Red Hat, Canonical and GNOME Contributions

Earlier this week at GUADEC, the always affable Dave Neary presented his GNOME Census work. Unfortunately, I was not there to see it, but I read his excellent post on the topic.

One of the reactions from the survey was that Red Hat are responsible for 16% of the contributions to GNOME whereas Canonical are responsible for a measly 1%.

Of course, this has generated some flame, such as a particularly angry post from Greg DeKoenigsberg and the rather pithy response from Jeffrey Stedfast. Greg is clearly pissed, and Jeffrey is clearly pissed at Greg being pissed, and I suspect Greg is going to get even more pissed at Jeffrey being pissed. The worse thing is that they are both going to be pissed at me for this blog post.

First I want to put these figures in perspective and then I want to talk about how we read the figures we do have.

I think the GNOME Census report is excellent, and it provides some excellent visibility into contributions in GNOME, but it only takes into account upstream contributions to GNOME itself. What the report doesn’t take into account are upstream contributions that are built on the GNOME platform but (a) not part of official GNOME modules, and (b) hosted and developed elsewhere, such as Launchpad. As such, while the report is accurate for showing code and contributions accepted into GNOME, there are also many projects built on GNOME technology that are not taken into account due to non-inclusion in GNOME modules or being developed outside of GNOME infrastructure.

As a general rule, Canonical staff develop inside Launchpad. The reason is simple; Launchpad and Bazaar provide a powerful development environment that was also built by Canonical and we therefore have lots of internal skills and best practice based on these tools. Launchpad is also a fundamental component in Ubuntu development and all the software we develop ultimately ships in Ubuntu, so using the same development forge makes sense. Finally, the site is a Free Software and Open Source project, so there really no philosophical reason to move, testified by the 18,000+ Free Software projects happily using Launchpad already.

Canonical is actively developing upstream desktop software, but doing it in Launchpad. Some examples include:

This is by no means the full list, and is other work such as Simple Scan, the Hardware Drivers tool, Computer Janitor, and more. Many of these contributions (such as Application Indicators and Simple Scan) could bring real value to GNOME, but they have not been accepted. I know that the Canonical engineers who work on them would be delighted if they were included in GNOME.

The above list also doesn’t include significant upstream investment in other areas such as Upstart, Bazaar, Launchpad, and a full team building Ubuntu. I don’t want to turn this into a “who contributed more” competition, but I think for some to suggest Canonical is a bad citizen who is not contributing upstream code is unreasonable. To suggest that Canonical has limited code inside approved GNOME modules is fair.

So that was the first thing I wanted to clarify; Canonical does invest heavily in upstream work, but GNOME is not the only home for upstream contributions.

If there is one thing that the GNOME Census has really outlined is that we should all be proud of Red Hat and their contributions to GNOME. You only have to take a look at all the red items on this image to get a feeling for the wonderful work that Red Hat is doing inside GNOME. Novell too. Look the green items in there; Novell has done a wonderful job maintaining many modules inside GNOME. In fact, there are many companies investing inside GNOME modules and inside GNOME infrastructure. I don’t believe it would be fair to undermine these contributions in any way; they are testament to the ethos of those companies and their commitment to GNOME. All of the people working at those companies are doing good work within the spirit of Free Software.

Likewise, I don’t think it is fair to undermine Canonical’s contributions just because many of them exist outside of GNOME. Our engineers are also doing good work within the spirit of Free Software. I have never claimed for a second that Canonical are equal to Red Hat and Novell in terms of our accepted contributions in GNOME; it is clear that there are far few contributions from Canonical staff inside accepted GNOME modules, but this does not for a second mean that Canonical is not (a) producing upstream contributions and (b) heavily invested in the GNOME platform. Ubuntu, our primary product is a GNOME desktop, and the vast majority of our engineers are GNOME users and developers and they work every day on a GNOME based product.

So in a nutshell, this is my take: both Red Hat and Canonical invest heavily in Open Source development, but they do it in different ways and different places. The GNOME Census clearly outlines that within GNOME modules, Red Hat are doing far more, but that doesn’t mean that Canonical are sitting on their thumbs and doing nothing, far from it.

  • Neo

    I think your justification merely makes it more worse. You are saying, Canonical instead of working on GNOME using GNOME infrastructure is forking GNOME using Canonical infrastructure.

    You have the man power to contribute but you make it all distro specific instead of working with upstream. This is a disaster

  • jono

    Nothing we have done at all is forking GNOME. All of these contributions are additions to GNOME.

    Also, they are not distro-specific – any other distro could take and ship them. They use standard GNOME components.

  • Neo

    1) You don’t use GNOME infrastructure and this is a problem

    2) You have proposed none of these applets to be part of GNOME and that means other distros are unlikely to include it and in practise, this ends up being distro specific

    3) This will slowly start deviating yourself from standard GNOME software and that eventually represents a fork.

    Why haven’t you made a substantial effort for all these modules to be part of GNOME? It is a clear failure of Canonical.

  • Mohamed-Ikbel Boulabiar

    @neo

    I don’t see any worse justification. People asked about Canonical contributions and Jono showed them to you.

    The matter they are inside/outside isn’t important. They are free software, open source ! Everyone can look at them and take the source code.

    Still don’t understand why people compare RedHat to Canonical. And the comparison doesn’t take into account the difference between 2 companies.

    RedHat has 10x more engineers, and the oldest company working on Linux. Comparison only look at code even before Canonical is created.

    Why flamewar makers don’t look how many users Canonical has contributed ?

    Anyone who start speaking about code contribution should look at the number of people discussing in ubuntu forums. How many bugs/help about gnome and all Linux you can find there ? MUCH !

    If you are a Linux Desktop user, and started searching for a solution about a problem you face, you will end in an ubuntu community forum.

    Who can deny the fact that ubuntu is the easiest distribution to use ? Isn’t this a very big thing ?

    And even when speaking about the 16%, why you forget the 40% made by volunteer/unknown people ? How much of them are using ubuntu ?

    If you are searching for an enemy, then forget Canonical, look at companies banning any Linux distribution to be installed as OEM system, and making trouble by releasing adverts about it as a “strange and uncommon system” http://goo.gl/UZb1

    Every single human being in this life has a message, Canonical has one of the best. And she is changing the world.

  • jono

    1) Why is this a problem? There are many websites where Free and Open Source development happens. Is it a problem that people write Free Software on Sourceforge or Launchpad?

    2) Yes we have – http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2010-February/msg00036.html

    3) This is not true – a fork is where you take the same codebase and take it in a different direction. We are not taking existing GNOME code and deviating – these contributions we have made are things that run on GNOME. By your logic shipping any app outside of a stock GNOME installation is a fork.

  • http://doctormo.org Martin Owens

    Neo: I have seen myself that a great deal of effort has been made to get various parts into gnome upstream. They don’t want these contributions, Gnome is moving away from Ubuntu just as much as Ubuntu is moving away from Gnome.

    Then again, forking is healthy and me (myself and only myself and my tiny opinion here) believe that forking gnome is a good thing. I don’t like the direction gnome is heading and I’d rather see more OpenDesktop and XDG than complaining about perfectly compatible collaboration platforms.

  • Miles

    Jono – nice post. Different companies are going to have different areas of focus, but Ubuntu and Canonical are obvious and active contributors to the open source ecosystem. Haters are gonna hate. Everybody else gets it.

  • Simon

    My perception is that while Canonical do a lot of work building on top of Gnome, they contribute very little towards the desktop infrastructure that they depend on.

    Given that upstream are clearly struggling to get stuff done – they’ve had to delay Gnome 3.0 release twice now – it would be good if Canonical were seen to be helping with that effort.

  • Neo

    1) Please don’t pretend ignorance on this topic. Launchpad uses bzr and does not get translations from GNOME and makes it harder for the upstream GNOME community to participate

    2) That mail represents one module. Why didn’t try to even propose the rest? Why design custom applets when the future of GNOME – GNOME Shell won’t support them?

    3) You misunderstand my logic. You are designing a custom applet, with a custom API and patching several applications to work with that custom API instead of the standard desktop notification API. You are merely shipping additional packages. This represents a fork of GNOME

  • http://dylanmccall.blogspot.com Dylan McCall

    This whole thing is really putting forwards an issue Gnome has right now: they can’t, as a community, decide whether they like the idea of external projects building new environments on the Gnome platform. (Case in point: Meego for netbooks).

    I think there’s one camp that thinks Gnome should be a user-facing product, with its own special branding and its own distinctive look that everything ships in pristine condition. (I’ll inject my opinion in brackets here: I think that entirely defeats the purpose of having multiple distributions).

    Then there’s another camp that sees Gnome as a starting point with lots of handy tools (and common modules) for distributions to build operating systems. For example, Unity, Meego, Jolicloud, UNR…

    That first camp sees Gnome as a monolithic project; only internal work is worthy. The latter camp sees Gnome as something akin to Gnu.

  • Neo

    Martin,

    “Neo: I have seen myself that a great deal of effort has been made to get various parts into gnome upstream. They don’t want these contributions, Gnome is moving away from Ubuntu just as much as Ubuntu is moving away from Gnome.”

    I don’t believe your claims that GNOME doesn’t want Canonical’s contributions. Canonical has not even bothered proposing any of the changes except one module which is a applet that has no future in GNOME Shell. Where is your proof of the “great deal of effort”? I see meagre, almost non existant effort.

    Forking is just fine but forking benefits only Ubuntu and not the GNOME community. Red Hat’s code benefits Ubuntu and all the other distros. Canonical’s changes benefit Canonical. That’s the difference. Besides when it is obvious a fork, why is that Jono denying it so much?

  • jono

    1) Nonsense. Just because it is a different system does not mean it is incompatible with GNOME – many great GNOME projects exist outside of GNOME infrastructure.

    2) Why would we bother proposing applets that require the indicator-applet framework if the very framework has been rejected?

    3) Patching packages is not a fork, if it is then most distros fork projects.

  • http://www.johnstowers.co.nz John Stowers

    2) Yes we have – http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop- devel-list/2010-February/msg00036.html

    I would have liked to see Ubuntu argue harder about getting this particular feature included. It certainly seems the discussion following that mail could be had again, in light of the dbus-menu stuff you guys are doing, and the recurring suggestions of windows 7 style quick lists appearing in both Unity and Shell.

  • http://jacob.peddicord.net/ Jacob Peddicord

    That’s the most sensible comment I’ve seen out of this whole debate, honestly.

  • jono

    I entirely agree – I think you are spot on, Dylan.

  • Simon

    And I should clarify, I’m not suggesting Canonical are free-loading – their work is good, and as you say, available for upstream to adopt.

    But I don’t think their development priorities are right. All the work they’re doing counts for little if the foundation they’re building on isn’t solid, and Gnome clearly needs more people working on those foundations in order to get over the 2.x to 3.x transition. For the future of Ubuntu, Canonical should be putting more resources into the stack they depend on.

  • jono

    I agree. I think the discussion is absolutely worthy again. I would love to see app indicators included in GNOME. :-)

  • Neo

    1) This is a real problem. It came up in the Zeitgeist discussion in desktop-devel list. Calling it nonsense doesnt make the problem go away

    2) You proposed a applet when applets have no future. Are you surprised that it got rejected? Why does Canonical bother with applets instead of working with GNOME Shell?

    3) You have modified GNOME very heavily more than every other mainstream distribution. It is not just some patches.

  • http://doctormo.org Martin Owens

    Gnome Shell isn’t the future of Gnome. Or at least a gnome worth using.

    It’s the wrong direction to go in and perhaps that’s where the real division is. ubuntu won’t be shipping gnome shell so the gnome project gives out about notifiers and indicators.

  • http://doctormo.org Martin Owens

    I agree, let this be the lesson for all of us.

  • jono

    To be clear: Ubuntu has not made any decisions yet about GNOME Shell as it is not yet released. We will make a decision in a cycle closer to the time.

  • Jorge Castro

    It should be noted that at the session Dave made it very clear that this measures only code contributions and the “whole picture” is clearly missing.

    • It doesn’t count other contributions made on non-GNOME infrastructure, including fdo.

    • Doesn’t count translations.

    • Doesn’t count bug work.
    • Doesn’t count tesing.

    etc. I had a good discussion with Dave afterwards about some of the things we’ve been doing with Debian on measuring contributions, such as using bug tags, etc. so maybe in the future it will be more accurate.

  • XRayA4T

    Once again Microsoft and Apple get to point and laugh at the Linux community. This petty behaviour from both sides is what is holding Linux back.

    There seems to be this core of old school Linux users who are very upset at the success of Ubuntu because it has happened so quickly and get so much exposure. They are seen as the Microsoft of the Linux world. This has generated an us and them situation. Everything we do is great, everything you do is rubbish (from both sides).

    I have a friend who has been using Linux for 15+ years and recently switched to Ubuntu from Gentoo for his Laptop because of the ease of getting up and running quickly. He was surpised when I asked him about the antagonism towards Ubuntu, comments like “Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘I can’t configure Debian’” as he had not read much on Ubuntu before then. But you just need to read the comments on any article about Ubuntu to seen this antagonism.

    Yes, the majority of Ubuntu users like myself do not contribute code upstream or to Ubuntu directly. I do, however, try to give meaningful contributions in bug reports and answers in forums where I can as I do like to tinker and have a computer science background. I struggle to get into code contributions as I work in a country dominated by Microsoft and I have to work in Microsoft technologies like .net and SQLserver and in the evenings I have to spent time with my family rather than learning the languages of Linux (the Mono schism is almost as bad as the Linux-Ubuntu one)

    I have moved my wife, brother-in-law and parents onto Ubuntu and when we finally get our business up and running I will probably look to use Open Source as much as possible.

    Some non-Ubuntu people see people like me and the others I’ve brought onto Ubuntu as free-loaders but they miss the point. Linux will never be taken seriously until it reaches critical mass. Yes these types of people will never add a single line of code directly but by increasing the user base they encourage software companies to start to consider porting software to Linux.

    So please, both sides stop behaving like whining children and work together and stop making Linux the laughing stock of the rest of the computer community!

  • jono

    Thanks for your contribution, XRAY4T; I entirely agree. :-)

  • Tom

    Well, I don’t have the time to find the links, but when Mark was asked why Canonical isn’t contributing more to the kernel (and the plumbing) he said that they would focus more on higher parts of the stack (or something like that). I think he said Gnome, but he might have been smarter than that. Problem is that that was the impression you took away from his answer.

    Now we find out that Canonicals contributions to Gnome are nearly non-existant and I think it is fair that you get flamed tbh.

    It seems Canonical is only contributing to FOSS it started themselves (and that runs on their own infrastructure) and a lot of the times they require copyright assignment (I know the FSF does that too, but the FSF will surely never ever make anything closed source. A company can be bought and all its assets can be sold. Very different.)

  • http://bas-r.nl bas-r

    Neo, I think you’re missing the point of this blogpost. You keep on going about the details of Ubuntu’s contributions to Gnome, whereas Mr. Bacon wants you to look beyond Ubuntu’s upstream contributions to Gnome and view those in the wider perspective of Ubuntu’s contributions to add-ons to Gnome and all Open Source Software.

    I would like to add to that that Open Source isn’t just about building bits of community software, but even more so about getting this software onto people’s computers. I think that you cannot deny that it is the Ubuntu that is responsible for the change in the mindset of Average Joe who starts considering linux a possible alternative to run on his pc.

    So not only is Ubuntu contributing heavily to Open Source software, it’s contributing to the community as a whole.

  • Bill

    GNOME contributions: Canonical 1% Redhat 16% difference 16x

    Corporate revenue: Canonical 30m Redhat 750m difference 25x

    Canonical contributes MORE than Redhat based on size. The problem is definitely not Canonical under-contributing.

  • http://www.happyassassin.net Adam Williamson

    Few of those things look like ‘upstream projects’, to me. Most of them are not little add-on widgets, but things that, functionally, are vital bits of desktop infrastructure. The only way you could sensibly describe them as ‘upstream’ is if they were part of GNOME, which they clearly aren’t.

    I’m not directly involved in GNOME, so I don’t know if they’ve been proposed as GNOME components and if so why they weren’t accepted and so on. But it seems fairly clear that they aren’t, in any proper sense, ‘upstream components’, at least not yet.

    (BTW, from where I’m standing, it looks like the next generation SCM war is over, and git won. Does anything outside of Launchpad actually use bzr?)

  • http://ungethym.blogspot.com Thomas Thym

    XRayA4T: “Linux will never be taken seriously until it reaches critical mass.” Right. But I am not sure if it helps if every of the too many linux distributions look and react different. Linux is about working together. It is ok to disagree with others and to experiment with new ideas to push innovation forward. If Canonical / ubuntu descides to go another way than the upstream community (gnome) I am not surprised that they don’t honor the contribution.

    I perfectly see the good intentions of both sides. What’s wrong that the result is not as good as both sides wish it to be? Shouldn’t we focus on collaboration? What about openness? Yes, the code is open. How open are our minds? How open are we to accept other’s ideas? I think we should work on our mental openness and remind ourselfs not to force our own ideas against others to hard. I prefer ONE second best solution before 10 with one solution that might be better. Come on, let’s improve the relationships (communication, desicion making processes etc.) within our open source world. A problem the whole linux oecosystem should work on.

  • Matthew

    Yea Dylan is spot on.

    The diversity around the Gnome project is no bad thing. Maybe there should be some attempt to quantify the diversity???

    The only way Gnome (or perhaps just gtk) is going to continue to stay relevant is if people are willing to take it in unexpected directions.

    People should be free to experiment and evolve the platform as they see fit and if its not immediately endorsed thats no bad thing either, because natural selection is the ultimate determinate.

  • http://manuelciosici.com Manuel R. Ciosici

    @Simon You should not forget the movement to a new version of Bugzilla that Canonical paid for this year. While this is not code contribution, the management of a project is just as important as the code contributions and the new Bugzilla is going to allow GNOME to manage themselves better and it’s also going to improve GNOME by providing more details to GNOME from Launchpad bugs. I think that’s quite a big contribution, which maybe should have been included in the census.

  • http://ungethym.blogspot.com Thomas Thym

    XRayA4T: “Linux will never be taken seriously until it reaches critical mass.” Right. But I am not sure if it helps if every of the too many linux distributions look and react different. Linux is about working together. It is ok to disagree with others and to experiment with new ideas to push innovation forward. If Canonical / ubuntu descides to go another way than the upstream community (gnome) I am not surprised that they don’t honor the contribution. I perfectly see the good intentions of both sides. What’s wrong that the result is not as good as both sides wish it to be? Shouldn’t we focus on collaboration? What about openness? Yes, the code is open. How open are our minds? How open are we to accept other’s ideas? I think we should work on our mental openness and remind ourselfs not to force our own ideas against others to hard. I prefer ONE second best solution before 10 with one solution that might be better. Come on, let’s improve the relationships (communication, desicion making processes etc.) within our open source world. A problem the whole linux oecosystem should work on.

  • Neo

    Bacon is ignoring real problems and calling them nonsense and you want me to overlook them as well? Sorry but no. Forking the interface is going to come back and bite Canonical in the ass when they go to GNOME Shell because none of the applets will work. If they don’t use GNOME Shell, the fork would become even more obvious.

    Canonical is trying real hard to different themselves from stock upstream and forking it without admitting it upfront. Bacon’s list of non-upstream (to GNOME) modules is clear evidence of that.

  • ah

    Also launchpad is not the only place except git.gnome.org….. If we’re going to keep counting like that, there’s no end to how confusing to make the numbers. Lets just face it, contributions to gnome are either in git.gnome.org or they’re not contributions to gnome.

    Ubuntu has been “leeching” off Red Hats upstream contributions for a long time now and noone has said much about it. Now that Ubuntu finally starts some upstream development themselves, it’s in their own walled garden rather then cooperating.

    I work in the embedded sector and we all know how crappy it works there. No cooperation, no reuse of code, licensing issues… I think what Ubuntu is doing is pretty similar and not too far behind in crappyness. The software being released under a free license (but still creating licensing issues/worries!) doesn’t help much if there’s no cooperation. See Benjamin Ottes frustrated talk on GUADEC for example. It’s also a big waste of time for both you and for upstream gnome developers, who has to answer to all complaints, when your out-of-gnome applications doesn’t fit into the Gnome 3.x desktop because you’ve gone in another direction then the Gnome project is going.

    Anyway…. I feel you’re the ones who will lose out on this in the long run (just like the embedded vendors who can’t clean up their act will) so I really don’t care that much about being frustrated about this issue.

    Finally, this clearly shows Benjamin Otte was right even though he wasn’t talking about Ubuntu: Writing code is easy, cooperating and building bridges is hard.

    Have a nice weekend!

  • Bilal Akhtar

    Red Hat and other ‘outrageous’ people should understand that we (canonical/ubuntu) have changed the view of GNOME. Never mind that GNOME never accepts our patches, but who cares? R&D matters and if it is accepted in one distro, others can use it if they wish. It is up to GNOME to accept them. We have changed the look and feel of GNOME like no other (thanks to Me Menu, I-A, etc) We have managed to turn Linux from a wild beast to a soft easy-to-use OS. We have improved the reputation of GNOME and Linux.

    40+ % OF ALL LINUX USERS USE UBUNTU (GNOME) WHAT CAN BE A BIGGER CONTRIBUTION THAN THAT?

  • Scott Anger

    shouldn’t the end result be people actually using the software? you can sit in your ivory tower all day (@neo) and debate internal project politics. or, try to make something people want to use. both devs and users.

    @XrayA4t and @Dylan made the best points here. neither had anything to do with writing or committing code.

    “canonical doesn’t try hard enough” is what i’m hearing. what’s “hard enough”? suggesting something, being denied and then…? are you supposed to keep screaming?

    look it’s not 1999 anymore. we’re beyond this. or should be at the very least.

    maybe i need to quote patton oswalt here, “i don’t care WHERE the stuff i like comes from, i just LIKE the stuff i like!”

    … as long as it’s not MS, Apple, etc.

  • http://rambleon.usebox.net/ Juanjo

    Good post Jono, thanks.

    The only thing I don’t like is that “everything invented here” feeling.

    Ubuntu really relies on stuff from Gnome, and Gnome should benefit more from such use. I guess that is what is being criticized (but I may be wrong!).

    Anyway, I really think code contributions it’s not the whole picture. Ubuntu is a very used desktop distribution (all we agree), and Ubuntu has done a very good work in bug reporting and interfacing those bugs into upstream.

    Tracking the bugs and being sure that they are fixed in the right place it’s very important, and Launchpad it’s a key component there.

    It’s just that Canonical could invest more time in solving those upstream problems and not being just the man in the middle.

    I don’t think a Gnome census it’s needed to realize that.

  • ah

    “Doesn’t count translations.”

    It didn’t? Upstream translations comes in the form of git commits. But I guess you’re talking about “language packs”, which is only benefitting Ubuntu and not upstream.

    PS. Gnome has an awesome translation team. I don’t think Ubuntu has much to offer there.

  • ah

    The difference between Meego (Nokia/Intel) and Ubuntu (Canonical) is that both Nokia and Intel efforts do make Gnome (upstream) better, while Ubuntu is keeping their stuff to themselves.

    I’d say Nokias really great contributions is all the consultant startups we’ve been seeing in the past years, that all contribute to gnome alot. Intel mainly works on lower level stuff which are external dependencies of Gnome (i.e. Clutter). Very important work that is not very visible (and thus sometimes thankless).

    So, while your comparison makes it look similar the big difference is on collaboration between gnome and external party!

  • dart

    Red Hat’s Rant http://yfrog.com/jnfartrp

  • manolin

    As you said, they are EXTERNAL contributions to GNOME, so the percentages stay as they are, RedHat is a TEAM PLAYER, all stuff they do, are pushed into GNOME mainstream, while all things Ubuntu does are in launchpad.

  • Dave Morley

    Jono You forgot to add that debian being our upstream gets most of our fixes and patches for most projects.

    You also forgot to mention that not all contributions are code. Canonical held the DX/UX confrence for the linux desktops. I believe a lot of this work is going into all the Linux desktops.

    You also forgot to ask the question of how many of the individuals and unkown’s who are amungst the top contributors use Ubuntu as their desktop.

    Canonical is a distributor the bulk of it’s developers are community motu’s and not employees of Canonical.

    The other thing to mention is how many of the bugs can be contributed to Ubuntu users that have been forwarded to the gnome and other trackers.

    One comment I want to itterate again NOT ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE CODE!

  • http://blogs.gnome.org/bolsh Dave Neary

    Hi Jono,

    Thanks for the mention! And for calling me affable :)

    I have to admit I was concerned that the report would lead to some Canonical-bashing, and in fact in the report I explicitly say some of the things you’ve said yourself – that Canonical has started developing desktop software, but that we haven’t yet seen that work show up in the core GNOME release.

    I also added some of this as analysis during my presentation. Canonical’s strategy is to develop new features for the desktop, which have not (yet) been included in GNOME.

    This is a strategy which has back-fired on a couple of people in the past – it’s not enough to work on something and then propose it for GNOME as a “take it or leave it” choice – the GNOME developers often have feedback on design decisions and request some changes which you mighht not be prepared to make in developed software, but which might be OK to make in a spec.

    In any case, this does show that Canonical employees are doing some work in GNOME (Martin Pitt & Sebastien Bacher are worth a special mention & kudos), but not as much as might be expected.

    In any case, one thing I really want to avoid is the creation of a siege mentality of “Canonical vs Rest of the World”, which is counter-productive to the goal of increasing the contribution of Canonical to core GNOME. It’s good to be aware that Canonical are not maintaining core modules, and look for easy ways we can help that happen. Proposing new modules is one path toward that, and contributing to the maintenance of some moduyles which need it is another.

    Good luck! Dave.

  • http://blogs.gnome.org/bolsh Dave Neary

    Hi Jorge,

    Just wanted to point out that translations are commits, so these are counted. It’s a little skewed, though, because most translator teams work through one or two team leads who do all the commits of work which is done by a big team.

    Dave.

  • http://owaislone.org Owais

    Canonical are contributing in a huge way. Just have a look at Ubuntu forums as Mohammed said, just look at the bugs filed and FIXED in launchpad. I hate to say this but Gnome Upstream are biased. How are not the appindicators, MeMenu, simplescan and other things better than the default gnome counter parts? What if we used GIT/Gnome infrastructure? Would Gnome have accepted our contributions then? I think yes. AFAIK RedHat never proposed plymouth for Ubuntu, it was open, was good and we used it. What is stopping Gnome from accepting all the awesome work Canonical and the community around it has done with gnome? BZR? Give me a break.

  • http://owaislone.org Owais

    Now that tells us something.

  • http://sixgun.org Fab

    I gotta say I don’t really get the point of this post. The Gnome Census was designed to highlight who contributes in Gnome. Of course stuff that wasn’t accepted into Gnome doesn’t count. Nobody is denying that Canonical is contributing, the only thing this pointed out was that they are contributing comparably little (less than Litl actually ;) ) to Gnome itself.

    So yes, Canonical is doing great work, the only thing Dave’s report pointed out was that is work is largely not happening in Gnome but on Gnome.

  • http://princefool.blogspot.com DeeJay1

    Well, I start to think that people are missing the point of this report. As I see it, the report is specifically about stuff hosted by the Foundation and which is the basis for the core platform, whereas much of Canonical’s work happens in the GNOME ecosystem. As the ecosystem part goes Canonical does a great job, but they’re a bit lacking in pushing stuff into the core system (at least from my point of view). Especially when it means moving projects to another infrastructure…

  • Bob

    @Jono: contribution to GNOME means its accepted as part of GNOME. Otherwise it’s not contributed to GNOME. And that means you have to play by our rules. Don’t try to step around it. Let your people use the GNOME infrastructure instead of forking your own. I don’t have to file bugs for the 50 parts that RedHat maintains on bugzilla.redhat.com, why should I be forced to use launchpad for the ones your people pay for?

  • http://www.alexhudson.com Alex Hudson

    I think this is a great post, I think it glosses over a key point though: the “upstreamness” of work that happens in Launchpad. Your first point about having more than one place upstream work can go I think is the key issue, even with dcvs projects are still centralized. I don’t think there is yet consensus on the difference between working on a project and working in a project.

  • http://manishtech.wordpress.com Manish Sinha

    Bob,

    Isn’t that extreme arrogance? Do you need your code to be accepted in GNOME to be called a GNOME lover/contributor? Is that the final definition? If I develop something for GNOME and later I find that it can be used for the wider community, then I will submit it to GNOME for inclusion. Right? Now if GNOME rejects it, then it means that my contribution of GNOME is zero? Really?

    You know Zeitgeist and GAJ makes me using GNOME a lot lot easier than plain GNOME. Without GAJ, probably I won’t be able to work using GNOME. I know Seif’s contribution to GNOME is zero as your definition, but the Zeitgeist team has really helped GNOME user a lot.

  • http://jan.wildeboer.net/2010/07/on-contributions-the-gnome-affair/ Jan Wildeboer » Blog Archive » On Contributions – The GNOME Affair

    [...] after Jeffrey Stedfast puts out his reply, we now also have Jono Bacon stepping [...]

  • http://www.mohamedmalik.com Mohamed Malik

    Canonical has only one thing is mind that is improve Ubuntu, not to contribute to GNOME. Where as FEDORA patches any thing distribution wide. Therefore i must support red hat. I like Ubuntu but even when canonical does things which are bad i can Digest it unlike many of the die hard ubuntu fans out there. You might also want to take a look @ this Link

    http://www.mohamedmalik.com/?p=220

  • Milan
    • notify-osd
    • Messaging Menu
    • Application Indicators
    • Indicator Applet
    • Indicator Date Time Applet
    • Sound Indicator
    • Me Menu
    • Indicator Global Menu
    • Unity

    And there are other distros that benefit and use some of those? About those indicators, no upstream project want to include those hacks, so it all comes down to hacking and patching, and without plans for including gnome shell you will soon get to point where you will have nothing in common with gnome. And it seems to me Ubuntu doesn’t have resources and can’t maintain future to be “Ubuntu Gnome” without real Gnome upstream.

    And again, what was exactly the need for notify-osd? Cripled, you can’t move it, no timeout, it is fixed at some rather strange place, no markup is possible etc. etc. What is next, a shiny new font…cool. I am glad that Ubuntu atracts new Linux users but I know who really works on kernel, glibc and xorg, and I don’t like when I see in press that it looks like Ubuntu had something with these improvements.

  • Zsolt Sandor

    I just noticed that you mentioned Simple Scan. From the GNOME dev mailing list and the GNOME ftp itself I found that it’s been accepted and got GNOME versioning starting with 2.31: http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/simple-scan/2.31/

  • andi

    You’d have to be very pessimistic to see the world as one war with one winner. Goodbye grand narratives!

    I think Canonical does not yet spend enough work on getting their software into the heart of the FOSS world. Why should they? If their work is limited to their own platform, all the better for ubuntu (ok, at least if you ingore the potential improvements that would otherwise be done to the software by external developers). Now you look into the face of Jono and you see no greed, but after all a company has to make profit and if it doesn’t it will die. Do you really think RedHat contributes for the love of mankind? The RedHat people working on it, yes, but the company paying them no.

    On the other hand I think that many developers, including me, are a bit reluctant to spend work on projects that are mainly worked on by one company and are hosted on their servers with the direction the software is going also decided by the same company.

    So if GNOME wants to integrate ubuntu software it shouldn’t and needn’t hesitate to do so. Some more effort by Canonical to get this done wouldn’t be bad, though.

  • andi

    Oh yes, and look at what Bill mentioned:

    “GNOME contributions: Canonical 1% Redhat 16% difference 16x

    Corporate revenue: Canonical 30m Redhat 750m difference 25x”

    agreed!

  • Tommy.S

    “So please, both sides stop behaving like whining children and work together and stop making Linux the laughing stock of the rest of the computer community!”

    So what if Ubuntu (and Canonical) would start doing what you say should be done? Do not ask the whole FOSS community to change their contributions to get Ubuntu users satisfied. You must do it otherway around. Canonical need to start taking upstream seriously. Pushing all the code there. Suggesting and using politics to get something there.

    Now you are saying that mountain should go to mohammed. But mohammed should not go to the mountain. That is just silly.

    Canonical is here the one who does not contribute to the community. Canonical’s way is the wrong way, not the community.

    Maybe too many Ubuntu users lives in the fantasy where Canonical is the #1 contributor to the whole FOSS. And they can not see the truth that it is just as you said, a freerider, allowing it users to make false believes that it is #1 in contribution and developing.

    This does not make the 1% less. It is good that at least something comes. But it is not enough and the attitude of the Canonical workers and the Ubuntu fans is just bad the whole community what is otherwise pushing together FOSS forward.

    I can not find same level problems between other distributions and upstream than with Canonical (Ubuntu) and upstream.

    Are the Canonical workers and Ubuntu fans generated so high level believe that they think they could say that they are in correct course and they should be the leaders of the upstream?

    Even when it is about FOSS. And there is no written rulebook how you should work with others. Still there is unwritten rules about when to fork and when not. And that politics and other manners are the key in the community. That you notice others.

    Since 2004, Canonical has proofed that it does not care the community so much. It just happened to be in right time at right place when GNOME was developed in such state that it came very well designed. Canonical even “copied” (I would say stolen) the GNU’s philosophy and presented it with own version.

    I am so sad to hear how new Ubuntu users believe that Canonical almost invented the open source and how Canonical made all the code and the new “OS” (distribution, not a OS). And how now hardware manufacturers and game manufacturers should start making their product for Ubuntu alone.

    Ubuntu community has pushed itself to the limits of the whole FOSS community. It has started to crack and the truth is starting to come out.

    The problem is not did Canonical do 1%, 16% or 30%. Problem is in the Ubuntu community and Canonicals attitude to FOSS community.

    Do not market yourself being the #1 contributor or even allow others to get such misunderstanding. Do not market Ubuntu as a new free operating system while it is just a distribution of the Linux (kernel) operating system. Do not try to get propietary software and hardware made specifically for Ubuntu but drive the idea that all the propietary software and hardware is made for LSB standard.

    Is it about jelous that media wakes up when Canonical release new Ubuntu and thats why people whines about the Canonicals work? No.

    If you do not live in the Ubuntu fantacy, you can only see that Canonical is not good to community.

    Canonical (and so on Ubuntu) only exist because Mark Shuttleworth spended his own money to the project. He said he want to support the FOSS and spread it around the world.

    If case would be such, then he would have not maded own distribution but invested money for the projects itself.

    What has Canonical come today? It does try to control the upstream or try to get its supportes to believe that Ubuntu is the #1. By that Canonical gets others developing software to or with the Ubuntu. And this way killing the competition and scatter the upstream work so it can in the end control FOSS more how it likes.

    Does it sound too much conspiracy? That is the direction when you follow the community closely how they react for what Canonical is doing.

  • http://jeffreystedfast.blogspot.com Jeffrey Stedfast

    Hey Jono,

    I seem to have done a horrible job in my blog post emphasizing that I was mostly making a joke out of the whole situation.

    I do think Greg overreacted, but I’m not really “pissed” and I’m certainly not pissed at you for providing us with your thoughts.

    I’d like to agree with your statement about how the census doesn’t take into consideration applications built on top of core GNOME libraries. As has clearly been done in the comments above, some people can misinterpret what that means. Novell and Canonical (especially) are more desktop-driven and so those 2 companies spend most of their time working on apps and integration. Red Hat has historically been more server oriented and this results in more infrastructure work (on things like gtk, pango, etc) in most aspects of their work, even GNOME. That’s not to say they don’t also work on apps and integration, but it doesn’t appear to be their main focus.

    I guess my point is that in the end, it’s good that there is some diversity in what different companies focus on because it helps Linux evolve faster on all fronts.

    Also as some have pointed out, those commit totals are from GNOME day 1, not just the past 2 years. That’s kinda what I was hinting at with my statement that I’m in the top-10 and haven’t contributed in 5 years (the rest was just jokingly patting myself on the back).

    On the subject of my awesomeness, the other thing that should be pointed out is that the totals are # commits (since GNOME’s inception) which are not a perfect measure of contribution. I’m not sure lines-of-code are any better, but # commits is definitely flawed when using it to measure contribution (and I say this as someone in the top 10 individual contributors list).

  • Teekert

    Just imagine if Ubuntu would use KDE:

    • They would not have had to develop notify-osd as KDE4 has a nice notification system.
    • They would develop additions as plasmoids which are easily share-able: no whining developers.
    • It looks modern by default.
    • Has (by default) a compositing window manager, no need to incorporate Compiz.
    • They wouldn’t have had to develop UNR as KDE4 has a nice netbook interface.

    Only drawback imo is that Gnome feels more speedy.

    Gnome and Ubuntu seem to be growing apart, perhaps it’s time to look for something that fits Ubuntu’s philosophy better…

  • Teekert

    So I would say, make Kubuntu into Ubuntu and put your weight behind it. Make Ubuntu into Gubuntu for Gnome fans but make it a secondary priority like Kubuntu is now.

  • Rodney Dawes

    Exactly. I wonder how many of Miguel or Federico’s commits are actually counting up as Red Hat, for example.

    And over the 11+ year spectrum, all of my own commits are quite spread out.

    And of course, it avoids the fact that GNOME was really started in the old RH Labs, and while RH and HC/Ximian/Novell commits have been coming for a very long time, Canonical itself hasn’t even existed that long. It’s pretty easy to be in the lead when you’ve got a 5-6+ year head start on the matter. :)

  • http://www.meinung2000.de/linus Ed von Schleck

    I’d love to see less aggressive rhetoric from RedHaters – I’m a Fedora user myself, but I find the Canonical bashing not helpful at all. If criticism is voiced a la “a better way forward for software X could be steps Y and Z, talking to A and B and considering standard S”, maybe there’s something to be gained from this.

    The reaction from the Canonical guys however seems overly defensive. Criticism about the Canonical contributions seems to pop up all the time, and yet most things we hear is defending the position but little sign of consideration. The general feeling that the linux desktop could advance faster with a different kind of collaboration from the Canocal guys should be taken seriously. I’d love to see Canonical addressing these issues with a less defensive, more constructive approach.

    On the subject at hand – the software developed at Canonical is often very useful indeed. I’d love to see it easier to integrate into other systems, whether it is within the GNOME infrastructure or not.

  • nnonix

    And Bob said it best/worst … “contribution to GNOME means its accepted as part of GNOME. Otherwise it’s not contributed to GNOME. And that means you have to play by our rules. Don’t try to step around it.”

    Fine, I’ll say it. This crap is exactly why I (and I suspect many others) use Ubuntu. It’s refusal to be held back by bureaucracy and the “old guard” mentality that makes progress take FOREVER. Ultimately leading to a great but dated & uncompetitive product.

    From conception, Ubuntu was created to fill a gap left wide open by its upstreams. Maybe Canonical could/should do more but it is equally wrong for upstream to expect Canonical/Ubuntu to walk/talk/act like them when it is the differences, not the similarities that have led to much of its success.

  • Andrew

    I kind of agree with the above comments here; many of the projects ubuntu showcases (such as your list above) ARE silly widgets, and I’m kind of thankful that the gnome project doesn’t take them under their wing. Gnome already has some solutions for what canonical has done (notify-osd is a nice example).

    Further, your hint about unity and gnome-shell is quite confusing. You mention that gnome-shell has not yet had a release, and Canonical was undecided about its future. So, why so quick to jump on with developing a completely forked project? Now is the time to help out with gnome-shell, and mold it in to something everyone can enjoy.

  • http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/439 Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Tribalism is the enemy within

    [...] Gregs are entitled to their opinions, and folks like Jono and Dylan have set an excellent example in how to rebut and move beyond [...]

  • Marcos

    Can everyone stop pissing in the fire and realize this is simple misdirection.

    This is tap dancing.

    Contributions to things that use GNOME != Contributions to GNOME

    plain, simple, no argument.

    If you want to explain that Canonical sees more value to its user base by developing useful apps on the GNOME framework than improving the framework itself, say so. The claim that your work is miscounted or underappreciated is farcical and angry-making.

    Man up, get your story straight, and stop the slight off hand. You have a valid position that you totally torpedoed.

  • Inge Wallin

    What I fail to find anywhere is a definition of what makes up Gnome. Which modules are part of the list and which are not? Which applications? Without that, it’s difficult to discuss who contributes and who doesn’t. I have tried to search for a list like that for some time, but failed to find any.

  • Marcos

    @Manish: ‘Do you need your code to be accepted in GNOME to be called a GNOME contributor? Is that the final definition?’ Yes, yes a thousand times yes! Edit mine, lover is not the point, CONTRIBUTOR is.

    If you write a VB script or a widget for Windows, you are NOT contributing to Windows. You are using the framework to write something useful but SEPARATE.

    Crow about the wonderfulness of those apps and the framework you use. Shut up about false claims about contribution to a core by ancillary means.

  • http://marcosroriz.wordpress.com Marcos

    The problem is that most of Canonical contributions are ubuntu specific, that is, branded stuff. Like Software Center, “Notify-OSD”, Unity. :/

  • http://rhonda.deb.at/blog/ Gerfried Fuchs

    While your intentions might be all well and good and you might be in principle right, stating that “testified by the 18,000+ Free Software projects happily using Launchpad already” puts you totally on the same grounds of wrong comparison that you like to accuse the presenter. Those “18,000+ Free Software projects” aren’t “happily using Launchpad already”, they got imported in a “resistance is futile” sort of way. I would much more guess that the vast majority of those projects aren’t even aware that they got pulled in and are “happily using Launchpad” like you want to claim.

    All the best to your intentions, but that claim so totally lost your case to be considered as an objective response to the issue.

  • http://www.kilobitspersecond.com/ Jay

    Why did it take so long for this crucial point to be made?

  • Ian

    But that’s the issue Jono.

    You’re saying that Canonical makes optimizations to Gnome – which is great but, at this point Canonical can do one of two things

    • Submit these back into the gnome community so everyone benefits

    or

    • leave them in Canonicals source tree and say “There here if you want them” (that’s called forking by the way)

    If all vendors did this where would we be. Red Hat and Novell would be shipping vastly superior versions of Gnome to the rest of the world who’d be forced to trawl through their code to work out how they did things and patch their code. Then we’d have 20 different flavours of Gnome.

  • Ian

    This is where Ubunutu is truly adding value – in the user community. The vast majority of docs, FAQ’s and troubleshooting guides come from the community and it’s a benefit to us all.

  • Ian

    We’re both splitting hairs on semantics.

    The big issue your point raises is why aren’t canonical submitting back upstream?

  • Ian

    Your math is flawed. Try looking at the rest of the numbers – not just gnome – look at the Linux kernel, KVM, gcc, etc and you’ll find that it’s not 16x it’s an order of magnitude different

  • Ian

    Jay, it took this long because the point is wrong !

    It only looks at Gnome where Canonical is 16x less than Red Hat.

    Look at other project Canonical kernel contributions – 0.1 % GCC – 0.3% (1 patch!) X windows 0.05%

    If you want to do the math on that I think you’ll find the answer !

  • Manish

    You can remove the branding anyday. I heard software-center is coming to Debian rebranded as Debian software center. No idea about the current progress.

    Notify-OSD is not Ubuntu-notify-osd, meaning it is not branded. If upstream wants t pick it up, then go ahead. No where in notify-osd has the name “Ubuntu” hardcoded up on it’s face

    BTW zeitgeist is a framework developed on gnome which can be used to develop apps on top of it. Now you can say that d-bus is also in the same league. No end to your comparison

  • a

    You may want to adjust your argument to take into account the timeframe for which the statistics were gathered. That doesn’t seem to be mentioned in Dave Neary’s blog post.

    For example if the timeframe is over 10 years, then canonical has only been contributing for 5. Hence half the time you made zero commits. You would need to have them regenerate the stats starting from the date canonical was founded. My guesstimate is that your ratio would be more like 1/10, which is a bit better than 1/16.

  • sllih

    I have a strong feeling that Red Hat is shaping the GNOME long-term future. Red Hat employees working hard on GNOME Shell and believe in this project.

    Canonical is working on short-term or even dated (incompatible with Shell) features of GNOME. You are watching Shell developers efforts, will judge the result and eventually put the finished Shell into Ubuntu.

    (I must say that I am long-term Ubuntu user, but this situation makes me really sad.)

  • André

    Why doesn’t Gnome also use Launchpad upstream. Launchpad is open source, no?

  • http://ampers.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/tribalism-is-the-enemy-within/ Tribalism is the enemy within « Ampers' Rants

    [...] Gregs are entitled to their opinions, and folks like Jono and Dylan have set an excellent example in how to rebut and move beyond [...]

  • http://www.opensources.com/2010/07/30/when-is-free-riding-not/ Open Sources » When is free riding…not?

    [...] are different ways to contribute, be it code or design or whatever. Jono Bacon makes this point very well. Even so, Brian Proffitt suggests that Canonical has a disconnect with the Linux [...]

  • tholap

    I guess there are many peolpe (me included) who are very sceptical about Gnome Shell. A fork away from Gnome seems likely at this point. Not because of Canonical – but simply because many won’t share the GS vision. I have tried GS and I try to keep an open mind, but so far I’m not subscribing.

  • Peter Webb

    You are measuring contribution in terms of code. Others measure it in terms of added value. Not as simple as you think.

    For example, if I create a framework layer around gnome that made it easy for people to develop and use in gnome, without touching the gnome core, does it have any value or not? Is that a contribution or not?

    There is no consensus on what constitutes a “contribution” and you are just complaining that people do not agree to your definition.

  • anon

    Unite or lose the battle, you know? the battle we are slowly winning. anyone? Use the passion to make Linux as a whole, better.. please stop whining. I get embarrassed when talented people in the community have a dummy spit as bad as a non-disciplined fan-boys do.

  • brian

    Lets repeat that…

    Red Hat has 10x the number of engineers that Canonical has.

    Any contributions have to be judged in that light.

  • http://sabeltand.no-ip.org/ Ernst

    I don’t think 4500 commits is anything to be ashamed of, Ubuntu is a huge success but Canonical is still a small company AFAIK. You should ask, how many commits were created using Ubuntu! :-)

  • ah

    Gnome consists of Platform (“core”), External Dependencies (“blessed libraries”, etc), and Desktop (“applications”, etc.)

    Exactly what they contain depends on which release of Gnome you’re talking about. Several changes are happening right now in preparation for Gnome 3.x. You’ll find the lists on the gnome wiki:

    http://live.gnome.org/TwoPointThirtyone/Platform http://live.gnome.org/TwoPointThirtyone/Desktop http://live.gnome.org/TwoPointThirtyone/ExternalDependencies

  • http://ubunlog.com.ar/blog/contribuciones-a-gnome-red-hat-16-canonical-1/ Contribuciones a GNOME – Red Hat 16%, Canonical 1% | Ubunlog

    [...] Red Hat, Canonical and GNOME contributions – Jono Bacon [...]

  • HunterA3

    A few things should be reinforced:

    The study was over the course of the entire gnome project, which has been around for many years. So has Red Hat. Canonical has been around for just a few short years, so naturally Red Hat has more contributions to Gnome.

    Red hat is also a bigger company, with more money and more developers. They’ve got the horse power to push the contributions upstream and I dare say more influence over what gets included and what doesn’t.

    Lastly, and this is the most important point….

    If Red Hat contributors are so bent out of shape because they are not happy with someone elses level contribution, then they are forgetting what open source is all about. It’s not about who contributes more. It’s about freedom and choice. Could Canonical contribute more to upstream Gnome? Sure. But to label them as the next Microsoft because they are not conforming to the will of the Gnome project and only submitting code to them and only if it meets the standards of that one group is not only dangerous, it sounds very much like Apple and it’s IOS4 policies. Is that what we’re headed to? A one size fits all approach? Isn’t that counter to everything open source stands for?

  • http://www.realistanew.com Travis Watkins

    I wonder how he figured out which commits are from Canonical and which are from Ubuntu Members. Both commit to GNOME using @ubuntu.com email addresses.

    That may make the results better or worse depending on how he cut people out of the list.

  • Eddward

    Without debating ‘who contributes how much’, if you change Gnome in a manner that you have to tell all of the upstreams that they must change how they use a standardized API like say the notification area or be broken, you’ve forked.

  • http://crimasi.com TMKCoddes

    Oh please? Can i ask what the heck is going on? What does it matter if Canonical is forking and their mainstream contributions are rejected. I’m long term gnome user and what i think is that gnome is going the wrong way with the ugly shell. Never going to install it on my system, so i am happy that ubuntu is making all these nice indicators.

    Open Source is about giving. Canonical is doing stuff and giving, but gnome does not take them as their doing make over with the interface. Even if someone forks your project you should not come and bitch about it. You should come and say “keep up the nice work, i’ll take your patches if i need them”

    So please stop this very childish yapping who’s contributing main stream the most. Everyone contributes different ways and different amounts.

  • Imtiaz Rahi

    Ubuntu and Canonical has been around 6 years now. But I saw name of companies contributing more within GNOME infrastructure than Canonical in the Census report. Let alone compare with Red Hat. Ubuntu is certainly a successful distro but their lack of participation to upstream projects is noteworthy over the years. All take and very little give away.

  • http://www.happyassassin.net Adam Williamson

    I don’t see the world as a war, just the next-generation SCM argument, as I said. =)

    Greg’s post’s comments have several rebuttals of the ‘relative size’ point. For one, Red Hat does a hell of a lot more than just the work on GNOME. For two, if the relative size was the only issue, you’d think Canonical would have individual contributors who do just as much work as individual RH contributors, but just 16x fewer of them, right? But that’s not the case. Five of the top ten contributors to GNOME are Red Hat staff. Canonical’s #1 contributor is in the #29 spot.

  • JimT

    I’m use Ubuntu on all our companies desktops + 80% of our servers. Redhat have 20% share of the servers and are on track to have 0% by the end of next year.

    The reasons?

    1) Redhat don’t give us their best work for free. Regardless of their fantastic Engineering talent, which has been built up over many years, I would have to get a free version of the distro through Centos or perhaps Fedora which is another level of complication I don’t need. We can’t afford support on any of our development servers but we can afford support on our live servers. However, we can’t have the test and live servers as a different distro. Why learn two seperate distros and run the risk of incompatabiliy? So, we now develop and launch on Ubuntu which has the same code in both the free and the paid version which is brilliant. Hence, we are phasing out Redhat.

    2) As Ubuntu is so good on the desktop (they have ironed out loads of the all important user experience) all our developers use Ubuntu on their desktops at home and at work. So they have much more experience of working with this distro and are better skilled to manage the servers.

    Yes, this isn’t code contribution and yes this is clever marketing. But it is good use of Ubuntu resources. They are a growing innovative business with a longterm future. I support them and will keep paying them money. Once they have 10x more engineers than Redhat and are able to build more code, it would be great to look back and laugh at this blog posting :)

    Keep going Ubuntu, you are on the right track and don’t let one angry geek put you off sensible business strategy.

  • CommonOddity

    I know that this is entirely focused on GNOME, commit contributions and sharing the love all around- but there is one subjective (but ultimately IMPORTANT AND SIGNIFICANT) point that is somehow omitted.

    If you are to distill the necessity and presence of Ubuntu into what it has done for the upstream- you can always look at it’s spread.

    It is basically free marketing, by word of mouth, by excellent execution. It has done a lot for the community by spreading itself (And Linux) out to more people.

    I applaud them. Their applets might be obsolete since Gnome 3.0 plans to make applets obsolete (AFAIK)- but is this such an issue in this case?

    They tried to submit the applet upstream. Got rejected. On grounds of being useless in the chain of evolution to GNOME, methinks it’s not a problem. Ultimately, I think Canonical will make strides in contributing back as it gains momentum.

    The spats people are having on here are fine so long as they don’t pass the ‘debate’ barrier into the ‘FLAME ON! /Fantastic 4′ territory. That’s just counterproductive.

    (Note: Sorry. I ramble sometimes. Had a few drinks :D)

  • Bob/Paul

    Forking is releasing modifications to the same tool. Releasing a new tool without submitting it upstream isn’t forking.

    If I used your definition of forking, GIMP and Firefox would be forks of GTK+ and GNOME, because they use the GTK+ toolkit and GNOME UI standards but aren’t hosted by the GNOME group.

    Redhat themselves make many tools that aren’t submitted to upstream groups but are built on GNOME standards/code. Not everything gets accepted into GNOME proper, and not everything should even be submitted to GNOME proper. I think you’re misunderstanding what’s going on, making assumptions, and using that to flame.

    If there’s a specific tool/set of tools you think Canonical should submit, why don’t you specify. Cause right now you aren’t adding much to the conversation.

  • Alejandro Nova

    I abandoned Ubuntu a long time ago because of my personal preferences (I really like living on the edge and Ubuntu isn’t made for that ;)), but I keep installing it for people who don’t know about computers and want to know about Free Software. That’s the main point of Ubuntu: being ready, being usable.

    I fully understand some of the decisions that have been taken in the past, but, if you have such a response of the upstream to your entirely rational proposals, you may consider a reevaluation of your default desktop. After all, KDE is implementing upstream a lot of Mark Shuttleworth’s suggestions for Intrepid, implementation that has been left behind by GNOME. It would have been a crazy thing to ask you to make the full switch in the KDE 4.0 era, but now KDE is at 4.5, and it has now a great degree of polish.

    Consider that. Also, KDE is lacking where you excel the most: usability bugs, and paper cuts. So upstream provides the technology, you the paper cuts and we have the perfect desktop. I know about Kubuntu, but I’d wish an official involvement of Ubuntu ;).

    Please, think about it ;).

  • Brian Behlendorf

    I have to agree, that this is forking, even if not overt, it’s forking by benign neglect. I also think it’s a natural byproduct of a DVCS mentality, that says it’s OK to place the burden of integration of one party’s patches on the community – “they are welcome to integrate our changes, but I guess they choose not to” – rather than on the developer writing the changes. In any ordinary and healthy open source community, the developers realize there is value to working together on a combined vision that, on the whole, is worth the pain of consensus. It’s useful to avoid that pain in the short term – no one should need to wait for three +1′s and no veto for a minor bugfix, or to create a version-tracked changeset that introduces a new feature. Sometimes you have to ship that community edition with your distro’s extra fixes that haven’t yet been accepted upstream. Fine. But don’t let that become the rationale for a long-term set of divergent changes, that get progressively harder and harder to reconcile with the upstream as the upstream evolves, and that will never benefit from review or improvement by users and developers of the upstream. Get over your bad selves.

  • Darryl Ware

    And people ask me why I swear by Linux for servers but went back to OSX as my day to day OS……

    The point is, as proven by this bickering, there is a huge amount of expectation and pressure on companies to pump resources into the nuts and bolts rather than doing what I actually need as an end user and polishing the front end.

    The feeling I get is that it doesn’t matter if I or anyone else ever uses half these projects as long as some people get to sit on a mailing list and compare the size of their patches.

  • Jim

    If all Canonical is going to get is grief about not kissing ass with the GNOME bureaucracy, then I think it’s high time for Ubuntu to shift away from GNOME altogether.

  • Ryan Warren

    I’m used to Ubuntu now having switched from Windows XP. I couldn’t stand switching to vista/7, so I’ve finally settled down.

    I took a peek at Gnome-Shell, and it looks terrible and noisy. I like one workspace.

    I also like widgets, and I would say that feeling is shared by a lot of people with iphones/androids. Widgets make my phone a lot of fun and feels connected with my friends.

    I don’t think Ubuntu/Canonical could maintain a fork of Gnome, and if they just fork and stick with a hacked version of Gnome 2.x would be disappointing too… but I wouldn’t use Gnome-Shell if it came with Ubuntu, and thus I wouldn’t use Ubuntu. I’ve used KDE in the past and I didn’t like that either.

    I’ve only started reading on this topic today, so my apologizes if i’m sounding naive or misinformed on something.

  • http://www.betterubuntu.org Greg

    Jono,

    I applaud you for taking this problem head on.

    If Canonical has a difficult time getting code accepted into Gnome, imagine how difficult it must be for those without privileged.

    FOSS has for a long time excluded interface designers from making meaningful contributions because designers can’t write code. Only people who commit code get a say in design.

    It’s time we move beyond defining contribution as lines of code. It creates a closed environment that promotes sexism and othering.

  • hans

    Can anyone point me to the section of the GPL that requires that either you cajole and politic with your upstreams to get them to take your changes, follow them wherever they go, or they’ll bitch at you for being leaches?

    It must be part of the “free speech” thing I don’t yet understand. I must read more Stallman.

    I use Ubuntu for one simple reason. I install it, it works with minimum fuss, and keeps working. I don’t need to become a distro guru to use it. I want an appliance for getting work done, and Ubuntu does that.

    I tried RedHat, Mandrake, Gentoo, etc., and they all suffered from rot in a matter of months. Even “tracking stable” on FreeBSD, built from sources was more reliable. I prefer BSD, but I wanted Linux because I wanted more stuff to work. My Ubuntu desktop started at Breezy, and is now at Lucid (think how old that box must be.) It just works.

    There’s more to the open source ecosystem than contributing to GNOME.

  • E.D.

    As someone who’s spent over 10 years being a selfish, good for nothing freeloading user who has never contributed a single line of code ( and maybe only 1 bug report) I have to say that this whole conversation seems very amusing. Please bear with my long winded drawl, and don’t take offense, as none is intended! :)

    I’ve always thought that Open source is about solving problems. Generally someone notices something that makes them itch and they solve it and release it, with the idea that it might help someone else. No questions asked, just take it. If it doesn’t scratch your itch fine, modify it and contribute it back. Oh they don’t want it? Fine, we’ll host the changes ourselves (since somebody else may want it.)

    So there are basically two kinds of itches to solve out there as the developer (or organization): Yours, and everyone elses’!

    GNOME has made an excellent desktop. I’m sure they have a vision of where they want to go with it, and its their right to take it wherever they want to go…

    …even if that means right over a cliff. If their organization has that collective itch, more power to them. We should be cheerleaders and express our undying support as they approach their goals. That’s their itch, and they are entitled to scratch it however they want to.

    Ubuntu (which I have the WORST time spelling) has an excellent distribution which seems to be trying really hard to make as many end users and potential end users as happy as possible. We should be cheering them on as they strive to scratch their itch too.

    Being the selfish, good for nothing, lazy, procrastinating user that I am, I can’t help but notice that one of these groups is actually putting money/time/effort directly into scratching alot of my itches. This group seems to have figured out that users like me don’t demand technical excellence… they just want stuff that works well and is intuitive.

    I’m finding it awful hard to complain about someone who’s scratching all my itches.

    And I’m certain that no matter what decisions anyone makes down the road, people (and developers) will gravitate to support whatever scratches their itches the most.

    Now I know, this discussion seems to be about “who’s pulling their share for the greater good” and all that weighty serious business type stuff, but really… who is the interested party here? Who cares about this? My guess is that the only people who might are the folks putting time/money into Gnome and Ubuntu — which would probably scratch a few self induced itches, but probably doesn’t add any serious itch scratching power to the rest of the people who are “users.”

    I think Gnome has alot to learn about what users want from Ubuntu, and I think Gnome needs Ubuntu more than Ubuntu needs Gnome.

    It doesn’t matter how many lines of code Cannonical adds to Gnome. What matters is that Cannonical explores how the user interacts with the gnu/linux desktop environment and is willing to go places with it. Ubuntu tries new stuff (like the color purple… ugh) and sure their experiments sometimes dont pan out, but they learn from this, and provide excellent data which should be going to future designs/features. Cannonical’s greatest contribution to Open source is how they are putting the user first instead of the silly software engineer/developer (I include myself in that “silly” group.)

    Sorry for the long winded comment, but I just couldn’t let this one go. I shall now go back to being another good for nothing, freeloading, lazy, procrastinating, user. Thanks Cannonical and GNOME. :)

    PS: In the past I’ve always preferred KDE to Gnome when given a choice. Ubuntu is the first Distro to convince me that Gnome is worth using. I now use Ubuntu/Gnome everywhere I can.

    I would never have switched to Gnome without Ubuntu.

  • Anon

    I don’t like this argument. If tomorrow Canonical were to magically be able to hire the top 20% of contributors (presumably away from Red Hat) all that would happen is people would argue that Canonical has been moving Linux engineers the same way that it has been moving Linux market share. Everyone wants more but the existing players want a particular type of more.

  • Inge Wallin

    Thank you very much! This helps a lot. How could I have missed this information before?

  • voss749

    Im thinking Ubuntu is betting that Gnome Shell is a Kde 4 fiasco in the making except far far worse. It took how many versions of Kde 4 to fix the problems?

    While open source allows programmers to say “What do I want…” its greatest strength is also its greatest flaw. The real question should be “What do users want”. With all due respect to the hard working people dealing with gnome shell, everything Ive seen about it makes me want to barf. When I saw a sidebar in windows ME my first action was to turn them off.

    When KDE 4 came out I was so disgusted I switched to Gnome and gnome has worked out pretty well. However taking a look at this mess I might switch to Xfce.

  • Stefan

    Looking through the discussion you linked to, it seems that libappindicator was rejected for technical and licensing reasons. Given the time which has elapsed since this discussion, I wonder if you have worked on sorting out these problems and proposing libappindicator for inclusion again.

  • Michael Hall

    In your first posts your complaint was that Canonical isn’t contributing their code upstream. In your later posts, your complaint is that none of Canonical’s code should be included upstream.

    Just so we’re absolutely clear, your actual complaint seems to be that Canonical isn’t working on the things Gnome wants them to work on, instead they are working on the things that Canonical wants to work on.

    Now, it’s all well and good that Gnome wants to go in the direction Red Hat wants to go. But I find it hard to hold seriously a criticism that Canonical is somehow selfish for not also wanting to go in the direction Red Hat wants to go.

  • Johannes

    Computer Janitor? you must be joking..

  • Leif

    Does Canonical at least ensure the fixes for papercuts are upstreamed?

  • http://www.davidkmuir.com David

    Come on people, look at what the stats are actually for! The stats are NOT showing that 16% of current contributions come from RedHat and 1% of contributions come from Canonical. They are for TOTAL contributions of the past 10 years. Even if it were for current contributions (which many people seem to be assuming), it means that Canonical contributes 1.5X as much as RedHat does, relative to company size.

    If we were to assume a flat contribution rate from RedHat and Canonical, then in the past 5 years Canonical would have contributed 1/8th of what RedHat has contributed. This means that relative to the size of the company, Canonical contributes 3x as much as RedHat does.

    Come on RedHat! Pick up your game. Be a team player. :-P

    In the end, the stats don’t tell us much other than how many commits have been made by various companies over the past 10 years. It’s ironic that those stats are being used for Canonical-bashing, when they actually imply the opposite.

    Maybe that’s why they’re so bent out of shape about it? Maybe they’re uncomfortable with the fact that the small new-commer already has a 1% share in contributions, while the big old-timer who’s 25x bigger and been at it twice as long only has a 16% share?

    NONE of this is to say that RedHat is not contributing enough or that Canonical is the model team player. I just wanted to show that the stats themselves are not showing Canonical in a bad light at all, but also, that the stats are WOEFULLY INADEQUATE in showing us anything really useful. For all the stats show us, Canonical contributed 100% 10 years ago, and RedHat has since contributed so much that Canoncial’s original 100% share now accounts for just 1%. Or maybe RedHat stopped contributing 5 years ago, and since then Canonical came into being, and only started contributing to GNOME last week. Obviously both scenarios are ridiculous, especially since Canonical didn’t even exist 10 years ago. However, according to the stats given, there’s no way to tell.

    Give us some stats on current contribution rates, and we may have something to argue about. Until then, the stats given, put Canonical in a VERY positive light.

    Note, the 25x is from Bills comment above. Those complaining about the lack of contributions to other projects, I really don’t understand your logic. Most of what Canonical does is on the user facing side, so naturally, most of their contributions would be to projects like GNOME. On top of that, the stats are practically meaningless unless they’re for current contributions.

  • http://quizzlo.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/guadec-e-gnome-census-risultati-e-commenti/ GUADEC e Gnome Census, risultati e commenti « Quizzlo's.

    [...] ultimo il Community Manager per Ubuntu Jono Bacon, che pur confermando la bontà di Gnome Census, in questo post evidenzia la mancanza di tutti quei progetti che si appoggiano al framework di Gnome – molti [...]

  • http://leonardof.org/2010/08/01/mais-sobre-o-censo-do-gnome-e-a-cauda-longa/ Mais sobre o Censo do GNOME e a Cauda Longa | Leonardo Fontenelle

    [...] que diz respeito à participação da Canonical, Jono Bacon (gerente da comunidade) rebate dizendo que a empresa contribui muito com o GNOME, mas o código fica hospedado no Launchpad, e [...]

  • Artis

    Once Red Hat stops “leeching” from the volunteers and “unknown”, then this ridiculous argument will have a semblance of a basis.

  • Craig

    I’m saddened when I suggest a UI improvement (tomboy was the latest one) and I get the reponse “please submit patches”. Open Source sucks in that regard.

  • nUboon2Age

    Matt Asay points out: Important to note http://bit.ly/crPYYk tracks *all-time” Gnome contributions. Canonical will never catch up w/ RHT. It’s not helpful data

    http://twitter.com/mjasay/status/19827108806

  • Simon

    @Leif – from what I’ve seen (as an outsider), the papercut fixes are usually submitted upstream.

    Though it seems to me that they’re rejected as often as they’re accepted, usually because they’re quick-and-dirty fixes that don’t address what upstream see as the real problem. For example, making minor tweaks to a dialog layout that’s too big for a netbook screen, which upstream reject because they think the whole layout needs work.

  • http://espacoliberdade.blog.br/blog/?p=1712 Ubuntu (finalmente) desmascarado — Espaço Liberdade

    [...] O MIMIMI do funcionário da Canonical: http://www.jonobacon.org/2010/07/30/red-hat-canonical-and-gnome-contributions/ [...]

  • http://www.muylinux.com/2010/08/02/las-aguas-se-calman-en-la-polemica-por-el-gnome-census Las aguas se calman en la polémica por el GNOME Census | MuyLinux

    [...] Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager y toda una persona influyente en el mundo Linux, también publicó un post en su blog, en el cual trató de explicar la situación de Canonical y su contribución real a [...]

  • http://www.researchut.com Ritesh Raj Sarraf

    Red Hat might have contributed the highest number of code commits to the GNOME project but Canonical is the one that has productized it and made a contending product in the market.

    It is not just about coding. People write crappy code. We users test and report bugs. Only then it changes to a quality product.

    I respect Ubuntu for doing an awesome job making GNU/Linux a acceptable item on the desktop/laptop.

    Competition is always good. Does not have to be only about code commits. Packaging, Artwork, Integration, QA… a lot of these matter for a successful product.

    I think (not just Red Hat) rivals are pissed off of Ubuntu for its blazing fast success rate. Canonical came from no where to the #1 Linux distribution in just 7-8 years. Jealousy is obvious.

    Was Novell’s a similar case when they shipped SLES RTOS ?

  • http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~james/ James

    It’s still a big fail because if I’m not mistaken, you’re required to have to sign the agreement: http://www.canonical.com/contributors

  • Eddward

    Your comment is very interesting. I don’t think I entirely agree that they don’t give away. But it seems Ubuntu doesn’t collaborate with upstreams. It dictates. I guess it’s fine if a project has a benevolent dictator of it’s own. But I would imagine some projects don’t appreciate some third party coming in and assuming the dictatorship role.

  • http://www.hellointernet.es/2010/08/03/las-aguas-se-calman-en-la-polemica-por-el-gnome-census-actualizada/ Las aguas se calman en la polémica por el GNOME Census [Actualizada] | Hellointernet

    [...] Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager y toda una persona influyente en el mundo Linux, también publicó un post en su blog, en el cual trató de explicar la situación de Canonical y su contribución real a [...]

  • http://jeff-ratliff.com/2010/08/03/canonical-ignorant-of-evil/ Jeff’s Amazing blog » Blog Archive » Canonical: Ignorant of Evil?

    [...] have been miniscule. Proffitt also points out their Linux kernel contributions have been weak. Jono Bacon responds to all this by pointing out that while Canonical hasn’t contributed directly, they’ve [...]

  • http://www.ubukuntu.nl.ae Vistaus

    Yeah, that is a big fail indeed. Of the software patents, NOT of Canonical. Canonical uses that agreement to make sure no one makes a patent out of someone else’s idea. That happens a lot of times. So Canonical is doing a great job in that :)

  • claudio

    I am a happy Ubuntu user and defend the very good work done by Canonical. Perhaps RedHat is just jealous of the popularity that has managed to get a distribution like Ubuntu over the years! Not see why there should be war between allies in a game where the enemies are others. Apart from that I do not think I’ll change my opinion ever. Ubuntu will always be my favorite Linux distribution

  • http://izanbardprince.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/just-who-is-doing-what-in-gnome-does-the-census-provide-a-reasonable-assessment/ Just who is doing what in GNOME? Does the Census provide a reasonable assessment? « Ryan’s Blog

    [...] Jono makes a great bullshit artist, I’ll give him that much, he tactfully dodges the issue of Ubuntu/Canonical being bad citizens in upstream contributions to the software stack that Ubuntu depends on so desperately, and instead starts droning on about how they’re developing buggy, broken, and proprietary software (Ubuntu One is essentially proprietary software because it is Fog Computing with an undocumented backend on some Amazon server off in the Fog somewhere.) by themselves, using their own tools, downstream of the GNOME project. And those meanies at the GNOME project don’t want to accept broken busted crap, most of which has no context in a generic GNOME setup anyway, and they’re the assholes for failing to recognize all the contributions Ubuntu has made to itself, for itself. [...]

  • http://www.jirka.org Jiri Lebl

    So if “Open Source sucks,” what proprietary software just took your designs and implemented them? When you last suggested a UI improvement in Windows, it just got implemented?

  • http://www.4twenty5.com Buyongo Phiri

    I love my Ubuntu, I have managed to get everyone in the house running Ubuntu. The project lead Mark is South African, Ubuntu is an African philosophy that I believe has a lot of value in this “me” world that we live in. For people to be pissed at Canonical for code seems useless if it weren’t for them Linux popularity would be less than what it is. And I have tried other distro’s but Ubuntu is it, really do a comparison test for ordinary end users that want something that just works. Maybe they should do away with KDE and GNOME and start afresh. We can do with a system built from the ground up by Canonical I like their style it works. I wouldn’t be here making this comment if it weren’t for Ubuntu, Open source does not need a “me” culture. Thanks to everyone that has empowered me to getting thus far, I applaud the community for all the hard work they put into this great software that we get to use on a daily basis but in the long run the end user is KING and we all have something to learn from companies that are able to champion this cause!

  • Zac

    Well said Jono. This is why I am so proud of an Ubuntu user and in my small world brought along six others. Other OS’s will work fine on my desktop, however, it is for other reasons I use Ubuntu. It is these other reasons that are important to me. Jono, people like yourself, are part of that.

  • Dean

    @JimT: “Redhat don’t give us their best work for free.”

    RH pushes 100% of their code upstream-including all their work with KVMm (of which Ubuntu benefits from as they switched to KVM) and even their Satellite Server (for centralized updates). That’s how CentOS (and anyone else for that matter) is able to deliver a 100% clone of RHEL.

    If you really must have genuine RHEL, with the logos and red splashes and red color scheme (which don’t belong on a server anyways), but don’t want to pay for the support subscription, then sign up for an eval copy of RHEL, then point yum to the CentOS repositories. Or, and this is lost on some folks, RHEL is really just repackaged Fedora in a more conservative package for stability. So, RHEL 6 is just a mix of Fedora 12 and 13. So, run Fedora 13 and shazam! you essentially have RHEL 6!

    I wouldn’t run Ubuntu servers for my production stuff (big company here) not because it’s not good, it is. But, there’s a significant comfort level which managers and directors like that comes with knowing that Red Hat support is there and will be there for the foreseeable future since Red Hat is very profitable. For now, at least, Ubuntu support is not at that perceived level. So far, only Novell is able to provide something close to that, and their recent purchase by Attachmate cast a shadow on that.

  • jack Foobar

    There is no way to spin this into anything reasonable: the facts are simple.

    Canonical takes what’s out there and assembles what is, by most accounts, the best mainstream Linux distribution available. Tastes vary, the above is a statistical statement, but one you recurringly hear.

    The fact that Ubuntu kicks ass does not change the fact that the software it ships is developed thanks to the staffing that Red Hat, Novell, IBM and a few others PAY for. Canonical has a small staff, and while it successfully undercuts the enterprise distros with its $0 tags, the development that makes it possible is paid by what enterprises are willing to pay for those distros.

    That shows in the contributor surveys. It does because it is a fact. Spin, anger, or crybaby drill sergeants notwithstanding, Canonical decided to “start with a $0 price” (Mark’s words) and see of a business could be built on that. Guess what, if you succeed gaining enough market, you eliminate Linux development.

    And, sorry, Canonical’s contributions are irrelevant in size. You can probably Grep for commit messages from Ximian (which must have stopped 7 years ago), and see they contributed to Ubuntu more than Canonical did. Same for Red Hat, Novell/SUSE, IBM, and maybe even SGI.

    Regards, Jack

  • Ryan

    All of your “upstream projects” are both Ubuntu-specific and utter junk. I think the figure of 1% of Gnome contributions coming from Ubuntu must have been rounded up from 0.01%. How about contributing to something besides your own CLA-protected, junky projects?

    Your list of upstream projects is quite frankly a joke. They are all basically the same project, which is replicating functionality that already exists (and is of much higher quality) in Gnome shell.

    Then there is Upstart, which will be another Ubuntu-specific piece of cruft before long.

    Bazaar’s adoption is also laughably low and I suspect that the few respectable projects that are using it are doing so for the sake of Launchpad rather than the pitifully poor tool itself.

  • Ryan

    Very well said. Except I would even debate the point about Ubuntu “kicking ass”. It is rapidly becoming a horribly bloated distro. Unity is utter junk, Ubuntu One doesn’t even work. etc. etc.

  • Ryan

    Yeah I’m sure a very profitable and respected company like Red Hat are jealous of a company that is turning a loss, with a very uncertain future.

    Canonical do very little “work” of their own. They just repackage the hard work of other people, much of which comes from Red Hat.

    Canonical are just parasites, looking to suck up as much market share as possible before flipping the profit switch.

    They are now attempting to differentiate themselves – a move that no doubt originates from some inspired marketing folks. The underestimate just how hard this task is going to prove to be. Most Gnome contributers couldn’t give a damn about Ubuntu any more, besides the obvious support and credibility they drive by bringing Linux to the unwashed masses. Their business model isn’t sutainable in the long run. At least not if they intend to turn a profit like Red Hat are.

  • Ryan

    It doesn’t really matter anyway. All the projects affected are either complete junk or deprecated in favour of Red Hat’s superior efforts.

  • Ryan

    Classic moron Ubuntu user.

  • Ryan

    Ubuntu “developers” already write pretty awful code. Efforts like 100 papercuts are just a melting pot of cruft.

  • Ryan

    Try Fedora 15. Ubuntu’s lead on usability has just been crushed.

  • Ryan

    Yet another clueless Ubuntu user.

  • Kelly Miller

    Do a little reading and research and you will find that a LOT of Ubuntu’s core packages have @redhat.com email addresses all over their commit logs. The Canonical email addresses are mostly attributed to ugly hacks and branding patches.

    A prime example is Pulse Audio. Lennart Poettering (Red Hat) has done sterling work modernising the Linux desktop’s audio stack. Ubuntu then take his work and do an absolutely terrible job of integrating it into Ubuntu (adding various hacks and clueless patches as usual). Then when the bugs from their awful packaging emerge, everyone points the blame to Lennart. Meanwhile, Pulse Audio is working flawlessly on Fedora.

  • Ryan

    Ubuntu are in no position to dictate anything. I think you misunderstand the power structure. Shuttlecock is the benevolent dicatator of Ubuntu, nothing else. Try to dictate as he will, no one listens nor cares.

  • Ryan

    It’s worth noting that his lack of influence outside of Ubuntu is almost entirely down to Canonicals lack of contribution upstream. He’s not a partner, just a parasite.

  • Ryan

    You have absolutely no idea. It’s funny how all the clueless people here are Ubuntu apologizers. It speaks volumes about the levels of intelligence in the Ubuntu community.

  • Ryan

    He probably just used the the raw figures from @ubuntu.com email adresses. It still wouldn’t be suprising to see less than 1% contributions using this method. I see redhat.com email addresses everywhere. I have never once seen a ubuntu.com address outside of LaunchPad.

  • Ryan

    They have “influence” because they are the ones doing a large part of the work and they have developed close relationships with upstream projects. Canonical have much less influence because they don’t care about Free Software outside of it’s ability to further their business interests.

    Take a look at the (very) few projects that they actually work on:

    Ayatana projects: Purely for brand differentiation purposes – note that branding is NEVER an excercise in philanthropy Launchpad: originally closed-source, now subject to a CLA, developed without a care in the world for outside use (e.g. ball of cruft, not modular)

    ….what else….wait, that’s pretty much it.

    If other people don’t kiss his ass, Shuttleworth takes his football and runs home. Have fun playing alone.

  • Ryan

    Ubuntu’s only success is driving Linux adoption among users and support among hardware vendors. Thanks a lot for that. Besides this, they are doing next to nothing for the Linux world. They will never be much further ahead of any other distro and most likely much further behind.

    Red Hat has conquered the business world because support and liability is what businesses care about. Red Hat can offer that while sharing all of their brilliant work for free with people who don’t need it.

    How are Canonical going to fit into this ecosystem and make a profit?

  • Ryan

    Who is “we”? The cacaphony of Ubuntu fanboys?

    The “battle” you refer to is not a battle worth “winning”. Ubuntu doesn’t have enough developers to truly diverge from the upstreams that they rely on. The huge following of retards they have will not change this.

  • Ryan

    @fd3c4c90e2f59e48a44c3c9e801668ea:disqus Yup, spot on.

  • Ryan

    Because Bazaar is broken and Canonical’s only answer is that it’s “good enough”.

    It clearly isn’t though is it Canonical?

  • Ryan

    @877e0bba9d2e49ceddc36f5d77653745:disqus You are missing the point. No one else wants to adopt notify-osd because they already had a better idea long before it was even conceived. It’s not exactly a huge contribution to the world anyway is it? It’s a little black bubble that is mis-aligned by design. Great, just great.

  • Ryan

    @877e0bba9d2e49ceddc36f5d77653745:disqus You are missing the point. No one else wants to adopt notify-osd because they already had a better idea long before it was even conceived. It’s not exactly a huge contribution to the world anyway is it? It’s a little black bubble that is mis-aligned by design. Great, just great.

  • Ryan

    Don’t worry about @877e0bba9d2e49ceddc36f5d77653745:disqus . He talks a lot but knows very little.

    It’s pretty standard practice for Indians. They are all printing business cards with false titles like “Senior Software Engineer” or “Consultant Doctor” by the age of 12. Quite pathetic really.

  • Ryan

    Don’t worry about @877e0bba9d2e49ceddc36f5d77653745:disqus . He talks a lot but knows very little.

    It’s pretty standard practice for Indians. They are all printing business cards with false titles like “Senior Software Engineer” or “Consultant Doctor” by the age of 12. Quite pathetic really.

  • Ryan

    Put a cork in it @Manish.

  • Ryan

    Put a cork in it @Manish.

  • Ryan

    Your point of view is invalid on the grounds that you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Ryan

    Your point of view is invalid on the grounds that you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Ryan

    good work*

  • Ryan

    @a6e2d961b9d2a43b66c4ca1393c2d980:disqus , you wouldn’t know work if it hit you in the face. Do I have to post a link to the ball of garbage you call “gmailwatcher” to illustrate that to people?

    I don’t care if it was your first project, it doesn’t change the fact it is a pathetic ball of trash.

  • Ryan

    Really?….”we”? When was the last time you contributed anything?

  • https://idontdostuff.wordpress.com/ Ladislav Ezr

    Damn you are such a troll!