Jonathan Riddell, who has been working on the Kubuntu for the last 7 years as its sole paid developer, announced back in February that Canonical would no longer provide financial support for Kubuntu after the release of Kubuntu 12.04.
And article on OMGUbuntu! explains further that the decision boils down to business. Riddell in the Kubuntu article above did say, “it has not taken over the world commercially and shows no immediate signs of doing so…”
While this shake up does not spell the end of Kubuntu it does shift the way it is supported. Canonical will, from Kubuntu 12.10 onwards, provide backing for the KDE flavour in the same way as it does Xubuntu, Edbuntu, and Lubuntu – with infrastructure and resources rather than money.
Here’s what I think about Canonical’s retarded decision. Oops, I just said it. It’s retarded.
Here’s why I think this…
The OMGUbuntu article mentioned an interesting perspective which I feel is valid: “Many voices within the KDE/Kubuntu community have long charged that Kubuntu has been a ‘second class citizen’ to Ubuntu, an accusation that has always been at odds with Canonical’s financial support of the project.”
Kubuntu users cry, “We’re second-class citizens to Ubuntu!”
Canonical replies, “But we’re supporting the project financially!” And on the surface the financial support appears to be the end of the argument.
But is this cry of reduced citizenship really been at odds with the financial support? I think not. Kubuntu users gave it a fair assessment, and it has always been correct.
Canonical had one paid developer working on Kubuntu, the developer mentioned above, Jonathan Riddell. ONE DEVELOPER! And you expected him to take over the world by himself, how?
If you look on LinkedIn, you can see that the number of paid employees Canonical has is around 1000. According to this article 63% or more of those employees are developers for Ubuntu. That means that, at the lowest point, Ubuntu has at least 500 PAID DEVELOPERS! And for the other 37%? Marketing, mostly.
Is it any wonder why Kubuntu didn’t make any money? Canonical was treating it as second-class even when it was giving it’s one token developer a salary. From the numbers it is clear that Canonical only has eyes for Ubuntu.
So why wouldn’t Kubuntu feel mistreated? Why wouldn’t Kubuntu users feel that their interests were second-class? Canonical apparently thought of them as second-class, otherwise it would have hired more developers for that project.
Now, mind you, I’m not faulting Canonical’s business acumen here. Canonical is right to not throw money at something that doesn’t provide a return. That is basic business sense. What I am finding fault with is your logic. And in your logic you started treating Kubuntu as second-class and maintained that perspective all the way to the end…
So, now that Kubuntu has been reduced both in thought and action to second-class, Canonical makes another retarded claim. Essentially they say, “We won’t leave you poor second-class citizens”
What they specifically said was, We are going to treat “Kubuntu in the same way as the other community flavors such as Edubuntu, Lubuntu, and Xubuntu, and support the projects with infrastructure.”
You mean the infrastructure that you’re currently pitting entirely to Ubuntu?
The reason why many users switched to Kubuntu in the first place was probably similar to the reason why I switched to Kubuntu. It’s probably best summed up by the KDE charter: “We have a strong focus on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems, creating a vibrant, open atmosphere for experimentation.”
Another way to express this is, “I went with Kubuntu because of all the things that the user is restricted from doing on Ubuntu.”
So, now… Canonical says they are going to support Kubuntu with infrastructure. In other words, there will be no apparent support. Rather, just like things are progressing in Xubuntu, Edubuntu, and Lubuntu, things slowly stop working with increasing regularity as Canonical’s favorite child, Ubuntu, breaks things.
Kubuntu Users Unite!
It’s time for Kubuntu users to step forward!
It was actually time for that for the past seven years, but now it is especially needed. To ensure that Kubuntu remains a strong presence in the Linux community, users are needed to step forward. There are plenty of places to volunteer! Pick one!
- Bug squad
- Or simply forming Kubuntu chapters in your local community.
Kubuntu should not be forgotten!