Today I bring the disappointing news that Canonical will no longer be
funding my work on Kubuntu after 12.04. Canonical wants to treat
Kubuntu in the same way as the other community flavors such as
Edubuntu, Lubuntu, and Xubuntu, and support the projects with
infrastructure. This is a big challenge to Kubuntu of course and KDE
The practical changes are I won’t be able to work on KDE bits in my
work time after 12.04 and there won’t be paid support for versions
after 12.04. This is a rational business decision, Kubuntu has not
been a business success after 7 years of trying, and it is unrealistic
to expect it to continue to have financial resources put into it.
I have been trying for the last 7 years to create a distro to show the
excellent KDE technology in its best light, and we have a lovely
community now built around that vision, but it has not taken over the
world commercially and shows no immediate signs of doing so despite
awesome successes like the world’s largest Linux deployment
The first question to answer is whether the world needs Kubuntu – a
regularly released community-friendly distro with a strong KDE focus.
There is no other major distro out there that matches that description
but others arguably come close.
If it does then we need people to step up and take the initiative in
doing the tasks that are often poorly supported by the community
process. ISO testing, for example, is a long, slow, thankless task,
and it is hard to get volunteers for it. We can look at ways of
reducing effort from what we do such as scrapping the alternate CD or
automating KDE SC packaging.
I expect to do other desktop team tasks in my work time such as Qt. I
can’t do much free software work in my spare time for now because of
my poor health (slowly recovering I’m pleased to say).
I hope and expect Kubuntu can continue. I encourage Kubuntu devs to
apply to UDS so we can have discussions on how to continue it and keep
the dream alive.
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