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

Why? Because Ubuntu made Linux visible and usable for a lot of people and end users.

That's a lot of contribution.


"contribution" to what? The end-users perhaps (which is called distribution), not the linux community.

As an example I put PackageKit, developed by Fedora in a distribution-agnostic way. Then comes Archlinux, who provides a module for their package management system. That is collaboration of two members of the linux community in a common technology.

Ubuntu doesn't do anything like that.

So, how would an Evil Canonical behave? Isn't gathering end-users pretty much what any company tries to do? So how is Canonical not being a self-interested, non-collaborative leecher?

Reply Parent Score: 2

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Man, I do not know if Ubuntu contributes and collaborates with the Linux or GNOME community through source code, but they contribute to make the whole Linux software stack available to end users. Such kind of contribution is not technical at all, but I do not see it as less important:
If you are a great developer and you do not have a channel to reach to your final user, the pristine code you write will just be useful for one person: you... If you write your code and you have also a team that compiles it, distributes it, sells it and makes it popular... don't you think such team is collaborating and contributing indirectly to your work? I do think so.

Edited 2010-09-15 02:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

...they contribute to make the whole Linux software stack available to end users.

Or just their own standalone fork of it?

If you write your code and you have also a team that compiles it, distributes it, sells it and makes it popular...

Except Canonical is increasingly altering that code to suit their own needs, without giving useful feedback to the upstream developer and the original code doesn't end up anywhere. Just Canonical's fork spreads.

It's all within the letter of the GPL. It doesn't follow any other conventions though. Changes should be made upstream, so that the improvements flow to ALL downstream recipients. Just plonking your own visions on a publically accessible server and then saying you contribute is disingenious.

What Canonical does is reminiscent of the old UNIX vendors. Just futz in your own code base and don't pay attention to compatibility with your competition. The different versions of UNIX, fundamentally incompatible with each other, did that platform in. Until the advent of Canonical's version of contributing, Linux and the associated projects were consistent and source compatible over the different distros. Now we have the traditional "Linux" projects and the increasingly incompatible Canonical versions of it (with their Indicator framework, Windicator framework, Unity interface, Upstart, etc.) How long before an application written on Ubuntu doesn't work on any non-buntu distribution?

That's the problem and that draws the criticism. Not their end user marketing and care for their user base, which is outstanding.

Reply Parent Score: 5

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

Man, I do not know if Ubuntu contributes and collaborates with the Linux or GNOME community through source code, but they contribute to make the whole Linux software stack available to end users. Such kind of contribution is not technical at all, but I do not see it as less important:
If you are a great developer and you do not have a channel to reach to your final user, the pristine code you write will just be useful for one person: you... If you write your code and you have also a team that compiles it, distributes it, sells it and makes it popular... don't you think such team is collaborating and contributing indirectly to your work? I do think so.

That's like saying that BP contributes to Louisiana by making their oil help millions of people. They don't care about the people in Louisiana, they are in it for the money; it cannot be called a contribution.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

The end-users perhaps (which is called distribution), not the linux community.


Making such a clear distinction between the "Community" and "end-users" worries me...

It is a worrying sign of the mentality which is holding some OSS projects back as far as the "ready for the desktop" kind of realm is concerned... where UI design, usability, sane defaults, and a generally "it just works" feeling rule or should rule.

Reply Parent Score: 1

felipec Member since:
2007-09-25

"The end-users perhaps (which is called distribution), not the linux community.


Making such a clear distinction between the "Community" and "end-users" worries me...
"

The operative words are not user vs community, but linux vs ubuntu.

Reply Parent Score: 1