UPDATE: Announcement from www.kubuntu.de

Jonathan Jesse jjesse at iserv.net
Tue Apr 11 12:39:30 UTC 2006

On Tuesday 11 April 2006 08:08, Mirjam Wäckerlin wrote:
> Hello,
> The announcement on www.kubuntu.de has just been updated. Again, I
> post it here for your acknowledgement and for discussion:
> Kubuntu.de protest week – Update
> The linux community received our protest with both, agreement, but
> also criticism.
> We would like to react to those by giving more specific reasons for our
> protest.
> The aim
> This website, including the forum, the mailing lists and the
> respective IRC channels (#kubuntu-de and #kubuntu-de-team) has one
> aim: to support the community, to offer a platform to the users of
> Kubuntu and, last but not least, to boost the Kubuntu-project so as to
> make it an outstanding distribution.
> We all from the kubuntu.de - team have poursuited this aim together,
> but most of the work has been done by Andreas Mueller (amu). He is not
> only co-founder and unpaid developer of the Kubuntu-project, but he's
> also hosting this website with current Kubuntu-LiveCDs and he's taking
> over all the arising expenses himself. Gnoppix, another "baby" of
> Andreas Mueller, now in possession of Canonical, but still being
> financed by Andreas.
> What we criticise
> During our endeavours for Kubuntu, several requests to Canonical were
> made. All the mails were addressed to Mrs. Jane Silber, CCO of
> Canonical.
> Our concern primarily regards the following subjects, which need - due
> to the present state of the project - several basic decisions and
> responses by Canonical :
> Developers
> Kubuntu needs more paid developers. Even though Canonical says that
> there is one paid developer for GNOME and one KDE (seb128/jriddell),
> the rest of the paid developers rather tend to support GNOME. It would
> be reasonable to pay at least 2-3 more developers to balance, because
> only providing KDE-packages is not enough.
> Status of the project
> What is the meaning behind Mark Shuttleworth's commitment, that he
> wants to make "Kubuntu a 1st class distribution"? Is he stepping back
> from his former declaration that Kubuntu is a pure community project
> (http://www.kubuntu.org/announcements/hoary-release.php), and is it
> planned to integrate Kubuntu permanently into the Canonical support
> system?
> Restricted independence of the project
> Kubuntu should be a little more independent as a project. Of course we
> understand that money has to be made at some point – you can not only
> spend the money, you need to get it back somehow.
> But the decision should be a technical one in the first place, which
> is geared to special markets (concretely: the SMIME support which is
> important e.g. in Germany).
> Sponsoring
> What about having another big sponsor on board? Generally, this could
> happen. Is Kubuntu a community project or are there financial interests
> behind though?
> ISO-Updates
> Is there any problem to integrate patches and security updates into
> the install- and live-iso's and to provide updates of the iso's after
> 3 months? Bugs do happen.
> Community contribution (portal software)
> Except Jonathan Riddell and Andreas Mueller nobody can change the
> website of kubuntu (kubuntu.org – Andreas has gained his account back
> now, after more than two months).
> If someone can't make packages, that doesn't mean he can't do anything
> for the project. A lot of volunteers wanted to contribute, but they
> couldn't because they have no access.
> A portal software solve this problem. This software could ideally
> provide a direct translation (possibly with connection to Rosetta) and
> at the same time allow the export to the official documentation. We
> are already working on the realisation of such a portal.
> Trademarks
> On the site of ubuntuusers.de it is stated that they are the "official
> german portal of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and all other Ubuntu
> derivatives". None of the concerned party is even known with a
> nickname on #kubuntu-devel or #kubuntu-de.
> There is a contract between Matthias Urlichs, Julius Bloch, Marcus
> Fischer and Canonical
> http://static.ubuntu-de.org/cms/files/00/05/52/agreement.pdf) in order
> to give them the possibility to use the name "Ubuntu" for the
> association "ubuntu Deutschland e.V." over which the three preside.
> The association itself is hosting the portal ubuntuusers.de.
> But this contract doesn't entitle "ubuntu Deutschland e.V." to the
> names Kubuntu, Xubuntu and to all the other names of ubuntu
> derivatives.
> Therefore we request rectification on the sites of the association as
> well as on the site of ubuntuusers.de: that they have nothing to do
> with Kubuntu and other derivatives of Canonical Trademarks and Ubuntu
> Foundation distributions, since they are only supporting
> ubuntuusers.de and no other community projects around Ubuntu and its
> derivatives.
> Moreover, there exist some so-called "domaingrabber" in Germany which
> only want to make profit with the brand Kubuntu. Why are they not
> admonished and closed?
> This is a sensitive area, but instead of declaring Canonical is hiding
> away from the problems.
> Our protest will continue as long as these questions are not clarified.

Is this really the best way to help out Kubuntu and make it better?  Is the 
publicity that you guys are creating helping or hurting Kubuntu?  I would 
argue that it is hurting Kubuntu.  Kubuntu is great and the community of 
developers and contributers is growing.  An example of this is the people 
that show up at the Kubuntu Team meetings and the increase in the amount of 
people working on Kubuntu Documentation.  For the first time the Kubuntu-Docs 
package is available in Rosetta for translation so we should all get started 
translating these to make them great.

Further explanation on the reasoning behind the "need for independence" would 
be great.  I can only hope for better official support of kubuntu.  It would 
be great to see a kubuntu laptop testing group, more people involved in 
squashing bugs on the bug team and other things.  

Kubuntu doesn't need negative press/publications like this it needs all the 
positive help it can get and "protests" don't help out.

Jonathan Jesse

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