Restricted software in Ubuntu, continued

jdodson dlist at
Sun Dec 5 19:12:26 CST 2004

thully at Wrote: 
> This illustrates my problem with universe - that nobody cares if
> something
> is broken, and there is no way to submit bugs.

universe packages are unsupported by ubuntu, that is not to say that
"nobody cares", heck when a package is broken i care because i cant
install it easily.  the universe of unsuported packages is a statement
of the Ubuntu distro, this might change in the future, but is a reality
that we must live with using the Ubuntu distribution.  there are
literally thousands of packages, it would take much more man hours to
test EVERY package for breakage or stability.  if you think the
community is "falling down" in certain areas of the universe you can
petition to become a package maintainer, a position you could use to
ensure package stability and non-breakage(i am considering attempting
apply to fill this role actually). 

thully at Wrote: 
> The bugzilla page tells
> users to submit universe bugs to Debian, but I really don't think they
> will be very receptive to bugs logged on another distribution

i have seen nothing from the debian community to suggest this might be

thully at Wrote: 
> When somebody attempts to play media that is in a non-free format, the
> system
> should prompt the user to download/install the package if it falls into
> the
> above category of "legal, free-as-in-beer".  If not, tell them that the
> file or
> DVD is unsupported due to patent issues and give them a link to a web
> page
> explaining why.

this is not a bad idea, however there are places on the ubuntu site
that already describe why they do not include software of this kind.  

thully at Wrote: 
> Maybe some sort of "community support" could be set up so
> that the community could provide fixes to universe packages.

many people build packages for ubuntu and host them on thier own sites
they find useful.  there is already a grassroots effort to beging
backporting hoary packages to warty headed up by a forum moderator.  i
do not think any ubuntu developer would hinder commuity package
creation, however as far as i can tell they wont add packages in a
"Stabalized" distro such as warty.  the changes would move over to
hoary for consitency concerns, etc.  that is why bug reports/dependecy
reports are very important, they allow developers to fix it in the next
ubuntu product cycle.

thully at Wrote: 
> P.S. I am still confused as to the status of MP3 and the legality of
> encoders/decoders.  Ubuntu distributes MP3 decoding in universe - is
> this
> legal?
> All I know is that many distributions include MP3 decoding but not
> encoding,
> and I'm a bit confused that Ubuntu can include MP3 decoding in universe
> but not
> main.

i would recommend as a site to lookup things of the
digital nature.  it has almost anything you could think of, including
what mp3s are and why they are not free to use.


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