Bonum Certa Men Certa

Greg DeKoenigsber Backtracks in Case of Canonical Critique

Cup of tea



Summary: Ubuntu hopefully emerges stronger and its parent company more willing to work upstream after Internet confrontations ignited by DeKoenigsber et al.

THERE IS SOME (relatively) good ending to the saga around Ubuntu and GNOME [1, 2, 3]. Greg DeKoenigsber is backtracking a little, having started some of this flamewar (which others could have started as well). Yesterday he wrote:

It’s easy to shoot your mouth off in the heat of anger, and it can be hard to apologize for it. But when you finally realize, unequivocally, that you’ve done the wrong thing, then apologizing is the right thing to do, no matter how hard it is. I’ve said and done a lot of stupid things in my life, and the only way to live with those stupid things, I’ve discovered, is to own them.



I’m not an active member of the Linux world anymore — but I learned over the past few days that people still pay close attention to what I say about that world. I was highly visible in that small world for a relatively long time. You don’t go from highly visible to completely invisible overnight. (An aside: thanks but no thanks, anonymous member of the Linux press; I’m not the least bit interested in being interviewed.)


Sam Varghese argues that Canonical needs not to ignore the facts:

Red Hat, let me add here, is the top company contributor to GNOME, as per Neary's statistics, with 16.3 percent. Neary has also pointed out that of 11 of the top 20 GNOME contributors of all time are either present or past Red Hat employees.


For what it's worth, Ubuntu/Canonical brings a lot of users from Windows and from Mac OS X to the GNU/Linux world. Some of them embrace Ubuntu at first and later move to another distribution. Here is a new example of GNU/Linux advocacy taking a "Ubuntu" shape:

Linux Gospelers would always urge you to find something which is more competitive and secure to use for one’s business needs. Practically, most of what is used in Windows is nothing more than an internet browser, word document, a spread-sheet application and an email program.

Right on here, let’s consider Ubuntu Linux as a replacement for your Windows Desktop OS. For beginners, Ubuntu is an improved Debian based Linux distribution with salient features, easy installation, a similar feel of the Windows OS & a neat operational ability on older hardware.


This debate about Canonical's contributions is an old one and there was another Greg (Kroah-Hartman) who started it two years ago. Infighting over Ubuntu's place in GNU/Linux is not constructive. Asking Canonical to contribute more may help though.

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