Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 36

Thread: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Beans
    5

    Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    I've noticed, rather than promoting distros like Ubuntu and Fedora and Debian which all place heavy emphasis on openness, the GNU is promoting distros like BLAG, Trisquel, or Utoto. At the Windows 8 launch event, members of the GNU gave out free Trisquel disks. However, who is to know when installing software that you choose the Ubuntu version? Why not market a better known and supported distribution instead? The GNU itself is diminishing the market, because people who don't know things go to install uncommon distros like Trisquel, get frustrated when, say, Chrome doesn't have Trisquel packages, but just has packages for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. Little do they know that they should use the Ubuntu binary package. These same people go on to say, "Oh, linux doesn't have a SINGLE app built for it!" not knowing the true facts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tewkesbury uk
    Beans
    7,799
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    Trisquel contains only free, open and libre software.

    It does not contain any proprietary packages, binary blobs, any packages with dubious licences or licensing issues.

    I assume the other two distributions are similar in nature.

    It's the GNU philosophy,

    Read any articles written by RMS and you will understand where they are coming from.
    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

    If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed. - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Beans
    1,435
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    They aren't concerned with marketing. They want people to use only software that meets their (IMO rigid) definition of free software. It's really about ideology.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Beans
    7,461
    Distro
    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    It's about freedom and self-determination. You only get that when the user is in control of the system, an in turn you only get that when the code is open. Some distros still have proprietary, binary blobs hidden in them and that takes away your choices. Also, proprietary blobs are a security risk. Whether those are in the form of drivers for hardware or add-ons like Flash or Skype, the potential for trouble is similar. For those last two, the security record shows well that the potential is actually realized. The control that Free software gives is a pre-requisite for security.

    Trisquel and gNewSense don't carry any of that proprietary binary stuff. They emphasize the importance of Freedom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Beans
    1,435
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    By definition, users lack the expertise to read code and fathom what it is doing, whether it is "free" or otherwise. So, the freedom that "free" code gives us amounts to the freedom to trust developers we do not know. How did my access to openssl code do me, as a user, any good at all?

    i certainly don't think my liberties are at risk if Canonical puts a binary driver on its servers. The other way around, actually.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    156
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    Really, the freedom is the ability to read, learn, and reverse engineer the code, to further our understanding of it. Your lack of understanding of openSSL, does not mean it does not benefit it, we can know what is going on with it, and we can investigate it, while not all things are going to be known about it, we can discover and refine things about it. Like with the patch for the heartbleed bug.

    Basically, if you do not know coding, of course you are at the mercy of the coders. Closed Source though, takes that freedom away completely. You can not really study it, you can not change it to make it better, and if you find out they were doing something illegal, (perhaps by reverse engineering), you can get in serious trouble. MS is a great example, when they stole a certain feature from a certain competitor, and when said competitor found out and won their lawsuit against MS, MS sued them for reverse engineering to find this out.

    So the Idea of FSF approved Distros, is that it is completely free to study, to learn, to use. Thus we can learn, and see if someone is cheating us or not. (Spying on us), and sadly, this is not always possible.

    Now saying that, it does seem to go a little to far sometimes, but that happened because to many were doing things they were not suppose to do behind their closed source code. If the whole NSA thing is not a good example of it, I do not know what is. So this has even made pushes for other Open-source things like Hardware too.

    So while it is hard, it is just them trying to give people a chance at something that is suppose to be completely free.
    Proverbs 14:15

    The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Beans
    1,435
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    People who write code have a right to decide how it is used and distributed. One choice is as valid as the other; it isn't an ethical matter.

    Meanwhile, it's facile to argue that access to source benefits any given user. If someone is motivated to spend the time -- takes years to become a competent developer -- to acquire the expertise to understand, in depth, what someone else's source code is doing, they are no longer a user. They are a developer.

    Access to source is no more relevant to any typical user of a computing device than is access to the schematics of the circuit board in their TV.

    Free software is beneficial and useful. But, claiming we should use it because access to source of the software they use benefits the typical user is a false claim. We should use software because it is *good* software, not because the source is there or not.
    Last edited by buzzingrobot; April 14th, 2014 at 09:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    156
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    Very true, I can not argue that people should have the right for software to be used on their terms, except when it stops studying, or understanding of it. If I buy a car, and I am not allow to look under the hood, I can not learn about how the car works. That is not really good from a increase knowledge standpoint.

    That is not quite so, while one may aquire the knowledge, and skill of a developer, it does not mean they are a developer. But sadly, if it is closed, you do not have the option period, to study and gain that knowledge. And when companies, and people in general have a habit of lying, and telling people things they want to hear, rather than truth, I can see wanting things to be open. Just because it is open, does not mean everyone will learn it, or that the business will go out.

    That third one about the schematics of the circuit board in their tv, you are right, that is why so few people realize what is wrong with their tv, or if the tv really has the means to spy on them or not.

    Let me make it clear, having access to source, *Can* be beneficial. Not a false claim at all. I do not care to use *good* software, if it means the price will cost freedom, either freedom of study, or freedom to know if a program is doing something wrong or not (Come on Windows, selling our information of what we search for? Fine if you want to do it, make your stuff cheaper and tell people!).

    As you might guess, I do not use Apple's products for much the same reason, while their stuff is "Good", it is at a cost of choice, at a cost of freedom.

    But having said that, it is more on the individual thing. If you do not care about that so much, fine! If you do, fine! If you endorse free things for the most part, and use a pay for program that is close source too, fine! It is up to you, and the consequences is up to the end user.
    Proverbs 14:15

    The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Beans
    1,435
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    My point is that the possession of source by a user does not benefit that user unless he or she has acquired the skills to make it beneficial. It should be apparent that few users are going to do that. For free software evangelists to try to advance their cause by making that pitch is pointless.

    Source is beneficial to developers, or to people who think they want to be developers. Its benefits to users are secondary and tertiary to that. That's what ought to be the selling point to users, not that it is morally superior. Most people resent being preached at like that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    156
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Why does the GNU foundation promote uncommon distros?

    I would argue the pitch is not pointless, because you never know who will hear it, and decide they want to learn more about it. I also find it a spec against any company who wants to keep knowledge to themselves. That is a form of retaining power over people.

    Your argument is similar to math "It only benefits people that use it". To which case I have no argument, knowledge only benefits those that use it and learn it. I do not like Close sourced, just because they take away the option of learning about it. This is not a toy we are dealing with though, it is something that can be used for so many things.

    Either way, I think we have answered the OP at this point. The FSF promotes these odd distros because they do not like closed source programs, for the problems it brings. I would imagine anyone who finds serious faults in something, would not promote it, just because it is easier.

    http://www.gnu.org/distros/optionall...ot-enough.html

    They explain here why they do not promote such distros, like Ubuntu. They want it to be very clear to people, what it means if you download Non-Free and opensource software. At least that is what it states.
    Proverbs 14:15

    The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •