Ubuntu & Linspire – So Who Else is Keeping Tabs? February 10, 2007Posted by Carthik in commentary, ubuntu.
So Ubuntu and Linspire have declared their intention to work together toward their common goal of making Linux Universal. You can read the press release here.
Now that you are done reading with that, read the story at desktop linux.
I read them yesterday, and allowed myself a day to think about it. Here are some thoughts, in no specific order, and with no specific intention:
- I don’t think Linspire’s primary motivation is to make Desktop Linux popular. I think it is to make a profit. So the “popularize Linux” common goal stops with Freespire, Linspire’s step-brother
- Ubuntu is now “upstream” for a whole bunch of distros – each with a different kind of users. “Upstreaming” bugs from Ubuntu to Debian and to the individual packages’ bugtrackers is a really painful process and has been so. The upstreaming problem might get worse with Ubuntu having to deal with bugs from downstream too, about which little can be done except to upstream them to Debain, since that’s how Ubuntu tries to minimize the delta with Debian
- Linspire jsut seems to come out the winner in this deal. Ubuntu benefits only by having access to a not-yet-built CNR.com
- Mark says in the press release that the CNR system is open – well it is not entirely open source – only the client software is open source. I suppose he meant open as in open for access and use.
- Even without the agreement cnr.com would have been usable by Ubuntu users, if I am not missing anything big
- The fundamental assumption is that restricted decoders, plugins and apps will now be available “legally” after you pay some money. I’d like to see if this actually turns out that way – that is, to see if w32codecs, libdvdcss2 etc are made available. A cursory search of the current cnr website did not yield these packages – maybe they are just called something else
- Ubuntu will now have to face the problems that the software people installed using CNR will create – since the tie-up is official, one can’t say, “well, we don’t support packages from external repositories in the Ubuntu bug tracker
Yes, I am a pessimist, but in thinking about the worst case we find comfort in things that work out well. I hope this was the right decision to make. I can’t forget, however, that there is no way one can stop anyone from using the repositories that Ubuntu’s developers and users garden. It’s probably too early to say it, but I’ll say it anyway — Ubuntu is the New Debian.