FUD for Thought | LINUX Unplugged 24

FUD for Thought | LINUX Unplugged 24

The battle lines have been drawn and the assault against upstart is in full force. We’ll discuss the heat being put on Canonical, the CLA, and upstart with our virtual LUG.

Then we’ll bust some Linux switching FUD that’s been popping up with more and more Windows users fleeing the sinking ship.

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Show Notes:


Nest always thought of itself as a robotics company; the robot is just hidden inside this sleek Appleish case.

Look at who the company brought in as its VP of technology: Yoky Matsuoka, a roboticist and artificial intelligence expert from the University of Washington.

The War Against Upstart

\”To be fair, people just like hating on Canonical. The FSF and Apache Foundation CLA\’s are pretty much equally broken. And they may not be broken because of any relicencing, but because the copyright assignment paperwork ends up basically killing the community. Basically, with a CLA, you don\’t get the kind of \”long tail\” that the kernel has of random drive-by patches. And since that\’s how lots of people try the waters, any CLA at all — changing the license or not — is fundamentally broken.\”

So why do people object so much when Canonical do it? I\’ve written about this in the context of Mir before, but it\’s worth expanding on the general case. The FSF\’s copyright assignment ensures that contributions to GPLed software will only be distributed under GPL-style licenses. The Apache CLA permits the ASF to relicense a contribution under a proprietary license, but the Apache license allows anyone to do that anyway.

In contrast, Canonical ship software under the GPLv3 family of licenses (GPL, AGPL and LGPL) but require that contributors sign an agreement that permits Canonical to relicense their contributions under a proprietary license. This is a fundamentally different situation to almost all widely accepted CLAs, and it\’s disingenuous for Canonical to defend their CLA by pointing out the broad community uptake of, for instance, the Apache CLA.

Shutting down is hard.

I am sorry for piling on, but here\’s an interesting aspect of Upstart I\’d like to shed some light on. Not necessarily because it is hard to fix, but simply because it is quite interesting.

Upstart (as it stands now) will eat your file system.

The existance of mountall on Upstart, and the non-integration of /etc/fstab into the Upstart rule set, results in a lot of additional shortcomings: mountall is a one-time thing for the boot process, all context of file systems, devices and mounts is lost, after it ran, and the file system state is henceforth assumed static. Which of course is not how systems work these days…

This design flaw is one of the things we noticed when we looked into Upstart in detail before we decided to start systemd. 4 years later, nothing has changed, the Upstart design still cannot cover this…

FUD Busting:

Linux is not a replacement for Windows for 99.999% of users

\”It might even be illegal for us to remove Microsoft Office or Windows from previously purchased computers, due to the vendor agreement the school district signed with Microsoft.\”

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