Healing old wounds

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Greg, thank you for your sincere and gracious apology.

When one cares deeply about something, criticism hurts so much more. And the free software world is loaded with caring, which is why our differences can so easily become vitriolic.

All of us that work on free software share the belief that our work has meaning far beyond the actual technology we produce. We are working to achieve goals that transcend the merits of the specific products we build: putting software freedom on a firm economic footing means that it can realistically become the de facto standard way that the software world works, carried forward by powerful forces of investment and return and less dependent on what feels like the heroic efforts of relatively few software outsiders swimming against the tide.

Red Hat’s success in proving a viable business model around a distribution was a very significant milestone in that quest, for all of us. I don’t mean to diminish that achievement when I point out that it’s come at the cost of dividing the world into those that buy RHEL, and those that can’t or won’t. Red Hat’s success is well deserved, and our work at Canonical is not in any sense motivated by desire to take that away. Red Hat is here to stay, there will always be a market for the product, and as a result, we all have the reassurance that our contributions can find a sustainable path into the hands of at least part of the world’s population.

Canonical’s mission is to expand the options, to find out if it’s possible to have a sustainable platform without that dividing line. We know that our quest would not be possible without your pioneering, but we don’t feel that’s riding on anybody’s coat-tails. We feel we have to break new ground, do new things, add new ingredients, and all of that is a substantial contribution in turn. But we don’t do it because we think Red Hat is “wrong”, and we don’t expect it to take anything away from Red Hat at all. We do it to add to the options, not to replace them.

We should start every discussion in free software with a mutual reminder of the fact that we have far more in common than we have differences, that individual successes enrich all of us far more in our open commons-based economy than they would in a traditional proprietary one, that it’s better for us to find a way to encourage others to continue to participate even if they aren’t necessarily chasing exactly the same bugs that we are, than to chastise them for thinking differently.

On that note, let’s shake hands.


46 Responses to “Healing old wounds”

  1. Bashar Says:

    Beautiful words from both Mark and Greg.
    My confidence in Open Source has just doubled.
    I wish Red Hat and Canonical all success in their quest.

  2. Juanjo Says:

    Mark, I’m confused.

    I always thought you can’t buy RHEL: you buy a subscription that cover certain level of support, but nobody disallows you to use RHEL without support (that’s why CentOS project exists).

    In which way it differs from the services that Canonical provides through Landscape?

  3. jargon Says:

    Still no comment on why Canonical hardly ever gives anything back to Gnome?

  4. BlackOtaku Says:

    There’s been enough commentary on it in recent days. I trust Canonical will work harder on contributing upstream.

    In the meantime, now that things have cooled a bit, how about some tea? :D

  5. BlackOtaku Says:

    Well hopefully we as a community can put all this behind us. I trust though, that Canonical will do what they can to contribute upstream as much as they can from now on. :P

    Now, how about some tea everyone?

  6. Sharp Says:

    To be honest, I wish that Canonical wasn’t a proprietary software company. I recommend Ubuntu to all my friends. Isn’t there a way there could maybe be a non-Ubuntu One version of Ubuntu that isn’t tied to proprietary web services? Maybe a “community edition?”

  7. Luca Invernizzi Says:

    Since when Canonical is under obligation to contribute code to Gnome? I write code for Gnome, and I find that Canonical supports this community with money (it’s a GUADEC sponsor, for instance) and other means (launchpad is a great platform for developing and several Gnome project use it).
    As for development, they’re free to experiment with what they find most interesting for them as a company.
    I don’t usually take part in flame wars, but bashing these guys seems just unfair. They made GNU/Linux easier for the masses, and that alone is just great.

  8. jargon2 Says:

    @jargon:Please, Read amongst others jonobacons posts and you will find an answer regarding that.

    @Mark: Great of you and Greg! Now – let’s continue making awesome stuff!:)

  9. iaintme Says:

    When I read the title, and after reading Greg’s post, I would have expected an exchange of apologies, and to read you saying sorry for saying that Red Hat is a proprietary software company. But, unless I read it in a rush, I can’t find any word with which you distance yourself from that belief. So I ask you: do you still think Red Hat is a proprietary software company? And if not, what made you change your mind? Thanks for answering.

  10. Andreas Nilsson Says:

    jargon: it would be totally amazing if it was more, but if we put it in another perspective 1% is still quite a lot.

    Anyhow, we need to forget about the past and see what amazing things we can do together in the future. Talking to each other more would be a great step in that (especially since we seem to have the same vision it turns out).

  11. Greg Says:

    Contributing to upstream software is a goal of Canonical’s. It says a lot that Mark approved your comment on his own personal blog.

    If you want to compare RedHat to Canonical, then look at the last 2 years of Gnome. RH’s work before Canonical was in a position to contribute has no bearing on the issue. Can Canonical contribute more upstream code commits? Yes. Will they as time goes on? Yes. Should Mark reiterate that giving back to the movement is a primary goal? Apparently, although he has said this many times. He’s obviously not making himself any richer by funding Ubuntu. Yet, he’s still doing it despite all of the harsh words from very respectable people.

    FOSS has had a long history of discrimination (tribalism) caused by myopic focus on lines of code as the sole delineation of power in development groups. It takes more than lines of code to create great software. Thanks in large part to Canonical, interface designers are finally able to have substantial input in the way free software is designed even though they cannot commit code.

  12. Mike Says:

    Well said Mark. Canonical, Ubuntu and Mark is subject to what I call “Tall poppy Syndrome”. Ubuntu has done unmeasurable benefit to the visibility of Linux, people need to remember that. And how do you put a value on that.
    And how many of the critics received multiple free CD’c multiple times ?

    Thank you Mark.

  13. Karl Says:

    Jargon: There are two sides to that coin. Novell, for instance, is constantly criticized similarly for flexing its muscles in Gnome development and taking away from community input. A happy medium is not as easily established as it might seem.

  14. jargoon Says:

    @Andreas those who forget the past are usually condemned to repeat it.

    @Greg It says a lot he approved my comment? That’s quite an indictment, actually. What we will see as time goes on is Canonical becoming more and more brazen about this My-way-or-the-highway attitude. Remember Shuttleworth himself said Ubuntu’s no democracy. If Canonical were truly interested in giving back to Gnome or any other FOSS project the derive from, you wouldn’t have these de facto forks. Giving back to the Gnome project should be based on a sincere desire to nurture the Gnome project. Instead you’ve got things like Unity & The Windycators. Instead you’ve got Canonical trying to get other projects to sync there release cycles with Ubuntu. And to what end?

    Canonical does not care much for contributions to Gnome or Debian or anyone else. What Canonical wants is for these projects to effectively become auxilaries to the Ubuntu project. This issue has gone on how many days now, and neither Shuttleworth nor Bacon have said anything in the way of how Canonical is going to improve on its Gnome contributions. Quite the contrary, they don’t seem bothered by Canonical’s abysmal track record. No. Rather, you’ve got Shuttleworth making false claims on how Gnome copies Unity & The Windycators. Talk about tribal.

  15. zimbatm Says:

    Since you brought this to public scrutiny, why not appologize back to Greg to give the example ?

  16. NotThatGreg Says:

    Also it would be brilliant to explain in a future blog spot (if you havent done so already) how can the company owned by a man who’s goal is to: “Non-free software is holding back innovation in the IT industry, restricting access to IT to a small part of the world’s population and limiting the ability of software developers to reach their full potential, globally.” . One would assume that the company’s goal is the same as his. Or maybe not? Why does Canonical produce proprietary closed source software?
    Even if you dont give back to GNOME directly, and as you say build open source stuff on top of GNOME technologies, why do you conviniently forget to mention Ubuntu One, probably the most important technology you created? ( I am reffering to http://www.jonobacon.org/2010/07/30/red-hat-canonical-and-gnome-contributions/ )
    Same with launchpad, which was open sourced much later.
    Thank you.

  17. Las aguas se calman en la polémica por el GNOME Census [Actualizada] | MuyLinux Says:

    […] (03/08/2010)]]: Mark Shuttleworth ha escrito un post titulado “Curando viejas heridas” en el que precisamente responde al último post de DeKoenigsberg y en el que le agradece esa […]

  18. Neo Says:

    “Thanks in large part to Canonical, interface designers are finally able to have substantial input in the way free software is designed even though they cannot commit code.”

    Last I checked, Red Hat and Sun employs far more interaction designers than Canonical. Why can’t people stop being one sided?

  19. kelly Says:

    As a guy who literally *loves* linux, and literally loves both ubuntu and fedora, and administers both as a living, this whole “argument” is contrived.

    Both Ubuntu and Redhat have contributed and will continue to contribute in ways that are awesome, unforeseeable and chaotic. EL benefits significantly from the incredible driver code from Canonical and it’s community, and Ubuntu benefits from the open source server level management tools whether they would like to admit it or not.

    As someone who CHOOSES to use both CentOS for my NFS server, Fedora for anything crazy, and Ubuntu for anything requiring stability or desktop’ing, I believe I stand in a good position to say, ego was the enemy here.

    I love you both, and I am who matters ;-*

  20. kelly Says:

    both are great, like really great.

    I use both professionally and privately, by that I mean, Ubuntu Server for things requiring stability, Ubuntu desktop for like 90% of my computers, Fedora for some app servers with some weird requirements, CentOS for some NFS server. Both are great. What a contrived thing.

    Get out of the clouds boys, the proles love you all

  21. 0e8h Says:

    I got my thread canned on Ubuntu forums for criticising the lack of patches and upgrades for Ubuntu base line. Comments and break in openness can hurt too!

    I brought up the point why there is such lack of patching and upgrades on the weekend. My experience with Kubuntu + Ubuntu is that come Friday, the patching stops. Why? Is there a policy to not code or push finished works on the weekends? Is Ubuntu truly open source or is it a Monday to Friday operation with fans on the outskirts?

    Patching and upgrades should be seen as a benefit to the Linux community as it marks fixes and new features, which users are desperate for.

    What’s going on. Some releases are weeks in not months behind the official version.

    Sorry for slightly changing the subject but whilst we’re talking about sacred cows…

  22. 0e8h Says:

    I got my thread canned on Ubuntu forums for criticising the lack of patches and upgrades for Ubuntu base line. Comments and break in openness can hurt too!

    I brought up the point why there is such lack of patching and upgrades on the weekend. My experience with Kubuntu and Ubuntu is that come Friday, the patching stops. Why? Is there a policy to not code or push finished works on the weekends? Is Ubuntu truly open source or is it a Monday to Friday operation with fans on the outskirts?

    Patching and upgrades should be seen as a benefit to the Linux community as it marks fixes and new features, which users are desperate for.

    What’s going on. Some releases are weeks in not months behind the official version.

    Sorry for slightly changing the subject but whilst we’re talking about sacred cows…

  23. mickie.kext Says:

    Mark, do you take back your claim that Red Hat is proprietary company? Didn’t see you witting it explicitly. FUD is already in the air for years, people have taken your claims for granted and some less informed people are preaching it to wider mase: “Red Hat is proprietary company that makes money from Windows proprietary software” (for example, see minute 26, it’s awful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2ag-iN5T8U&playnext=1&videos=aN9VzCZMpps that is not only example, I hear that a lot).

    You put that FUD in the air, and it makes damage to everyone, not just Red Hat. People don’t read your caveat, they just take for granted: “Red Hat is proprietary company” and they even add a punchline “and it makes Windows-only software”.

    Truth is that Red Hat does business exactly as RMS envisioned when he wrote GNU manifesto. Free as in Freedom. You need to admit that publicly, say it laudly and clearly, and hopefuly FUD will stop.

    As for the rest of discusion, it was interesting and very insigtful. Even though there was some acussations on both sides it ended well and that is all that matter. I thank you for that.

  24. Alex Lourie Says:


    Thank you for this post. Reading these few posts on the issue makes an excellent example on the meaning of the Code of Contact we sign as our participation agreement. To see that the people at the leading roles in the Ubuntu adhere to it is the most important test passed that I could ever think of.

    It makes me happy to see that this issue is not turned into the stupid contest of who does more (and more of what?), which is completely unnecessary in FLOSS world.

    Thank you again.

  25. craig Says:

    Remember to wash your hands before shaking them.

  26. zimbatm Says:

    While I agree with what you say, I think your message would more powerful if you had apologized back to Greg for hurting him. In a way, it would set an example.

  27. Tobi Says:

    Of course the 1 % does not look good and it would be nice if Canonical contributed more to Gnome and other upstream projects. But I don’t think that has to be the case. Even if Canonical’s contribution would be 0%, Canonical would still be doing an amazing job for the free software world.

    What is great about Ubuntu in my end user perspective is not so much the programming that went into it, but the thoughts behind it. The idea to have a distribution that comes with one (good) programme for each purpose (and the possibility to install everything else easily) was an immense step forward compared to the Suse 9.3 install I had before switching to Ubuntu – with loads and loads of programmes for everything. Shipping CDs was a fantastic idea and helped to bring Linux to people that otherwise would have never heard of it. Especially with the newest release it is fantastic to see how all the programmes simply work with each other and how everything just feels right (except maybe the buttons…).

    I could go on like this for a while. What I really wanted to say was that with Ubuntu I felt safe for the first time since I started using Linux to recommend it to non-technical people as well. In my humble opinion, that is worth at least as much as 50 % upstream contributions to Gnome.

    Red Hat, Canonical and all the other companies have their purpose in the free software world. We should get used to that and start working together to fix Launchpad’s famous bug #1!

  28. UU Daniel Says:

    Free software goals? Ubuntu gets a passing grade. However, not perfect.

    Not to be nasty, but truthful. A few words of advice from one who is trying to promote LINUX and install LINUX into small business environments.

    1- There is an important feature missing in the OpenOffice fork, and this forked version is used by Ubuntu.

    Here is the missing important feature. After installing BASE, have you ever tried to use the wizard to set up OpenOffice to use Thunderbird contact list info as a data source (or Kmail, etc)… like you can do with the regular non-forked OpenOffice… Well, you can’t do it. So, for business that wants to use this feature (not using Evolution either), it can’t be done. And deleting OpenOffice.org (fork) from Ubuntu, and reinstalling the “normal one” is a pain, and also messes with MetaPackege updates/upgrade in the future. Please offer to Ubuntu users the option at install to use the forked version, or the non-forked version of OpenOffice.org.

    The main advantage for small business to use Thunderbird (who for reasons don’t do LDAP or can’t buy or afford admin of other mail servers, who want control of their own cloud to some degree) … is that you can add Sync Kolab to Thunderbird, and that allows for contact list and calendar info to be stored on IMAP server (and shared) or for personal multi-device “Sync-ability”. G-Mail is an IMAP server. So, the options are many…. only thing missing with Thunderbird and FireFox is to have Sync Kolab also Sync BOOKMARKS and even files (encrypted hopefully) at the IMAP server as well.

    PS – The OpenOffice.org forked version, does list on their web site that they use MONO in parts, and that is just plain wrong to do. Mono is Not free software, it is a trap. Microsoft lead the way, MONO follows. Not much different than MS games before where everyone plays catch up while MS builds changes into a development tool, incorporates those changes into it’s own product, then after done coding it’s own products, they release the new change to the development tool to others to use in their products, leaving them to the use the code in their products (meaning that MS always has a large lead, and as they go around the corner, their competition is never in sight as they round the corner that Microsoft passed before (months or maybe a year or so before). Then MS makes a change that everyone has to follow a the next corner as well. The race is not even fair, as the leader in the race then changes the course, knows of the changes, and everyone later has to react. The obvious solution is not to be following Microsoft in any race that they are in control of, especially if they hold all the patents.

    2 – Mono is not free (MS patents rule). Once upon a time I installed Ubuntu on computers that I service, however the IP liability, where my customers are concerned, is not something that I can expose them to. I do use other distros that do not have MONO, and where upgrade meta-packages issues allow for very few changes to those installs (saving the customer money).

    3- Off topic, but a suggestion is to make the Lubuntu part of the main Ubuntu family, and to build a LTSP environment that is good for low power LTSP computing. Edubuntu changes were great allowing for LTSP to be easily installed this time (but same is not true for other versions of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, etc). Edubuntu has Mono parts, and also is too FAT for many older lower budget machines. Should be a quicker way and easier to install LTSP on all Ubuntu family distros (without having to go thru confusing hoops for newbies, who just get frustrated).

    4- Ubuntu, and other distros, should group together and as a group should support and explore the direction of a Quickbooks migration compatible replacement, as many businesses using Quickbooks NEED it for book keeping and their wonderful payroll features. This is the #1 problem migrating many business users to Linux.

  29. George Mitchell Says:

    Personally I think this has been a good and useful discussion and it has ended well. I also think that ALL who contributed to it can learn from it. For those who don’t, it will be to their own detriment. Trying to extend and continue the discussion at this point would be fruitless and counter productive. The truth be known, we all, from users to developers to people at the top, have a long ways to go. Who is the real enemy here? Is it the “other” free software team? Is it MS? Or is it ourselves and our preconceived ideas of how things “should” work? In a healthy and growing marriage not all is roses. And so it is in the free software community. There are time of heated discussion. But the fruit of those interactions can be sweet for all of us if we want it to be. I applaud both Greg and Mark for being willing to tackle this issue publicly and through it, having the maturity to find common ground and a new beginning on this issue. So please! Lets bury this issue, at least for a while, and give it a chance to resolve itself. To do otherwise amounts to simply beating on a dead horse. Its past time to give it a break. There is plenty of useful work to do for all of us.

  30. CommonOddity Says:

    We should also keep in mind that aside for lines of code (which are essential, and extremely vital to Linux/GNU/FOSS/Gnome/KDE/XFCE/etc) we have the spread of Linux to consider. Ubuntu did a lot for the sake of its spread. An astounding leap was noticed the second that Canonical stepped into the picture. If you want to simply call this ‘succesful marketing’ go ahead- because you are not necessarily wrong in this respect. Are they wrong for doing so? Hardly.

    They’ve done more for spreading the wonderful wildfire that is Linux than a lot of people would admit. System76 and Dell computers being shipped with Ubuntu speaks for itself. I applaud their efforts and contribution(s) to the FLOSS community.


    Viva Red hat. Viva Canonical. Viva SuSE. Viva Linux, and all FLOSS. You’ve made the world a better place already :)

  31. Dan Kegel Says:

    My sound-bite take on Red Hat and Canonical:
    Red Hat made Linux work on the corporate server.
    Canonical made Linux work on the desktop.
    Both companies are vigorously improving and promoting Linux where it counts.
    We owe them all more than we can repay.

    Disclaimer: I was one of the lucky folks who was given Red Hat IPO stock
    just for being an open source contributor.

  32. Ulrik Says:

    I can not speak for Canonical, but upstreaming changes can sometimes be hard.

    My personal experience of trying to contribute to various projects (including Ubuntu) is that there can be many roadblocks; among the two most common I’ve stumbled on is;
    * You and the upstream Project does not share vision. It can be about user-interface design, technical design and other merits.
    * The upstream project have strong review-processes, but not always enough reviewers. The result is that when/if your patches are finally reviewed, they no longer apply or are no longer useful. (My case in the attempts I’ve made at fixing bugs/providing packages for Ubuntu)
    * My changes are really only useful to me, may even break upstream functionality that I don’t care about.

    One has to remember that most Open Source software is written to scratch an itch. Even commercially funded Open Source software usually has a specific goal, and once that goal is achieved, contributing back can sometimes be hard to motivate. (Motivate yourself, your boss, your girlfriend/boyfriend who’d rather spend time with you)

    That said, I personally make it a point to always publish my changes, even when I don’t want to spend time cleaning them up, and Canonical is doing the same. Nothing in availability or licensing prevents the kernel community, Debian, Gnome or whomever, to cherry-pick Canonicals changes, adapt it into whatever they want for the project, and merge it back.

    The beauty of Open Source software is that you get to scratch YOUR itch, and noone can really force you to scratch theirs.

  33. Daily links for 08/03/2010 | Blog | Bob Sutor Says:

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  34. Jef Spaleta Says:


    I’m pretty sure Google is on track to solving bug #1.

  35. Gordon Messmer Says:

    I saw this blog entry’s title on linuxtoday and knew it would be yours. I hoped that I’d come here and see you back down from your accusations that Red Hat is a proprietary software company. It looks to me like you stand by them.

    This, despite the fact that your own wiki entry on the ubuntu web site states that “we believe in Free Software as a collaborative process focused on SOURCE CODE, and consider it superior to the proprietary process which is focused on specific applications and binary bits.” If you truly believe that Free Software is focussed on source code, then why do you call Red Hat a proprietary company when ALL of the source code, including the tools and scripts used to produce each package, is available to everyone for free? The GPL does not require them to do this, it only requires that those build scripts are available to customers. They publish it anyway for everyone’s benefit.

    This, despite the fact that Red Hat has made numerous acquisitions of proprietary code and published it under the GPL. I enjoy the availability of the DogTag PKI and 389 directory server, but the list of the purchases that they’ve contributed to us is far longer than that.

    This, despite the fact that Red Hat is one of the largest contributors of code to the core components of the software on which you build.

    This criticism despite the fact that Launchpad was initially a proprietary service, and UbuntuOne still is!

    I think you should be reminded, while you say that we should avoid chastising “them”, that these wounds were inflicted by you when you chastised Red Hat (and quite unfairly, I would say).

    I had hoped for better from you.

  36. mark Says:


    I think there is a correlation between the use of fake email addresses, as you did, and the quality of the comment. It’s a small and unscientific piece of research of mine, thank you for the datum.

  37. Cedna Says:


    I think “help free software” is mean not only contribute upstream. it has also include fix the bugs, make a useful application with GNU license, and even some feedbacks.

    so, compare Radhat and Canonical in upstream, I think it is wrong. And in fact, does companies are already good other evil companies.

    I hope to Canonical commit source codes on upstream, but it is not mean now.

    I trust Canonical will commit codes.

    sorry for my bad english. thanks.

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  40. Ian Says:

    You said you’d “add new ingredients”
    Isn’t that the crux of the debate. Canonical has been reluctant to commit upstream and ‘share their toys’.
    While you can knock Red Hat for commercial success, and it’s clear that you’re trying to do so without saying it directly, the bottom line is that if Red Hat didn’t sell their product and make money, they couldn’t pay the engineers that write the code that you ship and take credit for.

  41. Mackenzie Says:

    Please have a read of https://wiki.ubuntu.com/StableReleaseUpdates for why software versions in the repositories are behind upstream. It’s intentional for stability. For why updates stop on the weekends, are you looking at stable versions (where only a small handful of people can approve the updates (again, see that wiki page)) or the development version? There should be uploads even on weekends for the development version, but since the uploads for stable release updates are being approved mostly by Canonical staff, it makes sense that those only happen on weekdays.

  42. hendi Says:

    Just making sure I understand you correctly:

    Red Hat is proprietary because it divides the world into those that have RHEL, and those that don’t. RHEL seems free as in freedom (see CentOS), but not as in beer.

    Canonical is not proprietary, although it divides the world into those that have source code for Ubuntu One, and those that don’t. Ubuntu One is free as in beer, but not as in freedom.

  43. salemboot Says:

    If you turn to the doctrine of Creedence

    “Yeh, some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
    ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,”

    “And when you ask them, how much should we give,
    oh, they only answer, more, more, more, yoh,”

  44. Marie Says:

    sharp: We do have an excellent community edition without Canonical’s proprietary stores/services and less mono…it is called Xubuntu. ;)

  45. Celso Says:

    Mark, sorry my english but i live in portugal, so isnt the best english you will ever read :P

    you have the “power” to guive to the people what others don’t want to do.
    I will always use ubuntu because you use your “power” to help making an good OS
    for the comunity (poor and rich people). and because its really a good OS and have
    an a great future ahead.

    best regards from a biggest fan,


  46. Patrick Says:

    I didn’t see Mark specifically, explicitly apologize for calling Red Hat a “proprietary software company”, but I’m not sure that would have been necessary in the first place. I can see the difference between Red Hat’s approach to the actual distribution of the software and Canonical’s, the difference that Mark was first talking about. Red Hat’s non-code contributions (branding) are only available through a purchase from Red Hat. Ubuntu Server, without any exchange of money or licensing going on, is just as much “Ubuntu” as the paid-for package. But with Red Hat, the un-bought version of the software is technically not Red Hat (Enterprise) Linux. So there is a difference in approach there. But even so, Ubuntu’s trademarks are still owned by someone, and you can’t just attach them to your own product arbitrarily. The difference is just that there’s “only one Ubuntu”, while Red Hat distinguishes between the free and purchased versions of the distribution through branding and packaging.

    It’s not an issue of proprietorship. It’s an issue of marketing. It seems to me that what Mark was saying came down to: “Reserving your branding and binaries for paid customers gives off a less-free vibe to me, and I don’t like it.” But the accusation came out essentially grouping Red Hat into the same category of software company as Microsoft, which really couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Anyway, what I’m working towards saying here is that nobody needs to completely back down from their position. It’s fine for Mark to say, more or less, that he doesn’t like the way Red Hat manages their brand, or he wouldn’t/doesn’t manage his company’s brand the same way. And it’s also fine for Greg to continue to politely insist, as he does, that Canonical ought to contribute more code to GNOME’s core modules. Apologies aren’t about completely rejecting one’s former opinion. They’re about acknowledging the mistake of turning an opinion into an insult, and I think both parties have done that here.

    As for my own two cents, I like the fact that Ubuntu’s official binaries are available freely as such. And I would definitely love to see more pleasing commit statistics regarding Canonical and GNOME. But really, GNOME’s not that relevant to my preferences or use cases. I’m a KDE guy. I’ve only followed this because I want to see my people, free software people, get along. The health of the relationships in the community is more important than the opinions, for the purpose of apology and the interests of us F/OSS users on the sidelines.