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Thread: What is your opinion on Canonical?

  1. #11

    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    Quote Originally Posted by hendersj View Post
    Choice and freedom are the overriding values, generally. Some take an
    absolutist view on the freedom perspective and say that any true GNU/
    Linux distribution includes *no* proprietary components at all.
    This sounds like an odd statement to me, that choice and freedom are overriding values. In my understanding, freedom in the broad sense is defined as having a choice.

    The way I see it, proprietary software forced you to compromise (ie. make a choice) between two values. Using the software, and being in control of the software you run. You cannot have it both ways.

    The absolutist view on software freedom you mention is about having the conviction that having control of the software you run (and the long-term consequences of giving up this control) supersedes any benefits of using proprietary software. And I do agree with this value judgment for the most part.

    This is more of a philosophical argument than a technical one. But your initial statement was perplexing to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by hendersj View Post
    > So, I am really talking about the big picture, rather than following
    > rules in a narrow sense. And I am not saying that such expectations
    > should be followed religiously. I wonder about how these things could
    > affect the Linux ecosystem in the long run.


    Well, certainly they do affect the ecosystem - every decision has ripple
    effects. But when it comes to "damage", OSS is very efficient at
    "routing around" it.
    Yes, I agree to a great extent. And this, in fact, has been my thinking. However, I enjoy hearing opposing points of view, because I am interested in learning the limits of this statement.

    Can we really expect OSS (and Free Software in particular) to be resilient? What sort of observations would make you worry about the future of FOSS (if any)?

  2. #12
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    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    On Fri, 03 Feb 2017 21:16:01 +0000, zaidgs wrote:

    > hendersj;2810865 Wrote:
    >> Choice and freedom are the overriding values, generally. Some take an
    >> absolutist view on the freedom perspective and say that any true GNU/
    >> Linux distribution includes *no* proprietary components at all.

    >
    > This sounds like an odd statement to me, that choice and freedom are
    > overriding values. In my understanding, freedom in the broad sense is
    > defined as having a choice.
    >
    > The way I see it, proprietary software forced you to compromise (ie.
    > make a choice) between two values. Using the software, and being in
    > control of the software you run. You cannot have it both ways.
    >
    > The absolutist view on software freedom you mention is about having the
    > conviction that having control of the software you run (and the
    > long-term consequences of giving up this control) supersedes any
    > benefits of using proprietary software. And I do agree with this value
    > judgment for the most part.
    >
    > This is more of a philosophical argument than a technical one. But your
    > initial statement was perplexing to me.


    What I was aiming for was the idea that there are those who say that a
    "true" GNU/Linux distribution is defined by only containing open-source
    components (ie, components that are "free" in the "libre" sense).

    That's a view that's held by (for example) Richard Stallman.

    He's not "wrong" in that view, but if I want the freedom to select a
    video card that only has a proprietary driver, that's a freedom as well -
    just of a different kind (freedom of choice rather than freedom of
    software - in the OSS sense).

    It is a philosophical difference. We need people like RMS, of course, to
    drive proprietary software vendors to the idea that "open is better", but
    there's, I think, a balance to be made between the absolutist "it must be
    free - as in open" and "I'm a user who just wants to use my system and
    not worry about my choices requiring a closed-source driver".

    > hendersj;2810865 Wrote:
    >> > So, I am really talking about the big picture, rather than following
    >> > rules in a narrow sense. And I am not saying that such expectations
    >> > should be followed religiously. I wonder about how these things could
    >> > affect the Linux ecosystem in the long run.

    >>
    >> Well, certainly they do affect the ecosystem - every decision has
    >> ripple effects. But when it comes to "damage", OSS is very efficient
    >> at "routing around" it.

    >
    > Yes, I agree to a great extent. And this, in fact, has been my thinking.
    > However, I enjoy hearing opposing points of view, because I am
    > interested in learning the limits of this statement.
    >
    > Can we really expect OSS (and Free Software in particular) to be
    > resilient? What sort of observations would make you worry about the
    > future of FOSS (if any)?


    OSS is resilient - expectation or no. As long as individuals have the
    right to create and modify the code of OSS software, it'll remain so as
    long as there's someone interested in maintaining a particular piece of
    code.

    Destroying that right would take a lot of work - certainly in the US
    (where I am), it's a free speech issue, and curtailing that would be a
    very difficult thing to do. Not impossible, but it would be a very high
    bar to clear.

    --
    Jim Henderson
    openSUSE Forums Administrator
    Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

  3. #13
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    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    I think Canonical has done some good (ie: brought alot of new people to GNU/Linux etc...). The main problem, as I see it, is when they shoot themselves in the foot by appearing to only care about their own interests. At times they give the impression that they want to be the Apple of Linux. Unity was designed (as is Mir) mainly for their convergence plan and to push into the cellphone market. They invested much money and man hours into this, then after many years, this was all abruptly put on hold. Desktop functionality was put on a lower objective (it seems) throughout this process, so now Ubuntu users are left with no convergence, no mobile (officially its on hold), no Apple of Linux (Ubuntu One also gone)....At times its like a Ship with no rudder or a Captain that keeps changing course. All my opinion of course. Meanwhile Fedora has Wayland by default.

    Ref: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/01/u...ota-15-ditched
    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2014/07/u...e-closes-today

    PS: I'm also a Slacker so take all of this with a grain of salt.

  4. #14

    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    On 2017-02-04, ChuangTzu <ChuangTzu@no-mx.forums.microfocus.com> wrote:
    > Unity was designed (as is Mir) mainly for their
    > convergence plan and to push into the cellphone market.


    My feeling that that a touchscreen interface is long overdue in GNU/Linux. This is something that has been scandalously
    neglected by the GNOME and KDE projects. If there is a touchscreen interface desktop being developed by Canonical, good
    luck to them - I hope it can implemented into non-*buntu GNU/Linux distributions.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    On Wed 08 Feb 2017 09:22:19 AM CST, flymail wrote:

    On 2017-02-04, ChuangTzu <ChuangTzu@no-mx.forums.microfocus.com> wrote:
    > Unity was designed (as is Mir) mainly for their
    > convergence plan and to push into the cellphone market.


    My feeling that that a touchscreen interface is long overdue in
    GNU/Linux. This is something that has been scandalously neglected by
    the GNOME and KDE projects. If there is a touchscreen interface desktop
    being developed by Canonical, good luck to them - I hope it can
    implemented into non-*buntu GNU/Linux distributions.
    Hi
    Touchscreen works fine here on my laptop (DELL Inspiron 5555) Leap,
    Tumbleweed and SLE.. hardly ever use... mouse and keyboard person lol

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  6. #16

    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    On 2017-02-08, malcolmlewis <malcolmlewis@no-mx.forums.microfocus.com> wrote:
    > Touchscreen works fine here on my laptop (DELL Inspiron 5555) Leap,
    > Tumbleweed and SLE.. hardly ever use... mouse and keyboard person lol


    Interesting- please educate me! Does GNOME have a proper touchscreen interface e.g. including auto keyboard popup,
    pinch-to-zoom, drag momentum?
    >


  7. #17
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    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    Quote Originally Posted by flymail View Post
    On 2017-02-08, malcolmlewis <malcolmlewis@no-mx.forums.microfocus.com> wrote:
    > Touchscreen works fine here on my laptop (DELL Inspiron 5555) Leap,
    > Tumbleweed and SLE.. hardly ever use... mouse and keyboard person lol


    Interesting- please educate me! Does GNOME have a proper touchscreen interface e.g. including auto keyboard popup,
    pinch-to-zoom, drag momentum?
    >
    Hi
    Yes, all of those, the pinch to zoom is sensitive, but that could be just me.. drag windows around etc
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

  8. #18
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    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    IMO Canonical is a FOSS "good citizen."

    FOSS does not require that anything/everything that is created be universally usable by others. By being FOSS, at the least others can inspect anything in detail and if they wish, copy or adapt to others even if something couldn't be fork-lifted.
    And yes, a great many Canonical projects disregard (intentionally or not) compatibility with others.
    But, that's OK because the projects they support often push the boundaries of what is common and that's often risky.

    To do that,
    Maybe Canonical has to be a little less compatible with others, if you believe that to do effective R&D requires cash resources which might mean modifying the traditional FOSS openness to being a little semi-proprietary (ie creating technical barriers while being completely FOSS legally).
    But, I don't see that as a real issue... It also means that Canonical may not benefit as much from outside its tight community as others, there is a penalty to balance against the benefit for those decisions.

    And, the track record for Canonical is appropriately mixed...
    By pushing boundaries, they have explored and provided technical and marketing data for the world at their expense for a great many things which have eventually been dropped as well as what they have decided to continue to build on. By so doing, Canonical has provided a great many benefits to others in FOSS which would not have been available otherwise.

    IMO,
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  9. #19
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    Default Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    On 02/01/2017 06:46 AM, zaidgs wrote:
    >
    > Disclaimer: I am looking for informed opinions with thought and reason
    > behind them. Please, don't throw opinions just for the sake of it.
    >
    > Do you think that Canonical is a force of good in the Free Software
    > ecosystem?


    Yes. Sometimes the Ubuntu folks don't understand Debian and so they sometimes
    make errors because of that. Many times Debian provides an answer for things,
    the Ubuntu community does things the Fedora/Red Hat way (or other) instead of
    the often better Debian way.

    That is to say, you get a lot of wrong information from their community (more so
    than others, e.g. openSUSE, Fedora).

    >
    > I am not fully informed about what Canonical practices are. I did look
    > up the subject, but I found most resources full of unjustified opinions,
    > and sometimes flame wars. I am looking forward to a calm and informative
    > perspective on the subject.
    >
    > Some people don't like the Unity desktop, and criticize it from a
    > functionality/experience point of view. I, personally, like Unity,
    > however, that's besides the point.


    I liked KDE 4 and I'm often frustrated with KDE 5. I'm actually frustrated with
    all of them for redoing what has already been done and not actually bringing in
    features that IMHO we truly need.

    >
    > My main concern regarding Unity is the fact that it is almost tied to
    > Ubuntu. For example, openSUSE does not have Unity as a desktop option
    > (except as an alpha-stage product).
    >
    > The reason I have chosen openSUSE is that it treats almost all DE as
    > first-class citizens. Even though I use KDE only, I respect openSUSE for
    > adhering to the interchangeable software paradigm.
    >
    > Going back to the subject matter, it seems to me that Canonical does not
    > respect that a free DE should be maximally portable to other Linux
    > distributions, which is against the Free Software spirit as I understand
    > it.


    Debian is a different sort of beast (than rpm based distros) and Ubuntu (aka
    ignorant Debian) can be a confusing beast. Even systemd can vary greatly.

    >
    > On the other hand, I read that Canonical has actually pushed many of
    > their patches upstream, and upstream was simply not interested in
    > merging their patches. And that's fine for both upstream and Canonical
    > to do, because part of the open-source development methodology is
    > creating forks when disagreements happen, and creating diversity in this
    > manner.


    Debian doesn't want ignorant Debian patches. Other things are accepted. Just
    like anywhere else.

    >
    > So, do you think that Canonical is acting in good faith? Or do you think
    > that they might be undermining Free Software "from within"?


    I think they're acting in good faith. They have a reasonable community, but a
    lot of "noise" (unfortunately) to sift through. Experience seems to be lacking.

    >
    > And as mentioned earlier, please try to share informed and well-reasoned
    > opinions.


    Well... it's still just "opinion", but I'll stand by my assessment.

    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    >



  10. #20
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    Unhappy Re: What is your opinion on Canonical?

    Quote Originally Posted by cjcox View Post
    I liked KDE 4 and I'm often frustrated with KDE 5. I'm actually frustrated with all of them for redoing what has already been done and not actually bringing in features that IMHO we truly need.
    Yes, agree, but, IMHO the KDE folks seem to be getting their act together and KDE Plasma 5 currently has, IMHO, a useable product which is being continually maintained.
    Is Canonical better than others at getting the maintenance done into their current distribution? To be perfectly honest, I do not know.

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