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matthewstory
February 23rd, 2007, 03:18 AM
Really really not trying to start a flame war here, but i've been using Ubuntu for years, and these forums for years and i just saw this forum, which I had never seen before . . . and I had to ask. Is Ubuntu Christian Edition Open Source . . . i mean technically speaking.

Section 5 of the Open Source definition, written by Bruce Perens says:

No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

the full definition can be found here:

http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php (http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php)

It does go on to say that the license cannot discriminate, and it appears that you are releasing this . . . CE . . . under the GPL which does not discriminate . . . but the very idea of a Christian Edition seems to go counter to the whole idea of the Open source movement (specificallly the 5th section of the definition), as would any other religious distribution, like Islamic Edition or Buddhist Edition, Hindu Edition, Shiek Edition, Jewish Edition etc.

Anyway, this is really posted out of genuine curiousity, so please don't be offended.

IYY
February 23rd, 2007, 03:43 AM
How does the CE discriminate against any groups?

In fact, the section you cite simply specifies that the license cannot have any clauses that forbid, or make it particularly difficult, for certain groups to use the code. The Ubuntu CE is licensed under the GPL, so even if it had racist slogans in it, it would still be legit.

hscottyh
February 23rd, 2007, 04:10 AM
There is a satanic edition too:
http://parker1.co.uk/satanic/

Now, I personally don't recommend it, but open source does breed choice.

matthewstory
February 23rd, 2007, 04:21 AM
In fact, the section you cite simply specifies that the license cannot have any clauses that forbid, or make it particularly difficult, for certain groups to use the code. The Ubuntu CE is licensed under the GPL, so even if it had racist slogans in it, it would still be legit.

note that i noted that in my original post:



It does go on to say that the license cannot discriminate, and it appears that you are releasing this . . . CE . . . under the GPL which does not discriminate . . .


There is a satanic edition too:
http://parker1.co.uk/satanic/

This "edition" would fall to the same criticism as my criticism of this edition . . .note this part of my first post:


as would any other religious distribution

My question is more about the spirit of a "Christian" edition, not the fact that it is technically open source . . . nor do I mind such a thing as a "Christian" Operating System, even if I may find the idea personally prepostorous. I just mind that this is called Open Source, because I don't believe that it satisfies the spirit of the Open Source definition . . . while i have already aknowledged that it does satisfy the letter of the Open Source definition . . . again, note my above quote of my first post.

I just find such a thing as a distribution for a given religion to go as much against the open source grain as Richard Stallman's attempt to make software political with his FSF and his communist ideas (note that I really don't dislike communism, but I do dislike communism when it's mixed with software), which was the reason for writing the open source definition in the first place.

mhancoc7
February 23rd, 2007, 04:36 AM
Well, I do see your points. I disagree however. There is nothing discriminating about it. I mean anyone is free to use it. I have even built a script to install the content filtering for those who do not wish to have a "Christian" OS.

I think that my efforts are keeping with the "spirit" of Open-Source.

Jereme

matthewstory
February 23rd, 2007, 04:38 AM
I would just like to add one thing to the mix . . . I have read about this distribution, quite a bit about it actually, and aside from the rosaries and the bible memorizer and some themes, it doesn't' really seem to be Christian. The core features of this distribution seem to be that it attempts in a very real way to try to help people converting from windows more than any other linux distro, by making the look and feel of the OS more akin to windows, and that it adds a robust web-content filter to the mix, while attempting to propegate this content filter accross the file system as well.

These are some great features for some people, not me, but alot of people would love that, including a whole lot of non-christians. So I guess what I have to add is, why not take the christian apps out of the standard install, put them in a repository like every other application, but make them easily available for instillation. Then change the name to something like . . . "web-friendly Ubuntu" or something like that, so that people who want to make a smoother transition from linux, or people who are concerned about the content on the internet, and the fact that it's very hard to get this filtered out with other linux distros. There are lots of non-christians who would love those things, but who will never come near this thing because it's a "Christian" operating system, when in point of fact, it is a content-filtering-intensive operating system with a few strictly Christian apps.

P.S. I have read some of the other flame wars on this subforum, and I would kindly ask that anyone who feels tempted to jump on my side with any sort of "there is no god" type witicism, to read the Ubuntu code of conduct, and conduct themselves accordingly.

LaserJock
February 23rd, 2007, 06:12 AM
I've thought about this kind of issue quite a bit. I really feel like projects like Ubuntu CE and Ichthux that are I no way opposed to religious freedom aren't in any way violating either the letter nor the spirit of the GPL. In fact, it would be counter to the spirit of the GPL to take away from people the freedom to use open source software in all aspects of their day-to-day lives, including their faith.

I fail to see why a distribution of open source software that is customized to give a particular culture or group a better experience of Linux can be a bad thing. We support customization for all kinds of technical (desktop environment, computer specifications, deployment environment) and social (software freedom, language, computer skill level) reasons. To me, it seems contradictory to the spirit of Free/Libre/Open Source Software and the Ubuntu Philosophy to exclude customization based on religion.

I'm a developer in the Ichthux (a Kubuntu derivative for Christians) project. Here is our statement of faith:

In the Ichthux project, we do not want to focus on the differences between Christian denominations and various dogmas.

Members of the project have a range of technical abilities and denominations. The Project does not have a statement of faith, nor does it require members to be of the Christian faith in order to participate, on the understanding that the Project is specifically aimed to Christian users and organisations, and thus most members will likely either be connected with the Christian community, or the Linux/OSS community.
The point being, if you want to contribute to Ichthux we really don't care what religion (or lack thereof) you are, if you want to contribute we will welcome you. I'm not sure why an atheist. muslim, or buddhist why want to contribute to Ichthux, but if they do they are not excluded.

-LaserJock

mhancoc7
February 23rd, 2007, 10:48 AM
I would just like to add one thing to the mix . . . I have read about this distribution, quite a bit about it actually, and aside from the rosaries and the bible memorizer and some themes, it doesn't' really seem to be Christian. The core features of this distribution seem to be that it attempts in a very real way to try to help people converting from windows more than any other linux distro, by making the look and feel of the OS more akin to windows, and that it adds a robust web-content filter to the mix, while attempting to propegate this content filter accross the file system as well.

These are some great features for some people, not me, but alot of people would love that, including a whole lot of non-christians. So I guess what I have to add is, why not take the christian apps out of the standard install, put them in a repository like every other application, but make them easily available for instillation. Then change the name to something like . . . "web-friendly Ubuntu" or something like that, so that people who want to make a smoother transition from linux, or people who are concerned about the content on the internet, and the fact that it's very hard to get this filtered out with other linux distros. There are lots of non-christians who would love those things, but who will never come near this thing because it's a "Christian" operating system, when in point of fact, it is a content-filtering-intensive operating system with a few strictly Christian apps.

P.S. I have read some of the other flame wars on this subforum, and I would kindly ask that anyone who feels tempted to jump on my side with any sort of "there is no god" type witicism, to read the Ubuntu code of conduct, and conduct themselves accordingly.

You are correct. One of the goals of the Ubuntu CE project is to make the transition easier for Windows users. I believe I have made a reasonable accomadations for those who want the web content filtering without the Christian OS by providing the script to install just the filtering with GUI. There is no way to accomadate everyone with every belief. I am simply trying to draw more users to Linux from a demographic that I believe is untapped and which could really benefit from Open-Source software.

Jereme

matthewstory
February 23rd, 2007, 06:28 PM
I fail to see why a distribution of open source software that is customized to give a particular culture or group a better experience of Linux can be a bad thing. We support customization for all kinds of technical (desktop environment, computer specifications, deployment environment) and social (software freedom, language, computer skill level) reasons. To me, it seems contradictory to the spirit of Free/Libre/Open Source Software and the Ubuntu Philosophy to exclude customization based on religion.
-LaserJock

You raise a good point here.



by providing the script to install just the filtering with GUI


link me if you would, this might get my dad over to linux . . . i don't think he'd use CE (being a lutheran the virtual rosary might offend). I hope that protestant humor flies here.

mhancoc7
February 24th, 2007, 02:50 AM
link me if you would, this might get my dad over to linux . . . i don't think he'd use CE (being a lutheran the virtual rosary might offend). I hope that protestant humor flies here.

Sure...

The download page is www.mirror.christianubuntu.com.

Then just select your version, Edgy/Dapper. The download link for the GUI will be on the corresponding page.

Hope that helps, Jereme