As it often happens the summary is rather sensationalist, as I would not dare accuse anyone of actually RTFA, here's Shuttleworth's full response (with which I could not agree more):
Mark Shuttleworth wrote on 2010-03-17: Re: [Bug 532633] Re: [light-theme] please revert the order of the window controls back to "menu:minimize, maximize, close" #167
On 15/03/10 23:42, Pablo Quirós wrote:
> It'd have been nice if this comment had been made some time ago,
> together with a deep reasoning on the concrete changes that are in mind.
> We are supposed to be a community, we all use Ubuntu and contribute to
> it, and we deserve some respect regarding these kind of decisions. We
> all make Ubuntu together, or is it a big lie?
We all make Ubuntu, but we do not all make all of it. In other words, we
delegate well. We have a kernel team, and they make kernel decisions.
You don't get to make kernel decisions unless you're in that kernel
team. You can file bugs and comment, and engage, but you don't get to
second-guess their decisions. We have a security team. They get to make
decisions about security. You don't get to see a lot of what they see
unless you're on that team. We have processes to help make sure we're
doing a good job of delegation, but being an open community is not the
same as saying everybody has a say in everything.
This is a difference between Ubuntu and several other community
distributions. It may feel less democratic, but it's more meritocratic,
and most importantly it means (a) we should have the best people making
any given decision, and (b) it's worth investing your time to become the
best person to make certain decisions, because you should have that
competence recognised and rewarded with the freedom to make hard
decisions and not get second-guessed all the time.
It's fair comment that this was a big change, and landed without
warning. There aren't any good reasons for that, but it's also true that
no amount of warning would produce consensus about a decision like this.
> If you want to tell us
> that we are all part of it, we want information, and we want our opinion
> to be decisive.
No. This is not a democracy. Good feedback, good data, are welcome. But
we are not voting on design decisions.