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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Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

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:
2005-07-06

(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

brother bloat Member since:
2005-07-06

Between some very solid (and popular) releases, excellent community (and consequently some great documentation), and the amount publicity surrounding Ubuntu, the choices made by the Ubuntu development community can have real, noticeable impact on the state of desktop Linux.

The fact of the matter is that with an entirely free distro, the developers can have the blindfold of binary blob black boxes removed and thus will be able to make the system that much more stable. Currently, using non-free drivers means we (as developers and as users) need to rely on companies' code.

This means, for example, that if nVidia doesn't devote much time to making their Linux driver work nicely, Linux users are stuck with a buggy driver that the Linux nVidia community can decide not to use only at the cost of 3d acceleration. But imagine if projects like Nouveau had the strength and support of Ubuntu's community behind it! We could stop using nVidia's (somewhat) buggy driver, and never look back.

Ultimately, as Ubuntu and other "Linuces" become more popular, their ability to pressure companies like nVidia, ATI, and others to release open-source drivers will continue to grow. With choices like this one, to include only free drivers, we as a community are starting to use that new power. In doing so, we are sending the message that information and software should be free. In my opinion, this can only be a good thing in the long run.

Edited 2007-04-13 02:41

Reply Parent Score: 4

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Sometimes you have to take a step backward to take two steps forward. Which would you rather have: a purely open software system, OR a system that is X times more popular, drawing in Y more developers, but it uses proprietary video card drivers.

If you want people to use a product, you have to think of them. They want their software to work, because they don't care about it. They have more important things to do than wrangle with the OS on their microwave or computer. I think some members of the FSF need a reality check -- The world is so much bigger and better than nerds like us. SO much bigger.

"in the long run that will leave the user without the power to help himself or his neighbor with their software"

The world runs on Windows, and people are getting along just fine without needing friends to come tweak and recompile their system.

No one can predict the distant future. Maybe chastising users because Nvidia has a business to run is a good idea for 2017, and maybe it isn't. But product development exists in the here and now. To the normal human user, the debate is as simple as this: are you prepared to make me the best product possible? If not, I will go somewhere else.

So the truth is found in an agreement to disagree, a sort of compromise where two sects part ways. The small minority of the population keeps their niche alive, while the majority moves things forward.

This is why Ubuntu is going to have two versions. One product for people who care about all this computer jumbo mumbo, and another product for the rest of us.

Reply Parent Score: 2