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Thread: Automatix -- ethical question

  1. #21
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    Also to be clear, I work with a lot of Ubuntu developers and virtually none of them cite the "legality" issue as their primary concern with Automatix. The main issue is that it is somewhat of a hack (--assume-yes --force-yes is very bad as is messing around with a users sources.list to add 3rd party repos) and has been know to completely break many peoples computers.

    Automatix, and many other scripts like it, are being used as a workarounds to circumvent problems people find in Ubuntu. People assume they can't be solved within the distro itself, which is just not true at all. Rather than trying to patch up Ubuntu with things outside of Ubuntu itself it is much more helpful for people to work on getting needed changes made in Ubuntu.

    I would much rather have seen the Automatix and EasyUbuntu authors work on solutions that wouldn't break people's systems and could be shared with everybody, by default. If something really does need to be there by default then it should be default in Ubuntu.

    -LaserJock

    P.S. There is an specification that was much talked over during the Paris developer summit (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CommonCustomizations) who's assignee is Matt Zimmerman (CTO of Canonical and Ubuntu release manager) so this is something that the community and devs are certainly aware of.
    "That's all very well in practice, but will it ever work in theory?" -- G. Hill
    "A tidy laboratory means a lazy chemist." -- Jöns Jacob Berzelius

  2. #22
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    LaserJock, much of what Automatix does will never be "fixed" in Ubuntu, as those proprietary codecs and proprietary software that Automatix installs are left out of Ubuntu as a matter of policy, not lack of technical know-how or time for implementation. Ubuntu is committed to open source software and will not come with proprietary software preinstalled or the Multiverse repositories enabled by default.

    If people want those things "out of the box," they should use Mepis or PCLinuxOS. Otherwise, they can install them themselves... or use a "hack" like Automatix or Easy Ubuntu or BUMPS to do it for them.

  3. #23
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    There really are fixes though. For instance, for the codecs when a media player can't play a certain file type it can pop up a window indicating which package needs to be installed (I believe multiverse has everything needed for most all codecs) and why they aren't installed by default rather than really cryptic error messages. There is also the documentation shipped with Ubuntu that shows you how to set up this stuff, it really isn't very hard, and why it needs to be done. The Ubuntu dev community is also working a lot on 3rd party inclusion (the dapper-commercial repo is on example) so there really shouldn't be a need for Automatix et al. I can see it as a short term solution but it is not the way to move Ubuntu forward.

    Overall, one of my problems with Automatix and EasyUbuntu is that it they are, in essence, saying to the user "Ubuntu developers don't care about providing users with with what they need." Even if there are legitimate reasons for not including something, it is still better handled through the distro development proccess rather than add-on scripts.

    Anyway, I suppose we don't need to rehash all of this stuff. I believe Automatix will be made obsolete by Edgy or Edgy+1 anyway.

    -LaserJock
    "That's all very well in practice, but will it ever work in theory?" -- G. Hill
    "A tidy laboratory means a lazy chemist." -- Jöns Jacob Berzelius

  4. #24
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    It is legal to have the codecs and use them IF you have a legal version of MS windows, and it doesn't matter which version. I refere to a thread I used to install the codecs on to the church laptop:
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthre...ight=w32codecs

    Enjoy
    James B

    "For God so loved the world the he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16 (ESV)

  5. #25
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    I get what you're saying now. Well, the Ubuntu developers and I have a disagreement on how Ubuntu should be developed. They live in an imaginary world where bug #1 has already been fixed and regular users (or even power users) don't need proprietary software. The truth is that only about 5% of Ubuntu users on these forums (and we're talking regulars here--the type who hang out and answer polls in the Ubuntu Cafe; not the type who sign up, ask a question, and then leave) use only open source software and only open source codecs.

    The vast majority of people switching to Ubuntu will have MP3s and will want to view Flash websites or streaming video/audio. I happen to like Ubuntu a lot, but I don't see how it can take off without including proprietary software. My guess is that ImpiLinux, Mepis, or some other Ubuntu-based distro will be the one that really takes off. Ubuntu is a solid base, but most people don't care about the principles of free software.

    I understand not including those things right away, but, as you said, cryptic errors just leave people confused--links to how to install things are far more practical.

  6. #26
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    If people want Automatix it is only a few clicks away, and you can take it off if you don't want it. I don't really understand the thing about the DVD codecs and all of that, I mean you should be allowed to at least play DVD's out of the box. Is it wrong that I got one of the packages from somewhere else? I should be able to watch movies if we own them.

  7. #27
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    Quote Originally Posted by mysticrider92 View Post
    I mean you should be allowed to at least play DVD's out of the box. Is it wrong that I got one of the packages from somewhere else? I should be able to watch movies if we own them.
    Go ask the US government.

  8. #28
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    ok, but this is what is I'm not understanding. You can play mp3's and dvds and do Flash, etc. using Ubuntu repositories. Multiverse is for closed source packages. The dapper-commercial repository that Canonical set up is for this sort of thing. The devs are not in a dream world, they are just trying to do things in the most secure and stable way possible. Many use Opera, and other closed source apps. They are realistic.

    Anyway, I realize that Automatix grew out of a need by users, however I think those needs are being worked on and most (if not all) are being met with dapper and edgy.

    -LaserJock
    Last edited by LaserJock; September 5th, 2006 at 10:24 PM.
    "That's all very well in practice, but will it ever work in theory?" -- G. Hill
    "A tidy laboratory means a lazy chemist." -- Jöns Jacob Berzelius

  9. #29
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    When I say they are in a dream world, I'm talking about this from the Ubuntu website:
    Immediately Useful
    When you finish your Ubuntu installation your system is immediately usable. On the desktop you have a full set of business productivity applications, internet applications, drawing and graphics applications, and games. Or for the server you get just what you need to get up and running, with nothing you don't. There are thousands of additional pieces of software that are just a few clicks away, but we've done the hard work to get the basics in place easily and effectively.
    And I'm saying that Ubuntu is immediately useful only to those who are in the 5% or less club--the ones who are not tied into proprietary formats.

  10. #30
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    Re: Automatix -- ethical question

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu View Post
    Go ask the US government.
    I don't see why I need to ask my government for the right to do something that I should already be able to do. Why is the codec not free in the first place? I downloaded the libdvdread3 package (as far as I know that is free) and typed one line in terminal and that package installed the libdvdcss package for me. Is this wrong?

    My big question here is why can't I use stuff I own? This is about as weird as not owning the iTunes songs that you pay for and Sony's rootkit cd's. I am a Christian and I don't see anything in the Bible that says I can't watch DVD's that I have paid for (unless they are inapproprate). Am I in the wrong for not knowing about this or is my government for not making it clearer. I just want to be able to watch movies on my PC.

    [edit] Here is some information about the package that I thought was interesting: http://developers.videolan.org/libdvdcss/. Read line three under Features.
    Last edited by mysticrider92; September 5th, 2006 at 10:57 PM.

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