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I guess they see that as their differentiator though, tbh - i.e., to them, it's a feature.
Mark Shuttleworth at LinuxTag
Posted Jun 15, 2010 14:05 UTC (Tue) by ccurtis (guest, #49713)
Sometimes one has to take the bull by the horns and head off into new directions. Hopefully the endeavor is successful, others agree, and the changes get integrated back into the project's baseline - because maintaining a fork is expensive. But engaging in political battles on mailing lists to convince a community to change is often tilting at windmills (let's see how many clichés I can fit in here...)
As the same time, there's often a hypocrisy in these communities. When a change is suggested, half the developers shout "show me the code"; when the code is written another half complain about the style or how it's the wrong way to do it; and when the code is released independently because an upstream merge is just too difficult, yet another half complain about the project being forked. However, the fork allows the code to prove itself in the real world and not simply in theoreticals, and what more proof is needed?
One thing is for sure - Ubuntu is doing their own thing. There is a vision that they are pursuing, and they're not asking for permission first. They are making mistakes, but are also very successful. The Linux ecosystem is growing and in some respects Ubuntu is leading the way. This statement isn't meant to diminish any other distro forging their own paths (all of which are leading their particular ways in growing the ecosystem) but Ubuntu is giving Linux some Apple-like consumer "magic".
And they're not doing it to the exclusion of others -- again, there are (as always) areas for improvement, but they're helping the Debian project (by paying some DDs if nothing else) and the talk of cadence is the equivalent of shouting, "Hey guys, follow me!". Of course, if you're running off a cliff you can do that yourself, thanks, but so far all evidence to the contrary.
I have to stop here because I feel like I'm writing an advertisement for Ubuntu, when really I just find it difficult to fathom why there is so much disdain for a distro doing open source the way that open source advocates sell it.
Posted Jun 15, 2010 14:24 UTC (Tue) by AlexHudson (subscriber, #41828)
I think it is relatively optimistic, though, to think that you can develop stuff in this manner and expect acceptance by e.g. GNOME, particularly when you're touching relatively core pieces of the desktop UI.
Posted Jun 16, 2010 3:32 UTC (Wed) by ccurtis (guest, #49713)
However, implicit in your statement, "I guess they see that as their differentiator though, tbh - i.e., to them, it's a feature." is the contrary position "[...] to me, it's a fault." I'm not arguing the point - the endeavor may very well turn out to be folly. I don't use GNOME (I tried, I really did) so it really has little impact on me, as, I suspect, most of what Ubuntu does impacts its critics.
What is more interesting to me is the broader picture. We see this now as it relates to Ubuntu/GNOME, but it's really the same story of Google Wakelocks and the kernel, with somewhat different details. These sorts of issues need to be clearly resolved in a way amenable to everyone early (forks are okay as long as you discuss your approach first, or whatever), else much needless strife will ensue as I see no reason for issues like these to abate.
Posted Jun 15, 2010 15:46 UTC (Tue) by rvfh (subscriber, #31018)
You have three halves here... could you let us know the approximate size of each of them :-D (another cliché, esp. for old French-speaking people who know Raimu)
Posted Jun 16, 2010 3:38 UTC (Wed) by ccurtis (guest, #49713)
However, to play pedant, I did represent each half at a different point in time, so it all works out. ;-)
Posted Jun 16, 2010 6:05 UTC (Wed) by niner (subscriber, #26151)
Posted Jun 15, 2010 16:28 UTC (Tue) by michaeljt (subscriber, #39183)
Perhaps there is a sweet spot in-between? For instance suggesting the change, being clear that you are willing to author it and discussing with those involved (before you start and as you go) how to do it in a way they would find acceptable? Perhaps I would see things differently if I were currently trying to get a major change into a major project of course.
Note that this isn't really aimed at Ubuntu, just to say that I can understand when project owners are a bit coy about who and what code they "let in".
Posted Jun 17, 2010 11:14 UTC (Thu) by modernjazz (guest, #4185)
That works really well if the person is viewed as a core member of the developer community, because the other developers will take the proposal seriously and engage with it.
It often doesn't work well for someone who isn't already in the inner core. "Radical" proposals just won't command the focused attention of the developer community. On one hand, the person making the proposal might be a crackpot, and so it would be a waste of time to discuss it; on the other hand, the person might actually be quite talented and motivated, but no one in the community yet realizes that and so they don't put the time into it that (with hindsight) they should.
Personally, I don't think there is a solution to this problem; there isn't enough time for developers to treat every thing that comes up purely on its merits (trust is an important timesaver), nor is there always enough time for any would-be contributer to go through a slow process of building trust (and some contributers, like Mark himself, may contribute in ways that don't quickly garner respect from C-coders).
So in my view the process will always be a bit messy. Just like evolution. Perhaps the biggest improvement would be an increased tolerance/politeness/respect for that messiness on the part of the wider community.
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