Someone on the United Kingdom Ubuntu mailing list pointed out this excellent interview with Mark Shuttleworth on the show “Open Season”. I hadn’t listened to the show before but it was very well done. One thing that didn’t get quite answered was a point about how Ubuntu manages to ensure that every package is reliable despite the high proportion of volunteers who have commit access. The show’s hosts seemed totally blown away by the fact that around 50% of people working directly on Ubuntu’s core packages are volunteers not employed by Canonical.
It’s worth explaining just a little further how Canonical and volunteers fit into the Ubuntu ecosystem. Although the show’s hosts were kind of looking at the Ubuntu project as “Canonical’s project”, that’s only true to an extent.