Diversity or Dillution

Ok, so first off, hello Planet!

I’ve been seeing some interesting things happening lately (last month or so) where more and more derivatives of the “big 4” ( {X,K,Ed}ubuntu ) Ubuntu projects are starting to develop within Ubuntu. So far I’m seeing Ichthux (a project I work on), Fluxbuntu (a project that has been going for a little while now), and mubuntu (an multimedia derivative just getting going) all become interested in getting there packages into Universe. Previously, I had seen all the derivatives (Guadalinex, Ebuntu, Fluxbuntu to start with, etc.) use separate repositories or just used checkinstalled .debs . There wasn’t much thought of “Hmm, let’s put our packages in Universe and then just spin the .isos or have existing Ubuntu users install -desktop”.

So far I’ve seen this as a totally positive thing. We are creating new Ubuntu contributors by teaching people to package and having them get involved with MOTU and the other development teams. Not only that, users also benefit from having good quality packages from Ubuntu’s official repositories, and I think it is easier to tap into existing Ubuntu resources.

However, I it does make me wonder if Ubuntu will turn into something more like Debian, where it is the broad plain on which specialized peaks will form. Perhaps alternatively, as crimsun has pointed out to me this evening, Ubuntu will be the catalyst that fuels the creation of FLOSS operating systems that are suited to many target audiences.

I tend to think that the derivative diversity is an OK thing as long as it isn’t haphazardly done and I take the interest people have shown over the last month or so of developing their derivatives inside of the Ubuntu repos as a move in the right direction. It also promotes FLOSS as the derivatives are held to the same standards of “freeness” as Universe is.

So are we becoming more diverse or more dilute? Maybe only time will tell. 😉

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3 thoughts on “Diversity or Dillution

  1. Personnally, I’ve always thought of Ubuntu as more of a mountine, than a plain.

    Let me explaine (try picturing Everest as you read this). First you have the main summit: that’s ubuntu, then you have a few ‘secondery summits’, in our case these would be kubuntu, edubuntu (and mabey xubuntu), and as you go down the mountaine, you see lots of smaller peaks ‘growing’ off in their own direction.

    Every peak has it’s own speciality, but all are part of the mountaine called Ubuntu.

  2. Pingback: Diversity or Dilution: Part II at laserjock.us

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