[ubuntu-marketing] Making Canonical's/Ubuntu's contributions more visible

Lucas Nussbaum lucas at lucas-nussbaum.net
Mon Jun 9 16:20:46 UTC 2008

On 09/06/08 at 16:02 +0200, Przemysław Kulczycki wrote:
> Matthew Nuzum pisze:
>> On Fri, May 23, 2008 at 4:36 AM, Przemysław Kulczycki
>> <przemekkulczycki at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Now let's get to the point.
>>>>> One of the often accusations against Ubuntu is that it only takes from
>>>>> other
>>>>> projects (Debian, Red Hat, Novell/Suse...) and doesn't give back
>>>>> anything.
>>>>> Ubuntu should make it more visible for others to see what does it
>>>>> contribute
>>>>> to upstream/floss community.
>>> Good. I hope something will be done about it ASAP.
>>> Reading all those comments about Ubuntu not contributing anything is really
>>> irritating.
>> Let's start a wiki page at:
>> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Website/Content/UbuntuContributions
>> As the content on this page matures I'll sync it over to the main
>> ubuntu website.

I haven't commented earlier on this page, but there are several points
that haven't been raised yet, and need to be raised.

I don't think that people are complaining about "Ubuntu" not giving
back. Ubuntu is a community, and cannot really "give back" or
"contribute" itself. Members of the community can "contribute" or "give
back", but they are individuals. If I do something related to Ubuntu,
even with my dusty MOTU hat on, I don't want it to be used by a
marketing campaign. It's "Lucas Nussbaum did [...]", or "Ubuntu
developer Lucas Nussbaum did [...]", not "Ubuntu did [...]".

But I don't think that it's about Ubuntu. The real issue is about
Canonical, when you compare Canonical with Novell and Red Hat (the
companies, not the distros). It's not about people doing stuff during
their free time, it's about people being paid by Canonical to work on
things that benefit more than just the Ubuntu distribution.

In that page, please make a clear distinction between Canonical and
Ubuntu. if volunteer Ubuntu developers have enough free time to also
contribute to other projects, that's just cool. If Canonical employees
are allowed to contribute to other projects during their work time,
that's totally different, and a lot more cool.

Specific examples of problems I see with the page:
# The dpkg Breaks field was implemented by Ian Jackson for Ubuntu.
==> The dpkg Breaks field was implemented by Canonical employee Ian

Drop all the "Ubuntu developed", clarify whether it was developed by a
Canonical employee, or by community members (give their name if it's the
case. But I'm not sure if it's worth mentioning if it was done by a
community member).

"Canonical employs some Gnome developers (...)"
Who are they? List them! Are they allowed to work on GNOME directly
during their work time? If not, it has about as much value as "IBM
employs some trainspotters".

Also, the page is not very well organized. Maybe it could be reorganized
1) Work done by Canonical employees that is also used by other
distributions/projects (if it's not used yet, don't mention it)
2) Canonical employees paid to work on upstream projects, at least
3) Other contributions: hosting of servers from other projects in the
Canonical DC, sponsoring of events, organization of conferences like

I think that the page is a good idea, as I'm sure that Canonical is
doing more than many people realize.
| Lucas Nussbaum
| lucas at lucas-nussbaum.net   http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/ |
| jabber: lucas at nussbaum.fr             GPG: 1024D/023B3F4F |
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