The Mir “hate-fest” – A Personal Take on Mark Shuttleworth’s Comment – Linux Liaison

The Mir “hate-fest” – A Personal Take on Mark Shuttleworth’s Comment

UPDATE: I’ve reconsidered what I’ve written here and I’ve deemed it unnacceptable, as have a few others. I rewrote this article and the new one can be found here.

Mark Shuttleworth seems to be a little more vocal as of late and in this instance, he’s criticizing the FLOSS (Free/Libre Open-Source) community and their ‘hate-fest’ against Mir. He goes on to call many members of the FLOSS community “deeply anti-social types who love to hate on whatever is mainstream,” which sounds something akin to calling them hipsters.

Instead of simply going on and on about some vendetta that Canonical has against FLOSS, how about just going through the comment and replying piece by piece:

I agree, it’s a very fast, clean and powerful graphics composition engine, and smart people love it for that.

Ah so if you don’t like Mir, you’re evidently not a smart person. This part just irks me in the weirdest of ways. It sounds like something Mr. Trump would say to the person who would oppose him in his implementation of healthcare. I personally haven’t developed for Mir but I can imagine, being created and backed immensely by Canonical, that it was developed for use on the Ubuntu platform. If you’re not using Ubuntu or even Debian for that matter, then you’re sure as s*** out of luck.

The whole Mir hate-fest boggled my mind – it’s free software that does something invisible really well.

Just because a piece of software is FLOSS, doesn’t make it inherently good for the community. If I develop a piece of software that ‘invisibly’ collected your banking information, I’m sure people would hate on it too.

It became a political topic as irrational as climate change or gun control, where being on one side or the other was a sign of tribal allegiance.

This is one of the more interesting parts of the comment. The concept of climate change and gun control, and being on one side or another denotes a huge difference in ideology. If you believe in Climate Change then inherently *I* believe that you strongly believe in the results of major and majority scientific studies whereas if you don’t then I believe that you’ll believe anything the mainstream media will feed you, that you’re more of a sheep than a wolf.

Touching on how this applies to Mir, I’d say that (in my opinion) if you prefer that Mir be developed more than Wayland, then you more strongly believe in big corporations and dislike an open market simply because Ubuntu is a monopoly on Mir and Mir was developed solely for the Ubuntu workstation. Yes, we have the source and can compile and built it with the other distros, but it just doesn’t play nice (I touched on this about Unity yesterday).

Although, I think Mark is just flaming here.

We have a problem in the community when people choose to hate free software instead of loving that someone cares enough to take their life’s work and make it freely available.

The hate wasn’t on free software, nor was it even directed at Mir. It was directed at the effort that was put behind Mir. There was a lack of support for other distros and it seemed almost as if it was developed with a purposeful disdain for other distros. From the MirSpec page: “Mir can be viewed as a replacement for the X window server system on Ubuntu for desktop form factors, making Mir the unified solution for Ubuntu.” That screams proprietary.

I came to be disgusted with the hate on Mir. Really, it changed my opinion of the free software community.

Oh please, Mark, tell me more about how you’re judging us all.

I used to think that it was a privilege to serve people who also loved the idea of service, but now I think many members of the free software community are just deeply anti-social types who love to hate on whatever is mainstream.

This statement is highly intended to be inflammatory. Now, it’s no secret that a lot of us Linux guys/girls would consider ourselves ‘the mole people’ and that a lot of us are a little more shy and a little less charismatic. Maybe you would call that anti-social, I prefer to think of it as introverted. Tomato/tomatto. But I highly doubt that it’s simply it was because ‘Mir’s mainstream’ that it caught so much flak. Wayland is much more popular than Mir ever was and/or will be. If Mark thinks that his compositor solution was popular amongst the FLOSS community, then I think he’s just a small bit delusional.


When Windows was mainstream they hated on it. Rationally, Windows does many things well and deserves respect for those.

Oh yes, Windows does so many things very well. It boots up super fast so it doesn’t miss a moment of my life after it finished strong-arming me into updates I never wanted to perform at a time I never wanted to reboot. Then, it so kindly takes all my information and sends it back to Microsoft. After all of this in an operating system that I’ve paid for, I’m stuck seeing ads in my operating system! Oh joy!

I’m starting to see a pattern here and I don’t like it. I don’t mean to be inflammatory myself but: Drinking the Nadella juice much lately, Mark?

And when Canonical went mainstream, it became the focus of irrational hatred too.

Yeah, Canonical is mainstream, that doesn’t mean that you’re the good guys. Donald Trump is mainstream as well, guess you have that in common, huh? But in all seriousness, there’s no irrationality here, Mark. Ubuntu is a fine operating system for beginners, the elderly and for those who are technologically illiterate. That said, it doesn’t mean that Ubuntu gets everything right. There’s a clear ideology that Canonical’s been pushing forward and it’s the same ideology that Apple’s been peddling for years.

It’s this concept that in order to use Ubuntu, you’re supposed to tie into the whole Canonical ecosystem (there’s a reason that *ubuntu spinoffs exist and that Mint is higher than Ubuntu is on distrowatch page rankings). We saw this when you all started with your Ubuntu phone nonsense. It looked like you were making an attempt at becoming the Be All; End All solution.

The very same muppets would write about how terrible it was that IOS/Android had no competition and then how terrible it was that Canonical was investing in (free software!) compositing and convergence.

I don’t think the disdain was for the effort put towards an Ubuntu phone. Believe me, I would have been more than happy to have one. The problem was that nobody right now then is in the market for one of these phones. It was 2014 when the idea surfaced. This was a time where Apple reigned superior as the highest selling smartphone vendor. This was a time where nobody really even understood Android as a whole. Most importantly, this was a time where you set your damn indiegogo campaign goal at 32,000,000 dollars! What the hell were you thinking Mark?

I could certainly write a whole post on why Ubuntu Phone failed that has been beaten with a stick until the fat lady sings (that’s how the saying goes, right?).

Also Ubuntu Phone sucked

Fuck that shit.

Fuck that shit indeed, Mark.

This whole comment strikes me as intentionally inflammatory. It seems as if Mark’s been holding back and sitting quietly while his anger festers and putrefies inside him. I don’t like his attitude. That’s just me though.


6 Comments Posted

  1. It’s not just you. I’ve never liked his pompous attitude. Everything is rosy when things seem to be going Mark’s way. But when people disagree with his vision, they are labeled as haters, anti-socials, etc. by His Highness.

    • Yes, he’s got a very pompous attitude but we can’t for sure know if that’s due to ignorance or due to pride.

  2. > It sounds like something Mr. Trump would say to the person who would oppose him in his implementation of healthcare.

    Ughhhh, go fuck yourself with this political correct bullshit.

    People like you are the reason that the open source community is going to shit. No one can be honest without some pearl clutching social justice warrior writing about topics they are not qualified at all to speak about.

    • I totally agree with you. The political correctness stuff is absolutely inane. I think I worded this very poorly. What I meant was that his statement sounded like, “If you don’t believe in my way of doing things, then you’re inherently wrong.”

      Politics really doesn’t belong here and, frankly, I’m ashamed I even fed into the appeal that including politics can have.

  3. Nobody is going to agree with everything Mark, or you or I say. A different way of thinking to one person may cause a bit of disagreement, but it shouldn’t lead to vitriol. At least a small amount of effort should be made to understand that person’s perspective. There has to a logical reason why somebody may walk a different path; that reasoning may conflict with yours, but nevertheless is worthy of respect. You may choose interpret any remarks any way you like of course, and many people may well agree with you. In doing so you may ignore another person’s perspective; the same thing you accuse that person of doing. Balance is required.

    • Reading back over my article, I do see that I was quite a bit close-minded when it comes to understanding his point of view. I would recant my statements but what good is that? I’ll be rewriting this completely, but leaving this up as a reminder of my impulsive reaction to what was said and a reminder to take a few moments before reacting.

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