Scott James Remnant (English)

Scott, Ubuntu and the future of Linux

Do you use Ubuntu yourself on a daily basis or as your only operative system?

Yes, Ubuntu is my primary operating system at home.

Is there a feature you particularly like which is unique to Ubuntu?

Being Open Source, it's particularly difficult to select a feature that is unique to Ubuntu, many of those that we develop can also be found in Debian and Fedora, amongst others.

If I were to select a feature we developed, it would be the ease at which you can install software and keep it up to date from the desktop. The same software is now found in Debian, which has greatly benefited their distribution, just as the work they do benefits us.

In your opinion. What is Ubuntu's greatest weakness?

My personal opinion is that we need to make a more compelling developer platform to attract people to develop for Ubuntu from outside the existing Open Source community.

To compare with a competitor for a moment: in Ubuntu, if you want to do Audio work, you need to know about ALSA, Gstreamer, Gnonlin and PulseAudio – not just their APIs, but also the subtle ways in which they overlap and provide the same functionality in different ways.

And that's just the stack shipped in Ubuntu by default, for other distributions (including Kubuntu) you may need to know about other technologies like OSS, JACK, aRts, Phonon, ESD, etc.

If you develop for Apple, all you need is Core Audio.

Pulseaudio in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Pulseaudio in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Click for a larger image

What kind of people would you recommend Ubuntu to, and how would you recommend they go about learning the system?

I would recommend Ubuntu for everyone!

The most recent version of Ubuntu includes a Windows installer that allows you to install to a file on your hard disk without repartitioning or reformatting.

This or the Live CD allows a new user to experiment with Ubuntu without worrying about being unable to "go back".

What would be your argument for making people switch from Mac and/or Windows to Ubuntu Linux?

You switch to an operating system designed with users in mind, and which is continually improved; while still running on hardware that would long ago have been consigned to the trash.

What are your thoughts on Linux and the future? Do you ever think Linux will take over for Windows as THE operating system, or do you believe it will eventually even itself out?

I think that the best outcome would be a world where there is no single dominant operating system, and instead users can make a choice between them based on appropriateness for their task.

Since there would be a number of different competitors, these competitions would force everybody to remain in the game by continually improving their software.

That's it. Is there anything you wish to say that hasn't come out during the course of this interview?

No, nothing really.

We thank Scott James Remnant for his time and patience answering our questions for this interview, and wish him the best of luck on future endeavors.

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