So, I have been getting a lot of email and messages on different platforms wondering why I have been so quiet recently. So I thought I’d try and explain the situation.
Basically after years of using, contributing and advocating Kubuntu, it appears to other people that I rather abruptly ended my support for this project. I guess this observation is actually quite true, as I have totally moved away from Ubuntu based distro’s in both my personal life and business ventures.
There are a number of reasons for this which I will try and outline:
- In April 2017, Canonical shut down/ended work on Unity and switched to GNOME. This on the face of it doesn’t sound like an issue, but behind the scenes Unity relied on the Qt framework and was very active in maintaining the packaging. Kubuntu, in turn relies heavily on this packaging as Qt is the foundation of most KDE software. This meant that instead of having paid developers working and patching the packaging, it would, going forward, have to be community maintained.
- Instead of the Qt packaging being maintained on Launchpad, it was decided to do all the development work upstream on Debian infrastructure. My problem with this is that none of the Kubuntu developers (at that time) have access to these repositories. Also, all communication regarding Qt development was taken to a private Telegram group. This has since been made public and bridged to an IRC channel (#ubuntu-qt I believe) following my vocal opposition to it.
- After spending many years working on trying to make it easier for people to contribute to Kubuntu on Launchpad, there are now on-going efforts to move this away from Launchpad and therefore Ubuntu/Kubuntu Developers/packagers and onto 3rd party maintained infrastructure. Instead of breaking down barriers to participation, this is actually placing more barriers for new contributors. I fundamentally disagree with these moves and believe it is taking the project in the wrong direction.
So in conclusion, I no longer felt comfortable with what was happening in the project and decided to quietly leave, handing over my responsibilities to other members of the team. I am still using KDE software and still a huge KDE fanboy, but just not on a Ubuntu base.