Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Sep 2006 22:44 UTC, submitted by csousa
Mozilla & Gecko clones Debian adheres to a strict interpretation of what is Free Software and what isn't. The Firefox logo is trademarked, so Debian doesn't consider it to be Free and will not include it as part of its distribution. Mozilla claims that using the Firefox name without the official branding is a trademark violation. Furthermore, Mozilla claims that if Debian runs any patches to the version of Firefox included with Debian distros, it has to run them by Mozilla first for approval. What all this ultimately could mean is that the Firefox name is wiped from the face of Debian and its offshoots. Debian developer Eric Dorland confirmed to internetnews.com that Debian will re-name Firefox and that the re-naming process could be completed as soon as next week.
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So much for freedom
by SlackerJack on Thu 28th Sep 2006 22:56 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Where does Mozilla get off by doing this, what next close up firefox?

Mozilla you should be ashamed.

Reply Score: 3

RE: So much for freedom
by orestes on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:06 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Why shouldn't they be allowed to control how their branding is used?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by SlackerJack on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

So why have they all of a sudden done this, Firefox have been with many distros for agers now. Dont Mozilla want their browser to be known by firefox just for the sake of a tradmark.

You can have our browser but call it something else?, dont sound like openness and freedom to me.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by orestes on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

As far as I can remember the Mozilla Trademark policy has been like that for well over a year.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by jakesdad on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
jakesdad Member since:
2005-12-28

the issue is Debian is releasing patches to firefox that are not authorized by mozilla. Mozilla does not want to be responsible because debian modified something. It makes sense to me...

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by Don Grayson on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
Don Grayson Member since:
2006-01-01

The question is what's up with Debian screwing with Firefox? If they don't like the licensing then let people download directly from Mozilla instead of forking their own version off just because Mozilla trademarked the name.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: So much for freedom
by Innova on Fri 29th Sep 2006 14:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So much for freedom"
Innova Member since:
2005-09-30

and you still will be able to do this! Download firefox from the website - install it. Or, I am sure that someone will maintain a .deb of it and it may be available in non-free.

However, debian proper has a strict policy of what can be included in the free branch. A non-trademarked and properly free version of firefox included - how is that wrong?

Reply Score: 1

RE: So much for freedom
by Adurbe on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

I think Mozilla are perfectly within their rights, Firefox is finally getting brand recognition. Whats the point of them spending all this money on marketing if each distro then changes the name of the software THEY produced?!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by ma_d on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

It's within Debian's rights. I think it's silly, but it's probably just Debian following its own rules without exception.
I've never liked intolerant rules much, but oh well. It's not really a big deal...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by Anonymous Coward on Fri 29th Sep 2006 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
Anonymous Coward Member since:
2005-07-06

Isn't Firefox under the Mozilla Public License? The GPL may be similar, but the link is irrelevant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So much for freedom
by ma_d on Fri 29th Sep 2006 03:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So much for freedom"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

It's the same idea, it's a modified license. The point is that the idea of gpl/mpl/qpl software is to make it free for users to repackage it.

But I think they have to rename it, and not call it "firefox".

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by Don Grayson on Fri 29th Sep 2006 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
Don Grayson Member since:
2006-01-01

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

It's within Debian's rights. I think it's silly, but it's probably just Debian following its own rules without exception.
I've never liked intolerant rules much, but oh well. It's not really a big deal...


Umm, Firefox is licensed under the Mozilla Public License, not the GPL.

http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So much for freedom
by Finalzone on Fri 29th Sep 2006 04:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So much for freedom"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06


Umm, Firefox is licensed under the Mozilla Public License, not the GPL.


From the same link:

This page details the licenses under which Mozilla source code can be obtained. All of the code which makes up the core Mozilla products is licensed under a MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license or a licence compatible with all three of those (e.g. the BSD licence). Other code in our repository may have different licensing terms.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by xmv_ on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:59 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
xmv_ Member since:
2006-06-09

you mean software, they, free software developpers that get zero money from mozilla, working at zero cost in their free time, and maybe even using debian, right ?

you probably missed the point of free software. it isn't adware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: So much for freedom
by Adam S on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:18 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Anyone who understands this understands that this isn't a BAD thing. Mozilla says

you have two choices:
1. You can use Firefox AS IS.
2. You can use Firefox, but you can't use the icon and you can't refer to it as Firefox, because once you change ANYTHING in the code at all, it's no longer Firefox. If you do this, you have to run ALL changes by us.


Essentially, Mozilla doesn't want them to release something with bugs or holes under the name of Firefox. Debian thinks they should have complete control. But once they change it, it's NO LONG FIREFOX! It's just "based on" Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by NotParker on Fri 29th Sep 2006 02:10 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

"Essentially, Mozilla doesn't want them to release something with bugs or holes under the name of Firefox."

Yeah. Thats the prerogative of Mozilla. 64 times so far this year too!

http://www.mozilla.org/security/announce/

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by AndyJ on Fri 29th Sep 2006 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
AndyJ Member since:
2005-06-30

I guess you can do a better job then! Folk are quick to criticise when browsers have bugs, but there are precious few of them which are bug-free. Have you considered that this kind of software is damned hard to get perfect?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by sorpigal on Fri 29th Sep 2006 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Essentially, Mozilla doesn't want them to release something with bugs or holes under the name of Firefox. Debian thinks they should have complete control. But once they change it, it's NO LONG FIREFOX! It's just "based on" Firefox.

This is all true, in a mean technical and legal sense. That which is "Firefox" is the code that is released by Mozilla as Firefox; anything else is merely another mozilla-based browser.

On the other hand... Linux is trademarked Linus Torvalds. No distribution I know of uses the stock kernel as released by Linus, yet they all claim to be Linux and use the trademark both on the system and in advertising. Why can they get away with it? Because Linus is doing the Right Thing and not merely the Protect What's Ours thing. Moilla should do the Right Thing, too, but they sadly no longer have the practical, idealistic programmers in charge.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by Carewolf on Fri 29th Sep 2006 13:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Moilla should do the Right Thing, too, but they sadly no longer have the practical, idealistic programmers in charge.

They never had. They started as a company and have never really gotten out of the mentality.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So much for freedom
by dylansmrjones on Fri 29th Sep 2006 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So much for freedom"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The Mozilla Foundation is no different on trademarks than Debian is, or Linus Torvalds.

Mozilla has its set of rules, and Debian has its own rules as well.. and they are in conflict.

Solution: Give it another name. And that's what they're doing.
EOF

Reply Score: 1

RE: So much for freedom
by rm6990 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:25 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

You have to do this stuff to protect a trademark, much like Debian itself does.

http://www.debian.org/News/1998/19980306a

Reply Score: 4

RE: So much for freedom
by Wintermute on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:58 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

I think they have to do this by the law. If they don't protect their trademark (and releasing a patched firefox can be seen as trademark infringement), then they lose their rights to it.

Stop being so reactionary and use your head for a second. Mozilla needs to maintain protect the firefox brandname...

Reply Score: 2

RE: So much for freedom
by fredb1974 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 06:34 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

It is more Debian extremism than speaking of freedom.

Let's take a windows user, used to firefox who wants to switch to linux.

This person install a debian and could not find firefox. This person will maybe say : "linux is crap, it doesn't have firefox".

So, this is a debian stupidity than anything more !

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by SilentStorm on Fri 29th Sep 2006 06:41 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
SilentStorm Member since:
2006-09-22

I think debian will include a metapackage called "firefox". they generally do.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by happycamper on Fri 29th Sep 2006 07:41 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

Let's take a windows user, used to firefox who wants to switch to linux.
This person install a debian and could not find firefox. This person will maybe say : "linux is crap, it doesn't have firefox".

And what windows user will actually take the time installing debian, when debian's current installer will look like crap to them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So much for freedom
by doomvox on Sun 1st Oct 2006 00:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So much for freedom"
doomvox Member since:
2006-09-30

"Let's take a windows user, used to firefox who wants to switch to linux.
This person install a debian and could not find firefox. "


What they should see is a big button sitting there on the desktop labeled "Internet".

But somehow this point has been lost on those useability geniuses at Apple, so it could be that the Gnome/KDE folks will have problems with it as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by linux-it on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:07 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
linux-it Member since:
2006-07-13

The extremism and lack of listening to people is one of the biggest problems with debian.

We don't recommend their sets (including derivates) for this. The clashes we've had with developers on simple things (dselect easily comes to mind) was such that this was ineviteable.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So much for freedom
by evad on Fri 29th Sep 2006 09:39 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
evad Member since:
2005-09-10

I totally agree. Although it may be true that Mozilla can protect "their" Trade Mark, and "their" branding, they forget a few crucial things:

- Firefox and all of the Mozilla projects are open source and have been contributed to by thousands of people. Where do Mozilla get off deciding now that it's solely theirs now and they get to demand Debian has to run all patches by them?

- Debian isn't trying to fork Firefox, it just wants to distribute it, and frankly Debian is massive. Mozilla is shooting itself in the foot.

- Mozilla do not need to protect their brand like this, they really don't. Firefox is massive already, and the brand is understood. How is the brand damaged by Debian releasing it in the distribution?

Common sense prevails here. Although Mozilla may legally be right, stop and ask if legality is actually always the most important thing. Debian sticks to freedom because that is morally and ethically the right thing to do.

Good on you Debian, fight for what is right.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by BluenoseJake on Fri 29th Sep 2006 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE: So much for freedom"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Under American law, they do have to protect thier brand, just like this. So common sense does not prevail.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So much for freedom
by graigsmith on Sat 30th Sep 2006 06:29 UTC in reply to "So much for freedom"
graigsmith Member since:
2006-04-05

mozilla is in the right. debian, is also changing the firefox name. so they are doing what is right also..

i mean, if someone wanted to use the debian name, debian would mail out as cease and desist letter. you just can't make your own os and call it debian. you can say based on debian. like ubuntu is. and you wouldn't be able to use the ubuntu logo and name to make your own os either.

Reply Score: 1

Interesting
by tomcat on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:04 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

GPLv3 was only the tip of the iceberg. What's starting is a clash of ideologies that will eventually need to be reconciled (ie. patents/trademarks vs unfettered sources)

Reply Score: 3

Still favor IceWeasel...
by Devon on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:06 UTC
Devon
Member since:
2005-06-30

...but in my opinion, the most likely new name is something like "Freefox".

But hey, we'll see. The Debian Project can have a sense of humor too... sometimes. ;)

Edited 2006-09-28 23:07

Reply Score: 5

RE: Still favor IceWeasel...
by suslik on Fri 29th Sep 2006 06:12 UTC in reply to "Still favor IceWeasel..."
suslik Member since:
2005-07-27

...but in my opinion, the most likely new name is something like "Freefox".

At least it's not "freedom fLies"

Reply Score: 3

normal
by pinky on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:07 UTC
pinky
Member since:
2005-07-15

that's absolutely normal. Debian is a trademark too and i'm sure Debian wouldn't allow that someone calls a modified Debian distribution Debian.
So don't hyperventilate over the mozilla/firefox trademark. That's totally normal and OK. Firefox is still Free Software but if you call something Firefox it should be the original Firefox like Debian should be Debian, RedHat should be RedHat etc.

Reply Score: 5

RE: normal
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:42 UTC in reply to "normal"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"Debian is a trademark too and i'm sure Debian wouldn't allow that someone calls a modified Debian distribution Debian."

That is true. Look at the GenieOS case, which had to be renamed from "Debian Pure" (GenieOS is just a set of scripts that make installing Debian a bit easier, but the end result is 100% Debian)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: normal
by henning on Fri 29th Sep 2006 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE: normal"
henning Member since:
2006-07-04

and it's not true for Ubuntu. There are a lot Debian Logos in Ubuntu, but Debian didn't send a lawyer, even if there are diputes in other areas...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: normal
by makc on Fri 29th Sep 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: normal"
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

It's not that Debian doesen't want to be recognized as the base of the uberfamous Ubuntu ;)

Reply Score: 1

Iceweasel or Freefox
by Joe User on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:08 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

These were the 2 names that I liked most.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Iceweasel or Freefox
by graigsmith on Sat 30th Sep 2006 06:37 UTC in reply to "Iceweasel or Freefox"
graigsmith Member since:
2006-04-05

freefox? hmmm, it seem's kinda silly to make something called freefox when.. firefox is already free.

Reply Score: 1

Okaaaay...
by DigitalAxis on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:08 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

Well, everything made sense up to the part where Mozilla asked Debian to run any patches by Mozilla beforehand.

Does that apply to all distros? And to all software?

I suspect if they don't like running Firefox without their officially branded Firefox logo, they'll probably like running Firefox without their officially trademarked Firefox NAME even less.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Okaaaay...
by umccullough on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "Okaaaay..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Well, everything made sense up to the part where Mozilla asked Debian to run any patches by Mozilla beforehand.

They're reminding them that if they use the Firefox name and make modifications to the code, they must be officially authorized. If they're not, then they can't use the Firefox name. That is just one more reason that Debian is planning on changing the name.

Basically what Debian is doing here, by re-branding the logo and potentially disregarding Mozilla's wish to officially authorize any patches, is violating the license agreement and forking the code. They can do it, but they must use a new name.

Edited 2006-09-28 23:21

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Okaaaay...
by Devon on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Okaaaay..."
Devon Member since:
2005-06-30

--- "Basically what Debian is doing here, by re-branding the logo and potentially disregarding Mozilla's wish to officially authorize any patches, is violating the license agreement and forking the code."

Not at all! Debian is just a different distributer here. They are no more forking Firefox then they are forking Linux! They are also not violating any license agreement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Okaaaay...
by umccullough on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Okaaaay..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

They are also not violating any license agreement.

Considering they are required to abide by a license agreement in order to use the "not free" trademarked Firefox name - they would essentially be essentially violating the agreement that in order to use it, they must comply with Mozilla's requests.

Thus, they are violating it unless they change the name. It seems like some people here haven't even read the article.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Okaaaay...
by slight on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Okaaaay..."
slight Member since:
2006-09-10

Close but...

The issue is that Debian is happy with the trademarked name but not happy (because of DFSG 8) with the trademarked and copyrighted logo.

However MozCo aren't willing to grant permission to use the name without the logo, and furthermore, aren't willing to allow use of either unless all Debian patches are pre-approved before release by MozCo.

As far as I could tell from the inordinately circular conversation anyway.. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Okaaaay...
by bpepple on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:28 UTC in reply to "Okaaaay..."
bpepple Member since:
2006-01-16

Well, everything made sense up to the part where Mozilla asked Debian to run any patches by Mozilla beforehand.

Does that apply to all distros? And to all software?


Yes. Fedora & Redhat already do this, and if I remember correctly so does Novell/Suse.

Reply Score: 2

IceWeasel
by twenex on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:14 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

I hope they go for IceWeasel. "FreeFox" is probably one of those names that is "too close to FireFox for comfort".

Think about it: If you buy a Ford Mustang and rebrand it as a Jonesmobile Nanking, you're probably not going to get many people buying your car who wanted a "genuine" Ford Mustang; but you will if you brand it a "Frodo Mustard". Microsoft went after "Lindows" for the same reason.

Reply Score: 2

umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

This is how it works guys.

I must be licensed to use the Firefox name/logo also. If I download the Firefox code, modify it to open a bunch of security holes and add in my own malware, I would be in REALLY BIG DOO DOO if I then branded that as "Firefox" and distributed it on the net.

Modifying the code is not a crime, but using the branding without their official authorization would be. You'll see "unofficial ports" of Firefox using the mozilla codenames instead of "Firefox" for much the same reason.

Reply Score: 5

Ithamar Member since:
2006-03-20

Hmmm why is it then that at my work (TomTom, http://www.tomtom.com) we have a customized, patched up linux kernel that we can still call linux, while the linux name is trademarked.

Also, we don't need to run the patches by Linus either to get to agree that we're running Linux on our devices....

(Yes I know Linux (as in the kernel) is not an end-user product, but legally, same thing....)

Reply Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Also, we don't need to run the patches by Linus either to get to agree that we're running Linux on our devices....

If the license agreement stated that you must, and Linus himself decided to force you, you would have to legally comply at that point.

Actually, I doubt you can call it Linux directly - you maybe can say it's "Based on Linux" or "Linux-based" - but that's about all...

Edited 2006-09-28 23:37

Reply Score: 3

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Because you're flying under their radar. Point it out on kernel.org, maybe they'll tell you to call it "TomTomLinux."

Reply Score: 1

RenatoRam Member since:
2005-11-14

Flying under their radar?

Are you kidding? The fact that TomToms run linux is widely known, and being the most successfull (market wise) gps navigation systems, this is often used as an example of linux success.

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

That doesn't mean there's a single Linux developer thinking "TomTom runs Linux, I wonder if we should go after them on trademark issues..."

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

RedHat do the same thing: They allow their software to be redistributed freely, but redistributors cannot do that under the Red Hat name: Thus CeNTOS is "CeNTOS Linux, based on Red Hat [Enterprise] Linux," not "CeNTOS Red Hat Linux".

Reply Score: 4

kbwojo Member since:
2006-06-09

Linux is under a different license than Firefox.

Reply Score: 1

Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

"Hmmm why is it then that at my work (TomTom, http://www.tomtom.com) we have a customized, patched up linux kernel that we can still call linux, while the linux name is trademarked."

Because you can't but since you are so small, they won't prosecute you. However, Linux owns all Linux trademarks, for legal purposes makes people pay for using the name, and he can easily push trademark issues against you if you get too big. This is the only way to protect your brandname. Otherwise, what is to stop Microsoft from setting up a website with the Linux name/Firefox name, tons of their logos, and at the same time introducing lots of security and stability bugs?

Reply Score: 1

Sigh
by omnivector on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:16 UTC
omnivector
Member since:
2005-07-07

And this is why blind obediance to overly strict guidelines is killing Debian while practical distros ship without these problems.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Sigh
by gnemmi on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:54 UTC in reply to "Sigh"
gnemmi Member since:
2006-08-17

well that's kinda funny you see .. because it was actually ".. blind obediance to overly strict guidelines .." what a good share of debian users/devels/comunity-members/unameit were looking for when they found it ...

rules are rules for the good, and for the bad ...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sigh
by Christiaan on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:12 UTC in reply to "Sigh"
Christiaan Member since:
2005-11-15

Bollocks. Debian isn't dying. This isn't a problem for Debian. It's a problem for Mozilla, and therefore a non-issue for end-users.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Sigh
by graigsmith on Sat 30th Sep 2006 06:32 UTC in reply to "Sigh"
graigsmith Member since:
2006-04-05

oh no they had to change a name. its dying!! dying!!! oh please. it's still the same thing they have been shipping just under a different name.

this way debian can do their own quality control on the code. Quality is something debian puts first. what if they went the other way, and someone had a 5 year old distro that was still being supported with an unsupported browser. Debian would be better off with complete control of the code.

Reply Score: 1

The issue isn't just trademarks
by JoeBuck on Thu 28th Sep 2006 23:26 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

The Firefox people object to Debian doing its own security updates and calling the update Firefox. Since Firefox gives priority to Windows, this can put Debian's users at risk. By not using the Firefox name, they are free to do updates as they see fit.

It's too bad that Firefox has this attitude.

Reply Score: 3

Don Grayson Member since:
2006-01-01

The Firefox people object to Debian doing its own security updates and calling the update Firefox. Since Firefox gives priority to Windows, this can put Debian's users at risk. By not using the Firefox name, they are free to do updates as they see fit.

It's too bad that Firefox has this attitude.


Mozilla releases patches for all the platforms it's browser is on at the same time. Considering the Windows platform is 90% of the PC market, I admire the Mozilla foundations continuing efforts to release simultaneously on all it's supported platforms.

When a distro like Debian makes customizations of Firefox, Mozilla needs them to pass the changes by them so that they can verify their own patches work and don't break anything. If anyone is putting Debian users at risk with this behavior, it's Debian.

If anyone has the attitude, it's Debian. They could easily stop adding Firefox to their distro and let the end user decide whether or not to use Firefox rather than taking an action that will amount to duplication of effort at best, forking Firefox at the worst.

Reply Score: 5

happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

If anyone has the attitude, it's Debian. They could easily stop adding Firefox to their distro and let the end user decide whether or not to use Firefox rather than taking an action that will amount to duplication of effort at best, forking Firefox at the worst.




Debian has their own beliefs same as mozilla. it's such a small problem nothing to it. no fork needed. it can be easily resolved with a simple name change, it's that simple.

Reply Score: 3

fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

"Since Firefox gives priority to Windows" : this is the crappiest thing I've read on this thread.

So, firefox for linux, OS-X, and others platforms are not a priority ?!

Is your brain working well ?

Reply Score: 1

rexlunae
Member since:
2006-09-28

"Linux" may be trademarked, but as a brand it is probably not enforceable. IANAL, but I do know that if you do not enforce your trademarks in the US, they become invalid. There are too many instances where Linus has allowed various distros to use the word "Linux" as part of their names without permission. I would be quite surprised to see this trademark actually enforced.

Reply Score: 2

Bang their heads together
by sirrahn on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:04 UTC
sirrahn
Member since:
2006-07-25

You'd think that a pretty easy compromise could be sorted out between these 2 parties that could preseve the 'firefox' name, which is desirable (we hardly unnecessary inconsistencies in Linux right now) and give mozilla the security that what they produce isn't being undermined in anyway.

Of course mozilla should be able to protect the integrity of their brand and of course debian should be able to fit the product to their needs - its called negotiation. By not compromising they're both doing linux a dis-service.

Reply Score: 3

Maybe an analogy would help...
by umccullough on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:27 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

Let's say Coca-cola released the exact recipe for making their famous soft-drink to the public, and allowed EVERYONE to distribute it for free with the only stipulations being:

1. You can call it Coca-Cola as long as you use the same branding design we use officially. If you change the color or design of the branding, you must also change the name.

2. If you modify the recipe without our approval, you can no longer call it Coca-cola.

Now obviously they would not do this, unless they were simply wishing to provide something to the public and be recognized for their contribution to the greater-good of the world. By enforcing the above, they are essentially making sure their name and branding can be attached to every properly mixed product - allowing everyone to ride on their reputation and name-recognition - but if you change something, they don't want to be adversely affected and want you to change the name.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Maybe an analogy would help...
by AndyJ on Fri 29th Sep 2006 04:47 UTC in reply to "Maybe an analogy would help..."
AndyJ Member since:
2005-06-30

Good analogy and I guess that is pretty much what they actually do in fact, only not for the world in general, just the local and national manufacturers in different countries who produce their products under licence. If any of those started messing with the branding or the recipe, you would soon hear about it!!!

Reply Score: 1

Spread the name
by Guido Draheim on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:36 UTC
Guido Draheim
Member since:
2006-01-12

I don't think the new name needs to be too much off - Mozilla does still have an interest in spreading the word that Firefox is used now everywhere. The Debian maintainer can possibly use a name very close to the brand but he needs to ask Mozilla on the matter. "negotiations", let's see next week for more.

Reply Score: 1

buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

The latest seamonkey browser is very cool. I have been using it instead of Firefox since I wanted one application that has Mail and a browser and uses less memory than running Firefox and Thunderbird together.

I have started an effort to create a new theme for the Seamonkey browser so it blends in with Gnome more bringing the aging Netscape GUI out if its Classic 80's look -- finally. I have an early preview release which has the main navigation buttons replaced with Gnome-like buttons. I am developing an add-on for the Seamonkey browser called MonkeyMenu which updates the user interface with a slew of new UI tweaks.

SeaGnome Project:
http://markbokil.org/index.php?section=tech&content=c_linuxseagnome...

MonkeyMenu Add-on:
http://markbokil.org/index.php?section=tech&content=c_linuxmonkeyme...

Reply Score: 2

Isn't Linux a trademark too?
by DevL on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:44 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

Shouldn't Debian be consistent and throw out the Linux kernel or rename it? Or is it okay with trademarked software as long as it's under the GPL?

As for Mozilla requiring any patches to go through them, isn't it a Good Thing (TM) to send patches upstream?

Reply Score: 4

Simple
by sbenitezb on Fri 29th Sep 2006 00:54 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

DELETED because I was fast to say something stupid. Sorry.

Edited 2006-09-29 00:57

Reply Score: 4

Ladies and Gents..
by mattst88 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:00 UTC
mattst88
Member since:
2005-08-27

It doesn't get any more ridiculous than this.

Leave the religion/ideology behind and go about your business.

Reply Score: 0

v Stupid
by sigzero on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:06 UTC
what
by viator on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:12 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

I think this is a good move. Debian needs to have FULL control so theycan fix bugs/security issues in a timely manor without relying on mozilla team. Which is good because now that mozilla hired ex microsoft security "expert" will we only get patches once a month on tuesdays? And will more highlevel security holes/bugs go unplugged fo a long time?

Reply Score: 2

RE: what
by NotParker on Fri 29th Sep 2006 02:15 UTC in reply to "what"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

"Which is good because now that mozilla hired ex microsoft security "expert" will we only get patches once a month on tuesdays? "

I think they release patches every month or whenever the patch counts hits 12. Which has happened a lot this year.

"And will more highlevel security holes/bugs go unplugged fo a long time?"

Its hard to tell. Most of this years patches that we are allowed to look at are because of bugs from3, 6 and 12 months ago.

The rest of the patches (most) have the bugs embargoed and you aren't allowed to look at how old they are:


https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=350640

"You are not authorized to view this bug ... "

I understand why Debian doesn't trust Mozilla to fix bugs on time.

Reply Score: 5

This is why......
by mwh7174 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:18 UTC
mwh7174
Member since:
2006-09-20

This is why i run Slackware and download stuff directly from the people that write it then compile/install it myself. I gave up years ago relying on packages supplied by Linux distributors. They all (especially RedHat) like to hack and modify the software.

Reply Score: 5

how about:
by macisaac on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:22 UTC
macisaac
Member since:
2005-08-28

"the Browser Formerly Known as Firefox"

or this:

O(+>

Reply Score: 2

This is stupid
by CuriosityKills on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:42 UTC
CuriosityKills
Member since:
2005-07-10

Why waste productive energy on all this stupid crap? FireFox is how people know the browser, now making another name will cause even more confusion and multiple versions. Forking is a real big problem in OSS and people still keep doing this stupid shyt instead of making a good product.

BTW i finally was able to install Ubuntu on Thinkpad 600X and i must say it is a nice distribution but far away from windows in hardware support. My darn power management doesn't work and it is just making my laptop so hot that i am sure it will die sooner ;)

So people people people......use your energy in productive stuff and not this bureaucratic crap...

Reply Score: 0

Real Debian becoming a Real pain
by garymax on Fri 29th Sep 2006 01:57 UTC
garymax
Member since:
2006-01-23

For a non-commercial distro, Debian sure has seemed moody as of late. And there has been some in-fighting in the project as well (Dunc Tank comes to mind).

A highly regarded developer quit the project citing internal squabbles; then, Mark Shuttlesworth acknowledged that tension exists between Ubuntu and Debian. And more than one source has noted that Debian is having problems both with the success of Ubuntu as well as the patches that Ubuntu is contributing back to the Debian developers.

Now, Debian decides that Firefox is not free because of the trademark.

I understand that Debian has the social contract and made a point early on to have only "free" software in their distribution. But I think Debian, as well as all distros, need to walk a fine line here or risk being sidelined to obsolescence. Pretty soon, every package will have to be logo free and trademark free. If this kind of thinking remains, many packages will have to be rewritten. I think Debian is going too far.

Debian needs to understand the dynamics of change and balance that with a realistic approach to distro development (trademarks or no) versus an idealism that is so narrow minded so as to be almost impossible to adhere to in the day-to-day Linux world.

Thank God for Slackware!!

Reply Score: 3

Name...
by Anonymous Coward on Fri 29th Sep 2006 02:14 UTC
Anonymous Coward
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the name should be Lounge Lizard....meaning... Easy Gecko based browser...

I can see Mozilla defending their Trademark.

It's like Dell selling Viewsonic and Sony Monitors. They are OEM Supported, so Viewsonic and Sony don't wan their name anywhere on it.

Imagine this...you have a problem with your Debian build of Firefox with an unofficial security patch. You go to Mozilla's forums, and start asking why firefox is behaving in a way cause by this patch, but since it's an unofficial patch, none of the developers can reproduce your error. They can't help you because that patch isn't supported, and isn't part of the offiial code base.

On the Other hand... if these unofficial patches and such are so important to Debian, and aren't for compatibility with something in debian that isn't compatible with everything else... then why don't they submit them to Mozilla to be included in the official build? Wouldn't it be easier? Wouldn't it be better for the community as a whole?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Name...
by sorpigal on Fri 29th Sep 2006 12:24 UTC in reply to "Name..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

On the Other hand... if these unofficial patches and such are so important to Debian, and aren't for compatibility with something in debian that isn't compatible with everything else... then why don't they submit them to Mozilla to be included in the official build? Wouldn't it be easier? Wouldn't it be better for the community as a whole?

This is exactly what Debian does. The process looks like this:

Bug found in firefox gets a Debian bug report. Debian developers look at it and possibly fix it. If they fixed it they apply the fix to the next firefox package that gets built. They also submit the patch to Mozilla.

Mozilla wants them to change this to:

Bug found in firefox gets Debian bug report. Debian developers look at it and possibly fix it. If they fixed it they submit the patch to Mozilla and if it gets incorporated in to Firefox it will be included in a future firefox package.

Reverting to this pre-open source "All changes must be approved by the vendor prior to use" crap is sickening.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Name...
by marcoos on Sat 30th Sep 2006 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Name..."
marcoos Member since:
2006-09-30

Reverting to this pre-open source "All changes must be approved by the vendor prior to use" crap is sickening.

Nope. This is: "All changes must be approved by the vendor prior to use the vendor's trademark, but if you call it something else, you may do whatever the hell you want".

Reply Score: 1

debian + firefox = debfox
by happycamper on Fri 29th Sep 2006 02:43 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

I support the idea to rename firefox in order to still bundle it with the distro and to obey firefox rules, anyway it will still be firefox.

Reply Score: 3

to those annoyed by potential name changes
by scblock on Fri 29th Sep 2006 02:53 UTC
scblock
Member since:
2006-01-29

Do you guys remember Phoenix? How about Firebird. Mozilla (Corporation...) has had to change the name of this thing several times in the past. Trust me, people will see some sort of world or globe icon and click it, recognizing that it is a browser. The application menus for Gnome/KDE will probably say something like Web Browser (well, KDE might reserve that for Konqueror). I personally think Firefox is an awful name anyways.

This whole thing seems silly, but neither party is wrong in this matter. Call it Debian Web Browser (dwb?) and let's all be happy.

I should also mention that none of this should be able to stop anyone from creating debian packages for the official Firefox releases as they come out, or running an unofficial package repository for easy install/update.

Edited 2006-09-29 02:55

Reply Score: 2

atezun Member since:
2005-07-06

This whole thing seems silly, but neither party is wrong in this matter. Call it Debian Web Browser (dwb?) and let's all be happy.

If only we could get the acronym to work out to dweeb somehow.

Reply Score: 1

By any other name...
by ishmal on Fri 29th Sep 2006 03:32 UTC
ishmal
Member since:
2005-11-11

I just use the nightlies, with nightly updates. When it changes its name to Deer Park or Minefield or whatever, I don't care.

Would just "Minefield (aka Firefox)" be enough to put on the desktop menu? I think that someone who installs Debian, and knows what the name means, instead of just "Linux" would know anyway. Pick an intended target audience and do your authoring likewise. You don't always need to assume the user is a moron.

Reply Score: 1

RE: By any other name...
by siki_miki on Fri 29th Sep 2006 11:05 UTC in reply to "By any other name..."
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Regarding names ;) ,
Let's try:

FireSpire (maybe to similar to Freespire)
SpireFox
FireDash
FreeFox (as someone already wrote)
FearFox

(any similarity to Lindows/LinSpire is accidental!)

Reply Score: 1

v Yep
by tmack on Fri 29th Sep 2006 04:19 UTC
RE: Yep
by bosco_bearbank on Fri 29th Sep 2006 11:41 UTC in reply to "Yep"
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

This is exactly why Ubuntu is bitchslapping Debian.

They worry about the experience, not stupid political battles.


I hope you and all the other idiots posting here realize that if Ubuntu decides to do their own, more timely (as compared to Mozilla's) patching of Firefox, then Ubuntu will also need to change the browser's name.

Reply Score: 3

v RIP DEBIAN
by stephanem on Fri 29th Sep 2006 04:23 UTC
Foxy Etch
by Xaero_Vincent on Fri 29th Sep 2006 04:30 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

I guess Debain has been taking notes from our boys at Linspire? Haha.

Reply Score: 1

Open Source Fundamentalism
by AndyJ on Fri 29th Sep 2006 04:42 UTC
AndyJ
Member since:
2005-06-30

You know, the mythical "average user" is just not interested in arguments based on what they perceive as the minutiae of a philosophical or dogma-based argument like this. They just want to run good, free (yes, both kinds) software. To such people, this nitpicking petty bickering is counter-productive. To those who do care, it is disappointing to see squabbling in the Linux/Open source community. From Debian's point of view, to say Firefox is not free enough is their call, all the other popular distros seem to have been happy enough with it. From Mozilla's point of view, it's fair that they should want to ensure their product names are associated with quality products and not some half-hacked crap.

Personally I can't help feeling that this is somehow fall-out from the current Debian wars with Debian appearing, to those of us outside the fight at least, to be ripping itself apart. I have great respect for what Mozilla is doing and think it is a big shame when this kind of Open Source Fundamentalism distracts from that. I used to have respect for Debian - at least for the quality and comprehensiveness of the debian repositories and the distros built on it. With the current spectacle they seem set on making of themself, I am not sure that respect can last.

Sad.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Open Source Fundamentalism
by twenex on Fri 29th Sep 2006 13:28 UTC in reply to "Open Source Fundamentalism"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

You know, the mythical "average user" is just not interested in arguments based on what they perceive as the minutiae of a philosophical or dogma-based argument like this.

Agreed.

They just want to run good, free (yes, both kinds) software. To such people, this nitpicking petty bickering is counter-productive.

You're making it sound like FOSS software is the only software that has this problem. SCO, anyone? Or if you prefer an argument with NO free software involved, try Apple's look-and-feel lawsuits against Digital Research and Microsoft. Or DEC's lawsuits against plug-compatible OEM's. Or Symantec and Adobe's present gripes with Microsoft. The only difference is that those big companies fought it out with lawyers (in courtrooms that were open to the public, mind you) or in the press whereas these foundations, being non-profit or some variation of it, fight it out on mailing lists. The solution, either way, is the same: if you don't want to hear about it, don't read the news.

From Debian's point of view, to say Firefox is not free enough is their call, all the other popular distros seem to have been happy enough with it.

None of the other distros seem to have such strict free software guidelines, or enforce them so strictly if they do.


Personally I can't help feeling that this is somehow fall-out from the current Debian wars with Debian appearing, to those of us outside the fight at least, to be ripping itself apart. I have great respect for what Mozilla is doing and think it is a big shame when this kind of Open Source Fundamentalism distracts from that. I used to have respect for Debian - at least for the quality and comprehensiveness of the debian repositories and the distros built on it. With the current spectacle they seem set on making of themself, I am not sure that respect can last.


Credit where credit is due - if people weren't listening the press wouldn't print these infights. It's not as if Debian's the first organisation to have them - try reading about fallout from the HP/Compaq merger or the shenanigans in Data General (The Soul of a New Machine), for instance.

Reply Score: 2

'linux'
by amaze_9 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 05:06 UTC
amaze_9
Member since:
2005-11-12

Isn't 'Linux' a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds, so 'Debian Linux' is violating it in the same way they are violating the firefox thing?

Reply Score: 1

RE: 'linux'
by Babi Asu on Fri 29th Sep 2006 15:15 UTC in reply to "'linux'"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

Isn't 'Linux' a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds, so 'Debian Linux' is violating it in the same way they are violating the firefox thing?

They will rename it to Debian Linsux later ;)

Reply Score: 0

NetBSD does this
by aditseng on Fri 29th Sep 2006 05:25 UTC
aditseng
Member since:
2006-09-29

If you install netbsd on your system and run firefox, you'll actually be running Deer Park! Fine with me

Reply Score: 4

RE: NetBSD does this
by orestes on Fri 29th Sep 2006 15:34 UTC in reply to "NetBSD does this"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Solaris CR does that too, AFAIK.

Reply Score: 2

YAF: Yet another Firefox ;) N/T
by deb2006 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 05:32 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

N/T

Reply Score: 1

Forking the free code.
by SilentStorm on Fri 29th Sep 2006 06:14 UTC
SilentStorm
Member since:
2006-09-22

I don't think that forking Firefox is a bad move for Debian and its users. If debian wants to update code without mozilla's approval and don't wants to use the firefox logo and this is resulting a name change, it's completely acceptable for me.

I want to remind that Debian is famous for it's stability and its freedom. I'm using Debian for these reasons and I don't mind if I call Firefox as Iceweasel (which sounds cool to me) as long as I can rely on the build quality of it.

Forks will always occur and these forks will also contribute to diversity of code on the internet. This is a side effect but I think it's good too.

P.S: I wonder if Iceweasel can optimize memory usage or speed or become more stable than the original Firefox. I'll probably want to see these comments again.
(Yes I'm a programmer, I know what I'm saying.)

Reply Score: 2

Ah.
by Beryllium on Fri 29th Sep 2006 06:21 UTC
Beryllium
Member since:
2005-07-08

I knew there was a reason I didn't use Debian.

No, wait, this isn't it ... let me think ... hrm ... oh, right, because I prefer the BSD license. I remember now.

Reply Score: 1

ohh, please!
by Andre4s on Fri 29th Sep 2006 06:41 UTC
Andre4s
Member since:
2006-02-10

Do something more important with your time!

Reply Score: 2

Hot air
by miro on Fri 29th Sep 2006 06:44 UTC
miro
Member since:
2005-07-13

For lwn subscribers: http://lwn.net/Articles/200857/.
<simple>
- Mozilla does NOT release for linux the same time as for windows, devs have to go through cvs etc.

- Debian stable uses Firefox 1.0 which is UNSUPPORTED by mozilla, but they(debian) are still producing (security) patches for it.

- A long time Mozilla was fine with Debian producing a patched version, trusting Debian to not produce a flawed version. And suddenly this.

- The language of the representant of Mozilla was kind of rude, probably someone with more corporate background than free/open source.

</simple>

Reply Score: 5

RE: Hot air
by segedunum on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:38 UTC in reply to "Hot air"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Debian stable uses Firefox 1.0 which is UNSUPPORTED by mozilla, but they(debian) are still producing (security) patches for it.

Just that one statement tells you why Debian's development cycle is unworkable in the long term. The place for applying patches, security updates and making sure that they work is a job for the software project in question, not a distributor's and it just creates more work than should be required.

Debian has this 'old software == stable' thing brainwashed into it, and then they've suddenly realised that if they keep an old version of software then they're going to have to maintain it, pull relevant security patches themselves and apply it to their version themselves. It's absolutely silly.

Of course, Debian will argue that new versions incorporate new functionality and need testing, but can they guarantee that the patches they are applying aren't going to have any adverse affect anywhere and have been tested as much as newer versions of Firefox? No, is the simple answer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Hot air
by da_Chicken on Fri 29th Sep 2006 10:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Hot air"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Debian stable uses Firefox 1.0 which is UNSUPPORTED by mozilla, but they(debian) are still producing (security) patches for it.

Just that one statement tells you why Debian's development cycle is unworkable in the long term. The place for applying patches, security updates and making sure that they work is a job for the software project in question, not a distributor's and it just creates more work than should be required.

Debian has this 'old software == stable' thing brainwashed into it, and then they've suddenly realised that if they keep an old version of software then they're going to have to maintain it, pull relevant security patches themselves and apply it to their version themselves. It's absolutely silly.


Debian is currently switching to 18 months long release cycle. That's about the same as RedHat's release cycle and it's considerably faster than the release cycle of Ubuntu LTS. Corporate users prefer distros with slow release cycles and Mozilla's strategy to deny support for old releases will bite every distro that wants to attract corporate users.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Hot air
by macisaac on Fri 29th Sep 2006 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Hot air"
macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

"this 'old software == stable' thing brainwashed into it"

wow, someone else who gets it. I like debian and it's derivatives (well some of them at least) a lot, but what you mention above is dead on. Like I've mentioned before, for our in house distro here which is _nominally_ based on fedora core at this point, most of the packaging for various bits of software collections is done by us (largely me of late), with our own internal beta and gamma release cycles for some degree of sane testing before wider release (ie gamma) to production machines and across campus (I work at a large research university). Generally speaking, I just pull whatever the upstream developers for whatever package declares stable, package it up, run it on my box, if it works decently release to beta, and wait for it's gamma release here to come up. The only time I hack at the original source is when either development has ceased upstream itself (in which case using debian or others' patch diffs can be very helpful), or because there something incompatible or just not quite right with fitting it to our rather unique environment (heavily dependent on AFS, heimdal kerberos, and such). Of course, there's times when you just can't do that, such as when a new release of some important lib breaks compatibility with existing versions of other pieces of software you're currently running, obviously you need to hold off then. And there's a question of priorities as well. Right now were running KDE 3.4.3 with X.org 6.8.2 (+security patches) and it's fine. I do hope to package up 3.5.x along with modular X sometime, but would rather wait until the next minor KDE release before doing so (constantly packaging while the devs are still working out bugs is a waste of time. not to mention that as a university, our release schedule heavily hinges on class semester schedules and such.)

And guess what? It really works out quite well. Running old, deprecated software that no-one but you is maintaining is just plain stupid and a real pain to deal with in the long run (exceptions granted.) Personally, I tend to trust that when the original authors of package foo say "latest stable is 4.0.1 use it, 5.3 is for developers, but <4.0 has X amount of known bugs don't run it" they know more what they're talking about than I would (again, exceptions granted...)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Hot air
by dimosd on Fri 29th Sep 2006 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hot air"
dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

And guess what? It really works out quite well. Running old, deprecated software that no-one but you is maintaining is just plain stupid and a real pain to deal with in the long run (exceptions granted.)

I absolutely agree. There's something fundamentally wrong with the idea of packaging a huge amount of programs and offering as a single product ("distribution"). Either upgrade everything (and break things that used to work fine, and don't care much about) or you don't get to play with the one or two things that you actually care about being up to date (and are officially declared stable by their developers).

You can compile from source, but that's not realistic for the general case of desktop Linux.

I think it should be up to the developers themselves to package their programs, and offer security updates between stable versions! (sounds familiar?). But you can't do that in Linux (now?...). Too many "standards" and #*@& distributions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hot air
by jonas on Fri 29th Sep 2006 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hot air"
jonas Member since:
2005-07-08

Although debian is a general purpose distribution, most people are going to fall into the desktop crowd. This is usually quite a vocal crowd here (and similar places) and they have a kinda skewed view of what is stable and what is not.

Desktop development happens at a fast pace, and 'newer' almost always means 'more stable' and 'more features'. Contrast this with, say, Apache, where many people are still running 1.x after 50+ releases of 2.x. Server software is usually more carefully developed, and 'big releases' usually mean 'something is broken that could cause a QOS issue'. Configuration usually spans multiple directories and in some cases multiple weeks of development and testing.

There's another side to it all, too. DE's are relatively self-contained.. but server software has to interoperate. If your email server gets updated and there was a minor change in the config file format which makes it stop working, this could be a problem for a lot of other applications that rely on this service. If you upgrade php but are using webservices that break on the newest version, you might have a problem on your hands.

The big server software out there have generally a slower, more patient development and well known security advisory's and patches.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Hot air
by macisaac on Fri 29th Sep 2006 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hot air"
macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

there's truth in what you're saying. keep in mind though, running the latest stable in something like apache (or mysql, etc.) doesn't necessary mean you're running that most recent bleeding edge 2.2.x or whatever. what it mean is that if you're running 1.3 (as we are currently) you're running the latest 1.3.x that's released (after internal testing, blah blah blah) and not sticking on some old revision that may/will contain problems which the new one has already solved. that's what I was referring to by keeping up to date on upstream stable releases (for both your desktops and servers, both of which I deal with here)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hot air
by marcoos on Sat 30th Sep 2006 09:54 UTC in reply to "Hot air"
marcoos Member since:
2006-09-30

- Mozilla does NOT release for linux the same time as for windows

This is bullshit. Mozilla releases Firefox and Thunderbird for all of three tier-1 platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux) simultaneously. Just check www.mozilla.com after each release...

- Debian stable uses Firefox 1.0 which is UNSUPPORTED by mozilla, but they(debian) are still producing (security) patches for it.

OK. Doesn't Mozilla let them do it? They do. They just don't want Debian to call their fork Firefox.

If I started releasing some ancient, patched by me, but unsupported Debian (1.0?) and was calling it "Debian" and using the official logo, wouldn't Debian be mad at me?

BTW. all users should really upgrade from Firefox 1.0 to a newer version. I see no reason to use 1.0 anymore.

Reply Score: 1

I find it amusing
by deathshadow on Fri 29th Sep 2006 07:27 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

... that the lions share of posters here are badmouthing Firefox/Mozilla for daring to try and have their trademark, aka proper credit and recognition much less branding of thier product, enforced. GOD FORBID. Oh yeah, Mozilla has so much to be ashamed of, RIGHT...

You want to point the finger, do it at the dirty hippy idealism the 'free as in freedom' philosophy over at debian where they don't want to include Firefox's logo/branding because it's trademarked... If that doesn't send up a warning flag in your head, you need a few lessons in business ethics.

But, welcome to the real 'power' of open source - any jackass can come along, do little more than rename the product, give you the finger and walk off with your work so long as your name is buried in the source code somewhere... Oh yeah, programmers should just line up to support this idea.

Of course that the cornerstone of every Open Source project is a overblown EULA that SHOULD have about as much legal standing as a unsigned pre-nup...

Reply Score: 3

RE: I find it amusing
by dimosd on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:26 UTC in reply to "I find it amusing"
dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

... that the lions share of posters here are badmouthing Firefox/Mozilla for daring to try and have their trademark, aka proper credit and recognition much less branding of thier product, enforced. GOD FORBID. Oh yeah, Mozilla has so much to be ashamed of, RIGHT...

Debian has done the same thing itself. Anyone remembers "Pure Debian", later renamed GenieOS? It was just Debian Sarge that installed Gnome or KDE out of the box (without "apt-get whats-its-name"), aimed to facilitate and promote the use of Debian on the desktop (instead of, say, Ubuntu). But, it infriged Debian's trademark, so the guy had to rename his little project "or else".

Church of Open Source? Welcome to reality.

Reply Score: 2

happy osnews subscriber
by jimjimjim1 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:04 UTC
jimjimjim1
Member since:
2006-08-22

its just a name guys. i dont see a big problem, look at the logo for linspire firefox its great, better than the official, i know what i will do,, just rename the shortcut to the application

Reply Score: 1

Here's what FreeBSD did
by dimosd on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:19 UTC
dimosd
Member since:
2006-02-10

It's offering an officially blessed version of Firefox (approved patches and branding), and both sides are happy.

Maybe Debian works differently, but, can't both Debian and Mozilla get along somehow?

Reply Score: 3

Thank you Debian
by Jarek Poplawski on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:30 UTC
Jarek Poplawski
Member since:
2006-06-09

I don't understand "Debian way" in many places, but here
I have no doubts. Mozilla is playing strange rules
(Red Hat way) and it is sufficient to imagine how
linux world would look if all other programs try the same.

I think it's a matter of primary interest of all distros to oppose - not regarding - do they patch or not.

Reply Score: 2

Debian Firefox anyone ?
by lord_rob on Fri 29th Sep 2006 08:59 UTC
lord_rob
Member since:
2005-08-06

Well, Thunderbird is called Debian Thunderbord anyway. If the browser is called Debian Firefox instead of Firefox alone, it's easy not to confound it with official Mozilla Thunderbird, isn't it ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Debian Firefox anyone ?
by eMagius on Fri 29th Sep 2006 13:52 UTC in reply to "Debian Firefox anyone ?"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Thunderbird is called Debian Thunderbord anyway. If the browser is called Debian Firefox

You mean Debian FireFix, don't you? ;)

Edited 2006-09-29 13:52

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Debian Firefox anyone ?
by lord_rob on Fri 29th Sep 2006 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian Firefox anyone ?"
lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

Haha good one really ;) . I was wondering why you were telling me that. Then I read my post again then I laughed, I'm still laughing :-D

Reply Score: 1

Dorland said...
by damp on Fri 29th Sep 2006 09:01 UTC
damp
Member since:
2006-03-19

"But I suppose on a day-to-day basis having to seek approval for patches would make working on the package a lot less fun." - And when your entire "product" is based on free community work, then it seems to me like a valid choice and the whole thing is not going to mean anything other then the name and icon.

Its not like debian rewrites big parts of firefox, just what is needed to comply with they softare rules and then they release security paches which i'am guessing are based on mozillas own patches, so come on it just a simple name change.

No need to say debian or mozilla is one thing or another. They just read and follow the license thats more than most end-users.

Edited 2006-09-29 09:04

Reply Score: 1

so how is this different
by martingumucio on Fri 29th Sep 2006 09:29 UTC
martingumucio
Member since:
2006-06-22

What makes this diffeent from Epiphany, the gnome browser of choice.

As far as i understand it is based on the the Firefox engine? There is absolutely no Firefox branding going on, and thats how i like it. If want an "experience" why dont I just run some consumer os?

I love Open Source, but these licensing battles bore me to tears.

Reply Score: 1

RE: so how is this different
by sorpigal on Fri 29th Sep 2006 12:40 UTC in reply to "so how is this different"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

What makes this diffeent from Epiphany, the gnome browser of choice.

Epiphany uses the same HTML/JS engine as Firefox and Mozilla, but the UI is written from scratch in GTK2 and not XUL. Much like Galeon or K-Meleon, Epiphany is a library from Mozilla with an application written on top of it.

Debian's Firefox, on the other hand, is Firefox plus some security patches that upstream either wont apply or has not applied yet, plus some minor distro-specific tweaks to make Firefox comply with Debian policy.

Reply Score: 4

And so they should
by RawMustard on Fri 29th Sep 2006 09:35 UTC
RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

If they change it in anyway, it's not firefox anymore and should not carry its name or branding. I don't like the way distro's modify firefox to suit their own ideas or distro'. Usually they screw it up like firefox in Ubuntu which is completely borked! I don't blame the mozilla people from looking after their good name!

Reply Score: 1

v No biggie
by rexbinary on Fri 29th Sep 2006 09:40 UTC
What exactly is the problem here?
by da_Chicken on Fri 29th Sep 2006 10:28 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

For a long time Mozilla was OK with what Debian did with Firefox. But now they have suddenly found that they are not OK with it and they want Debian to rebrand the Firefox version that Debian packages. Debian answers that all right, we'll rebrand it if that is what you wish.

Then suddenly there's a 100 posts at OSNews, with a large percentage of them saying that they don't like how Debian always fights with others (and with itself) and that this dispute with Mozilla proves that Debian is ripping itself apart with its petty politics.

I don't get it. Debian complies to Mozilla's demands and promises to rebrand Firefox. Where's the argument here, where's the dispute? It seems to me that Mozilla and Debian have found an easy agreement. How exactly is Debian ripping itself apart by changing the name of the Firefox version that they package?

Anyway, my suggestion is that Debian should rebrand Firefox to Hotdog. I'd rather browse the Web with Hotdog than with Firefox. :-P

Reply Score: 5

korpenkraxar Member since:
2005-09-10

You said it dude, and thunderbird could easily be Mustard. I hope this gets backported to Potato :-p

Edited 2006-09-30 09:25

Reply Score: 1

This is critical situation
by siki_miki on Fri 29th Sep 2006 10:57 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

As it seems that trademarks can actually override what license says about right for distribution, as long as project name is used. Mozilla foundation can essentially forbid anyone and without the reason to use product called firefox with that name, no?

For example if gcc trademark owner (a hypothetical examaple) wanted to force redhat not to include broken gcc 2.9.5, I'd forbid them to use gcc name for a executable if this one is 2.9.5, essentially blackmailing them into including older version, or call it rhcc etc.

What if Microsoft offered Linus 500 million dollars for Linux trademark and actually started using that name for their product (of course Linus can't be bought, but such "what if" cases should be considered).

This also has good sides (e.g. forcing varous vendors not to include hacked/adware version versions of firefox into their product), but can also be heavily misused (e.g. Apple blackmailed linux distros which called their theme aqua).

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is critical situation
by ma_d on Fri 29th Sep 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "This is critical situation"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

No, completely wrong. They can prevent you from marketing anything with their name, especially if it's a modified version.

Copyright protects the intellectual property that you'd be copying.
Trademark protects the branding.

Get it?

Reply Score: 1

Hmmm.
by dhardison on Fri 29th Sep 2006 13:04 UTC
dhardison
Member since:
2005-07-06

Both sides seem to be acting a little anal over the whole thing. Maybe Debian more so.... but they've always been a little anal, right?

Edited 2006-09-29 13:04

Reply Score: 2

walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

How does trademarking a logo make software non-F/OSS?

I thought F/OSS had to do with code?

Reply Score: 3

Nothing critical at all:
by deb2006 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 14:08 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

I think Firefox is called Deer Park in Solaris. So what's the fuss? Mozilla has the right to demand these things, Debian has the right to take the source, apply patches and distribute former Firefox under a different name. Perfectly ok.

Reply Score: 4

I changed my mind
by csousa on Fri 29th Sep 2006 15:24 UTC
csousa
Member since:
2006-02-04

Ok, after read must of your comments I cnhaged my mind and I have to agree with mozilla fundation: They are the right to defend your own name."Firefox" must represent only only one product and nothing else.

I submit this article and I'm very happy with the knowledge that I extact from your comments

Reply Score: 1

_very_ strict
by AdamW on Fri 29th Sep 2006 15:50 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Debian adheres to a strict interpretation of what is Free Software and what isn't."

Given that this whole thing is about a logo, which is clearly not 'software', I'd say that sentence is either garbage or even more true than intended. ;)

Reply Score: 1

v This is why I switched to Ubuntu!
by werfu on Fri 29th Sep 2006 17:15 UTC
Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

I agree with you that Debian has gone too far. I really hate the F(ree)S(oftware)F(anatism) mentallity. I would agree that it is good to set up policies to protect free software but how is protecting trademarks related to protecting free software? If anything, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Debian is run by hopefully a rational group of people. Why not let them decide when software is free and when it isn't rather than trying to let a computer running binary processing make that decision.

Reply Score: 0

deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

This is crap - and you know it. Debian does this in order to be able to apply its own (security) patches. Well, what is Debian's strength? Right, security and stability. We've heard that other operating systems are doing exacly the same thing - NetBSD, Soilaris. Well, guess why.

Reply Score: 2

Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

I'm glad that someone actually bothered to mark my score down. Just wondering just exactly which of the following categories warranted such a mark down:

Yes, this comment includes personal attacks/offensive language
Yes, this comment is off-topic
Yes, this comment is spam or includes advertisements
Yes, I disagree with this user/opinion

Can you please tell me because I would like to know?

Regarding the issue, I wonder what Debian would say if I decided to make my own distribution, based it on Debian, and (what a shock) then proceeded to call my modified distribution Debian. And after calling it Debian, how about if I changed their logo and placed a picture of Bill Gates. Finally, imagine I then went on to distribute my Debian to millions of users. I would imagine I will receive cease and desist letter rather quickly from the Debian Foundation. As I said, this is clearly a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

Edited 2006-09-29 20:15

Reply Score: 1

deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

I marked it down because it's FUD - I did explain it.

Anyway, you still don't understand what this is all about. It's perfectly ok of Mozilla to demand things. On the other hand it's perfectly ok of Debian to do what they do because they have a very good reason. I have also explained this. So what is your problem?

Reply Score: 3

Quag7 Member since:
2005-07-28

FUD is this meaningless cliche thrown around on message boards like this. It has zero - whatsoever - to do with a negative opinion of X, Y, or Z on a board dedicated to technical discussion. By definition, any objection to any trend in computing is lowercase fear, uncertainty, or doubt, but FUD is a sort of deliberate deception on behalf of business types to discourage the purchase of a competitor's product.

I'm sick and tired of seeing opinions modded down just because they're contrarian or critical of something. I did what I could do to mod this back up - one point - to zero.

And incidentally I don't even necessarily agree with the message that was modded down, but I recognize it for what it is - a differing opinion.

But since another user took it on himself to decide that others shouldn't read Don T. Bothers's comment because he disagreed with its sentiment, this is what it said:

"I agree with you that Debian has gone too far. I really hate the F(ree)S(oftware)F(anatism) mentallity. I would agree that it is good to set up policies to protect free software but how is protecting trademarks related to protecting free software? If anything, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Debian is run by hopefully a rational group of people. Why not let them decide when software is free and when it isn't rather than trying to let a computer running binary processing make that decision."

Reply Score: 1

pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

My Ubuntu doesn't come with a firefox logo, and soon (I guess) it will no longer come with the firefox name. I think Mozilla is cutting off their own nose this way, as less people will be using their brand names.

Reply Score: 2

New Name
by oracle2025 on Fri 29th Sep 2006 20:58 UTC
oracle2025
Member since:
2005-07-11

possible new name for debian firefox:

firefoks

I like that.

Reply Score: 1

debian to change name ?
by mmu_man on Sat 30th Sep 2006 07:56 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

http://www.debian.org/index.en.html :
Debian is a registered trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

They should probably remove "debian" from their distro too... Oh and Linux is also a trademark, isn't it ?

Reply Score: 1

Debian need to get some perspective
by stevenaaus on Sat 30th Sep 2006 23:10 UTC
stevenaaus
Member since:
2006-05-30

Firefox is a very important project.

Debian can't even bend their rules to allow for a **free as in we say it is** logo. Come on guys, get some perspective.. Pay some respect to this essential piece of software and stop being kids.

Reply Score: 1