Unity? (was: What's your favorite distro, and why?)

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Mon Dec 16 09:24:30 MST 2013

On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 5:20 AM, Dan Egli <ddavidegli at gmail.com> wrote:

>> Google does the same thing as Ubuntu with Android. A lot of us geeks
> Well yea, but Android is a bit different. First, they tell anyone who's
> curious that Android is based on Linux. And that's the point. It's _based
> on_ Linux. It's stated. People may not really care that much, but it is
> there. Google isn't trying to hide it, they just don't go to great pains to
> make it known either. I don't have a problem with that. We're all guilty of
> that from time to time. I've lost track of how often I'll say things like
> "Well I will stick with my trusted Gentoo setup". That's easy when the
> whole discussion was about Linux to start. But if it wasn't, but was more
> just about operating systems in general, then I really should say "Gentoo
> Linux" or something along those lines. But I'm not actively trying to hide
> the Linux portion either. That sounds to me like what Canonical is trying
> to do. Perhaps I'm interpreting it wrong. But it sounds like they're trying
> to convince those who don't look that closely that Ubuntu is a Unix like
> O/S, but NOT Linux.

Hello, double standard! Seems to me you just dislike what Canonical
has done with Ubuntu and are rationalizing your dislike.  You have
completely invented this story about what Canonical 'seems to be'
doing with Ubuntu.  A brief perusal of the Ubuntu home page makes it
clear that Ubuntu is built on Linux and Open Source software.  I will
guarantee it's harder to find 'Linux' on Android.com than Ubuntu.com,
yet you've rationalized to yourself that Google is making it plain
that it's based on Linux, while Ubuntu is hiding the fact.  This is
*completely* contrary to the evidence.

>> Even Gnome has set out to become its own OS (google for Gnome OS) brand
>> even as it becomes a project tied tightly to the Linux kernel.
> Now that just crazy. Are you saying that Gnome is basically working to
> become it's own distro (naming aside)? Thanks but no thanks. I never really
> cared for Gnome as a window interface. Having a whole distro based on it
> would be painful for me. I'm sure others will go for it, but that's one for
> me to mark on my "Must Avoid" list. :(

Hilarious.  What, exactly, is the difference between some random
distro that has Gnome integrated into it and a random distro that
Gnome maintains and integrates its software with?  Why is something
suddenly so distasteful when it has 'OS' tacked on the name and some
Gnome volunteers are doing it instead of some random volunteers under
some distro name?  This is the whole point of Open Source software.
If you have a vision for the way things should go, and you supply the
manpower to make it happen, then you *can* make it happen!  If someone
else disagrees and offers the manpower to make their vision happen,
then *they* can make it happen as well!  At the same time!  And
individuals can choose which one they like!  What a concept.

>> I may not agree with the Gnome team in any way, but I do see more and
>> more that the operating system itself is irrelevant to most people and
>> most tasks. It's just a small part of the platform and services that
>> people really care about.
> Yea, this is true. I'm starting to see that myself. I don't particularly
> LIKE it, given how hard I've been evangelizing Linux all through the years.
> But still, I suppose it what's going to happen. Maybe I can keep MS bashing
> at least, trying to convince others that running a closed source OS like
> Windows is a bad idea. Of course it probably won't be THAT much longer at
> the rate we're going before everything is cloud based, and we're all using
> something like Chrome OS to boot our machines and run programs that are
> entirely contained on the web, to edit files entirely contained on the web.
> I really shudder at this idea, but it seems to be gaining traction. A lot
> of programs that used to be on the computer itself are either only on the
> web, or have web counterparts.

See, here's your problem.  You have turned 'Linux' into religion and
elevated the kernel into some holy thing above all the other bits of
the software that you use on a daily basis.  You apparently care more
about branding and project goals than what anyone is actually
contributing.  You are raging about things that, frankly, you haven't
bothered to understand beyond the very surface appearance.

Linux is a pretty nice implementation of a fairly standardized kernel
API.  It's very useful, and it's offered knowingly via a very
permissive license, and the people who use it in their own operating
system projects tend to contribute a lot more to it than the people
who go around spouting off on mailing lists and getting bent out of
shape over the names of things.  Canonical has done and still does a
lot more for Linux-the-kernel than most of the people who whine about
Ubuntu have ever done.  No one's twisting your arm and making you use
Ubuntu if you don't like it.

>> If you want to take the source code to an old MUD, you are free to
>> change the name so that the original name isn't mentioned, provided you
>> abide by the terms of the source code license. It's a time-honored open
>> source and free software tradition called "forking".
>> I believe you may have heard of a little piece of software called
>> "LibreOffice." Or a maybe a little software project called "X.org" Or a
>> minor operating system called "OS X."
> I do see your point, but perhaps my understanding is incomplete on that. My
> understanding of forking was that you could change the name everywhere, but
> you still needed to say somewhere (even if it's just buried in the user
> docs) that this is "Based on <project X>" until you had changed at least
> 10% of the source code. My point was the idea that I took the source code,
> and the ONLY thing I changed was the name. Since that name is stored in
> perhaps four or five files of the entire mud library (which routinely gets
> over 300 files) that's less than a .001% change of the overall source code.
> At that point what was always done was to say "Library X, based on library
> Y", i.e. "Running PowerMudlib 0.5, based on TMI 2.4.1". THAT was considered
> acceptable. But just saying "Running PowerMudlib 0.5" itself wasn't unless
> you had changed that requisite 10% of the code. This was my point. :)

Your understanding is almost entirely incorrect.  Acceptable naming
conventions for a fork are not codified anywhere, and they tend to
vary based on the maintainers of the code.  RedHat, for example,
allows CentOS to basically distribute their Enterprise Linux distro in
such a way that the name is practically the *only* thing that is
changed, and they specifically disallow use of the RedHat name.  This
is a good thing for both RedHat and CentOS, overall, and the only
people getting upset about it are 'evangelists' that have taken upon
themselves the cause.  They ought to knock it off, because they're not
doing anyone any favors.


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