Contrary to popular belief…

I’m just going to say this; I know that most of you who read this will already know it, but it’s still worth saying.

Mark Shuttleworth did not program Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution, and like all Linux distributions, it is a collection of a hundreds of software applications, written by a whole stack of open source developers, that all work together to make an operating system. All Mark did was have the vision to start a new distribution, and a stack of cash to make it happen. Yes, he’s a cool guy, but no, he didn’t program it.

I have this image in my head, which is the image I’m imagining some people have in their heads, of this geeky programmer dude frantically writing new features and bug fixes and and and… oh, and in my head, when he was done he used his casio keyboard to record the startup sound. This is not how Linux works.

It just dawned on me that perhaps the saddest thing about the success of Ubuntu is that some people don’t even know what Linux is, but they know the story of the dood who went to space and programmed Ubuntu.

ps. I am an Open Source evangelist and run Ubuntu pretty much everywhere.


3 thoughts on “Contrary to popular belief…

  1. Well, even though you’re generally right about the parts that form Ubuntu, and how people generally view its origins, I think it’s worth noting that Mark actually /does/ a lot of coding for Ubuntu. He has put in a lot of work (personally) into Launchpad and a heap of other tools that are used to build and manage the distribution.

    A non-computer person asked me about Linux last night, and I just didn’t know how to answer without getting to technical and talking about kernels, etc. What I’ve found works best is, explaining them the story of Richard Stallman and the printer problem he had, and how he started the GNU project and how the Linux kernel came about later. That seems to spark some imagination in people and give them a good basic understanding of how things fit together.

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