Linked by Perry Helion on Fri 15th Mar 2013 18:20 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Ubuntu has come under a decent amount of flack over the past few months, particularly over their decision to use the 'Dash Search' to return results from Amazon by default in their most recent release.
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Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sat 16th Mar 2013 12:59 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

There are at least two ways of looking at FLOSS these days. Each one of it has different reasoning, target audience, etc.

1. OSS - Open Source part of the Software:
is all about making software open in a matter of code. It also strives to make it functional and usable, profitable for the markets [for example: building around "open core" development model]
2. FLOSS - Free/Libre part of the software:
is all about making software and user free/libre [in terms of freedom of code and user's freedom], that is: independent.

Now, Ubuntu fits perfectly into the OSS model. It doesn't care for the user's freedoms for the most part. It mostly cares about shipping the product for the wide audience, just like most proprietary software vendors do. While there's nothing wrong with it itself, it - however - brings many problems:
- OS isn't a community distro: cares for a 'market', not individual people
- it strives to benefit from the work of its developers: it needs to pay for itself, thus ads, monetization of userbase
- it considers "innovation" to be simply "releasing something new", not necessarily when it's really needed

The problem is, GNU/Linux roots are not corporate. It doesn't care for the marketing, products and popularity. It always cares for the end user, for his freedoms, independence, code openness. This is where it all comes. This is the valid point to start from. That's why most commercial stuff that doesn't respect user's rights **will fail miserably**.
If you want to make money of your users - fine - charge them XYZ dollars, make them pay and give them what they want. But don't pretend that you're a community-based distro which cares for the individual user, selling their privacy away at the same time and forcing some new [not "innovative"] stuff down their throats. That won't work.

The reality is really simple: you're either open/community-based/free or your open/corporate-based/non-free.
People will not buy it if you cheat to them. Be honest, no matter what you do. Nobody will punish you just because you want to charge for your distro. Actually, more businesess will love to get your support in return.
Just don't play with conscious, wise FLOSS users. They won't buy that. They're too smart for this. They know the difference for years.

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