When did Ubuntu evovle?

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Oct 10 22:53:57 UTC 2013

On 10 October 2013 23:26, Colin Watson <cjwatson at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> There was probably some element of early inspiration, and I believe Mark
> had a discussion with Bruce at some point not long before founding
> Canonical.  It would be true to say that UserLinux and Ubuntu had
> somewhat similar goals at the highest level.

Well, yes, there did seem to be a lot in common.

> Without wishing to denigrate Bruce's work, though, I think it's a bit
> strong to describe UserLinux as Ubuntu's inspiration as if it were the
> main one.  UserLinux didn't really come up all that much in the early
> discussions about what was to become Ubuntu (I have an almost complete
> archive of our original primary internal mailing list, high-traffic for
> quite a long time, which contains ten messages *total* mentioning
> UserLinux).  I suppose this was mainly because the actual amount of code
> they were emitting was fairly limited; comments on
> http://lwn.net/Articles/151642/ make similar points.  We knew they were
> out there, but we were trying to do things in a rather different way and
> so they didn't really register a great deal in practice.

I didn't know that -- thanks for the information.

> Debian itself was a much deeper inspiration, really, along with the
> release management practices of GNOME and a number of the revision
> control ideas that were floating around in the Arch project, and I
> expect Mark's previous commercial experience as well.  I can't speak for
> Mark, but for those of us who were brought in early from Debian - at
> least a plurality of the early hires - I think I can safely generalise
> that our main motivation was that we'd been working on Debian for a
> while and shared various frustrations with the way the project operated
> at the time, along with a great excitement at the chance to bring it to
> a much wider audience.
> Personally, if I had to pick a Debian-based distribution to cite as an
> inspiration, I'd have gone for Progeny.  They produced a bunch of
> interesting technology and funded a lot of work on important parts of
> Debian while they were active, things that now seem just part of the
> infrastructure we expect to be there.  Their mention in
> http://joeyh.name/blog/entry/all_this_for_a_progress_bar/ comes to mind,
> for example, along with an awful lot of work on X, and I'm sure a great
> deal else.  Looking back I see quite a few similarities with Ubuntu.

Absolutely fascinating -- many thanks for that. Lots more than I'd
ever known before.

As an outsider with nothing to go on except a tiny handful of
forwarded mailing-list messages, I guess I jumped to a conclusion: a
Debian-based GNOME-based desktop distro, single-CD, including all the
main desktop/productivity apps and a simple installer with no
tricky-for-newbies software choices.

I thought it was a great idea then and I still do.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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