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Myth of the blue-headed step children

I have been reading quite a few blog post comments these days just to get a feel for what people think about Kubuntu, KDE, and the other KDE distros. The comment I see the most is something along the lines of “Kubuntu’s KDE is garbage while distro x’s KDE rocks!” And then there is my favorite comment, which I made as a joke one day and was forever placed in the grasps of hell for it, “Kubuntu is the blue-headed step child of Ubuntu.” Today, while reading the comments and the post of Fabio A. Locati (flocati), he brought up a valid point about the lack of publicity for Kubuntu. Instantly the fanbois of the various distros come out of the shadows on the attack. Fabio thinks it could possibly be bad for the image of Kubuntu regarding the lack of publicity, and I have to agree a bit with him. I don’t so much think it hurts the image as much as it doesn’t help create or build an image for Kubuntu.

Kubuntu’s KDE is garbage while distro x’s KDE rocks! One thing I would like the users to know is that there is a good chance that Kubuntu and distro x share patches. Quite a few of the KDE based distros have a small developer community, which makes it tough to create and operate a full-fledged flagship like Ubuntu. Because of this we tend to share patches, we tend to communicate a little with each other (this could be better of course). Typically when people make this argument, they never list examples of why we suck compared to them. And when they do list examples most have nothing to do with KDE or Kubuntu.

Kubuntu is the blue-headed step child of Ubuntu. If you look at most of the KDE distros around here, the same thing could be said about them. With the release of KDE 4.0, we scared quite a few distros, and a few of us distros immediately jumped on that KDE 4.0 bandwagon. Whether or not it was good or bad, it is the past and there is nothing we can do about it, except continue making KDE rock harder with every release. Many people complain that Canonical doesn’t support Kubuntu like they do with Ubuntu. If you are just saying Ubuntu, then you are right, because Canonical is sponsoring all kinds of crazy projects for Ubuntu, which by the way isn’t GNOME for you users. Canonical is doing some amazing server work, mobile devices, services, and more. In terms of ‘paid developers’ I think the GNOME and KDE side is close to being even. To be honest, I can’t even think of one person who is a GNOME only developer. I know at least 2 KDE only developers (right now?). A majority of the work that goes into making Kubuntu is actually completed by Canonical employees, or people many of you consider paid Ubuntu developers. One thing Kubuntu doesn’t have that Ubuntu does, or the GNOME side of Ubuntu that is, is a large developer or contributor community. If I think about it, I think the same goes with other distros as well. If you look at their developers on the KDE side, there aren’t a lot when compared to the GNOME side. This is what makes the legend of the blue-headed step child nothing more than a myth at best.

With all of that garbled mess said, the point I would love to try to make is this. Why don’t we, the KDE community and downstream or distro developers, try to work together a bit. We have pretty much the same goals. Make our distro rock and make KDE number one! Wouldn’t be easier if we worked together a bit to at least make KDE number one, and while we are at it, we can share ideas to make our distro rock. Now I know we also want to make our distros stand out from one another, and we can continue doing that, but lets do it without hurting one another. We chose to use KDE as our environment because we love it and we want others to love it as well. By some of us saying you suck and we rock, you aren’t doing your distro any justice and you aren’t doing the other distro any justice either. There are people that will take what you said at face value and laugh it off and not use your distro because they see the elitism in your comment, and then there are others that will believe it and use your distro, only to find out it isn’t for them, and the next thing you know they are blogging about Linux sucks or KDE sucks.

And on a side note, concerning Kubuntu, another comment I see is “Kubuntu is so far behind Ubuntu.” How is this so? What can you do in Ubuntu that you can’t do in Kubuntu? Seeing as I use both Ubuntu and Kubuntu, there is nothing I can’t do on one that I can do on the other. I know bluetooth sucks, so you don’t have to bring that one up, it is being worked on somewhere, and of course if you would like to work on it you are free to do so 🙂

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