[ubuntu-uk] Community distro ?

Mark Shuttleworth mark at ubuntu.com
Fri Mar 23 10:17:20 GMT 2007

   Michael Wood wrote:

Two things have really touched a nerve with me recently and I would like 
to open a discussion.


"Feisty artwork will be designed by kwwii -- of Kubuntu Edgy and KDE
Oxygen Icon fame. He will be working closely with sabdfl in the design.
Do not expect community involvement in defining this portion."

This seems to contradict entirely the description of ubuntu "Ubuntu is a
community developed, linux-based operating system ...." - Ubuntu.com .

   We've struggled to get a cohesive community-directed art strategy.
   Despite bringing community art contributors to our developer summits,
   funding part-time work by community artists, and having a completely
   open process of contribution, we have not been able to produce a
   unified theme through a community lead process.
   We found that our approach was resulting in an environment where new
   artists would show up and expect to be able to lead, from scratch, a
   completely new theme that was to their taste. There was no clear
   community lead, but instead multiple fragmented efforts.
   Based on a deep review of our approach, we came to the conclusion that
   it's extremely difficult to get a "core theme" that is produced by
   multiple volunteer contributors where there is no definitive lead. By
   core theme I mean wallpaper, login, splash and boot splash.
   So, for Feisty, we are saying that there are two ways the community
   can contribute:
    1. Develop complete themes, which we can evaluate, and if a theme
   emerges which is clean, consistent, complete, and of high quality then
   it can be included directly in Ubuntu, but not as the default. Such a
   theme could become the default in a future release if it wins
   widespread praise in the community. So far, I have not seen a theme
   emerge which meets these criteria.
    2. Contribute to the fleshing out of a theme produced by a single,
   mandated designer. That designer, in this cycle, is Kwii. Folks who
   want to flesh out the default theme need to follow Kwii's lead.

So far the Art work for Feisty has been rather doggy in my opinoin and I
don't hold a huge amount of hope for it getting better. Not saying that
Kwwii isn't a good artist but I don't see his art suiting the GNOME
Desktop. It may turn out to be excellent but the discussion, ideas and
contribution which is provided by having community involvement is going
to be completely lost.

   We looked everywhere for artists, and in the end hired Kwii because we
   thought he was the best available.

Secondly, why, with all the information i've been able to squeeze, won't
ubuntu/canonical consider sponsoring GUADEC (GNOME User And Developer
European Conference) but  were willing to be Gold Sponsor of the last
aKadamy  ? (KDE's Conference) especially considering that GNOME is the
desktop that Ubuntu and Edubuntu uses.

   Consider the total contribution and support we provide, in terms of
   full time salaries, bugs, patches, conference sponsorships, we felt
   that we already make a substantial contribution to GNOME and wanted to
   balance that with a sponsorship of KDE.

These two issues I have seem to be linked by  my feeling that ubuntu is
an organisation who's community only has a pseudo influence over
decisions that really matter. It would be in the ubuntu communities
interest to be a sponsor of GUADEC and to have community involved art

   In Ubuntu, actions matter. If you really want to make an art
   contribution, it will be welcomed BUT it will need to be of world
   class standard and will need to fit in with the work being done across
   the whole project. I'm not sympathetic to someone upset that their
   single contribution does not make it in when that contribution is not
   aligned with the work that is already being done. We can't achieve
   success if we splinter and try to take a million different artistic
   lines. That's a tough position, but I think it's a necessary one.


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