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09.18.08

Greg Kroah-Hartman (Novell Hacker) Insults Ubuntu

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Novell, Ubuntu at 8:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ron Hovsepian begs Ballmer

From the company that brought Mono and patent threats to GNU/Linux also comes Greg Kroah-Hartman, who neglects to mention his affiliation when he disses Ubuntu.

Greg is, of course, a well respected contributor to the Linux kernel, having sustained a significant level of contribution over a period of several years. I’m grateful to him for his technical contributions, which of course benefit Ubuntu as a consumer of the Linux kernel. However, his contribution to the public dialog about the Linux ecosystem leaves much to be desired.

We all have bias, and the best that we can do is to disclose it so that others can take it into account when hearing our ideas. Unlike the presentations given by other Novell employees at this and other conferences, Greg’s slides omitted the Novell logo.

Since he works for a company that created the notion [1, 2] of GNU/Linux users without “intellectual property peace of mind,” he should really be more humble. He gets his paycheck from Microsoft (second hand), which feeds Novell.

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”

Andre Gide

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131 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    September 18, 2008 at 9:27 am

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    He should be more humble? This is the guy leading the charge for free software drivers within the kernel, and is able to dedicate his time to it.

    Nobody’s disputing his figures, so I think it stands up as fair criticism, personally.

  2. AlexH said,

    September 18, 2008 at 9:28 am

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    LWN’s article on this subject is a very good read.

  3. Anonymous said,

    September 18, 2008 at 10:05 am

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    > who neglects to mention his affiliation

    Did you consider that he did it because he was presenting his own strong opinion rather than one of his company?

  4. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 18, 2008 at 10:21 am

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    He’s also pretty damn well-known, it’s not like people did not know what company he worked for.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  5. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 18, 2008 at 10:29 am

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    “The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”

    That’s a pretty appropriate quote for this site, it applies very well to Roy.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  6. bboissin said,

    September 18, 2008 at 11:09 am

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    That’s funny to say that about the guy who completely rejects binary drivers etc. Greg is a very well known member of the kernel community and represents himself when he speaks on a keynote, not Novell.

  7. BW said,

    September 18, 2008 at 11:39 am

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    I think what the blog post was pointing out, and what Roy’s in agreement with, is that Greg picked a very narrow cross-section of the actual Linux ecosystem and attacked a competitor using a very narrow metric to do so.

    What I find highly suspect is Greg’s use of the “enterprise developer” label as being a bad thing. The latest Ubuntu release (2.6.24) uses a kernel a lot newer than either Novell (2.6.16!) or Red Hat (2.6.18) does in their enterprise release, but I don’t see him criticizing either of them for dragging their feet.

    Further, any genuine enterprise developer knows that it is much, much more difficult to get a backported patch accepted by enterprise distros like Novell and Red Hat if that patch is not first vetted by the LKML and accepted into the upstream. For instance, in the case of a patch that I developed (which you can find at http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/1/18/137), it took me well over 6 months to hunt down the bug, another two weeks to get into the mainstream – but then Red Hat sat on the patch for *over a year* before finally accepting it into RHEL 5.

    So, IMHO quite reasonable to assume that anyone doing kernel development on Ubuntu will have to go through similar hoops to get a backported patch accepted there – so the upstream gets its patch, which might not have been written if someone wasn’t using Ubuntu – but the patch isn’t contributed under Canonical’s name.

    The only real meat to Greg’s argument is that Canonical employees aren’t contributing as much to the kernel, but quite frankly, who cares? Maybe they’re better suited to doing GUI development, or some other area of Linux *as a whole,* including the desktop. The kernel is just one piece of the whole puzzle and to discredit an open source developer because the projects they contribute to are not your personal priorities is really unfair, and makes your motives suspect.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 18, 2008 at 11:52 am

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    That;s probably a problem to do with characterisation of the Free Desktop as “Linux”.

  9. bboissin said,

    September 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm

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    @BW

    > So, IMHO quite reasonable to assume that anyone doing kernel
    > development on Ubuntu will have to go through similar hoops to
    > get a backported patch accepted there – so the upstream gets its
    > patch, which might not have been written if someone wasn’t using
    > Ubuntu – but the patch isn’t contributed under Canonical’s name.

    First Ubuntu kernel doesn’t require a patch to be upstream for it to be shipped. If it did, people would say they are a very good citizen in the open source ecosystem, but that’s not the case.
    Then if the patch wasn’t contributed by Redhat or Canonical (like in you case where you submitted a patch), then it won’t be counted in the stats from Greg. There’s no reason why it should be.
    And just look at many major features (in Xorg or Gnome, etc), you will find they were sponsored by Redhat or Novell (network-manager, pulseaudio, compiz, etc).

    The strength of Ubuntu is the intergration (and all the hacks they add to packages to make it work “better”) but that doesn’t help upstream at all it helps ubuntu.

    (I confess I use Ubuntu, and I would really really love if they did more upstream work like redhat, I know that most if the new stuff I use comes from them).

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 18, 2008 at 12:25 pm

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    Mandriva and Ubuntu are more focused on user experience because they make their business/money from desktops. It’s only natural for Red Hat and Novell to optimise performance and improve uptime. The low-level things matter more when there’s no monitor and GUIs.

  11. AlexH said,

    September 18, 2008 at 12:32 pm

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    @BW: the “narrow cross-section” wasn’t a particularly odd choice; the conference was the Linux Plumber’s Conference, and the software selection was basically the plumbing.

    That said, I doubt if you broaden the cross-section you’d find Canonical’s contributions leap hugely. If you look at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Website/Content/UbuntuContributions there are relatively slim pickings, and some of which are already obsolete.

    It’s encouraging that they’ve been talking about doing some ‘heavy lifting’ recently, but I think it’s fair to say that they haven’t really done any yet.

  12. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm

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    http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/lpc_2008_keynote.html

    If you take a look at the slides, Greg actually does mention his email address (gregkh@suse.de) on the opening slide.

    Also, I’m not sure what you mean about Ubuntu’s latest distro shipping a later version of the kernel than Novell’s. Novell ships kernel 2.6.25 in the openSUSE 11 Gold Master.

    See http://news.opensuse.org/2008/06/19/announcing-opensuse-110-gm/ for proof. Search for “kernel” which is in the “Under the hood” section.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  13. Jose_X said,

    September 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm

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    I don’t know too much about Greg, but this could be a case where Novell spends marketing dollars. Supporting Greg helps Novell in exchange for whatever cost is his salary.

    I’m not saying Greg doesn’t support Novell’s overall position or maybe really likes his environment. He is talented enough to get a job in other places, so this may very well be the case.

    The point though is that we should be careful not to give a pass on things that may hurt wider FOSS simply because of some positives. We can shun one aspect and applaud the other.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 18, 2008 at 6:05 pm

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    There’s an article about this in Heise:

    Canonical CTO bites back at Linux Plumbers Conference keynote

    Matt Zimmerman, CTO of Canonical, is unhappy with Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of the Linux kernel maintainers, because of Kroah-Hartman’s keynote at the Linux Plumbers Conference. The keynote, described elsewhere as a reworking a June presentation, makes a number of claims about Canonical’s activity in the community, presenting various tables which showed Canonical not making many upstream patches and concluding “Canonical doesn’t give back to the community”.

  15. landofbind said,

    September 18, 2008 at 11:33 pm

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    Some days ago Mr. Roy criticizes Canonical because, in Mr. Roy words, they will raise the price of Linux.

    Today he is their defender. Why? Because the words of Mr. Kroah-Hartman were untrue? No! Because he works for Novell. And as we know the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Why waste time taking into account the character and integrity of Mr. Kroah-Hartman when we can smear his name because he works for Novell. Novell that made a deal with Microsoft. Hell, he almost works for Microsoft. He must be a disciple of the devil.

    So instead of pondering on what he said, we dismiss him because he works for Novell. There, the good job of the self-righteous.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  16. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 2:03 am

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    @Jose: are you really saying that gkh doesn’t have a serious point there?

    mdz’s response is telling. “Oh, but we did send binutils a patch!”. And then you see the patch. Hm.

    I’m not sure why people don’t see the danger in having large numbers of users with an organisation that doesn’t actually do much free software development.

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 2:24 am

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    Users and clients are not the same thing. Once again you dodge to the “they are evil too” defense.

  18. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 2:56 am

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    Sorry?

    Where am I saying “they are evil too?”

    You keep accusing me of making this argument, and I’ve never stated that a single time.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:18 am

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    When Novell or Microsoft are criticised you often defend them by labeling someone else “equally bad”.

  20. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:28 am

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    Could you point me to the exact comment where I made that comparison?

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:30 am

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    It’s the pattern that I was referring to. You insinuated that Ubuntu/Canonical “doesn’t actually do much free software development.”

  22. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:43 am

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    Roy, you can’t accuse me of something and then hand-wave about it. Where did I defend Novell by saying was “equally bad”? It doesn’t even make sense in this context.

    You keep accusing me of making this argument, and I keep telling you that it’s not an argument I’m making. Previously I thought you just didn’t understand the points I was making; now I’m not sure you’re even reading them.

    And, I didn’t insinuate anything about Ubuntu: the points I made were specifically about Canonical. I’ll say it explicitly: they don’t do much free software development. I’ve already pointed to their own page which lists the contributions, and compared to practically any other project they’re not huge.

    And I welcome their proposals to do some “heavy lifting”. But it hasn’t happened yet.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:54 am

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    Roy, you can’t accuse me of something and then hand-wave about it. Where did I defend Novell by saying was “equally bad”? It doesn’t even make sense in this context.

    No, but it’s related to the pattern. Microsoft mishandles HTML? Point a finger at another vendor? Novell helps Microsoft with OOXML? Mention Sun. Mono is a risk? Claim that Java too is a risk…

    And, I didn’t insinuate anything about Ubuntu: the points I made were specifically about Canonical. I’ll say it explicitly: they don’t do much free software development. I’ve already pointed to their own page which lists the contributions, and compared to practically any other project they’re not huge.

    They are not as large as Red Hat or Novell. Integration too enables many other derivative distros to reach a large audience (Mint, Parsix, Kiwi). Contribution comes in many forms, be it patches. promotion, legal work, documentation, support, etc.

    And I welcome their proposals to do some “heavy lifting”. But it hasn’t happened yet.

    If you’re referring to Free software programming, I’ve done that too. Among other forms of contribution…

  24. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:59 am

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    @Roy:

    Sorry to ask the question again, but it’s important: where, in this article, did I make that comparison?

    I could go through the other points you raise and show you how they’re false, but I addressed every single one of those false accusations in the previous articles so I see no need to repeat myself.

    In terms of Canonical, I’m not comparing them to Red Hat or Novell, and neither is gkh, so your argument is an obvious straw man.

    gkh’s facts are not in dispute. If Canonical’s contributions are large in some other area, then please show the data.

  25. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:14 am

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    Sorry to ask the question again, but it’s important: where, in this article, did I make that comparison?

    See this comment (you disregard my answer). I described a general pattern, not made any statement about this post specifically.

    In terms of Canonical, I’m not comparing them to Red Hat or Novell, and neither is gkh, so your argument is an obvious straw man.

    You made a snide remark about the userbase, as it it’s wrong to be a small company that’s also successful.

    gkh’s facts are not in dispute. If Canonical’s contributions are large in some other area, then please show the data.

    Launchpad is your friend. BTW, Launchpad is likely to become AGPLv3-licensed.

  26. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:27 am

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    Not good enough, Roy. Your exact comment is:

    Once again you dodge to the “they are evil too” defense.

    So, “once again” where?

  27. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:32 am

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    Mozilla-Microsoft CSS being a recent example.

  28. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:39 am

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    So, you’re admitting that you are arguing against my comments on this story based on something I wrote on another article?

    Seriously. Your argument is “Yeah, but you’re wrong, because I disagreed with you in this other completely unrelated article”? That’s weak.

    And you’re right, the CSS story is a very nice example, because it shows clearly how far off base you are. Microsoft are implementing CSS 3 features, and like other vendors are prefixing them, like they are supposed to. You think this is “destroying the web”, and when I showed you that Firefox do the same you think I’m defending them with an “equally evil” argument.

    The fundamental flaw in your position is that you’re starting from the assumption, in faith not fact, that Microsoft are wrong in this instance. I asked you five clear times to state what Microsoft should be doing instead, and you couldn’t answer.

  29. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:44 am

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    Microsoft put itself in this position by spitting at Web standards. We’ve been through this before.

  30. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:49 am

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    Roy, please do two things:

    a. retract your claim that I was making some kind of “they are evil too” argument if you’re not able to support it with a citation

    b. show us where Microsoft are wrong by prefixing CSS declarators.

    And in general, please don’t put forward arguments that you’re unwilling or unable to support with any actual evidence.

  31. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:58 am

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    a. retract your claim that I was making some kind of “they are evil too” argument if you’re not able to support it with a citation

    I was referring to a pattern and made no mistake. Java/Mono is one example of this.

    b. show us where Microsoft are wrong by prefixing CSS declarators.

    This concern is not only mine:

    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-89497/microsoft-hijacks-now-web-standards-and-the-w3c:m-fonts

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 5:05 am

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    Update on this story:
    http://dustinkirkland.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/whats-behind-gregkhs-latest-rant/

    “Some missing numbers…

    I dug up a few numbers that Greg missed.

    * Worldwide Employees
    o Canonical: < 200 o Red Hat: ~2200 o Novell: ~4100 o IBM: 386,558″

  33. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 5:12 am

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    Roy, you did make a mistake, because you applied this “pattern” you think you’ve found to a situation where it doesn’t apply. Even if I was making this argument on another article – which, incidentally, I have refuted entirely on each occasion you’ve suggested it – it simply does not apply to this article.

    Again, please retract this claim. If you think I’m making that argument elsewhere, put the comment elsewhere and I will refute it again. If you think I’m making it here, cite it. If you don’t think I’m making it here, retract it.

    Your NOOOXML link on the CSS story shows a basic misunderstanding. NOOOXML claim that Microsoft are extending CSS 2.1; this is pretty plainly false. The vendor extensions have been used on primarily CSS 3 properties.

    Again, state what you think Microsoft should be doing. This is about the seventh time I’ve asked you this, and you still have literally no answer.

  34. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 19, 2008 at 8:47 am

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    He doesn’t have an answer because he is, as usual, uninformed and likes to jump to accusations rather than actually researching the issue. In his mind, Microsoft is always wrong by definition, because they are Microsoft – not for any other reason.

  35. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 8:54 am

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    @Dan: I made it even easier by pointing out the potential options, which also hasn’t received a response.

    Perhaps he’s just away working on his -roy- CSS extensions ?

  36. BW said,

    September 19, 2008 at 9:14 am

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    @bboisin

    Actually, nobody *requires* that patches be made in vanilla; that’d defeat the point of having distro-specific patches, since the distros do have a need to be at least a little unique. :) My experience is that large vendors will not accept third party patches without at least an LKML approval, if not an inclusion.

    Also, I’ve had coworkers have patches “stolen” – we’ll be working with RHEL or SLES in a bugzilla entry, post some code there, and then it’ll appear on the LKML with a Red Hat or SUSE email address as the source. So I have to wonder if some number of those patches are not original work.

    Also there’s no legal requirement to contribute back to the origin point of a GPLed product, anyway; you have to ship your altered source, but only to the people who you’ve given the product. Now there’s absolutely no reason some good Samaritan couldn’t contribute diffs back to the vanilla, and in general patches do seem to end up in the upstream, but again, part of the value that RHEL and SLES add to the kernel is those custom patches.

    @baby in the bath water

    Is SLES 11 shipping yet? We’re doing SLES 10 SP 2 here at the moment so I’m a little surprised to hear that SLES 11 is GMC already.

    That said, enterprise Linux appears to work about the same as Windows and Solaris as far as customer adoption rate goes, so even with SLES 11 out and a 2.6.25 kernel available, I’m sure it’ll be a year or two before it makes any real impact, at least on support work. Hell, we still have SLES 9 installations asking for support… in 32-bit mode…. on Xeons… >:/

  37. BW said,

    September 19, 2008 at 10:55 am

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    @baby in the bath water

    I just recently (as of 11:02 AM) got the Novell PartnerNet announcement for beta 1 of SLES 11 – where did you get your information?

  38. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 11:18 am

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    BW,

    SLED 11 is not even being /discussed/ in public by Novell. It’s far from a finished product and I think it’ll be based on the x.1 release, as usual. That’s what one of the OpenSUSE guys told me.

  39. Anonymous said,

    September 19, 2008 at 11:53 am

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    The headline reads “insults Ubuntu” – so what was the actual insult?

  40. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 19, 2008 at 1:57 pm

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    I said openSUSE 11, not SLES 11.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  41. Jose_X said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm

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    >> are you really saying that gkh doesn’t have a serious point there?

    No. I expressed no opinion at all on the topic of this article. I truly just made a side comment.

    >> Your NOOOXML link on the CSS story shows a basic misunderstanding. NOOOXML claim that Microsoft are extending CSS 2.1; this is pretty plainly false. The vendor extensions have been used on primarily CSS 3 properties.
    >> Again, state what you think Microsoft should be doing.

    I read over the blog (quickly), and I think it clearly said that they were extending CSS 2.1; however, the blogger also adds that this is legal.

    It appears to me that Microsoft is doing what they should be doing (I’m not going to bother to dig out the spec or to reread the blog if no one disagrees), at least to the extent that they would be adding extensions and wrt the namespace prefixing on those extensions.

    Here is the deal though. Extensions allow for legalized E3 from a monopolist. There is no getting around that. Extensions can be useful to any vendor/product/user, and extensions can also be used to lock users in. ODF has this same issue, as likely do many other standards.

    The problem isn’t the extension framework. The problem is Microsoft’s business plan.

    They can E3 legitimately as concerns the standards. Users need to shun closed source monopoly product regardless of the standard sticker on the box. These standards won’t save you. Misconception about this will lead people to give Microsoft a pass when they fulfill their standards obligations.

  42. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:17 pm

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    @Jose:

    You entirely misunderstand why they’re using a vendor prefix. Look at the Microsoft page, and the CSS3 declarations, and compare with what Firefox are doing. This isn’t about CSS 2.1.

  43. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:24 pm

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    Please don’t introduce Firefox/Mozilla into this and address the issue about EEE.

  44. AlexH said,

    September 19, 2008 at 3:28 pm

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    @Roy: there is no EEE issue with this specific example because they’re implementing CSS3. As I keep saying.

    Now that you’re around, do you mind stating what Microsoft should be doing now?

  45. BW said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm

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    @baby

    Ah, I missed that little change-up you threw there – which means, you’ve probably missed my entire point, and probably don’t work in the enterprise software business.

    There is a HUGE difference between SLES and OpenSUSE. The former is an enterprise-level release, which customers use in situations where they need a well-defined and stable platform, as their business depends on their systems being up 100% of the time and not subject to frequent updates. It also means that the vendor will have support available for several years (hence my complaint about SLES 9). The latter is a community release which comes with no guarantee of support and no promise that the day’s Yast update won’t wreck your system beyond repair.

    The vital difference here is that Ubuntu LTS releases are treated as enterprise releases with a 3-year support lifespan – and so, with Canonical’s small number of employees, this means that they spend the majority of their time keeping their existing release working and not doing front-end development or vanilla bug-fixing.

    Compare that to Red Hat or Novell, with over 10 and 20 times the employee base respectively, and very high-profile connections to hardware developers (like IBM, Intel, AMD, LSI, to name a few), and there is no possible way that little Canonical could contribute nearly the same number of patches as either.

    Does that make Canonical’s contributions worth less than Red Hat or Novell? No.

    Does that mean that anyone with less contributions than Red Hat or Novell is, in effect, not giving back to the community and should therefore be treated dismissively? No.

    Should Gary go and put together a similar presentation for say, Slackware, who didn’t even make the top 10 list? Hell no!

    I view what Gary said as insulting because it essentially draws a line in the sand and says “if you’re this popular, you must contribute at least X number of patches to be worthy of praise” – when ALL contributions should be considered worthwhile, something which is at the core of open source development. I think Roy probably would agree with me.

  46. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 19, 2008 at 5:41 pm

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    No, I fully understand the Enterprise software business, believe me.

    You mentioned Ubuntu ships the latest kernel – I didn’t realize you were comparing “Enterprise Server” editions (which, afaik, Ubuntu does not have).

    It’s also a bit unfair seeing as how the release schedules of Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Novell are not in sync. They each (afaik) release a new “Enterprise Edition” every 3 years – if you want to compare apples to apples, then the best you could do is compare roughly-equivalent releases.

    E.g. Ubuntu 8.04 vs SLE[D,S] 11 vs RHEL [whatever]

    Obviously it’s unfair to compare Ubuntu 8.04 released just 5 months ago to something released 3 years ago.

    Likewise it’s probably unfair (albeit much less so) to compare SLE[D,S] 11 (when it is released) to Ubuntu 8.04 since Ubuntu will be older (~9 months older? I have no idea what the release schedule for SLES 11 is).

    I’m sure you get my point.

    As far as the criticisms of Ubuntu go, they are no worse than this site does to Novell. Roy and his supporters often attack Novell claiming they make little-to-no contributions to FOSS (which is quite clearly untrue).

    Personally, I see both sides of the argument.

    Canonical are seen as a bit of a leech by the developer community (I’ve seen these complaints from sources other than Greg KH) because they take a lot and give back little. The difference between them and Slackware is that Slackware is not commercial and is thus deemed more acceptable by the developer community. Debian, another non-commercial distro, gets extra brownie points for contributing a lot back to the kernel, etc.

    On the other hand, as Roy pointed out, they do make a very successful distro that “the average joe” can use which arguably attracts more people to Linux/FOSS, thus helping Linux/FOSS gain more acceptance.

    I’m the type of developer that licenses his work as MIT/X11 whenever I can with the desire to allow anyone to use it, proprietary vendors included, and don’t particularly care about being compensated nor inflicting my personal beliefs on anyone else.

    I mention this because in my eyes, Canonical isn’t doing anything wrong in this particular case (but I understand the criticism).

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  47. Jose_X said,

    September 19, 2008 at 7:47 pm

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    >> You entirely misunderstand why they’re using a vendor prefix. Look at the Microsoft page, and the CSS3 declarations, and compare with what Firefox are doing. This isn’t about CSS 2.1.

    If this is your more precise reply http://boycottnovell.com/2008/09/13/microsoft-admitted-mono-trap/#comment-24351 , I replied in that thread a few posts below that one.

  48. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 8:28 pm

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    Canonical has just laid out BulletProofX (again):

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ubuntu_bulletproofx_2&num=1

    “Introduced in Ubuntu 7.10 was a feature known as BulletProofX, which provides a fail-safe mode that is by default used when the X server fails to properly initialize. In this original implementation, it would default back to using the VESA display driver with 256 colors and then proceed to run the displayconfig-gtk utility. While this is nice for the end-user as it keeps them from touching a terminal to debug an X server problem, for experienced users it inhibits them from easily debugging the problem.”

  49. Victor Soliz said,

    September 19, 2008 at 9:36 pm

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    Of some of the lamest things about the whole deal is the idea that contribution to GNU/Linux can be measured by number of mainstream commits. I got to say, ubuntu has done more for Linux on the desktop than both Novell and Red Hat did, it is great that those got paid guys working on mainstream and etc. But canonical has always cared to bring more users, and at the end of the day more users is a good thing, plus every once in a while they would actually have a good idea, without Canonical Linux would have remained its direction towards becoming a bunch of enterprise non-sense.

    Regardless, number of commits won’t change the fact of Novell continuous attempts at boycotting other Linux distributors using FUD, the horrid attempts to make everyone grow a Mono dependency, the MS technology advocation, including even the infamous OOXML, etc, etc, etc. They add a lot of patches, however, unlike what apologists would think, that doesn’t give them any right to do what they do.

  50. AlexH said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:44 am

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    @Victor:

    I’m not sure the criticism was purely the number of commits; I think it was that the number was very close to zero.

  51. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Gravatar

    What commits? Kernel ones? Kernel space?

    Either way, Slated posted a very interesting message some minutes ago (USENET MSG-ID <ctcd5eq5-093.ln1@sky.matrix>). It shows another perspective, so I add it here with his permission.


    AFAICT Canonical’s biggest contribution to GNU/Linux has been to
    indoctrinate millions of noobs into believing that Free Software
    advocates are “fundamentalists” (Shuttleworth’s own word, ref: the
    podcast interview about the end of Gobuntu); that “trivial” concepts
    like Freedom are less important than convenience (ref: Gobuntu mailing
    list posts about Mozilla® trademarks); and that it’s OK to stab Free
    Software developers in the back by marginalising their work in favour of
    pandering to the demands of Intellectual Monopolists (ref: Ubuntu Remix
    codecs).

    The result is an army of clueless Ubuntu fanboys who genuinely consider
    Ubuntu as being somehow distinct from GNU/Linux (“it’s the ‘Ubuntu’
    operating system”); have nothing but contempt for the FSF, the GPL,
    Stallman and the principles of Freedom; think like Windows users; talk
    like Windows users; act like Windows users; and aspire to the same
    twisted goals and follow the same worthless paradigms as Windows users.
    In short, they are Windows users … who got lost, and tried to turn
    GNU/Linux into Microsoft Slopware, all with Shuttleworth’s hot and eager
    help, of course. Not that many of them have the skills or enthusiasm to
    “turn” anything into anything else, since they are first; last and
    always “users” (roughly translated as “leechers, whiners and fanboys”),
    which may account for why comparatively little is contributed to Free
    Software from the Ubuntu sheep-pen.

    Now it seems that Shuttleworth has a hardon for Macs, so I suppose the
    next generation of Ubuntu converts will be Mac switchers, all
    demanding “killer apps” with “i” appended to their names (why does this
    make me think of “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’”?). I fully expect some
    distant version of Ubuntu to be called “iBuntu”; they’ll drop support
    for mice with more than one button; and they’ll obfuscate so much of the
    OS for the sake of “simplicity” that your only interface for pretty much
    everything will be a single button that reads “OK” … and even that
    single “choice” will eventually be depreciated in favour of a completely
    non-interactive screen that just runs “Get a Buntu” adverts (“Hi, I’m a
    Buntu. Hi, I’m a Buntu too”).

    Canonical has not helped spread the adoption of GNU/Linux, they’ve
    helped spread the adoption of the *bastard son of Linux*; a cancer
    -ridden mutation spawned by inbreeding between Windows developers;
    Microsoft fanboys and a bunch of naive children.

    Shuttleworth is no more a “Linux guy” than Novell is a “Linux company”,
    they’re both just opportunists riding the wave. Novell may be 25 years
    old, but they’ve only spent the last 5 of those years as a Linux company
    (after acquiring Ximian from Microsoft fanboys de Icaza and Friedman,
    who’s biggest contributions to GNU/Linux are patent-encumbered clones of
    Microsoft technology). And the last 2 of those 5 years have been spent
    as Microsoft bum-boys, in a protection racket designed to give Novell
    “exclusive privileges” at the expense of the Free Software community.

    Also note that SUSE != Novell. I have nothing against the SUSE distro, I
    just happen to have nothing but contempt for Free Software sellouts.
    Buried beneath all that management-driven Microsoft fanboyism, is a
    truly excellent German Linux distro desperate to break Free. Again.
    Unlike Novell, SuSE was distributing Linux 14 years ago (a few months
    before Red Hat).

    When I think “Novell”, I don’t think “Linux”, I think “Netware”, and
    being shafted by Microsoft … twice. I also think about their efforts
    to undermine Free Software with Poisonware like Mono and Moonlight, and
    about their attempts to co-opt OpenOffice.org with yet more Novell and
    Microsoft “exclusivity”, to conveniently shut-down the threat to their
    pal Microsoft’s ailing cash cow.

    The considerable contributions SUSE developers make to Free Software is
    completely undermined by this intolerable situation, and also brings
    into question the integrity of those contributions, rightly or wrongly.
    I’m not claiming that every SUSE user and developer is a bad guy (much
    like my observations of Ubuntu are just generalisations), but they are
    currently standing in the heart of enemy territory, and that simply
    doesn’t look good for any of them.

    Mainly I can’t help but think that people who would climb into bed with
    the self-declared enemy of Free Software are the worst traitors in our
    community. How any of them can even dare to show face anywhere beats me,
    as their new “partner” denounces Linux as a “cancer”; perverts the ISO
    Standards process with bribery and smear campaigns; sabotages charities
    like the OLPC; corrupts Nigerian education suppliers with bribes to oust
    Mandriva from signed contracts; and holds the whole world to ransom with
    a monopoly supported by a racketeering operation with OEMs, that seeks
    to exclude all competition using clandestine MoUs that are protected
    from public scrutiny by equally corrupt laws.

    As for Ubuntu, AFAIAC that’s only ever been one thing … “Proprietary
    Debian”, a.k.a. “Windows Remix”. But then a “fundamentalist” like me is
    bound to say something like that, eh?

    Being a Free Software advocate no more makes me a “fundamentalist” than
    dissent against Microsoft’s racketeering operation makes me a “hater”.
    It’s not wrong to denounce crime and bad ethics, and it’s not wrong to
    support Freedom. What is wrong is to marginalise those who do take
    that position as “fundamentalist”; “loons”; “zealots” and “haters”,
    especially when those who are doing that marginalising are traitors to
    the cause they pretend to support (a.k.a. “pragmatists”). Such people
    are actually more dangerous than outright Microsoft Evangelists, because
    they are close to the source, and have a background that ostensibly
    makes them seem “reasonable” and “balanced”, but in reality they are
    poisoning the Well that the rest of us must drink from to survive. Not
    that these “pragmatists” need to worry about poisoned Wells, since they
    have endless supplies of Microsoft-branded Kool-Aid® to keep them going.

    Supporting Free Software is about more than just supporting the
    principles of Freedom, it is a common courtesy and a mark of respect to
    the countless numbers of developers who gave their time and effort
    Freely and willingly … for our benefit. What Shuttleworth fails to
    understand is that every time he opens his gob and denounces Free
    Software advocacy as “fundamentalism”, he is spitting in the face of
    every Free Software contributor and the *vast bulk* of the codebase
    that forms “his” distribution … that he then promotes as the One True
    Linux® and proceeds to poison with proprietary Slopware, whilst
    brainwashing his flock into mocking Stallman and believing that
    “becoming OSX/Windows/Anything-but-Linux” should be their wet-dream.

    Thanks, but I’ll pass.

  52. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Gravatar

    That’s a more aggressive attack on Ubuntu than Greg KH’s criticism.

    But you attack Greg KH for criticizing Ubuntu while your friend attacks them much more harshly? And you support [H]omer’s attacks, but dismiss Greg’s? At least Greg’s criticism comes with real numbers to back his claim. [H]omer’s attack is just ranting.

  53. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Gravatar

    I agree with AlexH that the criticism seemed mostly related to how close Ubuntu comes to 0 patches to upstream.

  54. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:58 am

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    Dan,

    No, I don’t agree with most of this and I refuted/rebutted in USENET.

  55. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 20, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Gravatar

    Ah, well, that wasn’t made clear from this comment thread.

    (I don’t read USENET nor would I know where to find the message/thread you are referring to).

  56. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 20, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Gravatar

    Part of the problem is that Greg refers to Linux as Linux, which is fine, whereas others think about it as the whole operating system. It’s a shame that people still allow this to happen. Why not refer to the whole system as GNU/Linux to distinguish then? it’s convenient to resolve ambiguities. While it’s true that Canonical does not do much for Linux (kernel), it does a lot for the Free desktop.

    Another important player which I believe gives very little to the kernel is Mandriva. It’s probably the best distribution out there at the moment (2008.1 is what I use on my main box). This brings desktop users to the kernel. That can’t harm it, can it?

    Lastly, speaking of so-called ‘market share’ (or installbase rather), there is a lot of deception out there.The Gartners or the world are part of this… the same Gartner that does a lot of business with Microsoft, accepts personal investments from Bill Gates and says that only 4% if the desktops/laptops out there run GNU/Linux while GNU/Linux is used on servers a lot more than people realise (never mind devices and supercomputers).

    Ubuntu gives us many new users. It’s a blessing, not a curse. It’s an expansion of Free software userbase, not distro cannibalisation (although that too is debatable).

  57. bboissin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Gravatar

    Mandriva, while having less employee than Canonical manages to contribute more to the kernel (at least according to the numbers from GregKH).

  58. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 3:10 am

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    @Roy:

    Just out of interest, what is this “a lot” it does for the free desktop?

  59. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 3:23 am

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    It attracts a lot of non-GNU/Linux users, i.e. it grows our userbase. That’s my view anyway.

  60. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 3:55 am

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    I think that’s a fair enough argument in terms of marketing and stuff; but in terms of actual contribution to the software it doesn’t add much unless all the bugs these users are filing are fixed and then sent back upstream.

    I’m sure they do a fair amount for the popularity of the OS, but a decent advertising campaign would do that.

  61. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Gravatar

    You make it sound like Canonical keeps the patches to itself.

    Ubuntu giving back to Debian: facts and numbers!

    I’ve always been annoyed by the discussions about “is Ubuntu really giving back to Debian?”.

    The Heron takes flight

    We all owe a great deal to the team who make Debian’s “unstable” repository possible, and of course to the upstream projects from GNOME and KDE through to the Linux kernel. We hope you will be proud of the condition in which we have carried your excellent work through to the users of Ubuntu.

    Debian and Ubuntu

    I really hope that this sheds some light on the dependency that Ubuntu has on Debian. And really, I would *love* to see some activism on the Ubuntu community’s side to give more back to the Debian project. The farther Debian goes, the better Ubuntu gets – they only stand to benefit.

  62. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Gravatar

    No, I didn’t say it kept patches to itself. What I said was that stuff doesn’t seem to find its way back upstream. That last citation of yours actually supports that point of view, and the second is about Ubuntu’s reliance on Debian, which says nothing about patches getting upstream.

    As an example, the Utnubu project seems to be mostly dead: how many Ubuntu patches are getting into Debian?

    It’s not like this criticism is new; in fact it has been raised many times by many different people.

  63. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:27 am

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    It has also been rebutted many times.

    What distribution do you use anyway?

  64. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:39 am

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    I’m currently beta-testing Fedora 10; go look in the bugzilla for nouveau if you require proof :P

    I haven’t seen a rebuttal to that based on facts. Some of their patches go upstream, but not many of them. This is well documented.

  65. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Gravatar

    I’ve read about that too. The last time I did, they trief to manage a better way to share their input (and patches). I don’t know if progress has been made, I’ll admit. It was months ago.

  66. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Gravatar

    As I understand it, for some stuff it has improved, and in other areas it’s as bad as it has ever been.

    What is discouraging about their recent statement about “heavy lifting” is that Mark S expressly said they were going to fork the projects, develop on Launchpad, and then try to merge stuff back upstream.

    I left some comments on his blog asking to reconsider that, but I don’t hold out much hope. I would compare that method to the stuff that Novell did with the GNOME menu: it’s a nice design, the search and stuff is a nice touch, but when you don’t develop upstream it’s very difficult to push it as a “finished product”. I hope Novell learned from that experience, and I hope Canonical also learn from it.

  67. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:00 am

    Gravatar

    Some more commentary:

    Canonical took a beating from Greg Kroah-Hartman of Novell during his Keynote Speech. [..] Both Matt Zimmerman and I took this opportunity to talk with Greg.

    It was a productive conversation and I think we have come to some common ground. Our plan as we hire more kernel developers is to work in upstream head and work on kernel bits that are of interest to Ubuntu and Canonical. We will be pushing patches and fixes to the upstream sub-system maintainers. We talked briefly on what he considers “good upstream” citizenry. Greg offered his help and advice going forward. We will continue the discussion in email.

    Perhaps Greg could have made the same points in a less confrontational way, but it looks like things will get even better anyway.

  68. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    I’m reminded of an older post. Let me see if I can find it..

    No, I can’t find it; not quickly anyway. While searching, however, I stumbled upon:

    Lucas Nussbaum: Ubuntu information on the Debian Package Tracking System and the Developer Packages Overview

    Users of Debian derivatives sometimes report bugs that are not reported in the Debian BTS, but that also affect Debian. It already happened a few times that looking at the Ubuntu bugs for my packages allowed me to fix an unreported bug in my Debian packages.

    Canonical Joins The Linux Foundation

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Canonical has become a member of the Foundation.

    Anyway, the one I was looking for pointed out what Greg did. It’s about 2 months old and the author did a search on patches by E-mail suffix. I believe he then defended Ubuntu/Canonical. I submitted this to Digg at the time.

  69. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Gravatar

    Greg KH said his original numbers are wrong; he updated them. They still don’t show much.

    It’s difficult to get decent numbers on this, but he’s in the right ballpark.

  70. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 10:52 am

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    People didn’t dispute his figures. Have you got the URL, just for future reference?

  71. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 11:19 am

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    Er, his own presentation at Linux Plumber’s admits as much. Have you even looked at it?

  72. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 11:21 am

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    I haven’t, Alex. I read reports about it (Heise had a couple) and the refutations:

    http://www.linux-foundation.org/weblogs/amanda/2008/09/19/free-riders-canonical-and-greg-kh/
    http://mdzlog.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/greg-kh-linux-ecosystem/
    http://dustinkirkland.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/whats-behind-gregkhs-latest-rant/

  73. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Gravatar

    Perhaps you should take a few minutes to read it, then.

  74. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 11:46 am

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    That was enlightening, thanks.

  75. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 12:25 pm

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    Roy: I think you’ll find that actually reading articles before commenting on them is often enlightening ;-)

  76. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm

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    No, the criticism still stands. Canonical’s poor participation in Linux (kernel space) was not news to me. I’ve known this for years. It’s the neglect of other areas that bother me and also got the wrath of observers.

  77. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 12:50 pm

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    Which area has been neglected? You previously mentioned userbase, which is granted, but which code contributions have been missed?

  78. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 12:58 pm

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    http://dustinkirkland.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/whats-behind-gregkhs-latest-rant/

    “As Matt Zimmerman discussed, Greg’s “Linux ecosystem” seems a bit unfairly limited to the kernel, gcc, and binutils, and neglects a wider macrocosm of Ubuntu’s contributions to the Linux, free, and open source space. Canonical and Ubuntu actively contribute to GNOME and KDE, as well as dozens of other open source projects (e.g., I’m co-maintainer of the upstream eCryptfs project and have contributed considerable code there on Canonical’s dime).”

  79. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy:

    Greg’s presentation explicitly addressed that point when he made it. It was the “Linux Plumber’s Conference”, so he looked at the “Linux plumbing”.

    That doesn’t mean that Canonical contribute widely outside those applications he looked at. Are the numbers better? Has anyone actually looked?

    For example, I found it quite depressing to see that the “Netbook interface” isn’t under the aegis of GNOME.

  80. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Gravatar

    Greg’s presentation explicitly addressed that point when he made it. It was the “Linux Plumber’s Conference”, so he looked at the “Linux plumbing”.

    That doesn’t mean that Canonical contribute widely outside those applications he looked at. Are the numbers better? Has anyone actually looked?

    This was not disputed. But he chose them as a target based on a narrower scope.

    It’s akin to Microsoft daemonising Linux by telling stories about Hans Reiser; him and him alone (and yes, its mouthpieces do exactly that).

  81. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Gravatar

    He was at the Linux Plumber’s Conference.

    You think he should be talking about issues outside the “Linux plumbing”?

    I think in general it’s usual – and indeed preferred – that keynote speakers “narrow” their “scope” to the topic of the conference.

  82. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Gravatar

    I think he should not have picked on Ubuntu, that’s all. Especially if a little research can teach him about their contributions elsewhere, which makes them a poor scapegoat.

  83. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Gravatar

    Um, he didn’t pick on Ubuntu. He picked on Canonical. There’s a big, big difference.

    You still keep talking about their contributions elsewhere; which contributions are these? If they’re sending lots of patches to GNOME/KDE I’d be hugely impressed, but I really suspect that they’re not. It would be nice to see some actual numbers before speculating.

  84. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Show me then. Show me the mon… errr… numbers.

  85. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh, and normalise them too (by size of company or another criterion).

  86. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m not the one making the claim, so it’s not up to me to make your argument for you.

    I suspect Canonical don’t contribute much to apps outside those Greg looked at, except for a couple of exceptions like bzr. But, I’m not going to assert that, I don’t know and neither does Greg.

    The argument also isn’t about the size of the contribution, so your request for normalisation is also irrelevant, as you ought to know as a researcher.

  87. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm

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    How can you neglect size? Here you have an employee of a 4,000-men gorilla grunting at a 200-people startup.

  88. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s not the position in the list that’s particularly the problem, it’s actually appearing on the list in the first place. No-one would mind if Canonical were pushing quality patches but were at #70 or whatever. It’s about participation.

  89. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Gravatar

    And then you have Gentoo, which contributes double or triple what Canonical contribute, and yet none of them are paid and have even fewer developers than Canonical.

  90. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm

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    Gentoo has hundreds of developers (and declining at the moment).

    http://www.forwardcamegrendel.org/decline-gentoo-linux

  91. RyanT said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Gravatar

    @ Dan

    We’re not comparing distros, we’re comparing companies.

    In this case, yes, it is unfair of a much larger corporation like Novell to pick on a comparatively small child like Canonical. There’s already been rebuttals in several places, per the links Roy posted and others.

    Not to mention clarification on Canonical (and Ubuntu’s) position. They seem themselves more as integration folks, not to mention the recent announcement of more manpower to go towards mostly GUI related areas.

    All this boils down to is an Novell employee wanting to whip it out and see how big it is compared to others.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10046449-16.html

  92. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Gravatar

    As you’ll have noticed, none of the rebuttals actually rebutted any of what Greg KH said. They just attacked him and the fact that he works for Novell.

    The issues that Greg talked about still stand.

  93. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s arguable that these are “issues”.

  94. AlexH said,

    September 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm

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    Not really. Complaints from various projects, e.g. Debian, GNOME, etc. are all well documented.

  95. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Btw, the Ubuntu crowd should know that even if Novell has 4,400 employees, the Linux Business Unit is only made up of 330 people

    330 people is not much more than Ubuntu.

  96. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Gravatar

    Just as Ubuntu can allocated more people to kernel space, Novell could allocate more people to SUSE.

  97. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Gravatar

    Even without doing that, though, Novell are contributing dozens of times more patches than Canonical.

  98. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:48 pm

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    well, they do servers. What else would they optimise? Patches depend on area of focus.

  99. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:51 pm

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    Novell is largely focused on the enterprise desktop, afaik it is their primary focus.

  100. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Gravatar

    No, not quite. Did you not read what Novell’s CEO said a few months ago? Some speculate that Novell leaves its desktop on the ice due to Microsoft’s ambitions and deal.

  101. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Then why are they putting so much work into GNOME and KDE?

  102. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Gravatar

    and OpenOffice

  103. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm

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    Mono and OOXML (not so sure what they do to KDE though, if anything).

  104. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Gravatar

    Novell aren’t the ones putting OOXML into OpenOffice.org, as I keep telling you and you keep seeming to forget.

    What they are doing is working on things like new widget layout so that dialog and UI doesn’t have to be created in code. And making it faster to start up.

    Have you actually looked at the code that Novell sends upstream into OOo? Why do you assume it’s just Mono and OOXML?

  105. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 2:37 am

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    I was exaggerating on purpose.

  106. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 2:55 am

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    Exaggeration means “making more of”, not “making stuff up” :P

  107. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 3:00 am

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    No, they supported OOXML long before that, in order to please Microsoft. They also continue their Mono/Monolight [sic] infestation.

  108. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 3:11 am

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    Whether they did or did not is irrelevant, if you download OOo 3.0 from openoffice.org the OOXML code in there is native code written by Sun.

  109. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 3:21 am

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    You’re missing my point that since 2006 Novell has been pushing for OOXML. Had they not, maybe it would not be necessary.

  110. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Gravatar

    Er, what?

    You’re suggesting that had Novell not “supported” OOXML, that Microsoft would have never put it into Office 2007 and we’d never have to deal with it?

    I find that unlikely in the extreme, given that Office 2003 was already supporting XML formats….

  111. storagemonster said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:06 am

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    This is becoming more and more of a farce. Sometimes it is wiser to admit that one has told bullshit, Mr Schestowitz.

  112. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:13 am

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    No, I was not talking about inevitability of /use/. I was talking about standardisation. Without Novell’s help, it would be harder to ram it down ISO’s throat.

  113. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Gravatar

    You said that if Novell hadn’t “pushed” for OOXML, it might not have been necessary for Sun to implement it, but now you’re only talking about ISO standardisation?

    I don’t see any logical connection whatsoever.

  114. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:19 am

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    Use can be spurred by standardisation, never mind if corruption was involved in it.

  115. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:20 am

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    So now you are arguing it was about use?

    Which argument are you trying to make? You can’t argue two conflicting points of view simultaneously.

  116. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Gravatar

    We had this debate before. Novell supported OOXML in a way (it’s a matter of timing too) which helped Microsoft. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation.

  117. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Gravatar

    Whatever you’re trying to shift the conversation onto, it doesn’t matter: we were talking about Sun putting OOXML into OpenOffice.org, which you were suggesting Novell were doing.

    Are you suggesting that if Novell hadn’t participated in TC45, that Sun wouldn’t be implementing it now?

  118. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:37 am

    Gravatar

    I argue that Novell’s role helped Microsoft corrupt the process (Novell, received money for this, did it not?) and also helped Microsoft remove some barriers to OOXML use.

  119. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:46 am

    Gravatar

    But what are you trying to argue in terms of Sun’s development of OOXML code?

  120. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Gravatar

    It did not help Microsoft game the system.

  121. AlexH said,

    September 22, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Gravatar

    My new rule is that I only ask the same thing three times; it would be easier if you just say you’re not going to answer something rather than evade the question, though.

  122. stevetheFLY said,

    September 22, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Gravatar

    One of you guys is looking like a pig-headed fool now, and it isn’t Alex.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  123. Ian said,

    September 22, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Gravatar

    @RyanT

    “In this case, yes, it is unfair of a much larger corporation like Novell to pick on a comparatively small child like Canonical. There’s already been rebuttals in several places, per the links Roy posted and others”

    GregKH is a Novell employee, not the entire company. He’s a single developer. He doesn’t drive, at least directly, the vision and goals of a company. The only mentions of Novell are in the slides, and they don’t even paint Novell as the golden child of committed patches. They actually give a nod to Novell’s real competitor and market leader in the enterprise linux realm(red hat). Moreover, it’s about Linux and some of the related tool chain, not open source or the linux desktop in general.

    Sometimes there’s just no conspiracy there.

  124. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 3:29 am

    Gravatar

    Update: for future reference, the post below might be of interest.

    Oops! Ubuntu IS gearing up for more kernel contribution

    “Ubuntu is on the verge of fully participating in the Kernel Oops project run by Intel’s Arjan van de Ven (i’ve interviewed him before, great guy and an awesome project). Kernel Oops is an incredibly valuable effort that tracks ‘oopses’ on Linux and provides information so kernel developers can fix bugs. So far Kernel oops has been part of the default installation on Red Hat’s Fedora and is available to Novell OpenSUSE users as well..it soon may beavailable by default to Ubuntu users too.”

    http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2008/09/oops-ubuntu-is-gearing-up-for.html

  125. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Gravatar

    So Ubuntu is going to start shipping a kernel bug-reporting tool that Red Hat and Novell are already shipping, and likely actually contributed to.

    Grats.
    </sarcasm>

    That doesn’t change anything, they should have been doing that for a while now.

  126. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Gravatar

    If only they were a large company. They were just a few dozen people a couple of years ago.

  127. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 23, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Gravatar

    What’s that got to do with anything? As already pointed out, the Novell Linux group is only 330, not much more than Canonical’s.

    Not to mention it wouldn’t have been difficult for them to ship the kernel-oops reporter even if it was only a handful of developers. It’s not like Canonical has to write their own tool.

  128. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Gravatar

    I think (but I have not verified) that those 200 or so people are not all developers. Some are assigned marketing roles and some such. Novell has that centralised.

    [Again, I'm not sure.]

  129. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Just published:

    http://ostatic.com/173422-blog/the-open-source-contributions-of-six-blind-men-and-an-elephant

    Herein lies the problem.

    Kroah-Hartman works on the kernel, the “Linux ecosystem.” He was delivering an address at a conference geared to a particular audience — people who work on the core of the Linux system. In this light, his arguments appear completely valid. He couldn’t rightly comment on other areas of development, as they weren’t in the scope of his experience, or the conference’s focus. This is also well within reason.

  130. RyanT said,

    September 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Gravatar

    @ Ian

    I never said there was. I was pointing out that in measuring contributions, you must remember company sizes and priorities.

    It’s been pointed out in many places – the definition of ecosystem being hazy, ignoring Mark Shuttleworths own clarifications about where Ubuntu and Canonical are specifically aiming, and writing off recent announcements of upped development support in several areas.

    I always remember one of the main arguments of open source being “everyone can work on what they’re interested in!” before making the switch, amongst many others to the same effect. Then you get constant crap like this where people start cat fights because not everyone is working on what they’re interested in.

  131. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Gravatar

    I always remember one of the main arguments of open source being “everyone can work on what they’re interested in!”

    Maybe Canonical isn’t feeling ‘itchy’ in the kernel dept.

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