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Re: [gNewSense-users] newcomer's greetings

From: Max Moritz Sievers
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] newcomer's greetings
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 20:54:02 +0100
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Tryggvi Björgvinsson wrote:
> 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."

Regarding the binary blobs he can argue that this helps Ubuntu Linux to run on 
as much hardware as possible. But regarding the Ubuntu development tools he 
could just release them under GNU GPL if he also thinks proprietary software 
is fraud on the user.

> 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.

The situation in the 1980s was completely different than the situation now. In 
many cases there are alternatives available which can be used with free 
software -- but often produced not by the vendor. Linksys formerly violated 
the GNU GPL and now support more or less alternative firmware for their 
products. Netgear currently released their wireless router with GPL'd 
firmware. This didn't happen because people predicated there wasn't a problem 

> 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 don't know Ubuntu's business model but I don't think a success of gNewSense 
would make them unhappy. If there is need for support, they can offer it. 
They could ban proprietary software, too. Then there would be no need for 
further maintaining gNewSense.

Ubuntu seems to habe attracted many people who haven't used GNU/Linux before 
and who think still in a proprietary frame. They don't demand Ubuntu Linux to 
be complete free software. Sadly Ubuntu calls his distribution Ubuntu Linux 
although it is derived from Debian GNU/Linux. This way GNU users have never 
heard of GNU:

Max Moritz Sievers

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