Canonical answers Ubuntu phone critics

Canonical answers Ubuntu phone critics

Summary: Not everyone thinks Canonical can create a unified Ubuntu for PCs, smartphones, tablets and TVs. But Mark Shuttleworth has an answer for them.


Most Linux fans like Canonical's plans for a unified Ubuntu for PCs, smartphones, TVs, and tablets. Some, however, such as Aaron Seigo, a leading KDE developer, have doubts about this claim.

Critics say Canonical can't deliver a universal Ubuntu, Canonical says they can.

Seigo, while thinking that the "Ubuntu Phone [is] a great thing to see,  worries that Canonical can't deliver the universal Ubuntu goods. On Google+, Seigo wrote, "Canonical's claim is a hollow one.... Unity [Ubuntu's default interface] currently does not use QML at all; Ubuntu Phone is pure QML. So, no, it is not the same code, it is not the sort of seamless cross-device technology bridge that they are purporting."

Seigo continued, "Making unfounded claims in this manner is, IMHO, ethically weak. But what is really disappointing here is that the Free software community is being told a fairy tale in hopes that they will believe it and as a result support Canonical.... under what amounts to false pretenses." And, thus those who support it, Seigo said, are "being duped."

Needless to say, arguments quickly developed about how "real" Ubuntu's attempts to develop a common Linux distribution were. Seigo maintained  that Canonical is in the wrong because, "Right now Canonical is stating things which they are currently not able to provide."

I asked Canonical for their take and Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu's founder, replied, "By the time the work is complete, one Ubuntu codebase will deliver all four experiences: the desktop, the phone, the tablet and the TV. And one application binary will be able to do the same. It's not complicated; there's no point in splitting hairs over the semantics"

Jono Bacon, Ubuntu's community manager, added, "I agree with Mark; I think the vision is pretty clear, and I am not sure getting into a he-said-she-said debate on G+ is the best step forward. I would instead invite Aaron's participation in our development community to discuss the implementation of this vision."

Me? I always assumed that Canonical was proposing a goal and not claiming that they'd already reached their destination, or even that they were almost there. Let's just see how well Ubuntu can keep its promises. After all, the Ubuntu smartphone developer preview arrives soon and then we can start deciding who, if anyone, Canonical is "duping."

Related Stories:

Topics: Smartphones, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software Development, Tablets, Ubuntu, PCs

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Time will tell - Time will tell - Time will tell

    My money is on Canonical and Shuttleworth to deliver a high quality product at a fair price.
    Over and Out
    • Agree

      I totally concur. Canonical has proved time and time again that they deliver on their promises.
      Sebastian Tristan
  • Canonical answers Ubuntu phone critics

    You can't take Mark Shuttleworth seriously on anything related to Canonical. Remember he quit his job as CEO a few years ago. He saw the writing on the wall. Lets call this ubuntu on the phone what it really is, just a hobby project that won't get any backing. You should have asked him how hot the phone gets when its trying to compile the kernel. Or how to reset the phone when the kernel panics. Ask him if they still leave the telnet port open. Too many security risks with this idea and you still have to put up with the same problems as you do with any other linux. Not worth the time or effort.
    • Shhhhhh - Shhhhhh Loverock-Davidson back under your bridge

      where all trolls belong and while your at it go compile your wingie dingie for awhile ....that will take some pressure off your mind set. Poor Lovie will anything ever help him.
      Over and Out
    • being told a fairy tale in hopes that ........

      Thank You! I'm not buying into his fairy tale propaganda psycho babble dictating Australian crap. Its going nowhere other than whats left of the loyal followers that remain. Opps.... did i just say that?......LOL
    • Herp-a-derp

      Which backwater, reject, bottom the barrel, troll bridge did you squirm out of. In what universe does Ubuntu have a TELNET server installed by default??? Why would you want to compile a kernel on a phone in the first place? You can use Canonical's ARM cluster to do that if you have to. I have been using Ubuntu for 9 years and NEVER ONCE had a kernel panic which was not due to faulty hardware. I can't even remember the last time I had a kernel panic. Shuttleworth stepped down as CEO so that someone else could take over that part of the business so Mark could focus full time on the platform itself, design and marketing wise. (quit, lol, saw the writing on the wall, rofl, hence he still heavily invests his own money in it without making a profit yet. The R&D is definitely paying off with all this slick goodness coming out lately.)

      Please don't use linux, we don't want your kind in our community
  • I am certain

    that it is entirely possible for Canonical to do. However, when they forced Unity on the people who have used Ubuntu for years, many of us were not (still are not) happy with it. So in the future will they be forcing anything else on Ubuntu users that they are not going to be happy about? That is the reason I now use Linux Mint Cinnamon on my PC with on-board Radeon video (and PC-BSD on my Dell with a Nvidia card).
    • I hope not

      I'm getting tired of playing the UI musical chairs game.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Yeah, at first I have my doubts about Unity

        But now I can see where Conical is going with it. Unity will work for touch devices and with a keyboard and mouse very well. It seems to be better thought out than Metro, mostly due to the way Metro was implemented (as though every device was suddenly a touch device). As long as conical does not really mess up the laptop touch-pad experience they can avoid a lot of user grief that seems to be a problem for new Metro users.
    • Forced?

      What leads you to accuse Canonical of *forcing* you to use Unity? Just install kubuntu-desktop, or lxde, or cinnamon (from ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable), or any other desktop flavor you prefer.

      Look, choice!!!

      This isn't Windows 8...
  • It's an interesting concept

    But I doubt it will go anywhere. Shutty hasnt been able to get any substantial interest in or profits from Ubuntu and has never launched a hardware device for consumers.

    Sure it's kinda cool to have a full linux experience on a phone and then use it as a desktop, but that's their only unique feature. Why choose Ubuntu over Android or iPhone? There's no really good reason.

    If BB and MS are having troubles, then Ubuntu has an even longer shot of succeeding. (Success being defined as being number 3 in smartphone marketshare.)
    • Open Source Projects have inertia

      Otaddy, I think you bring up some really interesting points and I agree with most of what you said. However, open source projects have a kind of inertia that no other type of software has, and as long as there are people who love linux on the desktop, I think Ubuntu phone & tablet will thrive. If not in marketshare, then on the devices of geeks who love open source. I have never owned a smart device because I am not big on content consumption. But if I can have the same kind of freedom as I have on my laptop, I would consider getting an ubuntu tablet.
  • If they pull it off, we could see a third player in the smartphone market

    So far, the smartphone market is basically Android versus Apple, with MS and RIM basically being ignorable.

    If the Ubuntu phone has a pretty open platform for developers then it could really take off and we could have a three way race.
    • What I like is the approach Conical

      is taking to make it easy for the developers. I think it says a lot to keep the devs interested and give them good guidelines and dev tools.
  • Tablets with Ubuntu also

    Soon, tablets running Ubuntu. Linux is poised for being a dominant OS.
    D.J. 43
  • For your entertainment folks, the comedy team of Shuttleworth and Bacon.

    "Making unfounded claims in this manner is, IMHO, ethically weak. But what is really disappointing here is that the Free software community is being told a fairy tale in hopes that they will believe it and as a result support Canonical.... under what amounts to false pretenses." And, thus those who support it, Seigo said, are "being duped."

    Not just the FOSS community, but Wall Street and any other of the larger base of general population--via the media--who REALLY don't know that they're having sand shovelled up their butts by Shuttleworth's technobabble, and are not aware of Shuttleworth's non-existent track record of delivering on his promises.

    "Jono Bacon, Ubuntu's community manager, added, "I agree with Mark; I think the vision is pretty clear..."
    Well, DUUHHH! Really?! Well sir, now I feel aallll better. Gee, thanks!
    And by the way, Bacon, don't look now, but your duplicity is showing: no one has ever had any doubts about THE VISION. It's your record of DELIVERING and making grandiose claims that are the problems.

    I heard about THE UBUNTU TV for about a solid year. Can't find it on the shelves. Hmmmm...
    • Where's your help?

      Maybe you could supply much the funds then?
    • They have a solid record on the desktop, give them time

      Siego has some valid points, the code is not developed to the point where the product is ready for market, at least not the code that is released to the public, but it will come. It took linux the better part of twenty years to get where it is today, give them time to deliver, at least give them till thursday when they are set to release nexus 7 images of ubuntu tablet.
    • Re: "For your entertainment...

      Well, it works for Microsoft -- why put Canonical down for lesser sins?

      After all, the crowd here loves MS despite all the fairy-tales and bad ethics.

      I'm not exactly an Ubuntu fan, but going by their track records -- if Microsoft gets a pass, then sure as heck, Canonical should *more* than deserve one, too.

      The only reason I keep either Windows (XP, Windows 7) or Ubuntu (10.04, 12.04) on any of my boxes, is to help me support my friends. And though admittedly Windows 7 isn't nearly as much hassle as previous versions were, I find Ubuntu is still definitely the more reliable OS.

      So I'm willing to wait and see. I figure the odds for Canonical roadmaps are better than the odds for typical Microsoft vaporware.
  • It warms the cockles of my heart see at least two of Mr. Shuttleworth's cult members refer to his organization as "Conical". Sorry, folks. FYI, that name is "Comical".