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Agreeing with World Domination 201 plot

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User offline. Last seen 12 years 44 weeks ago. Offline
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gNewSense makes sense?

No, it doesn't. It is just a neutered Debian, selected to satisfy RMS' "I won't support Debian, as they don't pay homage my rules". Before this the official FSF distribution was another completely useless and non-self-supporting distribution called Ututo.

There are "free enough" distributions around, Debian (sans "non-free", which is opt-in in any case) and Fedora being examples. I think even OpenSUSE would qualify. All of them have real-world users and a broad developer base. No need for "official endorsement" by the (increasingly irrelevant) FSF.

User offline. Last seen 10 years 24 weeks ago. Offline
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distro freeness

Welcome vonbrand.

vonbrand wrote:

"I won't support Debian, as they don't pay homage my rules"

Of course. That's like saying, "I will only support what I support."

vonbrand wrote:

There are "free enough" distributions around, Debian (sans "non-free", which is opt-in in any case) and Fedora being examples.

1. The fact the Debian officially provides that nonfree repository (and the contrib one) makes it not free.
2. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FreeSoftwareAnalysis/FSF

vonbrand wrote:

I think even OpenSUSE would qualify. All of them have real-world users and a broad developer base. No need for "official endorsement" by the (increasingly irrelevant) FSF.

IIRC OpenSUSE has an edition with Adobe Flash and some other nonfree software in it.

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gNewSense makes every sense

gNewSense makes every sense in the world if your goal is a world without proprietary software. Then even if you opt to make some compromises on the way to your goal, gNewSense remains relevant for you to compare your compromised system to determine where exactly did you compromise. Smiling

Oh and welcome aboard vonbrand!

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Just to let you know guys

Just to let you know guys that I've already received replies from RMS about my question to him and am now just waiting for the permission to publish it on the site. While I'm sure he wouldn't mind, I wont be so unkind to publish before he actually says I can. Smiling

And a reply is actually quite interesting, though not entirely unexpected.

Cheers

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Ok, here's what I think

Ok, here's what I think about WD201. It might be a good plan if its authors really meant what they said and if they really cared for the freedom part of Free Software enough not to openly usually say that proprietary software isn't an ethical problem.

And that's the core of the issue. I am sure ESR is behind many of the things Linspire is doing recently, from CNR to this partnership with Ubuntu. For a Free Software supporter, WD201 paper is a trap. While we may think it portrays a plan for a *temporary* compromise (and it probably does), we could too easily get ourselves to believe that ESR and Landley really care about the "temporary" part of the plan enough to actually take as much effort in dumping proprietary stuff that was added once the time comes, as much as a Free Software supporter would.

I mean, CNR is going to be filled with proprietary applications that are going to be pushed on many Ubuntu and Linspire users which are not at all necessary for world domination. ESR sure as hell wont be voicing his concerns over this.

I think that if I were to accept WD201 at face value, forgetting who actually wrote that thing, I'd be quite shortsighted. It is *open source* people who are behind it which means they wont care so much about over-compromising or keeping a compromise only temporarily.

Their focus is unproportioionally more set on domination than on setting the world free of proprietary software 100%. The latter is an emphasis only people like me would add, while open sourcers would just settle with the former as good enough.

If we, as Free Software supporters, really agree with the "temporary compromise" plan then I think we shouldn't refer to WD201. We should write our own plan with the right emphasis and the right, honest intentions.

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Soon to appear on

Soon to appear on libervis.com: WWSF301 Laughing out loud

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Haha, yeah, World Wide

Haha, yeah, World Wide Software Freedom 301 Smiling

But seriously I'm not thinking of writing a yet another mumbo jumbo wannabe scientific paper. Instead, just writing an article that takes on WD201 and its conclusions and examines the whole CNR.com and Linspire situation would be enough. It would just put things into perspective and come up with three options that the Free Software community now has available...

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Anonymous
> It might be a good plan if

> It might be a good plan if its authors really meant what they said and
> if they really cared for the freedom part of Free Software enough not
> to openly usually say that proprietary software isn't an ethical
> problem.

Hi, it's Rob Landley. One of the paper's authors. After the Canonical/Linspire announcement I googled to see if there were any new reactions to the paper. Found this.

Yes, I meant what I said. I resent the implication that I didn't.

What worries me as that there is a deadline. It's attached to a huge opportunity it would be a crying shame to miss. Yes, the world won't end if we miss this opportunity, but after 15 years of pushing Linux (and 34 years after the announcement of GNU), less than 5% of the average end-users out there have Linux desktops and it's painful even for us geeks to use it exclusively. When it comes to youtube/World of Warcraft/DVD playing we either install crap or do without. I don't like that. Nobody LIKES that. We want to figure out how to make it suck less, which seems like a necessary step before making it stop sucking entirely, but mostly we want to take advantage of a big hardware transition that's shaking up the software market, from which we could benefit enormously. But we can't win if we don't show up.

Eric titled the darn paper. (I tried to talk him out of the "world domination" title, but he wanted an homage to Linus and a historical context. *shrug*)

Linspire was doing this "click and run" thing before we ever showed them the paper. When we designed our codecs disk (apparently "the codex" is already trademarked for software, so we can't use that name) we wanted something distribution agonistic (no RPM, no .deb, just tarballs; write your own darn installer), something you could buy once and take with you to future systems, and something that couldn't be taken away from you after purchase. (No gatekeeper website that can go down or veto anything.) Click and Run doesn't quite manage any of those, but we made our concerns known to Kevin Carmony (at great length, it was a long email thread), and they're trying to fix it in the next version. (Click and run is something they already had in development when we first started talking to each other...)

Linspire's focus has been OEM preinstalls. They've apparently partnered with something like 350 OEMs already, trying to get Linux into new machines and into the hands of end users. They've been trying to spread Linux the best way they know how, and even if they didn't fully 100% "get it" their hearts have always been in the right place. Yes, sugar coating the vitamin pills ticks off the health nuts but they mean well and they're trying, which is more than most people do. (Religious nuts always persecute the heretic more strongly than the heathen. If they were doing a proprietary OS ala BeOS or a skin for Windows you guys wouldn't even _notice_ them.)

If you agree with the premise "there is a deadline", and we don't want Windows-64 (or MacOS X) to be the new x86-64 software standard, then I don't care what you do about it or who you credit as long as you do _SOMETHING_. We laid out problems to be solved. Our solutions are questionable even to us. (Do you think we _like_ the idea of proprietary crap in our systems? I don't. I'm uncomfortable with the IPW2200 wireless driver in my laptop, and the binary blob there's just because Intel was too cheap to burn a ROM.)

My email's public knowledge if anybody wants to reply...

Anonymous
Rob again. Give the click

Rob again.

Give the click and run thing about 2 weeks. They've got another spin in the works, and the Cannonical announcement should kick them towards a release.

The next one should be _much_ more towards what Eric and I had in mind. (I hope, I honestly don't know what's going to make it into the release. Eric flew to california multiple times to talk to them, but I haven't.)

You want some concerns with the current one? Off the top of my head:

1) You should be able to download an ISO image you can still be using 5 years from now. (Yeah, security-wise that sucks but run the darn thing in a chroot jail as user nobody, it's not drivers but patented data file formats that cause the most trouble (and whatever decss is) so they should all pretty much work as filters anyway, modulo performance.) You MUST be able to take your license from system to system, and shouldn't have to "check in" to use your own property.

2) Distribution agnostic. I should be able to install this into a Linux From Scratch system, let alone gentoo. A 5 year old disk can't know what distros will come down the pike in the future anyway. It shouldn't even try. (Have a "best guess" installer with a hook for it to call a codec installer script on your distro, if it has one. Tarballs, tarballs, tarballs.)

3) No new formats after 2008. Wait out the patents on the existing batch, but don't introduce any NEW multimedia codecs into the mix after the 64 bit transition stabilizes. By about 2010 it'll have done us as much good as it's going to, and we should start phasing it out. (Most of these patents expire by then anyway.)

4) Somebody go down to the National Public Radio headquarters and beat them about the head and shoulders with a rubber duck until they convert their archives to something _other_ than RealAudio, please? (Heck, mp3 is fine. The patents on that expire in something like 4 years.) It's embarassing for a volunteer organization sustained by grants and donations to use a proprietary format for their archives.

5) Could somebody please find out what patents exactly the H264 thing is licensing? (Whatever that video format is, I forget exactly. The standard behind the sorensen codec.) We can't tell when it expires if we don't know the specific patents, and they're not saying. I'm sure there are people who know this, I'm just not one of them.

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Hello Rob. Thank you for

Hello Rob. Thank you for your comments.

What I was saying about intentions behind the paper mostly comes from a bit of distrust I sometimes feel towards people who tend to align with the Open Source way of thinking, but then say that they actually care about removing non-free software.

I guess I just have to be a bit more open minded. And yes, that's what I'm willing to be about this whole CNR.com thing. And you showing up to reply on this thread helps with that tremendously. You seem to share some of our concerns.

As you can see from my original post, I understand and can even agree with the idea of a temporary compromise in order to take advantage of the 64bit opportunity, but only as long as it is not a compromise on things we really do not need to compromise with. One particular area I don't believe GNU/Linux really needs are proprietary applications which are basically equivalent to existing Free Software applications that do the job quite well already. I keep mentioning LinDVD and Opera as examples of that, but I'm sure there are others.

I am also concerned about CNR.com selling proprietary applications (which are not absolutely necessary for GNU/Linux to prevail) through this service and advertising this as a way they cover costs of the CNR service. This actually motivates people who don't care about the freedom part of the issue strongly enough, to actually buy proprietary software for which perfectly working Free counterparts already exist.

Anyway, I hope that you can make a significant influence on Linspire and the whole process that is now ongoing, to make this plan successful in that it will end up with more people using a completely Free OS in a few years (2010) and not some sort of a hybrid between nonfree and free.

Thanks

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