Subject: Re: small worlds and better than ransom
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2007 17:41:15 +0900

Thomas Lord writes:

 > I think they shot themselves in the foot by winding up with almost
 > 100% of a much smaller pie.  They just didn't "get" open source.

I dunno.  I don't see much evidence that Ubuntu is as much about open
source as it is about GNU/Linux for ex-Windows users.  I think
"getting" open source is mostly orthogonal to what they are about,
based on what I can see of their behavior (which admittedly isn't much).

As for foot-shooting, well, maybe.  If their long range goals really
include improving open source development or taking advantage of
advanced revision control in some innovative way, yes.  But based on
what I saw, they don't see themselves as a revision control vendor,
ever.  Sure, you can download bzr off their site, but this was
development on the Apache model: grab some open source and patch it up
until it meets your needs.  At that point you put it up for grabs.

Why Apache succeeded as an open source project after that isn't the
point.  My point is that the original Apache developers didn't think
of themselves as the "A" in LAMP, they just wanted a reliable
webserver.  I think that's the same at Canonical: they didn't see
themselves as leading the way to a more reliable world through
revision control, they needed a better tool than CVS, and Arch was
it.  Once they had that, they didn't have much desire to follow
through with slaying the dragons of Perforce and Bitkeeper.

 > They acted like they had to kill the GNU project to survive, and
 > that's (with all due respect to Andy) just what they did.

I suppose the bazaar crew had a lot to do with the current state of
the GNU Arch project, but it was more a matter of directing their
efforts elsewhere, an elsewhere that directly competed with GNU Arch
in a lot of ways.  Not trying to kill the GNU Arch project.

Surely you can't expect *me* to have anything but sympathy for an
open-source-based commercial project with short-term business goals
that led to a bitter fork because the upstream leader wasn't taking
the upstream project in the direction of satisfying their perceived
needs any time soon.