Ubuntu Business Remix update

Mark Shuttleworth mark at ubuntu.com
Sun Jan 29 15:49:37 UTC 2012

On 25/01/12 17:28, Iain Lane wrote:
> This is where we have problems. As far as Ubuntu developers are
> concerned, these packages are very much not as much of a part of
> Ubuntu as the rest of the archive.

Which Ubuntu developers? Please avoid a simplistic us-and-them response ;-)

> They live on archive.canonical.com, not archive.ubuntu.com. They're
> managed by Canonical employees, without (as far as I am aware) any way
> for the community to get involved. Most importantly, there are
> (secret) commercial agreements in place between Canonical and the ISVs
> in question that govern distribution. The rights that users receive
> are not the same as those they get from software in the main archive.

Most of those things are true, but the whole misses the point.

We have actively steered a course of open-ness when it comes to software
in Ubuntu, modulated by a clear constraint that we should ship only
non-free applications in the image of standard Ubuntu editions. So, we
include binary drivers, but not Flash.

Some of the applications that are important to that whole ecosystem may
not be redistributed. Partner serves as the vehicle to make those
available on Ubuntu. Rather than going down the road of seeking to
marginalize Canonical's role, with prejudicial language like "(secret)
commercial agreements", please recognise that this is precisely the
point of building a project which has both community and commercial
teams working together. Our goal is not to compete with Debian for
Debianness, we cannot do that and it would not be constructive. Our goal
is to offer a platform that combines those values with access (easy but
optional) to the full range of what's possible on Linux.

> Don't get me wrong, partner is a valuable service to its users, it's
> just that it is fundamentally different to the Ubuntu archive as far
> as I can see. It's a service that Canonical provides for Ubuntu, sure,
> but that doesn't make it a part of Ubuntu itself.

Yes, yes, and no. Yes, it is different to the standard Ubuntu archives.
Yes, it is a service provided by Canonical. And no, we disagree, it *is*
part of Ubuntu. It's a good reason for people to choose Ubuntu, and a
good reason to recommend it to friends who want the benefits of a free
and open system but who must also, for whatever reason, have access to
items that cannot be in the Ubuntu archives.


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