Pointed at the issues by Josselin Mouette’s post, I got aware of a list of issues posted by JP Rosevear, which is a reply to Mark Shuttleworths post to the opensuse mailinglist. Note especially point 2, which is: “Preventing the Debian GNOME maintainer from updating GNOME packages until after Ubuntu LSO had shipped because you had hired him.”
If this issue is true, it’s the worst thing I ever heard of regarding Canonical. I mean it’s bad enough that points 1 (“Having a stated policy of not funding any significant new software development because the Return on Investment is not good enough”) and 3 (“Not releasing any source code for launchpad/rosetta/malone to maintain a competitive advantage”) certainly are true (even though I can’t prove and therefor don’t 100% believe the second part of #3). But unless there is a very good reason to delay the submission of the patches developed to “upstream”, Debian.
It’s bad enough that Canonical hired the most active Debian Developers, depriving Debian of much of their time, while not really supporting Debian (i.e. while not actively submitting patches to Debian). It would have been better for the community if Canonical had hired less active DDs (or even non-DDs). Sure it would have been harder to select some sufficiently qualified people for the jobs, but the total outcome whould have been better IMHO (getting time from previously uninvolved people, while keeping the existing contributors).
Anyway, I really would like to know wether the mentioned point #2 is true, and if so wether any valid reason for doing so could be given before I set my opinion about this issue in stone.
One thing is sure however, I’m becoming more and more critical regarding Ubuntu and Canonical over time while I once hoped that the opposite would become true for those criticizing Canonical at that time. Actually I still hope so (and thus I hope reason to become less sceptical again).
Another thing is also sure: If Canonical wants to use Debian as a base for much longer, it should make damned sure to work with Debian more actively instead of seemingly working against it (more or less openly).
Update: As also pointed out in a comment below, a post by Scott James Remnant proves point 1 from the the aforementioned list and gives a further hint that point 3 might be true. More precisely it says “we have a policy of not doing our own software development, but only packaging what others have developed”, which probably means “not doing our own major software development”, since – as a comment to that post also says – Canonical did some software development, like launchpad/rosetta/malone and some other relatively small projects.