Tag Archives: Mark Shuttlewoth

Next Ubuntu Release to have Qt Applications

Ubuntu‘s founder and CEO of Canonical Ltd., Mark Shuttleworth, declares the probability of including Qt applications in the release after the next (Ubuntu 11.10), of the popular Ubuntu distribution, which is based on the Gtk toolkit.

“As part of our planning for Natty+1, we’ll need to find some space on the CD for Qt libraries, and we will evaluate applications developed with Qt for inclusion on the CD and default install of Ubuntu.”

Ubuntu  logo
Gtk and Qt have traditionally been “rival” toolkits for the GNOME and KDE desktops respectively. Choosing either of the sides in any self-respecting Linux forum, is considered a sure-shot way to start a flame war. However, Mark Shuttleworth, as always, decides to wade through uncharted waters in proclaiming the co-existence of Gtk as well as Qt applications in a production, mainstream and popular OS like Ubuntu, notwithstanding the fact that there exists seperate distributions for each Desktop environment, viz. GNOME and KDE (Kubuntu)

In his blog, Mark explains his controversial decision by pointing out that Canonical is dedicated to providing best-in-class software to it’s users and to this effect, a “capable toolkit” like Qt could certainly be looked upon as a “divergence from the canonical way to maintain a vibrant ecosystem”.

Qt logo
Apart from aspects like sociological backlashes, Mark and his team of developers will also have to face some pretty daunting technical issues. For example, Qt-based applications will have to talk to GNOME’s dconf configuration system to have a seamless integration with the GNOME Desktop. Although projects like the GTK-QT Engine are already out there, their credibility of being more than “hacks” is yet to be verified for their inclusion in a mass-deployed project like Ubuntu.

Is the Gtk-Qt marriage possible ? And if this does turn out to be a successful venture, will Ubuntu see other toolkits and libraries like Enlightenment, being included in future releases ? With so many changes to Ubuntu, can Canonical manage to uphold Ubuntu’s status as one of the most popular Linux Operating Systems ?

Do let us know what you think ?

Geeky Animosity. Is it Tribalism?

A recent interesting article by Mark Shuttleworth on his blog talks about an unheard term: Tribalism. I knew otherwise of Tribalism until now. Mark Shuttleworth defines this new Tribalism as,

Tribalism is when one group of people starts to think people from another group are wrong by default. It’s the great-granddaddy of racism and sexism. And the most dangerous kind of tribalism is completely invisible: it has nothing to do with someone’s birth tribeand everything to do with their affiliations: where they work, which sports team they support, which Linux distribution they love.

According to this, Tribalism arguments; that make people think they belong to a better tribe are as baseless as “the other tribe has not done anything useful” or “my world is more important than his” or “evidence contrary to my belief does not count” and so on.

With this in view, Shuttleworth has pointed out how this is hampering the free software world. Tribalism here, does not necessarily relate to tribes from jungles. It can be ultra-modern urban tribes. We can consider tribes of music fans who hate other bands and likewise. In the free software world, this behavior is seen as fanaticism. Shuttleworth writes about this saying,

Right now, for a number of reasons, there is a fever pitch of tribalism in plain sight in the free software world. It’s sad. It’s not constructive. It’s ultimately going to be embarrassing for the people involved, because the Internet doesn’t forget. It’s certainly not helping us lift free software to the forefront of public expectations of what software can be.

However, in my opinion fanaticism is not exactly the root cause of Tribalism. However, it can lead to Tribalism if two fanatics clash in time.