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Bruce Perens on UserLinux and Ubuntu 212

SDenmark writes "Ever wondered what happened to UserLinux, and how it's faring now that Ubuntu has stolen the spotlight? Linux Format has an interview with Bruce Perens, founder of UserLinux, the Open Source Initiative and Linux Standard Base. Perens discusses the impact of Ubuntu, how industry bodies are helping open source and why figureheads are important for the Free Software community."
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Bruce Perens on UserLinux and Ubuntu

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  • Money talks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smokeslikeapoet ( 598750 ) <> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:22AM (#15105492) Homepage Journal
    Ubuntu has a huge bankroll behind it. It's great, I use it. But the bankroll helps.
  • Re:Money talks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:49AM (#15105674) Journal
    latest version has PAM older than .79 and the latest is .99, the default GCC installed (GCC 4.0) from the default debian repositories cannot build executables, /etc/security/console.perms is missing, /etc/ is missing

    Odd. My Ubuntu didn't have any build tools installed by default. But when I installed then ("apt-get install build-essentials" or somesuch) they all worked without problem. /etc/ was missing, but I simply created a text file with a dir I wanted to include and nothing bad happened.

    The thing is... if you care about those files, then maybe Ubuntu is not really the distro for you. If you want to remain debian-based (my reason to choose Ubuntu), try Mepis or Knoppix. Otherwise, your choice of Fedora Core 5 is probably right for you (haven't tried it, but FC2, 3 and 4 work great for me in production environments).
  • by Itsacon ( 967006 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:52AM (#15105700) Homepage
    I still think it's funny how there's a new `Holy War' between Linux distros every few months.
    `Back in the day' when I had my first experience with Linux, you had the Red Hat Camp vs the SuSe Camp. (Real hackers used Slackware then, btw).
    Then Red hat became the evil empire, people started yelling `Debian' at each other, while SuSe became something you didn't talk about.
    Around then Mandrake finally made a proper installer (albeit a very limited one if you knew what you wanted) and raked in Windows users by the dozen.
    Then that position was attacked by Lindows(C), which was so effective it got in trouble with Redmond itself.
    In the meantime, Red Hat looked out of the Windows (pun inteded) and started to make some money. So they started Fedora to keep the free code coming (and stay somewhat compliant to the GNU GPL). And Debian went out of the picture again.

    Now I'm hearing Ubuntu on all sides (still sounds like an African dictator to me, but whatever), while my work PC suddenly runs CentOS (where did that one come from?).

    UserLinux? Never heard of it either, so must have been a pretty weak spotlight in the first place...

    Wonder what the next `Must-have-distro' will be.

    I'll make the switch when they stick to one for more than a year, until then, I'll use Windows and BSD.

    Just my $0.02...
  • Re:Money talks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:55AM (#15105713) Homepage
    Ubuntu also has newbie love.

    i have tried over the years to convert many loved ones and friends to linux. It failed because of the "hard" factor.

    Every single one of them LOVE Ubuntu and will not switch back to windows. Why? installing new software is brain dead easy... Far easier than windows and MAC os has ever been, plus they all do not care about running brand name apps but simply something that works.

    The biggest thing they all love, no viruses and no spyware.
  • Re:UserLinux (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:23AM (#15105955)
    It's a Bruce Perens vanity project that didn't take off. It didn't cause the desired effect which was a giant Bruce Perens masturbation fest. Bruce is a publicity whore who has been skating on accomplishments of a long long time ago, he would very much like you to buy him a fast new car that you can give him blow jobs in. Enjoy.
  • Re:Money talks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by towsonu2003 ( 928663 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:28AM (#15105995)
    the default GCC installed (GCC 4.0) from the default debian repositories cannot build executables, /etc/security/console.perms is missing, /etc/ is missing
    stop whining and start filing bugs!
  • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:33AM (#15106023) Homepage
    There's a nice little excerpt in the article, in bold, that says this --
    "I don't believe that Linux distributions are a natural fit for the enterprise."
    ... which seems a strange statement for Bruce to be making. But then I read the article, and see that what he really said is this --
    BP: I actually considered going to work with Canonical when Mark [Shuttleworth] was starting it, and there were a couple of problems with that. I think that Mark is eventually interested in having a successful and profitable company, and I don't believe that Linux distributions are a natural fit for for- profit enterprise. Indeed, if you go on my website I have a very long paper on the economics of open source, and one of the things that you can derive from that is the fact that open source works almost worst for a for-profit Linux distribution.
    Which isn't completely clear, but it seems that Bruce is saying that making a Linux distribution is not a good way to make money. The excerpt that they took makes it sound he's saying that Linux isn't good to use in a business. (And it's made worse in that they edited his words -- they took out `for-profit', which helped qualify his statement a bit.)

    In any event, the writer should consider himself chastized. Excerpts like that are only useful if they give you an idea of what the article is about, and in this case it says (when taken out of context and then edited) something totally different than what the person who said those words meant.

  • by TDO48 ( 248810 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:37AM (#15106060)
    I like your comment... actually happends with sooo many open source software: instead of having a quick description of 2-3 lines on the main page that explains the project, we usually find some news/revision history/CVS update or some general blurb saying something about free, hosting, etc.

    Somehow in science we learn to convey the key message of an article in its abstract... but apparently in OSS sometimes this is not the case. And without clear description of what is the stuff about, well... unless you've time to loose...

    Of course having the news or revision history on the front page is certainly interesting for those guys who know what is the project about, but in this case we might also argue that they could link to and leave the general description on the main page for the casual visitors.

  • by blueZ3 ( 744446 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @11:49AM (#15106164) Homepage
    I've installed Ubuntu three times now to see if I could get Windows off the one non-gaming machine left in my house that's still running it. So far, no luck. Several problems I've been able to solve myself, but there were a couple of glaring issues that made me think I wouldn't install Ubuntu on a machine for a noob.

    First, the support for USB devices is spotty. I've got four or five different USB tools that I regularly use (WiFi, Bluetooth, Card reader, USB key, etc.) and only the USB key was recognized right off. Since Ubuntu relies on network connectivity for getting drivers, I had to go through the annoying process of finding a USB WiFi driver on my PowerBook and then moving it over. Not good. You'd think that an OS that practially requires a network connection to be useful would provide the widest possible array of network device drivers, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    The most egregious error, though, was the hardware device database tool. Tabbing through the controls on the dialog boxes allows you to edit the dialog box text. Just as an info point: you shouldn't be able to edit the interface text in a modal dialog box. That's a Bad Thing®. Worse, could someone explain why you can't use the keyboard to select options in the mouse dialog? How exactly am I supposed to tell you I'm having trouble with my serial mouse if I have to use a mouse to select an option other than "works fine"? Sigh.

    I really want to like Ubuntu. I have an install at work that I use when I want to fiddle around with Unix text files in an easy way. But I don't think it's to the point where I could give someone a CD and tell them "have fun". Too bad, because I have some less tech-savvy folks I would love to help.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears