EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.08.10

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 this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

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.

What Else is New


  1. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  2. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  3. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  4. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  5. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  6. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  7. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  8. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  9. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  10. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  11. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  12. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  13. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  14. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  15. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him



  16. The Council of Europe Slams the EPO as Political Pressure Grows for EPO Management to Obey the Law

    Battistelli et al. come under yet more fire as politicians -- many of whom from Battistelli's home country -- become better informed of the EPO's management fiasco, abuses, and scandals



  17. Operating Systems Usage Based on Technical Site Statistics

    ome numbers to show what goes on in sites that do not share information about their visitors (unlike Windows-centric sites which target non-technical audiences)



  18. Links 27/6/2015: Wine 1.7.46, SparkyLinux 4.0

    Links for the day



  19. Proprietary Software on Top of Proprietary Software (AV on Windows) Only an Illusion of Security

    Remarks on the recent revelations about code and communication interceptions targeting insecurity firms and Microsoft's claim that 'transparency' alone would be enough to assure security



  20. The EPO's Circus of Nepotism, Corporatism and Gross Abuse is Promoting the Unitary Patent

    The shameful management of the EPO, which Benoît Battistelli constructed based on his nefarious self-serving agenda, keeps pushing forth in a direction that greatly harms European citizens while mistreating the EPO's technical staff (scientists and examiners)



  21. Links 26/6/2015: Ardour 4.1, GNOME 3.17.3 Released

    Links for the day



  22. An Estimated 1,000 EPO Staff in Munich Demonstrated Against EPO Management Yesterday Afternoon

    Earliest coverage of yesterday's protest against EPO corruption and abuses



  23. Microsoft Windows So Insecure That Even Fonts Are Remotely Exploitable

    Windows userbase is once again under serious threat and high risk because something as simple as fonts (rendering of text/pixels on the screen) isn't done securely in Windows



  24. Microsoft is 'Buying' the Media Ahead of Vista 10 Launch

    Signs serve to indicate that Microsoft is already tightening its grip on technology news sites, ensuring that they give Microsoft disproportionate levels of coverage



  25. DockerCon 2015 Infiltrated by Microsoft

    DockerCon gives room to Microsoft propagandists who want to divert the audience's attention from secure GNU/Linux focus to proprietary Windows with back doors and surveillance



  26. Links 25/6/2015: Docker Focus, NVIDIA Opening Slightly

    Links for the day



  27. The Lie or the Fiction of Microsoft Tolerating GNU/Linux

    The 'Microsoft loves Linux' nonsense cannot be put to rest, as that tired old lie keeps resurfacing in the media



  28. Microsoft is Again Demonstrating That It is Not Interested in Making Windows Secure

    Microsoft decides to leave Windows with flaws in it, claiming that fixing the flaws would not be worth Microsoft's resources



  29. Not Only is Vista 10 Not Free, It is Getting More Expensive, According to the Taiwanese Press

    More proof that Microsoft charges quite a lot for Vista 10 (at OEM level), despite the perpetual deception about costs



  30. EPO Protest in Munich and Growing Unpopularity of EPO Management, Media Manipulation by the Management

    Poll shows that the European Patent Office (EPO) comes under fire for its media strategy which involves wasting taxpayers' money on fake/organic media coverage that glorifies the EPO


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts