Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

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exploder
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Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by exploder »

Helios wrote an interesting view on what is happening with Ubuntu.

http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2011/06/c ... asset.html

This goes right along with the open letter to Ubuntu that Jesse Smith wrote and posted on DistroWatch Monday. Both Jesse and Helios make good points, Ubuntu is ignoring the community and it is the community that put them where they are today. I personally thought all the bugs and regressions were the biggest problem but then again Ubuntu is not the only distribution releasing with major issues left unfixed. Many of us have been around the Linux scene long enough to see major distributions fade away and disappear, this is the beginning of that happening to Ubuntu if they continue to ignore what the community is asking for.

I quit testing Ubuntu some time ago because the process is all for show, they only fix what they want and ignore everything else. Every single thing about Ubuntu is geared toward grabbing media attention. Come on, wake up! These guys change an icon and you see it plastered on every news site on the planet, it's totally ridicules! I am seeing people start to wake up, some of the smaller distributions that put quality first are moving back up the ranks on DistroWatch and I am glad. I applaud Jesse Smith and Helios for not singing the praises of Ubuntu and are saying what so many of us have been thinking all along.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by nunol »

I don't think Ubuntu cares about the current users, they are looking forward to the future 200'000'000 users. There is plenty of choice, Mint, Debian, Fedora, Arch, etc.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by AdamS »

Many of us that use Linux as more then just fun. We use it as the os of your lives and business have sat back and watched. Ubuntu has gone down hill bad, they no longer seem to listen to our needs.

They make massive changes that infuriate the masses and say. "it's all for the best"

Yet os goes out vastly unfixed and unfinished. With a ui the masses hate with deep passion.

Beginning of the end if they don't stop the madness. Ubuntu will become the black sheep left for the very few if it keeps up. I my self have already left ubuntu to move to better that do care about my needs (Linux mint).
Last edited by AdamS on Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by exploder »

I noticed that some of the Ubuntu developers are leaving. It's a shame where Ubuntu is headed because the have the resources and such a large community that they could produce something very good. I just can not understand why they don't fix the real problems. Small distributions like Mepis and PCLinuxOS seem to manage very good hardware support with only a handful of people to help. Ubuntu has paid developers and thousands of volunteers and their community often finds fixes for various bugs that are never used. Unity is not the best or the worst idea I have ever seen and it's not a major issue to me personally, the horrible hardware support and updates that break things are what bothers me the most. I can understand someones 10 year old graphics card not working in a new release but an nvidea GT 220 and 6150 on-board graphics should work out of the box. Mepis and PCLinuxOS have plymouth working better than ever, why can't Ubuntu. Ubuntu was plastered all over the web because they were going to improve the boot experience, what happened to that? Shuttleworth made that big keynote speech about the fly in the ice cream and fixing bugs like this, again, what happened to that?

I tend to criticize Ubuntu quite a bit because they grab all of the press and many people think that Ubuntu is Linux! Ubuntu has so many resources available to them, don't they know how to use them? I don't want Ubuntu to represent Linux if they can not produce quality work because it makes everybody look bad. I don't think any software can be completely free of bugs but there should not be real obvious problems right from the start either. I could even live with a few bugs in Unity because it is something new and I don't expect it to be perfect after only 6 months of development. I do expect plymouth to work and my nvidea graphics cards because these things work fine in other distributions. I want cont, alt, back space to be put back because the system freezes up and the underlying problems are not being fixed. Shuttleworth should have some control over the direction Ubuntu is heading but the communities wants and needs need to be factored in too.

It's sad to see a distribution that has so much manpower available puts out what the media refers to as half baked releases when they are capable of so much more.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by rhY »

Ubuntu has been making these kinds of bad choices for a LONG time. I'd say at least 4 years. There's a reason Mint is dominating it according to most stats. This is all pretty obvious to me!
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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by phredbull »

My impressions are that:
a) Ubuntu wants to become a dominant presence on the desktop, particularly by enticing Windoze users to switch. (This goes against the ol' "Linux is NOT Windoze" article, which states that this is in fact an undesirable situation.)
b)To reiterate exploder's excellent points; Yes, with all of their resources, Cannonical could accomplish just about anything they want, including releasing high quality software, but their efforts seem to be geared towards their image, marketing, and media attention. Hence, the focus on making bold changes on the surface, while ignoring the existing problems under the hood.
c)I believe that ultimately, Shuttleworth wants to become profitable, perhaps even the M$ of the Linux world. Most people would say, "Duh, who doesn't want to make $$$ ?" But as a proponent of FOSS, I don't particularly want to see the Linux desktop become commercialized. (I have mixed feelings about this, since $$$ is one of the best motivational tools. In many instances, commercial software is light-years ahead of their free equivalents. OSs do not fall under this category, IMO.)
d) I also believe that ultimately, Billionaire Shuttleworth has a huge ego and wants to be seen as a visionary, something like the Steve Jobs of the Linux world. I think their serendipitous development path is a quest for the "big breakthrough" that will put Ubuntu in the spotlight.
I don't see any of this as being particular beneficial to me as an end user, or even the larger Linux community. What does Linux need with someone like Shuttleworth or Cannonical? Do we need PR, mass acceptance, and market dominance? I'd prefer to see efforts go into coding, bug fixing, and design. I think if the software is good, then people will use it, and even support it with donations. As for the ones who can't tell or don't care about the difference between good and bad software, do we really want or need them? More users means lowering the common denominator...

(BTW, Nothing says "I gotta have it!" like brown and purple... NOT! One thing I would support would be Cannonical taking lessons in design from Apple, though I'd strongly encourage creativity over imitation...)
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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by lmintnewb »

Sounds about right ... It's beyond me to understand and seems easy to see these things from an outside perspective. Even from a newbish linux users perspective. Started out really disliking ubuntu and it's only grown since. Guess the whole ubuntu being synonymous with linux thing just goes to show. LIFE'S NOT FAIR.

lol ... have to say, my respect for Mint HQ's sly marketing talents have increased. Pretty slick, letting buntu do the promoting. Make it more user friendly and avoid as many of the obviously stupid mistakes buntu central makes. Then sit back and siphon off the disgruntled users fleeing it. Nice, actually hope it continues on. Would rather see an actually user friendly distro like LM in the lime light than ubuntu.

Like LM and it's community, so will bite my tongue often enough. Am amazed by all the gnu/linux supporters of the world have done ... can do. When it comes to buntu, for awhile now thought of them as the M$ of the nix world. We all know how long it can take for a craptastic software maker to disintegrate, shrugs. Hard to say what all is really going on. Behind the scenes and behind closed doors etc.

Oh well I'll pass on all things buntu. Vote for, use and promote what I think to be better. Which when it comes to ubuntu and what's out there in the rest of the nixverse. That isn't saying much. Plenty putting them to shame and doing it with sooooo much less to work with. Me and buntu have had a strongly dislike ( they don't know or care I'm alive ) relationship since about 10 mins after I laid eyes on ubuntu 10.10, lol. Don't see that changing. But know one thing ... when it comes to linux. Not like I have a shortage of available options. ;)

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by exploder »

phredbull, your comments are very interesting and I agree with what you wrote. Shuttleworth does appear to want to be the Steve Jobs of the Linux world. Ubuntu can get users to take a look but they can't keep them. All you see about Linux on Windows forums is Ubuntu, it's like people are brainwashed into believing that Ubuntu is or totally represents Linux. Ubuntu can in no way compete with proprietary operating systems because there are so many things that just don't work. Even with less than popular business practices Microsoft and Apple do create a better working operating system. Even when you consider the maintenance required and virus threats the proprietary operating systems do not publish a huge list of bugs and regressions.and lets face it, unless your hardware is really old it is going to work and people know that.

Ubuntu does not have the basic things in place to be successful, good hardware support, decent length of support, upgrade-ability and reasonably free of obvious bugs. People are constantly asking for software updates or where they can find them, is anyone listening to them? People are constantly having problems with common modern hardware, is anyone listening to them? I still get bug reports in my e-mail about a bug I filed in Ubuntu 8.10 for evolution that is still not fixed to this day! Is anybody listening? It took over 350 people to make Ubuntu change a 60s looking wallpaper they were going to use in one of their releases! We flooded the bug report and we would not stop! They finally went with something that looked decent but only because we were flooding Launchpad over it.

Mark Shuttleworth is not listening to anyone and he is unapproachable by anyone other than the media. I can't believe how many Ubuntu releases have had serious issues with various graphics cards. All the hype and press about the boot experience being improved and just look at the shape it is in with 11.04, it's so bad we went with a black plymouth screen to mask the issue. I get so mad every time I see Ubuntu getting press over nothing! Ubuntu used a lot of the work Clem did to improve the software center and they did not even bother to give him any credit! Clem mentioned Ubuntu when he made improvements to the software center originally. How long did the community have to complain about the default colors Ubuntu used before they finally changed them?

Ubuntu is all about marketing not creating a decent operating system. Ubuntu got Dell to sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed but Dell soon regretted that decision and you don't hear much about it anymore. I honestly believe Ubuntu brainwashes people with advertizing into thinking they are doing something great. Ubuntu releases with 3 package manager by default! Now it's big news they are trying to use only the software manager! Most every distribution on the planet only use on package manager, why is it big news that Ubuntu wants to go with one? Ubuntu is planning to drop Evolution and go with Thunderbird, how many distros have done this already? Why is this news worthy? Every little change Ubuntu makes seems to be big news and requires an interview with Shuttleworth, why?

PCLinuxOS provides "mylivecd" to remaster your perfectly configured system as a default application in all of it's releases, doesn't this sound like something news worthy? Here is an amazing piece of work and it is never mentioned by the media. Clem's development of the mint menu also seems news worthy but you never see anything about it in the media. Plenty of distributions come up with new and revolutionary things that never get any attention by the press. Ubuntu changes an icon and it is plastered all over every Linux news site on the planet. I think PCLinuxOS having one of the only real rolling releases would make a bigger impact with the news sites. Lets face it, Ubuntu has not done anything special. The Ubuntu installer did not even work reliably until Warren Woofard helped them, that's right, the developer of Mepis helped Ubuntu with the installer!

I quit falling for the Ubuntu hype and no one is going to brainwash me into putting that junk on my computers ever again! Ubuntu always has you thinking that the next release is going to be better and work but that next time never comes.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by lmintnewb »

Means a lot coming from someone with as long a background in linux as you've got exploder. Plus it means I'm not as clueless as I thought. Cause came to the same conclusions about this as you've expressed. Must mean I'm not completely lost in the opinions I have ... low opinions I have of ubuntu/canonical.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by MALsPa »

I really don't know about all this stuff -- alienating their major asset, not listening to users, what Shuttleworth's and Canonical's motives are, etc. I just know that Ubuntu keeps working fine here. When the next LTS comes out next year, I'll install it again, and see how things go. If it works fine like here like Dapper, Hardy, and Lucid have, then I'll be along for the ride for another couple of years. As long as it's free and it does what I need it to, I've got no complaints.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by exploder »

MALsPa , the last Ubuntu release than ran right for me was 8.04, the last 5 have not worked acceptably with any of my nvidea graphics cards. Before that there were issues with Intel and of course that is what I had for a graphics card at the time. I really don't know why I should care, it's not like the Ubuntu developers read any of the bug reports I have submitted.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by MALsPa »

Sorry to hear that, exploder. Yeah, if I had those issues, I'd be down on Ubuntu, too. Apparently I've been extremely lucky with the different machines I've installed Ubuntu on. Funny how that goes. A couple of them have been computers that came with Linux "pre-installed" and worked well with just about any distro I threw at them; but most of them were previously Windows machines.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by exploder »

The funny thing is, Fedora, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Debian, etc all run fine on my computers. I went with PCLinuxOS KDE because it's a rolling release and the default tools are very good. I used to think that submitting bug reports for Ubuntu would help make Mint better but after a developer said they did not have time to fix everyone's favorite bug, I decided that I had enough. I took the bug reporting seriously and I thought the developers did too but that did not seem to be the case. I have been through Ubuntu development cycles from start to finish and never have been able to figure out what their goals are. I have quietly sat threw PCLinuxOS and OpenSuse release cycles and enjoyed it.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by Robin »

Forgive me for saying so, but I think some of y'all are proceeding from false assumptions. Ubuntu is the project of one man who has described his relationship to the project as "benevolent dictator for life." That doesn't sound like a community project, even though some of Ubuntu's web pages suggest it. It's one man's vision.

And secondly. "Bug #1" - Shuttleworth's stated goal and purpose - is to make Ubuntu "more popular than Windows." Thus all the decisions are aimed at that goal. What I don't understand is why everyone is so surprised and disappointed when Canonical makes decisions that are in keeping with "Bug #1."

Yes, it's about hype and media attention and all that, but the point is, it always has been, and Canonical has always been up front about Bug #1. So don't act all surprised that Ubuntu "seeks attention." That's the idea, and it shouldn't be strange to anyone who is the least bit familiar with Ubuntu.

For a true community distro, it pro'lly doesn't get any more communal than Debian!

Just say'n.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by phredbull »

@MALsPa & Robin:
You two are absolutely correct, my assumptions are just that, assumptions. The more I think about it, the more curious I become about Canonical's structure, how much manpower is dedicated to tech, how much is marketing, how many enterprise installs are there, etc?
But I still want to know, Linux had come a long way before Canonical, so now what does it need massive funding and a corporation, or foundation, for, (unless they're paying people to fix bugs)? And how much credit does Ubuntu deserve for the state of the Linux desktop today, which is quite user-friendly?
I did start using Ubuntu under the pretense that Canonical adhered to some kind of humanitarian ethical code. Now I realize "all of humanity", or whatever it means, really means "Everyone on the planet using my product." So much for choice. Yeah, I can be naive...
But I do think that the hit-or-miss nature of Ubuntu's hardware compatibility will slowly but steadily alienate existing users.,,
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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by lmintnewb »

Yeah ... Robin, agreed.

Hype and media attention. Just what the world needs another craptastic OS dominating things. Guess ubuntu would be a step up in that it's free. Provided it actually stays no cost.

Think some of the nix users look at it beyond a does it work ok, or doesn't it perspective. Look at it as more of a cause and a great cause. Knowing about the history of gnu/linux and all the work people have done, continue doing. To give people alternatives to expensive closed source. Freedom of information, community, flow of communication between people(s). Freedom to have access to and use information technology with a minimum of sleazebag interests controlling it. etc.

And find it offensive when a subgrade distro like ubuntu over shadows all the nix stuff out there that's much better than buntu. Doing more, with so much less and showing what FOSS is really all about. Some rich guy sticks his nose into linux. Hires a bunch of marketers ... and get's a flavor of linux which is certainly nothing special, catapulted into the lime light representing linux to the world ?

Then goes on to make major mistake, after major mistake. Spitting out buggy release, on top of buggy release ? It gives linux a bad name with so many people believing ubuntu is the best linux has to offer. I'm using a distro ONE guy makes and like it more than anything ubuntu I've tried. Another that's the work of a handful of devs, also like it far more than ubuntu.

These tiny groups of people can put together a linux distro that puts to shame what canonical can ? Yet they get no credit or publicity. An organization like canonical on the other hand can't put a lil effort into quality ? WIth all the resources they should have available ? Doesn't matter whether someone's making software for 10 people or 10 million people. The work required should still be the same for the most part.

Think it's an insult to what gnu/linux is supposed to mean and all the hard work that's been/being done to make it better than corp software like windows.

Which in my mind is what's really going to make linux as popular as windows. When it's better and for the most part free to boot. Only a matter of time before it's adopted by more people. When it's buggy and undeserving of recognition, hogging the lime light and giving linux a bad name as the play toy of some egotistical person who was no doubt born with a silver spoon crammed up his arse. ... Then hey, that's called ubuntu.

(edit) Cause if linux enmasse ever has to become like M$, screw quality or what the users want in exchange for market share. Well guess I'll have to switch over to bsd, lol. Don't think there's any worry of that happening. Some distro's long ago went the commercialized route. But for the most part will leave craptastic, undeserved grand standing to canonical.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by DrHu »

From the link provided:
  • "I've long lamented the fact that Linux lacks any real marketing strategy."
So what is he arguing against, Ubuntu's marketing strategies or his own
  • I can agree that decisions made by Ubuntu, and their inevitable bug list of unfixed problems/issues for each new release (every 6 months) is problematic, and not just for Ubuntu
The other items he mentions, such as the loss of Synaptic and the changing of keyboard shortcuts (hot-keys) or the removal of ctrl-alt-bkspace to crash the xserver as a handicap for new users; why that is just canonical/Ubuntus' market strategy, we just have to get used to it or pick some other Linux desktop style, such as lxde, xfce, lmde etc.
Not usually a problem
--except for that mythical demographic of the new user; presumed to be a windows OS convert, if truly a convert and not just a curious bystander, the Linux is not windows: suck it up idea..

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by lmintnewb »

After some reflection thought of summin.

For all the negative things I credit to ubuntu. Like definitely being nothing special compared to so much other nix in the world. At least can say, they do promote linux to da masses. So any buntu shortcomings to me could be considered irrelevant I guess. At least it gets linux's foot in the door on many a PC. Once someone's used buntu. At least they are exploring what's out there OSwise for them. Should give them the confidence to want to try other things or the accumulating mistakes buntu central makes will send them looking around for other nix. At which time, they shouldn't have all that much of a problem finding something linux that's better than ubuntu and it's shortcomings will become readily apparent.

At least buntu is promoting gnu/linux. The rest I guess, they'll sink or swim based on ubuntu's choices, merits or lack thereof. :D So ... hopefully they do more good than harm overall. Even if it's unintentionally. Every new nix user is a good thing eh. Another nail in M$'s coffin perhaps and that is DEFINITELY a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by MALsPa »

lmintnewb wrote:At least it gets linux's foot in the door on many a PC.
Yeah.

It would be interesting (but impossible, I think) to see what percentage of current Linux users started out with Ubuntu. Ubuntu was like the 4th or 5th distro that I ran here (either installed or from live media).

Maybe because of that, I see Ubuntu as just another distro -- the most popular one at the moment, perhaps, but it wasn't in existence when I started out in Linux, and I don't expect it to remain at the top of the charts forever.

The few people I've known or met away from the internet who were trying Linux out for the first time were each trying Ubuntu. In each case, I didn't have negative things to tell them about Ubuntu (mainly because my own experiences with it have been positive), but in each case I have mentioned other distros that I thought were just as good or better to start out with -- Mepis, Mint, PCLOS, mainly. As far as I know, none of those people decide to go with something besides Ubuntu (not sure how things have turned out for any of them except for one of them who never went any further than running a live CD).

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Re: Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset

Post by lmintnewb »

Wouldn't think ubuntu would ever be where linux starts and ends with you MALsPa. Sure you have wide ranging experiences to go on. Trying to look on the brightside with ubuntu. I don't like it obviously, even if it can be decent for others. Not like my opinions matter all that much either way.

Hoping the hype and promoting ubuntu does at least leads to more people adopting something linuxish. Which is good for everybody. Larger userbase, more pressure on people to work well with linux in general. Not to mention makes all the viri coders of the world have to step up their game, lol.

Hopefully takes money out of M$'s bank account. Which thrills me too.

So if ubuntu manages to stay in the spot light ... call it good. Even if imo ... it's not much to speak of in an ocean of great gnu/linux to wade through. When nix users like you give it a thumbs up. Makes me wonder if maybe I'm wrong about it, shrugs ... Oh well, can't be right about everything. That goes double for me sometimes.

Hopefully though, provided ubuntu bugs don't crash and/or melt some new nix users boxes. They'll develop a taste for the FOSS that's out there and proceed in an orderly fashion to look at all that's available for everyone.

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