Linux Magazine has a bit old article in the ongoing debate of the Debian/Ubuntu relationship, the title says it all: “Debian, Get Your %#* Together! ”
You can read the column here.
Ubuntu has different goals from Debian, and thats perfectly okay. For instance, Ubuntu is on a much faster development cycle and its not trying to be all things to all people. But it would behoove Debian and Ubuntu to come to some sort of arrangement where the two communities are actually cooperating with each other instead of working in parallel. To add insult to injury, Ubuntu reaping the rewards of the Debian developers and package maintainers without giving anything back and forking its own parallel universe isnt going to help in the long run, especially if the Debian project goes into disarray.
Never gonna happen, you say? Debian will be around forever? To the contrary: the death of Debian is a very real possibility if Debian crawls through yet another 3-year-release cycle. If that happens, its Game Over, and thats the personal assesment some of the people of highest authority in that community.
So whats the solution to Debians woes? Progeny, with its proposed Debian Core Consortium (DCC) and Componentized Linux seems like the right idea: produce a solid, standardized foundation based on Debian Sarge and Linux Standard Base 2.0 that multiple, Debian-esque Linux vendors can adopt and that the Debian community can rally around, so that everyones distros, be they free or commercial, are compatible with each others packages and there isnt duplication of development effort. Right now, as of this writing, the DCC is only a proposal and Ubuntu and most of the other Debian-esque vendors havent made any commitments to it yet.