Over the last month I have experienced the worst there is about Ubuntu, and less about Ubuntu itself and more about the UCC and Canonical (the corporation that runs Ubuntu.) Again, not in general to do with anything about the operating system itself (for some parts,) but what the project seems to stand for and what I want to stand for. There are way too many diverging principles that force me to no longer recommend the operating system to people and those same diverging principles drive me away from anything to do with Ubuntu as a whole because I can’t support it and won’t.
Dictators Suck and so does the UCC.
When they delegate to a secret group that acts much in the worst interest of the community and alienate other projects by not properly answering questions, whatever those questions may be, and let a situation escalate to the point where people end up making irrational decisions that just alienate both the project and the community at large. Let me add, I don’t think they (the UCC) had any authority over Kubuntu to begin with. A sub-project should have some sort of autonomous authority over itself. Especially when it has it’s own community that elects the leader.
Here’s the thing, in all technicality UCC and Canonical have nothing they need to explain to us in the community if they don’t want to. We are not their bosses (or are we since donations should matter?) They do however need to justify to a community that donates time to testing, using and promoting their products. Including the half-assed products like Ubuntu Touch and Unity, both of which have more production performance issues than any other desktop or mobile OS.
Why is the UCC so Secretive?
One of the reasons that was thrown around as I was reading about all this when it went down was that Jonathan Riddell took discussions and posted them on his blog and apparently “attacked” the UCC. The attacks are clearly relative, as all attacks are, I am often blamed for attacking people when not. I want proof. Now lets strip out these supposed attacks and focus on a core piece here, why are UCC discussions private? It seems to me that UCC (Ubuntu Community Council) should really be “Ubuntu Secretive Council” because community implies community, and it surely doesn’t imply secretive discussions that will get you kicked out if you discuss them.
If it was his persistence and behavior that led to his removal my question is, why does persistence and wanting answers get you kicked out? This speaks loudly to me, in that those who question Ubuntu don’t belong in Ubuntu.
Re-reading the CoC (Code of Conduct.)
Scott Kitterman says:
I invite people to re-read the Code of Conduct and consider how that relates to how the Ubuntu Community Council has handled their dispute with Jonathan Riddell.
I have, and it seems that I don’t believe they follow the code of conduct themselves either. I don’t think they followed the spirit of it at all and I think they are hypocrites for it and it’s just not on this occasion that this has happened in my opinion, but this is the first time I’ve actually thought about it in any extensive manner.
Ubuntu Code of Conduct says:
Be considerate: Our work will be used by other people, and we in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision we take will affect users and colleagues, and we should consider them when making decisions.
When you kick out the team leader of a team that does not accept your removal of their leader and has their own community council. You are not being considerate of the community when making decisions. When Mark Shuttleworth inserts himself and states that their decision is final and implies that an uproar in the community doesn’t matter, you are also not being considerate.
Ubuntu Code of Conduct says:
Be collaborative: What we produce is a complex whole made of many parts, it is the sum of many dreams. Collaboration between teams that each have their own goal and vision is essential; for the whole to be more than the sum of its parts, each part must make an effort to understand the whole.
Collaboration reduces redundancy and improves the quality of our work. Internally and externally, we celebrate good collaboration. Wherever possible, we work closely with upstream projects and others in the free software community to coordinate our efforts. We prefer to work transparently and involve interested parties as early as possible.
What exactly is collaborative about not even consulting the Kubuntu Community before making your decision and not involving the community on the matter? That same community that if it weren’t for, you would not even have a product to try and mess up more than you already have.
Lets also get into the fact that Ubuntu tends ago against the grain and fork when things don’t go their way (probably because of Canonical, I don’t know, who does? I think Ubuntu is the Canonical puppet.) Should we bring up the GNOME situation? Not that GNOME is any better since they just suddenly switched to a half-baked desktop environment without a fallback at first but there are many more instances of this, and many of which are widely pointed to after the recent call to action Mark Shuttleworth made… one I laughed at.
Remove Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical.
This is going to probably cause some bad tastes in some people’s mouths… but I never accepted Mark Shuttleworth as any kind of leader, actually I always considered him the guy who always has a half-baked idea, no idea how to really implement it, and then never sticks with anything because the last idea failed but he can’t admit that failure so he keeps it going and then comes up with another half-baked idea. We don’t need Ubuntu touch, we need a truly open source version of Android, we once had Cyanogen mod but many recent things they have done force me to no longer believe them to be that. Re: Why VC capital?
I’ll give Mark this much, he did create Ubuntu and that was a success but surely it wasn’t because of him that it succeeded because there are thousands of people who help out everyday, so that’s a true community effort. Well, as true as community can get when Canonical inhibits it.
Unity is a classic example. The environment is great, as a whole but it took years to get here and it’s still kind-of a failure. The usability is still missing, it still uses old components and somebody at Canonical decided that instead of going with what every other Linux distro is going with (to have a development synergy) they want to create Mir, what is the point of Mir? People don’t give a shit if they use less CPU time, they care about whether or not their screen tears… and I would like to blame this all on AMD/FGLRX but it’s not all their fault, compiz is horrid. There is no tearing on GNOME with GNOME Effects, and actually it’s a lot smoother, does it accelerate? I don’t know but I assume it does or it wouldn’t get such great FPS on my system.
Bad Accounting Everywhere.
Not only is the UCC bad at accounting (apparently, burden of proof doesn’t exist to them,) but they literally suck at money accounting… Shortly after the news broke that Riddel was “out” we get news that donations were not accounted for and they don’t know where the money went, they know but they don’t know (are they using MongoDB to do Accounting? Just kidding, it’s an old joke.) I, (as somebody who has donated under various company names on behalf of clients who rely on their stuff,) am entirely upset about this and will never donate again, ever, I don’t even give a shit if they fix the problem, not unless they hire an impartial, external, unassociated-auditor and even then…
Seriously, this isn’t just a UCC problem, this is an Ubuntu and (to a larger extent,) a Canonical problem. Who received the money, why did they receive it? What use did it serve in benefiting the community? I hope it did not have go towards Canonical commercial projects like Ubuntu Phone or other shit even if it’s open source, those projects should be funded by the corporation that is set to benefit from it.
I just don’t think Ubuntu is the place for me anymore, I think it’s time for me to pick another distro. Even though Fedora is ran by a corporation there does seem to be more community involvement (again from an outsiders perspective,) and even if there isn’t, there is no Redhat disguising the truth, not that Redhat didn’t mess up in the past too, however they are trying to be better now (except for Systemd which keeps breaking my network, it’s getting on my nerves, really badly.)