11.08.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

What Alfresco and Android Can Teach About Ubuntu

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Silhouette - technical

Summary: Canonical puts its own wheels inside the GNU/Linux system, which in turn it can use to deviate further into a package that’s open but not exactly free (as in freedom)

A LONG discussion in IRC this morning revolved around Canonical. It is important to just keep an eye on what Canonical is doing, not to accuse them (based on mere suspicion) of something which they have not yet done and may never do at all.

Last month Canonical was criticised for its copyright policy in Ubuntu. Now that we deal with Unity and Wayland in future releases of Ubuntu, one might also ask about control which goes beyond copyrights. There is growing concern among us that Ubuntu does to GNU/Linux what Alfresco does right about now by going proprietary with an ‘open’ core-like (dual licensing) structure. Canonical’s current COO came from Alfresco where such a business strategy had been implemented even before he left. Hosted plans are part of it.

“Now that we deal with Unity and Wayland in future releases of Ubuntu, one might also ask about control which goes beyond copyrights.”Canonical desperately needs to hire some Free software advocates, including the likes of developers such as Alan Cox (now in Intel). Canonical adds so-called ‘pragmatists’, especially for the management (there are even hirings from Microsoft), so guidance sometimes misses the point about freedom. Just consider the Yahoo! debacle (Ubuntu sending users to Microsoft), which Canonical eventually withdrew from, only after a lot of backlash.

There is a growing perception that’s difficult to deny about Canonical building its own Android-like environment which embodies GNU/Linux but disregards developers from other companies that use the same software. Android is good at addressing Ubuntu’s #1 bug (market share), but it does very little to actually promote software freedom.

Here is a new example of a key Canonical developer promoting Novell’s Banshee, which is based on Novell’s Mono that contains Microsoft code. We wrote about this troubling subject in:

Ubuntu should not be imitating Apple or emulating Microsoft. Trying to become something they are not will leave almost everyone dissatisfied. Additionally, in order to succeed, Ubuntu should work closely with other companies. Diverging and doing things alone would leave Canonical competing quite weakly against far bigger and more aggressive companies. A lot of developers associate themselves with Free/libre software through the GPL (which Apple hates). Ubuntu should not anger “developers developers developers developers” like Microsoft is doing right now; instead, it ought to consider working more closely with GNOME and with X. It would help everyone.

“That would be because we believe in Free Software and doing the right thing (a practice you appear to have given up on). Maybe it is time the term ‘open source’ also did the decent thing and died out with you.”

Alan Cox to Eric Raymond

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

3 Comments

  1. vexorian said,

    November 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Gravatar

    [quote]A lot of developers associate themselves with Free/libre software through the GPL (which Apple hates). Ubuntu should not anger “developers developers developers developers” like Microsoft is doing right now; instead, it ought to consider working more closely with GNOME and with X. It would help everyon
    [/quote]
    Why X? It is not GPL, not unlike Wayland it has a license more like the FreeBSD ones.

    In desktops, we had Gnome and KDE, in apps we had plenty of options. It is surprising that until recently we weren’t aware that there are no alternatives in regards to graphics servers. I think it allowed X server to become stagnant. Graphics servers are an area in which GNU/Linux really needs help. So I am actually welcoming the idea of Wayland. Hey, it is not like Canonical is moving towards closed source apps. Unity and Wayland both are still FOSS and I think that overall, this would just increase the options for users. They cannot and won’t force anyone to use their stuff. I foresee staying with ubuntu as a distro but using the gnome desktop, and I can expect that it will be possible just like KDE fans that like Ubuntu use Kubuntu now. If it isn’t, then we can always leave ubuntu, but I think it is too soon to start flaming and spreading rumors against Canonical.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Matt Asay told me (later today, after this post) that when it comes to business models they already do fine providing desktop support. He implicitly reassured me that that Bradley’s concerns are not justified.

    twitter Reply:

    The problem that should be watched for is a lack of commitment to copyleft and software freedom which always leads to wasted effort and problems for everyone. Mark Suttleworth has denied a move towards open core, but without copyleft others will waste their time creating Tivoised or “open core” versions as telcos have done with Android. People should avoid non free versions of otherwise free software but the confusion is best avoided by using copyleft software to begin with. Developers understand this which is why the GNU GPL is one of the most used software licenses and we have such a rich free software world.

    There is, actually, a lot of choice when it comes to free software graphics. There are a lot of SVGA libraries for terminal users and portable graphics libraries used by things like Oppie, a QT environment for palm computers. There is also choice in the world of X11 with various versions of Xfree86 and X.org. X.org uses an X11 license which is free and GPL compatible. Wayland, according to Wikipedia, uses a “MIT License”, but this is meaningless because there have been many MIT licenses. The lack of attention to this detail on the Wayland site is troubling. Canonical should work to explain this issue, but I don’t see any mention of it on the ubuntu.org website.

    I think that X11 is a mature framework that people should continue to use. GPE and others have made it work on ARM and it performed very well there. This should be expected because X was made in the early 80s when computing resources were much more expensive. By the time you add network support and all of the other goodies people expect from X11 to any other framework, you end up with the same set of problems people like to complain about when they FUD free software desktops. Free software is powerful enough to make multiple desktops frameworks, so Ubuntu’s move is interesting and may work out well. X11, however, is not the root cause of bug #1.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 29/03/2023: New Finnix and EasyOS Kirkstone 5.2

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 28, 2023



  3. [Meme] Fraud Seems Standard to Standard Life

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has embezzled and defrauded staff; now it is being protected (delaying and stonewalling tactics) by those who helped facilitate the robbery



  4. 3 Months to Progress Pension Fraud Investigations in the United Kingdom

    Based on our experiences and findings, one simply cannot rely on pension providers to take fraud seriously (we’ve been working as a group on this); all they want is the money and risk does not seem to bother them, even when there’s an actual crime associated with pension-related activities



  5. 36,000 Soon

    Techrights is still growing; in WordPress alone (not the entire site) we’re fast approaching 36,000 posts; in Gemini it’s almost 45,500 pages and our IRC community turns 15 soon



  6. Contrary to What Bribed (by Microsoft) Media Keeps Saying, Bing is in a Freefall and Bing Staff is Being Laid Off (No, Chatbots Are Not Search and Do Not Substitute Web Pages!)

    Chatbots/chaffbot media noise (chaff) needs to be disregarded; Microsoft has no solid search strategy, just lots and lots of layoffs that never end this year (Microsoft distracts shareholders with chaffbot hype/vapourware each time a wave of layoffs starts, giving financial incentives for publishers to not even mention these; right now it’s GitHub again, with NDAs signed to hide that it is happening)



  7. Full RMS Talk ('A Tour of Malicious Software') Uploaded 10 Hours Ago

    The talk is entitled "A tour of malicious software, with a typical cell phone as example." Richard Stallman is speaking about the free software movement and your freedom. His speech is nontechnical. The talk was given on March 17, 2023 in Somerville, MA.



  8. Links 28/03/2023: KPhotoAlbum 5.10.0 and QSoas 3.2

    Links for the day



  9. The Rumours Were Right: Many More Microsoft Layoffs This Week, Another Round of GitHub Layoffs

    Another round of GitHub layoffs (not the first [1, 2]; won’t be the last) and many more Microsoft layoffs; this isn’t related to the numbers disclosed by Microsoft back in January, but Microsoft uses or misuses NDAs to hide what’s truly going on



  10. All of Microsoft's Strategic Areas Have Layoffs This Year

    Microsoft’s supposedly strategic/future areas — gaming (trying to debt-load or offload debt to other companies), so-called ‘security’, “clown computing” (Azure), and “Hey Hi” (chaffbots etc.) — have all had layoffs this year; it’s clear that the company is having a serious existential crisis in spite of Trump’s and Biden’s bailouts (a wave of layoffs every month this year) and is just bluffing/stuffing the media with chaffbots cruft (puff pieces/misinformation) to keep shareholders distracted, asking them for patience and faking demand for the chaffbots (whilst laying off Bing staff, too)



  11. Links 28/03/2023: Pitivi 2023.03 is Out, Yet More Microsoft Layoffs (Now in Israel)

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, March 27, 2023



  13. Links 27/03/2023: GnuCash 5.0 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on Phones

    Links for the day



  14. Links 27/03/2023: Twitter Source Code Published (But Not Intentionally)

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 26, 2023



  16. Links 26/03/2023: OpenMandriva ROME 23.03, Texinfo 7.0.3, and KBibTeX 0.10.0

    Links for the day



  17. The World Wide Web is a Cesspit of Misinformation. Let's Do Something About It.

    It would be nice to make the Web a safer space for information and accuracy (actual facts) rather than a “Safe Space” for oversensitive companies and powerful people who cannot tolerate criticism; The Web needs to become more like today's Gemini, free of corporate influence and all other forms of covert nuisance



  18. Ryan Farmer: I’m Back After WordPress.com Deleted My Blog Over the Weekend

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  19. Civil Liberties Threatened Online and Offline

    A “society of sheeple” (a term used by Richard Stallman last week in his speech) is being “herded” online and offline; the video covers examples both online and offline, the latter being absence of ATMs or lack of properly-functioning ATMs (a growing problem lately, at least where I live)



  20. Techrights Develops Free Software to Separate the Wheat From the Chaff

    In order to separate the wheat from the chaff we’ve been working on simple, modular tools that process news and help curate the Web, basically removing the noise to squeeze out the signal



  21. Links 26/03/2023: MidnightBSD 3.0 and FreeBSD 13.2 RC4

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 25, 2023



  23. Links 26/03/2023: More TikTok Bans

    Links for the day



  24. Links 25/03/2023: Gordon Moore (of Moore's Law) is Dead

    Links for the day



  25. Links 25/03/2023: Decade of Docker, Azure Broken Again

    Links for the day



  26. [Meme] Money Deducted in Payslips, But Nothing in Pensions

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has stolen money from staff (in secret)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023

    IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 24, 2023



  28. The Corporate Media is Not Reporting Large-Scale Microsoft Layoffs (Too Busy With Chaffbot Puff Pieces), Leaks Required to Prove That More Layoffs Are Happening

    Just as we noted days ago, there are yet more Microsoft layoffs, but the mainstream media gets bribed to go “gaga” over vapourware and chaffbots (making chaff like “Bill Gates Says” pieces) instead of reporting actual news about Microsoft



  29. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: Time to Issue a Warrant of Arrest and Extradite the Fake 'Founder' of Sirius

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is collapsing, but that does not mean that it can dodge accountability for crimes (e.g. money that it silently stole from its staff since at least 12 years ago)



  30. Links 24/03/2023: Microsoft's Fall on the Web and Many New Videos

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts