[ubuntu-us-ma] Is Ubuntu-centricity holding us back?

Danny Piccirillo danny.piccirillo at ubuntu.com
Fri Apr 23 21:59:49 BST 2010

For a while now, i've been thinking about the possibility of ending our
Ubuntu-centricity. The community is Ubuntu's greatest strength, yet the
community isn't being listened to. More importantly though, i think it is a
huge disservice to the greater Free Software (aka Open Source) ecosystem to
have one of the strongest global network of advocates to be banded around
one distribution. I'd like to propose that we become a general Free Software
team, and recommend that the rest of the LoCo's do the same.

I can't even think of any pros to being an Ubuntu-only team. Having one OS
to promote may make certain advocacy easier, but there's no reason why a
general team couldn't make the decision to primarily support Ubuntu in most
cases. As an official LoCo, we get freebies from Canonical, but i don't
think this is a very big deal. We can make our own CDs and i'm sure if we
were doing worthy projects, Canonical would still be willing to provide us
with CDs, as it would be in their interest.

Now, a few of the cons:

   - Lack of community input for major decisions and arrogance among those
   in charge
   - Lack of support for educational events, and it's not hard to see why
   since Canonical may endanger their own educational services revenue if they
   helped out more.
   - Alienate the many many non-Ubuntu members of the Free Software
   - Being exclusive to Ubuntu makes it hard to reach out to a wider
   audience of people with varying levels of interest from beginners to
   hardcore computer people
   - We're doing a disservice to the rest of the community by only
   acknowledging one free desktop OS

I think what we are united around, more so than an OS which, to be frank, i
don't feel any loyalty towards, is ideals. Yes, i'm sure at least one person
is thinking that they just care about what tools work, but let's not forget
to thank the ideals that made these better tools possible. I think most of
us imagine a world where these ideals are universal, and see an incredible
amount of potential in that.

If this idea is well-received, we could either just do our own thing or use
LibrePlanet <http://groups.fsf.org/wiki/Massachusetts> which is a network
that already exists and would be easy to move to. I understand some people
have some badly tainted perceptions of the FSF, but i would have no problem
being a part of their extended network. Either way, the more i think about
it, the more i do think it is appropriate for LoCo's to abandon their
exclusive-to-Ubuntu nature.

I'm sure you can think of other good reasons as well. We would be giving up
our Ubuntu exclusivity, but not abandoning Ubuntu. It seems this could make
our job easier, benefit the greater FLOSS community, and still have no
significant disadvantage for Ubuntu.



☮♥Ⓐ - http://www.google.com/profiles/danny.piccirillo
Every (in)decision matters.
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