FOSS Week in Review
It always makes for an interesting week when the first thing right off the bat, without reservation, comes a speculation piece from Linux Journal dealing with that company from the Isle of Man.
Grab some popcorn — make two bowls — and get comfortable.
Call it Canonisoft: A while back I was fitted for a tinfoil hat by some because I had the audacity — the audacity! — to suggest that it would be a shrewd business move by the now-Linux-loving Microsoft to buy Canonical because a.) Canonical had technology that Microsoft would want and need to advance in mobile (like the Ubuntu Phone technology, which blows Microsoft’s out of the water currently), and b.) by this time, Mark Shuttleworth is beyond tired of flushing millions after millions down the toilet (though, as a half-billionaire, he still has several decades of current spending before his bank account resembles, well, mine), and who can blame him?
You laughed. Well, sports fans, allow me to hand back your tinfoil hat and ask, who’s laughing now? Linux Journal’s James Darvell outlines this scenario in great detail, quoting a blog item reporting the business deal, and makes an observation worth keeping an eye on: “Microsoft could convert Canonical into a very profitable acquisition by eliminating the unprofitable parts of the company,” he writes. “In fact, it could become the dominant player in the cloud space, and secure the company’s future.”
So what will it be, Mark?
Departures: By now most of you have heard about Sarah Sharp’s departure from Linux kernel development, which she outlines on her blog.
“Here’s the deal: I’m not a Linux kernel developer any more. I quietly transferred the maintainership of the USB 3.0 host controller driver in May 2014. In January 2015, I stepped down from being the Linux kernel coordinator for the FOSS Outreach Program for Women (OPW), and moved up to help coordinate the overall Outreachy program. As of December 6, 2014, I gave what I hope is my last presentation on Linux kernel development. I was asked to help coordinate the Linux Plumbers Conference in Seattle in August 2015, and I said no. My Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board (TAB) term is soon over, and I will not be running for re-election.”
The blog item is worth a read, and it actually speaks volumes about the rampant douchebaggery in the upper echelons of Linuxdom.
But wait, there’s more — Matthew Garrett is out, too.
“In the end it’s a mixture of just being tired of dealing with the crap associated with Linux development and realizing that by continuing to put up with it I’m tacitly encouraging its continuation, but I can’t be bothered any more. And, thanks to the magic of free software, it turns out that I can avoid putting up with the bullshit in the kernel community and get to work on the things I’m interested in doing.”
Okay, that’s two. You know things like this usually happen in threes, right?
Well, here’s the third, though it’s completely unrelated to Sharp and Garrett: The call went out in September for nominations for the Ubuntu Community Council elections, and they were returned with a glaring omission: Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph, who will not be running for re-election. She explains in her blog her motivations for moving on, and it’s well worth a read. Perhaps this is understatement, but her absence leaves a notable void in the “adult-in-the-room” department, since Elizabeth was often the voice of reason and sanity — and of course a voice for doing the right thing even when it was unpleasant or difficult for Canonical/Ubuntu — in a UCC group too full of yes-boys and Ubuntu Apocalypse zombies. Her leadership will definitely be missed.
And…I’m out of popcorn. See you Monday.
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