Mark Shuttleworth Interview in the recent German LinuxMagazin

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While reading the newest print version of the German LinuxMagazin i found an interview with Mark Shuttleworth, which made me partly wonder. There he says:

"Bei vielen Sachen, die einen großen Einfluss auf Systeme wie den Kernel, oder Open Office haben, übernehmen wir die Führungsrolle, wir stellen die Pakete und viele gelangen so zu Debian. Also sind wir in vielen Fällen der Upstream von Debian." (english: On many things, which do have a great influence on systems like kernel, or Open Office, we take the leadership role, we supply the packages and many of those getting into Debian this way. Therefore we are the upstream of Debian in many cases.)

I know of certain packages, like python, gcc, apt and maybe, which are mainly maintained by Ubuntu developers. But is this really true: Is Ubuntu really upstream of many Debian packages?

Can someone please enlighten me, and give me some statistics where Ubuntu is upstream of Debian, and where Debian is upstream of Ubuntu? I would really like to know the facts.

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I only think it is true for the packages where ubuntu/canonical has hired the debian maintainers of some packages.


Canonical as a whole does represent upstream for a small number of Debian packages; for instance, update-manager and bzr.

In a couple of cases, Ubuntu packaging of something has influenced the Debian packaging; that does hold true on, for instance. However, other than some of the original packaging, all of the work comes from Debian developers. At this point, Ubuntu still represents "downstream"; they just do a good job of feeding their changes upstream.

I suggest you to read these ENTIRE pages, special attention to some of the comments:
Andre Felipe

The 6.x series of packages were derived from Ubuntu, which themselves were derived from the Debian XFree86 packages. The 7.x series were originally from Ubuntu, and we've heavily modified them and have maintained them ourselves ever since. Ubuntu hasn't been upstream for the XSF for a year or so, and I intend to keep it that way.

why is this quote from Shuttleworth on the printed magazine and not on the website version ?

There is an automated list of packages at ubuntu and not in debian
some are eyecandy, but others are really missing, like some cluster tools for example.

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