Dylan McCall DylanMcCall at Gmail.com
Tue Sep 16 06:01:52 UTC 2008

Let's step away from the idealism. This isn't the place to discuss
that. (And on that topic, this isn't a discussion board. See mailing
list threads on ubuntu-devel-discuss, IRC, forums, etc. whatever
floats your boat).

This is fundamentally about user experience. What do we want users to

Personally, I do not care right now what legal issue is involved with
having an EULA in free software. (Last I checked, there is none; this
is Mozilla's software and they can do what they want with it. You can
do what you want with it: Use it in binary / source form or do not).
I don't want users to go through an EULA when they start Firefox
because it suggests  a lack of cohesion and a lack of polish; it
paints Firefox as a part distinctly detached from the rest of Ubuntu.
The sad truth is that is indeed the case. (The solution is well known
to those who would enact it). However, we don't want users seeing this
any more than they have to. When a user downloads and installs Ubuntu,
he is told that Ubuntu can be freely used; basically he is given an
extremely simple license that seems totally fair. With all default
software and drivers shipped at the moment, that can be safely
assumed, and it is basically a given that anything added afterwards
(eg: universe, restricted and multiverse repos) is under its own
terms. Here Firefox's license popup is an exception amongst the
default set. Regardless of its content, that produces confusion for
the user: Why does Ubuntu (not Firefox, _Ubuntu_) now have two
different license agreements so close to its heart, the latter being
bleeding complicated and totally not laid back?

That is the end user experience I do not want. I don't care about the
slippery slope thing. If every application in default had its own
license agreement anyway, it may even start to make sense. We would
just have to drop the "all software in Ubuntu is..." thing and become
complicated like our friends in Redmond. One thing here stands out
like a sore thumb, however, and it would be profoundly upsetting if
the 'very simple terms' thing was dropped because of one little web

Some smart people have been drowned out amongst a storm of baaing
sheep. Those people say this EULA is only necessary with regards to
phishing protection. Can you guys clarify, please? I think we would
all appreciate it.

Everyone else, please restrain your immediate yells of rage. Points
are heard. Repeating them only drowns out what matters by making this
page slower and slower to load. Alas, this post may be too late, since
it is now impossible to know whether all the points HAVE been made
without spending a day studying the thread; just keeping up with this
issue in my email client has given me a headache. Regardless, it's a
safe assumption.

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