Idea for expanded support of some non-free software

Philippe Landau lists at
Mon Nov 29 23:41:27 CST 2004

Jeff Waugh wrote:
>>>>of course you could install it on your development computers, 
>>>>test it, make it work well, provide scripts guiding through 
>>>>the legal download from their original sources, and 
>>>>facilitate optional integration in the ubuntu desktop.
>>>Remember - you could also do this. :-) 
>>you are a team of - how many ? - professionals, say it 
>>would be too much work, and an amateur could do it ?
> Absolutely. The small team of Ubuntu developers within Canonical 
may i ask you how many you are ?

> have a very clear brief: To provide a totally awesome 
> Free Software operating system. So supporting proprietary software 
> is outside that brief, and in some cases, not possible at all 
> (ie. we can't fix problems with it, 
this is a common situation, and you work around it daily
by integrating software including it's bugs so it is still usable.
of course it is important to have priorities and time budgets.
is it possible to make these transparent ?

> in some cases we can't distribute it, etc).
these cases can be resolved by providing a script guiding
download, installation and setup.

> Remember that a huge proportion of FOSS development is done by "amateurs"!
done or not done, yes.
often it takes money and budgets to make things work.

>>>Spending time supporting proprietary software would detract 
>>>from our ability to provide a great supportable and *Free* OS 
>>>for everyone, which is our main objective.
>>am i mistaken in thinking other linux distros already are great
>>supportable and free operating systems ?  what exactly does 
>>canonical aim for that set it apart ?
> I don't think this is a relevant point - you seem to be 
> suggesting that we should set Ubuntu apart by including  
> proprietary software. That is not in line with our philosophy.
i am not suggesting this, no.
my question is genuine.
since reading about ubuntu on distrowatch,
i always wondered what the main goals of this distro are.
the publicity suggested it is making
an easily usable OS for the simple user,
what i saw pointed more to complete debian's ambition,
there were scant hints the goal would be future profitability,
and there was the crucial promise to keep it
free of charge, including support.
it would be great if the real priorities and aims were published.

>>>Again, where we can legally include these kinds of things in 
>>>multiverse, we will. But we don't commit a huge amount of time 
>>>to unsupported software, especially if it's not Free.
>>others like Joe Crawford have offered their help
>>with integrating multimedia into ubuntu,
>>but most of the time inquiries like these were
>>ridiculed by community guardians
>>and downplayed and ignored by canonical leaders.
> This is a very unfair comment. There are many suggestions 
> we simply cannot fulfill, but we don't ignore or ridicule them. 
canonical staff did not ridicule them, please
let's not read things that were not written.

> That would not be in line
> with the code of conduct we strive to work by.
many emails were ignored.

> I understand the frustration caused by not having software 
> available to interoperate with proprietary formats and protocols, 
> but please remember that these situations are not caused by us, 
> and in many cases we cannot rectify them with existing Free Software.
true. let us examine where things can be rectified.

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