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Thread: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

  1. #101
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilz View Post
    Making it hard even for new users is wrong imho. Perhaps we agree on that. But I find the talk of limiting freedom for anyone scary.
    Imho if you are quiet and lets someone step on others freedoms it isnt long before you yourself loose them
    I think it is an interpretation of the email (a really negative one IMO), i have a totally different interpretation and not see anything limiting or/and damaging our freedom.
    All of what i read sounds really positive to me.

    I have to confess that i'm a bit surprised by this in your first post :
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilz View Post
    IThat the developers know more than users what is safe
    Because the answer is obviously yes for me and i thank the devs to create systems which prevent me to do unsafe things if i'm not enough knowledgable to know exactly what i do and why i'm doing it.

  2. #102
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by p_quarles View Post
    I don't "feel" attacked, and my feelings are not hurt. I was simply pointing out that you are behaving inappropriately, and I stand by that. Go back and read your posts.


    Nonsense. It's quite easy to run dpkg to install a .deb from the command line. By the same token, just because I have the freedom to drive a car does not mean that I should be allowed to do so without any kind of training or licensing.

    The issue here boils down to what I believe is a very poor understanding on your part of the meaning of "freedom." It's not the same as convenience, and it's never unconditional.
    I disagree, maybe if the easy install method never existed you can say that. But when its taken away, thats a different story.
    It would be like , yes you have the freedom to drive a car. But the car makers are going to take the gas cap and mount it under a riveted steel panel. Maybe even remove the gas cap completely. Then they are going to install a special port that you can only buy fuel from one site, that is owned by the car makers.

    Quote Originally Posted by the yawner View Post
    @Kilz
    Curious. May I know your exact position on the matter if it's all right with you?
    1. Do you agree about the problem the letter presented has merits?
    2. If so, how do you think should they solve it?

    And on another note. Do you think these same developers are not giving you enough freedom by providing you with a distro that comes in a live CD with pre-selected software?
    1. I think its a problem other os's have (Windows) But they also have other problems that may be the root of the problem (everyone runs as an admin). I dont think its clear that Linux will ever have that problem.
    2. I think education and information are the ways to solve it if it ever is a concern. Not removing parts that make it easier for users. After all Ubuntu is supposed to be easy for new users, should the developers take what is easy now and make it harder?

    Another note, yes, I kind of like it, as a base install. But there are lots of things that need to be added, some of which are not in the Ubuntu repos.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodon View Post
    I think it is an interpretation of the email (a really negative one IMO), i have a totally different interpretation and not see anything limiting or/and damaging our freedom.
    All of what i read sounds really positive to me.

    I have to confess that i'm a bit surprised by this in your first post :
    Because the answer is obviously yes for me and i thank the devs to create systems which prevent me to do unsafe things if i'm not enough knowledgable to know exactly what i do and why i'm doing it.
    I dont think I could have that much faith in a human. Lets also remember that the developers are suggesting limiting ALL outside installs, that includes good useful software. Application updates that may not be in the repos, beta software, extensions for Firefox. To me it sounds like lets through the baby out with the bathwater.
    Last edited by Kilz; October 2nd, 2007 at 04:09 PM.
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  3. #103
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilz View Post
    Then they are going to install a special port that you can only buy fuel from one site, that is owned by the car makers.
    Uhm, do you mean to say that Ubuntu/Canonical will eventually find a way to milk some money out of this distro which will be in contradiction with their social contract. Pllease elaborate.

    1. I think its a problem other os's have (Windows) But they also have other problems that may be the root of the problem (everyone runs as an admin). I dont think its clear that Linux will ever have that problem.
    Yes, at the coming months I don't think it would be a problem. As a user, I wouldn't worry about that myself. But if I was part of the development, I'd rather be prepared. Don't you think so?

    Actually, I think it's not just Ubuntu's problem. It may also affect the other distros aiming to be user-friendly.

    2. I think education and information are the ways to solve it if it ever is a concern. Not removing parts that make it easier for users. After all Ubuntu is supposed to be easy for new users, should the developers take what is easy now and make it harder?
    Now here's the tricky part. How do we convince people that they should learn the essentials of Ubuntu and Linux? That they should take the responsibility of keeping their systems away from bad programs. The most basic users want easy most of the time. So, how do you instill in them the importance of self-vigilance? Especially the stubborn ones, and the ones that are not so technical. Won't that affect their user experience as well? I mean, they have been told that the system is very secure, and now they're told it will be secure for as long as they, the users, make it so.

    =====
    Another note, yes, I kind of like it, as a base install. But there are lots of things that need to be added, some of which are not in the Ubuntu repos.
    Can I assume then that most of the decisions the devs have made are okay with you?

  4. #104
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilz View Post
    I dont think I could have that much faith in a human. Lets also remember that the developers are suggesting limiting ALL outside installs, that includes good useful software ...
    This is where starts the paranoia ....
    Developers make sometimes, like anyone, some mistakes but i can affirm you that there are not such bad intend anywhere in the ubuntu community.

  5. #105
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    i am sorry if this has aready been posted.

    the disucsion on the mailing list is about whether or not to add a system by which users can trigger apt to install a package by clicking a link on a website.

    it is not a plan to make it more difficult for users to install 3rd party apps.

    please read https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AptFirefoxFileHandler

  6. #106
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by frodon
    Developers make sometimes, like anyone, some mistakes but i can affirm you that there are not such bad intend anywhere in the ubuntu community.
    And the worst thing about this thread is that it begins with such an assumption: that the Ubuntu developers have malicious intentions against users. This must sound ridiculous to anyone who's even barely acquainted with the people behind Ubuntu. From the first post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilz
    This is a discussion on how to make it difficult for users to install 3rd party applications under the guise that some may be malware.
    This sentence assumes that the main intention in the discussion is "How can we make it more difficult for users to install 3rd party applications?", and the fact that some of these applications may be malware is used as an excuse to make this happen. In other words, as this sentence tries to lead people to think, the intention of protecting people from common malware, which is the main point the OP argues against, is secondary to the more important goal: to make it difficult to install 3rd party applications.
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  7. #107
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by the yawner View Post
    The letter has some valid points. If there's anything that can break through the most secure system, it's social engineering. So, how do you protect your users from themselves?
    You don't. It's not possible without destroying the system. You can *warn* your users, which is about as effective as they are smart and cautious, or you can take their freedom/power (one in the same, really) away and turn Ubuntu to crap, which is 100% effective: much like poking a person's eyes out is a 100% effective way of preventing them looking at x-rated pictures.

    To those who point out (correctly, I'm sure) that the dev's are not thinking these thoughts out of malice or other dark motive, I have but one quote:

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    -- C.S. Lewis

  8. #108
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfger View Post
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    -- C.S. Lewis
    That Lewis guy makes sense, but seriously, do you think we're discussing tyranny here ?

    If your governement imposes speed limits to reduce traffic accidents and makes wearing seat belts in cars compulsory to reduce the risk of fatal injuries when youre driving, does that make them tyrants ?

    And if parents baby-proof their house, are they taking away the baby's freedom ?

  9. #109
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfger View Post
    You don't. It's not possible without destroying the system. You can *warn* your users, which is about as effective as they are smart and cautious, or you can take their freedom/power (one in the same, really) away and turn Ubuntu to crap, which is 100% effective: much like poking a person's eyes out is a 100% effective way of preventing them looking at x-rated pictures.

    To those who point out (correctly, I'm sure) that the dev's are not thinking these thoughts out of malice or other dark motive, I have but one quote:

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    -- C.S. Lewis
    As ssam just pointed out, the discussion was about implementing a new feature, and one of the developers was concerned that this new feature might make a tempting target for the black hats.

    Getting all self-righteous about "freedom" ( !=power, by the way) or "tyranny" in this case is just way off the mark. I'll reiterate two points:
    1) Every distro of Linux already implements numerous features which make it more difficult for users to destroy their system or unwittingly allow it become compromised. We all benefit from these features, whether we realize it or not.
    2) It's open source software. The only barrier to doing anything you want to it/with it is your own level of knowledge. No Ubuntu developer can "tyrannize" you by offering a feature which you don't like. You don't even have to be a very advanced user to put together your own customized installation of Ubuntu or whatever other distro you like.

    Anyone who can complain about the "tyranny" of Linux developers and still take themselves seriously needs to think really hard about what real tyranny looks like, and then compare the two.
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  10. #110
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by koenn View Post
    That Lewis guy makes sense, but seriously, do you think we're discussing tyranny here ?

    If your governement imposes speed limits to reduce traffic accidents and makes wearing seat belts in cars compulsory to reduce the risk of fatal injuries when youre driving, does that make them tyrants ?
    Yes.
    Seriously, I hate seatbelt laws (people wanna be stupid, let 'em).
    Speed limits are something else entirely. The government doesn't impose a speed limit on you to keep you safe, it does so to keep me safe! Nothing you can install on your computer makes me less safe, so go for it!

    And if parents baby-proof their house, are they taking away the baby's freedom ?
    Yes, absolutely. But do you think babies should have freedom? If so, you're in the minority.

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