Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Sep 2010 22:42 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu If there's one consistent piece of criticism that gets lobbed in Canonical's and Mark Shuttleworth's direction, it's that they do not contribute enough code - or anything else for that matter - to the Free software world. Mark Shuttleworth has apparently had enough, and has written a very, very lengthy blog post detailing how he feels about this criticism.
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...they contribute to make the whole Linux software stack available to end users.

Or just their own standalone fork of it?

If you write your code and you have also a team that compiles it, distributes it, sells it and makes it popular...

Except Canonical is increasingly altering that code to suit their own needs, without giving useful feedback to the upstream developer and the original code doesn't end up anywhere. Just Canonical's fork spreads.

It's all within the letter of the GPL. It doesn't follow any other conventions though. Changes should be made upstream, so that the improvements flow to ALL downstream recipients. Just plonking your own visions on a publically accessible server and then saying you contribute is disingenious.

What Canonical does is reminiscent of the old UNIX vendors. Just futz in your own code base and don't pay attention to compatibility with your competition. The different versions of UNIX, fundamentally incompatible with each other, did that platform in. Until the advent of Canonical's version of contributing, Linux and the associated projects were consistent and source compatible over the different distros. Now we have the traditional "Linux" projects and the increasingly incompatible Canonical versions of it (with their Indicator framework, Windicator framework, Unity interface, Upstart, etc.) How long before an application written on Ubuntu doesn't work on any non-buntu distribution?

That's the problem and that draws the criticism. Not their end user marketing and care for their user base, which is outstanding.

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