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I also find it odd (as in, showing an agenda) that Canonical with 100 patches is considered the ultimate evil, but Debian with <300 isn't mentioned at all.
LPC: Fitting into the kernel ecosystem
Posted Sep 18, 2008 7:33 UTC (Thu) by filipjoelsson (subscriber, #2622)
Perhaps comparing users / patches is a better statistic? Well, different distros attract different types of users. I'd guess that the communities of Debian and Gentoo are more technically inclined than the community of Ubuntu. Besides, Ubuntu has a pretty large user base - so that'd be neither better nor more flattering for Ubunto, I think.
So, what is there to compare? I suppose what's left is patches from companies generating revenue selling Linux. And if purely community driven distros show up on the charts, let them stay as a reminder to those who actually pay salaries to developers. Wind River, rPath and Mandriva may find themselves similarly challenged.
This does not imply that I agree with Greg. I think it was shortsighted to not include Gnome/KDE/XFCE in the comparison - not that I know if it would have made a difference.
It does imply that I think ubuntuers are whining, however. A more suitable reaction would have been: "Shit! Are we at the bottom? Well, we'll overtake rPath before the next time he gives a talk. And, Mandriva's next after that!"
Posted Sep 18, 2008 7:36 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946)
It is possible to be more accurate but at the cost of privacy which is not a good balance but more details at
I am sure there is a agenda involved in getting commercial vendors involved to participate more which I think is a good thing. If there are accusations of anything else. being explicit is (somewhat) courteous. I don't see anybody mentioning "evil". Debian contributing as many patches as it has as a volunteer based organization seems pretty remarkable to me neverthless.
Posted Sep 18, 2008 7:36 UTC (Thu) by alex (subscriber, #1355)
I don't. All it says is a purely volunteer based effort like Debian still submits more patches than the more widely used and commercially funded Ubuntu.
Posted Sep 18, 2008 16:43 UTC (Thu) by firstname.lastname@example.org (subscriber, #14112)
...which is fantastic, and shows that Debian is a large, mature and relatively healthy community of developers. The most significant group of contributors to Linux, Greg tells us, is still individuals who don't acknowledge corporate sponsorship of their work.
Debian has very successfully enabled thousands of developers to contribute, and has grown into a very successful and independent project. I hope that Ubuntu is in such good shape when it's 15 years old.
For now, however, Ubuntu has a relatively small developer community which is highly dependent on Canonical. The Debian kernel team is larger than the Ubuntu kernel team and has been active for a much longer time.
Posted Sep 18, 2008 17:16 UTC (Thu) by alex (subscriber, #1355)
IIRC Google got similarly picked on at last years OLS and I think their stats have improved this year. I'm not sure if it's cause and effect though...
Posted Sep 23, 2008 19:56 UTC (Tue) by chema (subscriber, #32636)
I think Google stats enhancement is called Andrew Morton ;)
Posted Sep 19, 2008 14:20 UTC (Fri) by hmh (subscriber, #3838)
Debian kernels are really, REALLY close to mainline kernels. They sometimes contain backports of patches that are not in mainline yet, but have been already accepted for eventual inclusion. And the rare Debian-originated patch is almost always sent upstream nowadays (I am not sure it was like that a few years ago, and sometimes the patches are not ACCEPTED upstream but still remain in the Debian kernel).
Ubuntu kernels have a lot more custom changes inside than Debian's as far as I know (they certainly used to), and you WILL get a major black eye when you do that and don't send your changes upstream. I am not sure if Ubuntu still deserves it, but they DO have a reputation of not bothering to send any of their kernel changes upstream in LKML (and that reputation obviously falls on Canonical shoulders).
Also, most Debian people I know that happen to also work on the kernel (and that includes myself!), do it directly *upstream*. Our work almost always gets into Linux mainline well before it ever makes it to any Debian kernel. Since Debian simply doesn't pay anyone to do any work (it is 100% volunteer-based), that work is NOT credited to Debian by most (any?) of us kernel developers that are also Debian developers.
For reference, you could credit something like 200 commits from me alone to Debian's name (I didn't check the date of the earliest commit, so some of those might be too old for the time-frame GregHK is using)... and I am not even one of the most prolific Debian developers that do upstream kernel work, AFAIK.
In the end, we Debian developers [that don't do kernel work in paid time by someone else] work upstream in the kernel without crediting Debian, and Debian nowadays doesn't have much to send upstream that is not in mainline. The obvious result is that Debian has a low patch-count.
THAT is why nobody is on Debian's case for a low patch-count. It isn't low at all, if you consider the "Debian developers doing work in the kernel the same way they do work for Debian", and that it is all unpaid work.
On the other hand, I *expect* Canonical to have a rule that anyone doing upstream work of any sort during paid time by Canonical, must do so using an email that credits it to Canonical. I am certain that RedHat, SuSE, Novell, IBM, Intel, and all others HAVE such rules in place.
So one really can't compare the Debian patch-count to the Canonical patch-count in any way that is even remotely favorable to Canonical...
Posted Sep 18, 2008 7:37 UTC (Thu) by harinath (subscriber, #47697)
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