I think it's fair to call Shuttleworth and Ubuntu innovators. Looking at the state of desktop Linux before Ubuntu, they've definitely done a significant amount of work to make it user friendly and accessible to a wider audience. But disruptor, not exactly.
The state of GNU/Linux definitely was better in the years following Ubuntu's first release, but this was more a matter of serendipity on their part. The significant work was performed during the transition from Linux 2.4 to 2.6 in the years leading up to that release, and not by Canonical.
Xfree saw a major re-structuring to make it more modular (and then was forked to Xorg) while the kernel gained the ability to retrieve video information from VESA monitors (EDID) which permitted more automated setup of the graphical interfaces.
Linux's module system was re-written to support kernel objects (.ko), wherein the drivers became much more "intelligent", providing better support for "plug-n-play" devices and creation of applications to monitor and control the drivers.
The hard-coded /dev system was replaced by universal devices (udev) which provided better recognition and retention of I/O devices.
The USB input device system was completely revamped to provide much improved mouse support.
The keyboard handling system was re-written to be more in line with the industry standards and provide better support for internationalization.
While Ubuntu benefited from these GNU/Linux usability enhancements, the heavy lifting was done by Red Hat, Collabora, Hewlitt-Packard, Intel, SuSE, and others.
From the Electronic Frontiers Foundation; while I doubt that LO would be affected (though who knows, maybe the UK would be willing to extradite) the EFF has put out a request for prior art in podcasting technology.
Given that the patent application was in 2009 and Fab & Dan started Linux Outlaws in 2007, perhaps someone would be willing to assist.
I've only installed Pulse once, and that was only briefly to get past a bug in a build script for LiVES. Once the bug was fixed, I no longer needed pulse. (I did not remove it, but it was not installed when I switched to a new release of my distro).
I just don't need any of the features it offers. I don't need its network streaming and I don't really need individual volume controls for separate applications (I listen to one thing at a time).
For some giggles, the Linux Haters Blog has kind of predicted this more than two years ago:
Back when Mr Shuttleworth moved the window sizing buttons to the upper-left, for 'yet-to-be-revealed' reasons, I made the following post on their forums:
Some of the Britishisms that throw me have more to do with pronunciation, rather than idiomatic expression.
For example, garage is generally pronounced 'ga-RAJ' in the U.S.; 'GAIR-ij' in the U.K.
Tube is 'toob' in the U.S.; 'tyoob' in the U.K.
And where I would pronounce weekend 'WEEK-end', Mr Lynch's pronunciation ('wee-KEND') always takes me aback.
so um.... how do I connect my SATA drive to the APC?
What's this reboot of which you speak?
Just kidding, of course. I've already rebooted at least twice this year (thunderstorms and all that). On Slackware, /tmp is not cleared during a reboot; however, I have always been aware that /tmp should never be assumed to survive it.
I'd like to see the first graph with percentages adjusted to take into account the percent of actual users. Unity might be hated by more people than LXDE, but how many users use Unity compared to LXDE?
I'd agree that the amount of hatred expressed is fairly meaningless without corresponding usage numbers, nonetheless I found it interesting that the number of users who chose Openbox as their favorite was higher than for Unity. More users of Unity may explain the higher criticism, but the lack of enthusiasm from that same set of users is not so easily dismissed.
I am currently unable to log in to identi.ca; the full error I receive is:
client version is higher than daemon version (client is v.1.25, daemon is v.1.22)
I notice that others have posted about receiving identical errors in the last week or so (though they can apparently log in to post) but I have not found any solutions.
By default, when one visits the HPR page, episodes are available in MP3 format. However, when subscribing to the HPR feed, one has the choice of choosing MP3, Ogg, or Speex.
Thanks for this information (to you and the others). I have only ever seen the download links and never looked into feeds (I'm not that organized of a person).
Just last weekend I was installing Windows XP as a guest OS on QEMU and was having a terrible time getting the printer to work. Now the only reason I even have Windows around is to be able to print international postage using Stamps.com -- I originally had dedicated an old machine running Windows 98 for the duty but Stamps.com recently dropped 98 support so I've been dual-booting my Dell Mini into XP when doing postage.
Back to the point, I spent about two hours trying to get the Windows guest to recognize the USB printer, including the tedious task of installing the HP driver software (2 gigabytes of files, 18 clicks of "Next", and three re-boots). All to no avail, I just couldn't get the USB device mapping between the host and the guest working.
In the end, my solution was found on Alien Bob's wiki and was a forehead-slapping: "CUPS by its very nature uses IPP so just add an Internet printer under XP and provide the CUPS URL". Not only do I no longer have to dual boot, printing is much faster (when Windows was controlling the printer, it insisted on printing the postage labels using "photographic" quality).
Given my recent experience -- and the fact that I am running the Slackware 64 edition that Alien Bob developed -- I will go along with the nomination of Eric Hameleers as the 2011 community hero.
This post is mainly intended for Fab; in order to provide a link to a spell-checked version of his NaNoWriMo story. I sent him an email but it is possible that it was flagged as spam since it mainly consisted of the above link.
I am also posting it here in case there are others who might be planning to proofread it; perhaps that is less necessary now, or at least they might wish to start from where I left off (I mostly limited my edits to misspellings, typos, and the more egregious grammatical errors. I also inserted the occasional paragraph division. )
Feel free to (re)move this post if deemed appropriate.
Red Hat developer Lennart Poettering will present an enhanced replacement for ELF (Executable and Linkable Format) called GREMLINS (Gratuitous Replacement Executable Mechanism for Linking Incorporating Needless Sophistication).
The proposed format will overcome the six million terabyte program size limitation the kernel currently suffers from and will permit core dumps to be automatically shared with your Google+ Circles.
To sum up, a couple of people were asking for certain features in Unity, but got told "no". One of them then filed a bug saying that the reason he wasn't getting what he wanted was that Canonical wasn't "listening to the community". Shuttleworth personally spent a lot of time replying to him and telling him why they weren't going to implement those features.
It seems to me the issue was more specifically that the request for certain features was rejected as "Won't fix" -- and the reason provided in Mr Shuttleworth's reply was that Canonical was not willing to commit the resources required to implement the feature, nor was Canonical willing to commit to continued maintenance of the feature in the future. In other words, even if non-Canonical developers were to implement and maintain those "certain features", Canonical was not willing to incorporate them.
This is all well and good as far as "Ubuntu" being a Canonical project is concerned but my guess is that many long-time participants in the "Ubuntu community" were operating under the presumption (delusion?) that Ubuntu was a "community" project being administered by Canonical; and that Launchpad was a suitable place for the community to propose improvements and fixes to the Ubuntu distribution, not merely a place for Canonical to accept or reject the submission of ideas consistent with Canonical's business plan.