Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ubuntu Live Thoughts

Its been two days since I returned from Ubuntu Live 07 and wanted to give my thoughts on the conference.

Overall, a great collection of people and minds - I enjoyed it very much and came away pleased with the experience.
  • Sessions were too short, too high level, that I came away with less than I could have seen after 30 seconds reading online
  • Disappointed that there were not more non-linux people there - more companies and individuals wanting to move to Linux (or Ubuntu specifically)
  • O'Reilly hosted it and did a wonderful job
  • Next year I'm staying for OSCon as well
  • Tutorials were great and I could have done more (time permitting)
  • Pleased that Canonical's initiatives are focusing on businesses
  • Landscape looks great, especially for an initial release
  • Speakers, to a single one, were excellent
  • Missed the Linux Action Show guys, so disappointed (I was looking but I didn't get the podcast until I returned)
  • Food was very good - lunch boxes were actually too large
  • Stayed downtown Portland and the Maxx is free and easy transportation
  • Audience was generally good, Tutorial audience the best for participation and general help and friendliness
Geez, I can probably go on forever but again its all good baby... see you at the 2nd annual...!

FSF - Got the tee-shirt!

Okay - I've had to get defencive when someone called me on wearing a FSF tee that I purchased at Ubuntu Live.

I purchased two tee-shirts and the book "Free Software Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard Stallman" - but stopped short from purchasing membership into the FSF.

The Free Software Foundation aren't the bad guys - philosophical differences aside. (read my rant on GNU GPL v3)

Where would we be today without the GPL licenses? I doubt Linux would have gotten to the level of use it now enjoys without the 'FREE' license. And I remember back in the day, the first thing you did on any un*x installation was to install the GNU tools (ls, emacs, grep, find, cut...) - they were functional and just worked.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ubuntu Live Keynotes

I've seen all the keynotes for the conference and each was great in its own way. From Mark Shuttleworth's introduction, to Matt Asay's warning to Ubuntu, Eben Moglen's eloquent description to our state of affairs to Tim O'Reilly's excellent out-of-the-box thoughts.

It was great to listen to these gentlemen, as well as all the others, I really owe each of these guys a beer!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hello from Ubuntu Live 07!

I'm here at my first Linux (specific) conference and greatly enjoying it! Hitting all the keynotes as well as many sessions as possible. I'm meeting some great people, shaking a lot of hands and doing a lot of thinking about Open Source and Linux.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


What can I say? Have you heard that the Free Software Foundation has released the newest incarnation of the GNU GPL version 3? If you don't know what this is, skip this entry. And if you do know, what do you think?

Me, I think its a mistake. I really do.

Version 2 of the license is about the software, encouraging success through sharing. Take from the source but give back your changes for the common good of all. Crazy talk perhaps in the late 80's and a hard sell even in the late 90's - but for more than a few companies and people now, this model not only works but excels. I am a big fan of GNU GPL version 2 - the successes of which are too many even to highlight.

Then comes GNU GPL version 3 and I get nervous.

You see, I come from the corporate world and really want to see GNU/Linux dominate this market. This version of the GPL is about the individual - freedom if it does not infringe on you as a person. What it does do is take, in my opinion, freedom away from businesses.

Companies as well as individuals co-existed nicely under version 2 - we have widespread adoption of GNU software on a huge number of domains. Under version 3, I fear it too restrictive (ie, less 'free') for companies to adopt.

What do you care - you are just 1 person right? Well, your newest gadget vendor may no longer use Linux when version 3 becomes more widespread. Large companies that use version 2 but can not use version 3 will migrate to a different choice. Folks, these companies are the major contributers to our favourite kernel and supporting applications! Remove their freedom and we remove their contributions - which reduces your choice and, subsequently, your freedom.

Is it too late? Perhaps. Stay with GNU GPL version 2, encourage your favourite upstream developers to stay with version 2, or move to one of the Open Source licenses.