Linux Top 3: Kubuntu and LibreOffice Go Commercial as KDE Evolves
Having a commercial backer behind an open source project is not a pre-requisite for success, but it doesn't hurt either.
LibreOffice is developed and managed through the auspices of the non-profit Document Foundation. The big Linux distributions including Red Hat/Fedora, Ubuntu and SUSE all support LibreOffice and all include it in their respective distributions.
SUSE last week decided to shift its focus a bit and as such its core development team that was working on LibreOffice are now part of a group known as Collabora Productivity.
The goal of Collabora Productivity is to offer commercial support for LibreOffice. As well the commercial entity will also help to lead the way toward a new enterprise enable long term support release.
Kubuntu the KDE variant of Ubuntu was cut loose by Canonical in 2011. While Canonical doesn't want to support Kubuntu anymore others do. This past week support vendor Emerge Open joined forces with the Kubuntu project to offer commercial support.
Pricing for the support offering include one hour, day rates and an hourly support per year arrangement.
"At first we had to fight hard to get Canonical to allow us to use the trademark," Kubuntu developer Jonathan Riddell told eWEEK ."They've scaled back a few of their open-source projects recently, and I think they were surprised to find that in Kubuntu there is an enthusiastic user and developer community who want it to continue."
KDE, the core desktop inside of Kubuntu is also moving forward. KDE this past week announced its new release structure which will see a decoupling of the release cycles of Workspaces, Applications and Platform.
According to KDE, separate release cycles will benefit both users and developers.
"Individual components can skip releases if they require a longer development cycle," KDE developer Howard Chan wrote. "Separate cycles will encourage developers to have an always-releasable master while work goes on porting to KDE Frameworks 5. "
The current plan is of the KDE Frameworks release to debut in the first half of 2014.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist