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Thanks Ubuntu

I have first used Ubuntu in 2006 after having been burned by RedHat in 1999. It was a surprise that it worked, was much faster than my current OS and allowed me to painlessly install / use: GIMP, LaTeX, Emacs and many electronics CAD tools. Later Ubuntu allowed me to learn a lot about Linux through the ubuntuforums, ubuntu irc channels, help / wiki, developer weeks, code review, etc. I have now got an open-source job because I have these skills.

Many of the above was either directly or indirectly sponsored by Canonical. From the first CD, to fixing bugs, to code review from exceptional Canonical hackers and of course free training sessions. All interaction I had with Canonical employees was very professional and timely. Heck, I've asked for URL-shortening service for launchpad and we have now as in

The upstream projects I'm involved in will probably never be part of any revenue questions. And some of them explicitly do not accept donations.

I can defiantly say that Canonical has spent more money on me personally, then the revenue I have brought them. Heck, partially I have a full-time job now because of them. Speaking of which - the company I work for has a good relationship with Canonical. Some of our developers were sub-contracted for initial Ubuntu release and even today we do ad-hoc development for them.

Nothing is free (as in beer). Somebody throughout the years has been sponsoring this: parents, universities, companies, individuals, etc. Who is paying bills for all the bandwidth, disk space, buildbots, that you have ever used? Surely it wasn't yourself all the time.

Debian is a phenomenon. And has been for the past 17 years. Two of directors in my company are Debian Developers, Canonical technical board are all past/present Debian Developers. All of us do share a certain set of common values. Our priorities do shift. I want a roof above my head, food on a table, bandwidth and an OS to run on it. I want to listen to my favourite online radio station in banshee, running gnome, on Ubuntu with back ends running Linux on Amazon cloud. If you yank any of these pieces out, the domino effect kicks in. I fail to see now affiliation fee split between banshee/ubuntu/gnome/amazon can affect any of the four projects in anyway since all four are directly or indirectly inter-dependant on each other.

The moral is, it doesn't matter which part of the community you kiss, you will still get slapped for it.

This "flame war" was actually very boring... I can't wait for the Natty UI freeze to get all the juicy comments, e.g. like in the past about Maverick wallpaper and the buttons on the left and the like ;-)


  1. Well said. People, me included, criticise Canonical because it's funded like a private enterprise but doesn't yet make money (I guess), which sounds unsustainable. Personally, I'd be keen to see Canonical a sustainable private enterprise. Debian has a different model. Debian is sustainable partly because it has a unique point of differentiation from all other major distributions, which Canonical only enhances.


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