Canonical’s GNOME contribution

Since Ubuntu showed up in the Linux world there was always the question: “Does Ubuntu gives back to Debian ?” Then, 2 years ago another news came up. “Canonical (company behind Ubuntu) doesn’t contribute much to the Linux Kenel”. Mark Shuttleworth defended the company. In 2010 we see, in  GNOME census report, that only 1.03% of commits in GNOME come from Canonical employees. I think it’s not much from a company that has the largest desktop Linux distribution which uses GNOME as it’s main Desktop environment. In the report they come behind companies that are almost unknown for most people and behind other major Linux companies like Red Hat, Novel and others like Sun, Nokia and Intel, but these are much bigger then Canonical.

I know that’s just numbers, and Canonical supports GNOME in many other ways, with money, servers, etc. I’m just commenting on the numbers of commits, which are not great. Sometimes I feel Canonical uses a lot of resources modifying GNOME to their needs (e.g. notification system, the “system-tray” etc) instead of improving GNOME so it can be better for everyone. Well, their not doing anything BAD, it’s the way FOSS works, but other companies choose to work in a different way.


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Comment by Juanjo 29 de Julho de 2010 @ 8:11

I’m wondering if Canonical, being smaller than other companies involved in Gnome, can affort maintain all the changes that they’re doing.

I mean, the most they integrate upstream, the less they have to maintain alone.

What do you think?

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Comment by amrlima 29 de Julho de 2010 @ 9:43

I agree with you. I wonder what will happen to all Ubuntu’s customizations of GNOME when GNOME 3 comes along. Won’t they in most part be wasted? gnome-shell will radically change GNOME desktop in less then a year and most of the changes done to the GNOME UI by canonical will go to waste unless they find a way to integrate them with gnome-shell (which i doubt).

Wouldn’t it be better for all if they just used those resources in some new part of GNOME 3? I really think so.

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Comment by Ian 29 de Julho de 2010 @ 12:43

Well the question about their customizations/improvements to GNOME – do they share those upstream or just keep them to themselves.

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Comment by amrlima 29 de Julho de 2010 @ 15:58

It’s a good question, Ian. Also someting to think about is if GNOME want’s the customizations/improvements made by Canonical. I mean, is that the way GNOME want’s to go?

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