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posted by n1 on Tuesday April 11 2017, @01:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the politics dept.

After announcing his company was abandoning Unity for GNOME, Shuttleworth posted a thank-you note to the Unity community Friday on Google Plus, but added on Saturday:

"I used to think that it was a privilege to serve people who also loved the idea of service, but now I think many members of the free software community are just deeply anti-social types who love to hate on whatever is mainstream. When Windows was mainstream they hated on it. Rationally, Windows does many things well and deserves respect for those. And when Canonical went mainstream, it became the focus of irrational hatred too. The very same muppets would write about how terrible it was that IOS/Android had no competition and then how terrible it was that Canonical was investing in (free software!) compositing and convergence. Fuck that shit."

"The whole Mir hate-fest boggled my mind - it's free software that does something invisible really well. It became a political topic as irrational as climate change or gun control, where being on one side or the other was a sign of tribal allegiance. We have a problem in the community when people choose to hate free software instead of loving that someone cares enough to take their life's work and make it freely available."

Shuttleworth says that "I came to be disgusted with the hate" on Canonical's display server Mir, saying it "changed my opinion of the free software community."

Full story here.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Grishnakh on Tuesday April 11 2017, @02:35AM (10 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @02:35AM (#492089)

    The problem is that X doesn't really work that well for modern uses. It's archaic and has a lot of problems, such as tearing. That's why they came up with Wayland in the first place. Moreover, the people who came up with Wayland were the very same people working on (modern) X, people like Keith Packard, the people who fixed a lot of problems with X and made it usable for the Linux desktop. It's not like Wayland was made by some competing group of developers.

    I don't know enough about Wayland to really comment on its technical specs and design, but given that the apparent X experts seem to be the ones who created it and pushed it, I have to assume that it can't be all bad. The problem with Mir is that it absolutely did reek of NIH as you said, and it created more fragmentation and confusion in a space (low-level infrastructure software) where there really needs to be standardization for desktop Linux to survive and succeed.

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  • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:02AM (7 children)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:02AM (#492101) Journal

    I was merely pointing out the fact that both projects were ridiculed. I remember the flame war on /. when Wayland was announced. How many people shat upon it because of the fact that it completely ignored network transparency preferring 3rd party protocols like VNC and RDP was insane.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:21AM (6 children)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:21AM (#492108)

      To be fair, I think the Wayland team could have done a lot better there by addressing people's concerns. Network transparency is an important feature to many people, and it should have been included from the outset, by some means. If that means just adopting RDP and calling it done, then that's fine, just make sure the concern is addressed. It really seemed like they didn't even want to address it until people were screaming.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:03AM (2 children)

        by sjames (2882) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:03AM (#492120) Journal

        Personally the part that bothered me the most was when they started denying that X had the capability rather than concede that people used it and wanted it.

        • (Score: 2) by tekk on Friday April 14 2017, @05:31PM (1 child)

          by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @05:31PM (#494092)

          To be fair when I saw the actual devs explaining it they were explaining how X didn't really/b do network transparency. The modern X stack stopped using actual X drawing commands when motif died, so all that "network transparent" X does these days is sling around big inefficient bitmaps rather than small X commands. Essentially it's equivalent to VNC but less efficient because iirc X doesn't actually compress the bitmaps it sends over the wire.

          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday April 14 2017, @06:39PM

            by sjames (2882) on Friday April 14 2017, @06:39PM (#494141) Journal

            Sure, but they were awfully reluctant to admit that that was what they meant. They knew damned well that whatever was done locally (which was bitmaps) could be as easily done over the network. Of course, you could get compression using ssh.

            Kinda like when Homer Simpson pawned his TV.

            Pawn Broker: Is it cable ready?

            Homer: Ready as she'll ever be!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:13AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:13AM (#492123)

        It comes with RDP, yes. And I think X11, but I haven't played with it.

        Seeing as how this keeps coming up time and time and time again, they didn't do a good job communicating that.

        Now it's one of those tribal positions that Wayland has no support for even VNC, or something.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @06:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @06:18AM (#492154)

        That put me off. Wayland is still important, but the bashing of everything X was just offensive. I was one of those users of network transparency. Yeah, it isn't perfect in all conceivable cases, but at the end of the day I got what I wanted out of it... a lot more than what they were offering.

      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:30PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday April 11 2017, @03:30PM (#492305) Journal

        From memory, the Wayland team originally stated that network transparency was never a consideration from the start and that they would investigate that in the future once the core was stable. I can get behind that because trying to satisfy every single use case including niche cases would infect the project with feature creep. Though, they weren't specific about alternatives and even left a feeling of "if you need it bad enough, build it yourself" implying that any remote display support would have to be handled by the community as a 3rd party project. That was the part that didn't sit well. But those were the early days and no one at the time was sure about the projects future.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:31AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @04:31AM (#492134)

    Things like XCB or SYNC extension were created, yet we have to do them over again. And other things that were also impossible seem to be proving perfectly possible, because the issue is with the code, not the protocol. Xpra and firejail give you reconnects and security so other programs can't poke at the server... things "experts" claimed were insolvable and required a full rewrite.

    FOSS has clearly gone from volunteer to corporate in last ~20 years, and then jobs must be justified. MS & Apple are in a similar place, BTW, they have to "invent" all kind of new crap. It's hard to admit things are mostly done and the last things are hard and not very profitable.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @01:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @01:43PM (#492246)
      How is firejail with xpra working for you? I tried it when firejail first started supporting xpra, but my main use case was jailing a web browser, and it was too slow to play even SD youtube video without stuttering.