PDA

View Full Version : Is Ubuntu a multinational?



doru001
January 9th, 2013, 09:10 PM
I rely on Ubuntu. However, my superficial readings in sociology make me apprehensive about the latest developments of Ubuntu. Please alleviate my concerns.

When I moved from Windows to Fedora I was happy. When I moved from Fedora to Ubuntu (http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=227613) I was very happy. Ubuntu was working and it was user friendly.

After a few years, I discovered that cdrkit is garbage and that cdrtools works, but it was hidden by Ubuntu. (http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=11833837&postcount=26) So many days of effort and so many ruined discs, for what? It appears that Schily could not give up all rights over his product, because of the German law. But he gave up all he could. Moreover, he tried to help cdrkit but he was not observed. Moreover, I believe that samba was also developed in Germany, and it is used in Ubuntu.

Then I discovered the ffmpeg fork. (http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/348613-avi-to-mpeg-adventure-using-ffmpeg-in-linux-text-mode?p=2182802&viewfull=1#post2182802) Here I suffered less before I discovered it. However, the reason for the fork is missing (post it if you find it).

Then I faced the dreadful changes, from gconf to gconf2 and to gsettings. In order to boot in text mode you would add to the boot line single, then recovery, then text. From Gnome to Unity.

And each change works even worse than the previous one. Unity does not even show its panels on my old system. Fonts in text mode are too small. Keyboard layout is no longer working under Precise (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2090390). The weather indicator works only when it likes to (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2088663). I have huge text files with my notes about making different parts of Ubuntu work. Thanks God for the command line, which still stands the siege.

So what is Ubuntu up to? Cloud with Amazon! Why, everything else done? Yes, clouds could become important centers of power. The information in the cloud is not safe as long as users can't guard it themselves, and this could happen in a distant future. Statistics and even more private information could be read and changed at will by the cloud owner. Of course, it is efficient and practical, because you can access it from anywhere (from any safe computer) and it uses economies of scale: administration, backup and extension are very cheap.

Now, what concerns me is what follows next. Will users be able to maintain control over the development of Ubuntu, or other interests could prevail? It looks like an absurd struggle for power took over some parts of Ubuntu development and changes are made just to show who's in charge. I hope that I am wrong. Please give me a reason to believe that I am wrong.

FakeOutdoorsman
January 10th, 2013, 12:36 AM
Then I discovered the ffmpeg fork. (http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/348613-avi-to-mpeg-adventure-using-ffmpeg-in-linux-text-mode?p=2182802&viewfull=1#post2182802) Here I suffered less before I discovered it. However, the reason for the fork is missing (post it if you find it).

See Who can tell me the difference and relation between ffmpeg, libav, and avconv (http://stackoverflow.com/a/9477756/1109017) and The FFmpeg/Libav situation (http://blog.pkh.me/p/13-the-ffmpeg-libav-situation.html).

It is an unfortunate situation made worse by Ubuntu switching to the fork mostly due to one Debian/Ubuntu maintainer who is involved with the fork. It is confusing to the users since Ubuntu continues to use the word "ffmpeg" for a package that is actually a product of the fork. Politics and nonsense aside, it is the user who ends up with a less than ideal experience.


I rely on Ubuntu. However, my superficial lectures in sociology make me apprehensive about the latest developments of Ubuntu. Please alleviate my concerns.

Why should you put up with anything that makes you unhappy? Have you tried any alternatives? I personally like Arch Linux, and I know someone who likes Slackware, and another who likes CentOS, so you have a good number of choices. Remember that Canonical, Ltd., is a private company that has subsidiaries around the world, so you may consider it a "multinational".

doru001
January 10th, 2013, 09:21 AM
Why should you put up with anything that makes you unhappy? Have you tried any alternatives? I personally like Arch Linux, and I know someone who likes Slackware, and another who likes CentOS, so you have a good number of choices. Remember that Canonical, Ltd., is a private company that has subsidiaries around the world, so you may consider it a "multinational".
Thank you for the info. Arch Linux looks like an optimum (not too cutting edge, not too traditional). It even fits on my 500MB USB memory stick!? (You also helped me here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=11856948&postcount=22. Man I was lost. :-) )

sffvba[e0rt
January 10th, 2013, 09:51 AM
Thread moved to The Community Cafe.


This could be a testimonial but as the OP is asking for advice I will move it here less it gets closed.


404

Paqman
January 10th, 2013, 10:24 AM
Will users be able to maintain control over the development of Ubuntu, or other interests could prevail?

Users have never had control over the development of Ubuntu. Development is controlled by the core Ubuntu developers, who are most Canonical employees with some community assistance. Obviously external projects like Gnome/KDE/Mozilla/Linux kernel, etc control their specific cogs in the machine.

If you want to have some say in development you need to get involved and start contributing in some way. As an end user you are largely limited to a passive role.

grahammechanical
January 10th, 2013, 03:28 PM
It looks like an absurd struggle for power took over some parts of Ubuntu development and changes are made just to show who's in charge.

If you think that then you miss-understand the nature of ubuntu development or are trying to spread FUD.

There is a saying that I saw a lot when I first started visiting this forum, "Ubuntu is not a democracy." I also understand that Mark shutlleworth is jokingly known as SABDFL. It means Self Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life. That is the position you are in when you own the company, Canonical, that is.

Ubuntu is not a multinational. Ubuntu is not a commercial enterprise. On the other hand, Canonical is a commercial enterprise but it is not a multinational either.


The governance of Ubuntu is somewhat independent of Canonical, with volunteer leaders from around the world taking responsibility for many of the critical elements of the project. It remains a key tenet of the Ubuntu Project that Ubuntu is a shared work between Canonical, other companies, and the thousands of volunteers who bring their expertise to bear on making it a world-class platform for the whole world to use.

http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu

http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/governance


It's important for us to distinguish the philanthropic and non-commercial work that is at the heart of the Ubuntu project, from the commercial support and certification programs that are the focus of Canonical Ltd." said Mark Shuttleworth, who is founder of the project and is making the initial $10m commitment to the Foundation.

http://www.ubuntu.com/news/UbuntuFoundation


We've come a long way since our launch in 2004. We now have over 500 staff in more than 30 countries, and offices in London, Boston, Taipei, Montreal, Shanghai, São Paulo and the Isle of Man.

http://www.canonical.com/about-canonical

That is international, not multinational.


We’re not just here for Ubuntu. In fact, we’re currently involved with the open-source community in loads of different ways. Here’s a few:

http://www.canonical.com/about-canonical/canonical-and-open-source

This comment of yours is also misleading.


From Gnome to Unity.

Ubuntu with Unity is still based upon Gnome. It was Gnome organisation that decided to drop development of Gnome 2 and switch to Gnome 3 and Gnome shell 3. If you want to know what Ubuntu would look like if Unity had not been developed then install Ubuntu Gnome Remix.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGNOME/ReleaseNotes/12.10

If Ubuntu development had stuck with Gnome shell 3, then we would not be hearing about Ubuntu phones, or Android and Ubuntu sitting side by side in a phone that can be turned into a desktop PC.

If Canonical had ignored the development of cloud computing then Ubuntu would have little future. All the development work done by Canonical that brings a financial benefit to Canonical will also bring benefits to Ubuntu users.

Regards.

mastablasta
January 10th, 2013, 03:38 PM
As an end user you are largely limited to a passive role.
or report bugs. KDE has nice bug report when somehting crashes. i always try to fill it up. maybe it can help someone figure out what is wrong.

Paqman
January 10th, 2013, 05:04 PM
or report bugs. KDE has nice bug report when somehting crashes. i always try to fill it up. maybe it can help someone figure out what is wrong.

Yep, always good to jump on the testing branch in Alpha and give a little back. The bug reporting gizmo is apport, which is not DE-specific AFAIK.

KiwiNZ
January 10th, 2013, 07:12 PM
If you think that then you miss-understand the nature of ubuntu development or are trying to spread FUD.

There is a saying that I saw a lot when I first started visiting this forum, "Ubuntu is not a democracy." I also understand that Mark shutlleworth is jokingly known as SABDFL. It means Self Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life. That is the position you are in when you own the company, Canonical, that is.

Ubuntu is not a multinational. Ubuntu is not a commercial enterprise. On the other hand, Canonical is a commercial enterprise but it is not a multinational either.



http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu

http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/governance



http://www.ubuntu.com/news/UbuntuFoundation



http://www.canonical.com/about-canonical

That is international, not multinational.



http://www.canonical.com/about-canonical/canonical-and-open-source

This comment of yours is also misleading.



Ubuntu with Unity is still based upon Gnome. It was Gnome organisation that decided to drop development of Gnome 2 and switch to Gnome 3 and Gnome shell 3. If you want to know what Ubuntu would look like if Unity had not been developed then install Ubuntu Gnome Remix.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGNOME/ReleaseNotes/12.10

If Ubuntu development had stuck with Gnome shell 3, then we would not be hearing about Ubuntu phones, or Android and Ubuntu sitting side by side in a phone that can be turned into a desktop PC.

If Canonical had ignored the development of cloud computing then Ubuntu would have little future. All the development work done by Canonical that brings a financial benefit to Canonical will also bring benefits to Ubuntu users.

Regards.

Canonical is multi national, UK, USA, China, Brazil,Canada, Taiwan

Cheesehead
January 10th, 2013, 07:37 PM
Ubuntu is an international organization of volunteers.

Canonical is a small international for-profit company. It employs non-sales talent in many countries as-needed. However, HQ with most employees seem to be in one country. I don't know about it's ability to shift capital between countries.

Better examples of real multinational companies might be Nestle or Unilever or Toyota or Shell. Whole different order of magnitude.

doru001
January 11th, 2013, 10:02 AM
If you think that then you miss-understand the nature of ubuntu development or are trying to spread FUD.

There is a saying that I saw a lot when I first started visiting this forum, "Ubuntu is not a democracy." I also understand that Mark shutlleworth is jokingly known as SABDFL. It means Self Appointed Benevolent Dictator For Life. That is the position you are in when you own the company, Canonical, that is.

Thank you for the info. I really did not know most of it, like the fact that Unity is latest Gnome, or how the company is run. My problem, as I said, is that some basic features seem to become more difficult to make functional than they used to be. Also, some decisions, like expelling and hiding cdtools and ffmpeg are questionable. These problems made me fear that Ubuntu becomes a "vertically integrated society", like described here: http://mail001.blogspot.ro/2011/03/open-society.html and here: http://mail001.blogspot.ro/2011/05/open-society-continued.html. In such societies the struggle for power can become extremely destructive. I witness this in my own country, and I started to pay attention to this phenomena within societies. You see, the constitution is always very democratic (or wise, or well intended), even in most totalitarian societies. The problem is how is the law enforced? Here comes the discovery of the social structure, vertically or horizontally integrated, which I explain in my linked posts above. Respondents rightfully point out the juridic status of Ubuntu. However, I am concerned with the motivations, the political and financial pressures faced by Ubuntu. These may be similar to those faced by multinational companies, especially if there is not a strong cooperation between individuals who would benefit from making Ubuntu better for end users. You can have a benevolent dictator and beneath it a very active civil society which makes things happen. You can have a democracy and beneath it a mafia like society which breaks everything. It appears that ffmpeg was forked by one individual. This is frightening, not my posts.

zombifier25
January 11th, 2013, 10:21 AM
Thank you for the info. I really did not know most of it, like the fact that Unity is latest Gnome, [..]

I really DO NOT want to touch the rest of your post, so...
Unity IS NOT the latest GNOME. Unity is an interface, GNOME is an entire Desktop Environment, with GNOME Shell as the default interface.

coffeecat
January 11th, 2013, 10:32 AM
@doru001, if you have questions about the way Ubuntu or any open source project is governed, that's fine, but please stay off the politics:


In such societies the struggle for power can become extremely destructive. I witness this in my own country, and I started to pay attention to this phenomena within societies. You see, the constitution is always very democratic (or wise, or well intended), even in most totalitarian societies. The problem is how is the law enforced? Here comes the discovery of the social structure, vertically or horizontally integrated, which I explain in my linked posts above. Respondents rightfully point out the juridic status of Ubuntu. However, I am concerned with the motivations, the political and financial pressures faced by Ubuntu. These may be similar to those faced by multinational companies, especially if there is not a strong cooperation between individuals who would benefit from making Ubuntu better for end users. You can have a benevolent dictator and beneath it a very active civil society which makes things happen (Czech Republic under communism). You can have a democracy and beneath it a mafia like society which breaks everything (Romania today).

From the Community Cafe header:


Discussions on religion and politics are not allowed. These two topics have caused serious problems in the past and are now forbidden topics in the forums. Please find another venue to exercise your freedom of speech on these topics.

Above all:


The Community Chat area is for lighthearted and enjoyable discussions, like you might find around a water cooler at work.

doru001
January 11th, 2013, 12:06 PM
@doru001, if you have questions about the way Ubuntu or any open source project is governed, that's fine, but please stay off the politics:
Very well, I removed the politics. You want me to remove the whole paragraph? That would render the whole discussion about Ubuntu government useless.
Light hearted I am not, because I'll probably leave Ubuntu and that requires lot of work. So the problems I mentioned in the Ubuntu development were the result of light hearted policies, or there is a place where they are discussed? I placed this in Ubuntu Testimonials & Experiences, but it was moved here.

So Unity is the latest face of Gnome?

lisati
January 11th, 2013, 12:47 PM
There are definite multinational connections. The name "Ubuntu" is derived from an African conecpt, described in this (http://youtu.be/j7iOKZe9oN8) video clip. Canonical, who are good enough to provide hosting services for this community forum, is based in the UK. The community is made up volunteers from a number of countries........ :D

As for the Gnome/Unity thing, I shall refrain from commenting beyond noting that there have been many discussions here over the last couple of years.

Sef
January 11th, 2013, 12:51 PM
Very well, I removed the politics. You want me to remove the whole paragraph? That would render the whole discussion about Ubuntu government useless.
Light hearted I am not, because I'll probably leave Ubuntu and that requires lot of work. So the problems I mentioned in the Ubuntu development were the result of light hearted policies, or there is a place where they are discussed? I placed this in Ubuntu Testimonials & Experiences, but it was moved here.



From the Ubuntu Code of Conduct 1-6:


Politics and Religion: These two topics have caused serious problems in the past and are now forbidden topics in the forums. Please find another venue to exercise your freedom of speech on these topics.


doru001:

Since you are a nonnative speaker of English, I believe that you are a couple of words which are similar, but not the same. In your native tongue they may be the same word, so to clear up the distinction:

A government is the rulers of a state. What I believe you are talking about is the governance of Ubuntu, which can have a wider meaning. A government is inherently political; governance is not.

doru001
January 11th, 2013, 12:51 PM
There are definite multinational connections. The name "Ubuntu" is derived from an African conecpt, described in this (http://youtu.be/j7iOKZe9oN8) video clip. Canonical, who are good enough to provide hosting services for this community forum, is based in the UK. The community is made up volunteers from a number of countries........ :D

As for the Gnome/Unity thing, I shall refrain from commenting beyond noting that there have been many discussions here over the last couple of years.
Of course, everything is multinational now. This is good. I meant multinational company, like Amazon. And of course it is maintained by volunteers, the question was about the decision making process. ffmpeg and cdtools are also maintained by volunteers, but they have been phased out.

doru001
January 11th, 2013, 12:58 PM
Since you are a nonnative speaker of English, I believe that you are a couple of words which are similar, but not the same. In your native tongue they may be the same word, so to clear up the distinction:

A government is the rulers of a state. What I believe you are talking about is the governance of Ubuntu, which can have a wider meaning. A government is inherently political; governance is not.
Thank you for this. Government may include some governance, but governance is clearly the right word here. :)

Very good, strictly theoretically speaking politics and public decision making are synonyms, but it is great that we can draw a line.

Paqman
January 11th, 2013, 08:30 PM
So Unity is the latest face of Gnome?

Unity is built on top of Gnome 3. The standard Gnome 3 that Gnome released has a somewhat different interface, Ubuntu decided they didn't like the direction Gnome were taking and built their own custom layer on top.