Linux News Today: Kubuntu Release Manager Steps Down, Says Canonical Defrauded Donors
The release manager of the Kubuntu project has stepped down after the launch of Kubuntu 15.10. The information was made public by Jonathan Riddell himself on the official Kubuntu website.
Jonathan Riddell was the de facto leader of the Kubuntu project, but a more appropriate title would have been release manager. He’s also a KDE developer, which meant that both the KDE and the Kubuntu project are very close. In fact, they are close enough for most of the upgrades for KDE to usually land almost immediately in Kubuntu as well.
His departure from the helm of Kubuntu is not exactly unexpected. His discussions with the Ubuntu Community Council and other members of Canonical are well known, and it looks like things are finally coming to an end between these two sides, even if it’s not the end that the community wished for.
Different statements for different audiences
Jonathan Riddell published his goodbye message on the Kubuntu website, but he also shared almost the same on the official mailing list. The root cause of his departure is a complicated one, but it boils down to two issues; the way Canonical spent money from the community fund and the way it deals with intellectual property rights policy.
The main different between the announcement made on the Kubuntu website and the one made on the official mailing list is that the latter is probably intended for other audiences, like the members of the Ubuntu team. Here is the extra paragraph.
“Ubuntu now needs to work out if it still wants to be a community made project. I’ve heard from too many people who feel they have been bullied out of the project for this to be a personal problem. It needs a community council who will stand up for the third party and volunteer developers, who will criticize when money is collected for additional use of community but not used for this and who will ensure the Ubuntu policies on copyright licences are not in question and above all one that does not cause people to leave the project being felt they have been bullied out. Good luck.”
It might seem like harsh language, but it’s not. Jonathan wasn’t all that tactful on Reddit, where he answered to the people asking him questions. He actually said that Canonical defrauded donors, which is much worse since it also involves intent.
Canonical hasn’t provided an answer just yet, but that will probably arrive pretty soon.