View Poll Results: Ubuntu+CNR good or bad?

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  • This is a great idea and I support it.

    200 46.73%
  • This is a bad idea and I want no part of it.

    86 20.09%
  • I will be willing to use it to aquire legal codecs.

    109 25.47%
  • I will not ever use it for any reason

    114 26.64%
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Thread: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    Porting CNR to Ubuntu was being discussed in another thread with Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony. Here are some quotes from that conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mstlyevil
    Kevin, would your company consider selling a multimedia pack for distros like Ubuntu to provide a legal way to obtain codecs and other proprietary multimedia software. One of my major concerns is the fact I may be breaking the law just to have multimedia support under Ubuntu and I have been waiting for some one to step up and offer these at a reasonable price. Since your company already has contracts with the makers of these codecs and software it would be in the perfect position to offer this to the end users of the free distros who share my concerns. It could also help your company's bottom line and open source in general. What are your thoughts on doing something like this and is it feasible?
    Quote Originally Posted by drizek
    somewhat off topic, but have you ever considered porting cnr to other distros?
    Here is Kevin's reply

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Carmony
    Absolutely. And guess which distro is top on our list? =)

    I've talked to Mark about it. We both like the idea a great deal. We'd just make a way to apt-get the CNR client for free, then Ubuntu users could choose to simply use apt, OR, for those who want the one-click convenience of CNR, they could try CNR for free for 15 days, and if they like it, pay for the service ($20 per year).

    You can use apt or CNR with Linspire today. I think that would be a great choice for Ubuntu users as well. Having more choices is always a good thing.

    Yes, I don't want to get off topic here with more about this here in this thread, so I'll make a separate post and get input from you all about this idea there. So, save any comments, and look for that post.

    Kevin
    So here is the question posed to you Ubuntuers. Do you want something like this as a option to download and legally install codecs and other non-free software? As it stands now in some countries it may be illegal to do so on your own without permission or paying the royalties. This would provide an economical and easy way to aquire these codecs legally. There are other benefits that can be discussed of course and this thread is not just limited to just the codecs. People can also voice their concerns and questions for such a move but please do so with respect.

    Edit: BTW it is a multiple choice poll because some people that might support such a move still may not use the service.
    Last edited by mstlyevil; March 2nd, 2006 at 03:40 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who has welcomed me to your forum in the past. I've made my share of posts here in the past, usually trying to address or answer any questions people had about Linspire, and I've always been treated with nothing but courtesy and respect. Thank you.

    The most recent instance of me jumping in to answer some questions, was in regards to OOoFF, where I responded with this post. In that thread, someone asked if Linspire has ever considered offering our CNR (click and run) service to other, non-Linspire distros. I didn't want to take that thread off topic, so I promised I'd make a separate post about this topic. So, here it is. =)



    Has Linspire ever considered offering their CNR (click and run) service to other distros?

    The short answer is yes, and Mark and I have discussed this possibility for Ubuntu and we both like the idea. (Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "we're both open minded to the idea." Linspire would need to come to learn that it was something some Ubuntu users would want, and Mark would insist it be done in a way true to the values of Ubuntu or not at all.) The longer answer follows and I'd LOVE to hear input from Ubuntu users about this, as well as participate in the quick poll I posted.

    First off, for those who may not know, CNR (click and run) is a service Linspire users can subscribe to ($20 per year) which allows them to install thousands of software programs with LITERALLY one click. Many have the misconception that CNR is simply a GUI for apt-get. Not at all true. CNR is a lot more, and includes total software management features, complete updating management for your entire PC, "Aisles" which allow for grouping of applications to be installed with one click, CNB's or click and buys to purchase dozens of commercial products such as Star Office, games, etc., all with one click, user reviews, screen shots, and so on. If you're not familiar with CNR, you can learn more about it here, nd you can browse through the CNR Warehouse here.

    It would be very difficult for Linspire to offer CNR to just any distro, however, we have considered doing it for Ubuntu. 1) I've talked with Mark about it, and he's supportive of looking into the idea. As you know, Mark is open to most ideas that involve seeing a Ubuntu baseline being used to build other offerings, allowing more people to enjoy open source. Mark would have to be OK with whatever happened here, if anything, or we won't do it. 2) There are a lot of Ubuntu users, justifying our work to do this, and 3) Ubuntu is Debian based, as is Linspire, so our CNR Warehouse model could be wrapped around Ubuntu.

    CNR already has the ability to support different pools, or what we call "Warehouses." For example, depending which version of Linspire you're on, you have a different CNR Warehouse available to you. In fact, CNR is sophisticated enough that it can support hundreds of different Warehouses. For example, Linspire employees have a different Warehouse than others. Linspire "Insiders" (15,000 testers) have access to a different Warehouse, and so on.

    The idea would be to create a CNR Warehouse for each of the different Ubuntu distros. We would then make the CNR client available via apt-get. Once you've got that, the rest becomes one-click easy.

    Why would Ubuntu users want to use CNR?

    Several reasons...

    1. Linspire supports dozens of proprietary applications, drivers and codecs that you may want to have access to. MP3, DVD, Real Audio, Windows Media, Quick Time, Java, Flash, nVidia, ATI, Bitstream fonts, and so on. For example, right out of the box, Linspire users have access to all these different file types. With CNR, you could, with one click, deliver all this capability to your Ubuntu computer.

    2. You may simply want the one-click convenience of CNR. You'd get the software management tools, Aisles, update notification, CNB's, and so on.

    3. You could more easily set up your non-technical friends with Ubuntu. 98% of the world will no way take the time to learn how apt-get works. With CNR, they can manage all their software needs easily and graphically. Linspire is well known for being ultra easy to use, and that anyone can use it. CNR allows Ubuntu to be used by more "average Joe" computer users.

    4. More and more open source software is now available on the web via CNR, without even going to the CNR Warehouse. For example, if you go to the download page for Nvu, you'll see that with one click, you can install that product.

    But, if I use CNR, can I no longer use apt?

    Because the CNR pool would be the same pool at what you're using apt from, yes, you could still use it. In other words, Ubuntu users would simply have the choice: 1) just use apt, like they do now. 2) pay $20 to use the CNR service, or 3) do both.

    The key is that the choice would totally be yours.

    Why wouldn't Ubuntu just offer this on their own so it could be free?

    Mark agrees that CNR has four years of wonderful technology behind it, and it would be very difficult to offer something like CNR, at least not in the near future. Even if they could, chances are it wouldn't be free, because CNR isn't just the software client (that's a very small part of CNR), it's about the farm of servers that Linspire has to pay to keep running and bandwidth costs. $20 a year is a very fair price for such service that costs us a lot to run and offer.

    Anything we would do, Mark would of course make sure was in line with Ubuntu's goals and mission, and we'd be happy to work with him to assure that is the case. (For example, he wouldn't put our client in the default distro but would have to be apt from a different location or downloaded and installed separately.) We would only do this with Mark's OK.

    Your input

    Again, up to now this is still in the though process, so no guarantees if we would do this, and that's why I'd love to hear your input. I hope you'll answer the poll and post your comments and questions below.

    Thanks!

    Kevin Carmony
    CEO, Linspire, Inc.
    Last edited by Kevin Carmony; March 3rd, 2006 at 05:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    Technical question: I understand Ubuntu has many deltas from the main debian line. How much work would be required to ensure that CNR for Ubuntu delivers all of the proper Ubuntu-patched packages? Would it just be a case of sync-ing the CNR servers with Ubuntu's, or would it be more complex?

    Also, where would the proceeds go to? If it's back into the community (paying developers; offering bounties; maybe, if the issue of micropayments could be sorted, direct to the the developers of the most-downloaded apps!; etc), then I think this would be a good thing to have!

  4. #4
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralZod
    Technical question: I understand Ubuntu has many deltas from the main debian line. How much work would be required to ensure that CNR for Ubuntu delivers all of the proper Ubuntu-patched packages? Would it just be a case of sync-ing the CNR servers with Ubuntu's, or would it be more complex?

    Also, where would the proceeds go to? If it's back into the community (paying developers; offering bounties; maybe, if the issue of micropayments could be sorted, direct to the the developers of the most-downloaded apps!; etc), then I think this would be a good thing to have!
    We'd work with Mark and Ubuntu to make sure we're mirroring the pools properly so this doesn't happen. Again, we solved this problem for Linspire users a long time ago, and CNR supports multiple warehouses. The Warehouse for Ubuntu users would be different than the one for Linspire users, so we don't break anything. In fact, each version of Ubuntu would have its own Warehouse.

    Kevin

  5. #5
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralZod
    Also, where would the proceeds go to? If it's back into the community (paying developers; offering bounties; maybe, if the issue of micropayments could be sorted, direct to the the developers of the most-downloaded apps!; etc), then I think this would be a good thing to have!
    To pay the salaries of the full-time employees who keep CNR humming, to pay for the server farms, to pay for the bandwidth, to pay for the support personnel to help you if you have a problem, to pay the license fees for the 3rd-party codecs and software, etc. You're not paying for open source software, you're paying for the convenience of this service. You'd only do it IF you felt that convenience was worth the $20. If not, keep using apt.

    Kevin

  6. #6
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    I guess this answers my other question. It appears that you're saying that CNR for Ubuntu would use Ubuntu's repositories, so there would be no risk of breakage due to mixing repositories. I'd be tempted to use it myself if I could install Linux ports of commercial games (like Neverwinter Nights and Doom 3) via CNR.
    My sole duty is to my own happiness and well-being. I recognize no other.

  7. #7
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy Eyes
    I guess this answers my other question. It appears that you're saying that CNR for Ubuntu would use Ubuntu's repositories, so there would be no risk of breakage due to mixing repositories. I'd be tempted to use it myself if I could install Linux ports of commercial games (like Neverwinter Nights and Doom 3) via CNR.
    I concur with StormyEyes. For most users on these forums who are used to apt-get (or at least Synaptic), CNR seems rather pointless. But if you're offering repos with commercial software that won't break an ubuntu install, suddenly things become interesting.

    That said, the universe and multiverse repos fill most of my needs, so CNR is still of very limited utility.

  8. #8
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brunellus
    I concur with StormyEyes. For most users on these forums who are used to apt-get (or at least Synaptic), CNR seems rather pointless. But if you're offering repos with commercial software that won't break an ubuntu install, suddenly things become interesting.
    Correct.

    Again, things you'd get with CNR:

    - GUI interface, no clickety clack at the command line.

    - One-click install.

    - Nearly 100% success rate. CNR has been used millions of times, and today we have a better than 98% success rate, with the failures usually being related to modem users who lose connection, and even then, CNR is smart enough to simply work when it's reconnected. We have spent four years perfecting CNR. Breaking things, messed up dependencies, and so on are all the things we've spent years making sure users never experience. CNR will invisibly and automatically fix any wedges, and so on.

    - Improved applications. Linspire spends a lot of time cleaning up the most popular applications in the Warehouse. We push all our changes back, but sometimes that takes time before the fixes hit the mainstream. For example, my version of Moz/FF corrects my spelling as I type this forum post. That is an enhancement we made to FF and given back, but who knows when it will hit the mainstream. Again, we test and make sure the changes don't break anything, and you always have access to the original way if you prefer that. If you see GIMP running on a computer that installed it with CNR, you see a much improved GIMP. and so on.

    - Access to legal codecs, drivers and 3rd party proprietary software.

    - Aisles for one-click of groups of software.

    - Software management so that you can, for example, install Ubuntu on a brand new computer, and with one click, it adds all the software that CNR knows YOU like. So, with one click you turn a new computer into your dream development system, or dream gaming computer, etc. CNR is licensed to you as a user, so you can use it on all your computers without paying additional fees.

    - Update notification and one-click updating of ALL software, drivers, and applications on your computer.

    - A friendly Warehouse with nice screenshots, user reviews, charts, and so on.

    We know it's not for everyone, no service is, but it may be right for some of you or your friends?

    Kevin

  9. #9
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    I don't think I would personally be very interested in this. It might help ensure that the newcomers to ubuntu don't break any of their country's laws when they attempt to get support for proprietary formats, so it could be helpful to some.

    One question, I skimmed through the CNR pages and couldn't find information on this (although i didn't look that hard). I assume CNR itself is proprietary and is not an open-source project?

  10. #10
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    Re: Should Linspire Offer CNR for Ubuntu Users?

    The lack of something like CNR was the biggest adjustment I had to make when switching to Ubuntu from Xandros... and it wasn't always a comfortable adjustment to make! Xandros had XN (Xandros Networks) which is a bit more in line with CNR than with Synaptic, and I really liked it.

    I'm only just starting to wrap my head around Edubuntu - as its a project I'd like to get more involved with. I think for it to be successful both with kids, and with school IT people (most of whom are teachers, many with very little computer knowledge) - the availability of something like CNR would be a huge selling point.

    So my vote would defenitely be "YES". Provided of course, that things worked out on the technical side.

    Edit: While I do have the highest respect for RMS - I also think that you can take the rhetoric too far. With so many people in this world being locked into using proprietary technologies, strict adherence to an ideal or philosophy won't be enough to win them over. For the time being, competing with the mainstream means having to (in some cases, and for some people) use of licenced technologies - even if there is a cost involved. MP3 players are the prefect example.
    Last edited by nblythin; March 2nd, 2006 at 05:08 PM.

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