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Two Pigs and a Pearl

How come the world has been feeding and rewarding two filthy, lying, greedy pigs? By Joshu of the CLIX Forum. Used by permission.

Two things happened recently: the iTunes disaster and a flaw in Ubuntu's X update.

Let's first take a look at how the Ubuntu people respond to problems.

Mark Shuttleworth writes:

Luis Villa is absolutely right in his castigation of our X update on Wednesday this week. As a team we made a series of errors, and the result was a desktop that was broken for thousands of users, for several hours. It has been a severe lesson in QA, something Luis knows plenty about.

An incident report is being compiled by the team and we will publish that for our broader community and users as soon as it is complete. My apologies to those who have been affected, I know that a blue screen of death is the very last thing anybody ever wants to see on Linux desktops and that any downtime caused by mistakes on our part, even measured in minutes, is unacceptable.

Let me get this straight. Shuttleworth sends us free copies of his product, plus free S&H worldwide. That isn't half of it. Each year, he pays $10 million out of an admittedly deep pocket so the world receives ever improving versions of this beautiful product.

It turns out that in August there was a problem with the 'X update on Wednesday this week'. Something slipped through quality control. People saw a blue screen of death. The pertinent point here is that it happened on a Wednesday and A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER Mark Shuttleworth PERSONALLY APOLOGIZES to the Ubuntu users on his blog.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

Think about Microsoft. They tricked and coerced the world into buying overpriced software which unleashed a bubonic plague of spam, viruses and porn on the net. They're practicing a brutal 'software lock-in'. They spy on your PC. They are using DRM to wrestle control of your PC away from you. And their customers PAY THEM for this.

Now Ballmer talks about 'open choice'?

Then there's Apple. Of the hardware lock-in hall of infamy. Their products overheat, moo, ooze, discolour and burst into flames, but the users willingly PAY A PREMIUM for this hardware. Mistakes are denied, ignored, partially admitted, partially fixed. Only under great duress will there be actual fixes or recalls. The process takes months, sometimes years. People who point this out on their own forums are viciously attacked well beyond slander for the purpose of causing direct monetary harm.

How come the world has been feeding and rewarding two filthy, lying, greedy pigs? It's a mystery to me. Any social worker/teacher/parent can tell you that rewarding poor behaviour will merely reinforce it.

But today there IS an alternative. Ubuntu Linux is an excellent product. A pearl. A gem. It works on the server. It works on the desktop. It is reasonably stable and secure. It will play video clips. It even works with wireless, against obstacles placed by proprietary software. It is not perfect, but its leaders are first to admit that.

The two pigs deep down really despise their customers. They shower them with contempt. They treat them as complete idiots.

Shuttleworth and Ubuntu actually LIKE and RESPECT people. You and me! And folks everywhere on the planet!

I think it's time the open source community take a good look at today's landscape. And get behind Ubuntu. Because it is simply better, for the users and for the planet.

And because the pigs are going after the pearl.

Joshu is a frequent contributor to the CLIX Forum, a proud NeXT computer owner, and a project manager for NeXTbuntu. Order your Ubuntu CDs through shipit.ubuntu.com. Do it now.

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