There are 2 recurring topics on popular podcasts that usually spark a lot of debate:
- You can’t ask developers for support, you are not entitled, you get what you paid for!
- Why doesn’t company X/Y/Z support their product or service on Linux?
And it baffles me nobody ever connects the 2 when discussing these.
As an example, I was furious when Canonical introduced the Firefox snap in Ubuntu. Not because it’s a snap, no real person cares about that really ;-), but because it was a regression. It was not ready and broke real life use cases because of it.
You see, we actually do support Linux, and quite well if I may say so. We enable Ubuntu users (and other distributions as well) to make Ubuntu their daily driver operating system, without having to worry about being able to access our (non-profit btw) services and applications. We do this at our expense, with zero investment from any distribution, to enable our users and give them choice.
The confinement of the Firefox snap and lack of required interfaces or portals or what it is called broke functionality that we need, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) understand that any sensible distribution would do this to their users, just because they insist on changing a software packaging format, some implementation detail nobody actually cares about in the real world. I even sent a harshly worded mail about it to the DLN show hosts so man, so this must have really triggered me right ?
BTW we had logged bugs warning for this 2 years prior, when Chromium went the snap route in Ubuntu. We did what we were supposed to do, engage and notify about issues and all that.
Let’s not make this about Ubuntu and snaps. I have other examples. It is just the last one.
The question here is: if I am one of those organizations or companies that decides to support Linux, perhaps growing your user base in the process, taking support calls from users that often just need support to get stuff done on your distribution to begin with, what am I entitled to from you as a developer or organization when your actions have impact on my business case? Because if the answer is “nothing”, don’t expect unmanageable growth any time soon.