Podcast Season 1 Episode 24


Title: Linux Mint

In this episode: The Gnome community considers dropping GNU, while a Gnome screensaver is found to contain malware. We trawl through our favourite TuxRadar comments of the year and ask whether it's good to sue for GPL violations.

What's in the show

  • News: After a discussion on the Gnome Foundation mailing list, the Gnome community has considered dropping its GNU affiliation. A Gnome screensaver on Gnome-Look.org has been discovered to contain a malicious script and ThinkGeek is selling Linux coins.
  • Hot Topic: We trawl through our favourite TuxRadar comments of the year.
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Graham: add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily/ppa and apt-get [tab]
    • Mike: Spy on people with GNU Xnee
    • Paul: 48454c50
    • Andrew: PACPL's KDE integration
  • Open Ballot: Is it good to sue for GPL violations?
  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to to 55% - that's just $7.62 an issue!

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders

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Your comments


I have not heard the podcast yet, but since someone has brought up Lefty...

I started to check this guy out a few weeks ago. AFAIK he has never written a single line of code himself. OK, if Mark Shuttleworth didn't code, he would still be responsible for enabling a lot of code, something you can't say about Lefty.

AFAICS the only real contribution he has made is to invent the term "faux FOSS", which he ( bleatedly ) explains does not apply to Richard Stallman just the people who have the same beliefs as RMS.

I have come to the concolusion that he is a "PHB wannabee" stirring things up for his agenda. I think it should be interesting to see how the FOSS community deals with PHBs.

I can name that tune in ...

I can't tell for sure, but it is either the Bach fugue from Godel, Escher and Bach fame. ( How many people even know of that bopok nowadays? ) or it's the Mario Brothers theme played on a piano, possibly trandlated one octave.


I'm downloading the podcast still, though I am honestly sick and tired of listening to the gnome guys moan and whine about this stupid issue.

My stance on it is this: if you're on Planet Gnome, stop posting stuff that isn't about Gnome! Put that on a different blog! I don't see why that's difficult.

Neither side wants to admit defeat, nor does either side let any sort of opposing view go unpunished. The anti-RMS guys are just as zealous about their battle as the pro-RMS guys are and it's just a whole lot of noise around the most stupid little piddly thing ever.


Laughter directed to the first post forthcoming,

When has anything Lefty has ever done in his life impartial in the least bit? I didn't take the survey, but I've read Boycott Boycott Novell a few times and I'd trust anything from him about equal to the actual importance of this issue (which is, incidentally, none).

He's the RMS of the anti-RMS brigade, and his zealotry against zealotry annoys me like you cannot believe.

Okay, I'm done posting until I listen to the podcast.

Put him in his place!

I really think the Gnome people should tell Richard Stallman to STFU and find something else to rant about!!

A piddling issue

I think that this is a piddling little issue in which a couple of dunderheads on each side have become increasingly shrill, and have almost libellously misrepresented each other's statements (as does that supposed "survey"), but...

There is a lot of growth in platforms like Android, there are semi-proprietary languages gaining ground and a huge array of consumer products running embedded Linux. This brings a lot of people into Linux development who have seriously commercial ambitions. This maybe is not an issue on developer forums yet, but it will be, because commercial developers can not help promoting their commercial ends.

The handful who are currently riding on top of Linux development, who give nothing back except patches to fix their own product, are very easy to ignore right now, but it will not stay that way. At some point either Gnome will be stolen from the open source community by weight of commercial developers, or the open source community will have to take a stand against commercial pre-conditions in Gnome development.

Although seriously, the proprietary-funded developers can't cooperate with anyone, even each other, so the outcome is quite easy to see.


Okay, I heard the podcast.

1) I don't see why you are feeling bad about suing people who violate the GPL. THEY DID SOMETHING WRONG.

So what if Samsung has to recall all of its TV's? They shouldn't have wronged the GPL! If they had stolen code from Microsoft this would be a moot point - I don't see how stealing from Busybox changes anything. Just because the source is there doesn't mean you can just throw it around to your will.

Is four weeks too short? I don't think so. An entire month without a response is pretty damning.

2) Why are there non-Gnome related blogs on a Gnome blog aggregation? Other Planet websites allow for filtering (Fedora and Ubuntu, notably), and I assume that Gnome does the same. I don't see why any blog writer on the Gnome planet has to let their non-Gnome blogs hit the Planet.

This smacks of yet another anti-RMS brigade rant, who are growing to the point where they annoy me as much, if not more, than RMS himself.

3) I liked the talk on the Linux coins. The podcast name made me chuckle pretty hard. I also enjoyed the Discoveries of the Fortnights.

4) I haven't the slightest clue what that song is. I look forward to the answer, though.

Good podcast. I eagerly await the next season. Are you guys going to use a different song?

Paul might want to think about making his code Public Domain

I was puzzled to hear Paul considering re-licensing his code because he wouldn't want anyone to be sued for using his code. There is a balance of rights that he needs to release in that case, but in doing so he may lose the personal association with his code and a potential future community of users/coders to relate to and code with.

That is the point. The more he releases the copyright on his code the more (potentially) he loses in community.

The GPL is a strong license that uses copyright law to create freedom for communities of coders/users. Resorting to a lawsuit as a last resort (of course) is possible and also has to be done to show that the freedom for the coders is real.

IIRC the SFLC has a number of stages and invites those infringing the GPL to join in the GPL and sort out their issues. Microsoft (to my astonishment) recently complied this way... So it does work.

Of course a legal solution is not the best idea, but Paul should consider what he gains to lose in terms of community by re-licensing in a less restrictive manner (and that to enforce a different licence might ultimately require a lawsuit!)

dont convert mp3 to ogg!

During the podcast one of you (sorry, not sure which) mentioned converting mp3 files to ogg.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer ogg and think it is superior to mp3. The reason you should not convert mp3 to ogg is that mp3 files are compressed and not lossless. Neither of the strengths of ogg (that it is efficient, open) apply to this type of conversion.

You can think of it as a the original lossless source the mp3 was made from as being a pie. The process of converting to mp3 leaves you with only 3/4 of the pie. The process of converting to ogg leaves you with 3/4 of what you had before. If you convert from mp3 to ogg (3/4 of 3/4) you only have 9/12ths left. This is a crude explanation.

Converting to ogg to avoid using non-open software would be ironic, since the process of conversion would require the use of that software.

Since converting to ogg is pointless it is best to leave compressed, non-lossless sources (mp3, aac, wma) as they are and stick to ogg for conversions from lossless sources (wav, flac) and of course stuff you get in ogg.

GPL suing

I think its important to sue the big companies otherwise they will run all over us and not take us or the GPL seriously.

No GPL in Mono

Today it was announced that there is no longer any GPL code in Mono, which I suspects adds more to the fire.

Should the vote to pull out of GNU taken place no metter which side won, I would see it not as a call to vote, but as a call to fork into two Gnomes. One that stays with GNU and one that leaves GNU. The vote would have been over which side got all the assets.

Now I see the fork ( not because of the announcement about Mono ) as being inevitable. It shall certainly be interesting to see how it develops.

Seems really tb be a vote by the Mono community to drop Gnu

I mean, isn't it mostly mono/moonlight/microsoft-tech fanboys who are doing the pushing?

it is pretty easy to port C# apps back to C++

it is pretty easy to port C# apps back to C++

Gnote performs vastly better than tomboy, and converting it from C# to C++ was like shoving a beehive right up the Mono Crowd's ass. Apparently, it was trivial to port in this manner.

this is really the best way to deal with Miguel's MONOmaniac Minions"

take all their apps and turn them into proper QT C++ !

that will bake their shit once and for all.

and this might be possible as well... a lexical converter

shouldn't be too hard either to make a lexical converter from C# to C++ ... then just some tweaks for something that will compile, and a little debugging...

MONO must be annihilated, and the ground Sown with Salt.

You are welcome Andrew

You are very welcome Andrew :) , I found it I don't know how many years ago, just wandering about, nice to put it to good use :) ... mmmh, now, how about you tell me what the theme song of the podcast is? Happy Holidays to all. E.

Wise men

In the most recent podcast, one of you say something like "what we know is that they weren't three".

Well, if the Bible doesn't say, 3 is a possibility, just as any other number.

But what we know is>

1. We know they were more than 1.
2. We can assume then weren't many, since joseph and Mary would have become rich from all their gifts.
3. Since the Bible does say there were 3 different gifts, it's easy to know why most people assume there were 3 wise men.

parse the quote ... LAST != FIRST

Just finished listening to the show and discussion re suing over the GPL. Somehow, after reading what I took to be a direct quote from some lawyer at the FSLC (or whatever the hell it's called) you concluded that they only gave miscreants as little as four weeks to respond. The quote stated (I paraphrase) SINCE __LAST__ CONTACTED!!! not since they initially contacted the perps. They could have been talking to these parties for the last year and the quote would be accurate. I know talking to lawyers is tough, but the one (only) thing which can be said in their favor is that they are pretty precise in their wording.

- kg

Just a quick thought

How can someone who preaches freedom be taken seriously whilst telling others in the community what they should be doing?


Wow. Looks like "Lefty" actually drove someone *insane*!

Those are Lefty's own

Those are Lefty's own documented words, so your comments are perplexing. Stalkers do inflict psychological damage on their victims, though. That is what they are all about doing, and Lefty is an arch-stalker, in the formal psychiatric and legal sense.

Many thanks for the podcast

Many thanks for the podcast - I enjoyed it loads. Well, have you heard about xanax. It is an excellent tablet to overcome anxiety disorder.

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