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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RE: Comment by Kroc
by Almindor on Sun 21st Sep 2008 09:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Member since:

That's nice, but they have every right to do this, and IMHO are right on track with it. Sure you're not "obligated" to give back completely (I'm not talking about "making changes available" but "helping get them to base"), but you DAMN WELL SHOULD.

There are people who in their good will and free time put loads of work into the thing you're using for free AND making money off, it'd be nice if when you DO fix or enhance something you go to the extra little bit of trouble and try to get your changes backported.

Canonical SHOULD be ashamed of itself in this regard. I love Ubuntu, in fact I'm using it now, and I'm not fanatical about this so I won't stop using it for this reason but I'm disappointed in them for being so lazy in this.

I mean they are all "marketing bang" happy about "we're going to invest in the ecosystem and GUI" lately but giving back their own kernel changes and enhancements seems like an impossible chore for some reason.. doublespeak perhaps?

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by FooBarWidget on Sun 21st Sep 2008 09:58 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
FooBarWidget Member since:

Canonical SHOULD be ashamed of itself in this regard

Shuttleworth recently invested millions into FOSS - again. What exactly is it that Canonical should be ashamed of? That they've invested more money into FOSS than you ever will?

Reply Parent Score: 15

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by SlackerJack on Sun 21st Sep 2008 10:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
SlackerJack Member since:

Well what millions is that then, where, into what FOSS?

The fact of the matter is ordinary developers of their free time contribute more than them. Ubuntu is a great distro but they need to put more effort into contributing more back to projects code,it's really that simple considering how popular it is.

I'd like to point out about in the update that person puts up employees, which is completely wrong. If only 130 people contribute to Linux at IBM then it's about the same, it's about how many contribute in the company not how many are employed.

Whats how many years it's been going got to do with it, it only takes a few people to contribute patches at a fast rate.

Edited 2008-09-21 10:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Almindor on Sun 21st Sep 2008 14:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Almindor Member since:

You obviously don't get it...

Money is of no concern here. We're talking about developers doing the right thing for the right reasons which in the end benefit everyone.

I also work on one FOSS project, and there are basically two kinds of people:
1. People who when they fix or enhance something, rush the changes upstream (patches or direct commits if they got the right)
2. People who don't even say they got something fixed or enhanced and rather use their own copies etc.

#2 usually makes more money (mostly because they don't care ABOUT the tool, they just want to get the job done), but is more destructive than constructive. We need more #1.

Now don't get me wrong. I like Canonical, can't really say if I like Shuttleworth, don't know the guy. Anyway I'm not bashing here, but it seems to me that they don't try to finish the job when it comes to changes and enhancements. I'm not an inside man so it's a bit questionable how much this article can be trusted, given Canonical's small size etc.

Edited 2008-09-21 14:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by kragil on Sun 21st Sep 2008 10:10 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
kragil Member since:

Ubuntu does help upstream _A LOT_ with regards to bug reporting:

"Ubuntu users report bugs, the ubuntu developers wait for upstream to solve them, and then backport the fixes to the ubuntu packages.

In this senario, bugs are reported and fixed, but few patches goes from ubuntu to upstream."

(Quote Jonno. LWN comment)

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by cdude on Sun 21st Sep 2008 17:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
cdude Member since:

> Ubuntu users report bugs

In launchpad rather then upstream.

> ubuntu developers wait for upstream to solve them

You nailed it.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by BluenoseJake on Sun 21st Sep 2008 14:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
BluenoseJake Member since:

Why? Ubuntu has gotten more people to try Desktop Linux than any other distro before. It got me back into it, after years of ignoring because the distros of 1998 (the last time I tried Linux) weren't up to the task of being a desktop. In the interim, I tried and really liked FreeBSD (if you can imagine that), as well as used Windows.

Ubuntu got me to try Linux again, and from there I moved to Debian proper. I think this is the case for a lot of people, they try Ubuntu and see what the fuss is about with this Linux thing, and then eventually, they move to another, more suitable desktop for their needs.

Reply Parent Score: 6