Ubuntu could not exist without Debian
I’m of the opinion that Ubuntu could not exist without Debian. So it’s absolutely my intention to see that Ubuntu is a constructive part of the broader Debian landscape. It’s vital that Ubuntu help to sustain and grow Debian, because it’s the breadth and strength of Debian which make up the “shoulders of greatness” on which we in the Ubuntu community stand when we reach for the stars. That doesn’t mean I’m naive enough to think this relationship will ever be an easy one, but I would hope that the discussion doesn’t turn into one of “Ubuntu versus Debian”. Because it isn’t the case that one of them will succeed and the other fail. You could only perceive that as an outcome if you assumed that the two have exactly the same goals.
And that’s where I think a lot of tension is created: it’s hard to know what Debian’s goals are. Those goals are technically articulated in some founding documents but I don’t believe the specific, detailed nature of those goals is actually matched by the personal goals of many members of the community, or users. Debian, in many senses, is at that dangerous stage where it’s a victim of its own success. Its infrastructure and developer recruitment model are for many people what define Debian, and they have been so successful that a community has been created of people who, drawn together by the same things, nonetheless have subtly different personal agendas and goals.