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FooBarWidget
September 12th, 2008, 04:19 PM
Hi guys. I've just read that Mark Shuttleworth has invested more money into open source desktop usability. He's using the money to hire artists and user interface experts, for example. Kudos to him!

However, I'm worried about something. Actually, about him. He has been investing his millions into Ubuntu for years now. But is he getting anything back in return? Won't Ubuntu bankrupt him at some given point? Is Canonical making a decent profit? Is the current situation sustainable?

And from my point of view, it would seem that the open source community consists of more and more "leeches" these days. What I mean by this is people who take from open source but give nothing back. This giving back doesn't even have to be in the form of code, but also in the form of documentation, art, or just a "thank you". While it is true that people like my grandmother can't and shouldn't have to contribute, many people seem to take open source for granted and seem to think that they can criticize, complain and condemn open source while not contributing anything, and that this all is their godgiven right. When told that their behavior is inappropriate, useless or unsustainable, they defend themselves by calling you "elitist" or "zealot".

So on the one hand, we have a few people who are contributing lots of things to FOSS, namely Shuttleworth with his millions, developers with their time and code, etc. On the other hand it would seem like that all these "leeches" form a black hole and suck everything into nothingness. To me it would seem that this is an unsustainable situation.

What are the forum members' thoughts on this? Am I the only one who thinks like this?

Vince4Amy
September 12th, 2008, 04:32 PM
criticize, complain and condemn open source while not contributing anything

In theory criticising would be contributing, so long as it's constructive criticism.

bp1509
September 12th, 2008, 04:39 PM
d

FooBarWidget
September 12th, 2008, 05:05 PM
In theory criticising would be contributing, so long as it's constructive criticism.

Yes. The problem is that too many people don't contribute constructive criticism but they think do. For example:

YOu don't need to be an expert to figure out whats wrong with Linux as a desktopOS.

Little or no thought as to organization of programs

Poor naming of applications

To many half *** redundant applications
If I'm an Ubuntu desktop developer, I would stare at that post 10 times and still not know what he's talking about. "Organization or programs" - no idea what he means, could be anything. "Poor naming of applications" - what applications? Is "Text Editor" a poor name? After 200 of these posts I honestly wouldn't know what to do, although the message "Linux sucks, FOSS developers are evil bastards" would have nested deep into my subconscious by then. Not exactly a good feeling.

bp1509
September 12th, 2008, 05:17 PM
d

SunnyRabbiera
September 12th, 2008, 05:34 PM
Most acronym-named applications need a name change IMO (Gimp). Most any application with gtk or Qt, or K in it needs it's named changed as well.

Many of these programs seem like they've been named for the tech enthusiast or geek, not the average desktop user.

I think GIMP is a cool name personally, in name it sounds better then "Adobe Photosho CS3"
and the K naming scheme in KDE seems to be leveling off in KDE4.

Dragonbite
September 12th, 2008, 05:52 PM
Hi guys. I've just read that Mark Shuttleworth has invested more money into open source desktop usability. He's using the money to hire artists and user interface experts, for example. Kudos to him!

However, I'm worried about something. Actually, about him. He has been investing his millions into Ubuntu for years now. But is he getting anything back in return? Won't Ubuntu bankrupt him at some given point? Is Canonical making a decent profit? Is the current situation sustainable?

And from my point of view, it would seem that the open source community consists of more and more "leeches" these days. What I mean by this is people who take from open source but give nothing back. This giving back doesn't even have to be in the form of code, but also in the form of documentation, art, or just a "thank you". While it is true that people like my grandmother can't and shouldn't have to contribute, many people seem to take open source for granted and seem to think that they can criticize, complain and condemn open source while not contributing anything, and that this all is their godgiven right. When told that their behavior is inappropriate, useless or unsustainable, they defend themselves by calling you "elitist" or "zealot".

So on the one hand, we have a few people who are contributing lots of things to FOSS, namely Shuttleworth with his millions, developers with their time and code, etc. On the other hand it would seem like that all these "leeches" form a black hole and suck everything into nothingness. To me it would seem that this is an unsustainable situation.

What are the forum members' thoughts on this? Am I the only one who thinks like this?

I'm sure Mark's a smart enough guy to invest a fair portion of his money in investments making him money he can live on. I believe it was John D Rokefeller who at times would "downsize" his standard of living so to not require taking a lot of money out of his company for pomp and fluff. Doing this allowed him to beat out competitors who were fighting him and at the same time throwing outlandish parties, supporting huge pieces of property and otherwise throwing their money around the place so their business had to support them AND fight the competition.

I don't know any details of Canonical's financial situation, but I hope they are making a profit or at least breaking even. If Canonical went bankrupt there is a good chance that it would then become a community distro with no commercial backing as Debian, Gentoo, PCLinuxOS and others are.

Considering what he has done with Linux and Ubuntu in the few short years of Ubuntu's life (didn't it start in 2004?), I think he's got what it takes to make this happen and is probably the BEST situation to do it!

Novell and Red Hat are pushing the enterprise because that is their bread-and-butter. Red Hat does a lot of work on the kernel and I'm sure they and their customers benefit from it as well. Since most of their customers run servers they do not have as much incentive to push changes on the desktop GUI. That is not to say they haven't, just that they have less incentive to than the kernel and core utilities.

Ubuntu will benefit from changes to GTK, Qt, Gnome and KDE, so that is where his focus will be and that is where the benefits will show.

billgoldberg
September 12th, 2008, 06:19 PM
Hi guys. I've just read that Mark Shuttleworth has invested more money into open source desktop usability. He's using the money to hire artists and user interface experts, for example. Kudos to him!

However, I'm worried about something. Actually, about him. He has been investing his millions into Ubuntu for years now. But is he getting anything back in return? Won't Ubuntu bankrupt him at some given point? Is Canonical making a decent profit? Is the current situation sustainable?

And from my point of view, it would seem that the open source community consists of more and more "leeches" these days. What I mean by this is people who take from open source but give nothing back. This giving back doesn't even have to be in the form of code, but also in the form of documentation, art, or just a "thank you". While it is true that people like my grandmother can't and shouldn't have to contribute, many people seem to take open source for granted and seem to think that they can criticize, complain and condemn open source while not contributing anything, and that this all is their godgiven right. When told that their behavior is inappropriate, useless or unsustainable, they defend themselves by calling you "elitist" or "zealot".

So on the one hand, we have a few people who are contributing lots of things to FOSS, namely Shuttleworth with his millions, developers with their time and code, etc. On the other hand it would seem like that all these "leeches" form a black hole and suck everything into nothingness. To me it would seem that this is an unsustainable situation.

What are the forum members' thoughts on this? Am I the only one who thinks like this?

I am pretty sure canonical is making a profit.

Also Shuttleworth has made around 500 million pounds online if I remember correctly, so he's good.

FooBarWidget
September 12th, 2008, 06:29 PM
Most acronym-named applications need a name change IMO (Gimp). Most any application with gtk or Qt, or K in it needs it's named changed as well.

Many of these programs seem like they've been named for the tech enthusiast or geek, not the average desktop user.

Now that you mention it, Gimp is a pretty infamous name. I have no problem with it personally, but people complain all the time about the association with crippled people.

I've talked to the Gimp developers about this. I told them that people are complaining about this issue, and that some have even been ridiculed for proposing Gimp to their colleagues because of the name. However, I was quickly banned from the Gimp IRC channel.

What should I do in this situation? Not doing anything won't get us anywhere, right?

userundefine
September 12th, 2008, 06:42 PM
Yeah, frankly, considering he's been able to amass the wealth to begin with, I'm sure he knows better than me how to keep it. Not worth worrying about.

quinnten83
September 12th, 2008, 06:48 PM
Most acronym-named applications need a name change IMO (Gimp). Most any application with gtk or Qt, or K in it needs it's named changed as well.

Many of these programs seem like they've been named for the tech enthusiast or geek, not the average desktop user.

They have, because these things are created by programmers usually as tools for other programmers. There is no marketing in mind. I think people should just get over themselves and quite b*tching that that what they are freely given don't do exactly do that which their lazy @$$$ want. It's FF-ing free people!
Thing is people forget that behind Linux and FOSS there is a culture and not a big company with a marketing machine. If you are gonna use FOSS you need to change your mindset.

Sorry needed to vent too.

oldsoundguy
September 12th, 2008, 06:56 PM
Also, the tax structure. In most countries, if you re-invest your profits from one operation back into that operation OR into another operation, the base income tax is lower as you are allowed deductions and depreciation. And trust me, just putting a million into various stock investments and funds, WILL, over the long haul, make you more money than you can get by working for somebody.
Only when you are totally stupid and go out and buy bling bling after bling bling, will you run out of money once you have made that initial chunk!
(stuff you drive or wear around your neck or on your wrist or fingers does NOT make a profit .. for YOU!)
In the US, you can run a business at a LOSS for quite some time, write off the equipment investment, and get the FEDS to partially pay for your operations. BUT, eventually you have to show a profit or the IRS will come breathing down your neck.

imgkg
September 12th, 2008, 07:07 PM
maybe you should check this http://news.cnet.com/Canonical-seeks-profit-from-free-Ubuntu/2100-7344_3-6123249.html
Canonical charges $250 per year for PC support during business hours and $2,750 per year for round-the-clock server support. In addition, a number of business partners also offer support,

littletinman
September 12th, 2008, 07:35 PM
Good points. Right now i can't code much, so i try to help out on the forum as much as possible (When time allows), and write about open source software on my blog. But I agree, the whole spirit of open source is to be a involved community, "I am what i am, becaus eof what we all are." That's shuttleworths moto, and it's a good one. But let's not just sit here and talk about all the things people arent doing (Though it is helpful to know where things are lacking), lets go out and help.

Where can we be more involved as volunteers in the open source world? What options, for programmers or non programmers, are available for us to volunteer.

Shuttleworth is a HUGE inspiration to me. His message, his ideas, what he has done. He is the perfect entrepuener. I have so much respect for him. God bless him.

bingoUV
September 12th, 2008, 08:00 PM
Yes. The problem is that too many people don't contribute constructive criticism but they think do. For example:

If I'm an Ubuntu desktop developer, I would stare at that post 10 times and still not know what he's talking about. "Organization or programs" - no idea what he means, could be anything. "Poor naming of applications" - what applications? Is "Text Editor" a poor name? After 200 of these posts I honestly wouldn't know what to do, although the message "Linux sucks, FOSS developers are evil bastards" would have nested deep into my subconscious by then. Not exactly a good feeling.

Whom are you quoting? Which post would you stare at? I cannot find this anywhere but your quote.

FooBarWidget
September 12th, 2008, 08:09 PM
Whom are you quoting? Which post would you stare at? I cannot find this anywhere but your quote.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080911-canonical-to-fund-upstream-linux-usability-improvements.html?comments=1

nick09
September 12th, 2008, 08:10 PM
It will be spent but he makes a good hundred million or more a year. So he is good for quite a while.

Sealbhach
September 12th, 2008, 10:01 PM
It will be spent but he makes a good hundred million or more a year. So he is good for quite a while.

That's good to hear. he could prolly build his own space station if he wanted to, or buy cocaine, or build some kind of vanity building... but he's spending some of it on Ubuntu, so that's great!!


.

karellen
September 12th, 2008, 10:03 PM
it will grow

aysiu
September 12th, 2008, 10:11 PM
If you have half a billion pounds, I think it's going to be a long time before you run out of money, even if you're mailing free live CDs, paying a couple dozen people's salaries, and doing all the normal things rich people do.

Think about it. How many millionaires do you know? And a millionaire is someone who has at least 1 million (of pounds or dollars or whatever the relevant currency is).

Mark Shuttleworth has hundreds of millions. I'm sure he has invested most of that so the interest alone makes him more than he's spending.

He spent about US$20 million just to fly into space as a space tourist. And it's only after he spent that that he started Ubuntu.

He's good for it. Don't worry.

When people say the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, there are practical reasons for that.

If you're rich, you earn interest instead of paying interest. You're the one who gives the bank the money to give poor people loans, and the poor people are the ones who pay not just the cost of the car, house, university tuition but also the interest on all that. Rich people also have the best accountants, who will find every which way to shield money from being taxed. They'll find all the loopholes and deductions to make sure the rich aren't taxed as much as they normally would be if they filed their own taxes. Poor people might have an accountant who saves them some money, but they can't pay enough for an accountant who will work as hard for their tax breaks as for rich people's tax breaks.

According to Wikipedia, Mark Shuttleworth sold Thawte to Verisign for about US$575 million in 1999. He probably has around the same amount of money, if not more, based on the interest he earns. If he has $575 million still and lives another fifty years (he's 35 now), he'd have to spend about US$31,506 a day to run out of money, and that assumes he has no extra income and no interest earned on the money he already has.

I make only a little bit more than that amount per year.

So basically if he had no investments and no interest earned, he could spend my yearly salary every day and still be good for another half a century.

dizee
September 12th, 2008, 10:16 PM
there is a trust fund of sorts set up to keep ubuntu running for a long time whatever happens.

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/ubuntustory/foundation

d0b33
September 12th, 2008, 10:17 PM
He spent about US$20 million just to fly into space as a space tourist. And it's only after he spent that that he started Ubuntu.

He's good for it. Don't worry.

I think that about about sums it up for me and lays my fears to rest. :)

FooBarWidget
September 12th, 2008, 10:29 PM
Good to know this. I thought that he just has several million, which will be used up quickly if you're a business. But he apparently has hundreds of millions - this is far beyond my expectations.

bp1509
September 14th, 2008, 04:02 AM
d

mike1234
September 14th, 2008, 04:06 AM
I'm sure there is money being made. Even Piratebay is making cash thanks to google-analytics.


M.

jrusso2
September 14th, 2008, 06:24 AM
Glad to see someone is finally working on usability.

earthpigg
September 16th, 2008, 04:11 PM
Well, we all know Shuttleworth is a great guy who is doing great things for us. but ****** things happen to great guys, from time to time.

and none of the great things Shuttleworth has done would have been possible for him to do without his (admittedly, self made) fortune.

my understanding is that his money is what makes this project tenable - and that profits from Ubuntu are less than the costs. essentially, Ubuntu runs in the red but is subsidized by Mark Shuttleworth and thus we have this awesome product. i could be wrong on that, if so let me know.

scenario:

-Commander Shuttleworth the Space Tourist is vacationing in the Oort cloud or on Venus or something and his space yacht falls under attack by the flying spaghetti monster and, because his Ubuntu-powered yacht does not support lazers out of the box (no GNU drivers), he is unable to defend himself and his ship explodes. He is eaten by the FSM.

-Lawyers and OPEC and President Bush and Russians and other evil doers conspiring together result in his fortune falling into non-linux-friendly hands.


Will Ubuntu, as a single major distro and evolving home-desktop standard, survive?

or will it splinter into 500 disjointed forks, each with a different retarded morphing of *buntu (beerbuntu, playboyuntu, 420buntu, pizzabuntu, etc)?

Will the main release of Ubuntu ever support lazers (like the one in my dvd drive) out of the box?

aaaantoine
September 16th, 2008, 04:17 PM
If the events in your scenario take place, Canonical Ltd. will collapse. Therefore, the official maintainers of Ubuntu will no longer be employed, and probably will not proceed to maintain/improve Ubuntu to the degree that it is maintained today. There may be an effort to keep Ubuntu going, but it will not stand out like it does today, and will probably fall far behind other distributions.

The laser in your DVD drive is already supported. The lasers on Shuttleworth's space yacht will receive support in Ubuntu 12.10 Quizzical Quail.

earthpigg
September 16th, 2008, 04:19 PM
The laser in your DVD drive is already supported.

if it was supported, i could have fired my lazers on level 500 power (read: commercial region-coded DVD's) out of the box!

but learning to fix stuff like that is kind of fun so its no biggie... lets focus more on the impending doom of Mark.

god0fgod
September 16th, 2008, 05:01 PM
If the events in your scenario take place, Canonical Ltd. will collapse. Therefore, the official maintainers of Ubuntu will no longer be employed, and probably will not proceed to maintain/improve Ubuntu to the degree that it is maintained today. There may be an effort to keep Ubuntu going, but it will not stand out like it does today, and will probably fall far behind other distributions.

Is Mark the only shareholder? Wouldn't the Company be led into the hands of the next largest shareholder or something?

McLogic
September 16th, 2008, 05:12 PM
Will Ubuntu, as a single major distro and evolving home-desktop standard, survive?

Yes it will for a little while. Mark gave 10 million to the foundation. So if he dies, they will have a year or so to find cash (Just a guess).

aaaantoine
September 16th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Is Mark the only shareholder? Wouldn't the Company be led into the hands of the next largest shareholder or something?

It's a private company, so there are no public shareholders. As for next of kin, I imagine that Ubuntu could live on in that way.

Brunellus
September 16th, 2008, 07:36 PM
The corporate sponsor of Ubuntu is Canonical, Ltd., which is a corporation with limited liability; that is to say, shuttleworth is not personally liable nor responsible for the corporation. He's only liable to the extent of his investment. So that decouples canonical from shuttleworth.

At common law, a corporation has infinite duration; it survives its original incorporators. So even if Shuttleworth or the other shareholders of Canonical, Ltd. were to die, the corporation itself survives.

The distribution is a separate thing from either shuttleworth or canonical. Theoretically, Ubuntu can function just as well without Canonical as it does with it; this is the case with Fedora/RedHat/CentOS.

god0fgod
September 16th, 2008, 07:40 PM
So if Mark had 100% of the shares and he died (Hopefully wont happen any time soon obviously) would the company need to be sold off?

Brunellus
September 16th, 2008, 07:54 PM
the shares would pass to his assignees, trustees, or heirs (if any). A share in a corporation is just like any other form of property; it's heritable and alienable, and thus marketable.

artir
September 16th, 2008, 08:03 PM
I hope he will live to see how ubuntu dominates the w.... err.. gains a lot of market share

Swarms
September 16th, 2008, 08:09 PM
Now you say "will die". You have to remember, when he went to space he got radiated by near passing comets which turned him immortal.

god0fgod
September 16th, 2008, 08:10 PM
the shares would pass to his assignees, trustees, or heirs (if any). A share in a corporation is just like any other form of property; it's heritable and alienable, and thus marketable.

Well, that makes obvious sense.

artir
September 16th, 2008, 08:18 PM
Now you say "will die". You have to remember, when he went to space he got radiated by near passing comets which turned him immortal.

Maybe he has powers like the Fantastic Four XD.

god0fgod
September 16th, 2008, 08:20 PM
Mr ubuntastic

linuxguymarshall
September 16th, 2008, 08:28 PM
If we all donate a dollar.......no.....we're screwed.

Brunellus
September 16th, 2008, 09:25 PM
Well, that makes obvious sense.
The takeaway here is that a corporation is a completely new legal person. Once properly formed, a corporation will survive its founders, as a matter of law.

The shares in a corporation can be bought, sold, inherited, assigned, or transferred like any other property.

eentonig
September 16th, 2008, 09:50 PM
Whatever concerns the common legal matters as company ownership, funding and the like... I think a guy who was able to make 500+ million ($//€) will be smart enough to
1. Make sure he doesn't have to beg for food when his money runs out.
2. Make sure that whatever projects he believes in so firmly to dedicate a vast amount of money, will survive the passing of his founder. Be it of old age, sudden dead or bancrupcy.

bmac
September 16th, 2008, 10:42 PM
And from my point of view, it would seem that the open source community consists of more and more "leeches" these days. What I mean by this is people who take from open source but give nothing back. This giving back doesn't even have to be in the form of code, but also in the form of documentation, art, or just a "thank you". While it is true that people like my grandmother can't and shouldn't have to contribute, many people seem to take open source for granted and seem to think that they can criticize, complain and condemn open source while not contributing anything, and that this all is their godgiven right. When told that their behavior is inappropriate, useless or unsustainable, they defend themselves by calling you "elitist" or "zealot".

I agree whole heartedly that to many individuals simply see Ubuntu as a free OS that should meet everyone of their expectations without their involvement. Many expect it to be a Windows clone and complain when they are required to actually learn a new system or their hardware isn't supported. Some of these individuals infer they are worthy simply because they installed Ubuntu (for free)

I'm not a software guru or IT type. Instead, I'm a user that receives the benefits of others investment. For which I am truly grateful... I endeavor to enlighten people of the OS and assist individuals on the forum when possible. I'm limited by a lack knowledge and experience but endeavor to improve and be a more valuable member of the forum each day. My opinions are often seen as being "Fanboyish" but in reality I'm just appreciative and don't understand why others aren't. I also realize that constructive feedback/criticism is a valuable tool for future versions of Ubuntu. What I don't comprehend is the philosophy that "I'm entitled to "bitch" simply because I installed Ubuntu on my system".....

Paqman
September 16th, 2008, 11:09 PM
So even if Shuttleworth or the other shareholders of Canonical, Ltd. were to die, the corporation itself survives.


Legally yes, but i'm guessing it would lose the majority of its funding, unless Shuttleworth has made provisions for this in his will. I'm guessing they haven't sold a spectacular amount of support contracts.

TBOL3
September 16th, 2008, 11:36 PM
While I agree that there aren't many people who don't contribute back to linux (I try, but I usually can't make anything anyone would want in a distro), I don't like the word leach.

While a user may just take from the linux world, he is NOT a leach. Infact, if he doesn't contribute, he has about the same effect as if he was just using windows. Infact, just by using linux, he is helping us more then he would be if he wasn't using linux.

Erik Trybom
September 16th, 2008, 11:54 PM
Ubuntu is essentially Debian with a different release schedule, different default packages and different artwork. Debian has survived for 15 years with donations as only funding - I see no reason why Ubuntu couldn't do the same.

Canonical's sponsorship is of course very beneficial to Ubuntu, but it's not a must to keep the project going. Canonical only has 130 employees and most of them are working on support, not development. Compared to the hundreds of developers working for free on Ubuntu, Canonical's role is pretty small.

They are good in other ways though; specifically they can handle business-to-business talks. The Dell deal is one example, the ongoing open driver talks is another. A corporate sponsor is essential when it comes to fixing bug no. 1 which is Ubuntu's foremost goal. Without Shuttleworth and Canonical, that task could fall to some other player. Novell perhaps.

cardinals_fan
September 17th, 2008, 12:38 AM
However, I'm worried about something. Actually, about him. He has been investing his millions into Ubuntu for years now. But is he getting anything back in return? Won't Ubuntu bankrupt him at some given point? Is Canonical making a decent profit? Is the current situation sustainable?

Shuttleworth has been extremely generous, but he isn't exactly homeless. He's still got plenty of cash on hand.

danbuter
September 17th, 2008, 12:45 AM
Thing is people forget that behind Linux and FOSS there is a culture and not a big company with a marketing machine. If you are gonna use FOSS you need to change your mindset.

Sorry needed to vent too.

And, unfortunately, this mindset is EXACTLY why Linux will never beat Microsoft, or even Apple.

On topic, I think what Mark has done for Linux in general has been fantastic. I'm willing to bet he's brought in more Linux users (outside of sysadmins) than anyone else in the world.

aysiu
September 17th, 2008, 12:54 AM
And, unfortunately, this mindset is EXACTLY why Linux will never beat Microsoft, or even Apple. There's no support for your claim, unfortunately. I could say, on the contrary, that's it's exactly why Linux will beat Microsoft or "even" Apple, and I'd have just as few legs to stand on as you.

What backup do you have for your claim? How do you know what will happen or what will never happen? Please find me someone from the 1980s who was able to accurately predict the computing world we have now. If you can do that, I'll even begin to consider that someone can predict now what will or will never happen in the computing world a decade or two from now.

phrostbyte
September 17th, 2008, 01:45 AM
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Wikipedia never spent a dime on advertising and now they are the #9 most visited website in the world. Google doesn't spend any money on advertising either. Firefox only spends money supporting a small community-driven viral advertising effort, and they got hundreds of millions of users.

Brunellus
September 17th, 2008, 03:20 AM
This is drifting off-topic.

The questions here are:

1) Will Ubuntu survive the death of Shuttleworth? Answer: probably. Shuttleworth has channeled his support of Ubuntu, the distribution, through Canonical. The corporation will survive the death of its incorporator.

2) Will Ubuntu survive the dissolution of Canonical? Strictly speaking, yes. Although Canonical employs a number of Ubuntu developers, the unemployment of those developers does not kill the whole distribution; a number of Ubuntu developers are totally unaffiliated with Canonical. There is no reason to believe that development on the distribution will stop abruptly, even if Canonical should go out of business entirely.

3) What will Ubuntu be like after Canonical? Development will probably slow down; it will also take a different direction than what Shuttleworth and Canonical might have intended.

4) What if development on Ubuntu ceases entirely? The death of a distribution is not unprecedented. Nobody uses Yggdrasil Linux any more, even if it Yggdrasil was a fairly well-known distribution in the late 1990s. So it is possible that Ubuntu will "die" in this way.

But the work of the Ubuntu community lives on in the Debian project. Ubuntu is, if you like, a comet circling Debian's sun. And as little as the Debian community at large likes to admit it, development on Debian has accelerated considerably since Ubuntu started releasing in 2004.

5) In response to the question about attitudes and overtaking MSFT/Apple: Free Software isn't really about overtaking MSFT or Apple; it's about creating usable software. The economic benefits of Free Software, to be sure, have attracted a great deal of commercial interest, but it is not, at heart, a commercial enterprise. Even if all the commercial interest in Free Software were to die out completely, RMS would keep insisting on GNU and Free Software. One look at Stallman should be enough to convince you that he and his ilk are not people who care very much about what everybody else does or thinks.

earthpigg
September 17th, 2008, 04:40 AM
... did my thread just get merged into this one?

the thread title is mine, but the origional post is obviously someone elses...

meh, whatever ;)

great post, brunellus.

so what i am gathering is that the consensus is that if Canonical dies, Debian will (for the most part) simply absorb the Ubuntu user base by incorperating all the stuff Ubuntu devs have introduced?

TheSlipstream
September 17th, 2008, 06:33 AM
Talking about "contributing" to the Linux project, I believe simply by being a mature, respectful Linux user, and slowly and politely spreading awareness, that is enough to be considered productive.

eentonig
September 17th, 2008, 06:47 AM
...

But the work of the Ubuntu community lives on in the Debian project. Ubuntu is, if you like, a comet circling Debian's sun. And as little as the Debian community at large likes to admit it, development on Debian has accelerated considerably since Ubuntu started releasing in 2004.
...

I love this extract from your post. Not too many people seem to remember this.

- Debian is the base on which we prosper. So we benefit from Debian.
- Debian as gained momentum from Ubuntu, so they prosper from Ubuntu.

Even if worst come to live (Mark S. Dead, Canonical bancrupt, etc...). Yes, Ubuntu would become a steerless ship in the winds (Not sure if I got that expression right, sorry if not). Imagine A few fractions would stand up and split the community into different directions, as such killing the momentum we have for the moment. Even that won't be a loss for GNU/Linux. It would be a setback, but GNU/Linux has grown so much the last years (User friendliness, Embedded devices, server software, ...), others will fill the gap. RHL, Suse or another (or all of them) would still be big enough players to focus their actions in the growth of Linux as a whole.