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Re: [gNewSense-users] newcomer's greetings

From: Tryggvi Björgvinsson
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] newcomer's greetings
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 18:25:41 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070103)

Hash: SHA1

andrei raevsky wrote:
> I wonder how the Ubuntu/Debian people view gNewSense, as a subsegment
> of Ubuntu/Debian, or as a fork alien to its origin?  I tried the
> Ubuntu IRC and they seemed to be somewhat less than enthusiastic about
> gNewSense :-(  Either way - I think that gNewSense is a fanstastic
> idea and I very much believe in its future.

I am also a new gNewSense user (or more precisely, about to become a new
user when I get off my fat ass and make the switch). I can as well
introduce myself. My name is Tryggvi and I come from Iceland. I fell in
love with the ideals of free software some 5 years ago and I am actually
researching free software, for my PhD degree. I have been lurking the
gNewSense mailing list for quite some time as I am very excited about
where the project is heading and especially how gNewSense is developed,
slowly building up the courage and time to contribute :)

Enough about that, and onward to andrei's question. From what I have
read I believe Mark Shuttleworth is very supportive of gNewSense. As he
said on his blog (

"In fact, I worked quite hard to get Gnubuntu (an ISO of Ubuntu without
any restricted elements) off the ground - it has effectively now emerged
as gNewSense and I would encourage you to use that if this is a
touchstone issue for you."

However, I don't have a clue on how the Ubuntu/Debian community sees
gNewSense but I don't see why they should dislike it as long as they are
aware of that gNewSense focuses on users' freedom and they on building
an attractive distribution.

One thing I can't make up my mind about is the proprietary drivers. As I
see it closed hardware should not hinder the normal function of the
operating system. IIRC, Stallman used proprietary UNIX in the beginning
in order to be able to work on GNU and then switch as soon as he had a
working operating system. In that my opinion is that one should be able
to use proprietary software when free alternatives aren't available.
This defends the approach Ubuntu is taking. However, I also believe that
if corporations can get away with creating proprietary drivers/software
only, they'll never release free alternatives which goes against the
ideals. That, IMO, defends gNewSense's approach. What I've done recently
is get friends to use Ubuntu and then start preaching about the ideals
of software freedom.

To my point, I believe that Ubuntu and gNewSense should coexist as
friends, not enemies. So that saddens me if the Ubuntu community does
not approve of gNewSense. Maybe they see it as gNewSense is taking
developers and users away from Ubuntu. I think the gNewSense community
must make it clear that it intends no harm to Ubuntu. I personally would
have preferred to see gNewSense as Gnubuntu, supported by Canonical Ltd.
and not dependent on Canonical's proprietary development tools. However,
 gNewSense as an independent offspring distribution, gives the community
the chance to take it in any direction it wants (freedom in
development). So, the above should not be read as some kind of a
disapproval of the "gNewSense way".

I hope I didn't go too much off topic. I just wanted to share my
thoughts on the gNewSense/Ubuntu matter.

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