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Author Topic: IceWeasel vs Firefox, another non open source saga ?  (Read 5033 times)
Kocil
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Eko M. Budi


« on: September 02, 2007, 11:52:46 pm »

Open source is almost like a religion.
When a product is forked because of a "not open source" reason,
the consequence is serious.

The newest one is IceWeasel vs Firefox.
My list extends to :

Joomla vs Mambo
X.org vs XFree86
CentOS vs Redhat Enterprise
OpenMosix vs Mosix
GTK vs QT
Gnome vs KDE

Please notice that most of the accused products are as good as dead
(except QT and KDE).
Will Firefox meet the same fate ?
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easuter
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Vectorian
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 01:53:49 am »

Well, in the IceWeasel vs Firefox situation, it only has to do with trademarks. Debian wanted to give their Firefox package a big make-over (change the logos, appearence), but still wanted to call it Firefox. And the Mozilla trademark policy is very strict in this area: you can't call something Firefox if it does not use Firefox branding and does not have the same look/feel/functionality as the official Firefox distribution.

And in a way it makes sense. Imagine that the debian package did have problems of its own because of the modifications, then by continuing to call the package "Firefox" it would reflect negatively on the "real" Firefox distribution that is endorsed by Mozilla.

Centos and RHEL both have their place, and the fact that RedHat's profits continue to grow every year means they are on the right track. The only difference is that Centos won't give you the same support that RedHat will, but if all you want is the distribution itself, then Centos is the way to go.

On the subject of GNOME vs KDE: GNOME will probably lose more ground with free-software purists as it moves over to .NET more and more. Sure its still open source, but .NET is Microsoft's development platform flagship product (and lock-in tool) and using it for a project like GNOME just....sounds insane! Yet you can already see the transition being made with some apps: Beagle, FSpot and Tomboy Notes.
This article in The Resgister about GNOME's move to Mono/.NET reflects Miguel de Icaza's intentions clearly:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/02/01/gnome_to_be_based/

The article is a bit dated, but his objectives remain the same.
(BTW, I'll continue packaging GNOME as long as its core components remain Mono-free and as long as the Mono dependent bits can be uprooted like weeds  Angry).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2007, 06:11:54 am by easuter » Logged

Joe1962
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2007, 05:25:50 am »

Actually, the Gnome/Mono/Icaza controversy has been heating up lately around the Gnome 10th anniversary celebration:

http://boycottnovell.com/2007/08/29/gnome-mono-plan/
http://boycottnovell.com/2007/09/02/novell-mono-strategy/

EDIT: forgot this one: http://boycottnovell.com/2007/07/23/gnome-mono-dep/
« Last Edit: September 03, 2007, 07:47:32 am by Joe1962 » Logged

O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
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Toe
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2007, 09:26:10 am »

Well, in the IceWeasel vs Firefox situation, it only has to do with trademarks. Debian wanted to give their Firefox package a big make-over (change the logos, appearance), but still wanted to call it Firefox.

Actually, it's NOT the look & feel stuff that they're concerned about.  They allow things like using your own theme and putting it in your distro's native package format and still call it Firefox.  What they don't want is distro-specific patches.  Mozilla essentially says, "If there's an itch to be scratched here, put it in our bugtracker and submit your patch.  Since it's open source, you're also welcome to put it directly into your version and release it.  But because it's no longer in our codebase and we have no quality control over it, at that point you may no longer call it Firefox."  The way I see it, the reason for this is pretty much the same reason Slackware uses a kernel more or less straight from kernel.org.  Cool

Firefox's build system has a branding switch built-in.  One way, you get the official Firefox branding, the other way, you get a browser called Gran Paradiso or whatever you want.  Gran Paradiso is the codename for Firefox 3, they use this name for development releases for testers, then turn on the Firefox branding for official, stable releases.  From what I gather Debian's patches had, at least at one point, broken that switch.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: September 03, 2007, 09:29:43 am by Toe » Logged
incognu
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2007, 08:33:25 pm »

There's also GNUzilla's IceWeasel, which was around before Debian's: http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/gnuzilla/

It has a few cool privacy enhancements as well.  Seems to work fine, but I prefer SeaMonkey.

Re mono:  thanks for the links;  I'd only read one of them.  Really glad VL has avoided much gnome-stuff in the defaults.  I assume we're safe from mono: clean chroot:
Code:
slapt-get --search gnome | grep gnome | grep yes
libgnomecanvas-2.14.0-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: The libgnomecanvas package contains the GNOME canvas library.
libgnomecups-0.2.2-i586-5vl58 [inst=yes]: libgnomeprintcups (Gnome Printing library needed for abiword, and gnumeric)
libgnomeprint-2.12.1-i586-5vl58 [inst=yes]: libgnomeprint-2.12.1 (Implements the GNOME printing Architecture)
libgnomeprintui-2.12.1-i586-5vl58 [inst=yes]: libgnomeprintui v 2.12.1. (an implementation of the Gnome Printing
gnome-doc-utils-0.7.1-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: Gnome-doc-utils is a collection of documentation utilities for the Gnome project
gnome-icon-theme-2.15.2-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: The GNOME Icon Theme package contains an assortment of
gnome-icon-theme-2.15.2-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: The GNOME Icon Theme package contains an assortment of
libgnomecanvas-2.14.0-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: GNOME image rendering library
and no sign of mono
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saulgoode
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2007, 10:53:15 pm »

One of the arguments I recall in support of forking FireFox was that Debian provided support for older FireFox versions than did Mozilla. If Debian sent bug fixes or backports upstream, Mozilla would say that version was no longer supported. If Debian incorporated the changes themselves, Mozilla would not let them call it "FireFox".
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A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.
easuter
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2007, 12:22:43 am »

Re mono:  thanks for the links;  I'd only read one of them.  Really glad VL has avoided much gnome-stuff in the defaults.  I assume we're safe from mono: clean chroot:
Code:
slapt-get --search gnome | grep gnome | grep yes
libgnomecanvas-2.14.0-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: The libgnomecanvas package contains the GNOME canvas library.
libgnomecups-0.2.2-i586-5vl58 [inst=yes]: libgnomeprintcups (Gnome Printing library needed for abiword, and gnumeric)
libgnomeprint-2.12.1-i586-5vl58 [inst=yes]: libgnomeprint-2.12.1 (Implements the GNOME printing Architecture)
libgnomeprintui-2.12.1-i586-5vl58 [inst=yes]: libgnomeprintui v 2.12.1. (an implementation of the Gnome Printing
gnome-doc-utils-0.7.1-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: Gnome-doc-utils is a collection of documentation utilities for the Gnome project
gnome-icon-theme-2.15.2-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: The GNOME Icon Theme package contains an assortment of
gnome-icon-theme-2.15.2-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: The GNOME Icon Theme package contains an assortment of
libgnomecanvas-2.14.0-i586-4vl58 [inst=yes]: GNOME image rendering library
and no sign of mono


Yeah, and even our GNOME desktop build is Mono-clean (check the gnome-meta package dependency list), so you won't find Beagle in the repos or any other C# abortions.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 12:24:56 am by easuter » Logged

Joe1962
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2007, 04:30:38 am »

...or any other C# abortions.
LMAO... Grin

I'm glad so far we have all pretty much agreed on keeping mono out. But like the QT4 case, where a lot of good apps were moving to it before it's time, mono seems to be "infecting" developers... Roll Eyes
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O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2007, 12:07:09 pm »

But C# is a standard, I believe. From what I've seen, it's not altogether too bad. Give it some credit as it added lexical closure. Smiley
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Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
Toe
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2007, 01:57:39 pm »

Eh, I'm not nearly as paranoid about Mono as some.  Not that I'm really crazy about it or anything, I could certainly live without it.  But reports I've seen from people who've actually used .net/C# have been mostly quite positive.

And yes, almost all of the things implemented by Mono are based on ECMA standards.  See http://www.mono-project.com/ECMA and http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_General#Mono_and_Microsoft
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incognu
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2007, 08:05:16 pm »

...or any other C# abortions.
LMAO... Grin

I'm glad so far we have all pretty much agreed on keeping mono out. But like the QT4 case, where a lot of good apps were moving to it before it's time, mono seems to be "infecting" developers... Roll Eyes

Agreed.   Avoiding mono seems the prudent thing to do, imo, and I hope VL continues to do so.

One of the arguments I recall in support of forking FireFox was that Debian provided support for older FireFox versions than did Mozilla. If Debian sent bug fixes or backports upstream, Mozilla would say that version was no longer supported. If Debian incorporated the changes themselves, Mozilla would not let them call it "FireFox".

That's right, and it's something that had slipped my mind, as I haven't been using Debian much this year.  Debian Stable provides support for several years, but there are no updates other than security patches to the versions already in Stable.  In other words, if upstream fixes a bug in version 1.0 by issuing a new version, 1.1, they expect everyone to switch to the new version.  But that's not how Debian Stable works.   Debian will patch 1.0 and provide that as a security fix. 
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Toe
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2007, 11:20:28 pm »

Mozilla explicitly gave Debian the option of backporting the security patches to older versions.  They've done this a few times before with RedHat and the 1.7 branch, and with Sun for the 1.4 branch.

Quote from: Ian Murdock
This is so maddeningly stupid I’m embarrassed to be even remotely associated with this.
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easuter
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2007, 12:44:13 pm »

Eh, I'm not nearly as paranoid about Mono as some.  Not that I'm really crazy about it or anything, I could certainly live without it.  But reports I've seen from people who've actually used .net/C# have been mostly quite positive.

And yes, almost all of the things implemented by Mono are based on ECMA standards.  See http://www.mono-project.com/ECMA and http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_General#Mono_and_Microsoft

I understand that Mono can be very useful in certain situations, for example in which a company wants to migrate their .NET based application stack to Linux without having to re-write everything. In this case yes, Mono is very valuable.
But why on earth rewrite native Linux apps using Mono?! And develop others with it too? Qt4 is already a great toolkit for providing cross-platform portability, and so is Java.
.NET is Microsoft's "Me too! I also want in with my own development platform!!".

What really fascinates me is De Icaza's obsession with infecting Linux with Microsoft's patent-riddled technology and "standards".
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 12:46:55 pm by easuter » Logged

Toe
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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2007, 01:53:33 pm »

Neither of those is really an apples-to-apples comparison.  QT is a widgets toolkit, Java is a programming language, and .NET is an application framework and interface between different applications and programming languages.  Granted, there's some overlap between them, especially if you're bringing things like Jython in to give Java support for multiple languages.

Quote
But why on earth rewrite native Linux apps using Mono?!

Because... it's a damn good platform?  Because it actually solves some problems better than what's already available in the *nix world?  I know it's hard for some MS-bashers to believe, but not everything MS does is a POS.

Miguel's done plenty of interviews over the years explaining his views; I suggest reading a few.  Here's one to start you off:

http://www.25hoursaday.com/MiguelInterview.html
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easuter
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2007, 02:37:15 pm »

Quote
Neither of those is really an apples-to-apples comparison.  QT is a widgets toolkit, Java is a programming language, and .NET is an application framework and interface between different applications and programming languages.  Granted, there's some overlap between them, especially if you're bringing things like Jython in to give Java support for multiple languages.

I think the fact that KDE4 will also be available for Windows and MacOS X (also thanks to Qt4) speaks for itself. Qt4 has evolved quite beyond the realm of a "simple" widgets toolkit, by providing database, graphics and network backends, and by providing OS-specific integration features. Oh, Qt also ships with an interface designer that can integrate with many IDEs, including VisualStudio.

Hmm...lets not forget the fact that Qt's API's aren't subject to the whims of a megalomaniac corporation.

Quote
Because... it's a damn good platform?  Because it actually solves some problems better than what's already available in the *nix world?  I know it's hard for some MS-bashers to believe, but not everything MS does is a POS.

MS-bashers...well, its not like MS has given the FOSS community a reason to love them...
And aside from the fact that .NET is only an ECMA standard (I guess we can agree on how much those standards are worth..*cough* ooxml *cough*), Mono is basically relying on MS's good-will not to screw around too much with the APIs.

If MS were really committed to allowing cross-platform implementations of its technology, then they wouldn't have screwed Samba's developers by purposefully adding unnecessary complications to SMB2.
Listen to Leo Laporte's interview with Jeremy Alison which includes the SMB2 subject: http://www.twit.tv/floww14 (from minute 33, for convenience if you don't care much for the rest).
I guess we can call SMB2 a POS, or not?  Roll Eyes What a classic example of what makes me hate Microsoft.

De Icaza says they can just continually create "double" implementations of the same API if they aren't backwards compatible...dunno, but how sustainable is that kind of development model....?

And for all the good points that .NET has: I don't believe they outweigh the potential problems its use may bring in the future.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 01:07:36 am by easuter » Logged

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