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

  1. #51
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by fwojciec View Post
    Nothing scary about this discussion, just realistic. People who want Ubuntu to take over the world usually don't think about the inevitable consequences of this ambition - as popularity of an OS increases the average skill-level of the user base decreases..
    Compared to total windows users, the popularity of Linux its NEXT TO NONE. Only dedicated people looking for alternatives find its way to Linux in general. Ubuntu developers with comments like that are just shooting for the impossible.

    Windows is NOT the main OS because of any features, any user friendliness, nothing that has anything to do with the OS itself. Its the dominant because it used economical brute force to shove it down the throats of nearly everybody.

    Honestly I just dont see this argument of some magical exodus of Windows users to Ubuntu happening within the next decade at the very least. There is no indication of it, in fact Microsoft has only increased and perfectioned their bully tactics and managed to force most people to Vista even with strong disapproval all around. They managed to force DRM into everybody, they are even threating the PC platform by attempting to turn it into a useless DRM happy appliance and nothing more. You really think a fugly brown Linux distro with Nelson Mandela and without painfully needed things like mp3 codecs not included by default will even threaten even 1% of Microsoft's market share?

    The people who will come to Ubuntu will be ready to not be complete jackasses. If they were they'd probably run back to windows in 5 minutes after not finding "my computer" on this strange brown thing we use.
    Last edited by Dimitriid; September 30th, 2007 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #52
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by p_quarles View Post
    The measure that was described doesn't take any power away from the user. It simply forces the user to go through more steps to accomplish something that could compromise the computer. There are already many similar measures built in to the typical Linux distro. Some examples:

    -A normal user does not have root privileges.
    -If you want to compile something in the absence of the necessary dependencies, you have to override the default behavior
    -If you want to delete a directory without getting an earful, you have to type out "rm -Rf"
    -To use apt-get to do something dumb, you have to use "--force-yes"

    I agree with aysiu on this, that this isn't really a very sensible proposal. All the same, the concerns they have are legitimate, and as near as I can tell they are trying to add some newbie-proof security measures without compromising the functionality and power of the system as a whole.
    From the article:

    All of us experts here know that this isn't a good way to proceed.
    But our users don't. For these reasons, it is up to us to do better.

    What might also be OK is selectively permitting the installation of
    software from third parties that we have the right kind of
    relationship with.

    The list of approved third parties should be provided by Ubuntu and
    programmatically enforced by the software

    We should consider the position of users who have already approved
    a particular third pary source which we have revoked -
    specifically, we should consider what actions of ours would be in
    the best interests of those users

    End of Article quote

    There is plenty more in that article discussing how the developers know better than the user what they should and shouldn't install and use. It's way beyond misguided. It's on the cutting edge of facist. Remove the word Ubuntu and insert the phrase Microsoft Windows in that article. If Microsoft published an article like this imagine the response. I bet it would be very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Watts View Post
    There are a *lot* of folks in the Linux community that feel that Ubuntu has already gone too far in regards to making Linux idiot proof.

    All I can say on the subject is that there are plenty of Linux flavors out there, and if as a Linux user you are unhappy with the direction your particular Linux flavor is going, it's not at all difficult to switch to another distro that better suits your needs and personal beliefs about the way you want your OS to treat you.

    I personally have Ubuntu installed on the family PC because it is easy to use and user friendly, and use Archlinux on my personal PC.
    This is pretty much what I think as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by lisati View Post
    Perhaps we can learn from the developers of anti-spam systems. The last time I checked, Pegasus Mail was able to use "whitelists" and "blacklists" in its message rules to allow and/or block messages from particular senders, and some of the anti-spam products I've checked out have used similar techniques, combined with a form of "quarantine" system that allows you to safely review material from an unknown source, and also combined with a means to learn to distinguish the good from the bad.
    Maybe I don't want someone deciding what is appropriate software to install on my OS. This isn't about malware even though it's framed in that charade. This is about a small group of people putting their stamp of approval on on projects or not. Is this free and I mean Free software, or is this moving in the direction small projects will have to earn the status to be included? The overused "Slippery Slope" is put out often around here, but who would have thought it was the developers creating that.

    This whole idea is utter rubbish and I'm not very happy about it one bit.

  3. #53
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilz View Post
    . ... That its a personal computer and not a developers computer. The user is the one that should decide what should be allowed to be installed.
    When you think about it, in the case of malware, its the malware-maker that decides what gets installed on your computer, and the user has no idea what's going on.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kilz View Post
    .
    I didnt point out who, but since you answered, you yourself must think of yourself as a blind follower.
    Sounds like a typical troll answer to me.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=1032102 :
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew
    ]A troll is usually an expert in reusing the same words of its opponents and in turning it against them.

  4. #54
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    I read nothing of that matter - all I read was to get rid of the pop up asking dialogs to enter the password - what it says is true, however no matter what no one is 100 percent safe on this earth - not even when they are alone with themselves.
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  5. #55
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyreBrand View Post
    From the article:
    All of us experts here know that this isn't a good way to proceed.
    But our users don't. For these reasons, it is up to us to do better.
    you should read that in context, it sounds a lot better then :

    we have been inheriting the idea that it is acceptable to go to a website, find you need to install some software to use it, and then install that software provided by that website - and
    the idea that it is a sensible thing for a user to look for zero-cost software via a search engine and then just install it.

    All of us experts here know that this isn't a good way to proceed.
    But our users don't. For these reasons, it is up to us to do better.

  6. #56
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by koenn View Post
    you should read that in context, it sounds a lot better then :
    Ok Let's look at some more "in context".

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jack$pn
    What might also be OK is selectively permitting the installation of
    software from third parties that we have the right kind of
    relationship with. We would have to think about what the criteria
    might be, but here is a starting point:

    * The third party would have to agree in a legally binding way to
    uphold and not subvert the user's rights on their own computer;
    * The third party would have to commit to provide security updates,
    where necessary, within a defined timeframe.
    * The list of approved third parties should be provided by Ubuntu and
    programmatically enforced by the software;
    * We should be able (both contractually and technically) to
    withdraw/revoke such a third party permission if they turn out
    in our opinion not to take our users security and privacy
    seriously;
    * We should think carefully about the user interface for enabling a
    particular third party, which ought to be an explicit step;
    * We should consider the position of users who have already approved
    a particular third pary source which we have revoked -
    specifically, we should consider what actions of ours would be in
    the best interests of those users.


    What is of course also necessary is an ability for power users to
    specify additional third-parties without any blessing from Ubuntu.
    However *this facility must not to be accessible to naive users*.
    We can write the whole damn article out for all I care. It doesn't sound any better "in context" to me at all. This is written by someone who is assuming a lot (he uses the word several times in the article) and that he and the developers are better than ignorant users.

    Maybe that's what the Ubuntu community wants, but not me. Maybe a majority of the community feels it's okay to have decisions made for them about what's an acceptable application, but really it's not for me. I can't see promoting this at work or in the educational community any longer. I can only see warning potential users about this.

    I have never read something so repugnant. What's next? Is there going to be a test to decide how ignorant and naive of a user you are? Will we have a naive users help section and a "cool guy power user" section? I don't think so. I know I'm nothing here and won't be missed, but unless this thinking changes direction, I'm done.

    PS: What happened to the Ubuntu I loved?

  7. #57
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    How about keeping this article in perspective :
    1/ the author clearly states it's a personal opinion. So let's keep the generalisations about "the devs" out of it.

    2/ the author is clearly floating an idea in porder to get feedback. It's on a publically accessible mailing list, out there for anyone to read.
    [if they were facists, they'd know better than that]

    3/ the author clearly states the assumptions his conclusion is based on. If you don't agree, all you need to do is provide proof/indications that one or more of the assumptions are wrong, or demonstrate that the conclusion doesn't follow from the (assumed) premises.

    4/ the author identifies a problem and takes steps towards a sollution. He deserves credit for that.

    5/ the author is aware of the fact that he's dealing with a trade-off between security on one hand, user convenience (both the 'naive new user' and the 'power user who wants control') on the other hand. His proposal attempts to accommodat all these. That makes it a good effort.

  8. #58
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyreBrand View Post
    This is written by someone who is assuming a lot (he uses the word several times in the article) and that he and the developers are better than ignorant users.
    " ... that he and the developers know better than ..."
    And he might be right.


    Quote Originally Posted by FyreBrand View Post
    What's next? Is there going to be a test to decide how ignorant and naive of a user you are?
    There doesn't need to be, or it's already there. If your skill set doesn't go futher than "I can click a hyperlink and an OK button", and you're unaware of the risks of such behaviour, you fall in the "naive" category. If you know better than that, :
    What is of course also necessary is an ability for power users to
    specify additional third-parties without any blessing from Ubuntu.
    All over ubuntu forums you'll find suggestions that cater towards novice users while leaving 'alternatives' to power users. Add/Remove versus Synaptic versys apt-get. " a less confusing file system hierarchy". Quiet or verbose boots. The --force 'I know what I'm doing" options with several commands (listed earlier in this thread) , the '1 application per task to reduce the confusion for novice users" approach of ubuntu as a distro, ... and on, and on and on.


    All in all, the only thing scary about this article is
    But the alternative is that in 5 years' time our users' systems will
    be malware-infested nightmares.
    Last edited by koenn; September 30th, 2007 at 10:10 AM.

  9. #59
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    Your all exagerating (I think... I did not read the entire thread)

    What this developer is essentially saying is that we should remove gdebi. And thats about it.

    Also, if you continue to read the discussion on that website, you'll see that most, if not all others think that this is a bad idea.
    My cross-platform python modules for PVA or population simulation https://code.google.com/p/nobones/, written in Ubuntu!

  10. #60
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    Re: There is a scary discussion on the Ubuntu Developers mail list.

    This is all nice and lovely. Great idea at heart. But oh well not very practical. Im sorry but Ubuntu reps are only updated every 6 months with new software (not program updates but new programs that weren't in the repo before).

    Now take the average user. He or she hears from their friends that program abc is out and they should really try it. This is a legit program. Not talking bout malware here. So well they go to the vendors page and lookie it even has a linux version. They download it but oops. No can do. Install forbidden or highly complicated to achieve. Result: They'll be annoid about Ubuntu and if this keeps happining a couple of times, they switch to something else. Most probably window or OS X.

    So unless with this change not also come a new official ubuntu "new software" repo, this change will jut lead to users leaving Ubuntu. And with a new software repo I mean something that contains software that came out after an Ubuntu realese. Preferably new software should be in this repo a maximum a week after it was released. Maybe something like an extended backpors repo might do the trick. Or integrate getdeb.net into an official ubuntu repo.

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