Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 12th Apr 2007 18:29 UTC, submitted by Flatline
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "In the usual announcement to the Ubuntu developer list Ubuntu founder Mark Suttleworth this morning announced the name of the next Ubuntu release plus one, due out in October 2007: Gutsy Gibbon. Gutsy will follow Feisty Fawn due for release on April 19. But, more interestingly, Shuttleworth also talked of a new ultra-free version of Ubuntu that can be expected alongside Gutsy Gibbon."
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(Perhaps stupid) ultra-free Ubuntu question
by shykid on Thu 12th Apr 2007 18:53 UTC
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The new "flavour" of Ubuntu will take "an ultra-orthodox view of licensing: no firmware, drivers, imagery, sounds, applications, or other content which do not include full source materials and come with full rights of modification, remixing and redistribution ... for those who demand a super-strict interpretation of the 'free' in free software," said Shuttleworth.

Pardon my ignorance, but I thought that regular Ubuntu fit this description, that being why a lot of graphics drivers, media codecs and the like are not included. Exactly how would the "ultra-free" version be different? I'm confused here.

Edited 2007-04-12 18:53

Reply Score: 1

Devilotx Member since:

there are things like drivers for wireless cards and what not that are included in the stock Ubuntu for ease of use. However FSF purists balk at that idea.

Reply Parent Score: 4

shykid Member since:

I figure if the regular Ubuntu has some proprietary drivers, they would include others, specifically the graphics drivers. Why don't they include them then?

Edited 2007-04-12 19:02

Reply Parent Score: 3

tmanop2006 Member since:

It means it will "Ultra Break" more often, and be "Ultra Useless" faster than the standard version.

Reply Parent Score: 5

kristoph Member since:

More than likely the reason for the 'ultra free' version is to counteract any negative perception of a future 'partially free' version which will include propriatry components in the name of ease of use/user experience.


Reply Parent Score: 5

rhyder Member since:

I say that they split it into 'ultra-free' and 'apolitical, maximum ease of use and utility for people who aren't bothered'.

I'll take the second one and the people who are opposed to proprietary and closed source software can have their version.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Luminair Member since:

Future versions of ubuntu will include more and more unpure things. Thats why a new ultra-pure version will be established. Standard ubuntu will slip down the slope of un-free. (which is good for users)

Reply Parent Score: 3

John Nilsson Member since:

(which is good for users)

Well, that's just it. The theory goes that in the long run it's bad for users. The FSF stance is that promoting or aiding proprietary software to spread is evil exactly because the general population gives up their freedom to easily. By luring them into using proprietary software you have contributed to robbing them of their freedom.

The short-term fix may be to skip the hard work of reimplementing what functionality is already served proprietary. But in the long run that will leave the user without the power to help himself or his neighbor with their software.

Reply Parent Score: 4

SeanVernell Member since:

"The better name is Ultra-FSF, with a resemblance sense to Ultra-Nazi. It's limiting the user choice to use anything whatever the license".

I'll refrain from commenting on the first point you made as I'm not sure I understand it. As to the second, I think you may have misenterpreted the intent of this discussed release. Far from limtiting choice, it extends choice. From what I understand one can either choose a 'regular' Ubuntu that includes some select propietary components, or they can choose an entirely free-software version. Therefore the "restriction" of which you write is entirely self-imposed. I myself use a few proprietary components (codecs and flash) but nonetheless, I am all for the new release. For anyone who so vehemently opposes a free-only version of Ubuntu to the point that they could no longer face running the distro, there will always be (among gazillions of other distros, debian based or otherwise) Mepis and Freespire, which are both Ubuntu based and make compromises with proprietary software.

So what could possibly be the harm?

Reply Parent Score: 2