Idea for expanded support of some non-free software

thully at thully at
Thu Dec 9 10:29:19 CST 2004

I see what has been said about these formats, and I fully understand
the desire to support free formats. I also realize how this would increase their

However, there are many people who already have MP3 players who invested a large
amount of money in them anddon't want to buy a whole new player.  These users
should be taken care of, but I guess that Ubuntu probably couldn't do any more
than they are doing now - as I thought that MP3 may be legally supportable, but
it now appears that it isn't, even just playback (which wouldn't help owners of
MP3 players much anyway).

Also, on the topic of Flash and Java - I know that it may be illegal to
redistribute these things.  That's why I support the idea of dummy packages
in this situation if it is legally unclear.

At this point, my biggest gripe is that Ubuntu doesn't want to fix bugs
involving these things, even when it appears that Flash wasn't at fault - as I
used the same version on Hoary and Warty and it doesn't have sound without
disabling the sound server on Hoary (neither does CrossOver Office for that
matter, so it isn't Flash specific).  Thus, it is the sound server breaking
Flash, and not the other way around. Also, while some may say that Flash and
Java are unnecessary and just make things prettier, couldn't this be said about
the ATI/Nvidia drivers also? There are free drivers for these cards which work.
Also, Ubuntu wants to be a great desktop distribution - and I don't think many
desktop users would react positively to the fact that they can't hear any sound
on, say, for example.  These desktop users to which Ubuntu is
targeted will certainly not know about disabling the sound server.

In short, I appreciate all the feedback, and I see where Ubuntu is coming from
and what they legally can and can't do.  My only suggestions are 1)Accept bug
reports relating to non-free software if free software is at fault for the
breakage 2)Make it a bit easier to install support for non-free formats, and
include "dummy packages" for these formats if they can't be added to

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