Linux wars: KDE project leader attacks Canonical’s “ethically weak” Ubuntu Mobile claims

KDE Plasma Active project leader Aaron Seigo has attacked Canonical’s claims about its forthcoming Ubuntu Mobile platform.

The Plasma interface, which forms part of the KDE Software Compilation, and Canonical’s Unity interface in Ubuntu are two of the most popular user interfaces for computers and mobile devices based on the Linux operating system.

In a blog on Google Plus, Seigo attacks Canonical for allegedly making false claims about the same Ubuntu code being able to be used on mobiles, tablets, PCs and smart TVs without modification in a manner similar to KDE.

“Now, this kind of device spectrum thinking is something we’ve been promoting for a number of years as part of our vision for KDE Plasma,” Seigo says.

“Long before Canonical decided this was something that made any sort of sense, before they started using Qt and QML, we were there working towards this. Today, we deliver this kind of functionality and are working to jump even further down this road.

“However, having looked at the code behind Unity… Canonical’s claim is a hollow one.”

Seigo then accuses Canonical of trying to win community support for its platform under false pretences.

“Making unfounded claims in this manner is, imho, ethically weak. But what is really disappointing here is that the Free software community is being told a fairy tale in hopes that they will believe it and as a result support Canonical … under what amounts to false pretences,” Seigo says.

“If you’re a Free software developer, user and/or supporter and buying into these claims, I don’t know how else to put it other than this: you’re being duped.”

Seigo explicitly makes clear that his target is Canonical’s claims, rather than the platform itself.

“I want to make it crystal clear that I think Ubuntu Phone a great thing to see; more Free software mobile efforts, particularly ones using Qt/QML, warm my insides like a good bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night.” he says.

Earlier this year, Canonical demonstrated its Ubuntu Phone platform, which the company hopes will be released by a yet unnamed hardware partner by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, KDE is an integrated open source software compilation that includes a desktop environment (known as Plasma), a number of other applications (including games, a web browser, an email client, a media player, and file viewers) an office suite (Calligra), and the toolkits and databases they’re built with (the KDE Platform).

It was originally developed as an interface for Linux servers and PCs, but these days runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS-X, Unix workstations, netbooks, tablet computers, and other devices.


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