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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hussam
Member since:
2006-08-17

The single most important thing about open source is collaboration; if you don't have you are playing a different game.

Canonical brings nothing to the linux ecosystem, and doesn't collaborate. All the "benefits" mentioned in this article are for Ubuntu, not Linux.

Imagine a company like Microsoft, taking linux components, making their own distribution, not contributing anything, and then claiming their additions to the linux ecosystem are superior. I would call that stealing, and that's what Canonical is doing.

Canonical is taking advantage of the good will of thousands of developers an companies who do contribute, and then, in a PR spin, claiming that they are helping by spreading the SW.

Sure, it's a good thing, just like it's a good thing that Tivo distributes open source software. But don't claim you are a member of the community; you are not, you need to collaborate to claim that.


definitely agreed. and this is where mark is being confused. he argues that ubuntu contributes to people's lifes. Ok sure it does. but this isn't what critics are talking about. Ubuntu has long been criticized for not contributing patches to upstream or not doing it enough. Whatever their contribution to upstream code it, it needs to be a LOT more.

Reply Parent Score: 6

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Why? Because Redhat does? Ubuntu is not Fedora. Ubuntu doesn't shy away from what makes them Ubuntu. They care about the user experience and packaging, they make no qualms about that. Anyone complaining about Ubuntu not contributing code upstream has to ask themselves, does it matter? Does the fact that Ubuntu contributes or not upstream affect Linux either way? The fact that Ubuntu is the highest profile distro means nothing, its the highest profile exactly for the reasons that Mark mentioned, that was their goal. Their goal was to get people to use Linux without having to be an Ubergeek, to make the community friendly enough that someone new could just jump in. They succeeded. Now all the distros who's focus turned from users to the enterprise or got more niche after each release, or thought the user as secondary to the Linux experience are jealous because they feel all of their hardwork is not being credited to them or that they are doing all of the work. Guess what, its gpl bitches. Stop whining. There is no golden rule saying I have to contribute anything back, the code is there, its open, do what you like as long as you don;t close the code. Ubuntu certainly does.

Reply Parent Score: 9

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

Anyone complaining about Ubuntu not contributing code upstream has to ask themselves, does it matter?


If you don't contribute, you are not member of the community. Ubuntu is a leecher. Period.

Reply Parent Score: 0

hussam Member since:
2006-08-17

Why? Because Redhat does? Ubuntu is not Fedora. Ubuntu doesn't shy away from what makes them Ubuntu. They care about the user experience and packaging, they make no qualms about that. Anyone complaining about Ubuntu not contributing code upstream has to ask themselves, does it matter? Does the fact that Ubuntu contributes or not upstream affect Linux either way? The fact that Ubuntu is the highest profile distro means nothing, its the highest profile exactly for the reasons that Mark mentioned, that was their goal. Their goal was to get people to use Linux without having to be an Ubergeek, to make the community friendly enough that someone new could just jump in. They succeeded. Now all the distros who's focus turned from users to the enterprise or got more niche after each release, or thought the user as secondary to the Linux experience are jealous because they feel all of their hardwork is not being credited to them or that they are doing all of the work. Guess what, its gpl bitches. Stop whining. There is no golden rule saying I have to contribute anything back, the code is there, its open, do what you like as long as you don;t close the code. Ubuntu certainly does.


First of all, there's nothing wrong with asking credit for your work. There has been at least one instance of ubuntu fixing a bug and not sending their patch upstream in 2008 or 2009. I don't really remember the package but I remember stealing one of their patches for a bug that wasn't fixed upstream in git head. What this means is that they have the "talent" to fix bugs but they don't always submit to upstream. It simply shows bad attitude.
Still the good things about ubuntu over weigh this shortcoming so the distribution still does ok.

KDE has a lot of paid developers. Anyone ever considered how sweet if would be if canonical paid developers to contribute to upstream?

Edited 2010-09-15 08:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"Anyone complaining about Ubuntu not contributing code upstream has to ask themselves, does it matter? Does the fact that Ubuntu contributes or not upstream affect Linux either way?"

Absolutely. Yes, it does. How can it be otherwise? Canonical is by far the company with the largest engineering resources in the 'free desktop operating system' sector. In the overall free software sector, it's probably only behind Red Hat and Novell (depending on how you treat big companies with small OSS departments). How can it *not* be significant how much work this very important engineering workforce does on the free desktop ecosystem? Wouldn't our graphics drivers, network drivers, sound drivers, and desktop applications be better if Canonical were devoting a part of its engineering resources to developing them?

Reply Parent Score: 4