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[ale] Canonical makes Apple look so good...



On Mon, 2011-03-07 at 08:45 -0500, Chuck Payne wrote:
> I know may here are Ubuntu Fans, but what Canonical is doing to Gnome
> is really sad. If you really suppose Gnome and their foundation please
> let Canonical know they need rethink their stand. 

The whole thing with Banshee is a bit off-putting to me.  The whole
thing with replacing parts of GNOME is also a bit off-putting to me.  It
seems to me that Canonical really does have very little (relatively
speaking) interest in improving upstream---they seem to suffer from "not
invented here" syndrome when it comes to certain things.  They also have
little interest in solving real problems within the community, seemingly
figuring that if they produce software that people use, that is the only
thing that they need to do, right?

As an example, there are a lot of people who are opposed to the idea of
Banshee running on their computers.  The only reason that they are
opposed to this idea is that they somehow feel like Banshee requires
some sort of Microsoft software.  Nevermind the fact that this is an
absolutely false statement---Mono, the runtime engine that Banshee is
developed on and tested on, is free software and will always be free
software.  It's not something that Microsoft can touch.  But there is a
whole subcommunity of "advocates" out there that are dedicated to the
sole purpose of creating FUD within the free software world.  Canonical
has done almost nothing to attempt to address that issue with the
community.  They seem to figure that if the software is used that the
issue will disappear into the night, as if nobody will notice.

Furthermore, the Banshee project did a really awesome thing, setting
things up so that when a user purchases from the Amazon store, the GNOME
foundation gets the proceeds from the affiliate monies.  Canonical's
interference with that looks to me like they are saying, "we do better
things than GNOME, we're better than our upstreams, and so we need the
money, too."  I find this to be quite problematic.  Canonical has done
many good things, but the direction that they seem to be headed in is
that of not distributor, but both upstream and distributor.  They have
created many enhancements that are generally useful.  Red Hat has done
the same thing, and a good deal of Red Hat software is found upstream in
the GNOME project, as an example.  But it seems that Canonical doesn't
care so much about giving back to upstream as much as it cares about
creating vendor lock-in.

Waitaminute.  Did I just say that?  Yes, I did.

Their "Unity" user interface is not awful, though I much prefer the
normal GNOME 2 panel-based interface to it.  I would like to see GNOME
Shell be the default UI, but apparently for whatever reason they're
against that idea.  I think it might be time for someone to create a
fork that is a pure GNOME fork, and that resets the affiliate code for
Banshee back to a sane default.

Maybe if the money isn't hitting Canonical's account, they'll see that
it was a bad idea to begin with.  I think the Banshee people should
create a PPA that will put the proper settings back in place.

I think it might be time for the next great distribution to arrive.
Maybe it'll be smart and be something that learns from all of the
mistakes of all prior distributions.  Sane, robust, split-horizon
package management would be a good start... following upstreams would be
a good start, too.

	--- Mike