Tribalism is the enemy within

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Tribalism is when one group of people start to think people from another group are “wrong by default”. It’s the great-granddaddy of racism and sexism. And the most dangerous kind of tribalism is completely invisible: it has nothing to do with someone’s “birth tribe” and everything to do with their affiliations: where they work, which sports team they support, which linux distribution they love.

There are a couple of hallmarks of tribal argument:

1. “The other guys have never done anything useful”. Well, let’s think about that. All of us wake up every day, with very similar ambitions and goals. I’ve travelled the world and I’ve never met a single company, or country, or church, where *everybody* there did *nothing* useful. So if you see someone saying “Microsoft is totally evil”, that’s a big red flag for tribal thinking. It’s just like someone saying “All black people are [name your prejudice]”. It’s offensive nonsense, and you would be advised to distance yourself from it, even if it feels like it would be fun to wave that pitchfork for a while.

2. “Evidence contrary to my views doesn’t count.” So, for example, when a woman makes it to the top of her game, “it’s because she slept her way there”. Offensive nonsense. And similarly, when you see someone saying “Canonical didn’t actually sponsor that work by that Canonical employee, that was done in their spare time”, you should realize that’s likely to be offensive nonsense too.

Let’s be clear: tribalism makes you stupid. Just like it would be stupid not to hire someone super-smart and qualified because they’re purple, or because they are female, it would be stupid to refuse to hear and credit someone with great work just because they happen to be associated with another tribe.

The very uncool thing about being a fanboy (or fangirl) of a project is that you’re openly declaring both a tribal affiliation and a willingness to reject the work of others just because they belong to a different tribe.

One of the key values we hold in the Ubuntu project is that we expect everyone associated with Ubuntu to treat people with respect. It’s part of our code of conduct – it’s probably the reason we *pioneered* the use of codes of conduct in open source. I and others who founded Ubuntu have seen how easily open source projects descend into nasty, horrible and unproductive flamewars when you don’t exercise strong leadership away from tribal thinking.

Now, bad things happen everywhere. They happen in Ubuntu – and because we have a huge community, they are perhaps more likely to happen there than anywhere else. If we want to avoid human nature’s worst consequences, we have to work actively against them. That’s why we have strong leadership structures, which hopefully put people who are proven NOT to be tribal in nature into positions of responsibility. It takes hard work and commitment, but I’m grateful for the incredible efforts of all the moderators and council members and leaders in LoCo teams across this huge and wonderful project, for the leadership they exercise in keeping us focused on doing really good work.

It’s hard, but sometimes we have to critique people who are associated with Ubuntu, because they have been tribal. Hell, sometimes I and others have to critique ME for small-minded and tribal thinking. When someone who calls herself “an Ubuntu fan” stands up and slates the work of another distro we quietly reach out to that person and point out that it’s not the Ubuntu way of doing things. We don’t spot them all, but it’s a consistent practice within the Ubuntu leadership team: our values are more important than winning or losing any given debate.

Do not be drawn into a tribal argument on Ubuntu’s behalf

Right now, for a number of reasons, there is a fever pitch of tribalism in plain sight in the free software world. It’s sad. It’s not constructive. It’s ultimately going to be embarrassing for the people involved, because the Internet doesn’t forget. It’s certainly not helping us lift free software to the forefront of public expectations of what software can be.

I would like to say this to everyone who feels associated with Ubuntu: hold fast to what you know to be true. You know your values. You know how hard you work. You know what an incredible difference your work has made. You know that you do it for a complex mix of love and money, some more the former, others the more latter, but fundamentally you are all part of Ubuntu because you think it’s the most profound and best way to spend your time. Be proud of that.

There is no need to get into a playground squabble about your values, your ethics, your capabilities or your contribution. If you can do better, figure out how to do that, but do it because you are inspired by what makes Ubuntu wonderful: free software, delivered freely, in a way that demonstrates real care for the end user. Don’t do it because you feel intimidated or threatened or belittled.

The Gregs are entitled to their opinions, and folks like Jono and Dylan have set an excellent example in how to rebut and move beyond them.

I’ve been lucky to be part of many amazing things in life. Ubuntu is, far and away, the best of them. We can be proud of the way we are providing leadership: on how communities can be a central part of open source companies, on how communities can be organised and conduct themselves, on how the economics of free software can benefit more than just the winning distribution, on how a properly designed user experience combined with free software can beat the best proprietary interfaces any day. But remember: we do all of those things because we believe in them, not because we want to prove anybody else wrong.

182 Responses to “Tribalism is the enemy within”

  1. Tribalism. Makes you stupid? – flyingpenguin Says:

    […] attribution and how to best fit within the different distributions, however, last week Shuttleworth came out swinging. Tribalism is when one group of people start to think people from another group are “wrong by […]

  2. Sergeant Says:

    Redhat on several occasions made their position clear – overtaking Microsoft on the desktop is neither feasible in foreseeable future nor is it important enough for the FOSS world. They certainly doesn’t hide that they are satisfied with the server market. Nevertheless, Redhat is trying to be as fair as possible to FOSS by contributing as much as it can to the kernel, xorg and GNOME. We should by all means praise them for that.

    Ubuntu is different. From the very beginning its stated goal was to make Linux a complete replacement of Windows for an average user. And Ubuntu has been very successful at that. I have personally seen people using Ubuntu on a daily basis without dual booting or virtualizing Windows, non-geeks. This is an other but also very important way of contributing to FOSS. To achieve this goal Ubuntu perhaps needs to concentrate more on solving Ubuntu specific tasks rather than fixing upstream. I find it perfectly acceptable and would like to thank Ubuntu for that.

    Novel is yet another case. I haven’t followed them closely so can’t say much, but the numbers speak for themselves. So, many thanks to Novel, as well.

    I don’t want to play a peacemaker, but seriously folks, let’s be more attentive to all the ways we contribute and improve on that instead of pointing fingers at each other.

    Thank you.

  3. রিং(ring) Says:

    It’s the second article that I have read from your blog. Nice Article. I am a volunteer member of Ubuntu Bangladesh Community and now consulting and guiding private enterpreneurs in Bangladesh to run their whole IT systems with Ubuntu as if no tension of virus and unwanted security leakages.

    From this article I get help to made up my mind more broad and tribalism free.

    Thanks to you.

  4. Ubuntuの創立者、Ubuntuコミュニティに潜む部族主義について語る | 目指せ!!サーバマスター Says:

    […] CanonicalのMark Shuttleworth氏が自身のブログにて、フリーソフトウェアコミュニティ内に燻ぶる不和について触れている(本家/.記事)。 […]

  5. ed Says:

    What was the percentage of gnome users before Ubuntu, what is that percentage now?
    Since Ubuntu is by far the most used Linux desktop distro it’s not hard to see the connection. That contribution is by far more important than how many code is contributed.

  6. دعوای آزاد « مهی بلاگ Says:

    […] […]

  7. Paul Smyth Says:

    Well said Sergeant, very well said indeed.

  8. Gert Strine Says:

    @ Paul Smyth +1
    @ Mark Shuttleworth
    Who cares if users have to chase ui buttons around the desktop, I’m just so grateful for your putting your money where your mouth is; as are the around 100 people who we’ve got up and running on older hardware…maybe not quite as snappily as on the Puppy, but surely with a deal more security under Canonical’s package management paradigm. As a result, 6 of these Ubuntu linux desktop novices have begun contributing to the Puppy and one is already chewing Gnome code.
    There’s just so much that’s intertwined in reciprocity and we all lose out if people don’t accept every kind of gift as generously as they give what they themselves are best at.

  9. nadeem Says:

    really a good points from the heart, the most important thing is ubuntu always getting better and we can see how its different and unique

  10. Joshua Gay Says:


    I appreciate this article. It reminds me of RMS’s essay “Why open source misses the point of free software,” in which he writes:

    “Radical groups in the 1960s had a reputation for factionalism: some organizations split because of disagreements on details of strategy, and the two daughter groups treated each other as enemies despite having similar basic goals and values. The right wing made much of this and used it to criticize the entire left.

    “Some try to disparage the free software movement by comparing our disagreement with open source to the disagreements of those radical groups. They have it backwards. We disagree with the open source camp on the basic goals and values, but their views and ours lead in many cases to the same practical behavior—such as developing free software.

    “As a result, people from the free software movement and the open source camp often work together on practical projects such as software development. It is remarkable that such different philosophical views can so often motivate different people to participate in the same projects. Nonetheless, there are situations where these fundamentally different views lead to very different actions.”

    I do hope that by discouraging tribalism this will not discourage others inside and outside community from raising important issues within or between organizations and projects while also feeling like you are a part of them. In fact, I don’t think that is your intent at all in this article — I think you’ve done a good job of being clear about exactly what kind of “offensive nonsense” you are hoping to discourage.

    Apropos to this idea of promoting discussions and dialogues in a healthy way, I liked the way you responded to @Bruce Perens comments. In particular, it reminds me of when, later in this same article by RMS, he encourages more discussions about freedom instead of less. He writes,

    “A certain amount of the “keep quiet” approach to business can be useful for the community, but it is dangerous if it becomes so common that the love of freedom comes to seem like an eccentricity.

    “That dangerous situation is exactly what we have. Most people involved with free software, especially its distributors, say little about freedom—usually because they seek to be “more acceptable to business.” Nearly all GNU/Linux operating system distributions add proprietary packages to the basic free system, and they invite users to consider this an advantage rather than a flaw.

    “Proprietary add-on software and partially nonfree GNU/Linux distributions find fertile ground because most of our community does not insist on freedom with its software. This is no coincidence. Most GNU/Linux users were introduced to the system through “open source” discussion, which doesn’t say that freedom is a goal. The practices that don’t uphold freedom and the words that don’t talk about freedom go hand in hand, each promoting the other. To overcome this tendency, we need more, not less, talk about freedom.”

  11. salemboot Says:

    Canonical’s Contributions:
    1. Gathering
    2. Organization
    3. Direction
    Thank you.

    A mind trying to go left and right at the same time goes nowhere.

  12. dew Says:

    Mark, a very fine article 🙂 Kuddos!

    This Ubuntu and developer thing has been popping up for a very long time. The question that always came to my mind is, “Is Linux only for developers?” If the answer is yes, then sure, Canonical should do nothing else but dvelve deeper in the kernel community and other developer communities”….. But if Linux as a distribution has to be used in every household, then it has to be polished and made usable. Most of the customers of a O.S (and not the kernel) are the ones who dont know what a kernel is. A good car sure is good because the engine is fantastic.. but it cannot be usable if you ask the driver to put the engine on a chair and make it run somehow. A good car is a complete, ready to use, beautifully designed, fantastically packed and an intuitive piece! Would an IPhone have been an IPhone only because their kernel is fantastic? In that case, should not the N900 running Linux, have been the top selling phone. N900 is good, but not good enough to beat the rest. Though it does boast of a powerful kernel and other powerful software. Ubuntu does not boast of ONE particular software. Ubuntu boasts as a DISTO. It boasts of its USABILITY. And it constantly tries to be better. Can anyone sane-fully argue that it cannot see what Ubuntu is becoming? All this word battle is leading no where..time will prove what it has to.. so please just keep an eye on Ubuntu.. try the current Ubuntu and you will want to try the next one..and you will want to be proud of not Ubuntu but Linux. If you indeed are a true Linux lover, you will have your neck high and you will be proud in arguing that you should use Linux and not Windows. You wont argue that Linux is good only because it is for the intelligent and because you have the power to do everything with it.. you will argue, Linux (aka Ubuntu) is more usable than any other O.S that there is around. Can you do this and this in Windows x/y/z or whatever other OS 🙂 ? Do you get this speed with your favorite non Linux O.S? When your arguments will be so powerful that it wont be words but shall be described by an action “Boot your Linux OS and let any naive user use it and let that someone do their work without bothering about the O.S”..Thats the point any Linux based distro should strive to get to…such a distro is a true evangelist of Linux. And Ubuntu is on its path – a true Linux evangelist distro that will change the mindset of users all over the world. Every Ubuntu distro, whether someone accepts or not, is getting better. (though I feel that even people who do not accept that Ubuntu is getting better, can actually see it, but its difficult to accept something as good once you have “decided” that its not supposed to be good.. why? “because others feel so.. or yeah.. because they are not gnome developers..excuse me what is gnome? or because they are not kernel developers..excuse me..”kernel? i want an O.S.. what is a kernel? “..) Can anyone reason that Ubuntu is not usable? Its painful that Linux lovers themselves want to malign a beautiful Linux distro rather than working as a community and be proud of the collaboration.

    Of all this open source battle, what I have never understood is people trying to “philanthropise” Open Source work. The open source contributions by companies are not because they are philanthropic.. its because they benefit from it. Redhat, for instance is doing a magnificent job of contributing to the kernel space, related to servers, security, storage. How much ARM work do they do? Why don’t they? Will it not benefit the ARM community? Can the ARM community Pooh them and say that they are selfish and rankle? Its silly to expect them to do so. Redhat does not work in the ARM space. But can we say they are not doing a magnificent job? Well we cant.. they are doing a fantastic job indeed. Many kernel contributors are making the kernel space as strong as it is right now. But every contributor has his/her motive. The motive of Canonical is to make it USABLE..and Canonical is doing a marvelous job at that 🙂 Engineers are supposed to show reason! Reason out why Ubuntu is not good. How Canonical does it, is Canonical’s problem. Be proud of Ubuntu for what it is. One would expect a logical person, to not display emotions and be biased and irrationally belittle something good!

    Thanks a lot Mark, for giving us such a wonderful distro and putting your money in it..! It needs a lot of courage to do something different 🙂 Sincerely hope that Ubuntu is seen in every household!

  13. mark Says:


    Well said: “There’s just so much that’s intertwined in reciprocity and we all lose out if people don’t accept every kind of gift as generously as they give what they themselves are best at.”

  14. Apolitically Incorrect » Open Source Culture Clash Says:

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  15. pbis Blog » Blog Archive » An alle Fanbois dieser Welt Says:

    […] diesen Blogeintrag von Mark Shuttleworth zum Thema “Tribalism”. Und dann haltet mal eine Woche die Klappe und dann lest den Artikel noch einmal und vielleicht […]

  16. R-A-M-B-L-I-N-(apostrophe) « Larry the Free Software Guy Says:

    […] everything that comes before, including Mark Shuttleworth’s ad hominem responses to both Greg and me, and we can get on with life in the happy, healthy FOSS […]

  17. Jonas Says:

    “Tribalism and sexism”, from the mouth who repeatedly speaks about women as foreign from our tribe.

  18. Johannes Says:

    Hi Mark!

    “And finally, the “ratio” of contributions is very narrowly defined: the survey tracks “commits to projects on GNOME hosted infrastructure”, which neatly excludes all the projects we underwrite that happen not to be there, but have been very helpful in making a GNOME desktop the world’s most popular Linux desktop. We’ve tried submitting our work through the GNOME processes, but been blocked by people who say that “they may want to follow a different design”. In the past, code talked, now apparently it doesn’t. Anyhow, my view is that it’s hard to take numbers to heart when the numbers systematically exclude all the things you work hard at.”

    While I completely agree that this survey isn’t very meaningfull and I really appreciate a lot of work that Canonical has done on various FOSS software you are still oversimplifying some things:

    1. What things do you mean exactly when talking about projects that are not hosted on GNOME infrastructure “but have been very helpful in making a GNOME desktop the world’s most popular Linux desktop”? Essentially all parts of the GNOME desktop are hosted on GNOME infrastructure. I don’t see anything that is shipped in default GNOME that Canonical contributed which is not hosted on By “default” I mean a GNOME release and not what Ubuntu or other distributions ship on top of it.

    2. As you followed the discussion you should be aware of that only for a very small part of the contributions weren’t accepted because of design. The far larger part was not accepted because of technical limitation (libindicator*) or because they weren’t yet in a state to be a useful addition to GNOME at that time (zeitgeist).

    In general the GNOME community would often like to be involved in a development before it is brought in as a complete product because that would enable everybody to fix points were things might not fit for different reasons. Sometimes Canonical development feels a bit like behind closed doors even though the repositories might be public.

    Last but not least it would also be easier when Canonical would step up to maintain upstream components instead of shipping their own branding as you do now for the sound theme. 99% of a sound theme are not required for branding while you are of course free to have some special Ubuntu sounds (like the login sound).

    Still, I think things are not as bad as it is shown everywhere currently and Canonical has also supported GNOME in various way by helping on hackfests and bringing in new ideas! Thanks!


    P.S. There is also this copyright-assignment thing which is not specific to Canonical but would make life easier when avoided.

  19. Frank Forrester Says:

    as posted on a recent irc chat;

    01:45:37 AM) CiphersSon: and paula dotcom I been listening for a good time now I just stay off the radar the best I can
    (01:46:04 AM) CiphersSon: yea me to there real I think …buch of people who like tech ect ect
    (01:46:20 AM) CiphersSon: im a irc lingerER lol
    (01:47:08 AM) CiphersSon: I use to hang out with the linux outlaws but they just got so biased I said fuck it
    (01:48:16 AM) Infolookup2: ok
    (01:48:33 AM) Infolookup2: I support linux basix cause its good guys good info
    (01:48:34 AM) CiphersSon: it unrealastic to be biased that much and too I think it polarizes a community that never wanted to garner such stereotypes … but there cool folks don’t get me wrong
    (01:48:38 AM) CiphersSon: yea
    (01:48:42 AM) CiphersSon: I here you
    (01:49:03 AM) CiphersSon: I like the … air … of
    (01:49:20 AM) CiphersSon: your wellcome here… join us ..spirt
    (01:49:23 AM) CiphersSon: dig?
    (01:51:24 AM) Infolookup2: yep
    (01:52:27 AM) CiphersSon: I just think the true spirt of linux is shearing and learning form the noob to the leet but when a group starts to become a tribalism isolationist its counter productive
    (01:52:29 AM) CiphersSon:
    (01:53:18 AM) CiphersSon: as you can tell im a proponent of full disclosure lol

  20. Manchegox | Blog | El bueno, el feo y el malo Says:

    […] que se convirtió en un MOTU ). Y aunque podría ser difícil de seguir, a veces, Mark Shuttleworth recuerda y anima a sus colaboradores que se adhieren a estos principios, incluso en tiempos […]

  21. Jiri Lebl Says:

    Well tribalism is also: “whatever we do is right.” That’s the positive, not offensive, side of tribalism. And it generally only harms the “tribalist” himself. I remember at Eazel how convinced we were that whatever we were doing was automatically the correct way to do it purely because we were doing it. Ahhh … where’s Eazel? You see many companies die on just that notion.

    The thing to do is not to dismiss criticism outright because of it being offensive. But look for the underlying reasons for the criticism. There’s a bit of truth in everything. It simply is true that Canonical does not employ as many core GNOME developers as Red Hat. That’s a fact. What’s left to decide is if it is in Canonical’s / Ubuntu’s interest to do so? But also: Would Canonical be an even better citizen of the community if they did employ more core developers on projects that are central to Ubuntu?

    I have no strong opinion either way, but my only concern here, Mark, is that your response simply ignores criticism as offensive or negative. I think the correct response should be “we’ll think about if there is anything to learn from this …” rather than: “those nasty comments are just nasty and everything we do is all puppies, ponies and rainbows …”

  22. uruwaton Says:

    ‘racism and sexism’ none of these .. its technical where did ubuntu got their pieces of code?

  23. Total Linux | Blog | Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu and Tribalism Says:

    […] Tribalism is when one group of people start to think people from another group are “wrong by […]

  24. alvadoraemon Says:

    Sorry Mark, but tribalism is too strong in the Ubuntu side.

    I’m a long time user of Linux, from the late 90’s. I installed many distros, starting with Mandrake/Mandriva and Debian. Today my computer has K-ubuntu installed – I like the new KDE -, while I use Debian and OpenSuSe in my daily job – and MS Windows too -.

    Today I can say that Ubuntu has the highest level of fanboyism and tribalism of the Linux world, even higher than the GNOME/KDE folks; Ubuntu fans usually thinks that Ubuntu equals Linux, and it’s very easy to find generic Linux tutorials and howtos behind the brand “Ubuntu tutorial” and “Ubuntu howto” – 10 points to your marketing efforts, Mark -. But Linux universe is not Ubuntu, Linux is greater than Ubuntu and includes it.

    In the blog of Sense Hofstede – – I found an interesting discussion; I wrote my opinion about the “alienation” of the mainstream projects in your main page – an informed guy “corrected” me about Debian presence in Ubuntu’s main page -. There is no Linux or GNOME mentions at Ubuntu’s “Main Entrance”, and it’s too egocentric Mark; Ubuntu fanboys follow this egocentrism like an act of faith.

    Sense wrote that Ubuntu devs should contribute more to the mainstream project – I agree -; their efforts were centered 99’9%in the Ubuntu universe 99’9%, while their GNOME patches and commits are too “ubuntu-centric” many times. some GNOME people suffer the NIH syndrome and have a high level of banboyism too, but there are – many – other reasonable people in the GNOME community.

    But as a simple “user” of the codebase you can’t impose your design criteria in the mainstream; so Ubuntu devs must involve deeper in the mainstream development before trying to impose things, like the usability improvements.

    For Example, there is an annoying bug in Nautilus/gvfs with WebDAV remote resources; you can list the resources, you can navigate through the folders structure, but you can’t copy an entire folder in one step -???-. In my former job we needed to access WebDAV folders from an Alfresco server, and our users needed to publish and recover entire folders of documents, so we changed workstations to KDE. GNOME boys response was that this behaviour is not defined in the specifications of WebDAV, but it’s a matter of common sense in a file manager :-).

    This bug is alive in Ubuntu bug list, but there is no solution for it – I tried the new 10.04 LTS and the bug was there again -; it’s a perfect candidate to a mainstream patch, but there is none out there. Ubuntu devs could be more involved in the GNOME community by solving bugs like this one, but they spent too much efforts in the “cosmetic” side – icons left or right, indicators here or there,… -.

    Ubuntu devs have many ways to participate in mainstream. There is a way.

    P.D. : sorry for my english :-P.

  25. Lysistrata Says:

    The approach from Mark regarding e.g. vs tribalism, release time lines, reminds me very much of bio-cybernetic*) thinking, which isn’t new, but still seems to be visionary when following the debates.
    My understanding is, Mark views the big picture, recognizes patterns and attempts to organize it in a framework which is able to boost the viability of FOSS via true network engagement.

    Complexity of any kind needs to be addressed by e.g. cooperation, collaboration, context, relation, not by e.g. thinking in categories, stereotyping, inside-the-box thinking.

    Of course we’re all parts of nature itself which doesn’t exclude failures, but at the same time includes the advantage of learning and developing. I’d say we don’t have any other option than developing our minds.

    *)Over ten years ago my tutor was Frederic Vester, unfortunately his book ‘The Art of Network Thinking’ wasn’t released in English, but here is a short review.

  26. Michael Shigorin Says:

    “If we want to avoid human nature’s worst consequences, we have to work actively against them.” — well nice words but so far you seem to continnue Gates’ and Ballmer’s “best effort” on making technology *seem* simpler, *become* more convoluted, and to dumb down those who are invited (or pushed) to use it.

    The lack of [willingness for] user education is one of things that always made me feel bad about Ubuntu tribe, starting right with its SABDFL.

    PS: yes, we’ve chatted for a few months back in 2005 and my conclusions still hold true for me — “nice words” but then something quite different being done.

  27. Sven Helmberger Says:

    Calling Microsoft evil is no more tribalism then it is tribalism if the police questions all known burglars on a new burglar series.

    It might be a bit short-sighted to single out Microsoft and not apply the same standard to Apple, Adobe and all other producers of proprietary software, but it’s far from being the xenophobic gut response you make it out to be.

  28. martin Says:

    Hey Mark, please don’t spread lies: Ubuntu ISN’T FREE SOFTWARE, it’s ‘gratis’ or as in your words “delivered freely”, but by no chance free software.
    It’s very sad to see such expressions from someone like you who knows very well the game you’re in… clearly your businessman-alien came out your chest here, lol

    Seriously: please stop confusing people, mess things up and cover the field with mud in favor of your business. Once again: UBUNTU ISN’T FREE SOFTWARE. Only those distros stated as that by the Free Software Foundation are free; you know that, and such you’re responsable of your words: please stop lying in favor your personal business.

    You can call Ubuntu OpenSource and that would be great, but stop offending a philosophical idea to save your business.

    You said it: “the Internet doesn’t forget”. Stop lieing before people (like me) stop believeing in you.

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  30. Dejan Lekic Says:

    Mr Shuttleworth, here is an idea for you – how about Canonical starts contributing upstream, and helps those projects who helped you (Canonical) to make millions?
    When Canonical starts doing so the “tribalism” as you call it will most likely *disappear*.

    Your article is, no offense, *pathetic*, as you (Canonical) are one huge “Ubuntu tribe”.

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  32. mark Says:


    With respect, we do contribute enormously, and those contributions are immediately evident to anybody who spends any time working with Ubuntu, or using it, or participating in the project. You are entitled to your own opinion, but I would urge you to spend some time digging into the work that gets done in putting Ubuntu together and then decide for yourself.