Friday, 30 July 2010 12:00

Canonical takes much more than it gives

By

Ask anyone which GNU/Linux distribution one should recommend to would-be users and the answer is generally always one word: Ubuntu.

 

Since it was launched in 2004, Ubuntu has gradually grown to be the most used distribution; the fact that it is produced by a big company like Canonical and has been aimed at the desktop are two factors that contribute to its success.

But, in real terms, what does Canonical contribute to the FOSS world? Where does it stand in terms of its contributions to other FOSS projects, from which it takes software to create Ubuntu?

Dave Neary of the GNOME Desktop Project has released figures from a census, the results of which he presented at the GNOME Users' and Developers' European Conference which has been underway in The Hague, Netherlands, and ends today.

By those figures, Canonical's contributions to the GNOME project and its core dependencies are a miserable 1.03 percent of the total. And this is a company which has linked its release cycle to that of GNOME; if GNOME does not release every six months, Ubuntu would not be able to do so either.

Red Hat tops the list of companies that contribute to GNOME with 16.3 percent and Novell is close behind with 10.44. Neary notes that 11 of the top 20 GNOME contributors of all time are either present or past Red Hat employees.

Neary's census shows that though more than 70 percent of the GNOME developers identify themselves as volunteers, more than 70 percent of the commits to GNOME releases are made by paid contributors. The statistics come frome examining the modules present in the GNOME 2.30 release made in March.



This is not the first time that Canonical has been found wanting when it comes to contributions to big FOSS projects.

In a report released by the Linux Foundation in August last year, listing the major conributors to the Linux kernel, Canonical did not figure in the top 30. Indeed there was no mention of the company anywhere in the list.

While the biggest percentage (18.2) came from individuals who had no corporate affiliation, Red Hat again stood out next with a contribution of 12.3 percent.

And in a keynote to the first Linux Plumbers Conference in Portland, Oregon, in 2008, kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman cited statistics that showed Canonical's contribution from the 2.6.15 kernel to 2.6.27-rc6, was 100 patches.

This was against a total of 99.324 patches; Canonical's share was 0.1 percent. Red Hat was the top contributor from among distributions, with 11,846 patches. Novell had 7222 patches.

Debian and Gentoo, both non-profits, contributed 288 and 241 patches respectively. Canonical, owned by a multi-millionaire, contributed 100 patches.

Canonical derives the base for Ubuntu from the Debian project. It takes liberally from many free and open source software projects to produce a distribution.

While this distribution is available for free download, Canonical is also basing a business on it, and developing ways and means of making money off Ubuntu.

Nothing wrong with that. But it is reasonable to ask - how about giving back a little more?

 

Read 6984 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

GET READY FOR XCONF AUSTRALIA 2022

Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.


Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event

GET YOUR TICKET!

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

VENDOR NEWS