Ubuntu Business Remix update

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Tue Jan 31 05:02:27 UTC 2012

First, I appreciate your willingness to engage with the community on this 
important topic.  Also, apologies for the lack of proper threading as I wasn't 
subscribed to the list until tonight, so this 'reply' is somewhat artificially 
constructed.  Some comments in-line.

Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
> As a very positive outcome from this, we could ask the team responsible
> for Partner to articulate the standards to which they hold work that
> goes into that archive. If it's in any way sub-par for reasons that are
> not forced by the ISV, we can raise the game. I would not want anyone to
> feel that Partner was a rats nest, rather, that it's the best way to get
> the stuff that can only be got from an approved source. If need be,
> let's change the name, to unredistributable or the like.

At least from my point of view, this misses the concern.  Partner is a private 
Canonical archive that Ubuntu developers are completely uninvolved with.  It 
is even less a part of Ubuntu than non-free is part of Debian.  I don't think 
we need to retroactively declare Partner part of Ubuntu to allow the business 
remix to go forward and I think it will be damaging to Ubuntu as a free 
software project to do so.

> My understanding, which could be mistaken, is that:
>  * the standards for that archive should be as high as those for SRU's,
> since we pump updates there to world+dog and the stuff is exposed via
> software center
>  * we make the same security commitment there as we do for Ubuntu,
> modulo availability of source, so it's the same as restricted in that
> regard> 
>  * third parties are free to remix from there, to the extent they also
> have distribution rights for the relevant bits (Canonical don't assert
> any IP in the packaging work)

I'm not aware of anyone having recent complaints about the quality of 
packaging in Partner.  This isn't, at least to me, about how well Partner is 
working, it's about what it is.

> The 'extras' archive is a good catch, Colin. And the description of a
> remix as "you can get here by starting with vanilla Ubuntu and fiddling
> around in a package manager" is very useful too. It captures the core
> goal of remixes:
>  * allow third parties to use the Ubuntu name with very low friction
>  * ensure that policy results in things which are, in some clear sense,
> compatible with Ubuntu

So other commercial software gotten in through the commercial mechanisms in 
software center would be eligible for being in some other remix?

> Would folk be happy if the Partner standards were articulated and
> committed, in the way described? FWIW I've asked the team to hold off on
> publishing till we've explored this fully together, but if we could
> reach agreement by email that would be much appreciated.

Ultimately I think what is or is not acceptable for a remix is driven by the 
trademark policy and is up to Canonical, but I very much hope that Ubuntu the 
distribution will maintain it's focus as a free software (with some limited 
exceptions) distribution.

Scott K

More information about the technical-board mailing list