Is Canonical working with upstream projects to get Ubuntu's specific usability improvements incorporated upstream? If not, do you trust Canonical's ability to be able to continue to provide the engineering work necessary to keep those sorts of un-integrated patches separate as the upstream projects continue to change over time? While Canonical most certainly has the ability to collect large downstream patches without leading an effort to get them into the upstream projects, doing things this way may not be in the best long term interests of the Ubuntu community of users... like yourself. An attempt to maintain usability enhancements as a series of downstream patches may give Canonical a short-term competitive advantage for its own business reasons in an effort to position Ubuntu as leading the field. But doing so comes at a cost of long term sustainability and maintainability that has a direct impact on the Ubuntu userbase...and no one else. Over time those patchsets will require more and more engineering resources to maintain because of the rate of change in upstream projects. Engineering manpower that will not come from upstream, and in fact will over time decrease the ability of Canonical engineers to interact with upstream to fix the issues as the patchset becomes very large. This should be a concern for you as a Ubuntu user, especially if you are a Ubuntu user who plans to use the LTS edition without paying for a support contract. -jef
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