Re: Is Ubuntu a debian derivative or is it a fork?
On Wed, Jun 08, 2005 at 07:57:31PM +1000, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> Because Ubuntu makes a lot of noise about being a good community member
> and contributing back as much as possible, while most other derivatives
> just take what they want quietly and disappear into the mist.
> Between some slightly screwy policies ("thou shalt not post patches to the
> Debian BTS, merely link to them", for instance), the development of
> proprietary software supposedly in support of Free Software goals
> (Malone/Launchpad), and a perceived "muscling in" on Debian's traditional
> turf (Community developed/supported Linux distribution), surely you can
> understand where some of the defensiveness is coming from?
This defensiveness is purely an emotional response from certain members of
the Debian community. If one stops and thinks rationally about the
situation, it's clear that this mode of discourse only makes it more
difficult for other projects (and even individuals) to work with Debian.
Fear breeds more fear, and this pushes people away.
Ubuntu is a project which has set an ambitious goal of cooperating with
Debian, and has made steady progress toward that goal. Along the way,
responses from members of the Debian community have included:
- Accusations of a conspiracy to control Debian
- Accusations of a conspiracy to destroy Debian
- Claims that efforts to cooperate are insufficient and/or worthless
- Complaints about mechanical aspects of the tools and methods used for
Yet in the face of this, we've maintain our commitment to that goal, and
continue to work to improve the relationship. This is both because we
acknoweldege that there is always room for growth and improvement, and
because in many cases these opinions do not seem to reflect the reality of
the collaboration between Debian and Ubuntu. Some of them directly
contradict obvious facts of the situation, and others come from people who
have never interacted with the Ubuntu community at all. In instances where
individual Debian developers have reached out in kind, in hope of
cooperating rather than attacking, the results have been overwhelmingly
As many of you know from dealing with upstream projects (cooperative and
uncooperative), successful collaboration is a two-way street, and it's more
about people than patches. Ubuntu is not a code-generating machine; it's a
group of people who are spending a large portion of their finite lives
working to create something wonderful out of free software.
If more of the outspoken critics would pause to consider what they have in
common with Ubuntu, and how members of the Debian and Ubuntu communities can
meet each other halfway to our mutual benefit, I think the result would be a
major improvement in this relationship.