Is Ubuntu going to adapt Ice Weasel?

Scott Abbey scott at
Wed Oct 11 16:50:26 BST 2006

On Wednesday 11 October 2006 11:04, George Farris wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-10-10 at 19:11 -0400, Scott Abbey wrote:
> > The problem with all these suggestions (not just those above) is that it
> > hinders the freedom of those who might use Ubuntu as the base for their
> > own distribution. Software freedom isn't just about YOUR freedom. It's
> > also about the freedom of your users to take what you've provided them
> > and change it if they like, and then pass it on to someone else, who can
> > then modify it if they like, etc.
> I'm sorry but exactly how does it hinder my taking Ubuntu as a base and
> building my own distribution?  There is nothing stopping me from doing
> that, I just won't be able to call it Firefox that's all, same code
> though.

The simple fact that you have to take the step of renaming the package, 
changing the icon, etc. is a hindrance. Not everyone is a lawyer, or even all 
that aware of the implications of trademarked branding. By placing this 
limitation on the use of their trademarks, they have limited the freedom of 
those downstream, which I find offensive to the concept of free and open 
source software.

> I like the idea of Epiphany though, they just need to fix forms so they
> remember fields, Otherwise Epiphany seems to work great.

For what it's worth, I fully support either option: the rebranding of Firefox 
as Iceweasel, or the use of Epiphany as Ubuntu's default browser (keeping 
Firefox in restricted). Either solution is acceptable to me. Given that 
Debian has elected to rebrand Firefox, and Debian is Ubuntu's upstream 
provider, I would prefer to see Ubuntu stay as close to Debian as possible.

I guess to be fair I should probably state that I dislike Firefox on Linux 
(not just Ubuntu). It's always felt too Windows-oriented to me. I really 
would like to see Epiphany and Konqueror get some of the love that people 
seem to gush on Firefox. But, I also understand that not everyone feels that 
way, and that people should be free to choose.

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