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Re: [gNewSense-users] [Fwd: Gobuntu released confirmed as 18 October]

From: Stewart Starbuck
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] [Fwd: Gobuntu released confirmed as 18 October]
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 09:58:22 +0200 (CEST)

Well, I'm typing this message from within gobuntu, and I can safely say I'm not 
1, I'm in firefox.
    --Message from gobuntu mailing list--
        > Another question I have is, will Gobuntu still ship with Iceweasel and
        > Icedove? As far as I understand, this was part of the plan, but
        > gobuntu-desktop still depends on Firefox, and I can't find Iceweasel 
        > the Ubuntu repositories.
        > Has this been deferred to Hardy?

        Yes, the work for this has been deferred to Hardy.

        The solution I was tossing around for this was to make Epiphany the
        default browser.  It would be prohibitively difficult to use Iceweasel
        as that would require the Firefox maintainer to manage both versions,
        something that I'm told is quite a chore.  Using Epiphany instead would
        require we just modify the Gobuntu seeds slightly.

Instantly here freedom has been compromised, in this case due to lack of 

2, gobuntu turns into ubuntu very easily
Why is this a problem? I'll expand... In software sources it is possible to 
select two boxes, "Proprietary drivers for devices (restricted)" and "Software 
restricted by copyright of legal issues (multiverse)". While there is nothing 
wrong with giving people choice (they have the right to install whatever 
software they want), it should not be made this easy. Someone who might 
otherwise live without their wireless card for example might see that and think 
"what the heck" and install the non-free driver anyway, "just because".

3, We can't know it's all free software
Excluding the firefox issue above, there is no way for us to tell that there 
isn't any other non-free software, as already pointed out in the list, 
canonical have not told us what is free and non-free.

4, Lack of awareness
I'll expand - You go onto the main ubuntu website and look for gobuntu. Even 
searching for it provides only two hits,  the first being a news item and the 
second a link to the *buntu-rc download page. You can't even get it from the 
mirrors from the RC page, none of them (that I checked) have it.. the only way 
of finding it is to search via an external browser, and even then all you get 
is a link to the daily build, an article on Shuttleworth's website and a 
wikipedia page.

5, Lack of support
Probably caused by the lack of being able to find it unless you know about it, 
there is very little apparent support for gobuntu. The mailing list (as I'm 
sure many of you are signed up to) gets very little traffic (ok, so it's a dev 
mailing list, but it's also the only mailing list), and a search on the ubuntu 
forums gives only one real discussion of it that's also had very low traffic.

6, Firefox plugins
Back to firefox again. I had a look at how it deals with flash, now that gnash 
is in the repos. Browsing to youtube I was greeted with the "plugins 
required..", selected it, and found that first in the list was Adobe Flash 
Player, with Gnash listed second. Problem? Because given this choice who would 
other wise use all non-free might think to themselves "well, I can install 
gnash, that works but not brilliantly, or I can just install the official adobe 
one and have it all work, nobody will know". Well yes, nobody will now, but it 
removes the point of gobuntu. Also people who don't look and just hit next will 
get the non-free installed, seeing as it's first on the list (I know it's just 
alphabetical, but still...)

For these reasons (and more, probably, if I took the time to look) I will not 
be using gobuntu, and instead sticking with gNS. While I congratualte canonacal 
for trying, they still have a lot more work to do before gobuntu, let alone 
ubuntu, is free-software.

(I'm going to post a slightly modified version of this onto the gobuntu mailing 
list, to try and get some discussion going. While it won't have much effect now 
on the gusty release, hopefully they can get this sorted out for hardy.)
----- Original Message ----
From: Kevin Dean <address@hidden>
To: Koh Choon Lin <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden
Sent: Friday, 12 October, 2007 6:46:03 PM
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] [Fwd: Gobuntu released confirmed as 18 October]

Richard Stallman doesn't believe that things like that actually need
to be libre - they're non-functional as he says. I respectfully
disagree with him on that regard - the fundimental belief that led me
to Free Software is that restricting the spread of INFORMATION is
unethical, and music, art and documentation are all information.

Debian ALSO requires that those things be Free - a view I share.

That said, I'd rather have all free software and some non-free art
than free art and some non-free software. gNewSense removes all of the
non-free stuff (binary blobs). I HOPE that as there's more people able
to do it, and gNEwSense rebases that we'll get to a point where we can
reject non-free art as well. For now, we simple don't have the
developer power to pull it off. The things in gNS now are there can be
explained quite easiyl "They're in Ubuntu".


On 10/12/07, Koh Choon Lin <address@hidden> wrote:
> > I also wish the guys at Gobuntu the best of luck, but think they are
> > perhaps compromising their objectives.  conversely, they'd probably
> > argue that gNS is too militant in it's beliefs....sort of like the way
> > Debian was perceived, some years ago.
> gNS is still the distro representing freedom, rather than Gobuntu.
> However, the latter seems to be taking a stand that goes even further
> than gNS, having restrictions like not putting in any image, PDF or
> sound which do not include full source materials.
> Regards
> Koh Choon Lin

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