Just 1%? That’s a challenge!

Assuming everyone reading this blog post heard about the flame-wars that raged through the communities after Dave Neary’s talk revealed Canonical is only contributing 1% of the commits to the GNOME project, I’m not going to fuel it by linking to it.

However, I would like to take the opportunity to try to turn this into something positive. Because, 1% guys, we know we can do better! Don’t see this debate about Canonical’s contributions to GNOME as an attack on the Ubuntu project, but instead as a challenge!

Raise that number! Show your appreciation for GNOME by contributing to it. We all know the One Hundred Paper Cuts project; work on solutions for the bugs reported there and forward the the patches upstream! Go to GNOME Live! and browse the project pages for ways to contribute. For I believe that the best way to deal with criticism is not attacking the critic with starting a flame-war, but dealing with the problem pointed at.

The challenge: just 1% of the commits are from Canonical. The solution: contribute!

It seems from Dave Neary’s slides that @ubuntu.com addresses are also attributed to Canonical (correct me if I’m wrong!), so it is not limited to Canonical employees.

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  1. Considering the 1% number is derived from a long term data set includes commits from before Ubuntu/Canonical even existed, it’s complete nonsense and should be ignored. It’s not any kind of proper basis for measurement.

    1. That's what I thought too, but someone on Greg's post commented replying to me saying that it's only for the last 2 years. But then they noticed Eazel which hasn't been around since 2000. So now there's uncertainty as to whether it's all-time contributions or last-two-years contributions.

  2. I agree with ScottK, I would like to see how those numbers evolve over the years, rather than have a 10 year summary. But in any case, Sense you're right, it's a challenge and we can do better πŸ™‚

  3. How much of the donations to the gnome project are from Ubuntu users?
    Because that's going to be most of our actual contribution to gnome proper.
    I'll bet it's around 75%.

  4. I think Greg's flame (not linked for the same reasons) and many of the comments supporting his stance show there is a significant amount of animosity toward Ubuntu/Canonical. Animosity which amounts to simple unwarranted jealousy. While Greg has since withdrawn from his position (Kudos to Greg) there are others who feel like he did. People who will block Ubuntu's work regardless of its merit in an attempt to slow/stop Ubuntu's success.

    Ubuntu/Canonical was doing EXACTLY what it should be doing. Developing an idea … an idea that is not yet finished. An idea that can be emulated (or not) by others, at will. If there were any serious problems with Gnome there would have been more work on Gnome packages. Instead Ubuntu concentrates on what's missing …. and Gnome doesn't think it's important. So be it. Don't stray from the path. Canonical has contributed to it's upstreams in other ways. Ways that were ignored or made somehow insignificant by "The Gregs". Ubuntu is not broke so don't fix it.

  5. @nnonix, You really don't see the picture here do you? The Gnome dev's are just waiting Canonical (not ubuntu) to step up and deliver, like smaller and younger companies have done. Instead of getting a real answer from Mark or Jono, they get this, "oh but we do other things so we are actually good gnome contributors" -nonsense. That was not the case. The Gnome people have all the right to question Canonical's motives and actions towards their project….
    @ Sense, This is the kind of response I was waiting from the Ubuntu super community!

    1. Let's stop bullshitting people. I don't speak for the Ubuntu Community … just myself and it is my strong opinion that Canonical can contribute to Gnome in whatever way it wants to. Additionally, I don't think people will see any justice in negating or minimizing those contributions. There is a difference between questions and condemnation.

      We'll let the world decide if your "super community" comment is just another example of the animosity I mentioned. Sad.

      1. Of course Canonical has all the right even not to contribute back to Gnome, that is not the point. Point is that when you use someone's code and benefit from you should give back, it is common courtesy. Evidently you really don't get it, fine. I'll leave it at that. But luckily Ubuntu users get it and contribute back. That is why it is such a super community.

    2. ""The Gnome people have all the right to question Canonical's motives and actions towards their project""

      Utter shitload of crap! No, no one has a right to question the Canonical or any other companies unless there is a legal provision in the license to do so. They can ask, but there is no "right".
      Either you need to be an enlightenment or get your words correct.

  6. Manish, Gnome people feels that Canonical is working only for Ubuntu Community, not for the whole Gnome Community. And agree with them in many cases. Ah!!! I'm an Ubuntu user – Kubuntu specifically -, if you ask for it. And a Debian user too.

    For example, today (08/03/2010) in the Ubuntu main page there is no mention of Gnome, GNU, Debian or Linux. NONE, Manish; Canonical doesn't give ANY credit to the projects who are the basis of the distro in their main page, unless you look at some links that most users don't visit.

    Canonical had developed many software – open and closed, Manish – and had patched the standard Gnome codebase for Ubuntu – even the linux kernel -, but a too little amount of changes have been uploaded to the mainstream Gnome codebase. It's a fact, and you can't deny it. Numbers don't lie.

    Ubuntu devs said that many modifications and patches were rejected by Gnome maintainers; Gnome people said they refused the patches because these patches were against the project conventions and rules; I know that Gnome people is "special" too – some of them are prone to the NIH syndrome-, and maybe some modifications could have been rejected by personal reasons of the maintainers, but I'm sure that most patches were rejected for good reasons.

    So i agree with Sense: less rant and contribute more outside the Ubuntu sect. Ubuntu is not the center of the Linux universe, and we are full of sects everywere.

  7. Oh!! Sorry.

    An small link , bottom left, under the small link "Community" …<IRONIC> Yeah, at first sight πŸ˜‰ <IRONIC/>… But there is no "linux" or "Gnome", so you can't deny my arguments with too little ammo :-D.

    Again, less rant and fanboyism, more contributions.

  8. Considering Canonical's size and time of existence, 1% of total contributions over the past 10 years is something to be proud of. It implies that Canonical has contributed more (per engineer) than RedHat has over the past 5 years. The problem isn't the lack of contributions but rather that the metric is so incredibly flawed.

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