Humanity To Others: Five Years Later

Five years ago today, the first ever Ubuntu (Warty Warthog) was released. Back then I was an Open Source Consultant working for the government-funded OpenAdvantage and had a (more) stupid beard. Five years later, I am working on my seventh release since I joined Canonical three years ago, and a more refined beard. :-)

I really believe Ubuntu has been a force for change, and I am hugely proud that I have had the chance to be involved in this rollercoaster of opportunity. When Warty was released, what excited me was not only it’s technically adventurous approach and it’s commitment to simplicity and usability, but also that the Ubuntu community was forged in a way that I felt got it right. At the time Linux was already in the sights of the industry but many organizations were merely tolerating community as opposed to embracing it. I admired that the Ubuntu community had an open governance model, a code of conduct and a real meritocratic approach complete with commercial sponsor. This was brave for a commercial sponsor, and credit Benjamin Mako Hill and Mark Shuttleworth for this commitment to community. Both have been an inspiration to me before I joined Canonical and since. Thankyou, guys.

We have made tremendous progress since Warty, but we are still only at the beginning of a long and fruitful journey for us all. As we work feverishly to add the finishing touches to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, everyone in our community, be it developers, translators, documentation writers, LoCo teams, governers or otherwise, should step back for a moment and breathe in what we have all accomplished. Karmic is shaping up to be a rocking release, and speaking personally, even though I am seven releases in, I have never been so passionate and committed to the journey. The future holds incredible promise, and I feel privilaged to work with such a devoted and inspiring community and so many wonderful people at Canonical. Tonight I will be grabbing a glass of something sparkling and toasting to another five years!

  • http://www.becomeyourfursona.com/ Jared Spurbeck

    I kind of envy you. Ubuntu One disillusioned me.

    I’ve got nothing against making money from Ubuntu; that money makes it even better. But I can’t help but feel that “Humanity to others” is just a marketing slogan, to sell people on a proprietary services package. So when we’re sharing it with friends and with people in the third world and everything, we’re not giving them freedom but a “free trial offer.”

    I know that you’re nice guys and all, I don’t doubt that. I just don’t think it’s any better, in this case, than if you weren’t. You’re not going to abuse their trust, but you’re going to leverage your market share to kill off free competition. Either that or you’re going to be surpassed, after a whole lot of unnecessary duplication of effort.

  • http://jonathancarter.co.za Jonathan Carter

    Wow it’s almost hard to believe that it’s been 5 years! I’m quite sure that the next 5 years will be very interesting :)

  • Jayne The Great One

    That (more) stupid beard you had was class dude! hehehe ;-)

  • http://www.jaduncan.com jaduncan

    Personal benchmark: starting the Ubuntu Wikipedia page at 08:05, 16 September 2004.

    Fun times…also aren’t we old? looks surprised

  • http://opensourcemusician.com Daniel Worth

    I don’t think it’s fair to accuse Canonical of leveraging the community or acting in a unethical way at all. I’ve been using Ubuntu since Dapper and they haven’t done anything that made me feel uncomfortable. I think the Ubuntu team are doing it right. Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.becomeyourfursona.com/ Jared Spurbeck

    I agree that they haven’t been unethical, per se. I just didn’t evangelize Ubuntu because I thought that my friends and people in the third world should be buying from Canonical and not Microsoft. I evangelized it because I thought the whole point was to set them free.

    Again, I don’t resent Canonical making money. It’s just that Red Hat and others know how to do it without depriving their users of freedoms I consider essential. If freedom wasn’t important to me, and I just wanted the best integrated experience that all came from one company, I would’ve been using Mac OS X.

  • Ron

    “Cloud Computing” is such a misnomer because the entire Internet is a cloud and using a VPN is already a “Private Cloud”; but still, there is something that bothers me about Ubuntu One, “Cloud Computing” (which is really a safer term than “Software As A Service”) and all of the other muck that goes along with it.

    All in all, it seems the the Internet is going backwards to where PCs are going to be dumb terminals connected to the Internet Cloud mainframe.I foresee further loss of control and loss of data privacy. Yuk!!

  • http://aim.pp.ru/ aim

    Will CoC and CoC for Leadership be translated finally?

    Of cause the translations team can done this easily, but will those translations be as valid as an English original?

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    [...] Humanity To Others: Five Years Later Five years ago today, the first ever Ubuntu (Warty Warthog) was released. Back then I was an Open Source Consultant working for the government-funded OpenAdvantage and had a (more) stupid beard. Five years later, I am working on my seventh release since I joined Canonical three years ago, and a more refined beard. [...]

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