Jonathan Riddell, lead developer of the Kubuntu project and the only person paid by Canonical to work on the KDE variant of the popular distribution, has announced that after the 12.04 release, Canonical will no longer be funding him, effectively putting Kubuntu on the same level as other Ubuntu variants like Xubuntu.
On the Kubuntu mailing list, Jonathan Riddell explain “I have been trying for the last 7 years to create a distro to show the excellent KDE technology in its best light, and we have a lovely community now built around that vision, but it has not taken over the world commercially and shows no immediate signs of doing so.“.
Nevertheless, Kubuntu has always been an afterthought within Canonical, and it showed – as far as KDE distributions go, it certainly wasn’t among the best. Worse yet, despite being the only Ubuntu variant with financial support from Canonical, it wasn’t even the best ubuntu variant; Xubuntu always seemed like a more stable release than Kubuntu.
Now, Kubuntu will survive being community-supported. Riddell will only be able to work on Kubuntu in his free time from now on, so the Development of Kubuntu project switch to full-on community support. This poses problems, because many tasks are not particularly sexy, and Riddell wonders if the community will be up for it.
Canonical seems really focus on Unity, tablets, mobile, and heck, even televisions and hasn’t a single reason to invest in Kubuntu. Furthermore, Qt has been added to the default Ubuntu installation as well. as Riddell notes “Kubuntu simply hasn’t been a commercial success, and at the end of the day, Canonical is a business“