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A.2. Ubuntu

Ubuntu made quite a splash when it came on the Free Software scene, and for good reason: Canonical Ltd., the company that created this distribution, started by hiring thirty-odd Debian developers and publicly stating the far-reaching objective of providing a distribution for the general public with a new release twice a year. They also committed to maintaining each version for a year and a half.
These objectives necessarily involve a reduction in scope; Ubuntu focuses on a smaller number of packages than Debian, and relies primarily on the GNOME desktop (although an official Ubuntu derivative, called “Kubuntu”, relies on KDE). Everything is internationalized and made available in a great many languages.
So far, Ubuntu has managed to keep this release rhythm. They also publish Long Term Support (LTS) releases, with a 5-year maintenance promise. As of November 2013, the current LTS version is version 12.04, nicknamed Precise Pangolin. The latest non-LTS version is 13.10, nicknamed Saucy Salamander. Version numbers describe the release date: 13.10, for example, was released in October 2013.
Ubuntu has reached a wide audience in the general public. Millions of users were impressed by its ease of installation, and the work that went into making the desktop simpler to use.
However, not everything is fine and dandy, especially for Debian developers who placed great hopes in Ubuntu contributing directly to Debian. Even though this situation has improved over the years, many have been irked by the Canonical marketing, which implied Ubuntu were good citizens in the Free Software world simply because they made public the changes they applied to Debian packages. Free Software proponents understand that an automatically-generated patch is of little use to the upstream contribution process. Getting one's work integrated requires direct interaction with the other party.
This interaction is becoming more common over time, thanks in part to the Ubuntu community and the efforts it makes in educating its new contributors.