"What I was talking about earlier was when Shuttleworth spoke of a direction for a group of large projects , where canonical wasn't a large contributor to them (or even a small one in some cases). That irked a lot of contributors."
Its best to provide a reference to the exact quote so everyone reading gets a chance to read the original quotation which you are referring to in context with the personal editorializing. I'm pretty sure I know what you are referring to but its best not to assume. I try to do it as much citation as possible, but I fail to include it sometimes myself.
"A bit biased Jef , now if Canonical/Ubuntu Community was helping to turn users into contributors at a slower rate we'd have a problem that the linux community should reflect on."
I make no attempt to hide my bias, be afraid of anyone who attempts to claim they are unbiased. I do not yet work for Fox News so I still have the luxury of being biased, unfair and yes even unbalanced.
And I am in fact reflecting on this very problem. I think Canonical's approach to building a community distribution around a set of proprietary services that implement the processes of how that community is to work together shows a systemic and fundamental problem with Canonical's corporate view of how the open ecosystem is meant to work.
The fact that Shuttleworth can say that:
"Free software is not just cheaper. Its BETTER. Its produced using a better process attracting better talent and it evolves faster, resulting in better innovation." http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/39
But then Canonical goes and builds the critical parts of the Ubuntu collaborative process, the mechanisms that grind the Ubuntu sausage, as a set of proprietary services...that is a problem. And it continues to be a problem. Even if Launchpad is opened by next November, and Canonical gives up on Launchpad's proprietary service model..its still not clear if Shuttleworth plans to take the concept of the proprietary service and wedge it deep into the linux desktop moving forward. In his vision of the "weblications" of the future, how important are open services? Will Canonical rig up new proprietary desktop services or will Canonical fully embrace the idea that the open development process is the better development process?
The Ubuntu DaD service should never had to need to exist as a separate service. Its a travesty of duplication of effort caused by Canonical's core corporate culture. The MoM service should have been an open codebase for the Ubuntu contributor community to extend if Canonical as a corporate entity really believed that that free software=better innovation. https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-discuss/20...
That specific example is better now, as Canonical appears to have opened up the MoM codebase and DaD is going to be merged with it. But other areas are not. The services that the Ubuntu translators work with are still closed and are not open to the community to extend or adjust to better meet workflow needs. I bring it up DaD/MoM only to stress the point that I think Canonical's corporate culture has a systemic problem that goes beyond translation workflow.
Then there is also the fact that Canonical has put forward an Ubuntu code of conduct which talks about upstream collaboration as an important aspect of that code, but has largely failed to be a shining example of that collaboration is a problem. It's easy to say that Canonical is a small company and doesn't have the manpower to commit to upstream, that's a real easy excuse to use. But the reality is, they have come out and made a statement that to be a good community member you should value upstream collaboration. That is a value statement embedded in the Ubuntu code of conduct. Does Canonical as a corporate entity managing the Ubuntu community live up to the very expectations its set for that community? If they aren't a shining example of the collaboration ideals they would have their own community meet then you can't really expect that community to be better.
This "do as I say, not as I do" approach to open collaboration is a systemic problem to the Canonical corporate culture, which will only be reinforced and strengthened over time as traditional business pressures take hold as Canonical transitions from a cash-burn tolerant venture-capital mode into a profit-maintenance established business. These are corporate culture behaviors that Canonical must address to be better members of its own community as well as the larger ecosystem.