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Why I don’t like Canonical

Filed under
Ubuntu

So, I’ve just been (implicitly) quoted bashing the Mark Shuttleworth / Canonical business model. (The rating on my ZDnet post is a stunning -21 as I write - my most negatively rated comment anywhere ever - but, strangely enough, no-one’s replied to refute my argument). I thought it was worth expanding my point from my own tiny pulpit.

I’ve written before about what I think about Ubuntu. It’s a good distribution. It does a lot of stuff right. Around 2004 it was better than MDK / MDV in many ways. I don’t think it was ever better in every way, and I think MDV is a better product now, but that’s by the by. This is about Canonical, and Mr. Shuttleworth.

First, the facts: Canonical is a privately-held company. It has no external shareholders and is not listed on any stock exchange. This means it has no legal obligation to provide any information to the public about its assets, liabilities, revenues, costs, or anything at all along those lines. The only information we have is what is volunteered by Canonical staff in interviews and so forth.

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today's leftovers

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    So, you've got a fine head-mounted display and want to explore the delights of virtual reality. Right now, on Linux, that means getting the window system to cooperate because the window system is the DRM master and holds sole access to all display resources. So, you plug in your device, play with RandR to get it displaying bits from the window system and then carefully configure your VR application to use the whole monitor area and hope that the desktop will actually grant you the boon of page flipping so that you will get reasonable performance and maybe not even experience tearing. Results so far have been mixed, and depend on a lot of pieces working in ways that aren't exactly how they were designed to work.
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