Hiring Edubuntu Staff

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Fri Jul 24 13:52:19 BST 2009

Jordan Mantha wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 3:05 PM, R. Scott Belford<scott at hosef.org> wrote:
>> For what it is worth, it is now nearly a year since I tracked down
>> every key Canonical employee I could find at Linuxworld 2008, both at
>> the conference and at after-hours events, to communicate two messages:
>> the state of Edubuntu and its User community was having an *adverse*
>> *impact* on the adoption of gnu/linux in education, particularly in
>> thin-client environments,and that two people should be hired - Gavin
>> and Asmo. Â As Ace observed, he actually thought Gavin worked for
>> Canonical. Â I used to think so, too. Â Asmo has been instrumental at
>> greeting and inspiring new users and help-seekers on this list, and he
>> likes Frank Zappa.
> Gavin and Asmo are both great guys and I would love to see people like
> them employed to work on Edubuntu. However, Mark Shuttleworth has
> indicated to me that Canonical will not be employing anybody to work
> on Edubuntu for the foreseeable future so I think any paid developers
> are going to have to come from some other source. Edubuntu hasn't had
> a paid developer in over a year and it has shown.
> The state of Edubuntu for the last year or so hasn't been that great.
> I don't think anybody involved with the project would disagree. The
> problem has been that every attempt to get development rebooted has
> not gone so well. I don't expect every Edubuntu user to be a bug
> filer, doc writer, packager, etc. but *some* people in the community
> needs to step up to make things happen. There are way more good ideas
> than hands to implement them.
> There seems to be this eternal struggle between Edubuntu users and
> developers. Edubuntu users are frustrated with how slow development
> goes and how bugs/issues critical to them are not being addressed.
> They feel like their voices are not being heard and that perhaps
> developers just don't understand their situation. Perhaps they feel
> that Edubuntu's full potential is not being realized, especially if
> they've invested a lot of time, effort, and reputation in Edubuntu.
> In contrast, Edubuntu developers see day after day where Edubuntu
> could be improved, where cracks are showing, and where new features
> could be developed but feel powerless to actually do anything about
> it. They are frustrated to see the same complaints time and time
> again. They are demotivated when 19 out of 20 times when a user comes
> to them it is to report a problem, complain about Edubuntu, or even
> attack the quality of their work. They may feel that users
> misunderstand that resources are the limiting factor, not a lack of
> recognition of problem or the desire to fix them. And when they try to
> inspire the user community to contribute towards fixing those problems
> that they are bringing they are met with a lackluster response.

I am not really in the loop for edubuntu, although I do look in to
this list occasionally.
It sounds as if there is a huge imbalance of expectations,
particularly by the users, and I guess that most  if not all users of
edubuntu regard themselves more as 'consumers' of Edubuntu rather than
users who want to be more involved with development.

Maybe Education is not like other areas using IT with server-client
functions. I wonder if the IT skills and motivations of edubuntu users
and edubuntu users admin are such that they are less likely to be
attracted to app development etc than IT users and admin in other

My best wishes to the developers and users.
alan cocks
Ubuntu user

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