> a quick change of name and Riddell and friends don't "owe" Canonical anything at all.
Cool, do it.
> Instead, they just need to keep changing stuff and making Ubuntu different from other distributions. That adds work for those developers and means that they miss small details that turn out to be important things, so I found that it was impossible to perform updates via the graphical update tools in KDE, and the solution was to manually install various packages that should have been pulled in by one or more of the many KDE-related packages.
How similar are Arch, CentOS, Debian stable, Fedora, Gentoo and openSUSE? What's special about Ubuntu with regard to KDE? Can you show me concrete evidence.
The quality issue of Kubuntu is due to the fact that both the upstream and downstream don't bother to perform essential testing. They believe that things work in openSUSE should just work in Kubuntu as well. That's absolutely fine. Just that I'd redirect KDE's potential new KDE users to openSUSE when applicable. I don't think any end users should wasting time on some piece of under-tested software, not matter it is libre or not.
> if they switch to Debian, they may gain more than they lose