Leaving Edubuntu

R. Scott Belford scott at hosef.org
Sat Oct 3 17:22:37 BST 2009

Mark Shuttleworth, are you listening?  The Edubuntu 'Leadership' has
created the single greatest failure of an Education focused Open
Source project I have seen in my more than 10 years of FOSS endeavors.
 Please end this project and the *ubuntu branding before you further
damage our community as a whole.  Otherwise, I consider this project
to be on the state of becoming an adversary to the responsible
advocacy and adoption of Free and Open Source Software.

The fact that one of the most focused and deliberate volunteers I have
seen come to the Edubuntu-users mailing list, Ace Suares, is now
leaving is testimony to this failure.  For years, since the released
debacle of 7.10 that all but ruined existing LTSP 4.2 setups, the
Edubuntu-users mailing list has become a place for your developers and
'leaders' to defend their actions, to denigrate 'users', and to
completely hijack the good intent of the community.  I have attempted
to bring this to your executives' decisions at various conferences, I
have discussed it with your Canadian support team, and I have made
these comments on the edubuntu-users list.

The general feedback from the active leaders and developers
representing Canonical and Edubuntu is that we're doing the heavy
lifting, that we are right, and that the user's commitment or
expectation is at fault.  It's tragic because of late you have had the
likes of Scott Balneaves making yet another extraordinary promise to
get Edubuntu to a usable state for the breadth of hardware you claim
to support.  As it stands Edubuntu is still unusable for the average
teacher with less than an hour a week for learning and maintenance,
and one of your "leaders" just ran off one of the people trying to fix
the wiki that people turn to for help.

I don't quit, and I've been committed to K12FOSS since 2000.  I'll
continue monitoring this, the debian-edu, and the K12OSN lists for
trends, progress, and the evolution of an education community around
FOSS.  I also don't cheer lead for bullies, and we have bullying going
on here.


On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 4:24 AM, Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)
<jonathan at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Hi Ace
> (I'm cc'ing you since I don't know whether you're on the list anymore)
> Ace Suares wrote:
>> See http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2009/10/02/%23ubuntu-meeting.html#t17:59
>> On the agenda was a proposal from LaserJock, which would resolve the
>> deadlock around cleaning up the wiki. It was not addressed. The EC
>> totally ignored the agenda.
> When I read your e-mail the first time I actually thought that I missed
> it on the agenda. If you check
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Edubuntu/WikiSite/Meeting/Agenda there's a
> section called "Agenda next meeting" and "Agenda 2009-11-09". The wiki
> item was actually under "Agenda 2009-11-09", which is only next month.
> I'm not sure where that date comes from, or why we're splitting the
> agenda, or who split it up like that. We usually put it on one date and
> just remove the items that are discussed already, leaving unresolved
> items for the next meeting.
> Additionally, I think it's very unfair to say that the issue was
> ignored. We've already addressed the issues that blocked you from doing
> any work when discussing it on the edubuntu-devel mailing list. We won't
> be discussing every single wiki page before changing or moving it, no
> one has the time for that. Instead, we would rather have you follow the
> guidelines we have discussed and using your own judgement.
>> Well, nothing has happened. No comments on the wiki page. No talk about
>> either Jordan or mine proposal in the first EC meeting in months.
>> When I started this, I thought I would clean up the wiki in about three
>> intensive weeks.
> Ace, that's part of the problem. You moved a great deal of wiki pages
> without discussing it with anyone or getting more feedback on the issue.
> When working in a team, you can't decide to do big things on your own,
> even if you end up doing most of the work. There's a good reason why "Be
> considerate" and "Be collaborative" are two of the major six points of
> the Ubuntu Code of Conduct[1].
>> Due to total inadequacy of the governing body of Edubuntu, this project
>> is still in limbo.
>> Actually, there is only ONE person stopping me every time I move
>> forward. All the others either don't care or give some praise and
>> encouragement.
>> I'm done with this bunch. Some very common sociodynamics are at work.
>> Pioneers Syndrome comes to mind. These sociodynamics do really crumble
>> the structure of Edubuntu and stop (some) new people getting involved.
> I'm not familiar with the concept of "Pioneers Syndrome". I tried to
> look it up but couldn't find any reference. I agree that we've had some
> problems, but we've been very public and honest about it and we've
> acknowledged that Edubuntu's problems won't be sorted out over night.
> From where I stand, we've made some very good progress recently, a big
> change from where we've been the last 2 years before that. I honestly
> don't mind you (or anyone) providing constructive criticism, but I don't
> believe that you are being very constructive with your current tone.
>> I am very sorry that this is all happening. I hope you can solve your
>> internal deadlock one day and grow again as a community. I might join
>> then, again.
>> Thanks to all the people who sent positive thoughts the last couple of
>> months. And sorry for leaving you with a half-done wiki. Not my choice.
> The choice is all yours, really. Firstly, you made a large amount of
> changes to the wiki, and then you choose to leave it uncompleted,
> leaving us with more work than there was before you started working on it.
> That's where the sixth major point in the Code of Conduct comes in,
> "Step down considerably". From my perspective, saying mean things to
> those who have only tried to help you (Jordan for one has gone out of
> his way to try to accommodate you) and then wanting to leave things you
>  have started without any form of handover or discussion is not in the
> spirit of the code. I note from your Launchpad page[2] that you have
> signed the code of conduct so I assume that you should be familiar with it.
> The last thing I want to do is use the CoC to do any kind of policing,
> and that's not what's happening here. I do want to note, however, that
> being impatient and demanding is not the way to make progress in a team
> and in a community. It would be sad to see you go, but if you're not
> willing to work as part of a team, then unfortunately our hands are tied.
> -Jonathan
> [1] http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct
> [2] https://launchpad.net/~acesuares
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