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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Picking sides...
by kurkosdr on Sat 16th Mar 2013 13:28 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

If the FSF people get super annoyed by a stupid lens which can be turned off, then the schism between the FSF people and the average people who just want an alternative OS to Windows cannot be bridged. Average people think ads are acceptable in a free (as in beer) product. Average people don't consider the ability to get the source and compile the product for free a necessary freedom, so ad-supported gratis software (open source or not) is perceived as good, as they get a free product and the author gets money to continue. Win-win. Look around you. People have no problem with Gmail's bots going through their email, have no problem exposing their life to Facebook and freeware apps with ads and dubious privacy policies are the most popular. And even if you try to educate them (see the anti-gmail ads), they just don't care (I don't).

Essentially, distro vendors will have to pick a side. The FSF crowd or the average people crowd. Canonical needed monies to replace the awful X.org (and couldn't wait ages for Wayland), so they picked the "average people" side and partnered with Amazon.

IMO it's not the loss of Ubuntu as a choice that angers the FSF crowd (there are so many compatible alternatives out there), it's the shattered illusion that an OS which pleases both the FSF crowd and the average people can actually exist. Aka the shattering of the illusion you can have a product that meets FSF's guidelines and is popular too. That must have hurt indeed (there was hope among the FSF crowd that Ubuntu could help spread FSF's ideals, now it's gone).

PS: Each downvote must be accompanied by a justification otherwise you suck.

Edited 2013-03-16 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Picking sides...
by hhas on Sun 17th Mar 2013 22:28 in reply to "Picking sides..."
hhas Member since:
2006-11-28

Downvoting for the lulz... nah, just kidding.

But yours is a key point: if FOSS/Linux truly wants to 'free' people, it is not enough to scold them: "Stop doing that!" Instead, it must figure out how to enable users to achieve their desired goals, while also providing better levels of personal control, privacy and trust than current non-Free products such as those you describe.

Take PGP, for instance: great tool, but the average person never uses it, even for sensitive communications, because the user experience is just lousy. But if the FOSS folk were to figure out how to make ubiquitous PGP "just work" in email communications - i.e. without the user having to think about it (or even know what it is) - and suddenly they've got a potential game-changer. Google isn't likely to make users' emails unreadable by its bots - it's hardly in its own self-interest - but FOSS is not bound by the same limitations as Google is.

Heck, while you're at it, why not simply eliminate email altogether? There's nothing about email-based communication that couldn't be better done by sharing editable documents over local and/or internet-wide clouds, crypting their contents outside of trusted scopes, automatically replicating changes as they're made, preserving full discussion history and making it instantly accessible without the need for repetitive re-quoting, allowing additional users to be brought into the discussion at any point, allowing free hyperlinking between discussions and to other internet resources, and so on.

That's the sort of innovatory HCI work FOSS could, and should(!), be doing. Yet, they'd rather putter out yet another bloody Win95-style DE for the hundredth time that simply reheats worn-out, decades-old concepts lifted from Xerox, and all to the utter indifference of the entire planet (save a handful of idle hobbyists who'd rather kvetch about Canonical's ethical faults than build a better world for all).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Picking sides...
by Alfman on Mon 18th Mar 2013 03:55 in reply to "RE: Picking sides..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

hhas,

"Take PGP, for instance: great tool, but the average person never uses it, even for sensitive communications, because the user experience is just lousy. But if the FOSS folk were to figure out how to make ubiquitous PGP 'just work' in email communications - i.e. without the user having to think about it (or even know what it is) - and suddenly they've got a potential game-changer."


It's not a technology problem, or a FOSS problem, it's a chicken and egg problem. Any developer possessing cryptographic skills (including yours truly) could single-handedly re-implement email with fully transparent public key end to end encryption. The problem is getting universal adoption.

Look at SPF records, designed to detect and block smtp domain spoofing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework

They'd be effective if they would only be adopted, but therein lies the chicken and egg problem again. It's ineffective, but *only* because so few are using it. I can't even use it for my own domains because my registrar doesn't allow me to control SPF records - in fact most don't either.


Another example is ipv6, in theory moving would solve a lot of problems. But it's pretty lonely in there unless you tunnel back into ipv4 space. It's another chicken and egg problem.


"That's the sort of innovatory HCI work FOSS could, and should(!), be doing. Yet, they'd rather putter out yet another bloody Win95-style DE for the hundredth time that simply reheats worn-out, decades-old concepts lifted from Xerox, and all to the utter indifference of the entire planet"

Various projects are not mutually exclusive to each other, some devs prefer working on DE, others can work on distributed file systems, etc. For every single DE developer, there must be thousands more already working on other problems. Use the DE you like best and you can ignore the rest, why can't that be a win?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Picking sides...
by zima on Tue 19th Mar 2013 18:12 in reply to "RE: Picking sides..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Google Wave was doing something similar to your envisioned email successor ...didn't really work, didn't really go anywhere.

Reply Parent Score: 2