Canonical and KDE

Recently, Aaron Seigo, a good friend of mine and well known KDE member did an interview with ComputerWorld. In the interview, Aaron said “What I find unfortunate is that some companies dig into technologies. Canonical did not communicate well about long-term support and therefore neglected 35 percent of their user base. A user base they routinely neglect, but at KDE we ignore a lot of this“.

I find this very disappointing, and that we are alleged to routinely neglect our KDE user base. I want to make a few things clear here:

  • Canonical invests in Kubuntu – Jonathan Riddell is paid full-time to work on Kubuntu and Canonical provides the hosting and resources to help Kubuntu development happen. Kubuntu is a community distribution, and has an excellent inclusive community, in which Jonathan does excellent work alongside the many other excellent Kubuntu contributors.
  • Canonical pays for thousands of free Kubuntu CDs to be produced, all via ShipIt. Not only this, but we pay for the postage too. This has helped to get a professionally produced CD with KDE and Kubuntu in the hands of many users all around the world.
  • Kubuntu is commercially supported by our commercial support service and Kubuntu 8.04 will get the same level of commercial support as Kubuntu 7.10, Kubuntu 7.04 and Kubuntu 6.10. Nothing changes with the commercial support commitment.
  • I have had many phone calls and discussions with Aaron to discuss and settle concerns, as well as other members of the KDE project. I have also specifically actioned Jorge Castro on my team to regularly liaise with Aaron and report back concerns and methods we can fix them.
  • In terms of investment in GNOME vs. investment in KDE, right now we have Jonathan working on KDE, and 2 developers working on GNOME. The vast majority of Canonical developers who work on Ubuntu, work on other areas.
  • We select when to do an LTS based on a number of factors, one of which is the stability/maturity of upstream platforms. KDE 4.0, which is clearly one of the most exciting KDE releases in a long time, has openly acknowledged that it has rough edges and should be treated as such. With Kubuntu we are keen to include the KDE project’s best work, in the same way we want to include the best work of many upstream projects, and by including this work, it helps get it exposed to users and improve. So then, it comes down to this – do we make Kubuntu 8.04 an LTS and only include KDE 3.x (annoying users who can’t get 4.0) or include KDE 4.0 (annoying people who want an LTS). Well, we figured it would be better to provide users with the latest, greatest KDE.

I am, frankly, surprised that despite the above points, Aaron feels that we routinely neglecting Kubuntu users.

  • Anonymous

    Kubuntu 8.04 will get the same level of commercial support as Kubuntu 7.10, Kubuntu 7.04 and Kubuntu 6.10

    Do you try to be funny or take reader for a fool? There is intentionally Kubuntu 6.06 and for s/Kubuntu/Ubuntu/ 8.04 missing.

  • Anonymous

    it comes down to this – do we make Kubuntu 8.04 an LTS and only include KDE 3.x (annoying users who can’t get 4.0) or include KDE 4.0 (annoying people who want an LTS). Well, we figured it would be better to provide users with the latest, greatest KDE.

    That’s is more fooling of users. Afaik you now will ship a 8.04 including KDE 3.x with the usual non-LTS support time-frame and KDE 4.x with 6 months support.

    If Canonical don’t have the resources to make Kubuntu 8.04 LTS with super-stable KDE 3.x (and I can image that one person is not sufficient) then either hire more resources or admit that you’re lacking the resources or interest in KDE – but don’t blame it on upstream or KDE 4.x!

  • Sakke

    Jono, you made good points. I think it’s good idea not to release Kubuntu with KDE 4.0 as LTS. And I also think Canonical has helped KDE a lot already. 8.04 will be a good Kubuntu release and LTS Kubuntu sure will come at some point.

  • http://jjncj.com/blog/ Joshua Kugler

    Well, in matters of the heart (and Gnome vs. KDE often is), perception is reality. Even if it is not the case, it often seems that Kubuntu is somewhat neglected. I believe the main reason for this is the very fact that they have different names. All the promotion goes into “Ubuntu,” which by definition means promoting Gnome. I won’t go in to the naming war, but if there was “Ubuntu Gnome,” “Ubuntu KDE,” etc., then promoting Ubuntu wouldn’t feel like neglecting Kubuntu. Another reason for the perception is the fact that apparently (according to the above) KDE is a community distribution. If that is so, then why is there commercial (and LTS) support for it? I guess the feeling is that if it’s truly a community distribution, then there shouldn’t be commercial support for it, and if there is commercial support (which I’m sure most want), then it should be promoted just as much Ubuntu, and given just as much logistical (i.e. developer, etc) support.

    I would tend to agree with Aaron. Given the above, I realize this is not necessarily reality, but it can feel like neglect at times. And when you’re dealing with users who may not have all of the above facts, what they feel goes a long way in determining their action.

  • http://makosol.free.fr makosol

    As a Kubuntu user, I understand A. Seigo’s comment. You say : “In terms of investment in GNOME vs. investment in KDE, right now we have Jonathan working on KDE, and 2 developers working on GNOME. The vast majority of Canonical developers who work on Ubuntu, work on other areas.” It’s certainly true. But it is also certain that the “work on other area” is made to work with GNOME only (think printer-config, windows migration assistant, compiz integration, etc), then more o less adapted for KDE by community. It’s a pity that while “historic” KDE distribution like OpenSuse and Mandriva make efforts to support better GNOME, Ubuntu and Fedora don’t do same with KDE.

  • Jonas

    Maybe routinely neglects are too strong words, but at a guess (and I don’t know Aaron apart from reading what he writes at planet KDE) I would guess that he means that regular Ubuntu (Gnome) usually gets the improvements before Kubuntu does. Restricted manager, automatic download of codecs, and bulletproof X to just mention the most obvious ones.

    If that is what he means, I can not do anything else but agree with him. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kubuntu and I wish I could still use it (Gutsy was a regression for me so I switched to another distro) but IMO it’s at best wishful thinking in claiming that Kubuntu gets the same TLC as Ubuntu.

  • Dave Morley

    Anonymous your a fool.

    If Kde4 takes off (as I hope it does) then kde 3.5.6 will be dropped. However Kde4 is currently not suitable for lts.

    So you can’t support KDE4 in the short term or KDE3.5.6 in the long term. This leaves you stuck in the middle. Business sense wise with standard support available, you can still get a support system in place. However for long term support neither is a viable option until it’s known which way KDE is going. Once KDE settle into regular releases that are stable and inclusive of all apps then KDE can be reconsidered for LTS. But one version needs to stop for an LTS to be considered.

  • Walther

    @ anonymous about missing versions Of course those releases are missing because they were LTS. The whole post is about why Kubuntu 8.04 cannot be an LTS. Ubuntu 8.04 was LTS and both Ubuntu AND Kubuntu 6.06 were LTS too. How is that taking the reader for a fool?

    @ anonymous about blaming upstream Nobody is blaming upstream. It is a matter of fact that KDE 4.0 is not stable enough to make it worth supporting for such a long time. It is buggy and in this case that is a good thing. You want to release ealry so daring users can start using it now. They can file bug reports or fix things themselves and thus contribute to KDE. The next version will be stable enough for general use. I’m absolutely sure that the Ubuntu release containing GNOME 3.0 (when the day comes) will not be LTS either. No company is willing to support a version like this.

  • David

    If you truly believe that Kubuntu gets the same attention that Ubuntu does, I want some of what you smoking. “In terms of investment in GNOME vs. investment in KDE, right now we have Jonathan working on KDE, and 2 developers working on GNOME. The vast majority of Canonical developers who work on Ubuntu, work on other areas.” It would appear that those other areas only benefit Gnome or the one extra developer makes a huge difference.

  • Amadeu

    You count GNOME developers as “other projects”, as they only develop the GNOME front end. Could you please count all developers that only develop GNOME front ends plus the two dedicated GNOMEs? Otherwise, you are just misleading people and you know it.

  • Stuart

    You say ‘Canonical invests in Kubuntu’ – I say ‘Feature parity?’ You say ‘Kubuntu is a community distribution’ – I say ‘…with paid development and commercial support?’

    I think Canonical realises very well the business/marketing strength of having a primary product and therefore KDE will never get real support from Canonical unless it became the defacto linux desktop.

    Part of the problem is that KDE users had no big distro to go to after everyone jumped on the gnome bandwagon. So when Mark did his KDE patron marketing gimmick alot of people fell for it and still believe that KDE is supposed to be an equal player. It didn’t help that he promised more KDE developers and never obliged.

    I don’t think Canonical has necessarily been devious in explaining the position of Kubuntu but it has never been forthright either. Say it once, say it clearly and people will understand. KDE is number two in the Ubuntu universe and Canonical will do nothing to change that.

  • Amadeu

    BTW, I think Canonical can do whatever it wants with its own money, but to claim that the difference between Ubuntu and Kubuntu is just a developer is just silly. Come clean: GNOME is the main desktop, KDE is just a community project.

  • jono

    A few people have raised two key points:

    • The ‘other developers’ I refer to work on GNOME front-ends primarily
    • Kubuntu “feels” like it is secondary to Ubuntu

    To be clear – my only point in this post is that the so called neglect of Kubuntu users is not as bad as Aaron is making out. I am not denying that for a second that Ubuntu gets more focus from Canonical in terms of marketing – we have made it quite clear that Kubuntu is a community distribution we try to support the development of.

  • http://wolfger.wordpress.com/ Wolfger

    As a Kubuntu user, do I feel “routinely neglected”? No. On the other hand, Joshua makes an excellent point about the naming convention, and many other people have made, I think, a valid observation that the “other projects” that have paid devs are overwhelmingly GNOME-oriented projects. Please do a recount of which devs are Gnome-oriented versus KDE-oriented, vs. other, and get back to us. If a dev overlaps these borders, use fractional math. :mrgreen:

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous your a fool.

    And you think this statement raises your credibility?

    However Kde4 is currently not suitable for lts.

    Nobody disputest that. And do you know a business who wants to have rather bleeding edge (KDE4.0) than something proven stable (KDE3.x)?

    So you can’t support KDE4 in the short term or KDE3.5.6 in the long term.

    The next version will be btw 3.5.9, and of course can it be supported for 3 years. Competitors support KDE 3.x until 2013.

    Once KDE settle into regular releases that are stable and inclusive of all apps then KDE can be reconsidered for LTS.

    That’s a myth. And afaik Ubuntu also contains applications which are not part of GNOME release.

    But one version needs to stop for an LTS to be considered.

    No, you/Canonical has to stop their lies/propaganda.

  • Christian

    Where does this giant feeling of entitlement from KDE users come from? Or the feeling of being the victims of grave injustices everytime someone doesn’t do exactly as the these KDE users want? I have seen these types of complaints a lot of places, like around Fedora or Novell. While on the other hand when Suse had shit GNOME support back in the day or Linspire or Caldera only supported KDE, GNOME people just went elsewhere instead of crying about the evils of the worlds corporations.

  • Amadeu

    I think what Aaron said is just fair.

    Why can´t KDE 3.5.8 not be a LTS? Because canonical don’t think it is worthy. I doubt that if GNOME 3.0 were out, that they would not suport the last stable GNOME 2 in the LTS.

    Canonical has every right to follow this strategy. But then you have to cope with the obvious claim that relative to Ubuntu users, Kubuntu users are neglected.

  • Anonymous

    @walther

    Of course those releases are missing because they were LTS.

    I thought Jono wanted to point out that commercial support for KDE from Canonical is not declining. Of course it isn’t compared to the versions he listed, but for sure compared to Kubuntu 6.06 LTS which he left out and compare to GNOME will get for 8.04.

    Nobody is blaming upstream.

    Sorry, one of the posting from Canonical people I read was along the line of “KDE project will not guarantee that they support KDE 3.x for the time we require”. I have never seen such question from Canonical coming to the KDE project.

    Btw, someone is misinterpreting the business model of “earning money by offering a service around open source” here. Canonical wants to earn money by selling support contracts for LTS versions. But it is denying to label next Kubuntu LTS with the reasoning upstream/community would not provide the support. So they want the money for work other people do for free without investing (sufficient) into their business. That’s impudent!

    I’m absolutely sure that the Ubuntu release containing GNOME 3.0 (when the day comes) will not be LTS either.

    Agreed, and you think there wouldn’t be a LTS with the latest stable GNOME 2.x version rather than leaving your customers of the previous LTS version by surprise with a gap of some years without a version with LTS suppport!?

  • Stuart

    The money and effort that Canonical put in are appreciated but there is always going to be this clash of perspectives. That said Canonical’s LTS decision is a sensible one imo.

    Since the beginning KDE steadily fell behind in terms of features. Heck, the only major Kubuntu goal for 8.04 is ubuntu catch up. How exactly that is going to work is beyond me. (Best of luck to the developers!) The problem is that as soon as the KDE4 cycle starts Kubuntu is going to start falling behind again.

    I’d like to say the question now is pretty much ‘Should KDE users bother with Ubuntu/Canonical? ‘ But the real question is ‘Are there any other better KDE alternatives?’ Unfortunately I’d argue that there isn’t really.

    /Ex-Kubuntu user who switched to Ubuntu (for the features) //Still bitter :D

  • Anon

    “If Kde4 takes off (as I hope it does) then kde 3.5.6 will be dropped.”

    Dropped? Dropped by whom? If you mean by the KDE devs, then you are wrong, for the reasons mentioned here:

    http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2008/01/talking-bluntly.html

    In short, there are tons of KDE3 installations all over the place (the big wad of KDE3 apps that come with the wildly-popular ASUS EEE just being one example of this), so the KDE3 guys would be fools to drop support for KDE3. And this is not just speculation: even during the massively draining run up to KDE4.0.0, KDE3 still got bug fixes – and lots of them. KDE3.5.9 is due to be tagged in mid-February of this year. Granted, these are mainly bug-fixes (except for KDEPIM, which is due to have some extra features in 3.5.9), but this is of course exactly what you want for an LTS.

    The decision to not let the KDE3 version of Kubuntu 8.04 be an LTS on the grounds that KDE3 might not have bug-fixes three years into the future is either ill-informed or just an excuse, IMO.

  • Anonymous

    In terms of investment in GNOME vs. investment in KDE, right now we have Jonathan working on KDE, and 2 developers working on GNOME.

    My school math btw says that’s 100% more support for GNOME. And nobody changed there since the promises of Mark Shuttleworth at LinuxTag 2006. Only that he joined as supporting member to KDE e.v. – for the cheap rate for an individual person rather than as entity Canonical.

  • Anonymous

    The reference for some points made above: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/kubuntu-devel/2007-December/002099.html – I guess that’s the most official statement of Canonical existing about this decision. Some quotes:

    “In order for Canonical to make a commercial commitment to their customers, who have signed contracts and terms of service with them, they need to be sure that they can honour the terms of their agreements.”

    “Thus it is difficult to guarantee that upstream will still support the current stable series for the timescale required.”

  • Justin

    I think what Aaron is trying to say when he said “unfortunate is that some companies dig into technologies.” Is that Canonical takes good working code and makes it buggy. I used 7.04 since alpha 1 and it worked good then about alpha 3 or so everything started getting buggy. So I went back to 7.04. Then 8.04 came along so I installed it and nice, everything is working again, Then Jan 31 update, crash everything back to the same 8.04 is acting just like 7.10. Sound subsystem hangs when you use certain programs (kvpnc). Canonical takes good working code and messes with it until it is buggy and will not work with anything except approved packages. Not to be mean but I think that is what he is saying.

  • istoff

    Agree with Aaron and understand your contention Jono, but while I respect Canonical’s position, I don’t see why you tried to justify the developer focus as it clearly does not reflect on their output. Canonical is helping drive gnome to great things and as a Ubuntu Gnome user since dapper, I appreciate that. That said, certain attitudes are creeping into especially the ubtutu gtk gnome community which remind me of “holier than thou” mac fans. If kde4 lives up to what I’ve seen thus far from a technical standpoint, I’ll be glad to make the switch back to a KDE loving distro. Having played around with the latest kde4livecd, I’m beginning to believe the reason my ubuntu desktop and laptop feel sluggish and “WindowsXP-like” is due to all the python code, but that’s something I have to research more before I make that blind accusation.

  • http://vizZzion.ogr Sebastian Kuegler

    Jono, fact is that Canonical has recently pissed off quite some KDE people. You can choose to ignore it (which you didn’t), you can choose to call it bollocks (which is what you go for), or you could choose to closely listen, digest and try to address those problems (which is what would be smart).

  • http://wgz.org/chromatic/ chromatic

    I can’t believe you used “action” and “liaise” as verbs. Ouch.

  • Erunno

    The reason for not releasing Kubuntu 8.04 with LTS support where so specious that I truly wonder if Canonical thinks its users and customers are braindead. As already pointed out Canonical’s competitors like Mandriva, Novell and RedHat have no qualms supporting KDE 3.5.x for several years despite the prospect that upstream support might lessen over the years. There already exist large commercial installations of Kubuntu (i.e. french government) and the signal to them will be probably that Kubuntu is unreliable at best for a commercial deployment. Actually, Kubuntu losing credibility might give distributions which still fully support KDE a chance to fill the void so it’s not all doom and gloom.

    @Stuart Although this is a point of lengthy discussion I would claim without hesitation that large distributions like openSUSE and Mandriva exceed Kubuntu in terms of stability and available resources easily.

    Canonical is facing the problem that Jonathan Riddell is likely overburdened with supporting two LTS release, several regular releases and working on the next one at the same time.

  • http://ponsaelius.blogspot.com Segedunum

    I think we all feel a bit like Aaron does with (x)Ubuntu generally, and not just with regards desktop support. We’ve had it with the proudly proclaimed ‘no ports open by default’ proclamation, that then went on to cripple CUPS fundamentally. I assume we’ve also all had the EVMS (Enterprise Volume Management) trouble, even though we’re not using EVMS!

    In terms of long-term support in Kubuntu, the way it should have been handled was that Kubuntu should have continued with its support of the KDE 3.5.x line There’s no unwritten rule that says that because KDE 4.0 is the latest that has to be in there today. You provide the right and ready desktop at the right time with the right and consistent level of support. KDE 3.5.x is still being supported by the KDE people, and they have committed themselves as such.

    https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/kubuntu-devel/2007-December/002099.html

    Reading the link in the mailing list posting above, questioning the support of KDE 3.5.x in 2011 was also daft. The KDE people, including Aaron, have stated that 3.5.x will continue to be supported, I have never seen that question asked openly to the KDE developers, and if there is demand for KDE 3.5.x support in 2011 then it will be there like everything else. I mean, you know, you would have thought that Canonical would have helped with that support with their existing staff and by hiring another couple of people – especially if people are paying for support contracts. That posting makes little, if any, logical sense.

    Doing this any other way than that was just utterly idiotic and confusing, and quite frankly, it just looks as if KDE 4.0.0 was being used as a stick to beat Kubuntu with. Either that, or the Ubuntu/Canonical people have just made another in a long line of utterly daft decisions that make anyone laugh at the term ‘Long Term Support’.

  • eddie

    I am a long time Kubuntu user. I do feel neglected, like a second class citizen in the Ubuntu project and believe that in the long term I will be forced to switch distro (ie. features like the update manager take so long to be ported to KDE it would be common-sense to go to fedora/debian/arch/gentoo).

    The claims of Jono here are outrageous. Let’s be sensible.

  • Javier

    Me too.

    I’ve been using Kubuntu for 18 months, and I feel neglected too. Kubuntu is much less polished than Ubuntu. Bugs takes forever to be corrected, if you are lucky and they are corrected. For example, there is an ugly bug in the installation process that has been there for years. I’ve been hit with that bug in every single update I’ve done, making the process quite difficult.

    Anyway I will continue with Kubuntu, so the things shouldn’t be so bad, but they could be much better.

    I’m just curious, has Canonical got an estimation of the number of users of all the *ubuntu distros?

  • Anon

    “I’m just curious, has Canonical got an estimation of the number of users of all the *ubuntu distros?”

    35% is the number generally quoted for Kubuntu.

  • anonymous

    Until I can count on the latest Kubuntu release having all the new features of its Ubuntu counterpart (restricted driver manager, etc.) and not lagging behind 1-2 releases in features, Canonical is routinely neglecting KDE. Call it what you want. Or come out right and admit that Kubuntu is the figurative “red-headed stepchild” of the *buntu family. Either way, you can’t honestly say that Kubuntu gets the same love and attention as Ubuntu. And while I understand a desire to standardize on one desktop, that does nothing to change the fact that, in general, KDE-centric distros like OpenSuse and Mandriva make sure that Gnome gets polish as well to the point of being desktop agnostic, while most Gnome-centric distros still slight KDE.

    Much as I like Ubuntu, I’m a KDE fan at heart. Even thought I left OpenSuse for Ubuntu, I may go back to them, MS deal and all, if the KDE situation does not improve soon. LTS or not isn’t as big a deal as feature parity.

    Focusing on Gnome and neglecting KDE is certainly Canonical’s prerogative. But I just hope that they will at least admit it openly and realize that they will always be alienating a non-trivial portion of their potential users as long as they do so.

  • http://mysite.verizon.net/kevin.mark Kevin Mark

    I’ve always seen Ubuntu as a cross between an FLOSS project and a commercial business. It is lead by a businessman although he is FLOSS-oriented. He gets to guide the ship that is Ubuntu. He wanted it to be targeted to average users while expecting the FLOSS world to be a major part of its initial base. He choose Gnome as its desktop of choice. So I expect him to develop that vision to gain more average user which means spending his resources on Gnome. If you already know more than the average user, then community support is what you get. So KDE has community support and he even gave it commercial and SHIPIT support, now that to me is a bonus. Should he support even more? fwm-buntu, openbox-buntu, evilwm-buntu…. He wants to get the rest of the world on our side. if you already here in GNU land, you’ve already won. But I don’t hold a grudge if KDE is not the top priority because its not what I saw as the Ubuntu goal. But I do see the point in supporting KDE as the ‘other desktop choice’ as obviously KDE is one of the 2 top desktop environment in GNU-land.

  • Hobbsee

    Now, if this really is true, with the idea of equal support for ubuntu and kubuntu, how come:

    • We never have canonical staff working on a KDE hug day – they’re either on something like ubiquity, for both distros, or for a part of gnome?

    • We don’t have full KDE support for compiz yet?

    • Riddell has to go and write GUIs for things that other people have put in, usually canonical staff, which only have frontends for gtk?

    I don’t have a problem with Kubuntu only being a community supported release, apart from Riddell – but you shouldn’t claim it gets equal, or almost equal, support and standing with Ubuntu, when it clearly isn’t true.

  • Scott Kitterman

    And of course no one has mentioned that Kubuntu Dapper users were promised an LTS to LTS upgrade path that no longer exists. This just not about doing things going forward, it’s also about going back on past commitments.

  • fred

    It’s always an obvious fact that even though Canonical never said explicitly and even denied it, it’s indeed Kubuntu is like “2nd class citizen”. All Kubuntu user can see this clearly. I know for sure Jonathan Riddel is hired by Kubuntu, but he is not a Superman that can handle everthing.

    I’m a long-time KDE user, and if they never bother to give better support for my favorite DE, I’ll never bother to install Ubuntu or Kubuntu as well (I’ve only tried Ubuntu on live CD)

  • RIP

    The issue Canonical has is, that they just don’t make enough money out of there target-market, the home-user. Shifting toward the coperate business-world would be logical but the quality of the LTS-releases – ever tried the server one? – is just to bad to line up with RHEL, SLES, debian stable or Mandriva.

    Canonical is w/o any question very good at marketing and that was needed to reach the large user-base they have today. To support Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Edubuntu was propably part of that marketing-plan and it’s changing now.

    Let’s face it: Buntu is dying on all levels. All what is needed now is a new distro-star (PCLinuxOS? #1 on distrowatch) and Buntu will lose it’s community again and have to re-start at the beginning. That’s live, that’s the result of going for coperate business and investing in marketing while ignoring the community, that’s it. I am switching to PCLinuxOS now. Over and out.

  • Thomas Zander

    Jono,

    what I find interesting in your post is that you list a couple of things canonical does which help Kubuntu (and by extention itself), but you don’t really address the points that Aaron made. Claiming you don’t know what they are. I have a hard time taking your word as sincere here, even I had talks with you on how the gnome version is pushed a lot more by all canonical people. So I’m sure you are aware of those.

    Like Sebas said above, don’t try to look innocent here, it doesn’t help your cause.

    I too am very disappointed by a lot of actions from canonical, and while I think Jonathan does an outstanding job, its clear he is fighting the fight that we should not really be fighting in the first place. The whole long-term support thing just adds to the existing pains.

    There are many ways canonical could have chosen to handle the LTS thing; for example canonical could backport the kde4.1 release to 804 and make that kubuntu version a LTS as well. (it still can!) Just not having a LTS is, well, disappointing.

  • jono

    Everyone – like I said earlier – I am NOT DENYING at all that Kubuntu gets less focus, less resources and less attention – I am NOT SAYING that it is equal to Ubuntu.

    My only point is that it seems to be black or white – either Canonical treats Kubuntu with exactly the same level of attention as Ubuntu (which is clearly not the case) or it is completely ignoring it. I am just saying that while Canonical is not perfect in this regard and not equally resourcing Kubuntu, I would would say that it is still investing a lot into it.

  • Kyashan

    I only know that kubuntu since dapper drake can’t recognize correctly my laptop screen and now gutsy too…The problem has never been fixed.This not happens with Ubuntu,every hardware device works out-of-the-box.I feel a second class citizen,infact I use mepis instead of Kubuntu (that I would use if it had the same support of Ubuntu).PLEASE INVEST ON KUBUNTU AND KDE4!!!!! They will be great together,but if there’s no support none will use it.

  • http://xubuntublog.wordpress.com/ Vincent

    Unfortunately Canonical does routinely neglect Xubuntu. Well, of course, not complete neglect – hosting/building/etc. is still generously provided by Canonical. However, of all the things you mentioned above that Canonical does for Kubuntu, this is the only thing that also applies to Xubuntu.

    Ah well, the Xubuntu community is doing an excellent job by itself ;)

  • Vexorian

    Canonical should really focus more on KDE or xcfe and make the current ubuntu “gnomubuntu” while picking another desktop for official Ubuntu. , moving out of gnome and their pro-MS actions and attempts to make us all dependent on MONO. I think the faster we do this, the better, and I also think that we’ll eventually have to do it.

  • Vexorian

    RIP: Ubuntu is not dying, it would be much better if you PLOS guys would try be better neighborgs instead of always insisting on attack Ubuntu.

    And no, it is not just marketing, if anything PLOS would be just marketing, relying on distrowatch numbers and magazine articles by PLOS fans detailing how ubuntu is totally bad and PLOS is totally perfect!

  • Anand Vaidya

    Hi Jono

    There is no doubt Jonathan Riddell is doing absolutely fantastic work, especially, given the KDE-as-a-second-class DE status in Ubuntu family. (Just look at the name: Ubuntu = unbuntu + GNOME)

    You start out the blog entry refuting Aaron’s allegation (that KDE does not get the focus at Canonical), but read your own comments, and you are actually accepting the allegation (which is 100% right and somewhat understated, coz, Aaron is too polite a guy).

    I have been running kubuntu since 6.06, but I am fed up of the GNOME focus at canonical, which I consider not friendly env for Power Users.

    I just held off migrating my debian servers to kubuntu. Probably I will keep everything servers) debian and move desktops / laptops to either Mandriva or DebianKDE (single CD)

    I am sure there are hundreds of frustrated KDE users like me, who, fed up of corporate antics by RedHat and Novell (demoting KDE) chose Ubuntu, but seems you guys are no better….

  • blueget

    I agree totally with all the people who feel neglected. Kubuntu just doesn’t get the attention it deserves, because Canonical hides it and only pushes Ubuntu (Which should imho be called Gubuntu or Gnomebuntu). Jonathan Riddell does an excellent job, but the rest of Canonical’s devs only does GTK/GNOME stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Who gives a fuck about *buntu anyways?

    Btw. censorship by moderated comments sucks! And yes, i would write more polite if it weren’t censored anyways.

    So to sum it up: No one is believing the lame excused you make up here – just admit it and recommend a few distros with serious KDE integration to the pissed of Kubuntu users (e.g. PCLinuxOS, openSUSE, …).

    Thanks!

  • jono

    Anonymous – not moderated comments – it is my over-zealous spam filter – see a previous blog entry this week for more details.

  • Ed Daniel

    @anonymous re: “Focusing on Gnome and neglecting KDE is certainly Canonical’s prerogative.” – it is very dangerous and damaging to the relations between these projects to state things like that without proof – i.e. I do not believe it is Canonical’s prerogative to neglect KDE and this type of comment would be better phrased as an opinion rather than allow it to be perceived as a ‘fact’.

    Jono – I really do think a combined statement of ‘truth’ i.e. official PR release from Canonical, Gnome and KDE right now is necessary before this debate gets out of control and excessive damage occurs. At least it will get the powers-to-be to sit down together and realise some shit has hit your collective fans and we, the community, would appreciate you wiping it off rather than having it sprayed across the entire space.

  • http://www.seqfault.de/blog/index.php?/archives/70-Wird-Kubuntu-von-Canonical-vernachlaessigt.html kernel.panic!

    Wird Kubuntu von Canonical vernachlässigt?…

    Da ist gerade eine Diskussion in der Community im Gange, ob Kubuntu von Canonical vernachlässigt wird. Gut, die Diskussion an sich ist nichts neues. Schon länger hat die Kubuntu Community ein wenig das Gefühl nicht gleich behandelt zu werden. Ich ge…

  • John Wilson

    With respect to Ed Daniel’s statement about that the debate is out of control is true and that it’s already too late.

    Ubuntu the distro can continue to support GNOME if it likes and good luck to it. I no longer offer to install or support any *buntu or recommend it because the first thing that people coming to Linux from Windows do is glaze over and say what the heck is THIS?

    And when I go through the dance about how GNOME is supposedly user and newbie friendly by hiding so many configuration options, even related ones, under a passle of menu choices that focus far too narrowly they give up in disgust. Rightly so.

    KDE on the other hand, at least starts off looking something like Windows and people coming to Linux feel more comfortable. And if they want to change something they only have to go to one dialog box, overly busy to be sure, to do it. (I’m not at all happy with KDE 4.0’s solution to this issue but it could simply be because it’s new to me.)

    Sadly, Kubuntu looks and feels like a layer added on top of GTK libraries and apps the even if there are superior KDE and Qt libraries and apps available. Hence my decision not to support it because I get calls from confused newbies wondering why a dialog has just popped up that doesn’t look like it belongs there and breaks the workflow built into KDE. (Similar things happen if you try the same things layering GNOME on top of KDE and Qt, for what it’s worth.)

    My advice to Canonical, for what it’s worth either fully support the three desktops you CLAIM to support or become a GNOME only distro and stay with that. Less headaches all around though possibly fewer “current Linux darling” in the mainstream computer media and from places like Linux Magazine.

    Until Canonical either focuses exclusively on GNOME or it fully supports KDE and Xfce the feeling that KDE and Xfce are poor second cousins wearing the hand-me-downs will only grow.

    ttfn

    John

  • http://karper.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/on-why-kubuntu-is-good-for-kde/ On “Why Kubuntu Is Good For KDE”… « KarperWorld

    [...] Kubuntu Is Good For KDE”… If any have been following the arguments going on back and forth on the planets, you’d see how timely this post [...]

  • Taupter

    Jono, I’m a KDE developer. I currently use Kubuntu 7.10 (amd64) in one of my dev machines. Even being a dev myself, what I’ll say here expresses only my opinion, so these are my personal thoughs, and don’t represent KDE as a whole. That said, Please drop KDE support altogether. We really don’t benefit a lot from Canonical. Putting it clearly, we’re better without Canonical, as this perceived 2nd-class position KDE has in it is degrading, and your sugary words just add insult to injury. Be honest, drop KDE. Please. Canonical does more harm than good to us. We don’t need your server space, we don’t need a patronage that only serves to mask the fact Canonical just wants to seem to be the “good guy” while offering a sub-par KDE experience, thus undermining the KDE experience for new users. Canonical is nocive to KDE. Please assume Canonical is a GNOME shop and sftu. Slackware is a KDE shop for what matters, and noboy complains because Patrick Volkerding is honest to his principles and says black is black and white is white, instead of acting like you and Canonical. Nobody will complain if you’re simply honest and drop support for KDE. What makes people sad about Canonical (and about your words) is the fact it pretends to be something and fail miserably to do so. KDE doesn’t fit in Canonical’s business plan. Don’t spend more money trying to look good samaritans. It just undermines your credibility.

  • http://softvision.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/aaron-criticizes-canonical-kubuntu-developers-hit-back-the-aftermath/ Aaron criticizes Canonical, Kubuntu developers hit back: the Aftermath « Terminal Variant

    [...] this was met with disappointment from Jono Bacon, Canonical’s Ubuntu Community Manager who countered Aaron’s comments. Kubuntu developer Jonathan Riddell wrote an excellent post, leading from [...]

  • http://softvision.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/aaron-seigo-criticizes-canonical-kubuntu-developers-hit-back-the-aftermath/ Aaron Seigo criticizes Canonical, Kubuntu developers hit back: the Aftermath « Terminal Variant

    [...] this was met with disappointment from Jono Bacon, Canonical’s Ubuntu Community Manager who countered Aaron’s comments. Kubuntu developer Jonathan Riddell wrote an excellent post, leading from [...]

  • Vadim P.

    “We don’t have full KDE support for compiz yet?”

    Ha, ha, ha, ha.

    Didn’t you guys decide to make your own WM? Why not stick with that all th way through then?

  • Second class citizen

    Soooo, Canonical pays all of one developer to work on Kubuntu, and pays for the projects joke of a website. The reasoning for not providing LTS support would make an M$ PR shill proud, and the last Kubuntu LTS release remains horribly neglected (why I went and put a Kubuntu LTS machine in my server room I’ll never know).

    Second class citizen all the way.

  • http://www.digitalpha.it Roberto Maurizzi

    Well… it’s getting ugly, but from what I’ve seen especially for 7.10, I think aseigo is right.

    Kubuntu 3.5.8 shipped with a tentative Dolphin (spit the view in 2 column and look at the size of the right one), nonworking bluetooth obex support (the bug is closed in 8.04 but still no fix for 7.10, and this for a PACKAGING ERROR!?), hosed printing system (one of the last patches just scaled every print at 50%)… do I need to go on? On launchpad the people are “a little disappointed”, to say the least.

    And now, the nice 8.04 not-so-LTS release. What if I want to install 200 Kubuntu desktops? How long will support lasts for 3.5.x in 8.04? I couldn’t care less for 4.0.0 as you say Mr Jono, but do you or mr Riddell care to tell a system integrator what to do if I want to do a KDE deployment in the next months? Will I be able to use a LTS 3.5.x? Will K8.10 be released as LTS? Will 4.1 be released as a LTS addon to 8.04? Will I be better off using Debian or Opensuse? :-P

    Good luck, Roberto Maurizzi, Italy

  • Guy

    For various reasons I am still on dial up internet & am a very grateful recipient/user of a free Kubuntu CD as my main OS. Thank you canonical & the Kubuntu community.

  • W. Anderson

    After reading the numerous comments on this Kubuntu/KDE matter, and as a long time GNU/Linux user and technology professional with good experience of both (Gnome + KDE) desktops on *Buntu, I can honestly say that a serious problem exists, whether by inference or in reality.

    My impression is that Canonical needs to be “completely, and unequivocably clear” about their support for KDE and how it differs/is same as compared to Gnome. This will cover “their reasons and thinking” from both business and technical perspectives.

    If “it is clear” that Gnome has a decided preference, then I feel KDE users will be disappointed, maybe angry but not confused and felt misled.

    Honesty and clarity are and always be the best approach – especially with any large and diverse population like that comprising the Free Software/Open Source Community.

    Only then can we all go forward, with a “clear” vision of what is next for each of us.

    W. Anderson wanderson@nac.net

  • Chandru

    Canonical is putting a mask. In Gutsy, an update to libxine1 either tried to pull a bunch of gnome packages. Or gave a broken update.

    This is in spite of the fact that Kubuntu apps use Xine by default while Ubuntu apps don’t.

    It is a big joke if someone from Canonical says they give equal care for Kubuntu, when they don’t even test on kubuntu.

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xine-lib/+bug/164801

  • Phred Zed

    One paid developer is hardly adequate support. Don’t get me wrong, I like Canonical’s software base (courtesy of Debian) and the release cycle is great, but there’s no avoiding the fact that KDE is the ugly stepchild in down in Ubuntuville.

    I’m hoping for better in the future, but in the meantime I’m experimenting with Mepis, Mandriva, and other distros that place a priority on KDE. GNOME just isn’t an option for me.

  • http://ryanmcdonough.co.uk/?p=1 Ryan McDonough

    KDE wants to have it’s cake and eat it….

    I have noticed recently that (some) KDE developers and promoters want to have their cake and eat it. There has been alot of promoting KDE 4.0 with a big release event and alot of website promotion. However once reviews started coming in (since the RC&#…

  • Gary M

    Everyone using Kubuntu, Save yourselves! Migrate immediately to Slackware as soon as 12.1 comes out in a week or so.

    It’s the only logical thing to do…

  • Miguel

    I switched to kubuntu from mandriva, because it was thet distro that best supported suspending in my laptop.

    Then I switched from kubuntu to ubuntu, only because, from my point of view, KDE is considered as second class desktop in ubuntu, and it’s implementation is not so polished as GNOME’s, so I decided to use the well supported desktop, instead

  • http://install-use-ubuntu.gotdns.com/2008/jonathan-thomas-kubuntu-the-blue-headed-stepchild/ Jonathan Thomas: Kubuntu, the Blue-headed Stepchild | Install and Use Ubuntu

    [...] post is meant to be read in the context of this post.I do not find fault with Canonical/Ubuntu does to invest in KDE/Kubuntu, but rather with what they [...]

  • http://newslifesite.blogetery.com/2009/09/17/lottalinuxlinks-com-linux-user-podcast-62/ newslife site » lottalinuxlinks.com linux user podcast 62

    [...] on Infinite Earths; Identity Crisis; Kingdom Come; Jonathan Riddell: Why Kubuntu is good for KDE; Jono Bacon: Canonical and KDE; ComputerWorld: interview with Aaron Seigo; renoise for linux, beta commercial port; and debian [...]

  • http://www.zwilnik.com/?p=25 Project Timelord, or How Not To Build A Project | zwilnik

    [...] read if you are a Canonical representative, and Jono Bacon certainly did not like it. He put up a response in his blog (Feb. 1, 2008), which I will not quote here since there is no short piece that works. [...]