Ubuntu 13.04 - Behind Closed Doors

Mark Shuttleworth has confirmed that parts of Ubuntu 13.04, Raring Ringtail, will be developed "behind closed doors". He hasn't gone in to any great detail, but this is quite a radical change for the usual Ubuntu development cycle as usually everything is quite open and the community can work towards achieving targets and goals collectively.

I can see why Mark thinks this might be advantageous, as Ubuntu's plans for future releases often get criticised from the off; that criticism hangs around and can stifle the positivity when release date approaches. My other suspicion is that Ubuntu is on a path to greater commercialisation (for instance, Amazon search results appearing in the 12.10 dash), and this new "under wraps" initiative could be the another step in that direction.

But personally I don't think this is the way to solve the problem. I think that if people don't understand or support the developments you are making, the way to solve this problem is not to impose secrecy. I think a better solution is to make the process even more open. If the community has a greater say in the direction, and if Mark actually listened to their wants and concerns, maybe Ubuntu 13.04 would be seen as a success from everyone's point of view. An explanation of the commercial aspirations of future Ubuntu releases could go a long way to appeasing the community.

These are just my two cents. It would be interesting to hear some other views. See here for more details: http://news.techworld.com/operating-systems/3405943/ubuntu-1304-be-developed-under-wraps/