Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has issued a double apology for a pair of "mistakes" made by him and his company relating to critics of the firm and its Ubuntu operating system.
In a blog post, Shuttleworth clarified a statement he made branding critics of Canonical's Mir display server the "open source tea party". He said his statement was only addressing those critics who undermined the company's motivations and personnel but admitted it was a mistake nonetheless.
"That was unnecessary and quite possibly equally offensive to members of the real Tea Party (hi there!) and the people with vocal non-technical criticism of work that Canonical does (hello there!)," he wrote.
He clarified his position, adding that his firm welcomes feedback based on technical issues. "Technical critique of open source software is part of what makes open source software so good. It is welcome and appreciated very much at Canonical," he wrote.
In another apology, Shuttleworth laid bare the mistakes which led to a trademark violation notice being sent to a website criticising Ubuntu's privacy practices. Micah Lee, the founder of Fixubuntu.com, published an email sent from Canonical's legal team, which requested that he remove Ubuntu branding from his site.
Shuttleworth explained that the email had been a mistake and went against Canonical's policies of allowing community members to take part in debate.
"It was a mistake, and there is no question that the various people in the line of responsibility know and agree that it was a mistake," he said. "It was no different, however, than a bug in a line of code, which I think most developers would agree happens to the best of us. It just happened to be, in that analogy, a zero-day remote root bug."
He added that the use of such trademark enforcement tactics was justified in most situations, but not in Fixubuntu.com's case. He denied any suggestion that the takedown notice was anything to do with the site's overtly negative tone towards Ubuntu.
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