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Daniel ~ 11th September, 2008 05:42 PM

Canonical to fund upstream Linux usability improvements
Written by Daniel
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Canonical to fund upstream Linux usability improvements
ARS Technica
By Ryan Paul | Published: September 11, 2008 - 08:40AM CT

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced Wednesday that his company, Canonical, will hire professional designers and interaction experts to improve the usability of the Linux desktop software ecosystem. [Frontpage...]

robbie 12th September, 2008 06:56 AM

That is pretty cool!

I'm seriously considering getting a new laptop soon. And right have my surgery and I'm able to get back on my feet I just might do it. I want a laptop that will not only handle Windows (needed for work) it must handle linux distro's that I throw at it. This is why I'll probably go with a Dell.

I've been using Ubuntu for a while now and it works just fine with my current laptop (dell) and my bosses new laptop (dell)

PorPorMe 12th September, 2008 07:37 AM

I'm not very knowledgable about the Linux world, but the two things that go with it are open source and free.

There ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow, someone has to pay the bill.
This goes for all the free distros but realy applies here. Now we have a guy who owns a company hireing high dollar help [and a lot more than than that report says, I'll wager!] and is throwing big wads of cash to get his project up and going. Namely a free OS to give away to the masses.
If you add the other FREE distros, and this is only a guess, you have many millions being spent on something thats free. [remember TNSTFL!]
Sombody has to be paying the bill and somebody has to be makeing it.
All these different distro's, Most free. How?

Gizmo 12th September, 2008 04:37 PM

MOST of the distros are done by people on a part-time basis, as a hobby. That's how it all started, after all, and that's the way Gentoo (the distro we use on our server) is handled. For that mattter, that's the way AOA itself is done. We don't make any money here; the work done on this site is pretty much volunteer. Don't get me wrong, though...........we keep hoping one day we'll actually have a business that makes money. ;)

However, open source is not about giving software away; it's not that kind of FREE (free as in beer). The heart of the open source movement is about letting you keep the freedom to do what you want with what you own.

See, most EULAs don't give you, the consumer (the one paying the bill) any rights to speak of. You have the right to use the software you purchased, and you have the right (in most, but not all cases) to make a backup copy for archival purposes. But you don't have the right to figure out how the software works. You don't have the right to modify the software in any way, you don't have the right to use the software in whatever way you see fit, so long as you don't violate the rights of the author of the software.

That's wrong. If I paid for something, by golly I own it, and I can do whatever I want with it.

So the open source movement starts with the simple premise that you can do whatever you want with your software, provided you don't violate the author's rights in the process. It makes good on that by ensuring that you have access to the source code. Do you have any idea how many businesses today are running mission-critical applications, with no source code? What happens to that business if the software provider ceases developing that software, or ceases to exist entirely? Right now, that business is screwed using standard software licensing practices. Using open source, that business would at least have the OPTION of hiring a developer, or contracting another company to provide that capability, because they would have the source code.

In addition, having the source code available to anyone prevents the software developer from creating heinous licensing requirements like "You have to call us and register your application on the machine you intend to use it on before you can use it" (Windows, anyone?).

Most Open Source companies that make a profit do so by selling SERVICE. IMO, that's exactly as it should be, as it forces companies to compete based on the level of service they provide to the customer, not based on whether they can provide a feature that then locks the customer into their software forever.

So, to reiterate, Open Source is about Free Software (free as in freedom, not as in beer). There's nothing about Open Source that says that a company can't make a profit, and indeed many companies do. It just says that a company can't make a profit by taking away your rights.

PorPorMe 12th September, 2008 07:11 PM

Thanks Giz, the open source part I don't have any problem with and I recognize that a lot of the distros were started in someones elecrtonic version of the garage with friends and buddies adding to it as times go buy. I knew, and thought it was a great way to do things, that before this article.
Your forum isn't a very good example. You have an obvious answer as to who is paying the bills. Your advertisers. Then there are the smucks like me that you extort $2 a month out of.:D
Mandriva is obvious. They have the free version and a pay version. Isn't Fedora going to spin off another distro that will be a pay version?
While things are small in scale, A web site, downloads, forum, community, yada yada, it's a hobby, doesn't cost a lot-that's in reletive terms!!
This one is different. This is big money. May be this is like a hoby for him, mabe he does have that kind of money. If it is then I'm satisfied.:rolling: Like he needs to report to me!:rolleyes:

Gizmo 13th September, 2008 02:50 AM


Originally Posted by PorPorMe (Post 480390)
Isn't Fedora going to spin off another distro that will be a pay version?

Not that I'm aware of. Be aware, however, that Fedora is Redhat's 'play''s where they test stuff out, work the bugs out, and play with new features before that stuff gets integrated into RHEL, which is where they make their money.


Originally Posted by PorPorMe
This one is different. This is big money. May be this is like a hoby for him, mabe he does have that kind of money. If it is then I'm satisfied.:rolling: Like he needs to report to me!:rolleyes:

Ok, so your question is, what's in it for him? That's a fair question. No one's going to invest money without getting something in return. Heck, I'll be honest; what I'VE invested in AOA I did because I got a return, just not a monetary one. :)

So, back to the question at hand........I'd have to say that he expects that the improvements he envisions will make it more attactive to more people, expanding the market for the services that his company, Canonical, sell: Services | Canonical

I personally don't see anything wrong with this: we all have to eat.

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