Andrew has posted an interesting post about how Mark has reported in a bug report that Ubuntu is not democratic, but is instead meritocratic. (only those with merit get to be involved)
What is interesting to me is that this is wonderful intent but this isn’t backed up by current reality of design in Ubuntu and while a lot of commentators in the above article agree with Mark’s sentiments, the people I know around the community have been describing to me their frustration with the design decisions being anything but based on merit and have instead been based upon being staff.
In the community we are trying to show that there is a whole raft of people who _do_ have design merit, who are good designers, good artists, they have a good eye and know how to do usability studies. That the process that leads to the final design of Ubuntu should be opened up to people _with_ merit and not just to employees.
Of course I think this is what Mark wants too, better integration, less need to hire every community designer. So I’m not suggesting that the intent need change, but there are some things we can’t know about which might be hindering this move to meritocracy. In the wording there is mooted that a lot of the design choices are in preparation for future direction, that these features or directions may somehow be covered by NDAs with Canonical’s partners and that unfortunately for us, we may not be able to interact with the design team fully. (take this as a pinch of salt, it’s hearsay)
The article is not in any way an attempt to change things, just voice my frustration at the ineptitude of poor design and poor community integration of the design team. I still hope that we can come together and do something to get everybody moving towards what we all want.
A meritocratic governance.