Now we do know…


Some months back Mark Shuttleworth blogged “At least we know now who belongs to the Open Source Tea Party ;)” and it inspired Lennart a developer to print some shirts and I decided I needed one too and so I had some made. Although the shirt for me is tongue in cheek expression I think its disappointing and absolutely contrary to open source culture to ridicule people who share their opinions on free software.

If we all agreed on how things should be done or what the better stack is then we wouldn’t have so much great free and open source software. There would be no MariaDB because everyone would be content with MySQL there would be no Kubuntu because everyone would be satisfied with Ubuntu and so on.

14 1 300x225 Now we do know...

  • Charles Profitt

    I agree that is is disappointing for people to not be accepting of alternative ideas in the open source cutlture. It is a good thing that we have Unity, KDE and Gnome Shell. It is a good think that we have Wayland and Mir.

    • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

      This is why disagreement even in open source is good because being content with one solution or one idea means less options for everyone.

      • dholbach

        Mark and Ubuntu have been inviting derivatives/flavours and different solutions into the project since the very beginning of Ubuntu, and continue to do so. Where’s the disagreement here?

        • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

          I don’t think you understand the context of the post because Charles understood it dead on.

          • dholbach

            Can you explain?

            • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

              what would you like explained?

          • Charles Profitt

            I understand that disagreement and forking are natural parts of this eco system. What I do not understand is the hue and cry against Canonical/Ubuntu for disagreeing and forking while other development teams are not decried. Why is Cinnamon well received and Unity is not?

            The shirt, which may or may not be tongue and cheek, serves only to poke fun at the comments made. Is that the tolerance you were looking for?

            • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

              So in response to the first bit I think an entire discussion could be had about that. To keep it short I think the reason people receive Cinnamon well versus Unity for the first part is Cinnamon is a community project and does not have a CLA that allows open source work to be re-licensed proprietary.

              Unity on the other hand has a CLA that allows Canonical to re-license code as proprietary which is contrary to free software culture. There is an ITWire article on this topic today that discusses it pretty well and in a unbiased manner.

              As to the shirt I find nothing intolerant about humor of which he thought was funny when he blogged it.

  • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

    As mentioned in the original post the t-shirt is tongue in cheek. Yes he did apologize whether that was accepted by most I’m unsure. I do know that this is not the first time he has said something as bad as that and in the past has not apologized.

    • dholbach

      What’s bad? What are you still annoyed about?

      • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

        Three comments in under ten minutes… Maybe I should ask what you are angry about?

        • dholbach

          Well, they weren’t exactly long comments either. :-)

          I just thought I’d ask which of Mark’s comment was bad since I wasn’t quite sure what you were referring to.

          • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

            Well I’m not mad FYI. The t-shirt was meant to be tongue in cheek as in humorous.

  • dholbach

    What I find disappointing is continuing an argument and keeping blogging about it even if the person in question apologised.

    Not realising that Mark’s dedication, investment and continued support of Open Source might outweigh a quick, slightly snarky comment (which might have hurt some people’s feelings, but for which he apologised), in my personal opinion just speaks of small-mindedness.

    • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

      Daniel, I have told you before if you don’t like my posts then why do you comment or even read my blog?

      No argument is being continued here as I mentioned in the post which you clearly did not read the shirt is tongue in cheek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue-in-cheek).

      • dholbach

        I thought you blogged to invite comments; I was just sharing my opinions on free software.

        Maybe Mark thought his comment was tongue in cheek too, maybe that’s what the smiley behind was supposed to stand for…

        • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

          Clearly I have mentioned that I thought he felt the comment was funny. I have mentioned this in a few comments now so I’m unsure what point your getting at.

          On one hand you think its not ok for me to be tongue in cheek but also are suggesting that maybe Mark was?

          • Michael Hall

            Just because something was a joke, or tongue in cheek, doesn’t mean it’s okay to say it. Offensive jokes are still offensive, even when they’re meant to be jokes. The difference as it stands right now is that Mark apologized for his.

  • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

    I don’t think I would call people disagreeing with Canonical’s decision to use Mir as bashing but instead would call it people sharing their opinion and disappointment. I found most of the posts from developers of other stacks to be pretty accurate and fair.

    People pointed out simply that Canonical does not have a great track record of going its own on projects and I think that’s a fair assertion. I think the biggest problem that Mark had and folks at Canonical have over the topic is that some of the opinions that were shared came from people at Red Hat.

    Anyways as I pointed out in the post the t-shirt was intended to be tongue in cheek and now its being construed as something different. I wore it today and have to say lots of people thought it was funny which was the intent.

  • Winfried Maus

    “Mir is really important work. When lots of competitors attack a project
    on purely political grounds, you have to wonder what THEIR agenda is. At
    least we know now who belongs to the Open Source Tea Party ;)”

    That is the actual context of Mark’s quote. So your T-Shirt means that you, as a self-proclaimed member of this fictitious Open Source Tea Party, are among those who “attack a project on purely political grounds”. That’s too much rms for my taste to be funny. (Richard is a brilliant mind, but he’s also very… factious when it comes to his beliefs and opinions.)

    • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

      That’s the funny part is that nobody attacked Mir on political grounds. They attacked it on technical and cultural grounds.

  • Dennis Shimer

    A few months ago a non-tech community like organization I was part of was going through a really hard and divisive time. It was magnified (for me) by seeing similar divisiveness in some of the tech communities I follow. In the midst of it I was teaching a communication lesson at a local college and realized that most of the problems (in my local group because I’m just a non-technical lurker in Linux/FOSS) were caused by growing breakdowns in some simple common sense rules of communication. That evening I came across Marks apology, it would barely be overstating it to say it changed my whole outlook on my care for and responsibilities to those groups I am part of. It really meant a lot to me to see someone in a place of prominence just say “sorry”. I could be totally demonstrably wrong but for a mega millionaire he seems like a fairly normal and straightforward guy, no doubt he (like me) says things on a daily basis that would be better off unsaid, but in this instance I’m willing to assume sincerity and let it go.

    • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

      Mark is a normal and straightforward guy in fact this was not mean’t as an attack on him so much as I thought it was funny which he clearly did at the time.

      If you ever get a chance to talk to Mark ask him about something other then software like bees or honey (a hobby of his) and you will see how down to earth he is.

  • jonobacon

    Just my personal opinion, but this seems in poor taste to me. Mark made a comment and then apologized, and to use this as a means to promote your personal brand doesn’t seem very nice to me. How would you like it if someone else referenced a mistake you made and used it to promote their personal brand?

    • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

      I think the comment was funny and it is clear that Mark did to noting he had a smiley in the sentence. If I say something as funny as that I hope people reference it in whatever manner they feel feel is best.

      • Michael Hall

        I very much doubt that you would appreciate it if it happened to you. I hope that you never have to find out.

        • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

          No if it were funny I would be fine with it. I enjoy humor though but one thing I do not appreciate is the use of profanity on IRC from fanboys or in comments on this post (which I deleted).

          Anyways this is probably a good time to wrap up this discussion.

  • http://benjaminkerensa.com/ Benjamin Kerensa

    Actually he pointed out that maybe Mark was being tongue in cheek. So its ok for Mark to be tongue in cheek but when others do it you know thats not ok? That makes a lot of sense.