Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 26th Apr 2007 01:19 UTC, submitted by muszek
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Ubuntu Open Week is a series of IRC meetings of people behind the distribution and the community. Mark Shuttleworth answered various questions on Tuesday and Wednesday. The interview covers many issues, including: GPL v3, proprietary software, Microsoft's $3 project, Launchpad, non-free stuff in Ubuntu, April 19th siege of ubuntu.com, Canonical vs. Ubuntu Foundation, becoming F/OSS contributor. Full logs are available on Ubuntu wiki. Ubuntu News has a digest with the most interesting pieces. Also, another interview with Mark is here and four interesting Ubuntu articles are here, here, here and here.
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Accent
by nicholas on Thu 26th Apr 2007 03:16 UTC
nicholas
Member since:
2005-07-07

He sounds more Aussie than Saffer.

Reply Score: 1

3$ MS Plan
by abhaysahai on Thu 26th Apr 2007 03:52 UTC
abhaysahai
Member since:
2005-10-20

I really liked his honest answer to 3$ Windows Offer.
A Free Linux distribution is a lot more than a basic restricted version of a Windows OS.
For starters, OpenOffice/Koffice will have PowerPoint equivalent Presentation software.

I believe students would like to explore things on their own and Linux presents them with that opportunity. They can customize their installed software.
Programming is an essential part of most computer science courses.
C++ servers as a good language to start with and Linux offers great IDE like Kdevelop and ofcourse the command line gcc/g++ tools.
Whereas Visual Studio still costs a bomb.

Lastly as Mark said, source code is a great place to learn, not just about one software, but also about good programming practices. Exposure to source code opens a whole new world.

I can understand that a normal Office going person in Bank or govt office might be content with a OS and normal word/excel, but for a student opensource is the home.

Lets not forget, Linus Torvalds used opensource Minix as the basic of his Masters thesis --- Linux.

Edited 2007-04-26 03:53

Reply Score: 5

RE: 3$ MS Plan
by Chicken Blood on Thu 26th Apr 2007 04:46 UTC in reply to "3$ MS Plan"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

Visual Studio Express is free.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 3$ MS Plan
by ebasconp on Thu 26th Apr 2007 05:04 UTC in reply to "RE: 3$ MS Plan"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

But I dunno if Visual Studio express can run on XP Starter with the long list of constraints it comes!

If the machine has no Internet connectivity... where do I suppose that I am going to download the VisualStudioExpress? in a Windows XP full machine? in a Linux box?

Edited 2007-04-26 05:07

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: 3$ MS Plan
by systyrant on Thu 26th Apr 2007 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 3$ MS Plan"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

Personally I think if you have to use Windows Starter then you are better off using Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 3$ MS Plan
by systyrant on Thu 26th Apr 2007 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: 3$ MS Plan"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

So is SharpDevelop (http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/). It's not a bad little IDE (doesn't work on Linux, but then neither does VisualStudio).

Reply Score: 1

RE: 3$ MS Plan
by systyrant on Thu 26th Apr 2007 15:00 UTC in reply to "3$ MS Plan"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

Let me say that I disagree with you that C++ is a good starter language, but I will concede that somebody going after a degree in CS will have to learn it. However, if a degree in CS is what you are going after then Linux or BSD would be the best place to learn. Basically for all the reason you've stated. Many IDE's, available source code to reference, and a wealth support from the community.

Linux and BSD are also good places to start or get into if you have any interest in computer technology regardless whether or not you are seeking a degree.

Reply Score: 1

comments
by butters on Thu 26th Apr 2007 07:51 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

i think the free software community should assume that we are going to have to build our own leaders in each of the major software categories. because, unless something changes and linux users start to be willing to pay for apps, the ISV's are unlikely to port

Right. I also think we need to realize that these proprietary applications aren't great fits for the free software desktop anyway. Our approach is about modularity, integration, and code reuse amongst applications. Their's is about selling a self-sufficient monolith whose underlying framework usually isn't useful for or reusable by any other application. This is the same reason why OpenOffice and Firefox aren't outstanding citizens of the free software desktop.

the kubuntu team will expand, but i think kubuntu will always be more independent of canonical, which is in many was a good thing. somethings happen first in ubuntu, because that's where we focus our resources for new releases,

What about when KDE4 hits its stride, leaving GNOME in a not-so-competitive position? I believe that Ubuntu chose GNOME because it was more usable at the time. Are they open to change, or are they committed to GNOME for the long haul?

if there were multiple LP's, people would have to do that work multiple times.

We don't want multiple Launchpads, but that doesn't mean the code has to be proprietary, and that doesn't mean that Canonical is the best entity within the free software community to be its steward. Any licensing model that prevents the proliferation of Launchpad servers also prevents the free software community from taking back control of the Launchpad if/when Canonical misbehaves or stops running the server. We should all be able to contribute to the development of Launchpad as a free software project. This is one of those situations where we just need to agree on an entity to steward the production server and agree on a replacement steward if the need should arise. The FSF would be a reasonable choice.

right now we have the luxury of having plenty of funding and a long-term mandate to change the economics of the software industry in a profound, philanthropic and commercial way.

This is why, despite its flaws compared to some other distributions, I support the Ubuntu Project and hope that Canonical will become a great success. They represent, from a philosophical standpoint, the best thing to happen to the free software community since Debian was founded. They really want to change the software industry the right way, on our own terms, not like that other Linux vendor whose intentions scare the crap out of us.

next week you will see two big announcements, one of which will probably dominate the media, but both are really nice steps towards sustainability for the project.

I can only speculate that Jonathan Schwartz knows all about the bigger one. I correctly guessed what they had in mind when hiring Ian Murdock, so let's see if I'm on target as to the timeline and the distribution partner.

Edited 2007-04-26 07:52

Reply Score: 5

RE: comments
by yak8998 on Thu 26th Apr 2007 12:34 UTC in reply to "comments"
yak8998 Member since:
2006-07-28

I've really never understood his comments regarding launchpad - they all sound like BS to me. This time it didn't even make much sense with regards to the "multiple solutions." Anyone clarify what he means?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: comments
by butters on Thu 26th Apr 2007 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE: comments"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Launchpad is intended to consolidate bugs from many free software projects into one shared tracker so that projects can collaborate on bugs that affect multiple projects. If there's one Launchpad server in the entire universe, then projects either use it or they don't. If there's more than one, then they compete for projects, and the data might not be easily shared between projects that use different Launchpads.

Canonical wants to run the world's one and only Launchpad. We only want one Launchpad, but eventually someone is going to come up with a better Launchpad and projects are going to want to switch. Making Launchpad proprietary won't prevent competition in the cross-project issue tracker space. It will just slow down innovation, and the eventual competitors will be less interoperable with Launchpad than if they were derivative works.

Reply Score: 2

The DRM posting is very interesting.
by TBPrince on Thu 26th Apr 2007 10:25 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

It might be off-topic maybe, but be sure to read Shuttleworth's analysis on DRM status. He's been very clever AND very objective in that and it's much different than usual Linux community rants about that.

For the first time I read someone connected to open-source be objective about DRM in stating that DRM is not a problem and question is not wether to support DRMs or not but they business model around it.

It is very interesting that he never mentions any OS and its support because he clearly agrees that OS support IS NOT the real problem. Good reading.

Reply Score: 2

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

>AND very objective

Business man Vs community. You should think about the latter and the damage DRM does to culture!

Reply Score: 1

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

I suggest that you read that article.

DRM damaging culture? Blame authors, not distributors. No-one is forcing your favourite author to distribute using DRM. He could just distribute in other ways. Of course, if he/she wants good money, he will bow to distributors but yet he/she's the one to blame. That's the part so-called community refuses to accept.

Shuttleworth's analysis is very clever since he warns distributors that they're the weak ring in this chain. Authors will survive, customers will survive as well, but if someone finds a better business model, distributors will be kicked out of their business. Seems ODD to say that but to a better analysis, that's what's happening.

P.S. If your favourite author was really interested in "culture", he would give you his work to you. Beware of blaming the wrong ring in the chain, though majors ARE bad, greedy and so on.

Reply Score: 2

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

P.S. If your favourite author was really interested in "culture", he would give you his work to you. Beware of blaming the wrong ring in the chain, though majors ARE bad, greedy and so on.

Like my favorite SF author Cory Doctorow who is also a convert to Ubuntu from OSX.

Reply Score: 2

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

No-one is forcing your favourite author to distribute using DRM. He could just distribute in other ways. Of course, if he/she wants good money, he will bow to distributors but yet he/she's the one to blame.


Yo, blame the one who's gotta eat [well, not literally, but you get the point]. Think about it this way: who's got more power to lay the rules, the artist or the distributor ? Yes, there are some other ways to distribute your stuff, still, compare the moneys earned. One solution would be that a distributor company would pop up and offer good deals to artists and distribute drm-free. But thing is, what do you think, would the other distributors let that happen ? One can be optimistic, still, reality is reality.

Reply Score: 3

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

That's not true.

Majors are greedy but so are authors. You can't sign a 20millions - 5millions - 1million contract with your author and then distribute for free. Unless you print money, of course ;-)

If authors would really care about cheap music/movies/works, they wouldn't ask for millions as prize. But they don't. Of course, if a major gives u 1 millions, that's only because they think they will gain 10x. But I've never heard of anyone stating "10 millions for my next record?? No, that's way too much! I will ask 10 thousands...".

Reply Score: 1

markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

For the first time I read someone connected to open-source be objective about DRM in stating that DRM is not a problem and question is not wether to support DRMs or not but they business model around it.

Perhaps you hadn't seen that even Linus Torvalds has stated thus in very clear terms: "I want to make it clear that DRM is perfectly ok with Linux!".[1]

[1] http://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/2003042401126OSKNLL
Dated 23 April 2003 (yup, 4 years ago)

EDITED for source information...

Edited 2007-04-26 16:10

Reply Score: 3

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks. That discussione is partly different than the one Shuttleworth was having but anyway I have to concede he's not "the first one" ;-)

Anyway, Torvalds was discussing it under a tech point of view while Shuttleworth was instead discussing commercial implications.

But thanks anyway.

Reply Score: 2

"Taking freedom further"
by da_Chicken on Thu 26th Apr 2007 12:55 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

Shuttleworth has a good sense of humour, in the interview he says he likes the satirical comic strip "Everybody loves Eric Raymond":
http://geekz.co.uk/lovesraymond/archive/taking-freedom-further

Reply Score: 2

ISVs on Linux (like Photoshop)
by Touvan on Thu 26th Apr 2007 16:20 UTC
Touvan
Member since:
2006-09-01

It was great that Mark spoke so honestly about the market prospects for commercial software (that free software users really will not pay for software). However, I think he missed two important markets where I think people will be willing to pay.

The first market is companies - including small companies - that are willing to purchase OEM equipment with Linux preinstalled. These companies would have no reason to avoid purchasing something like Photoshop, Flex, etc. proprietary software that isn't targeted at home users anyway. In fact, most of Adobe's stuff in particular has always been targeted at a professional market, and they will still be willing to pay for software, even if they don't want to pay for Windows (for whatever reason). In Adobe's case, this may apply more directly to developers, since their developer market has really diverged (or is in the process of doing so) from Microsoft's developer market. Adobe's designer market is probably mostly on Macs anyway.

The other market is gamers. Gamers often prefer free (as in beer) software (you know what I mean), but when it comes to their games are often willing to shell out the cash for access to online communities (like Counter Strike, and World of Warcraft).

What's more, these two markets tend to be mavens (or sneezers as I've heard them referred to recently), meaning that they are the ones who set trends, and are likely to make it feasible for Linux to spread onto more casual desktops.

Admittedly, both of these markets are missing step one - no OEMs offering Desktop linux, and games are just not ready on Linux yet. I do believe these are the best two markets to move into for Desktop Linux vendors and ISVs (Adobe specifically - and game makers) who wish to sell proprietary software to Linux users.

Finally, most users who get an OS get it when they buy their computers. So while Mark's evaluation of the current market (self installers, trying to save a buck) might be somewhat accurate, once the OEM hurdle has been cleared, users who were willing to spend money on a computer, will likely be willing to spend money on software to run on those computers, regardless of which OS it runs.


Note: I think ISV has kind of become code for "Adobe" in an odd way, since most people are really saying they want Photoshop to run on Linux (or other Adobe software). It's interesting to note that some other ISVs like many of the 3d vendors, have had Unix versions of their software for years. So in that way, some ISV software is already covered.

Reply Score: 2

Southern.Pride Member since:
2006-09-14

Photoshop, Adobe and the rest are cpu hogs, I use Xpdf or something else and I do not need any of the bloated programs from Adobe, since they purchased flash and so on it is a disaster.

Reply Score: 2