Friday, December 11, 2009

Is Canonical Trying to Purge Ubuntu of the L-word?

I don't think much of revisionist history, and biting the hand that feeds isn't an endearing trait.

Visiting the Ubuntu site today after a while, I was unpleasantly surprised that I couldn't see the word "Linux" anywhere. After trawling the site exhaustively, I did find two or three references, and I leave it as an exercise for the reader to find more. Warning: You'll have to search really hard.

Under "What is Ubuntu?", the site says, "Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers".

What's up, guys? Does it hurt a lot to use the phrase "based on Linux" somewhere in that sentence?

Canonical and Ubuntu, great as their contributions have been, would be nowhere without Linux, especially the Debian distribution. So why not acknowledge that debt? Why try to pass Ubuntu off to newbies as a completely original operating system with no ties to Linux?

On the same page, right at the bottom, there's a section titled "What does Ubuntu mean?" and it goes on to explain, "Ubuntu is an African word meaning 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are'."

How apt. Dear Canonical, why not show some Ubuntu (humanity to others) and acknowledge that you are who you are because of what Linux is?

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