Reaffirmed on the Kubuntu Council

I’d like to thank all the Kubuntu members who just voted to re-affirm me on the Kubuntu Council.

Scott Kitterman’s blog post has a juicy details of the unprecedented and astonishing move by the Ubuntu Community Council asking me to step down as Kubuntu leader.  I’ve never claimed to be a leader and never used or been given any such title so it’s a strange request without foundation and without following the normal channels documented of consultation or Code of Conduct reference.

I hope and expect Kubuntu will continue and plan to keep working on the 15.10 release along with the rest of the community who I love dearly.


38 Replies to “Reaffirmed on the Kubuntu Council”

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    I am a long time fan, user, supporter and silent irc follower of Kubuntu. I was really suprised about incident today. I don’t see any transparency or demoracy in at action. You have my (probably many other’s too) support and sympathy. Keep on doing good work.

  2. Johnathan –

    I just want to express my gratitude for what you have done for the Kubuntu Community. I don’t know you personally, which is not unique, as those I associate with within that Community are all ‘on line’ associations. I am thankful for your talents and endeavors on behalf of all who use and enjoy, and some who even have the skills to actively contribute, to Kubuntu.

  3. I just wanted to put my 2c worth in. In this case the CC was wrong.

    I can’t say that I know the facts because I don’t, but that much is the UCC’s fault for not posting references and trying to keep it private. If they really do have grievances with you, then they need to post a point by point list of what when and where with links.

    Please don’t let Ubuntu harm KDE. With knowing very little, it seems like that is what they are trying to do.

  4. I’m not a Ubuntu user (any more), not even a KDE user, however I read the whole set of mails from Scott’s blog. To me, it seems it’s only politics and Scott is completely right. You should all move Kubuntu (as a project) to Debian and continue your great work there!

    1. You should all move Kubuntu (as a project) to Debian and continue your great work there!
      +1 !!!

    2. Yea I agree with this. It may well be impossible, I’m not sure on the specifics. However I don’t really see the benefit of Kubuntu being aligned towards Ubuntu anymore. They want to do their own thing, fine, but the original goal of Ubuntu was to make a good usable, userfriendly Debian system. Kubuntu can still achieve that.

  5. I’m glad that they came to their senses on this decision. It was poor judgement and the way they treated you was appalling. There are some bigger Community Council issues that still need fixing though.

  6. my comment on Phoronix, for whatever it is worth:
    This is not about Mir or Wayland or systemd or whatever. Jonathan has worked hard for the Kubuntu distribution. That he has asked questions about how *buntu use funds coming from outside can not be wrong in itself. If he has used the wrong channels, so be it. In none of the quoted IRC or mails do I see any abusive language that should make anyone shed tears. Of course I am not wading through years of email and IRC but the quotes are not, to me, in any way abusive or offensive. Mr. Riddell is not any appointed leader but he is sure seen as “brand leader” of Kubuntu and KDE and this just does not make much sense. To also lose Scott K will hurt what is a great KDE distro. The Ubuntu CC and Mark S needs to reflect here on what I see as a really bad decision

  7. Sorry to read this, Jonathan.

    You of course have amy support, too, although it is probably not necessary as you rock!

    I am probably just stating the obvious, but I always find it unfortunate when people try to make decisions without providing the necessary level of evidence. It is not a good position to get into.

    I hope and actually am sure that this will not lower your motivation to contribute further on!

  8. I guess most replies here will be offering support. And you deserve that. But I want to add something else:

    The CC completely messed this up because they did not like being called on their failures/mistakes (I guess mostly related to the licensing issues). They should not have made this move when they were so personally involved, and Mark’s involvement further messed up things.

    However, what I would have done, where I asked to mediate, was to ask the KC to appoint a person to communicate with the CC council other than you.

    The issue seemed mostly to revolve about CC people finding it emotionally hard to discuss with you. You might think this is silly, but people are people and sometimes an honest word is like a slap in the face to others.

    It is in neither parties interest to drag such disputes along.
    Instead of asking you to step away from being a a “leader” (which by your own admission, you are not), the CC should only have requested (to the KC, as a whole, not you personally) if they could come to an agreement on a person to act as a liaison between the two.

    Of course, they messed this up horribly. It would be better for them to resign, but now all is public and has just gotten worse (losing face and all that). You, and KC have to decide to either stay part of Ubuntu or not. In the first case I recommend still proposing my idea above to them. Perhaps sanity will prevail.

  9. Hello Jonathan,
    I’m a user of Kubuntu, and I’m thankful for your excellent work with it. You have my support too.

    pd: please keep working on Kubuntu.

  10. I agree, leave the Ubuntu world and move to Debian. I think they have a better choice of kernel and they’re base is stabel as stone.

    Think about it! It would be like only releasing a LTS. A stable base with up to date kde and you could focusing on all the side project. A little bit like mint have done.
    Ubuntu is not making Kunbuntu you are.
    Go debian or even Mageia. Either way I will always follow the best KDE distro and that is what you guys are making.

  11. Riddell has always been a very helpful person. He probably doesn’t remember but he helped me on freenode with some KDE crash bugs back in the KDE 3.5 days even though I was not using Kubuntu.

  12. JR wrote: I’ve never claimed to be a leader…

    The CC will no doubt say that being on the KC is a leadership position.

    I’m sorry about what happened, but it appears the entire KC may be asked to step down given they all support you and seem to be defying the CC.

    Do you want all of the KC to be forced out and/or resign?

    If so, do you want to fork Kubuntu (you can’t use the trademark without permission) or work with Debian, Mint or some other project?

    I like the idea of forking, but other factors like finances, trademarks and many other issues need to be answered before determining what could be the best option. Can you, or others, build a team and the other financial resources needed that could create an equivalent of Launchpad for Debian and use that for a new distribution based on Debian?

    If you don’t want to answer these questions publicly for the time being, please email me as I would like to consider helping in areas that would benefit Debian!

  13. You are suffering the effects of being the point person, in a growing community, which has some very innovative things going on; and that, unfortunately, sometimes brings with it being the recipient of slings and arrows… However… those who cast the stones and arrows… Quit often suffer the effects of unintended consequences.. Just keep on walking the walk! 🙂 a lot of people have your back! 🙂

  14. Man I’m with You on that! As Linus mentioned on the Australian Linux Conf 2015 – Too many people take stuff emotional, instead of doing what they’re good at. It is not a hospitality industry – nor a preschool. Someone felt hurt? – Touching… and irrelevant. World isn’t always a wonderland, so time to grow up and stop crying. Being constantly nice to everyone doesn’t get anything done. I believe You had a valid point. As Olaf mentioned – if possible – go Debian, and I will follow.

  15. I am wondering why no journalist has asked this copyright license question to Mark during interviews. May be I shoud open a “bugzilla or tracker” for this bug?

    @jr: Stay cool everything will be fine.

  16. Hi Jonathan,

    You work very hard and are clearly passionate about Kubuntu. I am rather disappointed with the state of affairs, although I do not use Kubuntu myself. Free software development seems to be frequently rife with people who can not work with each other, primarily on the basis of personality or politics. Intelligent, assertive folk are particularly prone this kind of divisive stances (see Mir/Wayland, systemd etc battles). I do sincerely hope that this level of animosity between people who ultimately have the same objectives does blow over, and we can reflect, shake hands, accept each others perspectives without necessarily agreeing with them, apologise for any misunderstanding, and move on.

  17. As with a lot of other people, I don’t understand the specifics of what happened here. As a Kubuntu user, all I can say is that Kubuntu is a great distro and I enjoy using it, and given that it is a great community effort, I cannot understand why Canonical is acting this way. I mean, it’s not like you are making a bad product or stealing from Canonical; on the contrary, under your leadership, Kubuntu has become a great product. In that light the accusations Canonical are making are entirely unreasonable and either someone there has a very fragile ego or they have a very dark political agenda. (Personally, I believe the new Kubuntu with Plasma 5 looks so good that it is just makes Unity look bad; but hey, that’s just my 2 cents 🙂 ).

  18. Hey Jonathan,

    After reviewing both sides of whats going on you have the unwavering support of myself and the Black Lab Linux team. As you know we utilize Kubuntu alot in our community distro and commercial products. If there is anything that you need from us dont hesitate to ask. Thank you for the great work you do and I personally look forward to the great work you will do.


    Roberto J. Dohnert

  19. Hi Jonathan,

    Sad to see how Ubuntu is worried about the advances Kubuntu is making, specifically under your guidance.
    Since about day one I’ve been a Kubuntu user and am still amazed Canonical didn’t go for the best but instead set up their own desktop.
    Ah well, it’s probably all about wanting to be in charge, even if it is with a second choice DE.

  20. I have some sympathy for you for being fired in such unceremonious fashion. But I’m not entirely surprised that the C-Word Council at Ubuntu has had enough. Ubuntu is simply dreadful and always has been. KDE was not so bad 10 years ago but since embracing the semantic desktop and desperately trying to ape Win7 it has been truly dismal. To even consider combining the two can be seen as evidence of a personality disorder. In an Englishman this might be manageable and perhaps even made tolerable. But those same deviant tendencies combined with the tiny minded belligerence of a bug eyed sweaty who confuses Mel Gibson for A. J. P. Taylor or Herodotus inevitably leads to insanity and social and professional calamity. Aye.

  21. I’m no dev ,,,,,,,, dont code ,,,,and can hardly type ,,,,,, I’m just a joe 6 pack user .
    But I have been using Kubuntu sense 2009 and linux sense around 2005-6 ,,,,,,, I love KDE ,,,,for me it’s the best DE .

    I think you ,,,,,,,,,O ya Hi Jonathan 🙂 have gotten a raw deal @hear and just wanted to say it for the record .

    I am one of those that haunt KFN ( and try to help with support Q’s when I can (when I think I know what I’m talking about) and yes I think all their support you as well.

    just my 2 cents ,,,,, and thanks for all the work you do .


  22. I would like to add my support for the excellent work you have done and continue to do.

    While, you have been through a difficult and emotionally trying time, I hope life gives you more pleasures than when you had to deal with the Canonical Council. You will never loose the true friends that you made with Canonical. But now you can enjoy all your new friends who are on the same page as you.

    I look forward to what you produce with 15.10 as I currently have it installed and look forward to all the updates. In particular, the first Alpha release which is coming soon. Go for it!!!!!!!!!!

    Sam Colegrove

  23. come over to openSuse, we have a great KDE desktop and more experts are always welcome!

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