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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This is why I wont use Ubuntu
by robgarth on Mon 22nd Sep 2008 00:12 UTC
Member since:

Ubuntu get lots of credit for usability. But they are getting credit for the work of gnome hackers generally in the employ of Novell or Redhat.

Trouble is most Ubuntu users think that Ubuntu wrote the stuff. Ubuntu made Launchpad, that's nice, the live/install single CD is a good idea. But mostly they get credit for menu layout and Brown theme.

There are plenty of smaller distros that contribute very little. Trouble is Ubuntu count for a huge percentage of the user base of linux, but they do not contribute to the community as a whole.

Look at it this way, if Ubuntu went away tomorrow, Linux would initially lose a lot of users. But it's development wouldn't even skip a beat. That seems a bit skewed to me.

Reply Score: 4

DrillSgt Member since:

"There are plenty of smaller distros that contribute very little. Trouble is Ubuntu count for a huge percentage of the user base of linux, but they do not contribute to the community as a whole."

This statement makes little sense to me. The community consists of both users and developers, so if they have a huge percentage of the user base, then they contribute hugely to the community. If those users were lost, the community would lose all those people. Contributing to the community does not mean just to send in patches and code. It means bringing in new users, and helping it to grow. Lots of OSS websites proclaim that contributing means using the software and reporting bugs, not necessarily contributing actual code. One such piece of OSS software is the Linux Kernel. With that, I would say Canonical and Ubuntu contribute a great deal to the community, maybe not to the people that seem to require everything to be open, but definitely to the rest of the community.

Reply Parent Score: 3

robgarth Member since:

Agreed, to an extent. If those developers are developing for Ubuntu, those changes are not going upstream, so they will not be missed. If they are developing for other upstream projects they will simply switch distros, they may not be as happy in another distro, but they will have to switch. So the community still has those developers.

As for bugfixes, if the users are reporting upstream, then they are a huge help. Most will be reporting to Ubuntu, and here is the problem. If the Canonical team don't fix the problem, at least they may submit the bug upstream. But what we see, is that if they do, historically the patch doesn't make it upstream. So the bug still exists for the rest of us anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 2

granadajose Member since:

It is not fair saying that Ubuntu does not contribute nothing. An operating system is not only made up of software, and Ubuntu contributes in many important ways. The number of users is very important, since they spread the operating system and create opportunities for the developers.

Maybe Ubuntu is not the best of the existing Linux distributions, but it now is the most popular one in a market controlled by Microsoft products. It would be better to join efforts to achieve a change to Linux operating system than involve in this internal fighting that does not benefit at all the Linux world.

Reply Parent Score: 2