Topic: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

It's pretty hard to argue with the success of Canonical (Ubuntu).  They managed to win over a huge user base in a relatively short amount of time.  They have contributed (in my opinion) greatly to the conversion of end-users interested in an alternative desktop operating system.  It seems however that Canonical doesn't play nice with the upstream developers.  They have a substantial user base but seem to push a disproportional amount of patches upstream.

Here
Rebuttal

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

I agree with the Rebuttal.

Let's not forget, however, that free means people don't have to contribute back. It's rather poor to do something for the community and then rant about poor contributions back.   I've said this about Theo and OpenBSD in the past too.

And one final thing - if the source is "free" then the Linux kernel devs can simply go and check out the changes.

It's a pathetic dig at a single company.

Amanda McPherson wrote:

...if we get into endless bickering about free riders, this makes the Linux community appear vindictive and petty. Just using Linux makes the ecosystem so much bigger for the rest of  us. This is why it

"UBER" means I don't drink the coffee... I chew the beans instead
             -- Copyright BSDnexus

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

I dunno, I think Greg Kroah-Hartman has a valid point.  A company the size of Canonical should have pushed more than a hundred patches upstream since it's inception, especially considering the size of their user base.  Granted they have made lots of contributions to the more desktop-y projects like GNOME and hal.

From the Ubuntu "code of conduct":

We chose the name Ubuntu for our distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of the sharing and cooperation that is at the heart of the open source movement. In the Free Software world, we collaborate freely on a volunteer basis to build software for everyone's benefit. We improve on the work of others, which we have been given freely, and then share our improvements on the same basis.

Of course no one can force Canonical to contribute or participate in the community ecosystem.  They are free to contribute nothing if they so wish but they have the resources in terms of developer time and a beta-test user base to contribute a lot to the kernel and it's associated "plumbing" not just desktop-y projects.  Kernel contributions go even further in terms of sharing than contributions to GNOME because more people use the kernel.  It's just unfortunate that Canonical doesn't send as much stuff upstream as they could and it's even more unfortunate that in doing so they seem to be in direct conflict with their own manifesto.

The devs could indeed just go through the kernel source but the point is they shouldn't have to.  It's inefficient and it should be unnecessary.

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

Sigh.  Well, let's not forget that Ubuntu has probably done more to get hardware support from the manufacturers, simply by being so popular that it makes them think of Linux as a viable alternative. 

I'm with Wintellect.   By its very popularity, Ubuntu has probably given back far more than it's taken.  I'd put it in the cheap shot department.   smile

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

We improve on the work of others, which we have been given freely, and then share our improvements on the same basis

And indeed they do. As the kernel is GPL'd I'm betting any modifications can be looked at via the source code. Why don't the Linux kernel people simply go look at the code? surely a diff(1) would be easy for them to make? wink why should Canonical have to send the patches?

Also, Canonical sending in patches doesn't guarantee they get included - at which point you have to wonder if it's worth doing. With Torvald's past habits - he may simply write his own rather than use existing stuff tongue

"UBER" means I don't drink the coffee... I chew the beans instead
             -- Copyright BSDnexus

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

Once again, I agree with Wintellect.  (Maybe I should make a text file saying that, then I can just paste it in.)

The code and patches are there for them to see.  I suspect that Ubuntu does more good spending their efforts in continuing their development and would rather see them doing that than pushing patches upstream. 

Interestingly enough, I know a few people whom I've always considered extremely knowledgeable who have switched to Ubuntu.  They found it was a nice change having so many things just work, and it gives them more time to work on the 3rd party apps--for example, samba, apache and the like, rather than spend their time getting their computer to do the basics. 

I suspect a lot of the reason they seem to come under frequent fire is jealousy at their popularity.

They earned it, IMHO.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

scottro wrote:

Once again, I agree with Wintellect.  (Maybe I should make a text file saying that, then I can just paste it in.)

lol
 

scottro wrote:

I suspect a lot of the reason they seem to come under frequent fire is jealousy at their popularity.

They earned it, IMHO.

Very true!

"UBER" means I don't drink the coffee... I chew the beans instead
             -- Copyright BSDnexus

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

Yes, and it carries over to the BSDs as well, I think, in terms of hardware support and getting more manufacturers to open the code for their drivers.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Linux: Canonical is a free-rider

The BSDs need commercial hardware supprt IMHO. They need somebody like HP to produce hardware that works on BSD and is clearly labelled as such. Using NetBSD is a commercial environment, as I currently do, always has me worried when someone wants to get new hardware - I then have to worry about whether NetBSD supports it.

Most vendors, like HP, will clearly indicate if it runs Linux or not, making it far easier to pick up a Linux distro with a modern kernel and pretty much knowing it'll work.

"UBER" means I don't drink the coffee... I chew the beans instead
             -- Copyright BSDnexus

Posts [ 9 ]

Pages 1

You must login or register to post a reply