Why does Trisquel take to much time to release a new version?

24 réponses [Dernière contribution]
rcl
rcl
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 11/20/2016

As far as I know, Trisquel just strips down proprietary software from an Ubuntu release.

We should be able to identify and delete all proprietary software just by running a script.

Then a new Trisquel version should be published within hours of an Ubuntu release.

What am I missing here?

kenogo
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A rejoint: 11/20/2019

Disclaimer: I'm not a Trisquel dev but have looked into it somewhat and am planning to contribute soon.

First of all, stripping away the proprietary stuff isn't as easy as it may seem. One could, for example, think that Trisquel could just be based on Debian without offering Debian's nonfree and contrib repos. But there are some differences in what the Debian project considers free software and what the FSF considers free, and Trisquel tries to adhere to the FSF. This means there needs to be careful consideration as to which packages are truly free and which aren't (a popular example of this debate is chromium).

But Trisquel doesn't just strip away everything proprietary. Some packages may be modified to take specific non-free parts away, instead of having to remove the entire package. Then, Trisquel also has to do rebranding: It has its own icon theme, its logo and name that should replace any occurance of the Ubuntu logo or name, etc. Firefox is also rebranded to Abrowser and some changes are made to it.

All this is done with helper scripts (see here: https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers), which need maintanence since a software package update may break a helper script so it may need to be changed.

Also, Trisquel uses completely different defaults than Ubuntu. Ubuntu 16.04 came with the Unity desktop, Trisquel comes with MATE, but it's still set up very differently than Ubuntu MATE 16.04. I think Trisquel has made very sensible design choices here and this kind of stuff takes some time.

And finally, Trisquel has a very small number of contributors, who are doing this for free in their spare time.

rcl
rcl
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A rejoint: 11/20/2016

There is now a new column with delay information with respect to base OS in Wikipedia page of Trisquel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trisquel#Release_history

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> As far as I know, Trisquel just strips down proprietary software from
> an Ubuntu release.
>
> We should be able to identify and delete all proprietary software just
> by running a script.
>
> Then a new Trisquel version should be published within hours of an
> Ubuntu release.
>
> What am I missing here?

Read this,[1] and you will see that FSDG-compliance is not something
that can be done with one script. In particular, note this paragraph:

"A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any
nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so. The
system should have no repositories for nonfree software and no specific
recipes for installation of particular nonfree programs. Nor should the
distribution refer to third-party repositories that are not committed to
only including free software; even if they only have free software
today, that may not be true tomorrow. Programs in the system should not
suggest installing nonfree plugins, documentation, and so on."

Ubuntu contains many packages which are free software, but which violate
the FSDG in one or more of the ways described in that paragraph. In
order to fix this, we need to actually modify the source code of those
packages. There can be no one-size-fits all script to fix these
packages. Each package needs its own script.[2]

We try to write the scripts in such a way that they will often work for
future versions of the packages without needing to be modified, but
which each Ubuntu release there are inevitably many scripts which need
to be updated for the new package versions. If you would like to see
the kinds of changes we have had to make for Trisquel 9, browse through
the git history here.[3]

[1] https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html

[2]
https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/tree/etiona/helpers

[3] https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/commits/etiona

tonlee
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/08/2014

We have debated this before. How trisquel gets provided
has to mean somewhere in the chain a waste of
resources takes place. The adding and removing of
non free software.

What are your comments on this suggestion? Getting a
liaison officer in debian. A person who makes sure
that during programming documentation and scrips
are made at the earliest possible stage which optimizes
how to turn debian into free software. Maybe debian
wants money for that work, but if it made the turning debian
into free software part more efficient then it could
still payoff.

chaosmonk

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Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> We have debated this before. How trisquel gets provided has to mean
> somewhere in the chain a waste of resources takes place. The adding
> and removing of non free software.

Yes we have, and I have already explained that Ubuntu does *not* add
non-free software to Debian, so there is no "adding and removing" of
non-free software, only removing. Ubuntu does some annoying things that
inconvenience us, but their modifications to Debian are under free
licenses.

> What are your comments on this suggestion? Getting a liaison officer
> in debian. A person who makes sure that during programming
> documentation and scrips are made at the earliest possible stage which
> optimizes how to turn debian into free software. Maybe debian wants
> money for that work, but if it made the turning debian into free
> software part more efficient then it could still payoff.

This would be great, but Debian and the FSF would have to be decide to
do this. It's not up to me.

Magic Banana

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A rejoint: 07/24/2010

How trisquel gets provided has to mean somewhere in the chain a waste of resources takes place. The adding and removing of non free software.

The FSDG issues are almost always introduced upstream Debian: Firefox's catalog of add-ons contains non-free ones, HPLIP supports printers with proprietary drivers, Kopete supports Skype, Liferea has Chrome and Opera in its list of external Web browsers, VirtualBox has a menu to install non-free drivers (Guest additions), etc.

Just look at https://devel.trisquel.info/trisquel/package-helpers/tree/etiona/helpers and see.

calher

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A rejoint: 06/19/2015

Scripts help tremendously, but removing all proprietary bits requires
manual human intervention. It is similar to deblobbing the kernel.

Magic Banana

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A rejoint: 07/24/2010

The human intervention is to adapt the script to the new version (or write it in the first place).

nadebula.1984
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A rejoint: 05/01/2018

Partly Debian's DFSG is not strict enough and further works are needed to meet FSF's guidelines (as an endorsed distribution).

Partly Ubuntu has been actively incorporating non-free software to its distribution, so it's increasingly hard to purify it (to be used as the basis of Trisquel).

Magic Banana

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A rejoint: 07/24/2010

As far as I know, Ubuntu is not turning free software packages DSFG-offending. It adds proprietary packages to the restricted and multiverse sections of its software repository. Trisquel does not take those packages. Not taking them is no "further work".

Detlef
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A rejoint: 10/28/2018

It is reminded that new versions are very long in coming.
I agree with that criticism.

But there are (for me) more important things than a new major version of the system:
It is unacceptable that updates, especially of important programs like LibreOffice, take endless time and that you can only get the latest versions "by crooked means".

Basically I see it as a mistake to take a major system like Ubuntu here and make a free version out of it. By this (bad) "strategy"; one has (always) problems:

1. You always have to react to new versions and cannot go through your own development cycles -> the users get annoyed, which is why no new version comes when the "template system" appears in a new version.

2. You have to start over and over again by scanning the template system to see if non-free software has "crept in" somewhere if you only want to offer real free software yourself. Thus you do the full work of building a free system every time and cannot build on existing (own) changes.

3. Stress, which at least in parts could be avoided, causes unnecessary wear and tear and the system is constantly threatened with death due to overloading the developers -> and new developers are difficult to recruit -> the system always remains in the niche and remains meaningless.

I think Trisquel is great - without a lot of frippery and well focused on "productivity" - but I won't be on Trisquel much longer if it doesn't show a clear improvement.
What use is free software to me if I don't get updates for the important main programs?

Many greetings
detlef

strypey
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/14/2015

Detlef:
> What use is free software to me if I don't get updates for the important main programs?

I hear you, and this is a complaint I've made as well. One solution is for Trisquel users to upskill ourselves on how to do backporting of newer versions so we can help, as discussed in the comment thread starting here:
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/jami-version-trisquel-8-repos-still-called-ring#comment-144251

andyprough
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A rejoint: 02/12/2015

> It is unacceptable that updates, especially of important programs like LibreOffice, take endless time and that you can only get the latest versions "by crooked means".

OH NO. I have to download the LibreOffice deb files and perform "dpkg -i *.deb". How CROOKED. How ENDLESS.

Detlef
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A rejoint: 10/28/2018

@strypey:

[I ask for your understanding for a perhaps bad English - this is a machine translation from German]

There are several arguments against it:

1. Only very few users are capable of intervening in the system themselves. And only a few want that. The "normal user" wants to use the system ONLY, nothing else.

2. Whoever publishes a program or a system is also responsible for its topicality. Even if I want to update my programs (manually and on my own responsibility), I cannot do that at all, because current versions are not offered by the system publisher at all. I have to go "crooked ways" to use the current versions.

3. It is a very weak and above all bad reason, the "mother system" is outdated and therefore my system cannot be up to date. Then why should I use this "child system"? Then I can use any other system -> then the system was already dead at startup and it is pointless to use it.

4. The internet and thousands of books and thousands of seminars are full of reminders to bring in updates because they are important for security. To stick to my example: LibreOffice is now not only updated for its beauty, but also includes bugfixes and security improvements. Here, too, it is a false argument that it would not always be security improvements and therefore updates would be unimportant -> a dangerous policy that causes serious damage to one's own system.

All in all:
No wonder that Trisquel (or other good systems) do not come out of the niche and do not grow old overall when argued like this. . .

kelwittsstern
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A rejoint: 05/17/2019

I agree with you.
It's not only LibreOffice, but for me it's primarly important software like Abrowser and icedove, because off the daily use.

calher

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A rejoint: 06/19/2015

On 12/18/2019 01:16 AM, name at domain wrote:
> [I ask for your understanding for a perhaps bad English - this is a
> machine translation from German]

I hope you're not using Google Translate. It is a proprietary web
program. Please use Apertium or learn the language you insist on using.

tonlee
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/08/2014

Do you know a free software translator to install
on your computer? One which does not send your
text to a server for translation?

calher

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A rejoint: 06/19/2015

On 12/19/2019 12:03 PM, name at domain wrote:
> DO you know a free software translator to install
> on your computer? One which does not send your
> text to a server for translation?

apt install apertium

GNUbahn
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 02/19/2016

Apertium is cool but is running very low on languages and translation capabilities

tonlee
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/08/2014

> apt install apertium

I did not know you can install apertium and
assumed apertium sends your text
to a server.

torsten

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A rejoint: 06/15/2018

hallo calher,

it is the non-human technocratic newspeak of yours, the expells enthusiatic new GNU/Linux users.
You seem not be able to sense the real message of a human being user's concern.
Instead you come as a "Naseweis" reciting the old mantra "proprietay ............" ad aeternum.

Magic Banana

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A rejoint: 07/24/2010

Downloading a .deb from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/?type=deb-x86_64 is not "crooked"... but you become responsible for updating LibreOffice whenever a new version (potentially fixing vulnerabilities) is released. I believe LibreOffice itself, as delivered upstream, checks for update, doesn't it?

Adding https://launchpad.net/~libreoffice/+archive/ubuntu/ppa as a software repository allows to get the latest versions, tweaked to use the versions of the libraries of your version of Trisquel (specify "xenial" for Trisquel 8) and not older versions (for a greater compatibility), and to have APT manage the updates... but you need to trust the administrators of the PPA, in addition to LibreOffice developers.

Contrary to what you claim, I believe most users want to stick longer with a given version of LibreOffice, the one Trisquel was originally released with: when you have urgent work to do, you do not want to learn the new way to achieve it. Sticking with what Trisquel ships is secure: security patches are backported and APT suggests their urgent installation. According to my /var/log/apt/history.log.*.gz files, the last time LibreOffice was updated on my system (for security fixes) was on September 26th, less than three months ago.

Ark74

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A rejoint: 07/15/2009

Just a (very)quick side note,

For Trisquel 9 you'll be able to enable the backports repository to get LibreOffice on the Fresh edition, rather the default Ubuntu's frozen release.

Cheers!

red_liberty
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A rejoint: 12/15/2019

Given that updates take time to process, isn't it possible that important security updates aren't passed through immediately because their code needs to be reviewed? Could this be regarded as a security trade-off for the freedom that Trisquel provides? If so wouldn't a default Debian install using only free sources for apt be more secure? I know these are provocative questions but I'd imagine they would receive provocative answers :)