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Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu

Posted Jun 5, 2008 7:46 UTC (Thu) by jschrod (subscriber, #1646)
In reply to: Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu by glynmoody
Parent article: Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu

So, how do you think about a distribution that includes Samba?

You know, Samba, that reverse-engineered implementation of Microsoft's patent-encumbered
network file system protocol stack? Including parts of its proprietary directory technology?

Please note that I use neither GNOME nor Mono. I'm just responding because I find your
comments about Mono hypocritical.


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Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu

Posted Jun 5, 2008 8:29 UTC (Thu) by glynmoody (guest, #34032) [Link]

Samba reverse-engineers for the sake of interoperability, in order to work in a world where
Microsoft's protocols are widely used, not because it's great technology; it's a moot point
whether that's really infringing on Microsoft's patents, leaving aside that such patents
aren't even valid in certain jurisdictions.  Mono reverse-engineers Microsoft technology in
order to use it because the Mono team think it's useful to do so, and that the technology is
worth porting.

I don't think my comments about Mono are hypocritical.  I focussed on GNOME and Mono because I
was interviewing the man behind Ubuntu, which uses the former.  I think it was important to
explore the potential problems with software patents, albeit indirect ones, given Ubuntu's
growing success.  The question was really about whether Ubuntu was so committed to GNOME that
it would be implicated in any such problems; Shuttleworth has indicated that if –
hypothetically – such a situation arose, Ubuntu could switch to KDE.

Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu

Posted Jun 5, 2008 8:41 UTC (Thu) by jschrod (subscriber, #1646) [Link]

> The question was really about whether Ubuntu was so committed to GNOME
> that it would be implicated in any such problems

Well, that's actually a very good and interesting question. But I'll have to say that, for me,
the question came not across with that semantic. So you might have a communication problem in
your article. :-)

Concerning your 1st paragraph: For risk assessment of patent dangers, it is not relevant why a
technology is cloned. That it is cloned is all that matters. FTR, I actually think that patent
attacks against both technologies don't have any practical chance to arrive, it's more fudder
for FUD than for actual law suits. My reasons for this opinion are neither legal nor
technological, but from a business viewpoint. Patent attacks just don't make business sense
for MS, but patent FUD does. And we in the OSS community should not increase the FUD that
emanates from MS, IMHO.

But then, I live in one of those jurisdictions where software patents are (still) not allowed,
so maybe I can be more relaxed than others on the American side of the pond.

Mark Shuttleworth on the future of Ubuntu

Posted Jun 5, 2008 19:29 UTC (Thu) by oak (guest, #2786) [Link]

Once you can interact with www-services only through MS Silverlight[1], 
like some services currently can be used only with Flash, your 
interoperability argument becomes moot...

[1] e.g. Nokia has announced that its S60 phones are going to support it, 
so it seems to be spreading.


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