Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Oct 2012 22:37 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Donating to software projects - or, more accurately, open source projects. It's hardly new, it's hardly rare, and I'm sure most of us have donated at some point. That's probably why Canonical has opened Ubuntu up for donations - but with a twist.
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Comment by joekiser
by joekiser on Wed 10th Oct 2012 23:10 UTC
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Interesting strategy. Since Canonical is a private company, there is currently no way for Ubuntu stakeholders (users) to control the path of their operating system. Currently, people who have strong relationships with Ubuntu as a product have only two options: 1) rant/rave about changes to the OS in blogs or forums or 2) fork Ubuntu. The problem with the first choice is that it is passive-aggressive; it does not have enough sway to ultimately change the OS in one way or the other, and there is no way to differentiate between genuine user concerns and Ubuntu-hating trolls. The problem with the second choice (forking) is that it is very resource-intensive (actually duplicates resources), and does not guarantee that the entire user base will follow suit (see: Linux Mint). Accepting donations and allowing the users to funnel them into different projects allows Canonical to objectively see what users really want the end product to look like. I think it's a brilliant strategy.

The FreeBSD foundation does something similar, although it is more along the lines of "give us suggestions" rather than "this is where your money is going to go". When I donated two years ago, I wanted to see the money go to the KMS project, for example, but I have no idea if that really happened that way or if the $$$ just went into a general fund.

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