Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Canonical, Ltd.

Canonical, Ltd. is a company founded by Mark Shuttleworth with the primary goal of developing and supporting the Ubuntu distribution. Many of the core developers on Ubuntu—although no longer a majority of them—work full time or part time under contract for Canonical, Ltd. This funding by Canonical allows Ubuntu to make the type of support commitments that it does. Ubuntu can claim that it will release in six months because releasing, in one form or another, is something that the paid workers at Canonical can ensure. As an all-volunteer organization, Debian suffered from an inability to set and meet deadlines— volunteers become busy or have other deadlines in their paying jobs that take precedence. By offering paying jobs to a subset of developers, Canonical can set support and release deadlines and ensure that they are met.

In this way, Canonical ensures that Ubuntu’s bottom-line commitments are kept. Of course, Canonical does not fund all Ubuntu work, nor could it. Canonical can release a distribution every six months, but that distribution will be made much better and more usable through contributions from the community of users. Most features, most new pieces of software, almost all translations, almost all documentation, and much more are created outside of Canonical. Instead, Canonical ensures that deadlines are met and that the essential work, regardless of whether it’s fun, gets done.

Canonical, Ltd. was incorporated on the Isle of Man—a tiny island nation between Wales and Ireland that is mostly well known as a haven for international businesses. Since Canonical’s staff is sprinkled across the globe and no proper office is necessary, the Isle of Man seemed like as good a place as any for the company to hang its sign.

In early 2010, Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s first CEO, stepped down, and longtime Chief Operating Officer, Jane Silber, became the new CEO. Shuttleworth retains his position as the head of the Ubuntu Community Council and Ubuntu Technical boards. He focuses his energy on product design and working with enterprise customers and partners, and leaves the day-to-day running of Canonical to Silber. Silber has been with Canonical since before the first release, and the company is expected to continue expanding and operating on its current path.

Source of Information : Prentice Hall The official Ubuntu Book 5th Edition 2010 
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