I wouldn’t normally write about this kind of move, but I’m in a position where I feel I have to. A little over a year ago I made a decision to move from Fedora to Ubuntu, it wasn’t a decision that was easy after all I have been using Fedora since its first release, and Red Hat since around version 5. Needless to say I was (and still am at heart) a die hard Red Hat fan. There seemed at the time to be a draw to Ubuntu, I was feeling a buzz around the community there that I wasn’t really seeing with Fedora (although I don’t think I was looking), a lot was going on around the Unity project – whether good or bad, it was still going on. So I jumped right in, installing the latest release 11.10 I think it was, joined the forums/wiki/launchpad etc and started filing bugs and generally making a nuisance of myself.
All was good, I really felt like I was a part of something, even went as far as installing the latest test release (as I still am) and it really is a great distro. Unity took me a bit of convincing, but how most things just integrated was brilliant. I even gave a small donation when they asked.
So what went wrong? Well around a year later, I’m still running the latest testing release and still like the distro as a whole. Unity has broken (something in my profile) so I’ve reverted back to Gnome 3 which I’m quite happy with, but thats not the issue. The issue can probably only be described as politics and game playing. Now the Amazon thing didn’t really bother me too much, I kind of understand the reasoning behind that (besides, I uninstalled it) the donations thing was probably an unfortunate mistake. What isn’t a mistake however is taking people for a ride, both community members and the gen-pop.
So lets look at the madness behind Mir, a while ago it was announced that Wayland was to be integrated into a future release of Ubuntu, yet recently it was announced that they would be using their own product MIR. Did the Ubuntu community know about this? It seems not, but yet they have been working on it for over 8 months. Not community spirited if you ask me. I can kind of understand where they are going with Mir, so they can use it across all the devices they want to take over, but still… I just dislike the fact they have done wonderful things for Linux in bringing it to the masses, then deviate from the whole ethos of open source.
Another thing which disappoints me is the whole hoohar around the devices thing, showing what can only be described as a skin for Android really at large conferences just really proves who/where they are trying to be. If only they would stop with the big WOW factor announcements which don’t really have any substance and push for better software in the community, perhaps adopting a business model similar to Red Hat as it seems to have done OK for them.
On a more positive note, I’m quite glad to go back to Fedora, things are looking fantastic there and upstream which is where my heart truely lies!