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Shuttleworth Goes on the Defensive for his Linux Vision

  • March 11, 2013
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

This past week has a been a particularly busy one for Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth as he rolled out new tech and strongly respondents to critics of his Linux distribution's direction.

1) Shuttleworth on Rolling Releases

Mark Shuttleworth has been aggressively responding to critics this past week over multiple sets of allegations that Ubuntu is not taking care of its community. The first allegation that Shuttleworth has responded to has come in response to a proposal on rolling releases.

The long story short for Shuttleworth is that rolling releases are not 'real' releases and he simply doesn't want them. In his view, the direction for Ubuntu should be for the mainstream of computing users and not the elite (1337).

"I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. ‘Linux is supposed to be hard so it’s exclusive’ is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say. People being people, there are of course smart people who hold that view." Shuttleworth wrote.

2) Misplaced Criticism

Shuttleworth also took the time to comment on criticism from KDE/Kubuntu developer Jonathan Riddell. Riddell noted that in his view, Canonical has made some moves recently that show a lack of concern for the broader Ubuntu community.

Shuttleworth defended his position and argued that Ubuntu is still open to accommodating the community (assuming that the community is inline with what he wants to do).

"Yes, you should figure out what’s important to Kubuntu, and yes, you should motivate folks to help you achieve those goals. But it’s simply wrong to suggest that Canonical isn’t hugely accommodating to the needs of others, or that it’s not possible to contribute or participate in the parts of Ubuntu which Canonical has a particularly strong interest in. Witness the fantastic work being done on both the system and the apps to bring Ubuntu to the phone and tablet. That may not be your cup of tea, but it’s tremendously motivating and exciting and energetic." Shuttleworth wrote.

3) All the faces of Ubuntu

The third blog post from the Ubuntu founder was in response to a blog from KDE/Kubuntu developer Harald Sitter, who wrote:

"Suggesting that only the Ubuntu products Canonical holds a stake in are part of the broader Ubuntu project is outright insulting to all the great community members pouring their passion into a flavor of the Ubuntu vision."

Shuttleworth stressed in a third blog that all the various Ubuntu distros, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu etc all matter.

"If it didn’t, we wouldn’t invest a ton of time and energy in finding ways to share the archives effectively. And I consider it one of the lovely things about Ubuntu that there is room for all of us here. As long as there are people willing to make it happen, there’s room for a new face."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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