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Some minor changes I would suggest in the article.

Posted by: ompaul on May 31, 2008 01:41 PM
This is not a line by line take down of the article it is a simple take on a few of the items in the article.

In the article it said:
"freedom-ware"
I think this is wrong, it should say Free Software, there is stuff called freeware with is public domain and is not is not free as in freedom and the use of these words suggest they have a tighter binding than in fact they do.
Quick check to see if your software is Free as in Freedom.

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour. (Yeah I am a european ;-))
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits .

Access to the source code is a precondition for the second and forth lines there.

In the article it said:
"Firefox has been replaced with Epiphany to avoid issues revolving around Mozilla trademark claims."

Actually we have no problem with the trademark claims.
After all GNU is a registered trademark!

Now to the meat of this problem, the rules around the trademark say if you alter upstream you can't call your software FireFox so we did not in version 1.0 we called it Burning Dog.

Why did we choose to change the way the program worked (which we are entitled to do under its licence, should we have a need and we do).

The comments on builder seem to miss the point, you could of course use AptOnCd as you suggest, there are several other ways, however to build our own version we choose to make a mirror so we would have a full tree to go through.

One of the FSFs requirements is that you don't point to or suggest non free software with your software for them to endorse it at Free Software. As our aim was to bring our distro into compliance with their guidelines, we could not suggest nor could we use FireFox as it suggests though the extensions non free software.

In version 1 we got an alternative version out the door, we called ours "burning dog" as a pun on FireFox.

We had some problems removing the code that allows user of the browser download none free software. This meant to get version 2 out the door we dropped it as the base for our browser and substituted epiphany.

I would like to thank Brian for the last two years of work on gNewSense, there are plenty of others who have helped in and out of the FSF, in particular the following people, Ted, Justin, Ward, Karl, Peter, BMH and MRS (not a typo), RMS one or more people called Matt and the two guys called Chris to mention but a few. It has been trying at times but the outcome seems interesting.

There are a lot of GNU/Linux systems out there, just some of them are FSF endorsed for some of the reasons outlined above and more.
My parting shot (just to give someone the chance to call me a zealot totally misusing that word and its historical origins ;-))
At the end of the day if the binary driver fails you can't fix it your system is now broken and so I ask "Why use them?".

Regards, Paul O'Malley

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