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.