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Compiz contributor: Ubuntu for me is now a waste of time

Canonical is receiving quite a flack from the free software community as they are transforming from community based distro to a company product. Most of the development now happens in-house, in secret behind the closed doors without any inputs from the community that made Ubuntu the success it is today. After upsetting the veteran Wayland, X, KDE developers, the company has now lost it’s ex-employee and Compiz contributor Sam Spilsbury.

Sam Spilsbury worked as a Canonical employee between 2010 to 2012 as a software engineer mainly working on Compiz.

Spilsbury recently disclosed through a comment on a blog that Canonical has stopped taking community patches for Compiz. Though it makes sense as Mir may not be using Compiz, the way Canonical handled the entire situation is what makes them look bad. Spilsbury said:

What’s really disappointed me is the level of uncertainty the community as a whole is currently facing. For example, the entire story around what actually happens to 13.04 at the moment has been incredibly vague and opaque, and quite recently I was told that I was basically going to throw away 4 months of hard work because Ubuntu wasn’t going to take my patches because they don’t want to take community patches on compiz anymore. So I’’ve just stopped working on compiz because I don’ even know how things are going to be handled at canonical. Which is a shame, because my patches vastly improve performance on nvidia hardware, are fully tested, developed using TDD, user tested, peer reviewed, what more could you ask for?

Ubuntu for me is now a waste of time, and I’m just focusing on my study instead. Canonical lost me as an employee by pulling these stunts on me, and now they’ve lost me as a maintainer of their legacy stack too.

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Commenting on Mir vs Wayland/Weston comprison Spilsbury sums it like this: “Mir: More focus on unit testing, less experience with the linux graphics stack. Wayland/Weston: Less focus on unit testing, more experience with the linux graphics stack.”

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.


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