Re: [Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid] Move the Minimize, Maximize, Close buttons to the Right.

Mmm, Shuttleworth is really starting to get up my nose …

then you be pleased to know he’s stepping down

Mmm, unfortunately “stepping down” doesn’t equate to “buggering off”, afaik he’s just doing this for political reasons, not because he’s about to become less involved …

Well, he does pay for the whole thing… He’s got to have a say somewhere :wink:

Mmm, when you say he pays for the whole thing … which bits in particular?

The Linux kernel? - “no”
The Gnome desktop? - “no”
The GNU C Libraries? - “no”
Salaries of 99% of the people making contributions - “no”
… !

The Ubuntu branding and packaging - “yes”
Lots of publicity and adverts - “yes”
Salaries of people developing “paid for” components like Ubuntu One, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Misc store - “yes”

… So just to put this into context, if “Ubuntu” did not exist, you can bet your boots it would be replaced very quickly by another distro, funded or unfunded, which would be 99% as good (!)

And let’s not forget how he made his money, is there anyone out there who thinks $600 a year is good value for the cheapest entry level secure certificate?

He’s paid for more development time on the desktop than any other company… there’s a reason that Ubuntu went from unknown to biggest linux distro in use on the desktop in 2 years…

We use debian on our servers, but all our company desktops run Ubuntu… :slight_smile:

He’s paid for more development time on the desktop than any other company…

More than Redhat, Novell, IBM and Oracle ??
(Or indeed Sun, HP and all the other companies who’ve sponsored and Xfree86 over the years?)

They have 200 odd staff spread out over 23 countries … how many are developers?
… on the other hand Oracle moved 5000 developers from Windows machines into Linux machines in 2004 …
(i.e. in context Ubuntu really is small potatoes …)

Most of the desktop improvements you’re seeing generally come out of Redhat and Gnome, not out of Ubuntu. Gnome of course not being directly funded … and if you want to see what sort of Donations Ubuntu are making to the community that basically underwrites their entire product, take a look at; (!)

Ubuntu are annoying me not because they’re not doing a good job, because they are doing a good job (generally) , but because in a number of instances they’re pretending to be something they’re not. The knock-on effects (IMHO) are;

(a) When they tout something as working that isn’t, it will damage the reputation of Linux as a whole
(b) If they tout what they do as their own when it’s based on other people’s work, it diminishes the desire of developers to contribute

Take a look at;
“Ubuntu is an operating system built by a worldwide team of expert developers.”

  • Now, maybe I’m getting old, but I’m pretty sure that Linux is an Operating System and Ubuntu is a Linux distribution
  • “Worldwide team” implies that all the developers involved work together, this is not the case, typically they work in small disjointed teams
  • “expert developers”, I know some of them. Many are geniuses, some are not, certainly not all of them are experts
  • (Oh, and I don’t see the word ‘debian’ mentioned anywhere!)

So every part of their first sentence leading in to “What is Ubuntu” is inaccurate and potentially misleading.

Now, you can see why they’re doing it, they want to look like a convincing alternative to M$ and Windows. A very gallant and worthwhile aspiration, but you don’t go about it by mis-representing what you have - that’s just asking for trouble!

Without the other things that Ubuntu comes with, the Linux kernel is useless… no-one could run their system usefully with just the kernel, you need the other programs it comes with… Linux isn’t the operating system, it’s only the kernel. Ubuntu is the operating system, as Debian is…

Hmm, referring to a standard computer science text;

Operating Systems are primarily resource managers; the main resource they manage is computer hardware in the form of processors, storage, input/output devices, communication devices, and data

Whereas I’m sure one could argue that functions of “an Operating System” extend beyond a pure kernel, the basic intent of the term is to describe functions essentially managed and provided by the kernel. Software such as Firefox, OpenOffice, Evolution etc have always been called Applications, historically an Applications is something that ran on an Operating System, so surely something that includes both cannot therefore be called one or the other?

To be pedantic I would agree that Linux is not a “complete” Operating System in it’s own right as it needs other libraries in order to operate and provide a basic user interface (libc, bash etc …). So it would seem 100% accurate to say that Ubuntu includes the Linux Operating system (hence the term ‘distribution’), but to say it “is” an Operating System in it’s own right just seems to make a nonsense of the term.

“Redhat” refer to their product as a ‘platform’.

“SUSE” also refer to their product as a ‘platform’.

“Oracle” as far as I can see seem very careful not to refer to the term Operating System at all.

“Mandriva” also call their product a ‘platform’.

“Debian” are quite interesting in that their own definition is self contradicting.

"Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. Debian uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux.

Debian GNU/Linux provides more than a pure OS: it comes with over 25000 packages, precompiled software bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine. This operating system that we have created is called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short."

… so how can something that is “more” than an Operating System, be an Operating System ???
… also maybe a bit pretentious as essentially what they’ve done is configure other people’s software and glue it together, I’m not sure create is necessarily the most accurate terminology …

Sorry Mad Penguin, but doesn’t your argument here prove my point about OSX not being based on BSD? … as I’m fairly sure the OS in OSX stands for operating system, and therefore using your argument means the kernel, and not the included tools.

BTW… I’ve split this from the original topic and moved it here, as it had become off topic and was WAY outside the ‘Tips & Tricks’ forum.

doesn’t your argument here prove my point about OSX not being based on BSD

Urm, I don’t see the connection?

Firstly, if I stick the letters “OS” on the back of my car, does this make it an Operating System?
(or should we refer to the textbook definition for the term?)

  • It really comes down to which parts of what Apple supply they classify as “OSX” … is “all” the software that comes on an Apple computer a part of the Operating System? obviously not, some is Application software. So if they are referring to all this software as being a part of OSX, having the OS stand for “Operating System” is technically inaccurate.

Secondly, there are many people who think Linux distributions should be called “GNU distributions” with a Linux Kernel.

  • I wouldn’t disagree with them, but “Linux” has become a well-known term … as per my previous point re; Ubuntu, a number of GNU contributers have become disenfranchised as they see their work being attributed to “Linux”, when they’re not even a part of the Linux project and in a number of instances, run entirely on different OS’s… like BSD for example (!)


if Apple suddenly ripped the Mach kernel out of OSX and inserted a Linux kernel, would you say that OSX was based on FreeBSD, or Linux?

Better analogy;

If you had a Lotus Elise parked on your drive, and you ripped out the engine and replaced it with the engine from a Honda civic … what would would you call the car parked on the drive?

As it has historically been called Mac OS (n) until version 10, I think it would be safe to assume OSX stands for Mac OS (operating system) X (ten) although I must admit I can find no ‘direct’ reference to this from Apple themselves.

So if the OS stands for ‘Operating System’, and -

"Operating Systems are primarily resource managers; the main resource they manage is computer hardware in the form of processors, storage, input/output devices, communication devices, and data"
then surely it's referring to the kernel... although this in itself would probably be incorrect as I doubt if the Mach kernel is at version 10.

I still think it’s a semantic issue.

I agree with your point that OSX is a ‘Platform’ and not just an OS, and that the platform ‘as a whole’ does borrow/steal a LOT from BSD.

But still, when someone says a distribution (GNU/Linux) is ‘based’ on Linux, they are talking about the kernel and not the supplied tools, so it follows that OSX is ‘based’ on Mach, and not the BSD tools.

I suppose the correct name should be ‘Apple BSD/OPENSTEP/NeXTSTEP/Mach X’ but what’s the chances of that :slight_smile:

Apple BONM-X… anyone? :slight_smile:

Or maybe more correctly… the OS in OSX ‘should’ stand for ‘Open Source (d)’ :slight_smile:


if Apple suddenly ripped the Mach kernel out of OSX and inserted a Linux kernel, would you say that OSX was based on FreeBSD, or Linux?

Answer: Correctly or incorrectly I’d probably say it was Linux based, find it VERY funny, and enjoy bashing Apple heads with it… but you’re probably asking the wrong person :wink:

And I’d call the car a ‘Hontus’, as per the old Motorcycle naming convention… Triton… Triumph (T100) engine, Norton (Featherbed) frame. :wink:

So if the OS stands for ‘Operating System’

I would agree, Apple probably intend(ed) the OS to == “Operating System”.
Question : does the fact that Apple intended this mean that the term Operating System correctly describes what they supply? As you agree it’s a platform and not just an OS, the answer has to be that Apple terminology is erroneous.

then surely it’s referring to the kernel

If we’re talking about the Mac OSX operating system then yes, it is based on the Mach kernel and would essentially make it based on the Mach Operating system. However … we were talking about “Mac OSX” which as we’ve established above, is not an Operating System but a platform which incorporates a lot of software, of which the Operating System forms only a small component.

I still think it’s a semantic issue.

It is, but blurring the lines between terminologies diminishes the value of each terminology. If the term “Operating System” can refer to all software you get on an Ubuntu install CD, the term “Operating System” becomes worthless and people no longer have a discrete quantity to describe or understand. As with the “1k” issue, it’s a technical dumbing down of IT terminology by / for marketing people.

But still, when someone says a distribution (GNU/Linux) is ‘based’ on Linux

It can be argued many ways … I tend to prefer the perception approach … although you might call it a Hontus, if I’d just flogged you the car without telling you the engine had been swapped, you’d be calling it a Lotus. Similarly, if you let someone use FreeBSD, then gave them a Mac without Apple’s UI mods, they’d be calling it FreeBSD … not “Mach” …

Answer: Correctly or incorrectly I’d probably say it was Linux based

If nobody had told you the swap had taken place, how would you know to call it Linux?
My point being, Linux is not the part of the system people see … now I know that on occasion Cars are named after their engines (Cosworth for example) but generally speaking the name is more of a visual or conceptual thing … most motorists rarely (if ever) see the engine in their car and really don’t want to know about it so long as it runs …

as per the old Motorcycle naming convention.

And there’s the difference, if you chop a bike, you can see all the parts ! :wink:

Given the ‘major’ vendors seem not call their products a “Linux Operating System” , and Debian (and Fedora) do, there’s obviously not a global consensus on terminology. If you look at the textbook definition, it’s fairly clear (IMHO) what the term Operating System was intended to mean and it wasn’t intended to cover software such as Mail programs and Web browsers.

What I find concerning is that (IMHO) Ubuntu (and others) are hijacking established terminology and using it for their own ends.

This forms part of the apparent Ubuntu mentality that’s rubbing me up the wrong way, whereas Debian are actually crediting GNU/Linux, if you look at the Ubuntu site, the impression they give is that it’s a system “they” have come up with, rather than being a collection of other people’s software … on their front page there is no mention of either Linux OR GNU…

Talk about not giving credit … (!)

All true, but when I talked about semantics I meant that the problem lies in peoples perception of the word ‘BASED’… I could be wrong, but I haven’t been able to find a ‘definitive’ description of how this word should be applied to computer terminology.

So without this word having a definitive meaning… It’s all semantics, and can mean different things to different people… so is irrelevant terminology from the get-go .

I ‘still’ contend that ‘most’ people who are aware of a kernel at all, would ‘consider’ it to be the BASE of an OS.

Now I’m not saying they would be correct, I’m saying the question cannot ‘be’ correctly answered, and so “OSX is based on BSD” is an incorrect statement by inference… It depends on who you are asking.

I fully agree with everything else, in particular the GNU/Linux naming convention.

Mmm, Ok … much of the GNU stuff grew up around Linux, so I can see a very strong case for saying an OS built from the Linux Kernel and the GNU toolchain is ‘based’ on Linux. However, the BSD tools will have developed around a BSD kernel and the Mach kernel parachuted in at a later date … so you could say that although the systems ‘runs’ on a Mach kernel, the OS as a whole is actually ‘based’ on the BSD kernel … (??)

Without checking definitions for based, I would take it in the context of a building block. If an OS is built [designed/developed/written] around a kernel, then I would say it is ‘based’ on that kernel. If you build a system, then replace a core component at a later date, I’m not sure I see the logic in then saying that such a system is ‘based’ on the replaced component … ?

Remember the target audience for ubuntu, and the read write web / facebook lesson. Getting users to understand the term ‘operating system’ is enough of a struggle, let alone trying to get them to understand the concept of a ‘kernel’.

Ubuntu is designed for the masses, and the website and terminology usage reflects that.

Personally, I’m not convinced, I think that a distro is a distinct operating system. Yes, the Linux kernel is a part of that, but without all the other programs, it is as much use as a wet blanket. By your logic, we should call it GNU/Linux/Xserver/Gnome…

Or (!) they could call it what it’s been called since 1991, which is a Linux distribution … or (!) they could adopt the terminology the big boys seem to have chosen and go with platform. Both of which seem more technically accurate than Operating System …

I guess it would have to be the latter as they seem to be trying to avoid using the term Linux

If I put a Linux kernel, bash and busybox on a CD or USB key such that you can insert it into a PC and boot it up to a working ‘shell’ - is this an Operating System ?

According to textbook definitions - yes.

If I then add 1G of software, we then propose to still call it an Operating System … even tho’ it’s a huge package that contains an Operating System … ?!

Back to the car analogies;

If I buy a Car with a Caravan attached to the back (as a ‘package’), I would not propose to call the package a “Car”, I would propose to call it a package containing a Car and a Caravan as there are two clearly defined entities within the package. Choosing the name of one entity to describe the entire package firstly misrepresents the contents of the package, and secondly belittles the value or significance of the second entity.

By your logic, we should call it GNU/Linux/Xserver/Gnome...

Well, no … how many packages do you see out there that take their name from the sum of their components? Typically people choose a package name to which either reflects a brand or somehow represents the package contents. This name might contain a reference to one or more components, but to name the entire package after ONE component seems akin to going out to buy a car and asking for a 1200cc engine!