What's Canonical thinking about Bazaar?

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Thu Nov 5 05:27:26 GMT 2009

Ben Finney writes:

 > But everybody *knows* Bazaar is supported by Canonical, the same way
 > everybody knows OpenOffice is backed by Sun. I don't see the above as
 > any justification for further emphasising Canonical to the detriment of
 > Bazaar's image as a community project, a GNU project even.

Community projects are protected by the "NO WARRANTEE" clause.  If
OpenOffice (more likely NeoOffice, which is even more "corporate" than
OpenOffice, and neither is a GNU project AFAIK) eats my document, my
reaction is "shit happens" and I file a bug, and maybe even look at
the code.  I *warn* my best friends.  (@Martin Pool: that's "community
ownership" for you.)

Corporate products are not so protected, even when licensed under the
GPL.  If as a "Canonical product" Bazaar eats my document, my reaction
is going to be "Fsckin' Canonical doesn't give shit!", my bug report
will leave 2nd degree burns on your eyeballs, and I will *bitch* about
Canonical quality to anybody who will listen.  Calling it a "Canonical
product" is a commitment to quality (or else!) that "supported by
Canonical" is not.

Of course there are Gentle Users who take the first approach even with
Microsoft and AT&T products, and there are Bloody Trolls who take the
second approach with GNU projects with no corporate or financial
support from the outside whatsoever.  But the general trend is
different, the incentives for the vendor are different, and there are
*many* people who are sensitive to the marketing difference in their
own purchases and adoption decisions.

 > Examples of "corporate backing" and "community project" in concert
 > have already been given in this thread

Sure.  That doesn't mean that "corporate product" is meaningless in

 > If it's a fact that Bazaar *is* a community project, a GNU project,
 > then please let's not allow that to be diminished in public
 > perception.

It's a GNU project, but it's also a corporate product as far as I can
tell.  Always has been, too.  But Ghostscript was a structurally
similar case that (IMO) managed to present as a community project
(despite the mainline not even being free software!) and eventually
seems to have actually turned into one.

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