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Canonical Should Adhere to Freedom Principles, Keep Feet on the Ground (Not 'Cloud')

Matt Asay in clouds



Summary: Under new leadership, the Debian-derived Ubuntu sees a push for Fog Computing and further disposition of Freedom values

Matt Asay, Canonical's newly-appointed COO, continues to show lack of commitment to Free software. Instead, semi-Open Source, 'open' core, and an obsession with Fog Computing occasionally crop up. Here is a new article where Asay puts a question mark as he seemingly provokes opposers of 'open' core:





Another new example of provocation with a question mark:



Asay has not blogged in CNET for a long time, maybe because it caused him trouble. He does tend to say some darn things which irk Ubuntu users (or Canonical customers) at times. He also belittles some competitors, which is not appropriate in a "news" site. He can't please everyone and anyone can accept that he wants to do the right thing. Either way, regarding that latter article (in which he's consensually linking to Linux FUD from Microsoft MVP Jason Hiner, who has a track record of attacking Free software), one person among two in the comments section writes: "I thought you are done with your anti-free software crap already. You are wrong on so many levels that it’s not even funny anymore."

Separately, in ZDNet there's Canonical staff talking about a shift to Fog Computing, which the FSF is very much against (at least Canonical tries to adhere to openness, which is not necessarily the same as freedom). Published yesterday:

Canonical: The cloud shift is developer-led



Neil Levine has headed up corporate services at open source Ubuntu-backer Canonical since August 2009. Prior to that, he was the chief technology officer at Claranet, which provides managed hosting from the datacentre up to the application layer. Enthusiastic about open-source schemes within the cloud, he recently attended the launch of the OpenStack scheme, an attempt to make it easier for companies to get off the ground in cloud computing.

[...]

We've had a product on the market for over 1.5 years, and we were the first open source cloud option. We took the product to a lot of businesses and they talked to their operations people and infrastructure people who said: "yeah, we love this, this is great, but I can't just deploy it with nothing to run on top. I have to have an application". Then they talked to their application people who said: "I want to do cloud, but this is the problem I've got at the moment" — whether it's analytics or big data issues.


Canonical ought to look at the goals of the Debian project and remain somewhat loyal to that doctrine. If Ubuntu became just another brand in a group of non-Free options, not much would actually be achieved. To be fair, other distributions are also attempting this Fog Computing dabbling; they too should not lose sight of the goals of GNU and Linux.

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