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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felipec
Member since:
2007-09-25

"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.


You mean Apple?
"

Yes, Apple is a good example of a lecher company.

"Canonical brings nothing to the linux ecosystem, and doesn't collaborate.


Quality-of-life projects like Papercut notwithstanding.
"

First, that's not Canonical, that's Ubuntu, and the contributions are for Ubuntu, not pushed upstream, if they are, Canonical has nothing to do with it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Canonical/ubuntu pushes more upstream than you realize, only they typically do so by going through Debian first since they derive from Debian.

Point being: you may not necessarily see them inter-acting directly with a lot of projects, but that's by design. They contribute primarily to the extremely slow moving Debian distribution, which then may or may not take those contributions back to the original project.

Honestly, it'd be nice if more distributions did that with their parent distributions - OpenSUSE, Mandriva, etc. could all contribute back to Fedora/Red Hat; and so forth. Slackware would actually end up getting a lot more help that way too - there are a lot of distros based on Slackware.

Reply Parent Score: 2

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

Canonical/ubuntu pushes more upstream than you realize, only they typically do so by going through Debian first since they derive from Debian.


You are mistaken. People from canonical have a @canonical.com address, and their patches never appear in any significant position in any data gathered by anybody. This means that their very rarely make it upstream.

Maybe the Ubuntu community does contribute, but this is not what the complaint is about; Canonical.

Point being: you may not necessarily see them inter-acting directly with a lot of projects, but that's by design. They contribute primarily to the extremely slow moving Debian distribution, which then may or may not take those contributions back to the original project.


It's not what I see, it's the statistics that people have gathered and that show Canonical way below many companies. In fact, I recall a single colleague contributing more patches to GNOME than the whole Canonical.

Honestly, it'd be nice if more distributions did that with their parent distributions - OpenSUSE, Mandriva, etc. could all contribute back to Fedora/Red Hat; and so forth. Slackware would actually end up getting a lot more help that way too - there are a lot of distros based on Slackware.


You are obviously not familiar with the Linux ecosystem. OpenSUSE, Mandriva and Fedora are all independent of each other, the all send their patches directly to upstream, that's how they collaborate.

Ubuntu can do the same thing, and they they would get the patches back through debian (since debian uses upstream). But again, this is not about Ubuntu, it's about Canonical.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Rahux Member since:
2009-01-13

I personally know 8 people who got started with Linux by trying Ubuntu a few years ago. Three of those people became developers. Only one still uses Ubuntu. But if it wasn't for Ubuntu, none of those would have happened.

It might be indirect, but Cannonical has done a huge amount for Linux. The idea that they're stealing potential users from 'traditional' distributions just doesn't translate to reality.

Even in my small example, none of those who started with Ubuntu stayed exclusively with Ubuntu. As soon as you jump to Ubuntu you quickly realise how diverse the Linux ecosystem is. It's also widely marketed and understood as a 'beginners' OS so everyone who wants to go further and experiment with other distros because there's a sense that a lot exciting stuff happens elsewhere. Ubuntu is like a gateway drug to Linux and it does that very well.

Reply Parent Score: 5

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, Apple is a good example of a lecher company.


How is Apple a leecher company given the number of open source projects they have employees working on. LLVM, Webkit, Launchd, libdispatch and so on. Please, tell, me where is Apple 'leeching' or is this just a hissy fit from a person who wants a Mac but is unable to buy one?

Reply Parent Score: 3

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

"Yes, Apple is a good example of a lecher company.


How is Apple a leecher company given the number of open source projects they have employees working on. LLVM, Webkit, Launchd, libdispatch and so on. Please, tell, me where is Apple 'leeching' or is this just a hissy fit from a person who wants a Mac but is unable to buy one?
"

Ok, I was thinking on FreeBSD, but you are right, on other projects they do contribute.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I've heard that many of the Ubuntu developers are also Debian developers. I'm actually asking for correction or confirmation for this one. If there is such a high rate of cross polination between parent and child distros.. isn't that "up stream"?

Reply Parent Score: 2