An interesting read, and a good reminder that the process of putting together a Linux distribution works best when Volunteers and Corporate employees work together for common goals.
I've never understood how Canonical expected to find success by ignoring both their immediate community of volunteers as well as the wider community of FOSS projects.
Having an strong corporate goal is great, but neglecting the needs and desires of your volunteer contributor base is just going to send them elsewhere, which is going to make it a heck of a lot more expensive for you to reach your corporate goal.
If your project distinguishes between your corporate and volunteer communities, I can't see how that could possibly be healthy. In fact with +openSUSE
I often lose track of who is a +SUSE
employee and who isn't; and I think that's GREAT. It just doesn't matter, we're all contributors on equal footing, our contributions do the talking and decide our status among each other, as peers working together on an Open Project.
Indeed, some of +openSUSE
's best successes have been when we've crossed the 'traditional' chasms - our various teams work together regularly on distro-wide issues like branding and software management so our users get a better experience.
Why waste time with "traditional" rivalries like +GNOME
vs KDE when you can have both working together?
And decent collaboration isn't just internal to +openSUSE
Every time I've worked with various 'upstream' projects (eg. +GNOME
) I've always been struck by how easily its been to resolve our issues to the benefit of both projects.
I've never understood Canonical's need to fork or reimplement ideas which other people (often more of them) are already working on.
It's my experience that everything just works better when people try to work together, share ideas, find common solutions, and use discussion and consultation to find a solution, not appointed overlords wielding vetos to push a corporate agenda, I really think that has no place in a FOSS Project.