I am really sad to see so much energy spent by the community criticizing Canonical and on Canonical’s side, trying to explain and justify so many decisions and actions.
My main concern is all this energy being directed where it doesn’t stand a chance to make a difference, as we know all the rocket pieces are being discarded. I invite you to consider focusing on other projects that need people like you:
- Start a LibrePlanet group in your area. This is very much like a LoCo Team, except its focus is on 100% free open source software. This is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation and staffed with professional, responsive, full-time system administrators. I started LibrePlanet Québec right about when I stepped down from Ubuntu Québec. They also have a mission statement and a code of conduct which will feel familiar to any Ubuntu community contributor/member.. This also means it’s inclusive of Ubuntu users in your area.
- Trisquel – an Ubuntu derivative focused on removing all non-free software while remaining as close to Ubuntu as possible. There is a lot of work remaining to achieve this. Trisquel 6 which is essentially Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, is just around the corner. I learned a lot when I started using Trisquel primarily instead of Ubuntu, about a year ago. Ubuntu help, documentation, PPAs and resources apply directly, and the community is very friendly and detail-oriented. Ethics and philosophy are valued as much and sometimes more than technical criteria when providing help.
- Debian – Where it all begun I am using this as my primary OS now. Debian is working with the FSF to be recognized as 100% free as per FSF’s guidelines. There are rough edges which I recognize as opportunities to contribute, for example the lack of language-selector-gnome. It’s taking me some time to adjust to the project’s resources but I even re-organized Debian Quebec and requested a mailing list (since approved), and got a very warm welcome from friends and colleagues using it in my area. I guess I miss my LoCo action and excitement, I hope to put my experience in this area to good use in Debian. There are even talks about forming a Welcome Committee for Ubuntu expats there.
There are many more out there, but I wanted to share my path after my past Ubuntu involvement. If you’re on IRC, come join #ubuntu-expats on OFTC, perhaps we can come up with other ideas. Perhaps it will help you actually finding a way you can contribute to free open source software in other ways than you did with Ubuntu.
Life is short!