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."
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Absolutely agree. It's certainly a worthy goal to have some commonality in the appearance and interface across devices. But the idea that you'll operate a tiny handheld phone the exact same way you'd want to use a 100X-more powerful desktop computer with three large monitors is just bonkers.
We need tools that allow efficient communication between devices. And perhaps tools that can allow direct access between devices when needed (like remote desktop software or whatever). But there's no strong reason why the default OS should function exactly the same way on all these devices.
All that said, I see no reason why some people can't create such a thing -- and I'm sure there are SOME people out there who really do want all their devices to behave exactly the same. It's the idea that such a development is somehow "inevitable" and obviously the next logical thing as a default UI that always seemed baffling to me.