What was your favourite comment in OpenWeek?

I’ve been trying to get to as much of OpenWeek as I could and have really enjoyed a lot of the sessions. Dustin Kirkland’s session on encrypted home folders and of course the Docs Day sessions were fantastic 😉

So I was wondering what everyone’s favourites so far were…

My favourite comment was from Mark Shuttleworth during his Q&A, I’ve seen similar questions asked so many times but I’ve never seen an answer as succint:

(12:24:03 PM) jcastro: <rabbit251> jcastro: QUESTION: Do you see Wine (and Windows-compatibilty in general)
or native Linux ports as the more important ingredient in the success of Ubuntu, or do they each play an
important role?
(12:24:18 PM) sabdfl: they both play an important role
(12:24:30 PM) sabdfl: but fundamentally, the free software ecosystem needs to thrive on its own rules
(12:24:41 PM) sabdfl: it is *different* to the proprietary software universe
(12:24:54 PM) sabdfl: we need to make a success of our own platform on our own terms
(12:25:08 PM) sabdfl: if Linux is just another way to run Windows apps, we can't win
(12:25:13 PM) sabdfl: OS/2 tried that

I’ve started using the last two lines as my email signature.

8 Replies to “What was your favourite comment in OpenWeek?”

  1. For many of us, Wine will be a *fundamental* part of why ubuntu finally succeeds; but this is independent and not contradictory to what is stated above. It’s just that it’s ignored and missed by all those people (mainly those doing Ubuntu/Red Hat etc) that has no relation to this part of it. Actually, the closest parallell – and it is very close – is that of having OpenOffice.org being able to open all those old documents you already have lying about or gets sent to you, created in MS Office, or our players being able to play all those MP3s you already have ripped from your CD collection. Sure, ODF and OGG may be superior, but that doesn’t change the fact that you have legacy documents and media files that you need or want.

    I’m talking about games. And not necessarily any future games, if Linux takes off enough, there will be games natively for the platform so I’ll rather not have Wine to run those. I will already since several years NOT buy any Windows games even if they work perfectly in Wine. I agree with Mark, in other words. However this is a big part of getting to that point:

    It’s about all those games we already own. The reason DOSBOX and SCUMMVM, SNES emulators and Amiga emulators are so enormously popular. Many think that all we gamers are interested in are the latest, newest whatever – true for some, but probably not even for most. Good games never stop being good games, and great games never stop being fun to revisit and play. We do it with the above mentioned technlogies, and Wine, and more. And we don’t want to lose this enormous treasure of enjoyment for almost anything.

    See, games are exactly like legacy documents. They are NOT applications that can just be replaced by a similar application, like Word with OOo – they are much more similar to documents, since all that makes up a game is the unique content (including in this case, gameplay, physics, rules, what have you). 99.99% of it can’t be replaced with less than a more or less perfect clone, which would be totally infeasible. But if Wine gets there so that it can run all games that went before, then we have it. We can switch. All of us. And when the market share gets significant enough, we’ll get the new games for our platform natively. But we won’t go all the way without our oldies.

    And if you think I’m kidding, or is mistaken, and that this is not a significant portion of users or even that it can be dismissed because it is not “serious” and computers are for real work – or whatever… well then it’s probably doomed to fail then. And you are just hanging out with a very specific smallminded subset of humanity. 😉 No offense intended, but I’m actually speaking of most people between 10-35 now, girl and boy alike – that DOES think is of huge importance. And no, consoles does not replace even most kinds of games regular people enjoy, only highly specific genres for hardcore gamers. That also want PC games.

    But who am I kidding? Noone ever thinks of gamers as an important target group, even though the games industry is turning more money than the movie industry every year, and that all those people who apparently create this revenue must be a LOT of people who will not let you pry their games away from them at less than their cold, dead hands.

    I think that is too bad. Investing heavily in making a significant set of popular games run really well coupled with easy-to-use Wine would probably tunr more people to Linux than converted office workers the last 5 years… but when the devs don’t play themselves, they don’t hang out with gamers… well. We all know how it goes when one group of people are trying ot make a product for themselves and not the customers. Oh right, we call them programmers! 😀 (Been there, done that!)

    Rant over.

  2. I’m not sure I follow your point but are you saying that WINE is essential to support legacy file formats?

    With respect to playing emulated games, all the systems you mention have native Linux ports and the idea of running an emulators overhead through an API layer introduces problems with no discernible advantage.

    You’re making some very sweeping statements, especially given that I’m in the age group you cite – I happen to enjoy gaming and have a fairly spectacular collection of consoles and games and I don’t agree that games are akin to documents (I strongly suspect their IP holders wouldn’t either). Wouldn’t improving the emulators under Linux be a better approach?

    I also think you’re wildly off the mark about consoles being dedicated to hardcore gamers, which denies the success of both XBox Live Arcade and the Wii equivalent.

    Most important though is that WINE isn’t a project under our control and we don’t have direction over it, Mark’s right – OS/2 tried offering integrated support for DOS/Windows and it made no odds. As a dedicated gamer, which is the demographic you’re discussing, would you really spend thousands on a high end PC and then choose the OS without native support for the games you want to play, where the manufacturers of the hardware you bought aren’t producing drivers for that OS?

    As I’ve said I’m an avid gamer but I think you are underestimating console sales against PC games sales – consider the current charts, Charttrack and MCV 10 of the top 40 are PC games and only one is not on console too. If I was developing games, I can see which platforms I’d be most interested in!

    The other thing that PC gamers tend to forget is that specifications vary between games, there is some horrible DRM to overcome (Spore?) and it simply isn’t as available as putting a disc in a console. When these issues are resolved with PC games then it would be a better time to adopt large scale investment in their support under Linux.

  3. What’s my favorite comnments?

    “(05:44:26 PM) ogasawara: 10) Remove AUFS”

    and slightly later…

    “(05:56:38 PM) ogasawara: 14) Remove AppArmor
    (05:56:49 PM) ogasawara: Discussions need to happen between the Ubuntu kernel team and the security team as to whether AppArmor will still be supported or if Ubuntu will move to a different security model, eg. SELinux.
    (05:57:05 PM) ogasawara: Unfortunately that’s about all I know about the current status of this topic at this point in time.”

    I actually did a coffee spittake when I saw the discussion about potentially removing Apparmor. Unfortunately it was more of a teaser than anything else. But if Canonical is serious about stepping away from AppArmor thats very big news. Very good for potential enterprise Ubuntu users, and very good for cloud security in general. If Canonical is serious about being a force in the cloud, then they need to get serious about security in the cloud.

    I can’t wait to see how Shuttleworth back pedals away from his previous glowing support of AppArmor. Not that Canonical ever showed much interest in developing AppArmor significantly in the last 2 years. Canonical hasn’t been putting the work in to write AppArmor policy. The out-of-the-box apparmor support is anemic https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/KnowledgeBase/AppArmorProfiles.

    If Ubuntu does make the switch, I expect there to be an public accounting of the rationale as to why AppArmor isn’t good enough anymore. Hopefully the sum total of the reasons to switch to Selinux that Canonical developers come up with isn’t going to be to take advantage of the work Red Hat has already done on SELinux policy implementation and the current work they are doing to help make virtualized deployments secure.

    Free-loading off of Red Hat does make a lot more sense then free-loading off of Novell.. I’ll grant you that. But hopefully after the switch Canonical will realize they need to actually man up and help do the work to move SELinux along. They didn’t do that with AppArmor. If they make the jump to Selinux hopefully they’ll put some manpower into actually developing SVirt and SElinux more generally.


  4. Mark didn’t say that OS/2 failed because of or despite its compatibility – he just said that it failed and had compatibility. The point I read from this was that Ubuntu’s focus shouldn’t be on Windows application compatibility but on developing the OS in its own right.

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