Proposal: Removal of the WinFOSS collection

Henrik Nilsen Omma henrik at
Mon Dec 10 12:51:04 GMT 2007


I propose that we remove the collection of Windows-based FOSS from the 
Live CDs during the Hardy cycle.

It was originally introduced as bridge from the Windows world to the 
Linux world -- let people become familiar with FOSS applications like 
Firefox and OpenOffice on Windows first, making the transition to Linux 
easier. Since then Ubuntu has become easier to install, more user 
friendly and projects like Firefox and OpenOffice have been very 
successful in promoting themselves, reducing the need for distribution 
by us.

It also served originally to fill out the space on the CDs, but that is 
no longer needed (instead, space is tight). We originally included over 
100 MB of WinFOSS, including OpenOffice, but this has gradually been cut 
back to free up space. The currently collection is basically Firefox, 
Thunderbird and Abiword, and this cannot really be cut back any further 
without making it pointless. With the use of lzma packages and other 
slimming magic, the alternate CDs are set to shrink a bit this cycle, 
which means the Live CDs will be as much of a space limiter.

Including more languages, documentation, example files and applications 
on the Live CDs seems more in keeping with Ubuntu's mission statement 
than including Windows software at this point.

The CD browser utility that currently presents the WinFOSS collection is 
a tweaked Gecko browser where the navigation buttons, context menu etc 
have been removed and which knows how to launch .exe files. It also 
serves a few other purposes, including presenting Ubuntu with text and 
screenshots and launching documentation like the Windows->Ubuntu 
migration guide. We also planned to use it to launch the Windows-based 
Ubuntu installer.

The advantage of the browser setup is that it is fairly easy to design a 
decent looking interface with simple HTML. The downside is that the CD 
browser itself takes about 10MB.

One option is to keep the CD browser as it is (with it's 10MB) and 
continue using it to display/launch documentation and launch the 
Windows-based installer.

A second option is to write a new stand-alone executable (possibly using 
NSIS) that could launch both the documentation, guides, and installer.

A third option is to extend the opening screen of the Windows-based 
installer to include buttons to launch the guides and documentation. 
This is IMO likely to be the most elegant.

(maintainer of the WinFOSS collection)

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