Blog Post

Ubuntu, Yahoo, Microsoft, and bears oh my

Yes, as many of you have read recently, Canonical has created a deal with Yahoo! to provide the default search for Firefox in the Lucid release. I decided that I would sit back and parse not only the information that Canonical has put out, but also the information I am reading on the web, Twitter, Identi.ca, and mailing lists. To be honest, I was actually surprised that a large scale attack or a FUD campaign never started over this, and I feel there just might be a turning point in all of this. Before I go on, let me throw a bit of a disclaimer in here as to hopefully not provide a lash back against either Canonical or Ubuntu.

Disclaimer

  1. I am not an employee of Canonical, I receive zero money from them for anything I do.
  2. I am not a speaker on behalf of the Ubuntu project nor the Ubuntu community.
  3. I speak for myself and nobody else.

OK, I think I covered the grounds. I know this post has the potential to either be popular or very unpopular. I am not here for a popularity contest, so if it sinks or swims, I do not care. I just want to provide my opinion of the deal and the atmosphere I have experienced since I first got involved in Linux some 17 years ago.

I personally think this deal between Canonical and Yahoo! is a good one, and to be honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these deals. I wouldn’t mind seeing a deal with Google, Ask, Bing, or whatever else there is out there. The reason I like this deal is that it brings the potential of hiring more developers for the Ubuntu project. Seeing as I am a Kubuntu user and developer, I would love to see some of the money make its way into Kubuntu. Wait a second, did you just say Bing? Isn’t that the search engine, or rather the decision engine, ran by that big evil empire known as Microsoft? Oh boy, how many of you just went, “WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS IDIOT?” I am sure some of you did, and that was to be expected. I mean, Canonical did strike a deal with Yahoo!, and for some reason, many of you feel that Yahoo! is now Microsoft, or at least powered by Microsoft. If you read more than a couple of blog posts here and there, and dive into the news by not only Yahoo! and Microsoft, but read the stuff by the WSJ, NYT, and more. You will see for one, this deal has yet to be approved by the powers to be, and who knows if it will. Saying that Yahoo! is powered by Microsoft is not only incorrect, but it can be construed as either trolling or FUD at best.

You see, I have been around this Linux community for the better part of 17 years. There were good years and plenty of bad years. There were two things that always stood out during these years.

  1. Free is on one side of the fence and open source on the other side, in other words a split camp with common goals.
  2. Microsoft is a big and evil empire

So, Microsoft is big and evil, and don’t think I could disagree with that statement, and they haven’t proved themselves worthy of us removing this title, or whatever we want to call it. How many of you actually feel that striking this deal with Yahoo! is striking a deal with Microsoft? Don’t be shy, I have seen you on Twitter and Identi.ca stating the same, and on the Ubuntu Developers Mailing list as well, oh and on IRC. How many of you use Dell equipment? HP? IBM? Intel? I could keep going, but I wanted to kind of use companies that Canonical has worked with that Microsoft has worked with as well. How many you out there love your new Intel i7? Why? Don’t you remember the late 90’s when Microsoft was driving Intel to only do things a certain way that would benefit Microsoft only? How many of you are driving a Ford? Shoot, how many of you own a car? How many deals do they have with Microsoft? What about that bicycle, as I know there are a few of us nuts who prefer to ride instead of drive? Your TV? Cable? Shop at Best Buy? Oh man, I could keep going. How many of you just went, “WTF DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE PRICE OF TEA IN <nsert county so I don’t offend anyone>?” It has a lot to do actually, and yes it is probably beating yet another dead horse. The reasoning I see a lot of with dealing with $X who in-turn has a deal with Microsoft, in this case Yahoo!, in many cases can be seen as hypocritical. Imagine a life if you only dealt with companies or people that didn’t have a deal with Microsoft. For those of you against this and use Google, not to long ago Google made a deal with Twitter who already had a deal with Microsoft in terms of searching. Did you just switch your default search engine because of that? How about Microsoft and Facebook? Strategic alliance between Microsoft and O’Reilly? Gonna stop reading O’Reilly books now? Sugar CRM? Xen Source? And the list goes on.

Let me cover those of you who are using System 76 or Zareason, or some other Linux only manufacturer, that want to keep the attack going possibly on the deal. Ever consider the hardware that is used in those systems? I know System 76 uses, or was using, MSI equipment. Guess what, big Microsoft deal there. I don’t care what it is, there is a damn good chance you are using something right now that has struck a deal with Microsoft.

Is this the year of the Linux desktop?

or…

Is Linux ready for the mainstream?

Two of the most sickening questions I have seen for over a decade. The answer will always be “NO!” until we realize we need to step from underneath this rock we, yes we, have put ourselves. We have this great product, but if we continue being split on whether the Free Software side or the Open Source side is the correct side, or we shouldn’t be doing these types of deals, let’s just keep our mouths shut and enjoy this lovely rock canopy we have created for ourselves. Oh, here comes a big bomb, Novell. I am not about to rip on Novell, sorry Boycott Novell. I do not agree with their merger whatsoever, but I am a first hand witness of the good that has actually come out of the deal. Guess what Novell is doing that we aren’t right now? They are showing large companies, Fortune 500 and then some, that there is a choice out there, there is more than just Microsoft for your infrastructure. I went to their IT In Action tour here in Chicago last year. Granted I didn’t appreciate it when they said, “Microsoft is now the largest provider of Linux service,” nor did I like when one of their speakers decided to take off his jacket and reveal this nasty Detroit Red Wings hockey jersey (/me points at the Ubuntu Michigan people with a grin). What I did like, and I was wicked impressed with, were these people who were almost to the point of bashing Linux before the event started, to being super stoked over the Linux platform and the tools that Novell had when it was all over. Here I was an Ubuntu guy, and they knew that and welcomed me with open arms, who came in defending Linux and left helping some of these companies switch to, or look at the possibilities of switching to Linux. So thanks Novell for helping me get a few consulting gigs out of the tour.

I feel we, the Linux community, need to unite more so than we have. Not a fan of President Obama, but last night during his State of the Union address, he talked about reaching over those party lines. I think we need to do the same thing. Hey, if Microsoft is evil and they won’t reach their hand out, then why shouldn’t we try? OK, no more politics, OK maybe one more. Let’s tear down this wall! OK, that was lame, but I had to do it because it made me chuckle a little. I am not saying lets sell out to Microsoft, because that is definitely the last thing I want. You see us Linux people look at the big guy and concentrate on trying to make them look bad. In my eyes, we aren’t winning that battle, and while we keep carrying it forward, there is this person in the middle who is seemingly getting bigger and bigger every time they announce an iSomething. So instead of spending membership money to stand out in front of some silly event with a sign, lets think of better ways to use it. There are so many people out there who see people with signs picketing something, and a majority of the time these people go unnoticed, except for that one rogue honk, which believe it or not wasn’t supporting your campaign.

OK, that should be it. I am sure it is all confusing, so please feel free to respond anyway you feel is right in the comments. Thank you, and I apologize for causing you to spend this time possibly reading absolutely nothing.

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  • Rich,

    you are just a dickhead as I am…
    Hopefully not too many m*r*ns will bash you down the road…

    Good post, thx ๐Ÿ™‚

    \sh

  • Dude, don’t let everyone know this right off the bat ๐Ÿ™‚ I am used to being bashed, but hopefully people will be able to read into it a bit, and I am willing to bet they do.

  • studentz

    Questions kinking my my head when I read the news and your blog.

    Did Canonical talk with Google about the chance of get any revenue from using Google search engine as default in Ubuntu Firefox?

    Which company has showed more support to Open Source community in time, money , attitude Google or Microsoft ? far far far faaaaaaaaaaaaar away Google.

    Which is the best search engine Google or Bing? far far faaaaaaaaaaaar away Google.

    Which browser is native code for Linux and run faster : Chrome or Firefox? Chrome.

    So again and again for technical reason I switched from Windows to GNU/Linux/Ubuntu. So for the same reason I will use Chrome as a Browser and Google as search engine.

    How about a deal Google-Canonical default browser Chrome and Google search engine? can be this possible As community we can push this a millimeter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @studentz – I am fairly certain they did, and with previous releases the custom start page for Firefox was a custom Google search which I think did exactly that. As for which company showed more support, I would say Google, but if we keep this attitude, we are missing out on an enormous market that is out there. Which search engine is better is obviously one of opinion, and it is an opinion you and I share. I prefer Google as well for searching, have more the greater part of 10 years. As for Chrome or Firefox, they are both shit as neither is platform neutral. All of that GTK stuff I need to run either when I use KDE/Qt instead ๐Ÿ™‚ So with that argument you can keep splitting the communities even more. I will admit, I do like your Chrome/Google/Canonical idea ๐Ÿ™‚ Replying to this with Chromium as a matter of fact.

  • Eddward

    Microsoft already has a monopoly in operating systems, office applications and other areas. (See bug #1.) Microsoft do not yet have a monopoly in internet search, but Yahoo (and now Ubuntu) are helping them to resolve that. That bike and car are a result of how we got this far down the slippery slope. The Ubuntu deal is set up to push us a little farther down it.

    Oh, and Yahoo may not be Powered by Microsoft yet, but they are trying to be. Sometimes it’s the thought that counts. Kind of like with .Net and Moonlight. The documents exposed in the Comes litigation should make it clear what the thought is behind Microsoft’s actions.

    Microsoft are dangerous to Open Source. The community should be trying to prevent entanglements with Microsoft, not creating more. It worsens bug #1. And no I’m not in the FSF camp. It’s just that some times principles really serve practical purposes.

    Edd

  • @Edward – the Microsoft OS Monopoly is for good and bad reasons obviously. Up until recently, Linux couldn’t compete on the desktop, since that is where the monopoly really lies, or kind of used to lie. In the server market they don’t have a monopoly. Maybe they wouldn’t have the monopoly if Apple didn’t restrict their OS to their hardware. I am a Mac and I am a PC. So, Apple has a monopoly in the Mac market and Windows has the lead in the marked for the desktop PC. Microsoft will never have a monopoly in Internet search, and if you fear that, then why is it OK for Google to have it? In a year, we can look back at the market share of the search engines. Would you like to make a wager that Google will continue to increase while Yahoo! and Microsoft stay the same? I am sure you wouldn’t want to take that wager, and please, go back and review the history. Bing has gained market share, but they haven’t really caused Google to drop. As Bing has risen so has Google. The only one that has dropped, and not by much, was Yahoo! and others.

    The Ubuntu deal isn’t pushing us down, that is just nonsense. We didn’t make a deal with Microsoft, and if Microsoft ends up becoming the search back end for Yahoo, the money is still coming from Yahoo. As far as .Net and Moonlight, I have yet to see anything concrete, or remotely concrete, in why it is bad to use either. Because of that, the pros are greater than the cons. The cons thus far have been nothing more than FUD, or better yet just a smear campaign. I am not a .Net fan and probably never will be, and it isn’t because it is MS, it is because I don’t like the language. You have to admit, GNOME has gained a lot of popularity over the past couple of years. Sure Ubuntu has helped a little, but so has .Net/Mono. Look at the top apps, F-Spot, Banshee, Tomboy just to name a few. Plus, those are the only once I am familiar with as I don’t use GNOME or any of those apps as a KDE user and developer.

    Microsoft is no more dangerous to open source or free software than the people who are attempting to advocate or market it. Microsoft spreads their rhetoric and the open source and free software advocates spread theirs. How is this helping either side? It isn’t, it is hurting all the same. And, until we get Linus, Shuttleworth, or some other figure on the stages of events like CES, we can continue living in our little bubble trying to tell people of the world that MS is big and evil, which I know is true.

    Instead of always blaming Microsoft, which seems easier, lets do something about it. Negative campaigns do not work, except for the 1,000 or so nut jobs that support the smears in the first place. Now there are things we need to fight for, like open formats, no doubt. It seems the work that has gone into defending and promoting open formats has been more successful than pushing Linux mainstream. Why is this? Is it because they keep the campaigns far more professional, is it because they keep the smear out of there?

    People like Gates, Ballmer, and Jobs are recognizable faces. My mother, who could care less about these people, know who each one of them is just by looking at them. Can I say the same about Linus? Mark? Hell, I think she knows them better than she knows me. Why is that? One reason is because we have people advocating and marketing that shouldn’t be. Users and developers can help market or advocate in certain areas, but they are not marketers at heart. When was the last time you saw a coder on stage at CES or Mac World promoting the company or the product? You don’t, they are there to support the main person or the team of people who actually know what it means to market a product.

    I keep wanting to attack your monopoly comments, but I don’t think it is of use. Why is it that they have a monopoly on some of the things they do? Is it because they are doing it better? Maybe. Is it because they know how to market it? Possibly. Office, yeah they deserve that monopoly as I have yet to see someone come close to competing. OpenOffice.org is great and all, but it isn’t marketing itself as good as it can. With Sun they had a little help, with companies like Red Hat and Novell they are getting more help, but when you not only have MS pushing Office, but you have leaders in Fortune 500 companies pushing it as well, there is something to be said.

    Microsoft is a problem, no doubt, but each one of us that stay in our little bubble is also a problem. How in the hell are we going to reach out to the world, when it seems many would rather sit in the circle complaining about this or that to each other. LoCo teams are doing a great thing, but until I see them on the stage at CES talking to hundreds in attendance, thousands watching at the event, and the millions who will watch it on YouTube or such, we cannot continue to blame others for our faults.

  • I agree 100%

  • http://blogs.computerworld.com/15443/talling_firefox_3_6_one_more_reason_linux_isnt_ready_for_the_prime_time_mass_market

    Just look at that. The person writing the article has a genuine issue. Guess what, I agree 110% with everything he said in that article, except for the one pot shot by calling us Unbuntu. That is the only thing bad with the entire article.

    So, I wanted to upgrade to Firefox 3.6 this week. I googled it because I knew it wasn’t going to be in the backports. That is one thing I have over a new user coming in, I know how the background work goes. So, I do that, and guess what, every freaking one teaches me how to install…Are you ready? Firefox 3.6.1 pre release. Yes, that’s right, not Firefox 3.6, but 3.6.1 unstable. Damnit, I wanted to try stable. Lucky my good friend is on the Mozilla team in the Ubuntu community and he showed me the correct way of getting stable. You know, add the PPA and install.

    This isn’t difficult is it? What a newb that guy is right? I mean come on, Google for it and you will find the answer right? WRONG! Man, I used to think that way too, and did so as recently as last year. Firefox says use your distributor, your distributor says we aren’t releasing 3.6 as it isn’t a security release, and then you have components of your distribution telling to you to use so-and-so’s PPA.

    What do the Microsoft users or the Mac users have to do? That’s right, 2 clicks and go! So, instead of people trying to figure out how the Linux community, or in this case the Ubuntu community, fix the problem the guy has and streamline the Firefox 3.6 install, they attack the guy. Look through those comments. Are these the comments we see from Microsoft when someone has a problem, because remember we are a community here which creates a product. Do the product creators for Microsoft bash a user because they have a problem? HELL NO!

    And yet it is Microsoft’s fault we are behind. I should have just said that instead of the previous couple of paragraphs, it was so much easier.

  • John

    We need a unified .linux installer, not packagekit. Go to mozilla.com/firefox, download firefox-3.6.linux and bam, it’s on your system. Having .tar.gz, .deb, .rpm, etc. is faaaar too confusing.

    Plus, using .linux is clear and concise. Am I using Linux? Yup, that means the program will install. Done.

  • Eddward

    I am not in a bubble and I resent you saying that. I’ve been using Linux 17 years myself. I’ve been watching Linux and Open Source grow the whole time. During my professional life I’ve been watching who reacts to it, how and why. Pretending I’m some teenager or basement troll who’s only joy is to bash the big guy is unfounded and insulting.

    Regarding the Office Monopoly, that battle started before our 17 years in Linux began and was only just finishing. Open Office is not the issue. As with the Operating System Monopoly, the issue is all the competitors who failed as a result of anti-competitive behaviour. Open Office, like Linux is a non sequitur when talking about how Microsoft achieved its Monopoly. The Monopoly came first. It just so happens that cost free alternatives are the only real weapon against an established Monopoly.

    If you haven’t seen anything concrete, or remotely concrete about the problems with .Net, then you are not looking. And if you truly do believe Microsoft is “Evil” (your word) then you have no excuse. My comments and similar comment made by others about Microsoft are neither FUD nor smears. They are truth. Honestly. Go read the evidence in the Comes litigation for a start. They are far from the only evidence but they are sufficient. Several exhibits from Comes are being transcribed from PDFs at Groklaw. They make the Halloween documents look like a friendly “How do you do.” And if you are not going to read them, then at least quit smearing those who have and are acting on the information you have chosen to ignore.

    Microsoft attempts to interoperate with Linux are an attack on Linux. It is a “Jihad” on their part. Those are Gate’s words in his internal emails, not mine. You know, Bill Gates. He’s on TV and your Mom knows him, so I think you can believe he means it. You can read it for yourself in the Comes exhibits.

    If Linux is to succeed, it will be on it’s merits and not on negative campaigns. That is completely true. And Microsoft may not be able to stop Open Source, but they can set it back a long ways if the community naively allows itself to become dependent on technology that Microsoft holds patents on. That is the key. Intellectual Property.

    Putting Linus on stage will not help against IP. Telling people how great Open Source is won’t help against IP. LoCo teams don’t solve that problem either. Microsoft knows that. That has been their plan for years. Patents are the weapon they plan to wield. It’s all they’ve got left. Unless you have a secret for making software non-patentable in all of the major world economies, then the only real defence the community has is to avoid them. Interoperating with Microsoft is only helping Microsoft.

    When I talk to people who do not know about or understand Linux and Open Source, I share their merits. But when I talk in the community, I have have no issue pointing out mistakes that can hurt Linux. Trying to play nice with Microsoft is still one of the biggest mistakes we can make. We are able to reach out to the world without falling on Microsoft’s sword.

    We don’t have to smear Microsoft. We just have to stop playing into their hand. This deal between Ubuntu and Yahoo is dangerously and needlessly close to doing just that. We don’t have to tell the world that, but we need to be aware of it. If we ignore the problem because it’s not fashionable to recognize it, then that is our fault.

    And regarding Google. I’m not going to call them or any other company saints. All the same, Google in the time it has been operating has not even begun to come close to earning the reputation the Microsoft had earned by 1995 much less Microsoft’s reputation now. If you do not see the difference between Google achieving a Monopoly on internet search and Microsoft achieving a Monopoly on internet search then you must lack either perspective or practicality. I doubt either. But pretending I lack that perspective is as insulting as your bubble comment.

    I’m glad the community is reaching out about the merits of Linux, but I will not take that as a reason to be silent when potentially dangerous mistake are being made to hurt Open Source and the community. The Yahoo deal may not be the biggest mistake the community could make, but many people would like to believe that Ubuntu would not take such a foolish and unnecessary risk. Hearing someone downplay the threat Microsoft poses to Open Source is more than I care to ignore. If nothing else, if you intend to make more posts about how little of a threat Microsoft is, please look carefully into the Comes exhibits first.

    Edd

  • @edward – I was probably a bit vague with the bubble comment but it is more true than it isn’t. As for the .Net part, yeah I didn’t look hard but am a little familiar at least with the Comes litigation. The one thing that sticks out is that it is all from 15 or more years ago. I have read all of the secret emails, hence my part about Intel and Microsoft attempting to force their hands and in some ways did force their hands back then. I don’t want to sit here and revel in emails and ways from 15+ years ago. The Jihad email is a bit newer, but still so 9 years ago. There is no reason that we continue bringing up things in the past. All of those emails were internal, never made it to the news back then to hurt Linux or Open Source. In regards to IP, I get that part, but we shouldn’t allow it to hold us back on innovation, new designs, new technology, you know, something that will make these people that like the flashy shit that Apple and Microsoft make visible to billions. I am not going to sit here and pretend that bad things can’t happen with Microsoft ties, anything is possible. I am just tired of a majority of the community always using Microsoft as a reason we haven’t gotten further than we are now. We use patents, and we use it quite a bit. I wish there was no such thing, but there is, we can fight it all we want, but until we have some money and power to lobby along side Microsoft Apple, then should we just continue to dismiss our failures and possibly blame them on someone else? Actually, I shouldn’t say dismiss our failures, as we probably have far more lack of failures due to not trying in a lot of areas. We are quick to point the finger at Microsoft, and we have all the reasons in the world to do so, but we need to also start putting a bit of blame on ourselves too. I think in this day and age, Linux is getting to the point to where we can try and work along side, and who knows, possibly one day, I know it is a long stretch, change the ways of Microsoft. Linux isn’t going anywhere, we are here to stay.

    OK, I am doing to many things at once here and might have gone off on a tangent, will respond more later.

  • Eddward

    About Comes, the information is kind of old, but the point is that even now, the things that Microsoft does still appear the be following plans that are covered very clearly. It proves itself to still be timely. They were private emails because the plans were under-handed and would work if the intent were well known. The plans have been pretty consistent through all the years and sources (from Comes, the Halloween documents and others) and they still appear to be executing those plans. I am frustrated that some in the community choose to ignore such an obvious consistency in history.

    About the community’s failures, I guess that’s one thing I don’t get. I don’t see the community’s failures as being that great in number or magnitude. We’re progressing, we just are ‘there’ yet for many definitions of ‘there’. I see Microsoft as a problem and a threat, but not a root of failure. Just something to watch with extreme caution. The Open Source community is slow in some areas but I can’t think of anything that’s out right failed or been conceded.

    We could do better in a lot of areas. It’s sometimes a matter of having people with the necessary inspiration, interest and talent. Sometimes it’s the blunt & thick nature of eggheads. (I stand guilty.) There are times that Open Source needs more than programmers. (Ubuntu’s strength.) There’s the “I do what ‘I’ need” tendency that comes with developers who are just scratching an itch. And then there is the “It’s done when it’s done.” tendency that folks (myself at least) love and hate Debian for.

    It would help if we got more people and organizations to see Open Source and cooperating on its development as a common good. There are several companies that are doing ok there. It might take a long time and incredible acts for me to trust Microsoft, but I would not trust any organization or company implicitly. Not Google, not Redhat, not even Canonical. (Long ago I once thought Caldera was ok.) But in general corporate participation in Open Source seems to be going well. I believe several of the companies that have begun dealing with Open Source don’t really understand why Open Source is good for them or that it’s not a weapon. But even that is improving.

    Open Source software has not caught up with proprietary software in all areas, but I don’t think it has out right failed any where yet. I guess for any interesting software problem, I still see the solutions moving toward an asymptotic Open Source implementation. Some areas are approaching faster than others, but I think they are all headed that way. The wrong entanglements however could cause us to loss ground temporarily.

    Overall, I’m pretty optimistic about the community. Maybe I’m biased. Even with the threat Microsoft poses I think we will be ok. We just have the ability to hurt ourselves and set ourselves back, perhaps significantly. About the only thing I think could stop Open Source is if governments were to start to classify development tools to restrict them like lock smithing tools limiting who is allowed to tinker. I don’t see that as a plausible situation though. The first governments to do that will put their populations at a disadvantage in the world’s markets.

    I guess I honestly don’t see any huge failures for Open Source aside from not fulfilling everyone’s dreams (mine included) as fast as they had hoped. But slow and steady wins the race. It just takes thought, time, effort and care. I was just taking you post as an opportunity to rant about the last of those.

    Edd

  • @Edd – alrighty, now we are talking ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with you on the past and there is still that chance because they haven’t proven otherwise. I personally feel MS has made strides in attempting to reach out with open source, but their head monkeys are what really hurt them. Their open source website has some really talented and open source enthusiasts which is nice. I know one of them, and his intent is not to hurt open source. He took the job hoping to be able to one day bridge this gap that there is between us. I would hate for Microsoft to crush his hopes and his dreams, as I know he is working really hard. I mean history is history. I kind of like the saying “never forget”. I think plenty of us have worked past the turmoil that was caused by many wars in the past. Groups did some shady shit back then, and still do, and I love the people who say they will never forget but will forgive and hope for a better future. That is the one thing I have learned from the open source world and it is something I will live with forever, and I love it!

    Right, failures. I added the “lack of failures” which I guess is a failure, but I feel it shows that there were a lot of chances out there, for both success and failure, that we as a community of users and developers either didn’t take or tried to take it to late.

    With the rest of your comment there, I absolutely agree, so eloquently put. Microsoft does impose risk, but the attitudes of many that I am seeing today in the open source world are also providing risk. I tweeted and dented this post with some feelings, and I got a lot of responses agreeing, disagreeing, you name. I had quite a few people reply, direct message, and even email me, to say the behavior they are seeing from community people caused them to go back to either Windows or Mac. I sympathize with those that have gone through that, and I don’t blame them the least bit either. I understand we need to look after our old wise ones, obviously ones like you and I, but we also need to tailor to a whole new world that is out there. I am not saying we do this with incorporating non-free software at all. I hate the fact I have to use Flash to watch some things, but with HTML5 coming that will change a lot. I also feel we shouldn’t be stuck on attack mode either when it comes to things such as Microsoft. Defense mode is understandable. We shouldn’t attack those in our community either if they chose to use Mono. I am sure those that use Google it anyways before hand, and see the pros/cons that have been laid out by many.

    I know this is going to take time, effort, and care. But we are approaching the 20 year mark, and with the results we have had in the desktop or mainstream markets (besides mobile devices of course and servers) aren’t overwhelming. I think it shows that at almost the 20 year mark, we are still standing with our heads way above the water, that speaks volumes for the product. But when we are seeing awesome things from Apple and Microsoft, it kind of hurts. We get left in that, “Where is Linux at?” arena quite a bit. Thank God for netbooks though, as I think Apple flubbed their iPad. Defective By Design wasted time, money, and resources for their campaign on that one, and with their prior campaigns as well.

    Speaking of DBD, I was trying to look for positive, successful campaigns concerning Linux and/or Open Source Software. The ones that stand out are obviously Apache, MySQL, and Mozilla as having waged successful campaigns. Then I see campaigns that the FSF and DBD have pooled money and resources for, and I don’t think I can call a single one a success. Bad Vista was horrible, though I loved their stickers and so did the many students at the university. But when they came out claiming a victory, so many saw right through it. I think the FSF and DBD can direct their funds and resources in a much better manner, one that actually does more good than it does harm. Things like showing up to an Apple event wearing a yellow toxic jump suit is absolutely ridiculous. I know, I did it twice :/ People just point and laugh. The DBD said they were effective yesterday, but if you read some of the posts out there from the major tech news outlets that showed up to the iPad event, they chuckled at best at those guys. It is the things like this that also fueled a bit of my post here as well.

    Thanks Edd for rocking and that last post, I really do appreciate it.

  • A deal with a “closed” company isn’t necessarily a pact with the devil from a free software advocate point of view. The GPL itself is a kind of deal, but a good one. If Yahoo! or Microsoft surrender to open source, it’s a victory for open source; it’s obvious.

  • TGM

    As someone who hasn’t read the majority of the Yahoo-Bing deal, am I right in thinking Yahoo still exists as it’s own entity, but uses Bing as it’s search now?

  • Also I would like to add that Yahoo-Bing search engine is way worst than Google engine, in technical view, not political view.

    Google Search ENGINE is the DE FACTO Search Engine.

  • jimcooncat

    To the basics: Provide choice and sensible defaults.

    To me, there are many sensible defaults for which search engine a browser uses. If it retrieves relevant information in a usable way, then it’s sensible to me. If there’s opportunity for advancement to be made by using one over the other, then why not.

    I should be able to click or right-click to simply change it to another sensible search engine, and go through a simple process to customize it.

    Once I’ve made an explicit choice, I expect this to be respected through upgrades unless that breaks things. Is this an issue here?

    I should be able to switch from “default” to an explicit choice of that search engine shown as default. For instance, my default is currently Google, which might change to Altavista on an upgrade. But if I click the dropdown, then click Google again, then it should stay Google for my natural life (or my hard drive dies, as I forgot to back up my preferences).

    I’m surprised that Mozilla is going along with this, and isn’t forcing Canonical/Ubuntu to rename the browser “IceRat”.

  • Dao

    Canonical does have a deal with Google (and Mozilla has a revenue share deal with Canonical), although I suppose that’s going to end.

  • First off, Yahoo is not powered by Bing, Yahoo does not use Bing, Yahoo still uses Yahoo. Yahoo and Microsoft agreed on making Bing the default search for Yahoo, but since are both American companies, they have to get approval. Anything Microsoft touches needs approval, and actually not just from the United States, the EU as well, and other countries too. It seems many people are stuck on this idea that Yahoo is already using Bing. They aren’t, it isn’t true, Yahoo is still currently Yahoo.

    Mozilla saw this coming. Mozilla has been in talks about this possible change for probably near a year, it was made public over a year ago at the UDS Jaunty summit. Who knows how long Mozilla will keep Google as the default, since it seems that Google possibly violated a potential non-compete clause in their deal with Mozilla by creating the Chrome browser. I am sure you will see more of this. For instance, Mozilla’s own Asa Dotzler, wants you to use Bing over Google, and even states he would like to see a deal between Mozilla and Bing.

    http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/2009/12/if_you_have_nothing.html

    As for defaults, they are easy to change. You click the icon in the search bar, a popup dialog appears, and then you select the search engine you want. Easy. But I do agree 100% that this shouldn’t change in an upgrade, and honestly would like to see them not do this. Who knows, this could possibly change prior to the final 10.04 release where your default, if you set it, does not change.

  • Nixternal, I like your article, very good.

    However, when you refer to this post:
    http://blogs.computerworld.com/15443/talling_firefox_3_6_one_more_reason_linux_isnt_ready_for_the_prime_time_mass_market

    I don’t agree with you anymore.
    Do you think that my friends an family (all non geeks, but running Ubuntu), do care about the version of Ubuntu they are running?

    The masses want to read their e-mail and go on Facebook, they don’t care about installing the last Firefox.

    By the way, maybe you’ll like this:
    10 reasons why not to use Hotmail

  • @Johannes – you lost me with the link saying you don’t agee on. Yeah, non-geeks may not care, but there are what you would call power-users I think from the Windows world that does care. For them, they click and go right, that is what that person is complaining about and that is why I linked that. For the users who don’t care, then yes, just using the main repositories and the security repositories are fine, and are default. But those who want a bit more tend to enable the backports, updates, and proposed repos as well, you know to live on the edge, therefor disqualifying themselves as the type of user you described.

    Going back to the link, I was really using to display the lack of control used by commenters. Instead of realizing this person had an issue, they instantly went into attack mode thinking they needed to defend what they feel is theirs. It is a poisonous attitude and is definitely something we do not need in the FOSS world, we have a hard enough time now trying to merge ourselves towards the forefront of technology.

  • Pingback: Ubuntu One for Windows & Microsoft cash? « OPEN BYTES – cave quid dicis, quando, et cui.()

  • Dan

    While Yahoo’s search isn’t sending ad revenue Microsoft’s way _today_, they soon will be, so this is not FUD or trolling. The deal should be closing near the Lucid release time frame.

    The argument that I’m associating with other businesses that contribute to Microsoft’s bottom line isn’t really relevant. I hoped for more from Canonical. At the very least, it seems counterproductive to fixing bug #1. And if I can buy a coffee machine that isn’t running Windows CE, you’d better believe I will.

    Its not that I begrudge Canonical the dollars. I’m certainly with you on that point. I’ve supported them with my money (and my time), and will continue to do so. I’m just gonna do it using Chromium in the future.

    Dan

  • Pingback: On Novell, Ubuntu, Microsoft and Mono | Boycott Novell()

  • i think there should be a stronger opposition to this, and i have repeatedly expressed my opinion on ubuntuforums. which obviously ended up with pro-yahoo deal guys having the last say.

    i will repeat what i said there.

    i had been a windows user for many years, my first introduction to computers was with windows. however i switched OSes 2-3 years back (and to Ubuntu completely a year and a half back) just to be part of the ‘community driven’ open source OSes. i switched mainly because with ubuntu i knew my thoughts, my opinions would be given importance (it being a free OS also contributed). whenever a new release of ubuntu comes out, i feel good, coz i know that i have contributed (even though to a tiny tiny tiny extent to the development of the OS maybe not by developing a program/software but by reporting bugs etc.).

    everyone has already talked about the fact that the community wasnt consulted etc etc. and also the other side that canonical is after all out there to make profit etc etc. well, i think Ubuntu wouldnt be what it is today without the support from canonical, in the same way without the support of the community/developers (most of whom i believe are not canonical employees) i dont think ubuntu could have been this popular/awesome an OS.

    i think all of us agree on the fact that google is the best (okay if not the best, undoubtedly the most popular) search engine out there. and now, canonical, knowingly is asking us to use yahoo as the default search engine. i know i can change the option with just 2 clicks but frankly speaking canonical expects us to use yahoo (that is exactly the reason why they have entered into the deal) knowing that they are asking or lets say expecting users to use an inferior (or a less popular) search engine by default (after all, they wont be able to earn any money if a user didnt use yahoo). erm…i am a bit uncomfy with that. just to make my point clear, i am not at all worried with the 2 clicks change. (it takes many many more clicks for me to even get ubuntu working, for me that is, when i install it afresh. codecs, other softwares i prefer etc etc.) what i am worried about is the fact that now, Ubuntu ‘expects’ us to use a particular search engine for firefox. in other words, Ubuntu, lets say Canonical, (coz clearly it seems as though Ubuntu NOW is more of a product of all the hard work of canonical than of the community) is expecting us to use the OS in a certain way. Erm…forgive me if u think this is silly, but isnt this asking users to use the OS in a particular way the domain of microsoft and apple?

    about consulting the community, i think (or so i thought. seems that i was mistaken) ubuntu is a community driven OS backed by a company called Canonical. now we definitely dont have the right to interfere with the functioning of the company, (eg. we dont have any say if mark shuttleworth steps down as ceo of canonical and appoints someone else, which he did or if canonical ties up with some other company for better distribution of ubuntu) but we do have a right to discuss and debate about the workings of the ubuntu os.

    i thoroughly and absolutely appreciate what mark shuttleworth and canonical have done for ubuntu. as i always say,ubuntu would never have been what it is today without their help. but certainly that doesnt mean, that canonical can enter into a deal with another corporate giant relating to the functioning of the OS (the browser in this case) without consulting or at least having the courtesy to inform the community (which has so strongly supported it so far in all its endeavours) beforehand. i feel hurt that way.

    going mainstream doesnt mean giving up on values (now you might go into the technicality of these values and defeat my point) but retaining them and striving to maintain them. i am willing to put up a pepsi/coca cola wallpaper on my desktop if that brings canonical money, since apparently canonical is SO desperate for financial support.

    i hope and i pray, Ubuntu doesnt lose its values, and the support of its community, something which made it stand out in the first place. for the time being, i am keeping my options open and willing to change distros, to one where values and opinions of users are given more respect, if any such thing happens in the future with ubuntu.

  • @Dan – “While Yahooโ€™s search isnโ€™t sending ad revenue Microsoftโ€™s way _today_, they soon will be, so this is not FUD or trolling.” Who really cares about ad revenue? I thought most people used Ad Words or whatever it is called to block these ads anyways. Plus, 88% of the ad revenue generated by the Yahoo/MS deal goes to Yahoo. MS will only get around 12% of the revenue generated from Bing ads and Bing ads only. As for Yahoo ads, Yahoo will get 100% of those.

    As the counterproductive to fixing bug #1 part, can we please stop wanting to fix this, because we never will. If we do not reach across the lines we will continue to be nothing more than a hobbiest’s OS. For some reason, people think that Linux works in the desktop market, if only that were true.

    @Arnab – “i think there should be a stronger opposition to this, and i have repeatedly expressed my opinion on ubuntuforums. which obviously ended up with pro-yahoo deal guys having the last say.” Wonderful, don’t contribute anything, just raise stronger opposition. That’s what is needed. Wow, we have been imposing strong opposition to Microsoft for nearly 20 years now, where has it gotten us? NOWHERE!

    As for Canonical not consulting the community about this switch, I was in a room over a year ago in Mt. View California with many other community members, when it was told to us that Canonical was looking at using Yahoo as the default engine for revenue. It wasn’t silent operation completely. I do agree that it could have been a bit more vocal, however considering the fact that it was a business agreement between the companies, no much the community could do in this case. And honestly, I could give two shits who is used for the default search engine. I prefer Google and will continue to use Google, though I do use Bing for some things, especially image searches since it blows Google out of the water there.

    You know, this whole anti-microsoft shit was so 10 years ago. Everyone just regurgitates what was said so many years ago, nobody has been independent nor original in anything they have put together with this deal. In many ways it is barbaric, and this constant bickering and wanting to oppose shit in the open source community is getting fucking old.

    If you don’t like the deal Ubuntu made, sorry, switch to another Linux distro. Just beware though, Microsoft has contributed code to the Linux kernel, so maybe you should go to GNU/Hurd, I am sure there is nothing Microsoft related there. You could go to BSD, but I am fairly certain there is code from Apple there. Oh, and if you are opposed to Microsoft, you should be opposed to Apple as well, so please stop using CUPs, seeing as it is developed by Apple.

  • People,

    Canonical is just trying to survive and give you a better product every six months.

    What do you want?

    a: Google as default + Ubuntu

    b: Yahoo as default + Possibly better Ubuntu

    I prefer b.

    You know what I’ll do once Lucid comes out?

    I’ll search everything twice.
    Once with Google for Results.
    and
    Once with Yahoo to raise some money for my beloved developers.
    (I can spare 2 secs with every search…. easily)

    Canonical is not selling out Ubuntu to some shit hole corporate. It’s not that big a deal.

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