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09.11.20

Calling ‘Snaps’ and ‘Flatpaks’ What They Really Are: Ramps for Proprietary Software Inside GNU/Linux (the ‘App’ Mindset)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Do we want GNU/Linux distros to become another Android with centralised (monopolised) ‘stores’ as opposed to repositories of Free/libre software everyone can modify and redistribute freely? Do we want “Steam” (DRM) for software?

Summary: Canonical’s gravitation towards the whole ‘store’ mindset (and Red Hat’s equivalent of that) seems to have raised concerns among and amidst developers of the Linux Mint project; they try hard to prevent users from adopting Canonical’s ‘store’ and there’s an explanation (above) of why that’s the case

THE RPM/DEB ‘wars’ can be found way back… going back to the 1990s. Debian-Private, which we started publishing a fortnight ago, is full of that. Many threads contain arguments over Red Hat’s ambition versus Debian’s. Now we have new kinds of packaging wars, with the Debian-based Ubuntu pushing ‘Snap’ (snapd) and Red Hat/Fedora pushing ‘Flatpak’ (used to require systemd). They’re hostile towards one another — since launch in fact! — and there are reasons to be suspicious of both.

“…the problem that Canonical is trying to solve is perhaps a business model problem rather than a technical problem.”The above interview (like the video) was published earlier this week and the latter speaks of ‘Snaps’ being snubbed by Linux Mint. There are reasons for that shunning. Alluding to Flatpak at one point, there’s that similar discussion about new ‘standards’ for packaging. Flatpak’s back end isn’t as proprietary… but now it’s IBM-led and there’s a close connection to Microsoft through GitHub. Probably not something worth running as root…

SolitudeThe more interesting part of this interview deals with why Mint developers went as far as making it very difficult to adopt ‘Snaps’. It also explains the purpose of Mint’s Debian-based fallback, which obviously uses apt/apt-get/aptitude/dpkg/deb etc. and does not depend on companies like Canonical.

The last minute of this video is perhaps the most interesting. It’s about Mint developers going out of their way to prevent or at least make it rather hard to install ‘Snaps’, many of which are proprietary software. It’s rightly noted that no distribution stands in the way of installing proprietary software to the extent Mint developers stand in the way of ‘Snaps’, but perhaps they correctly view this as Canonical’s power grab, emulating Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Over the years I’ve experimented (a number of times on a number of machines) with ‘Snaps’ and I never found it particularly reliable; it wasn’t clear to me what the selling point was (other than, perhaps on the misguided side, domination of the server-side stack/software by one company).

‘Snaps’ are managed by proprietary software at the server (not client) side and they sometimes are, themselves, proprietary software as well. That in its own right ought to be a little alarming; the problem that Canonical is trying to solve is perhaps a business model problem rather than a technical problem. Even more than a decade ago Canonical came under fire for selling proprietary software as a business model (or reselling it on behalf of other companies). If those companies insist that this is necessary for “world domination” or whatever, then it means they disregard software freedom (in the same way Google does) and actually mean something like “financial sustainability” (for themselves). Attaining that so-called “world domination” (lots of proprietary ‘apps’ and whatnot) wouldn’t be unprecedented. Google has already done that with Android, whose overall market share exceeds Windows’. If we lose sight of software freedom and instead focus only on “market share”, then all we do is add another brand (like “Apple” or “Mac”) to the mix while failing to address paradigm changes or real threats. Almost nobody out there can argue that Android being widespread has been good for software freedom; sure, many people not have Linux on their small computers, but those computers mostly spy on them and let them access proprietary stuff managed closely (and often censored) by one company. Success should be measured in terms of principles (like software freedom) rather than “market share”, which can be seductive/alluring when one is accustomed to being a niche player for years if not decades. This whole immorality has already infected a number of key organisations, including the Linux Foundation, which is nowadays openly shilling for and outsourcing to Microsoft (GitHub and IIS) because its sole goal is to maximise revenue, not to help Linux.

09.08.20

Canonical: Use Windows. Then, Have Ubuntu as a ‘Side Dish’…

Posted in Microsoft, Ubuntu, Vista 10 at 9:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bug #1 stillwontfix

Captain Janeway Facepalm: Welcome to Ubuntu blog

Summary: Welcome to Ubuntu blog. Download Windows Vista 10 and follow these Microsoft instructions

08.20.20

OSI’s Chief Steps Down, Canonical Advertises Windows Again, and Red Hat Gives Award to Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSI, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Windows at 9:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OSI salaries
The only one in OSI who takes a salary, apparently (latest tax form here [PDF]), has left; as the ‘sellout’ or handover to monopolists accelerates so does the corporate revenue the OSI nowadays depends on (that money grew tenfold in a decade, just like at the Linux Foundation)

Ubuntu on Windows
The Official Ubuntu Blog is again boosting Microsoft’s attack on GNU/Linux, along with ZDNet and Phoronix. Again and again this happens as if Canonical is not pro-Linux and instead pro-dud. Why are they bothering with articles on WSL2 when very few people use it and it is an attack on GNU/Linux?

Red Hat's Microsoft award
This new blog post from Red Hat shows they’ve come to depend on and suck up to Microsoft [1, 2]

Summary: Patrick Masson leaves OSI, Canonical promotes Windows in its Ubuntu blog, and Red Hat continues to act like it refuses to even compete with Microsoft

THINGS deteriorate further. This is entryism.

The OSI GM has resigned (not fired, based on the wordings [1,2]) and one starts wondering whether the whole thing collapsing is a desirable end. There’s nobody even to replace him, except interim (typically suggestive of an unexpected power vacuum with little planning or foresight). Given the funding sources of the OSI, where money buys power, the next GM will likely be a very corporate person like the OSI’s President, Josh Simmons. He comes from the company that so viciously attacked RMS and suggested that the FSF should oust all who support RMS, thereby creating an unprecedented power vacuum and witch-hunt. Remember that both of the OSI’s co-founders are no longer there; one resigned in protest at the start of the year and Simmons et al banned the other. Maybe that partly led to Masson’s exit. It does not say why he left. Monopolists are always happy to exploit power vacuums, created as they intended so they can infiltrate everything. Microsoft initially infiltrated the OSI — with its shoddy licences — because of Mac Asay inside the Board (he’s still a Microsoft apologist and he tried working for Microsoft). Groklaw protested strongly against this.

“Assimilation tactics only need apathy and silence to prove effective. The further they progress, the harder it becomes to undo them.”So what does “Open Source” even stand for now? Monopolies? WSL? Windows? GitHub? Yes, it’s proprietary.

Putting this together with yesterday’s blog posts from the official Red Hat and Ubuntu blogs (screenshots at the top), at least we have a rough idea what we’re dealing with here…

Assimilation tactics only need apathy and silence to prove effective. The further they progress, the harder it becomes to undo them.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Deb Nicholson to Join Open Source Initiative as Interim General Manager

    Deb Nicholson has been serving as our Director of Community Operations for just over two years and is now leaving to Conservancy to take on the role of Interim General Manager at the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Although Deb will no longer be on our staff, she’ll remain part of the Conservancy community, most formally as a volunteer on our Evaluation Committee that reviews applications from potential new member projects.

    In the two years since she became the Director of Community Operations, Deb has helped Conservancy welcome six new member projects, put on two Copyleft Confs, run two fundraising seasons and contributed over 50 posts to our blog.

  2. Announcing OSI’s New Interim General Manager

    The Open Source Initiative is bringing in Deb Nicholson as its new Interim General Manager. Nicholson will be supporting the organization through a period of growth and introspection over the upcoming year as stakeholders continue building on the non-profit’s past successes. She will be overseeing day-to-day operations, including marketing, staffing and infrastructure, as well as supporting board and volunteer activities.

    OSI’s President, Josh Simmons elaborates, “We’re thrilled to welcome Deb as an Interim General Manager at OSI. Her credentials are top notch, and she’s well respected within the free and open source software communities… I couldn’t ask for a better partner as OSI works through its second major transformation! Deb’s roots in the software freedom community and at Conservancy bode well for our movements as we strive to present a more unified front to advance our shared goals.”

    We would also like to take this moment to thank Patrick Masson for seven years of service as OSI’s General Manager and Director. He leaves behind a powerful legacy as OSI’s first full-time employee. Masson will be continuing his work as an outside consultant to support this transition as well as supporting FLOSS Desktops For Kids. We wish him all the best, both inside and outside, the open source community.

08.13.20

Promoting False Perspectives and Narratives About GNU/Linux to Let Microsoft Dominate/Control Everything (Sometimes Quite Cynically in the Name of ‘Security’ or ‘Responsibility’)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 4:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ZDNet on Linux
Hours ago it said “FBI and NSA expose new Linux malware Drovorub, used by Russian state hackers” [sic] and notice the item below that (typical ZDNet). This was also pushed where this dishonest person came from (former colleagues).

Summary: Microsoft’s “perception management” games are progressing and are finding their way into official blogs of supposed ‘competitors’ like Canonical and SUSE

IT DOES not take a cynic to see and to also understand what’s going on. This is information warfare and the method is perception management. We know where the money is seeded or coming from.

“This is information warfare and the method is perception management.”This morning someone sent us a pointer about Sonatype pushing this nonsense about ‘supply chain’ again (in the ‘news’); we’re supposed to focus not on inherent security issues and instead obsess over the ‘supply chain’ nonsense as if letting the NSA through Microsoft control GitHub, NPM etc. is preferable and GitHub will resolve holes rather than add some. A few hours ago in Planet Debian, Sven Hoexte wrote about this issue. Naming GitHub (Microsoft) in a number of places, he said: “Yes some of that is even non-free and might contain spyw^telemetry.” (Microsoft is even liaising with Trump to steal companies for surveillance purposes)

“We know where the money is seeded or coming from.”Those types of shaming tactics and the attempt to push everyone to rely on proprietary GitHub in the name of ‘professionalism’ or whatever is perpetually echoed in ZDNet. See the screenshot above. That malicious site is filing Microsoft lies that have nothing to do with GNU/Linux in the “LINUX” section. It tries to make us think that GitHub is “open source” or whatever (lies like these are why we boycott ZDNet). It’s almost as if to the dishonest people who write for that site (on Microsoft’s payroll) black is white and white is black. It’s as if attacks (like GitHub and WSL) are proof of “love” for the thing that’s attacked. “Linux sucks and Microsoft is king”; that’s the message of the screenshot above; is ZDNet an extension of Microsoft’s marketing department now?

“It’s as if attacks (like GitHub and WSL) are proof of “love” for the thing that’s attacked.”It would be a lot simpler if we could only blame ZDNet, but the reality of the matter is that even so-called ‘Linux’ companies participate in this propaganda.

For the second day in a row, for example, Canonical is boosting Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux. They literally promote Windows. Usually it’s from Sohini Bianka Roy and Mr. ‘UNIX’ Windows (Hayden), who uses pseudonyms when he attempts to silence his critics. If only Canonical promoted Free software with the same eagerness and excitement that it promotes Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft malware…

“If only Canonical promoted Free software with the same eagerness and excitement that it promotes Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft malware…”And no day would be complete without SUSE doing the same. Following part 1 with "Microsoft loves Linux" (a lie used to promote proprietary software) today we have part 2 which says about SQL Server: “The Microsoft packages are well documented, well-structured, avoid side-effects, and really a good testament to what Microsoft is doing in the open source community.”

It is not “open source”, it is proprietary and it does not even properly run on GNU/Linux, it uses DrawBridge.

“There’s a war on truth itself; that’s what PR and marketing people do.”But who cares about facts, right? According to ZDNet, “Microsoft to developers: These are our biggest and best open-source projects” (never mind if all the core products are proprietary) and Linux is just a security headache, unlike that platform (Windows) with NSA back doors everywhere, including the disk encryption.

There’s a war on truth itself; that’s what PR and marketing people do. The fact that this utter rubbish is also uttered by companies like Canonical is problematic as it serves to suggest that Microsoft is, in some sense, taking over the competition and speaking ‘for’ the competition.

Canonical is Boosting Microsoft’s Proprietary Software With Extensive Surveillance

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 3:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Imagine this is a site of a company that once said that bug #1 is Windows having majority market share

WSL Ubuntu

Ubuntu Microsoft

Summary: Canonical’s commitment to Free software barely exists; with so-called “Apps” and “Snaps” and “Stores” we’re seeing a gradual transition to — and acceptance of — blobs and DRM, including Microsoft lock-in inside Ubuntu

IT was bad enough when Canonical was boosting Visual Studio ‘Code’ (openwashing of proprietary traps with surveillance in them); now it does the same for Visual Studio, which is entirely and completely proprietary, just as one could expect.

Rhys Davies perhaps inevitably shows Canonical working for Microsoft, promoting proprietary software lock-in. He speaks of “WebAssembly apps with C# and XAML from a single code base” and proprietary “Visual Studio and Ubuntu on WSL.” (WSL is an attack on GNU/Linux)

“They’re just shoehorning Microsoft and proprietary software through ‘Linux’ (as a mere medium). Trojan horses.”A Microsoft propaganda outlet (Windows Central) has also mentioned this as follows on the same day: “Uno Platform launched version 3.0 today, officially bringing Linux support to the fore after a period of testing. “The new addition makes it the first and only C# UI toolkit to enable creation of single-source applications for most popular desktop, web and mobile platforms,” Uno Platform said in a press release. To show off the new integration, Uno Platform released a video showing a Windows Community Toolkit app running on Linux on a Raspberry Pi.”

They’re just shoehorning Microsoft and proprietary software through ‘Linux’ (as a mere medium). Trojan horses.

08.07.20

Ubuntu and Fedora Project Serving Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Vista 10, Windows at 11:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even promoting Windows and an EEE-type attack on GNU/Linux

Ubuntu WSL

Summary: The Ubuntu ‘community’ as well as the ‘community’ component of Red Hat (IBM) don’t view Microsoft as a rival; over a decade ago Mark Shuttleworth accused Microsoft of “extortion” and “racketeering” (his words), but now he’s paid to change his tune

THERE are facts, and then there are lies (strategic lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux").

It is no secret and it’s a simple fact that Microsoft is still committing bribery crimes and blackmailing companies that distribute GNU/Linux. Does that bother Canonical? Not anymore. Follow the money. Yesterday it once again boosted Microsoft’s attack on GNU/Linux by means of EEE, courtesy of the Microsoft booster that Canonical hired. To quote the official Ubuntu blog:

microWSLConf will feature a virtual hallway track for unscheduled conversations by attendees and breakout sessions for affinity groups.

Microsoft affinity; the speakers are Microsoft boosters, not GNU/Linux people. Why is Canonical promoting Windows? Yes, the official Ubuntu blog keeps pushing Windows. It’s part of a pattern.

“…the official Ubuntu blog keeps pushing Windows. It’s part of a pattern.”And if that’s not bad enough, the Fedora Project was boosting Microsoft its proprietary software on the very same day as the official Fedora Project blog said “Fedora Minecraft/Spigot server follows the same Code of Conduct as Fedora Nest and the wider Fedora Community. Be kind, be respectful, and have fun!” (unlike Microsoft)

Why does Fedora see the need to promote proprietary software controlled by Microsoft? Welcome to today’s Fedora… not what it used to be. Days ago several Fedora “services [were] down due to openshift failures for service” (to quote Fedora itself). The Fedora Project has had lots of downtime lately — oftentimes claiming server/DC/colo migrations, but now this (downtime for technical reasons). We don’t suppose the project sees Microsoft as a rival anymore [1, 2] and IBM doesn’t seem to care too much about Fedora, either.

07.06.20

It Almost Feels Like Microsoft Has Already ‘Bought’ Canonical

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 7:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: In 2020 Canonical No Longer Fights for Freedom | Canonical Continues to Help Promote Windows Instead of GNU/Linux or Ubuntu

canonical-micosoft-mvp

Summary: Canonical’s disturbing trajectory and betrayal of the community continue unabated; one can easily get the impression that Ubuntu exists to help Microsoft at some level

WORKING for Microsoft while being salaried by Canonical? If so, what does that say about Canonical?

Well, as the two links (added above) have outlined already, Ubuntu certainly feels far too close to Microsoft and to Windows these days. Ubuntu helps the E.E.E. Gone are the days when Ubuntu worked to actually replace Windows; it seems like Canonical is happy enough for it to just become a Vista 10 ‘feature’…

“If Canonical brags about working for Microsoft, then one can brag about saying goodbye to Canonical.”It’s no secret that the relationship between Microsoft and Canonical has disturbed a growing number of people in recent years. Speculations aren’t needed; there’s a money flow (Azure) and Canonical isn’t profitable, which may make it easier for Microsoft to manipulate.

Thankfully, in the GNU/Linux world we have plenty of options. If Canonical brags about working for Microsoft, then one can brag about saying goodbye to Canonical. The days of “bug number one” (Windows market share) are long gone. Canonical is bugging a lot of people. It was under no obligation, for instance, to issue the tactless blog post above (a few hours ago). It gives the wrong impression about Ubuntu. People choose Ubuntu (typically) to get away from Windows and from Microsoft.

06.18.20

[Humour] Ubuntu and Mission Creep

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 8:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Strength of Godzilla/Chibi Godzilla vs Godzilla vs Shin Godzilla vs Burning Godzilla: 'Ubuntu' is an ancient Swahili word meaning 'I can't install Debian';  Ubuntu is 'Linux for Human Beings; Ubuntu is Subsystem for Windows; Ubuntu is Microsoft

Summary: Canonical’s emphasis not on making Ubuntu easier or fixing bug #1 (Windows market share) means that Ubuntu becomes not part of the solution GNU/Linux was really after

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