If you have followed Ubuntu closely over the last two years, you will notice how it grew rapidly from being a simple Linux distro for the desktop to a full-fledged user experience across multiple devices: television, smartphones, tablets and PCs. This is highly commendable, and this evolution has been made possible by the combined efforts of Canonical and the developer community of Ubuntu. However, as it happens with any large project, some Ubuntu developers are averse to this idea of transforming Ubuntu into a cloud-based multi-device platform.
In a reply to those developers, Mark Shuttleworth has talked about the position of Canonical in the development of Ubuntu. Mark Shuttleworth believes that cloud and mobile have a bright future and will make a bigger impact. Ubuntu needs to gear up for that, and that is the reason that they have focused on this multi-platform strategy. Ubuntu is being made future-proof in this manner.
He has also declared that while Ubuntu is a community effort (and will always be), Canonical plays a major role in this project and nurtures it like a baby.
There are lots of pure community distros. And wow, they are full of politics, spite, frustration, venality and disappointment. Why? Because people are people, and work is hard, and collaboration is even harder. That’s nothing to do with Canonical, and everything to do with life. In fact, in most of the pure-community projects I’ve watched and participated in, the biggest meme is ‘if only we had someone that could do the heavy lifting’. Ubuntu has that in Canonical – and the combination of our joint efforts has become the most popular platform for Linux fans.
Undoubtedly, Canonical’s role in Ubuntu is that of a visionary leader. Canonical has based a business around this product, so it has a vested interest in the Ubuntu project too. That is the reason why Canonical has always played a leadership role in the Ubuntu project and it has done a good job at it. However, there is a high probability that this attitude of Mark Shuttleworth (whose thoughts reflect that of Canonical’s) can actually spark politics, spite, frustration, venality and disappointment in the Ubuntu community, turning it into one of those projects that he so strongly detests as seen above.