Dave Neary has posted the results of the GNOME census which has been looking at contributions to GNOME, who develops what, where it’s coming from and who’s been doing it over the last two years.

The report has revealed that most of the upstream commits to GNOME are from people in their spare time with over 70% of respondents listing themselves as volunteers.

What has sparked a series of blog posts by notable people in both parties is this fact: Red Hat has contributed 16% of upstream GNOME, whereas Canonical has contributed 1%.

Greg DeKoenigsberg, an ex-Red Hat employee wrote a blog post slamming Canonical for the “absolutely egregious” statistic and suggesting that Canonical has been “riding on Red Hat’s coattails for years.”

As many readers will know, Canonical do a lot of work on improving GNOME downstream for Ubuntu, with projects such as the application indicators, notification system, Unity and the Me Menu; just to name a few.
You may also know that GNOME is very picky when it comes to accepting commits upstream into the core GNOME modules, for example, Seif Lotfy’s work on Zeitgeist was denied.
The GNOME maintenance map
So who’s at fault? Is Canonical not sending enough upstream, or is GNOME simply not allowing enough Canonical downstream work to be included in the core GNOME modules? Jono Bacon agrees that more commits come from Red Hat but denies that Canonical don’t contribute to open source as a whole. He suggests that applications like Simple Scan, Computer Janitor and the Hardware Drivers tool “could bring real value to GNOME, but they have not been accepted.”
There certainly seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding or lack of communication between downstream Canonical and upstream GNOME, as is evident in Unity and Gnome Shell – the similarities are becoming too obvious to ignore and the recent mockup of Gnome Shell certainly suggests that GNOME are taking some inspiration from Unity.
Is there a fundamental difference of thinking between the two organizations?

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