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Proprietary software in Ubuntu? – Good or bad?

Will Ubuntu one day have Adobe Photoshop in its repositories and if it did, would it really be a problem?

Where is Linux today?  When you look at the sheer volume of blogs, posts, comments and projects involving it you can easily see that the world of Linux (and indeed FOSS) is gathering pace.  I wonder if you, as I did, first dipping your foot into the waters of FOSS by using an alternative to a traditional Microsoft package, then plunging into the FOSS world when you realized that actually Microsoft is not required for you to be productive and indeed enjoy your computing experience.

Of course this attitude seems to be emulated in other platforms, look at the mobile phone market and its diverse solutions.  Look at whats popular in the mobile world. Today as we see more web based apps, more cross platform languages and dev kits I refer yet again to comments I made a few months back “Are games the last bastion of salvation for Windows?” I think its fair to say there are many Windows users (who are not gamers) who cite a single package as the reason that they use Windows.  In my experience that one package is often Photoshop.  If the rumblings come to fruition then I think Microsoft has got something to worry about.

The Ubuntu forums are running a survey about the option of having proprietary software in their software center for users to purchase if they wish. Whats interesting is the survey mentions Adobe Photoshop.  Now whilst this is not conclusive proof it will be part of Ubuntu software center in the future, it does raise some interesting points about its viability and its worth to Ubuntu and you should consider that many users will already be using proprietary software, albeit gfx card drivers.  You can see that survey here, It says:

We are trying to gather preferences for the apps that users would like to see in upcoming version of Ubuntu. While we all believe in the power of open source applications we are also very keen that users should get to choose the software they want to use. There are some great apps that aren’t yet available to Ubuntu users and Canonical would like to know the priority that users would like to see them. This list is indicative not definitive and we would love to also read your suggestions in the free text box.

So I wouldn’t get out your credit card just yet.

So whats the problem?

Looking from a FOSS point of view, the inclusion of proprietary software within the Ubuntu library will be of concern to some.  I can understand that point, however we have to be realistic.  Ubuntu is arguably the most popular Linux distro, it has a legion of very happy users who champion the product.  Unfortunately Canonical is a company and its a company that needs to generate revenue to stay in existence.  If Canonical could “live” off good will and praise then it would probably be the most valuable company in the world. I have often said there is a place for proprietary software and if by offering titles that were traditionally the mainstay of a Windows platform will bring new users to Linux, then bring it on.

Freedom of choice is about just that.  I might want to run a FOSS OS with pieces of proprietary in order to get the functionality I need from my PC or I may want to run a completely free platform.

Conspiracy? ;)

Everyone loves a good conspiracy and I’ll try not to disappoint here.  Cast your mind back a short while to when we heard rumblings about GIMP no longer being packaged as default with Ubuntu.  At the time there were theories that it would be replaced with a Mono package and ideas that it was another “excuse” to incorporate more Mono dependency into Ubuntu/Gnome.  I have to admit I did have my suspicions. Could it be that GIMP is to be removed in order to give users the option of installing a proprietary package instead?  Canonical will presumably make money from the sale of any software and it may be a case of “lets not give them GIMP until they have considered if they wish to purchase Photoshop” – This is only a theory of course.

Conclusions

Whatever the intentions of Canonical and no matter if proprietary software is involved or not, Canonical has  a right to make money.  I think Canonical have made a great efforts to push Linux into a larger audience and I think they are succeeding.  What we have to remember is whatever the true figures for Linux usage are, Linux has come this far without flashy ads, without wooden actors pretending to be excited about a party, without shoe jokes and even without perspiring middle aged men prancing around a stage and screaming.  That to me says much. I think as Linux users we have to accept that for many people there are packages which are keeping them with the Windows platform, I think we have to accept that in order for them to try Linux, those packages have to be offered within Linux too.

Lets not though forget about GIMP though.  Whilst I have said it wasn’t simple to learn (for me) thats only because I haven’t taken the time to do so (I have said that my graphic editing needs are very simple and catered for with online apps)   GIMP has made great strides, its a package thats incredibly powerful and championed by a massive user base.  I think if the rumblings come to fruition then GIMP would benefit from direct competition with a product that most people have heard of and many people choose.  I also think Photoshop will have to up its game and ensure it offers the best value possible for the end user.  This to me is what is great about free choice and diversity in the computing world.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

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About Tim Sparrow

Online tech writer, novelist/author of sci-fi literature and co-host of the TechBytes Show! I believe in multi-culturism & diversity. Luton Town FC supporter.

Discussion

26 thoughts on “Proprietary software in Ubuntu? – Good or bad?

  1. People need to get off their high horse. The public merely wants their OS to work. We’ve been pushing for OEM’s to support their hardware for years, but now there is a movement for that support to be 100% FOSS??? Give me a break. The same goes for Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark Xpress… The public wants the ability to use software packages such as this. Why would we, then, cry about the inclusion of proprietary software? This is just completely stupidity!!! For Linux to move forward, it’s gonna take the availability of proprietary software packages that we all want to use.

    Posted by ruel24 | January 21, 2010, 6:13 pm
    • Leaving aside the need to dope horses, FOSS is not an all or nothing approach-it’s a matter of having adequate, non-biased informaton in which to make a personal computing decision based on factual data.

      The key is; I decide what software to use, not a monolithic corporation. No one says, “Don’t choose Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXpress.” As for tear shedding at the inclusion of proprietary software, if a particular distribution says “GNU/Linux”, Then it’s only common sense that we should see a closely resembled semblance of the GNU philosophy.

      Posted by Andrew | January 21, 2010, 11:35 pm
  2. It would be good, very good. The average user can do all tasks with FOSS, as long as there is no specific need which is not covered by FOSS. But every user group has specialized needs, photographers, doctors, scientists, etc may need a specific application with no mature FOSS alternative. Why not allow them to use that application in Linux??

    And as for games; it takes immense amount of money to make a game like Pro Evolution or Prince of Persia, so there will never be enough high quality FOSS games.

    Posted by L4Linux | January 21, 2010, 8:33 pm
  3. Unless the Ubuntu forums users live under a rock they’re already using Adobe Photoshop through WINE.

    Posted by k1ng | January 21, 2010, 11:52 pm
    • Quote “Unless the Ubuntu forums users live under a rock they’re already using Adobe Photoshop through WINE.”

      Thats not the same as having the native binary though and the associated support with it.

      It has to be stressed (unless Im wrong) that there has been nobody at Canonical who has said Photoshop will definately hit Linux/Ubuntu, its merely a survey. I personally think that if this was to happen Microsoft should be very worried. To have a big name like Photoshop, native on Linux would be a massive counter to the Windows advocate claim of why people should stick with Windows. If you notice, many Windows advocates will claim 3rd party utils as a reason to stick with it. If Photoshop comes to Linux, I would expect others would follow.

      Thanks for the reply K1ng!

      Regards
      Goblin.

      Posted by openbytes | January 22, 2010, 12:05 am
      • This is why also you’ll never see a native Steam Linux client … Support. Valve/Steam would rather have the WINE community/user/devs do all the grunt work of supporting their program.

        Posted by The Dobbs | January 22, 2010, 6:31 pm
  4. To summarize all of the great replies, I will now try to go through the points that stood out on each.

    @Ruel24:

    Quote “The public wants the ability to use software packages such as this.”

    Agreed completely. I think it matters not if GIMP is better (or worse) its merely about giving users the option in the first place. Any moral decisions about proprietary software that people may wish to make can still be exercised by self policing and I think a few extra proprietary packages within the Ubuntu repository would do nothing to change that. If people don’t want them then don’t install.

    Quote “For Linux to move forward, it’s gonna take the availability of proprietary software packages that we all want to use.”

    If you removed the word “proprietary” from that sentence, I would agree completely. At the moment many of the popular packages that people may want are proprietary, but whose to say what the situation will be like in the future. I think people use the best packages for them, it matters not if they are proprietary or not.

    @Andrew

    Quote “FOSS is not an all or nothing approach-it’s a matter of having adequate, non-biased informaton in which to make a personal computing decision based on factual data.”

    Agree completely.

    Quote ” I decide what software to use, not a monolithic corporation”

    Again fully agree. Freedom of choice through informed decision.

    @L4Linux

    Quote “But every user group has specialized needs, photographers, doctors, scientists, etc may need a specific application with no mature FOSS alternative. Why not allow them to use that application in Linux??”

    Agreed completely.

    Quote “And as for games; it takes immense amount of money to make a game like Pro Evolution or Prince of Persia, so there will never be enough high quality FOSS games.”

    My take on the matter is similar. I think there is so much great FOSS gaming about that Linux is spoilt for choice, HOWEVER. I don’t believe the FOSS model is viable for titles such as COD or GTA that mainstream gamers are demanding because of the revenues required to make a return. I have yet to see a FOSS proposal that would be able to recoup the production costs of say Grand Theft Auto.

    Ive always said there is a place for proprietary and certainly one area is gaming. Thats not taking anything away from the wealth of FOSS games there already are, its merely saying that the high cost production titles that line the store shelves are not going to be made with a FOSS ethos. I would love to be wrong and I’d be happy for someone to show me otherwise.

    Thanks all for the great comments. Sorry I did not respond to you earlier, but Ive literally just walked in the door from work.

    Regards
    Goblin.

    Posted by openbytes | January 22, 2010, 12:00 am
  5. I’m not against running proprietary software on a free operating system, but it probably shouldn’t be encouraged too much. As more proprietary applications arrive you’ll also start to see disableware, malware, ransomware and other nasty or unethical practices which have become the norm within Microsoft Windows, and which were a major reason why I wanted to get away from using that OS.

    Posted by Bob Mottram | January 24, 2010, 12:09 pm
    • I think you are right and as I say it might take the proprietary “well known” packages for people to move to Linux. It would be then they would have the freedom (and maybe the confidence) to try other software.

      Its very easy for users of Linux to say how great it is, we already know. Most of us though cannot do what the MS PR machine does to the masses so the users stay with MS believing its the only way…that I think is Linux/FOSS’s biggest barrier and maybe thats where 3rd party proprietary will come in.

      Posted by openbytes | January 24, 2010, 11:54 pm
      • Perhaps, but the more proprietary apps you add the more and more the system will come to resemble a Windows system. In my view if you just want something which is like Windows, then use Windows.

        But it would be a good idea I think to try to encourage more games companies to build their software for a Linux platform. Mainstream games will definitely attract new users, and there’s no real issue with games being proprietary, since they’re artistic works.

        Posted by Bob Mottram | January 25, 2010, 12:01 am
  6. Hi!

    Thanks for replying. Im sorry my first reply was so late, had a very busy day today.

    Quote “Perhaps, but the more proprietary apps you add the more and more the system will come to resemble a Windows system”

    I can see your point, however these apps are made by a 3rd party not by Microsoft and I think the issues with Windows are caused by Microsoft not by 3rd party software. I don’t think the sum of Windows is 3rd party apps since those apps are also available on Mac and that doesn’t have the issues of Windows.

    When you look at exploits and malware et al, is that more to do with the sheer deployment of Windows and maybe if Linux had the same market share we might see similar conditions within Linux. That being said the press has reported the flaws with Microsoft code which maybe has more to do with it however the criminals behind some of this malware will not I think be put off by Linux if it was as popular.

    If you consider too that Wine is such a popular package and at the moment some proprietary software is being run with a few issues, it seems sensible (and a better position for Linux) to have its own native version.

    “Mainstream games will definitely attract new users, and there’s no real issue with games being proprietary, since they’re artistic works.”

    Completely agree, although I see a time when the PC is left in favor of the consoles. Ive spoken to a few devs who claim piracy the need to patch certain hardware configs and the fact that much of the audience does not want to upgrade their PC everytime, suggests that games of the future will be the sole remit of the console (certainly for the mainstream big name titles)

    Kind regards
    Goblin

    Posted by openbytes | January 25, 2010, 12:44 am
  7. Who cares if more people move to linux? If not for their freedom then they can stay or move, whatever, it doesn’t and shouldn’t concern you unless you are merely pushing a personal taste preference, which seems as petty as it would be pointless.

    If people think that their OS is crappy, they’ll try to find alternatives and if linux doesn’t do it then they can move to mac or whatever.

    The only reason to promote free software at all is freedom, if you want people to move to linux/free-os but not with the intention of increasing social benefit universally (that is to decrease the overall acceptance of proprietary software and thereby increase free alternatives) then all you’re doing is playing coke v pepsi, and who cares? Honestly. Examine your intentions.

    Posted by Porto | January 25, 2010, 5:58 am
    • Quote “Who cares if more people move to linux? If not for their freedom then they can stay or move, whatever, it doesn’t and shouldn’t concern you unless you are merely pushing a personal taste preference, which seems as petty as it would be pointless.”

      The same people who spend time contributing to it or maybe the people who recommend it to a friend after using without issue.

      Youre right though, who cares? If you had been paying attention the article was about if proprietary software should be offered by Canonical. My view is it should and Ive justified that with reasons. At the end of the day its not set in stone and proprietary may never see the light. If you had been paying attention you would have seen this as being a debate.

      Quote “If people think that their OS is crappy, they’ll try to find alternatives and if linux doesn’t do it then they can move to mac or whatever.”

      Again, you didn’t read the article. The point was made that some people have a “killer app” that keeps them with Windows. At the moment many people (and Windows advocates) quote Photoshop. The point of bringing this software to Linux is to give them the freedom to move. I am not sure what world you live in but its not so simple to move from your OS just because (your words) its “crappy”

      Quote “The only reason to promote free software at all is freedom,”

      Eh? Any choice given to someone is freedom. I am not promoting “free” software here if you take the time to read the article. You could say Im promoting proprietary. I think proprietary software offered by Canonical would be a good idea. Mr Mottram thinks differently….See what happens here “Porto”? Two adults with different views have a debate. You come here (like Amicus Curious and the various others ;) ) and don’t read the article properly, nor the comments.

      Quote “….coke v pepsi, and who cares…”

      Well you do as you’ve not read what Ive said properly and then spent time ranting about whatever it was you think you have read.

      Quote “Examine your intentions.”

      I have, I think Canonical should offer proprietary software. Whats yous?

      Posted by openbytes | January 25, 2010, 7:48 am
      • “If you had been paying attention the article was about if proprietary software should be offered by Canonical.”

        Yeah, I got the thrust of the article, clearly you mistook my statement as being made from within a void. It wasn’t. Your article is arguing from a point of view that moving people to linux would be positive in some way, but this unspoken means of benefit is left to be wondered at.

        You do this by offering the “people will to move to linux if X app is offered” cliche. The only thing is that you provide no premise under which, I, the reader should care about people switching to your favorite OS.

        To summarise in a proper form your argument appears as:

        P1: People should move to linux

        P2: More people would move to linux if their favorite apps were offered on linux

        P3: Many of peoples favorite apps are proprietary

        C: Therefore proprietary software should be offered for linux.

        My refutation is that premise one is itself a conclusion and therefore needs to supporting premises. Since all intuitive premises here “freedom, liberty, choice, etc” are contradicted by the following premises (two and three), as well as the conclusion, clearly you cannot be making an argument from that angle. As such your argument has unsupported premises and the argument itself is refuted.

        If you would care to compose the syllogism yourself so that it might be more properly said that I have refuted you, rather than having to infer the premises from the tangle of cliches and false dichotomies that seem to be so present in this article then I would gladly take that challenge.

        “My view is it should and Ive justified that with reasons.”

        No you have not. Post a proper argument and perhaps you can make this claim.

        “The point was made that some people have a “killer app” that keeps them with Windows. At the moment many people (and Windows advocates) quote Photoshop. The point of bringing this software to Linux is to give them the freedom to move. I am not sure what world you live in but its not so simple to move from your OS just because (your words) its “crappy””

        This is precisely what I am challenging. Why SHOULD they move? More proprietary software? Pointless…

        “Any choice given to someone is freedom.”

        Is it? Clearly you have spoken prior to examining the end result of your assertion here. I will not digress into the fallacies herein as I think that the dire conclusions can be arrived at by simply re-examining this statement.

        “I think Canonical should offer proprietary software.”

        Yes. But why?

        “Whats yous?”

        To eliminate the use of unsound arguments in defence of unethical practices. Also (and entailed within that) to keep free software free, and relevant.

        Posted by Porto | January 26, 2010, 7:12 am
  8. Quote “Your article is arguing from a point of view that moving people to linux would be positive in some way”

    No, its about people who may want proprietary software and/or be running a Windows platform because of it. For the average user I see this very often with dual booters.

    In answer to your original question of:

    “Who cares if more people move to linux?”

    I think you have provided part of the answer, since you certainly seem to care with that long (and welcome) reply you have made.

    Quote “you do this by offering the “people will to move to linux if X app is offered” cliche”

    Well if the reason cited for using Windows is a certain 3rd party app, then I would say its possible. I do not say it will happen what I say is it offers better choice. Please correct me if thats not the case.

    Quote “People should move to linux”

    No, as Ive said on many articles (and I can link if you wish) I don’t want Linux having the market share of Windows, infact what I would like to see in an ideal world is a more equal balance for all platforms. Please don’t try to suggest otherwise.

    Quote ” More people would move to linux if their favorite apps were offered on linux”

    Isn’t that a no brainer? Surely there are people who have one app as a reason to use Windows, if that package was offered on Linux then atleast they would have a choice. I think yes there would be people who would consider Linux on the basis of some of the mainstream proprietary apps being available for it.

    Quote “Therefore proprietary software should be offered for linux.”

    Well thats a choice for the individual software houses. Presumably a software house wants to make money so they would make a decision on if they thought it viable for a native Linux version.

    Quote “My refutation is that premise one is itself a conclusion and therefore needs to supporting premises. Since all intuitive premises here “freedom, liberty, choice, etc” are contradicted by the following premises (two and three), as well as the conclusion, clearly you cannot be making an argument from that angle. As such your argument has unsupported premises and the argument itself is refuted.”

    Thats very nice. All I’m saying is that I think its a smart decision on behalf of Canonical to at least consider “traditional” proprietary software and I think will benefit the end user in that they wont be restricted to a Mac or Windows system in order to use it.

    Quote “Why SHOULD they move? More proprietary software?”

    Indeed, why should they? Thats an answer which will differ between every user. My point was and is, if the end user has the proprietary software they want on a platform of their choice wheres the problem except giving users more options?

    Quote “o you have not. Post a proper argument and perhaps you can make this claim.”

    Yes I have, please read again my responses. I have more than answered and even done so in this response. It is obvious to me what you are trying to do and its not working….Please though by all means keep trying to claim I haven’t answered. I will let my real readers make up their own mind from my article and comments thereafter.

    Quote “To eliminate the use of unsound arguments in defence of unethical practices. Also (and entailed within that) to keep free software free, and relevant.”

    LOL, thats good. So you are a defender of FOSS? Of course and how pray tell does Canonical considering Photoshop impact on free software? Has Open Office suffered on the Windows platform because of Word? Infact the only “danger” I see to free software would be patent portfolio’s and anti-trust.

    I also wonder how Photoshop being native to Linux would be any more harmful than the same user running it through Wine? As long as Photoshop is being paid for lawfully then thats good for business, right?

    Porto and whatever your problem with proprietary being offered by Canonical, its something that appears to be supported by the Ubuntu community. If Canonical can turn this into a sucessful business model then good luck to them.

    Posted by openbytes | January 26, 2010, 6:20 pm
    • “its about people who may want proprietary software and/or be running a Windows platform because of it. For the average user I see this very often with dual booters.”

      This seems like a fairly poor paraphrasing of what this article is about. I mean of course people who may want proprietary software are running windows, but why write an article simply to state the obvious? Even more so why make that article seem like an argument for the inclusion of proprietary software in linux, when all you are actually writing about is that some people use windows and proprietary software.

      “I think you have provided part of the answer, since you certainly seem to care with that long (and welcome) reply you have made.”

      Yes, the statement was men rhetorically, I thought that it was common enough vernacular that it would be understood. However to be more literal the implication of the phrase is meant to ask “why should I, the reader, care about what will make people move to linux?” A question that you still haven’t found a response for apparently.

      “Well if the reason cited for using Windows is a certain 3rd party app, then I would say its possible. I do not say it will happen what I say is it offers better choice. Please correct me if thats not the case.”

      Try to understand here that I’m not attempting to put words in your mouth, my intention is to establish why you are making the argument that you are, you seem to be thinking that my paraphrasing of a common cliche was intended to be a quote of you, it was not, however your claims are similar to many others claims, and I don’t dispute the claim nor care one way or another about it, it is the causal element that I am trying to get to, not the superficial premises.

      “No, as Ive said on many articles (and I can link if you wish) I don’t want Linux having the market share of Windows, infact what I would like to see in an ideal world is a more equal balance for all platforms. Please don’t try to suggest otherwise.”

      This doesn’t make any sense in this context, you want more people to move to linux, or at least you said so in the article. Did you read the article?

      “if by offering titles that were traditionally the mainstay of a Windows platform will bring new users to Linux, then bring it on.”

      Why? This is the whole of what I have been asking. Why do you want people to move to linux? And why do you deny your own best premise?

      So essentially you have denied the initial premise of the argument and it now looks like this.

      P1: More people would move to linux if their favorite apps were offered on linux

      P2: Many of peoples favorite apps are proprietary

      C: Therefore proprietary software should be offered for linux.

      The problem lies in the fact that there is a should in the conclusion and not even implicitly one in the premises, so the reader must supply the premises. I supplied the premise “people should move to linux” because it is simple, if vague, and not combative to you. Many people think that people should move to linux, and they think that because it is more ethical. Of course this is out of place in your argument, but then with out it your argument is hiding something.

      Since you didn’t supply the syllogism that I requested I’ll supply you a couple more that leave out the “people should move to linux” premise and maybe you will be so kind as to elaborate on one or finally offer one that genuinely describes your argument here.

      Sample 1:

      P1: You want Cannonical to get rich.

      P2: Cannonical will get more money if they make deals with proprietary software vendors to offer prorietary software on linux.

      C: Therefore Cannonical should make deals with prorietary software vendors.

      Still, why should you or I care if cannonical gets rich? Or if they go bankrupt? I sure don’t care. Does Cannonical pay you to make poor arguments in favor of proprietary software? If not then I can’t see why you care about making cannonical money so I have to assume that this is not your argument.

      Sample 2:

      P1: You want Ubuntu to grow in quantity (quality be damned).

      P2: Proprietary software is more likely to increase the numbers of prorietary software users using ubuntu.

      C: Therefore Ubuntu should have more proprietary software.

      Still premise one is entirely devoid of reason, why do you care, and more so why should I, the reader, care if ubuntu has more people?

      Because outside of ethics, linux is the same as Mac or Windows to me, and even operationally I could put 90% of linux software on a mac and still get photoshop so why should I care about people using linux or ubuntu if not for ethics? Why do you? And why cant you answer that simple question?

      “All I’m saying is that I think its a smart decision on behalf of Canonical to at least consider “traditional” proprietary software and I think will benefit the end user in that they wont be restricted to a Mac or Windows system in order to use it.”

      Why? How would it be better for the end user to be offered the same bad deal on linux that they have on mac or windows? How? Why do you want that? Why aren’t you stumping for windows or mac right now?

      Back to coke v pepsi, you have no apparent reason here, your caught up on the my team, your team bandwagon. Or you have some unstated reason that no one could conceivably divine from the river of contradictions that seem to be bursting out in your responses.

      “Indeed, why should they? Thats an answer which will differ between every user. My point was and is, if the end user has the proprietary software they want on a platform of their choice wheres the problem except giving users more options?”

      Indeed, why should they? Why should they!? That’s what I’ve been asking, you seem to think that offering proprietary software on linux will move more people to the platform but you don’t tell us why we SHOULD care. Why? Why not let them use windows or mac?

      “Yes I have, please read again my responses.”

      No, you haven’t. Your responses are contradictory, back pedalling and hoping for a side door to slip out of. If you want me to understand what your claims are, then make an argument, and make it clear. From what it seems you have none of value. You don’t care about ethics, fine. Why do you care about linux? Why should I care about your argument? Because it’s good for cannonicals business? Is this the board of directors of cannonical you are speaking to or a blog?

      “Of course and how pray tell does Canonical considering Photoshop impact on free software?”

      If cannonical wants to offer a professional level photo-editing suite on linux, and they find the GIMP deficient they SHOULD (ethically speaking and as good FOSS community members) invest the time to remedy those deficiencies in the GIMP and not waste their time and ours by meeting with adobe to arrange a proprietary solution.

      FOSS and it’s community is intended to be an alternative to proprietary software (a dual-power so to speak) not a new back-drop for the same corporate control.

      “As long as Photoshop is being paid for lawfully then thats good for business, right?”

      Probably is good for business. And good for business almost always means bad for me, so I certainly don’t consider that an argument of benefit.

      If they do bring photoshop to linux I hope that 9 of 10 users are pirating it though, any act that punishes companies that choose profit over ethics and the community is a good act.

      Posted by porto | January 27, 2010, 8:21 am
  9. Quote “but why write an article simply to state the obvious?”

    The question posed by the article was is proprietary something good or bad for Ubuntu, it acknowledges some peoples issue with it and states my view as to why I think its a good thing. Fairly obvious. Please don’t waste my time asking silly questions.

    Quote “why should I, the reader, care about what will make people move to linux?”

    What is wrong with you? You shouldn’t if you don’t want to. If you don’t care then fine, however looking at the lengthy post of nothing you just wrote I would say it looks like you do very much care.

    Tell you what Porto, I’ll try to keep this point extra simple just for you.

    Quote “Probably is good for business. And good for business almost always means bad for me, so I certainly don’t consider that an argument of benefit.”

    Then you don’t buy it. Simple. I don’t believe for one minute you are a Linux user or are in anyway wanting big name products to come to it. Other people who don’t believe it a good thing have debated in a mature fashion, why can’t you and what on earth is your point.

    Let me give you the advantage in the most simplest form I can, you will then maybe understand.

    COD for example is offered on WII, Xbox and PS3, why is that a good thing? Because if people want to play that game they are not restricted to one console, they can choose. The same goes for photoshop. Offer it on Windows, Mac and Linux and users of Photoshop can make the choice which platform they want. If it brings extra custom to Adobe, great and if people don’t want it its really quite simple, don’t buy it.

    Quote “If they do bring photoshop to linux I hope that 9 of 10 users are pirating it though, any act that punishes companies that choose profit over ethics and the community is a good act.”

    What a childish thing to say. How would Photoshop harm the community? Why would you want to encourage piracy> People are not forced to use anything, thats the great thing about Linux.

    Porto, I know exactly what you are trying to do here, it seems strange that this silly intentional misunderstanding you are engaging in has played out exactly the same way with other “new” handles that pop up here. Must make you cross that you can’t call me a “freetard” whilst I champion Linux. Out of the 1000+ readers to the article in the last day, its only you who can’t seem to grasp the conversation or debate properly.

    Quote “FOSS and it’s community is intended to be an alternative to proprietary software (a dual-power so to speak) not a new back-drop for the same corporate control.”

    In future think about what you are saying. How will Photoshop on Linux (and keep in mind nothing has been set in stone anyway) have any damage to Linux, free software….it may surprise you Porto but there are many people already running Photoshop in Linux thanks to Wine. Whats the difference?

    Come back when you have considered your argument better.

    Posted by openbytes | January 27, 2010, 8:48 am
    • I know that you are having a difficult time understanding what is happening here, ok, still you have to realise how calling my argument bad is ridiculous when you can’t even form a single argument yourself.

      You want to know what’s good for Ubuntu, but can’t tell people why they should care what is good for Ubuntu, or even why you do? That makes a lot of sense. If benefit to Ubuntu means something to you then you should be able to explain it. Obviously you can’t which implies that your intentions have little to do with benefit to the community and more likely some bizarre ego boost that you vicariously receive through the growth of Ubuntu. It’s weird.

      It’s rather funny that you don’t believe me to be a linux user simply because I don’t think that corporations deciding to co-mingle proprietary software with free software is a positive thing for anyone other than those corporations. Clearly you have never cared much for the ethics that lie behind free software, or likely ethics at all, and so I’m left puzzled as to why you care about photoshop on linux? But you can’t or wont answer me that.

      Did you understand at all what I said about freesoftware not being intended as a new backdrop for the same problem? Or did that go right over your head? I don’t want a new windows from linux, I want a healthy freesoftware eco-system which if canonical cared about they would contribute to parallel freesoftware projects rather than considering proprietary versions.

      Do you think that the GIMP was created as an supplementary program to photoshop? What do you think the idea behind these projects are? Since you clearly think that it would be of no harm to them to simply replace them with the same proprietary anachronisms that we left behind on windows.

      Why do I encourage piracy? You really don’t get it do you? It’s not childish, it’s a matter of ethical inquiry. I don’t like to pirate software because I prefer to use freesoftware, but if I was going to use photoshop you’d better believe that I would feel good about myself for not giving money to adobe. This I suppose is rather complex ethical discussion for someone that seems to have fallen behind on some crucial ethical concepts so I don’t think that you and I should have this discussion until you understand why “good for business” (and not in reference to opensource companies though not excluding them) is in no way equal to good for all or even the many. I could bombard you with examples but what’s the point this isn’t what I am concerned with here.

      I honestly wish that you did know what I was trying to do here, but you don’t seem to, or it seems to scare you for some inexplicable reason. All I am trying to establish is why the number of linux users is something that you care about, and thus why you wrote the article, and thus why I should care. You see I came into this thinking that perhaps we both cared about the progress of freesoftware, however I’ve come to realize that you have no interest in that whatsoever, so I’m simply left puzzled as to why you take the time out of your day to make claims about how to increase the number of linux users when you don’t seem to have any reason to care about it.

      Well I’m certainly glad that you think game consoles are parallels to freesoftware and the challenge that it faces with proprietary software. See game console makers and game makers are in the same business, selling software, which is fairly distinct and in many ways antithetical to the aims of linux and freesoftware in general. Do you understand the dichotomy here?

      Offering proprietary software in Ubuntu repositories means that Canonical is spending time arranging license deals with proprietary software vendors rather than doing it’s part and filling those gaps with freesoftware. You see that’s quantifiable harm. Secondly it is an explicit endorsement by Ubuntu if it is offered in the repositories and doubtless they will be profiting off of it as well so they will have every incentive to increase the number of purchases. I could describe what tends to happen when business becomes profitably interested in a particular product but since you seem to know what’s “good for business” hopefully you can see the implicit consequences. Thirdly Canonical will most certainly become adobe’s license enforcer on linux or at least be obligated to demonstrate attempts to prevent piracy and prosecute it where it occurs. Which is not only unethical, but also costs them money, and reduces the time spent developing good software which could preform the same functions as the proprietary software without the unethical license.

      If people are running it in wine, fine, but freesoftware organizations aren’t advertising it, more often then not it’s probably pirated, and it takes little if any time from the development of freesoftware. All of which is the opposite of what you are advocating.

      It’s funny that you tell me to consider my argument, when it is your argument that we are here to consider. You created the argument and can’t justify it, my claims are solely that you have a bad argument here and if you want it to be sound you need to explain at least the initial premise, but you haven’t and likely wont. I fell like I probably understand your argument better than you do at this point.

      Maybe give it another try after actually reading through what I have been saying, eh?

      Posted by porto | January 27, 2010, 2:33 pm
  10. Quote “I know that you are having a difficult time understanding what is happening here, ok, still you have to realise how calling my argument bad is ridiculous when you can’t even form a single argument yourself.”

    Of course Porto, the stats now show over 1700 reads to this article and you are the only one who has difficulty understanding. That also includes Tuxmachines who have linked this article and all the people who visit that news aggregator.

    The “argument” is that I think if Photoshop came to Linux it would be a good thing, to give users of Photoshop a choice of platforms in order to run it.
    Quite simple. Its the last time I’ll state it.

    Quote “You want to know what’s good for Ubuntu, but can’t tell people why they should care what is good for Ubuntu, or even why you do?”

    Eh? Of course Porto you are merely babbling now.

    Quote “and more likely some bizarre ego boost that you vicariously receive through the growth of Ubuntu.”

    Liar. My distro of choice (on my main rig) is Wolvix (slackware) and even more recently Fedora has replaced Ubuntu on one of my other rigs. I champion and rave about Wolvix. I write about Ubuntu since its the distro many people seem to use and according to my stats want to read about.

    Quote “I honestly wish that you did know what I was trying to do here”

    So do I and I don’t even think you know, you are merely disrupting, you can’t attack with the traditional punchlines because I am supporting a proprietary model in this case.

    Quote “Well I’m certainly glad that you think game consoles are parallels to freesoftware and the challenge that it faces with proprietary software.”

    Are you? If you were not so slow (or intentionally that way) you would see that the point was to highlight software on multiple platforms rather than being the remit of one.

    Quote “Maybe give it another try after actually reading through what I have been saying, eh?”

    Of course Porto. Its blatantly obvious you are just disrupting and as a trademark of the other convenient “new” handles here telling lies.

    So out of all the hits to this article, the responses by people who really are interested in Linux, you are the only one who has a problem understanding. Ok Porto.

    Fill you boots as you certainly seem to care enough to write war and peace on absolutely nothing.

    Posted by openbytes | January 27, 2010, 3:01 pm
  11. I think the main obstacle to getting commercial software to come to Linux users in droves, are the false Net Apps desktop market share figures cited everywhere based somewhat loosely on USA figures and other skewed (paid for by M$) figures. If you want to make a port to linux, would you make a port if you thought Linux only had a 1% desktop market penetration? When the figure by Ballmer has shown a 7 to as high as even 10% figure for desktop Linux worldwide.

    The suppression of knowledge and truth, is another dishonest tool that the monopoly uses to prevent the porting of commercial software to Linux. Another factor that the M$ trolls use is that GNU/Linux users are too cheap to pay for software. This is not entirely false, as the simple fact is, the free open source gpl apps that can be used in Linux, are very good, usually better than the commercial apps themselves. So why bother to spend money on commercial apps? As a former Photoshop user on Windows, I made the switch to Gimp without problems, even before moving to Linux. Photoshop took over 700mb of space compared to 28 back in that day for Gimp.

    I would rather see more Games come to GNU/Linux than apps, myself. M$ trolls commonly point to Loki games as failure of Linux users being too few, or too cheap to support it. But the truth was, Loki did not fail for lack of money.

    In the end the constant improvements of wine, could make this discussion irrelevant. Doesn’t Photoshop already run in wine?

    But Games would be nice. However, I think the Windows dominance in games is challenged. The whole commercial games structure on Windows is in danger from consoles, and copyright infringement (piracy). Vista was also a platform that seemed to break so many games as far as compatibility. The trend is less and less to PC games, and more to console games where copyright infringement is less. The other trend is to more “free” games on the PC in general. Here I think is where the future looks bright for GNU/Linux, in that most of these free games will be developed on this platform.

    If you agree with Ballmer, and lets say, that GNU/Linux has a 7 or 8% desktop market share worldwide, what happens when we get to 10%, or 15%? The commercial apps will come at some point, is my opinion. But as a community, we need to stop agreeing with the lies of the 1% figure, if we want them.

    Posted by Chips B Malroy | January 27, 2010, 9:45 pm
  12. Quote “And as for games; it takes immense amount of money to make a game like Pro Evolution or Prince of Persia, so there will never be enough high quality FOSS games.”
    ——————————————————
    Don’t be so sure about that, I do not for a minute believe that. While you might be right, what I see is games being one of the last niches of Windows that GNU has not fully engaged yet. Really that is the correct path, everything else was needed first, to round out the application mix, so to speak.

    There are some truly astounding free games for Linux. I bet you even call give me an example, how about Battle for Wesnoth? I personally like Freeciv as a good free clone. Pysol beats any windows solitaire game hands down. But some of my examples were not the the really big games you were talking about? And for them, we have wine and crossover, which improves like clockwork. Wine might make the lack of “big” games debate pointless in time.

    Look instead at what is happening to “Windows games.” The market in windowsland for games may be going south now. South to consoles that is, south to so much DRM that the games are becoming increasingly almost unplayable. At what point due to copyright infringement does it become unprofitable to propitiatory game developers, to stop making games for the Windows platform? Or will it never reach that point? One thing is for sure, if it does reach that point, then only those “free” games will survive.

    Oddly enough, the two biggest requests I have seen from users that have switched to GNU/Linux, is not games. Its a tax program and a Greeting Card Maker type program. Not using either myself, I wonder if there are some windows programs that do these that run well in wine.

    I think there will be another, make that more than another, Loki type company in the future. The money is there for companies to sell Linux users games. It is the preconception created by M$ FUD that GNU/Linux users only number 1% of desktop users, that is stopping this now.

    As far as is it a good thing for commercial software to come to Linux or not, that is another question. We already have some commercial apps and games, Applixware, older versions of Wordperfect/Corel, Loki, Maya as a few examples. But would you trust a binary blog of a port by M$ of M$ Office for Linux? I know I would NOT! So yes, you do give up some freedom as RMS has said with this type of software. So it becomes a matter of who do you trust? Or should you trust anyone? And how bad do you really want these “big commercial games?” I think a lot of people do want the games.

    Posted by Chips B Malroy | January 29, 2010, 7:54 pm
  13. Hi Chips!

    Quote “. While you might be right, what I see is games being one of the last niches of Windows that GNU has not fully engaged yet. Really that is the correct path, everything else was needed first, to round out the application mix, so to speak.”

    I think though that the revenue required to make a return on games goes deep. I am sure there are many releases which are merely the same engine with a new set of textures thrown on them, but when you factor in promotion, advertising and deployment of the title you can see where the money goes. Sure for download only there is no real issue, but how many people have restrictions on their bandwidth? and if it wasn’t the the mainstream press would the average user be so aware of new titles?

    Quote “There are some truly astounding free games for Linux.”

    Completely agree, infact Im covering a selection of RPG’s in the next few days.

    Quote “The market in windowsland for games may be going south now.”

    Certainly what some developers are saying. Piracy, the need to keep in mind multiple combinations of hardware balanced with the need to allow as many people to play it on the spec’s they have, would suggest to me that consoles are the far more desirable (and easier) platform to deal with.

    Posted by openbytes | January 29, 2010, 9:04 pm
  14. I don’t think it is a great idea, we must aim for a truly Free Software OS. That’s been the goal of the GNU project since 1983. We would not have the great availability of free software that we have today if it weren’t for the developer that saw the ethical value of FS. Always remember that proprietary software is essentially evil, and there is not a justification to forfeit freedom.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2010, 12:44 am
  15. Quote “I don’t think it is a great idea, we must aim for a truly Free Software OS.”

    And I would not disagree with that either, but whilst some looked at Linux distro diversity as a bad thing, I always saw it as a strength. If Ubuntu heads in a more proprietary focus’d direction then there are plenty of alternatives more than happy to take your download if Ubuntu is no longer what you want.

    Its obvious to any Linux user that Linux != Ubuntu and thats why Fedora, Mandriva et al are so popular too as not everyone wants to use it. With that in mind whatever your ethos “Linux has a distro for that” I slot somewhere in the middle, adopting FOSS software on the basis of better functionality whilst keeping in mind there are some tasks which I still require a proprietary dependency. This dependency is really just gfx drivers and a few Windows binaries.

    Quote ” and there is not a justification to forfeit freedom.”

    I would completely agree with the statement but not the context. If I am told I should be just using free software then my freedom of making my own mind up is removed. If people choose to use a completely FOSS software solution then great, but we can’t talk about people having freedom whilst refering to proprietary software are “essentially evil” its up to people to make their own minds up and choose what they believe is best for them, all we can do is write about our experiences and show them the alternatives that exist.

    Kind regards
    Goblin.

    Posted by openbytes | January 26, 2010, 6:30 pm

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