January 26, 2007

Debian's mindshare

Writing about web page http://tieguy.org/blog/2007/01/21/red-hats-mindshare-and-my-summer-internship/

In the comments on Luis Villa’s post about Red Hat’s mindshare, Luis says:

I think the best thing that could happen for Freeness is for Debian to replace gnewsense or gnubuntu or whatever the Free Ubuntu fork of the week is- take Freeness, run with it, and make it usable and powerful. Heh- maybe that could be a new motto for Debian desktop hackers, given where Ubuntu is trending on Freedom- ‘we are the Free Ubuntu’ :) (Seriously, that would be a bad motto, but it might not be a bad goal- to take back as much of Ubuntu’s desktop work as possible, to the point where no one is ever tempted to do a Free Ubuntu fork. The current situation, where Ubuntu is based on the utterly, pristinely free Debian, and yet people fork Ubuntu to make it free, is ridiculous.)

I am inclined to agree. The problem is, the gNewSense people can’t accept Debian while it has non-free firmware in the kernel, and endorses the ‘non-free’ repositories, however obliquely. Still, those hurdles should not be too large for Debian to overcome – it would be awesome to see them with the same level of desktop integration as Ubuntu. After all, without Debian, Ubuntu is nothing.


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Luis Villa

    If they can’t accept the non-free repos/non-free firmware, then a super-free Debian fork, rather than adding even more proprietary bits to get to Ubuntu, and then removing them all again, is still a much more reasonable approach. It is a bad sign for Debian that this isn’t completely obvious to all parties- it indicates that Ubuntu is adding substantial value1 that even complete free software bigots can appreciate.

    [1] and/or PR, but in some senses PR is value.

    (Thanks for linking to my blog, BTW :)

    27 Jan 2007, 22:56

  2. Hmm, Luis Villa commenting on my blog, I feel validated.

    Reading back, my post was almost content-free, but I have been thinking a lot about gNewSense, honest.

    29 Jan 2007, 11:03

  3. Luis Villa

    Hah. I’m just someone who talks too much ;)

    01 Feb 2007, 20:43


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