Monday, 22 November 2010

An interesting limit: for Mark->Steve, Ubuntu->Mac OS X

In an article reported on a italian website, I read an interesting comparison: can Mark Shuttleworth be the Steve Jobs Of Ubuntu?
It sounds like a provocation, but actually every Great Project (GNU, Linux kernel, Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware, KDE and even Apple and Microsoft) has a leader whom manages and guides all project's members. Debian had Ian Murdok; Slackware has Patrick Volderking; GNU has Richard Stallman; Linux has Linus Torvalds; OpenBSD has Theo de Raadt.
Steve Jobs is one of most famous CEO in the world: his keynotes are shows. He saved Apple from a deep hole (in 1997 it could be sold to Sun Microsystem) and transformed it to one of most powerfull companies in the world. Some "never-seen-before features" was already present in GNU/Linux (spaces - virtual desktops, e.g.) but with Job's personal touch, they become "new" and "amazing".
In FOSS (Free-Open Source Software) environments, Jobs sits on the Throne of Evil  once reserved to Bill Gates. With no doubts Apple's devices are much closed than other (iPhone is a small fortress); no doubts that an HTC with Android is more free and more open than an iPhone. But you can't classify Jobs just as "a tyrant", "a criminal" or "a shark".
Ubuntu is trying to earn space in the desktop market. It's a very competitive place, where command line is evil. I think Mark Shuttleworth MUST BE the "Steve Jobs of Ubuntu", a landmark for desktop developers and for desktop users. He's taking seriously this role since one year, with some revolutions on Ubuntu, such as window buttons on the left corner, Wayland to replace X.org and Unity instead Gnome Shell. This ideas have been criticized by Ubuntu comunity but their motivations sounds like a "zealot reaction", not as technical observations.
Mark Shuttleworth is becoming more influent. If his vision is right and clear as I hope, maybe Ubuntu could become more widespread. As every man, Steve Jobs has good things and bad things. But as a CEO, we must admit he's one of the best.
FOSS zealots must to understand that making Ubuntu more functionally, more actractive and less "integralist", will help the GNU/Linux desktop adoption. And if «Mark Shuttleworth will approach to Steve Jobs», could be a way to realize this dream (lim Ubuntu=Mac OS X).
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