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Ubuntu Board Votes On Non-Free Software Option

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  • Ubuntu Board Votes On Non-Free Software Option

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Board Votes On Non-Free Software Option

    You may have heard of Launchpad's Bug #723831 this month, which is a bug to select the 'install third-party software' option in Ubuntu's LiveCD installer by default. By doing so, Adobe Flash support and various other non-free packages would effectively be installed by default, thereby providing a better "out of the box" experience where YouTube would be working nicely, etc. Obviously though including non-free software by default in Ubuntu is a hotly debated issue...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTI1Mg

  • #2
    This would have gone against Ubuntu's long standing policy that the only concession is for hardware drivers as detailed at http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/licensing.
    Basically they voted about a change in policy but they rejected the proposal by pointing out the policy. Something is wrong here...

    I wish Shuttleworth would make these kind of descisions. Ubuntu is successful because it is easy to use. Installing all the required software automatically would improve it even more without hurting anyone. I really can't understand this descision at all. They rework their whole desktop (unity) and risk offending a huge part of their userbase but they are unable to make such a small change, which really would make a difference _without_ offending anyone.

    An unexperienced user expects the default settings to be the optimal configuration. So it's harder for newbie to select a checkbox than it is for a pro to deselect it.

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    • #3
      Urgh thank god, this would have been a disaster

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Temar View Post
        Basically they voted about a change in policy but they rejected the proposal by pointing out the policy. Something is wrong here...

        I wish Shuttleworth would make these kind of descisions. Ubuntu is successful because it is easy to use. Installing all the required software automatically would improve it even more without hurting anyone. I really can't understand this descision at all. They rework their whole desktop (unity) and risk offending a huge part of their userbase but they are unable to make such a small change, which really would make a difference _without_ offending anyone.

        An unexperienced user expects the default settings to be the optimal configuration. So it's harder for newbie to select a checkbox than it is for a pro to deselect it.
        100% agreed.

        Sad to see they chose the user-unfriendly solution.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Temar View Post
          I wish Shuttleworth would make these kind of descisions. Ubuntu is successful because it is easy to use.
          What's so difficult about ticking a select box? Or by going to youtube, trying to view a video and seeing a message stating that additional software must be installed to view the video and have the computer install it?

          Originally posted by Temar View Post
          An unexperienced user expects the default settings to be the optimal configuration. So it's harder for newbie to select a checkbox than it is for a pro to deselect it.
          That's the problem. Thinking that the " typical user" doesn't know a thing about computers. It may be the case with some people, but some will also know that if something isn't working as expected it's time to call their computer geek friend to fix it. And nowadays everybody that has a computer, has at least one computer geek friend as well.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by devius View Post
            What's so difficult about ticking a select box? Or by going to youtube, trying to view a video and seeing a message stating that additional software must be installed to view the video and have the computer install it?
            Some people don't understand the implications of that checkbox. For them it _is_ difficult to make that descision. Where is the problem in installing the software automatically? It hurts noone but it improves the user experience.

            We are not talking about Debian here, but about Ubuntu - a distribution which wants to be as easy to use as possible.

            That's the problem. Thinking that the " typical user" doesn't know a thing about computers. It may be the case with some people, but some will also know that if something isn't working as expected it's time to call their computer geek friend to fix it. And nowadays everybody that has a computer, has at least one computer geek friend as well.
            What kind of argumentation is that? That sounds like computer geeks are afraid of not being called anymore by their neighbours. Do you really _want_ to be called by your friends for such a small problem? I would prefer it if they would only ask for help if they have real problems.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Temar View Post
              which really would make a difference _without_ offending anyone.
              I'm afraid you're mistaken. I guarantee you that if the decision had been "yes, let's include non-free software by default", there would have been a raging mob calling for Shuttleworth's head and screaming that Canonical is a traitor to The Cause. Mind you, I myself would NOT be in that crowd, but it would exist nonetheless.

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              • #8
                Bad, very bad decision!

                Nice move by Ubuntu developers! (irony, OC)

                I think this decision will hurt a lot of users wanting to test Ubuntu in their computers as a first/alternative Linux OS (Operating System), because some proprietary software is needed to make things work (for instance, a lot of laptop users need the broadcom-wl drivers, as open-source broadcom is still giving some kernel panics; another example is the flash plugin, mainly if people are going to use sites such as FB or Youtube (gnash/lightspark are bad doing their "flash replacement" jobs, sorry))...

                I've been telling people to use Ubuntu as their first Linux distro, because of it's ease to install and use, but with decisions like this, I think Ubuntu will be less suitable for beginners... And I'll start to recommend some people to try alternative distros instead (Mint comes at my mind...)

                Cheers

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                • #9
                  So who let the Debian guys on the Ubuntu board?

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                  • #10
                    My 2 cents;
                    Installing non-free stuff by default would probably install the Microsoft Core Fonts package, and I HATE those fonts. To my eyes, they are the most despicable, ugly fonts in the universe, and there are free font replacements a plenty. I notice a lot of applications use those fonts by default, and once they're installed, it's a little bit of a hassle to remove them.

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