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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Doing stuff != collaborating. Collaborating requires code contributions, everything else is specific to Ubuntu; ads, forums, papercuts, blog posts, UI design, art-work, etc. All those benefit only Ubuntu.

"Collaborating requires code contributions"... So, no other kind of collaboration is actually collaboration, only the kind _you_ want? If I wrote a 500 page book for newcomers to Linux it wouldn't be beneficial to the community and I should rather just write code? That is a REALLY narrow way of seeing things.

A book is not collaboration, unless it's actually developed by many parties like a wiki, and it's a pretty small contribution, unless it's given away for free. Ubuntu hasn't done a book, BTW.

And then again, claiming all the stuff Ubuntu does benefit _only_ Ubuntu is again incorrect. F.ex. all the themes they've made are available for all. So are the forums, irc channels etc. And I've seen plenty of people even from other distros go and use those resources for help and discussion. That's direct community contribution. Also, on the whole, Ubuntu has made Linux a whole lot more known among the general audience than it was before, and probably more so than all the other distros together. Unquantifiable contribution yes, but contribution nevertheless!

The thing you are not getting is that they do it for their own benefit, the fact that it might help others is a side-effect, it cannot be called a contribution if they never intended it that way.

For example, if a Fedora artist designs a wallpaper with two versions, one with a Fedora logo, and one without a logo, so other distributions can put their logo there, that can be called a contribution to the linux community, because he did it with other distributions in mind. When an Ubuntu artist designs a wallpaper specifically for Ubuntu, with only one version, that features a logo of Ubuntu, that cannot be called a contribution. Similarly, if he just happened to not put a logo, it can hardly be called a contribution.

Some Ubuntu people do make contributions, but not Canonical.

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