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Mar
10

A Linux Conspiracy Theory

by IgnorantGuru

IgnorantGuru, Linux blogger and developer of the innovative SpaceFM file manager, bemoans a corporate threat to Linux.

Components that break

Seeing these changes, it made me take a second look at breakage I had seen in other Linux components such as udisks and gvfs. Used particularly by file manager developers, these components act as an abstraction layer between the kernel and applications, giving them convenient access to device management and file system functionality. Used in many distributions not involving GNOME at all, development of these components is also controlled by Red Hat developers and, like GTK and GNOME, they have been breaking wildly, creating instability and development dilemmas in many circles. With the introduction of udisks2, its command line was completely changed, simply breaking compatibility with all existing software and scripts which relied upon it. Red Hat developer David Zeuthen further added this bizarre note to the documentation: “This program is not intended to be used by scripts or other programs – options/commands may change in incompatible ways in the future even in maintenance releases.” Further, udisks2 arbitrarily changes the location of critical system files, breaking much software. Replying to my commentary on these problems, Hon Jen Yee, developer of the popular PCManFM file manager comments, “Udisks brings a lot of headache[s] for us as well. Why people [sic] keep breaking existing things that working [sic] very well? I hate polkit, consolekit and other *kit stuff very much. They never work reliably and the complicated layers just make me want to return to windows. We’re very far from KISS [Keep it simple, stupid] philosophy now. So sad.” [Fig 6]

Gnome GTK Red Hat
Figure 6

Likewise, many developers of lightweight applications for LXDE and Xfce, such as the PCManFM and Thunar, were fooled into using gvfs’s API for required functionality, only to have it prove to be wildly unstable and ill-maintained, leading their software to be perceived as bug-ridden of late. Yet use of an API involves a great investment of time and effort – these developers have become trapped in the use of libraries which are developed by Red Hat with only GNOME in mind.

Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux and current maintainer of the kernel, has become extremely frustrated with Red Hat developers concerning their development practices in the kernel and core components like udev (which replaced HAL for device services). Writing to Red Hat employee Kay Sievers, Linus says, “I also call bullshit on your ‘it will surely be fixed when we know what’s the right fix’ excuses… You’re refusing to acknowledge your bugs, you refuse to fix them even when a patch is sent to you, and then you make excuses for the fact that we have to work around *your* bugs.” Elsewhere, Linus famously gets right to the point in his reply to Mauro Carvalho Chehab: “Stop this crazy. FIX UDEV ALREADY, DAMMIT. Who maintains udev these days?… The fact is, udev made new – and insane – rules that are simply *invalid*. Modern udev is broken, and needs to be fixed… What kind of insane udev maintainership do we have?”

Enforced usage

Another component introduced recently by Red Hat is systemd, a startup component along the lines of sysvinit. Systemd introduces questionable technologies such as dbus to start up and simply breaks existing init scripts, but even more concerning, it is being pushed aggressively on users and admins who don’t want it. By absorbing udev into the systemd source tree and promising to only support a core component like udev when it is installed with systemd, Red Hat is creating a monolithic stack of system tools which is hard to escape from. This announcement created a veritable explosion on Gentoo’s forums, a distribution devoted to giving users many choices. Unhappy with systemd developer and Red Hat employee Lennart Poettering, who jokes about breaking everyone’s systems with his bug-ridden PulseAudio daemon, Gentoo user SteveL writes, “…it’s because everything he comes out with wants to take over our machines, with a mess of so-called ‘integration’ requiring changes across the board. Till he finally realises what everyone was on about, and drops the project for his next shiny adventure, leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces.” Tech-savvy Arch Linux users, also accustomed to flexibility, were appalled at being forced to use systemd. Long-time Arch Linux user Daniel writes, “As I predicted, the switch to systemd has effectively been forced. Take a good look at the list of packages that require systemd thanks to the project’s takeover of udev and dbus.” [Fig 7] Sentiment was so strong against the ill maintenance of udev, and its inclusion in systemd, that a udev fork has begun.

Gnome GTK Red Hat
Figure 7

Much of Red Hat’s approach reminds me of chess pieces being strategically placed, limiting movement of the other pieces on the board. Beyond Red Hat, KDE and Canonical’s Unity desktops have also shown these same anti-user, corporate product trends which increasingly cater to closed-source operating systems. The introduction of KDE 4 alienated many long-time KDE users, and Unity has been embroiled in controversy over Canonical adding surveillance tech to its search tools, such that even searches for local files are broadcast to Amazon and other corporate advertisers, as detailed in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s exposé: ‘Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Amazon Ads and Data Leaks’. [Fig 8]

Gnome GTK Red Hat
Figure 8

Linux, which is itself a community-developed project involving thousands of developers globally, has a long tradition of building onto existing work. Such a large development community cannot function without co- operation – honouring others work by not creating breakage, allowing a variety of solutions to coexist (users’ choice) and being careful not to tread on others’ work and efforts. Linux is a global experiment in collaboration, extremely popular with its users. Even small businesses are a part of this community, benefiting from Linux’s infrastructure and giving back to it. Yet when involvement reaches the scale of extremely large and powerful corporations such as Red Hat (now a billion-dollar company), Google and Microsoft, the dynamic tends to change to one of pure exploitation.

Are large corporations, historically never a friend to Linux, using malicious development practices against Linux, deliberately sabotaging it and making it irrelevant, and/or turning it into a traditional, fixed corporate ‘product’? When it comes to large corporations, except for the few stockholders at the top of the pyramid, almost everyone loses – the drive is purely profit. Yet Linux is a great equaliser, providing valuable software free of charge internationally and encouraging the open sharing of technologies. Are large corporations, with their teams of hired guns, now threatening Linux from within?

The spirit of freedom

By contrast, non-commercial, community- developed or independent projects (including the Linux kernel and many core components) tend to be the reverse in these areas. They tend to provide a robust array of power options, and users strongly influence the software rather than merely being influenced by it. They follow a UNIX-like philosophy of working and playing well together. Their use and access is intended to be as free and broad as possible. Active non- commercial projects tend to be much better maintained, with old-world craftsmanship and pride rather than mass-produced junk. When these projects do make changes, they tend to be incremental. Since the roots are better preserved, changes tend to involve real growth and evolution, rather than shallow, mostly broken bells and whistles.

From the corporation’s perspective, how do you control and compete with an open technology like Linux, which includes freedom- to-use-and-change-based licences, worldwide collaboration of thousands of devoted fans, free distribution and no manufacturing requirements? Having failed to stop Linux in other ways, are corporations now attempting to keep Linux fragmented and make it very difficult for individuals and small, diverse groups to easily create and maintain valuable software? Are they creating a field where stable development is almost impossible due to changing interfaces, and where participation in projects is limited to and controlled by corporate insiders?

One of the more disturbing bits of news is that Red Hat is merging with (effectively being purchased by) Duke Energy, a huge energy conglomerate and a maker of nuclear power plants. This is raising flags because the oil and energy sector is one of the most corrupt, and has a very long and dark history of killing socially transformative technologies. These are not firms that are fans of open technologies and free access for all, so why are they now conducting surgeries on some of the most sensitive and critical parts of the Linux infrastructure? I believe Red Hat’s continuing control of key parts of Linux deserves deep suspicion, especially in light of its recent radical behaviour.

Consider how long Linux struggled to ‘take off’ and ‘make it on the desktop’. For years, many of us have discussed this – Linux users develop a tremendous passion for their OS, as well as the community which has grown around it, and saw the potential for it to revolutionise and set free consumer computing environments. Yet large corporations have always pushed Linux away with Payola-style scandals and more, essentially restricting hardware to Windows-only as much as possible. Yet Linux kept creeping forward nonetheless, its global fan base and spirit of collaboration unstoppable. Now, just as this emergence of Linux in consumer products is finally happening, with many Linux-powered devices introducing new users to its charms, radically damaging development practices are being introduced to widespread areas of the Linux ecosystem. It seems powerful influences are pushing Linux development into a Microsoft-like model from the inside. Their approach may serve their purposes well – Microsoft made gobs of money with it, for example. But did its users benefit from this as well, or merely suffer for it? Many Linux users are in fact refugees from such practices, and they’re finding their arrival in Linux rude indeed.

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    • earl cameron

      maybe you should specify “desktop linux” or “linux distros” because this isn’t really a linux(kernel) problem really.

    • Theodore

      udev is, in fact, a kernel problem, fyi earl.

      Now, iguru, I read you here and there about this great red hat swindle. Now… Why aren’t we downloading all the Gimpbased-stuff and redo it from 2.4 to have a working fork already?

    • http://server.ericsbinaryworld.com/blog Eric Mesa

      Sounds like the perfect time to come on over to KDE/QT. KDE is all about increased features and letting the users do whatever they want. Also, instead of forcing everyone to use a tablet paradigm like Gnome and Windows 8, KDE has taken the smart move of making their libraries abstracted enough so that they have three different interfaces you can use: netbook, Desktop, and tablet – with each one perfect for its own task.

    • Freek

      Yup, KDE people are still smurt and rather than dumbing down the desktop and apps are making them more powerful and still configurable and flexible. And each interface they have is separate and optimized for specific device and form factor and yet at the same time all the interfaces use a lot of code in common. Realy, KDE software seams to be the one that realy goes in the right direction

    • http://www.montanalinux.org/ Scott Dowdle

      You showed a good connection between development work… and those doing the development work… and then those doing that development work answering questions… with answers that you don’t approve of. Ok. That’s fine. What I don’t see is any evidence that Red Hat the company is dictating these changes… nor that these changes are being made because of tablets. Perhaps the developers, yes, many who happen to be employed by Red Hat, made these decisions on their own without the orchestration of a Red Hat overload.

      As a Linux user, I go to Linux conferences and see presenters using Mac OS X. Why is that? I think that has hit the GNOME developers and they want a more strongly defined environment that is easier to use… and is a functional equivalent (but not necessarily a clone of) Mac OS X. Part of that is (perhaps in their eyes) having a tighter grip on branding and themes. I’m just guessing though.

      So if you are proposing a conspiracy theory… usually one of the items you include is… what is the big plan or the goal of such a conspiracy. Did I miss it?

    • Bruce

      “So if you are proposing a conspiracy theory… usually one of the items you include is… what is the big plan or the goal of such a conspiracy. Did I miss it?”

      It is implied by the last sentence of the article. Once Red Hat wraps it’s tentacles around an open source project, the project is changed so that nobody can use the code to make something that is faster and/or better looking than what Red Hat offers.

    • Colin

      @Scott Dowdle
      I take a different view.

      Redhat is a commercial Server orientated OS. I reckon that they are not removing features from GTK (soon to be the Gnome Development Kit) for tablet compatibility. I believe that security would be the main reason why needless options are being removed. The Gui needs to be redesigned for security.

      Take a look at this article: http://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/linux-security-circus-on-gui-isolation.html Basically within a GUI environment anything typed into a GUI window is accessible by other GUI’s. Your Gnome/KDE/XFCE/ICEWM has not been designed with security in mind and is quite insecure.

      We need a secure GUI environment. So often we are logging in as root (highly unrecommended) or requesting admin rights for applications. The Linux GUI for servers needs to be secure.

      The GTK developers should have been more polite and forked their development environment for Gnome only and called it Gnome dev. There is no need for them to stomp over an existing project like this and I am bloody pissed off that XFCE would be written off like this!!

      However we need a secure GUI environment.

    • Redi

      Yop, time to kill Gnome, switch everything to Qt, end the GTK/Qt war and then finally enjoy the time of Linux on desktops….

    • http://mrpogson.com/ Robert Pogson

      Colin wrote, “Basically within a GUI environment anything typed into a GUI window is accessible by other GUI’s. Your Gnome/KDE/XFCE/ICEWM has not been designed with security in mind and is quite insecure.”

      That’s if you have an Xserver on the machine. One can set up a GNU/Linux terminal server with no Xserver. Each client will have its own Xserver and have no access to the other Xservers on other clients. One can also encrypt the X-traffic. X is a networked protocol and it can be used securely.

    • CharlesH

      I wish this were unbelievable. Unfortunately I find it quite believable. Red Hat, as such, is only interested in server functions. As long as the development team doesn’t interfere with those, Red Hat will probably ignore what they do.

      Do I think that Red Hat intentionally chose to break non-gnome software. No. Not really. I think the upper management doesn’t care. And I think that a bunch of control-freaks have grabbed control of Gtk development. But the effect is the same.

      Unfortunately, KDE isn’t THAT much better. And *do* remember that Noika is in charge of Qt.

      FWIW, I find BOTH KDE4 and Gnome3 inferior to their predecessors. Gnome3 is so bad that it’s unusable, but KDE4 isn’t any prizewinner. KDE3 was far superior. (KDE3 was better than Gnome2.)

      Perhaps there are valid reasons for multi-user machines to use a simplified graphics toolkit. I don’t use such a machine. While I do have multiple accounts set up, there’s only one screen and only one keyboard. (I also severely limit what remote access is available. Flash, e.g., isn’t even installed.) So, perhaps, there are valid reasons for the described actions….but I can’t imagine any valid reasons for the explanations that they give. Impolite isn’t sufficiently strong to describe their behavior.

      I *do* feel, however, that anybody who is depending on Gtk should think again. Perhaps MATE is an even better idea than I thought. (Currently I’m using KDE, but the last time I tried MATE it was just out of development, and had many performance problems. Perhaps that has changed.)

    • clochard

      Perhaps it is the lack of coherent standards that users are abandoning PCs for tablets running IOS and Android. Less is more, simple and does the job. I use Linux Mint with Mate because it just works and I don’t develop anything anymore thank God.

    • http://www.montanalinux.org/ Scott Dowdle

      Quote: “It is implied by the last sentence of the article. Once Red Hat wraps it’s tentacles around an open source project, the project is changed so that nobody can use the code to make something that is faster and/or better looking than what Red Hat offers.”

      Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

      I happen to like GNOME 3 and KDE 4… and XFCE and LXDE… and others. Developers should be able to do with their code what they want.

    • http://synergyninjas.com land0

      KDE went through this same exact cycle when transitioning to plasma and QT4. Many valuable community conttibuters were violently kicked to the curb. It was to the extent that work was used by the corporate backed devs with absolutely no credit given to those that spent countless hours creating it. Seems like it has happened before and will happen again. Not much of a comfort when you are the one getting kicked to the curb. :p But true all the same.

    • Ricardo

      @Charles: Nokia (finished to) set up the Qt Foundation and sold all of Qt’s assets to Digia….

      KDE 3 was king, but the king is dead, like it or not.
      (KDE user here, I never really liked GTK)

      KDE 4 isn’t like 3, but in my view it is better, especially 4.10.

      Is it more bloated? Yes, but also offers much more functionallity and that’s why I love it.

      Enough off-topic (sorry).

      And I agree with the general opinion that RedHat has no agenda with Gnome, upper manager probably doesn’t really care and to me this is a case of developers gone wild, I really don’t see what RedHat might want to do with tablets.

    • Nick

      Don’t have to look for conspiracy’s. Just look for those that benefit from the power or the money or both. There, you will find, people of like mind and “group think”. There’s your conspiracy, just pure and simple human nature, wanting to be included, valued and validated by the group.

    • jonc

      Linux is tremendously fragmented. It’s one of the costs of all this freedom everyone worries about,

      Linux users do not *pay* Linux developers. Linux developers do not work for Linux users.

      Even if developers — let’s say Gnome — decided to let users define their development efforts, how are they to determine which voices represent the most users? Everyone who posts online is self-selected. You can’t take those voices as representative of most users.

      The fact is that Linux users have little or no way to decisively influence Linux developers. So, as far as I’m concerned, we do not need to turn to paranoia and conspiracy fantasies to explain what we see happening. Bad decisions, user conservatism, personnel and resource limitations, and simple mistakes are more than adequate.

    • Steven Starr

      Look into the differant specifications we use on linux or freesoftware in general, then look into who is on those committees and finaly look into the supporting api’s(dev libs) that those committees build or sponsor.

      Point is even on Kde or just plane Qt you still can’t completely get rid of Gtk/Glib.

      1. Webkit – which was suppose to be independent of any toolkit (Requires Glib).
      2. Polkit – is a toolkit for defining and handling authorizations. (Reguires Glib)
      3. PackageKit – High-level front end for a number of different package management systems. (Requires Glib)
      4. Shared-mime-info – core database of common mime types (Requires Glib)
      5. Networkmanager – software utility aimed at simplifying the use of computer networks on Linux-based and other Unix-like operating systems. (Requires Glib)
      6. Systemd – is a system and service manager for Linux, compatible with SysV and LSB init scripts. (Requires Glib)
      7. …

      Almost every single Freedesktop Standard requires the use of Gtk/Glib, and Redhat is appart of everyone.

    • Osef

      To be honest… i don’t know the future, but *I* think that Unity/Gnome3 style desktop is a good way to go in the future.

      Don’t get me wrong, i don’t like Gnome 3 right now, but when i look at some new transformer tablet, it will be so damn cool to only use Gnome 3/Unity-like desktop and switch from tablet to PC directly in a second.

      Just look at the Microsoft Surface. Maybe you don’t like Microsoft, but with theses types of desktop, it’s quite great to switch easily.

      However… i still think that they were both (Unity & Gnome 3) shipped too soon.

      The 2 main things that bother me in the other hand :
      - removing features from application like Nautilus is just plain nuts to me… hiding things is one thing, but removing them ? it’s sad :(

      - The most important reason i write this comment, in hope some Gnome devs will read it :
      Please make GTK3 theming PERMANENT. It’s a pain in the ass for both us users and themes makers.

      Maybe it’s your goal to have only ONE skin for GTK3, like Oxygen for KDE. I respect that. But think of users of other DE like LXDE, XFCE, ect.
      It make me sad to always seek another theme because my old one don’t work… again.

      A good thing i think worth mentioning is that QT apps outside KDE mimic the GTK2 Theme. It would be so great to have that for GTK3… too bad i don’t know a single thing about programming right now :(

      Thank you for your time.

    • detiber

      I’m interested to know where you heard that Red Hat is merging with Duke Energy. The only thing I can think of is that you misread a story about the new corporate headquarters, which was formerly occupied by Progress Energy (who merged with Duke Energy and no longer needed 2 buildings in downtown Raleigh).

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    • Ed

      E17 :)

    • Hans

      Soon, nothing will work without zeitgeist

      - Exquisite Wurst

    • Egon Ruuda

      Hans: I have Zeitgeist and GTK3 blacklisted from even installing on ubuntu. I use only non-gtk apps, simple as that. Even steam works perfectly if you just remove the dependency on zeitgeist and gtk from the textfile that defines them for the package (as they are not really needed for anything in the package anyways except a fancier update progress-bar when you start the client (if gtk3 and zeitgeist is not installed it reverts to looking like the windows version of the updater) But no functionality is lost and once the client starts it looks exactly the same as it does with the dependencies installed.
      There is only one application i miss a little and that is firefox with the plethora of extensions, but qupzilla does what i need atleast for now.

    • Bernard Swiss

      CharlesH:
      “Do I think that Red Hat intentionally chose to break non-gnome software. No. Not really. I think the upper management doesn’t care. And I think that a bunch of control-freaks have grabbed control of Gtk development. But the effect is the same.”

      Ricardo:
      “And I agree with the general opinion that RedHat has no agenda with Gnome, upper manager probably doesn’t really care and to me this is a case of developers gone wild, I really don’t see what RedHat might want to do with tablets.”

      Jonc:
      “The fact is that Linux users have little or no way to decisively influence Linux developers. So, as far as I’m concerned, we do not need to turn to paranoia and conspiracy fantasies to explain what we see happening. Bad decisions, user conservatism, personnel and resource limitations, and simple mistakes are more than adequate.”

      Gee… do I see a trend, here?
      There does seem to be a genuine phenomenon, here — but it doesn’t appear that any “conspiracy theory” is needed, or adds any understanding.

      I don’t really have much else to say.

      Except that perhaps a large part of the problem is that these particular developers are in effect insulated from the real world concerns that their work so intimately affects (unless they’re willing to listen to downstream — and that appears to be most definitely not the case). These developers have nice, cushy sinecures where they can do as they like, and talk mostly to each other — sort of the IT equivalent of “ivory tower”; they can play with the code, pursue their “vision” and commit to beautiful theories, because they aren’t the ones who have to use the results in real world situations, or cope with real word practical fallout.

      They don’t even have to worry about the practical meaning of “philosophical” ideas like “free software”. They can do as they like with the code ; if it’s harder for everyone else to work with the code, that’s just too bad — they’re still upstream, and still getting paid. Critics can just go “fork” off, on their free time.

    • david

      I began to see the writing on the wall when the Gnome Devs removed the “open terminal here” option from Nautilus and made it an optional, post install extra. When I asked why this had occurred I received a curt email telling me to stop being paranoid as it wasn’t aimed at me personally. A less informative, more patronising statement I have yet to hear.
      Since them Gnome have infantilised their product to the point where it is a grotesque piece of nonsense, designed for machines that for the most part, it’s not installed on. (Who makes devices with touch screens with Gnome 3 pre-installed? No one. So this “we’re designing for touchscreens” excuse is nonsense.)

      They have, alas, become infected with the modern disease – take a job and lose your sanity as you get sucked into a maelstrom of idiot managers, poor decisions and Corporate arrogance. Common sense, customer loyalty and openness to criticism are disregarded. Armies of sneering bullies must be employed to lurk in forums, ready to assassinate anyone who tries to point out the shortcomings of the new design. Exactly the same tactics used by global warming alarmists, terrorists under the bed nutters, etc. Present the new idea and cut down anyone who disagrees, likening them to criminals, madmen and social outcasts. The media, as ever, plays dumb, pretends it doesn’t see what is going on and provides endless column space and air time to these creatures and fails, usually, to provide any kind of meaningful challenge.

    • Eddie G.

      Seeing as I have NO skill at creating or building my own Gnome interface, what can I do? If I go with an “older” version it leaves me stranded with no real support, and then there’s the option to “switch” to something else….which I’m seriously considering to LXDE or XFCE…..or maybe one of the “newer” offerings like MATE or Cinnamon….where would I go to find out if there’s a “forked” version of Gnome that remains usable and not so buggy?

    • James C

      Or we can all just switch to tiling WMs and be productive and happy :)

    • http://leperkhanz.com rhY

      THIS is exactly why I’ve been migrating my entire userbase to Mint xfce edition. Gnome has been broken by design since late 2.x. Pulse Audio is a nightmare (always has been, always will be). Gnome 3 is a nightmare. There’s really no excuse for this. In short: Fuck these people.

    • Serge

      That is why I am using XFCE on Linux Mint Debian Edition. And by the time GTK2 will be no longer maintained, I hope Razor-qt will be sufficiently matured to move on there…
      http://razor-qt.org/screenshots/

    • ANONYMOUS

      use dwm

    • Colin

      @rhY I can’t agree with your language but I agree with your sentiment. XFCE is so much better to use then Gnome 2 or 3.

      Why the hell are they removing features from Nautilus. Nautilus is the most Painfully horrible file manager I have ever seen. I would rather use and prefer Windows Explorer! Rux and other file managers, even mc are easier to use (unless you use an auto mounter and are just moving files from one place to removable drives.)

    • lzap

      Hmmm, interesting. So Linux is different, you say. Well – read this then: http://go.linuxfoundation.org/who-writes-linux-2012

      After all, it’s all Open Source. Anyone can help, contribute, change directon, fork. It’s not like THEY are changing an API, we ALL are changing interface. There is always discussion.

    • andre

      “GTK is now developed and maintained by the GNOME Foundation” – err, The “now” in there refers to about 12 years ago?
      With regard to GTK 3 most of the sentiment sounds like you just don’t like changes, and didn’t really look up the reasons why GTK 3 was done and why GTK 2 was stuck in its ancient design and all its cruft of backwards-compatibility.

    • Kevin Clevenger

      > One of the more disturbing bits of news is that Red Hat is merging with (effectively being purchased by)
      > Duke Energy, a huge energy conglomerate and a maker of nuclear power plants.

      Not sure where you’re getting that Red Hat is merging with Duke Energy. detiber commented on this as well.

      Here’s some *accurate* information: Red Hat has a real estate deal with Progress Energy. Progress Energy is merging/did merge with Duke Energy.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat
      http://blogs.newsobserver.com/category/tags/Red-Hat

      Makes me wonder how accurate the rest of the article is.

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    • sergio

      Not sure if I should laugh or cry.
      This is a pretty silly article filled with one sided views and right out lies (I can’t call them misunderstandings) since it’s written by someone best described as as Troll.
      It’s sad that there are some out there who want to be so negative, but then again it doesn’t really matter since the people who actually do stuff (instead of just complaining) will continue to do it.

      Extra points for including the kernel with “non-commercial, community- developed or independent projects” and calling SpaceFM “innovative”, made me laugh :)

      Also to the people commenting, please check things for yourself before believing what someone writes, there’s a lot of bullshit out there and this article is unfortunately part of the ever growing pile.

    • http://colin.guthr.ie/ Colin Guthrie

      Go Sergio! You said pretty much everything I wanted to say about this article. Poorly researched and riddled with misinformation and outright lies.

      I’ve worked in Linux for well over 10 years and I’ve heard this sane basic complaint since the beginning. “something changed and I wasn’t consulted” and variations on the theme. But you know what? You have to want to get involved in the project if you want to be part of it’s decision making process. I’ve done that in several projects over the years, many of them projects the author here seems to think are run by the “cabal”! Quite frankly it’s easy to get involved. But like anything you just can’t turn up one day with all these ideas and expect people to love you. Go with the flow for a while. Make sure you become a trusted part of the community. Only then will people respect and like you and take your opinions seriously. Track records speak for a lot and these are not built up in a few days with a couple posts on the ML. Trust and respect has to be earned!

    • Rursus Siderespector

      There is no conspiracy! Everything else correct in the article, a conspiracy requires an impossible coordination from fragmented ignorant minds that cannot coordinate with others.

      The tendencies described are instead market(droid) forces acting upon a charity community — the marketdroids tend to be immersed in a false sense of power, a narcissist disrespect for needs that don’t “pay any bills”, a disrespect for the chaos of initiatives and creativity (which they falsely instead redefine to mean “work like the heck in the One Only Direction”). The leaders of Gnome, KDE, systemd and so on are *not the right leaders* — but they needn’t be toppled to save the community, they will be marginalized by the evolutionary forces of creativity. After all, there’s a lot of people out there developing software for free, and they don’t need to care about the bills.

    • Teresa e Junior

      Usual from people who love to disregard “conspiracy theories”, they just say that everything is a lie, poorly researched… always ignoring all facts and proofs.

      A few points not included in this article are: systemd stopping GNOME 3 from being ported to the BSDs and Ubuntu’s plans to include DRM (Digital R[estrictions] Management).

      And from my own experience, GNOME devs ridiculously ignore bug reports saying all end users should workaround their bugs instead: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=664611

      I really recommend reading the funny GNOME 4 Alpha review on http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20120402 It is just an April’s Fool, but shows how long-time GNOME users really feel.

    • lionhater

      I’m a Gnome/GTK hater and have migrated to Ubuntu minimal + Fluxbox with only Qt apps and finally to Manjaro KDE some time ago.

      I’ve hated KDE too because of that senseless Akonadi/Nepomuk/Activities cruft, but now they can relatively easily be disabled and KDE is simply the richest, most functional, solid and configuarable DE out there; there’s really no need to fight with Gnome or other GTK based things.

      Besides, with KDE 5 it will become more modular so that one can, for instance, use Kwin (without all the KDE libraries) with Razor-qt panel as a minimal system.

      Manjaro is, by the way, the new Mint which is not tied to a company, has a huge repository (with AURs) and isn’t needed to be re-installed periodically (rolling).

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