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Ubuntu, security response, and community contributions

Ubuntu, security response, and community contributions

Posted Jul 17, 2008 10:36 UTC (Thu) by pointwood (guest, #2814)
Parent article: Ubuntu, security response, and community contributions

This is a relevant blog post I think: 
http://blog.phunnypharm.org/2008/07/canonical-and-linux-k...

Sounds like the numbers are quite wrong in regards to kernel contributions: 

"So how did Greg make this mistake? After talking with him it seems he was only checking for
canonical.com addresses. It was only recently that we started using canonical.com as a habit
for upstream work (we used to use ubuntu.com)."


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Ubuntu, security response, and community contributions

Posted Jul 17, 2008 13:17 UTC (Thu) by willy (subscriber, #9762) [Link]

The problem with Ben's retort is that it /still/ shows Ubuntu in a bad light.  While 92 is
certainly better than 6, it doesn't compare favourably to the other companies working on
Linux.  See https://www.linuxfoundation.org/publications/linuxkerneld... (which is
only considering commits up to 2.6.24).  Ubuntu don't make it into the top 27 companies listed
there -- Snapgear are the last ones listed with 285 commits.  Other 'small' distros are better
represented there, eg Mandriva with 329 commits.  Even the 'black hole of open source where
developers go and are never heard from again' (Google) has almost a thousand commits.

Even *I* have three times as many commits as the whole of Ubuntu/Canonical.

$ git-log v2.6.25 |grep ^Author |grep -c ubuntu
89
$ git-log v2.6.25 |grep ^Author |grep -c canonical 
3
$ git-log v2.6.25 |grep ^Author |grep -c 'Matthew Wilcox'
294

Maybe that's unfair, I am paid to work on kernel development after all.  How about comparing
to someone who has a full-time job that isn't kernel development?

$ git-log v2.6.25 |grep ^Author |grep -c lwn.net
31

Of course, these aren't terribly useful statistics.  If I split all my patches into eight
parts, I get eight times as much credit.  If I submit a whitespace patch that took 5 seconds
to create, that gets just as much credit as a brain-bendingly difficult bug that took me a
week to track down.  'Number of commits' is about as relevant as 'lines of code' (and if you
still think that's relevant, there's a great book from 1975 by Fred Brooks that you really
need to read)

I don't want to bash Canonical.  I think Ubuntu is a great thing, and shows what can be done
when you take Debian and put some incredible marketing behind it.  They're increasing the size
of the Linux pie and increasing the credibility of Linux on the desktop.  I just have a
problem with them trying to portray themselves as great contributors when they're not.  I'd
also like to spur them to become better contributors.  No, they aren't going to be able to
compete with Red Hat, but they could compete with Mandriva.

Ubuntu, security response, and community contributions

Posted Jul 17, 2008 14:37 UTC (Thu) by nhippi (subscriber, #34640) [Link]

> I'd also like to spur them to become better contributors.  No, they aren't going to be able
to compete with Red Hat, but they could compete with Mandriva.

At least they could try to beat Debian ;) Currently we have the situation that the heavily
overworked Debian kernel maintainers contributed more (7) patches than the canonical|ubuntu
employees (5) (git-log v2.6.25...v2.6.26). And I didn't even start counting Debian maintainers
who contribute to kernel outside the Debian context...

Certainly I hope too that ubuntu will spur up and start cleaning up and contributing atleast
some of the out-of-tree drivers they currently bundle..
I'm sure there are low hanging fruits there :)

Ubuntu, security response, and community contributions

Posted Jul 17, 2008 19:55 UTC (Thu) by khc (guest, #45209) [Link]

To be fair, I think you also need to take into account the time the entities have existed.

Ubuntu, security response, and community contributions

Posted Jul 18, 2008 12:00 UTC (Fri) by willy (subscriber, #9762) [Link]

I don't think that's a big factor.  Remember, we only have git history going back to
2.6.12-rc2, which was April 2005.  Warty Warthog was released in October 2004, so Ubuntu's
existence predates the git history by over 6 months.  I don't know how long Canonical existed
before they made their first release of Ubuntu, but I'm pretty sure it did not leap
fully-grown and armed from the head of Mark.


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