Leaving Edubuntu

Jordan Mantha laserjock at ubuntu.com
Mon Oct 5 21:00:53 BST 2009

On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 3:13 PM, David Van Assche <dvanassche at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 8:40 PM, R. Scott Belford <scott at hosef.org> wrote:
>> I'm sorry, David, but you are now moving into the area of flaming,
>> inciting, and trolling.  Unless I missed something, it was made quite
>> clear by Scott Balneaves about a month ago that Edubuntu was tracking
>> debian-edu.  Edubuntu has everything to with Debian Edu in that
>> *ubuntu is but an off-shoot of Debian.  Perhaps I am mistaken, but I
>> am most familiar with Vagrant from his work as Debian's LTSP
>> maintainer.  LTSP is pretty critical to debian-edu, and that work is
>> pretty complementary to Edubuntu.  At least I always thought so.

This thread is getting a little crazy here so let's all take a bit of
a breath and 1) remember why we're all here and 2) remember that we
can respectively disagree without getting too personal about it.

I'll be the first to admit that I've been taking some of the recent
threads a bit too personally and am trying to keep the emotional
aspects aside for right now. Right now the Edubuntu Council is taking
stock of the recent input and trying to get a game plan about how we,
as a community, can move forward to a more productive and hopefully
healthier community.

I personally appreciated Scott's question about Debian Edu and David's
defending of the Edubuntu developer community. I'll point out a few
particulars that I think are most important.

First, Scott has a good point about Edubuntu having a pretty distant
relationship with Debian Edu. I've been around Edubuntu since 2006 and
I'm still not sure why we don't do more with Debian Edu. It's seems
like we interact more on a social level with the Fedora and openSUSE
educational efforts than we do Debian Edu. I don't really ever
remember being approached by Debian Edu people and my work in Edubuntu
has only led me to interact with individual package maintainers.
Perhaps we just have different enough purposes and goals that the
deeper connection with the project as whole has just never formed
naturally. However, something I would like to point out is that,
though there is definitely room for improvement, we *do* interact with
Debian on a packaging level. Edubuntu's base packages, like all of the
Ubuntu archives, are imported from Debian unstable every 6 months. We
try to push back bugs as often as we can and discuss major changes
with Debian maintainers. It is very much in our best interest to keep
good relationships open with Debian package maintainers, and I think
we've done a decent job of that considering our resources and changes.
I do think though that there is plenty of room to expand our
interaction specifically with Debian Edu and it's long been one of my
main pushes to get Edubuntu people interacting with "upstream"
projects like Debian Edu, KDE Edu, etc.

LTSP is an important part of Edubuntu's goals and indeed at the end of
the month both the Debian and Ubuntu LTSP maintainers will be hacking
together at the LTSP hackfest in Maine.

David, IMO, makes a good point as well that there have been quite a
few contributors over the years to Edubuntu and I don't think it's
very productive or nice to declare our work "the single greatest
failure of an Education focused Open Source project I have seen in my
more than 10 years of FOSS endeavors" and call for the entire Edubuntu
project to be shut down. I'm not sure how somebody like myself, who
has made significant personal sacrifices and spent countless hours
working on something that's freely given to anyone, is supposed to
take statements like that.

Edubuntu has problems (way too many currently, unfortunately) but I
know that every contributor to Edubuntu and indeed, every person
reading this, cares about Linux and open-source software in education.
We're mostly doing this as volunteers in the evenings, weekends, or
lunch breaks. So yes, let's discuss the problems, let's seek
solutions, but let's do it with civility and respect for the work of

I'm personally committed to doing what I can, where I can, when I can,
to make Edubuntu better for teachers, parents, students, schools, and
IT admins. I would ask the same thing from all of you. You don't need
to be an uber programmer, you don't have to be a Linux professional,
all we're asking for is a little of your time and effort. Over the
next few weeks and months you'll see opportunities announced like Bug
Triage days, Wiki Cleanup days, Documentation days, Testing days, and
hopefully some more. I'm encouraging everybody to read over the
announcements and try to pick one or two things you think you can
contribute. Let us know (#edubuntu IRC channel or edubuntu-devel
mailing lists are great places to get started) if you need some help
and we'll try to guide you along the best we can.

Have a great day people!


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