Mark Shuttleworth recently critized Jonathan Riddell for proposing Xubuntu and others join the Kubuntu community. I thought I could make a few amendments to Mark’s writing:

Jonathan Mark says that CanonicalKubuntu is not taking careof the Ubuntu community.

Consider for a minute, Jonathan Mark, the difference between our actions.

Canonical Kubuntu, as one stakeholder in the Ubuntu community, is spending a large amount of energy to evaluate how its actions might impact on all the other stakeholders, and offering to do chunks of work in support of those other stakeholder needs.

You, as one stakeholder in the Ubuntu community, are inviting people to contribute less to the broader project [all the X and Wayland -based desktops], and more to one stakeholder [Unity and Mir].

Hmm. Just because you may not get what you want is no basis for divisive leadership.

Yes, you should figure out whats important to Kubuntu Ubuntu Unity and Mir, and yes, you should motivate folks to help you achieve those goals. But its simplywrong to suggest that Canonical Kubuntu isn’t hugely accommodating to the needs of others, or that it’s not possible to contribute or participate in the parts of Ubuntu which Canonical Kubuntu has a particularly strong interest in. Witness the fantastic work being done on both the system and the apps to bring Ubuntu Plasma to the phone and tablet. That may not be your cup of tea, but its tremendously motivating and exciting and energetic.

See Mark? I only needed to do a little search and replace on your words and suddenly, meaning is completely reversed!

Canonical started looking only after its own a couple of years ago and totally dumped the community. Many people have noticed this and written about this in the past two years.

How dare you say Jonathan or anyone from Kubuntu is proposing contributing less to the broader community?The broader community uses X and/or Wayland.

Canonical recently came with Mir, a replacement for X and Wayland, out of thin air. Incompatible with X and Wayland.

No mention of it at all to anyone from X or Wayland.

No mention of it at FOSDEM one month ago, even though I, as the organizer of the Cross Desktop DevRoom, had been stalking your guy for months because we wanted diversity (and we got it: Gnome, KDE, Razor, XFCE, Enlightenment, etc, we even invided OpenBox, FVWM, CDE and others!). I even wrote a mail to you personally warning you Unity was going to lose its opportunity to be on the stand at FOSDEM. You never answered, of course.

Don’t you think Mir, a whole new replacement for X and Wayland, which has been in development for 8 months, deserved a mention at the largest open source event in Europe?

Come on, man.

It is perfectly fine to say “yes, Canonical is not so interested in the community. It’s our way or the highway”.

But do not pretend it’s anything else or someone else is a bad guy.

In fact, is there any bad guy in this story at all!? I think there is not, it’s just people with different visions and chosen paths to achieve them.

Maybe Mir and Unity are great ideas, much better than X and Wayland. But that’s not what we are talking about. We are talking about community, and Canonical has been steadily destroying it for a long time already. If you cannot or do not want to see that, you’ve got a huge problem going on.


13 Thoughts on “Mark’s divisive leadership

  1. Remember when Mark proposed on the openSUSE mailing list to join the Ubuntu community?

  2. Get over it nobody cares about KDE or Kubuntu.

    • Actually, Kubuntu is performing really well nowadays, almost as good as Debian+KDE, I wish they could ditch the Ubuntu base and use Debian directly ala LMDE.
      Furthermore, if I were Kubuntu dev I would join the Debian KDE team, and let the whole Ubuntu story burn in the fire.

  3. Shuttleworth may have a career in politics. Comes across very disingenuous.

  4. Pingback: Ubuntu is not a community distribution |

  5. Shuttleworth is a fucking liar and manipulator and I also think he should stop his hypocrites and dubious contributions to free software to go into politics.

  6. David Cowan on Monday 11th March 2013 at 12:15:32 said:

    Quit using ubuntu! Have others do the same!!Shuttleworth wants canonical to make a profit-thats what he is attempting to achieve!!To hell with the community and what they would like to see in future developments with ubuntu.He sees a way for canonical to be very profitable in the future,and the community and its wants and needs are of no importance!!! USE another Distro.

  7. “Shuttleworth wants canonical to make a profit-thats what he is attempting to achieve!!”

    It’s remarkable what one can learn on the Internet. Really, who would have suspected this? Oh wait, it’s clearly been the plan all along? An evil conspiracy in plain sight!
    I agree that Shuttleworth’s actions have appeared high handed at times. Unity didn’t make much sense to me and I disliked it and switched to Mint. Subsequently the plan has become clearer and I’ve become much more favourably disposed. I hope to switch to a phone running this before the year is out.

    The Mir story is one that looks to me like Shuttleworth backing his people, right or wrong, and in this case possibly wrong (I am not best qualified to judge and suspect that, as with Unity, there is more to the plan than first appears).

    Personally, I fancy Mr Shuttleworth’s chances of putting a dent in the universe and I know that he won’t succeed without attracting some of the hostility we have seen. Clearly he is doing something right.

    I recall, years ago, being — as an IT professional — about as condescending as it was possible to be about Apple and Apple products (around the time Microsoft kept the company alive to stave off anti-trust actions). Very little would have persuaded me that Jobs was a person to be taken seriously. I remain philosophically opposed but I respect what he achieved and I use an iPad (for now) and I have purchased them as gifts. I have a hunch that some of Mr Shuttleworth’s detractors may get to reconsider in time. He may not be as benevolent as claimed but what matters, surely, is that he succeeds. Who is right about Mir or any other detail is irrelevant if the result is not the fixing of bug number 1.

    Wouldn’t it be better to “canonize” Mr Shuttleworth and shower him with the most extravagant praise. We should refer to him with North Korean levels of adulation and try to touch his cloak. A few years of this and he’d need a new liver.

  8. Shuttleworth is an arrogant, dangerous and divisive prick who is just using and coercing the community as a foothold until he has enough market share and influence that he no longer needs it. Then his Napoleon complex will come to reign and he’ll be speaking down to his subjects with the contempt he’s always had for them.

  9. Pingback: Mark Shuttleworth: Κοινότητα; χα-χα-χα-χα

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