Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sun 21st Sep 2008 06:46 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Linux Greg KH, Linux kernel developer delivered a keynote in the Linux plumbing conference about the health of the ecosystem. His message was essentially that distributions that don't contribute to the ecosystem have to rely on the whims of others which is unhealthy for them. Here is an introduction the development model and some interesting statistics about the Linux kernel code. Update by TH: Rebuttals are appearing all over the web, like this one by Canonical's Matt Zimmerman ("He's refuting a claim which has, quite simply, never been made. [...] When this sort of thing happens on mailing lists, it's called trolling."), or this one by another Canonical employee, Dustin Kirkland.
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Accurate or not.... So what?
by Kokopelli on Sun 21st Sep 2008 20:34 UTC
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I fail to see the point in GKH's talk. I do not think it is in dispute that Canonical contributes less than many companies to the core (Linux Kernel, GCC, X). For that matter they do not contribute as much as many companies to the user visible components.

It is funny in a way. I do not hear or see Canonical arguing that their contributions are in volume or nature comparable to Novell's or Red Hat's. You get a random voice from the community upon occasion but nothing compared to the numerous others decrying Ubuntu's contributions and existence for that matter.

Canonical is not trying to control the wave, merely surf upon it. The fact of the matter is that Canonical is a tiny company. They do not have the resources to effect great change, nor has it been my impression that they are trying to. They package and present Linux in a way that is appealing to many users. Whether clever marketing or actual accomplishment does not matter, many people have bought into the vision.

Canonical have, or listen to, ideas and attempt to implement them to make a better desktop. Their focus is there, and even then not on core design but upon assembly and fine tuning.

Do not confuse popularity with size, or merit for that matter. Canonical is popular and hope to be profitable one day, but right now they are small and trying to effect change to the users benefit in a way their size can accomplish. Hiring a team of kernel hackers will not help accomplish Ubuntu's goals on the desktop as going a different route.

Mark Shuttleworth in particular is known for stepping on the toes of establishment and the merits of his ideas are much debated. Indeed in many ways he steps beyond his sphere of influence, but at least he is not afraid of speaking his mind. Nor is GKH. The same talking points could have been discussed without targeting Canonical, he has an axe to grind and given the lack of Novell logo I would say it is personal.

GKH's slides not having the Novell logo on them most likely means Novell did not bless the message. There is nothing sinister in the act, it simply means GKH was talking for himself, not Novell.

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