Is Ubuntu Animosity Misplaced?: Page 2

Ubuntu receives a healthy dose of criticism even as it does a great deal to move Linux forward.


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Sadly though, things become rocky again as we discover that some of the work for this new Mir port for Chromium was made possible by duplicating work done by the Intel Wayland team. Fans of Mir will argue there's nothing wrong with this. Naysayers, however, will be latching onto this as another example of Mir being a problem.

Quite honestly, I don't see this debate settling down anytime soon. Both projects continue to jockey for their positions on our desktops. Wayland is the clear winner in terms of planned adoption.

Upstart vs systemd

The final piece to this puzzle is Ubuntu's initial idea of going with Upstart instead of the community preferred solution, systemd. When news came about that the init replacement for Ubuntu was to once again become something not widely anticipated, the virtual rioting started right up again. The concern was that it wasn't as good as what systemd could offer for desktop systems. On the flip side, however, Upstart has seen adoption within the mobile space ranging from webOS to Maemo.

Unlike the Unity vs Mir debate, Upstart got the attention of a fresh crop of Linux users as it would directly affect how a Linux distro starts and stops events/services. So even if you're not a system admin or a developer, this affected everyone who uses Linux on a day-to-day basis.

The best coverage of how this situation has played out comes from the Debian wiki. Not only does this page point out functional differences between Upstart and systemd, they also highlight one critical area most people aren't likely to consider at all – the Canonical Contributor License Agreement (CLA).

The Canonical CLA

At its core, the Canonical CLA (Contributor License Agreement) is perceived as a barrier among many developers within the Linux community. The always outspoken Linus Torvalds expressed his displeasure with CLAs in any form back in January. Torvalds explains that his disapproval of CLAs aren't limited to the one involving Ubuntu, but those used by any project. But in Canonical's case, the real concern is that the CLA opens up potential danger for submitted work to be used under a proprietary license. This isn't to say that it will, rather, it has the "potential" to be a problem in the long-term.

Closing thoughts

In the wake of each controversy above, the fact is that the Ubuntu project has not only done wonders for propelling Linux adoption among governments and schools, they've made Linux accessible to the common user as well. Bundle this fact with Mark Shuttleworth understanding that Debian's decision to go with systemd meant that it made sense for Ubuntu to do the same, shows that the Linux community's focused development decisions are in fact, within the development team's wheelhouse.

I can think of one thing we can all agree on – the Linux community is passionate, involved and sometimes overtly "loud" when it comes to the direction the platform is headed in. While users such as myself try very hard to remain neutral and not act as though using our computers is a "religious experience," the community at large continues to make their voices heard....no matter the cost.

My concern is that newer users who have just come over to the Linux side of the fence will be scared away by some enthusiasts' misplaced animosity toward Ubuntu. As Linux continues to evolve, I don't see this changing any time soon though.

Will this color how the majority of new comers see the Linux community? Perhaps, only time will tell. Thankfully most of us are fairly grounded and can have our opinions without scaring the heck out of the newbies too much.

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Tags: Linux, Ubuntu, Gnome, open source downloads

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