Should Unix/Linux and Ubuntu Be Merged -- Vote!

by Jeff Atwood

on August 20, 2010

Remember last week when we asked: Unix and Ubuntu: Why Both?

> > You may have noticed that two similar [Area 51]( site proposals have reached commitment and launched betas: > > > > ## []( > > > > ## []( > > > > You might well ask: _aren't these the very same thing?_ Why have two communities on the same topic? What, then, is the difference between unix and ubuntu? The answer to this question cuts to the very heart of what community _is_. > >

Well, we discussed this internally, and we were torn. We felt both sides made valid and defensible arguments, both in the comments to that blog post (which were excellent, I strongly encourage you to read them before proceeding further), and elsewhere. We were considering putting it to an internal vote to decide what to do, when we suddenly realized what we probably should have done all along -- have each community vote on the merge!

So, that's what we're doing. Members of each community will vote yea or nea:

(Note that we're defining "member of the community" for now as "you must have at least 3 upvotes on the site" -- we only want legitimate participants in each community to have a stake in this voting process.)

If more than 50% of the voters on both sites agree, we will perform the merge. If not, we won't.

I still have some lingering concerns that communities are internally biased in matters like this, and unable to see themselves in an unbiased, editorial way from the outside, in the context of the larger world. But, given the lack of consensus on all sides, we figured that we might as well try to use democracy -- the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.