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18 September 2008, 09:39

Canonical CTO bites back at Linux Plumbers Conference keynote

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Matt Zimmerman, CTO of Canonical, is unhappy with Greg Kroah-Hartman, one of the Linux kernel maintainers, because of Kroah-Hartman's keynote at the Linux Plumbers Conference. The keynote, described elsewhere as a reworking a June presentation, makes a number of claims about Canonical's activity in the community, presenting various tables which showed Canonical not making many upstream patches and concluding "Canonical doesn't give back to the community".

After the keynote, Zimmerman said in a posting on his blog that he tried to start a discussion with Kroah-Hartman about these claims saying "I approached him immediately after his talk to suggest that we have a conversation about the topics he raised, but he wasn’t interested in talking with me at that time. I made a standing offer to talk with him at any time during the three-day conference, and hope that we can get to the bottom of this."

The Canonical CTO then went on to detail what he found objectionable. He points out that Kroah-Hartman does not count work on the desktop itself or desktop and server applications, by selecting work that is exclusive to Linux saying “Any contribution to GNOME also benefits OpenSolaris”.

Zimmerman also questions the numbers used in Kroah-Hartman's lists, noting that between the June presentation and this week's keynote, some numbers for Canonical have changed by two orders of magnitude and that some contributors are not being counted as Canonical employees. Zimmerman suggested that Kroah-Hartman may be hiding his biases, noting that none of his slides included the logo of his employer, Novell. He concludes, "When this sort of thing happens on mailing lists, it’s called trolling."


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