it at all to anyone from X or Wayland.
No mention of it at FOSDEM one month ago, even though I, as the organizer of the Cross Desktop DevRoom, had been stalking your guy for months because we wanted diversity (and we got it: Gnome, KDE, Razor, XFCE, Enlightenment, etc, we even invided OpenBox, FVWM, CDE and others!). I even wrote a mail to you personally warning you Unity was going to lose its opportunity to be on the stand at FOSDEM. You never answered, of course.
Don’t you think Mir, a whole new replacement for X and Wayland, which has been in development for 8 months, deserved a mention at the largest open source event in Europe?
Come on, man.
It is perfectly fine to say “yes, Canonical is not so interested in the community. It’s our way or the highway”.
But do not pretend it’s anything else or someone else is a bad guy.
In fact, is there any bad guy in this story at all!? I think there is not, it’s just people with different visions and chosen paths to achieve them.
Maybe Mir and Unity are great ideas, much better than X and Wayland. But that’s not what we are talking about. We are talking about community, and Canonical has been steadily destroying it for a long time already. If you cannot or do not want to see that, you’ve got a huge problem going on.
Dear Mark Shuttleworth,
so you “have absolutely no doubt that Kwin will work just fine on top of Mir”. This is great and I totally appreciate that you think Mir is a great system. But I’m wondering why you don’t use KWin then, after all it will work fine on top of Mir and is Qt based?
But I have doubt that KWin will work just fine on top of Mir and I have already stated so. You might have wanted to check the facts before stating such claims (somehow I get a feeling for a pattern here).
What makes me think that you cannot make such bold claims:
- You don’t even know how to write KWin
- Currently the number of commits to KWin by an Canonical employee is 0 (git log — kwin | grep @canonical)
- No Canonical employee has so far contacted the KWin team on how we could integrate Mir and whether we are interested at all
- I have to question the abilities of Canonical to judge what other software can do and cannot after Canonical argued with non existing issues in Wayland for Mir
- We are still waiting for the Wayland adjustments for KDE done by Canonical. May I remind you:
We’ll help GNOME and KDE with the transition, there’s no reason for them not to be there on day one either.
I have to ask you to keep KWin out of the pro-Mir campaign. I didn’t ask for Mir, I don’t want Mir and reading blog posts like the one which triggered this reply does lower my motivation to ever have anything to do with Mir. Mir is an answer to a question nobody asked. It’s a solution to problem which does not exist.
Your community manager recently posted on Google+ he had a frustrating day. Guess what my week has been and guess who I can blame. Guess what I great day I will have after reading your blog post this morning.
Claim (my version): Ubuntu/Canonical is going the "Google route" to become another Android, while Android has not benefited the Linux ecosystem in any way, forking everything
Firstly, Ubuntu is open to development and community for also mobile and tablet - Android has none of that, just code drops that get modded. (yes, some people have a problem with CLA like Canonical's or Qt's, I have no problem with those - let's keep that discussion elsewhere). Ubuntu contributes back to Debian and upstream projects like Qt - those upstream projects it's not upstream of itself. There are not too many free software mobile UIs for example. SHR has some E17 apps, Nemo Mobile a handful of Qt apps and so on.
Secondly, I disagree about Android - even in its current shape and after creating everything from scratch with mobile on mind, Android has done tremendous things for the free software community, kernel development, mobile device driver and making things like Replicant possible. If those aren't directly seen on the desktop side, that's because it's not the desktop and most free software desktop users don't use free software mobile products (usually at most a vendor provided Android).
I feel people get too attached to software projects or even the desktop in general. The money to pay desktop has traditionally largely come from the server. As a discussion-heating example Wayland has been a great promise for 5 years and continues to be, yet no products use it (software products like distributions or hardware+software products). That's not a problem per se for a great and ambitious project, but it means no interested party has taken it to create products. I was very excited about Gallium3D and Wayland in 2008, but somewhat optimistic in believing they would conquer the world in one or two years. In perspective, I've always seen the "version staring" a common habit in enthusiasts me included. I think it extents to "shiny development projects that should be taken into production use immediately".
The Nokia N9 triumphs all other 2011 mobile phones in general and even the current user interfaces like iOS, Android and Windows Phone in general usability ideas (if only it'd run Cortex-A15 instead of OMAP3..). It uses X.org and Qt 4.7. Jolla's plans for their first phone at the end of this year? Qt 4.8, no Wayland. Like N9 which otherwise had unfortunate fate, I hope Jolla will sell millions of free software wielding products to the masses. The biggest problem with X.org is, though, the drivers, generally zero support from vendors so hard to make products. Hooking into Android EGL drivers and building on top of that seems a good compromise at the moment. Note that from product creation point of view it's not the non-shininess of X.org that IMHO is the blocker. Wayland and Mir may help on the driver side.
I want products!
I'd love to see more push to have actual products on the market, since otherwise we don't get free software to the masses. If Mir helps Ubuntu to do that in one year, fine (I don't know how it's going to be). Yes Mir is a new shiny project, but it's a very product/target oriented project one. If Android would be open as a project, it wouldn't hurt - other than feelings attached to the other projects especially by the core developers and fans of those - if it was the superior alternative from product creation perspective making all of X.org, upstart, systemd, Wayland, Pulseaudio, D-Bus, glibc less interesting to product creators while even more interest would go to Android. It's not so now, Android is not an open project in any sense, even though still beneficial for free software. Ubuntu will keep using a lot more of the traditional stack anyway than Android (which also just got rid of BlueZ), but I have zero problem of changing any of the components if it's visioned to be required to get finished, ready to use products out. IMHO the key is to get products out, and I hope all the parties manage to do that.
Of the traditional GNU/Linux desktop distributions only Ubuntu seems to be adapting for the mobile in large steps at the moment. The other distributions in the mobile playing field are: (Android/)Replicant, Mer/Sailfish, Firefox OS, Tizen, added with OpenEmbedded based distributions like SHR. Have you used those on a daily basis on your devices? I believe you should. I think KDE will bring with its Plasma Active - currently focusing on building on top of Mer - mobile power to the traditional GNU/Linux distributions, but otherwise it's all up to the new players - and Ubuntu.
Like many know, I used Debian exclusively on my primary phone for ca. two years before switching mostly to N9. During all that time, I already pondered why people and distributions are so focused on x86 and desktop. And the reason is that that's what their history is, and I stared at the wrong place - desktop distributions. I dismissed Android and some of the small newcomers in the mobile distro playing field, but it seems that big changes are needed to not need completely new players. I think Ubuntu is on the completely right track to both benefit from the history and adapt for the future. I still hope more developers to Debian Mobile, though!! Debian should be the universal operating system after all.
Disclaimer: I'm an Ubuntu community person from 2004, Debian Developer since 2008 and a contractor for Canonical for ca. 1 year. My opinions haven't changed during the 1 year, but I've learned a lot more of how free software is loved at Canonical despite critics.
Alas. The blogosphere has been slammed with discontent.
Count me as one of them.
It’s been a long time since the last position (I’ve held) of significance in Ubuntu, a LoCo Council Member, which I left with a heavy heart.
I felt, at the time, that Ubuntu, “The Community” was no longer in control of Ubuntu “The Distro”.
Technical opinions of Ubuntu community members started to get disregarded (starting with the gawd-awful Yahoo search switch), and it continued to get worse as Canonical stopped becoming a contributor to Ubuntu and started becoming it’s sole guiding force.
In comes the mess called Ubuntu One — which, for the record, is a wrong name, it’s not Ubuntu in any sense, it’s not Community driven, it just uses Ubuntu as one of it’s platforms.
Trading on Ubuntu’s good name started this mess.
Slowly, like the ship of theseus, Canonical started to swap out bit by bit until nothing was left without Canonical assignment.
I always assumed it was so that selling the code for another company to use the code for non-free purpose was the reason. Oh well.
Look at us now: Starting off on an ill-thought out path because others are unwilling to say they just didn’t understand the whole problem.
This is a long way of saying:
Ex-Ubuntu’ers: You’re welcome in Debian. I’ve set up #ubuntu-expats on oftc. Please join us. You’re welcome there.
Working in Debian has been an absolute dream; it feels like contributing to Ubuntu in the early days.
Come. Have a say. Re-join a Community that isn’t just “Like us on Facebook”.
I still consider myself an Ubuntu Community Member, but I don’t think there’s any community left.
Recently there has been some fire flowing about Canonical in the community. These concerns started off as sporadic at first and then we saw a small blog avalanche (blogalanche, if you will) as a number of folks piled onto the ride.
I feel somewhat trapped in the middle of all of this. On one hand I work at Canonical and I believe Canonical are acting in the honorable interests of Ubuntu in helping to build a competitive and forward-looking Free Software platform, but I also feel a sense of personal responsibility when I see unhappy members of our community who are concerned with different aspects of how Canonical engages. Essentially, I sympathize with both sides of this debate; both have the best interests at heart for Ubuntu.
From my perspective there is a balance that needs to be struck. Our community needs to be transparent and open, but also nimble to react to opportunities (such as the convergence story), but also Canonical play an important role in helping us to drive Ubuntu to the masses. We need to be able to work in a way that maintains our Ubuntu values but also gives Canonical the opportunity to get our platform out to the market effectively to reach these users.
I believe one cannot exist without the other; Canonical cannot deliver this vision without our community and Ubuntu would be significantly debilitated if there was no Canonical providing staff, resources, and other investment into Ubuntu. Canonical is not evil, and the community is not entitled; we all just need to step back and find some common ground and remember that we are all in the circle of friends.
This symbol is as potent to me as it was back in 2004.
When I got interested in Linux back in 1998 and wanted to make it my career, my primary motivation was to bring freedom of technology to everyone. This is what attracted me to Ubuntu and ultimately working at Canonical. I don’t want to be rude to other distros who are quite happy within their remit of making a great OS for Linux enthusiasts, but I frankly don’t want to settle for that. I want Ubuntu to be the choice for Linux enthusiasts, but for us to not stop there and also bring Free Software to people who have not yet been blessed by it, and who may be new to technology and the opportunities it provides.
Achieving that goal is not just as simple as making the source code available for the platform and setting up a bunch of mailing lists. It means delivering simple and elegant user experiences built for the needs of our users, consistent and beautiful design, professional-grade quality, strong hardware and software partner relationships, certification across a range of hardware profiles, training, responsive security, diverse marketing and advocacy campaigns, and many other areas. Both Canonical and the community contribute extensively to provide these things that we need to get over that chasm, and importantly, each provides things that the other cannot.
It turns out that building this simple, ubiquitous Free Software experience for everyone is hard. We can’t just settle for the tried and tested approach of pulling the latest upstream software and integrating it into a single Operating System. That is tough, intensive and grueling work in itself, but to achieve the goals I mentioned above we need to be constantly challenging ourselves to innovate and go faster in how we deliver this innovation to our users. We need to always challenge the status quo…not for the sake of being different, but for the sake of not restricting ourselves to tradition and instead helping us to be better at what we do, and ultimately achieve our goals of getting Ubuntu into the hands of more people.
We saw this challenge with Unity: that was a tough, but necessary decision. While we suffered over the firestorm around Unity, I think it ultimately put us in a better position, and now we have a single convergent user interface that spans across multiple devices and we will soon have a single convergent Unity code-base across these devices too. In an era where desktop shipments are down due to the impact of phones and tablets, we are no longer trapped in a form factor that has had a decreasing scope of opportunity for us; the desktop is just one part of our wider convergence vision. This opens up the market for Ubuntu and the Free Software and Open Source values we encompass. While some people in some comment boxes will still bring the hate about Unity, I think that overall it has put us in a position to get Free Software in the hands of more people than if we didn’t make that difficult decision, and the sheer level of interest in Ubuntu for the phone, tablet, TV, and desktop is testament to that.
Put it in my pocket, on my lap, on my desktop, and hang it on my wall.
While making tough decisions is important, it is also important that we maintain our Ubuntu values too. One core value is that our platform and community are open for discussion and participation, so everyone is welcome to help put their brick in the wall. Our archive has long been open and there are many ways to contribute, and while some of these projects were secret before-hand, now everything is out in the open and available for participation. Some may disagree with the rationale of keeping things private, but particularly in the case of Phone and Tablet, the “big-reveal” helped us to have a big splash and generate more press interest and partner inquiries, and thus help us along to our vision.
Importantly though, we made the source and community on-ramp available as soon as we feasibly could. The code for Unity, Ubuntu Touch, and Mir is publicly available, and we are eager to invite people to join and shape those projects. This week we also ran our very first online UDS, with the goal of making the Ubuntu planning process as open and accessible to all as possible, not just those who could travel, and on a more regular cadence. All of the videos, notes and blueprints from that event are archived here. I am confident for the next event we will have an even smoother, better-run UDS, with even more participation.
We are now in a position with a clearly articulated vision around convergence and cloud orchestration, full source availability, daily builds of images, and public mailing lists and IRC channels to have those conversations. Everything is available in public blueprints and tracked at status.ubuntu.com, and we have many outreach campaigns to help our community participate in this vision, such as the core apps project, port-o-thon, regular cadance testing, charm quality improvements, SDK participation, and other areas. Our community should expect our projects to be open, accessible and collaborative, and if they are not, please raise your concerns with the Canonical engineering managers, or talk to me either publicly on my weekly Q&A video hangout at 7pm UTC every Wednesday on Ubuntu On Air, or privately at email@example.com, or by contacting me on Freenode IRC – my nick is jono. My door is always open.
Things are never perfect in a community, and I am not suggesting we are perfect either, but I believe we are at the cusp of an incredible opportunity to get Free Software and open technology into the hands of the masses, not just by wishing it to be true, but because there is genuine market opportunity for it to be true.
I wonder who Mark is referring to in his blog post:
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.
This I think gives users a regular cadence they are used to. Gives people like system 76 a regular OEM install it has security back ports from the continuing rolling release. It gives app devs a set of libs for 6 months that won't change. And means there is only a fortnight slow down for the devs.
Plus the community driven derivatives can continue to use their current 6 monthly cadence. Everyone is happy :-)