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April 10, 2017

Mark Shuttleworth labels some free software users as “anti-social” and “muppets”

Shuttleworth said that many members of the free software community are "anti-social" that "love to hate" anything in the mainstream.

By James Nunns

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, has had some strong words to share with some members of the free software community, having labelled some as “muppets.”

Shuttleworth, who made the comments on his own Google+ post, had originally started out with a thankful tone to say thank you, “for all your spirit and intellect and energy in the Unity8 adventure,” but after a number of comments about the Mir windowing system his tone changed.

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

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“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.”

Shuttleworth continued by saying that he came to be “disgusted with the hate on Mir,” and that is changed his opinion on the free software community.

“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. When Windows was mainstream they hated on it. Rationally, Windows does many things well and deserves respect for those. And when Canonical went mainstream, it became the focus of irrational hatred too.

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“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. F**k that s**t.”

The comments are likely to provoke some heated debate on the subject of Mir, with some in the community responding to the comments by saying: “was taken aback by your comments on Mir haters implying they’re not smart and just complaining only because Ubuntu is main stream, while that may have been the case for a number of them I’m sure, it’s just as sad you resort to some of the same petty argumentative attitudes and snappy remarks that started the flame war that ensued :/”

Shuttleworth has previously jumped to the defence of Mir and labelled the opponents to the technology as being members of the “Open Source Tea Party.” The Google+ post and Open Source Tea Party comments can be found here and here.

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