The Ubuntu Userspace for Windows Developers -- A Project by Canonical and Microsoft. What is your idea?

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SalmanMohammadi
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Iscritto: 02/23/2012

quote from the link: http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.html

---
Here's let's break it down slowly...

Windows 10 users
Can open the Windows Start menu
And type "bash" [enter]
Which opens a cmd.exe console
Running Ubuntu's /bin/bash
With full access to all of Ubuntu user space
Yes, that means apt, ssh, rsync, find, grep, awk, sed, sort, xargs, md5sum, gpg, curl, wget, apache, mysql, python, perl, ruby, php, gcc, tar, vim, emacs, diff, patch...
And most of the tens of thousands binary packages available in the Ubuntu archives!
---

What is your idea?

strypey
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Iscritto: 05/14/2015

Sounds very similar to Cygwin:
http://cygwin.com/

What's the point? Why would anyone use such a thing?

t3g
t3g
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Iscritto: 05/15/2011

Similar but better

moxalt
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Iscritto: 06/19/2015

On Thu, 31 Mar 2016 20:14:54 +0200 (CEST)
name at domain wrote:

> Similar but better

Anything designed to make life easier for Windows developers should be opposed.

andermetalsh
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Iscritto: 01/04/2013

Classic EEE.

But GNU/Linux being so fragmented gives us a huge advantage to avoid that.

It's a good start if they begin to use a GNU/Windows environment instead of Powershell, anyway.

The next logical step is asking developers to replace that NT kernel with a Linux-libre one. You know what I mean.

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

"Classic EEE."

Yes. The embrase phase continues. Perhaps we should now start calling it GNU/Windows?

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

I had never heard of EEE, so thank you for mentioning it. Wow! it just keeps amazing me more and more how people can patronize MS given how scummy they are! My guess is that they aren't aware of many of these things. Our number one goal should be raising awareness. That is probably why rms tirelessly travels the world giving speeches.

Ubuntu, however, should know better. At best there is this idealistic delusion that if they only keep compromising and bowing at the feet of business, things will get better. At worst, this fills their selfish pockets to the detriment of everybody else.

If we weren't so tied to ubuntu we could call for a boycott of ubuntu--who knows, maybe the FSF will. I swear, if some MS access button or some other bullsh*t is added to Trisquel I'll give up computing!

We need to start breaking away from ubuntu and setting up our own repositories and so on. Since Trisquel is all free software there is no legal impediment. I'm guessing it is a man-hour issue. Perhaps the simplest solution is inheriting directly from Debian. Thoughts?

strypey
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Iscritto: 05/14/2015

The latest version of GNewsense is built straight on Debian. The only downside is losing any extra bug fixes, security checks etc performed during the Ubuntu packaging. These will presumably migrate upstream into the Debian repos eventually, but it takes time for them to filter from experimental through unstable and testing before they get to stable (I presume GNewsense like Trisquel is built on stable/ LTS releases)
http://www.gnewsense.org/FAQ#Why_is_gNewSense_3_based_on_Debian_instead_of_Ubuntu.3F

I haven't been able to install GNewsense yet, as it hasn't work with UNetbootin, but now that I have both a laptop and a desktop that have CD-ROM drives, I can try a wider range of distros. Has anyone tried it? If so, how does it compare to Trisquel?

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

"I had never heard of EEE, so thank you for mentioning it."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Why breaking away from Ubuntu? Everybody seems to affirm that the binaries that run on Windows are bit-to-bit equal to those that run on GNU/Linux. Nothing has changed. And if the software changes and remains free (a requirement of the GPL, and most of the cited binaries are under this license), then GNU/Linux can profit from the improvements.

More free software on Windows looks good to me. Once developers on Windows will discover the excellent programs we have, they will hopefully consider switching to GNU/Linux where they can use those programs and be totally free.

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

I'd like to think that MS has quit their evil ways and this time they are sincere. Hope so, and I don't see anything immediate evil emerging out of this. It looks like an admission that GNU tools and a UNIX-like CLI are better.

MS should take one more step and make Windows recognize and keep other OS's in a dual boot environment. Maybe enable ext* support natively, too.

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

"I'd like to think that MS has quit their evil ways and this time they are sincere."

Please don't think this. Nothing has changed What's going on is only their Embrace-Extend-Extinguish strategy. We seem to currently be in the embrace phase. It's important to recognize it for what it is and not think that they've had a change of heart. Otherwise you may get caught up in their EEE process. Shields up!

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

I don't think like this. I would like to believe them but I don't. Canonical should not bargain cheaply. In return, they should demand from MS that they make it easier to dual boot and increase file system compatibility.

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

Ars has an article on this.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/03/ubuntus-bash-and-linux-command-line-coming-to-windows-10/

Our understanding is that these are not recompiled or ported versions of the programs (as are used in tools aiming to provide a Unix-like environment on Windows such as Cygwin) but instead unmodified programs. Microsoft is describing this in terms of providing a Linux-like command-line environment at the moment, but from what we can gather, there's little fundamental restriction to this, potentially opening the door to running a wide range of Linux programs natively on Windows.

It's supposedly for developers.

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/DevelopersCanRunBashShellAndUsermodeUbuntuLinuxBinariesOnWindows10.aspx

This isn't Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It's fast and lightweight and it's the real binaries. This is an genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It's fast and it's lightweight. The binaries are downloaded by you - using apt-get - just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on. This is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me.

See, GNU Emacs and other GNU project tools, they are now "Linux tools". Ballmer had it right -- Linux is a "contagious cancer that attaches itself". ;-)

SalmanMohammadi
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Iscritto: 02/23/2012

I personally support running free software on any platform whether free or non-free as long as there's no lock-in.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

Any platform? How about malware? What about universal maleware?
http://www.gnu.org/proprietary/malware-microsoft.en.html

Just what I want, giving MS control over free software as it is being written. Even if all of this were not a threat to free software, it is a threat to privacy.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

I agree with SalmanMohammadi. Free software is not worse because it runs on a proprietary operating system with malware. The free software is good. The proprietary operating system with malware is bad.

Following that logic, the story we are discussing here does not worry me. No control over free software is given to Microsoft.

Microsoft porting its proprietary software to GNU/Linux worries me: if technically better (at least in some aspects), some GNU/Linux users may use it and give up their freedoms.

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

So, what´s this? a combination of UNIX and DOS?

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

It is ubuntu running on top of windows

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

So is like a virtual machine?

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

If you search for videos you will find some with MS people explaining it. They insist it is not a virtual machine. They also repeatedly say that 'ubuntu is on top of windows'.

It doesn't matter. As long as it is attached to windows, windows has ultimate control--overtly or covertly.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

My theory is that it's all about apps. Last time I went to BB at least 80% of the laptops had touch screens. This has been and continues to be the wave of the future. The one with the better apps wins. The majority of mobile app developers focus on developing for iOS or Android. If MS can make development of apps for their app store quick and easy, that could send the development trend their way.

The truly disgraceful part is that Canonical is cashing in on Ubuntu's image--an image the was carefully crafted since 2005. I still remember the grass roots slogan when I started using it in 2005: "Ubuntu means 'we are who we are because of who we all are'" With an icon of people holding hands in solidarity, as a community. Then Canonical comes and unilaterally decides to let themselves be used by MS. They are selling that image to MS.

They could just say to MS, "You don't have permission to use our name or our image and if you do we will sue you." Instead Canonical says, "well if they don't use us, they'll use someone else, so we might as well get what we can out of it". That is the problem with the open source mentality. No ethics, no values, no standards, just whatever appears to work best in the present. (don't let my handle fool you, I'm not always pragmatic!)

Who knows, maybe there won't be a marketing campaign using Ubuntu. This might just be an inside thing for developers and nobody will care that it is Ubuntu. Either way, it's like they say: "sleep with dogs and you'll get fleas"

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

About the laptops with touchscreens, there are touchscreens compatible with the linux-libre kernel?

megurineturilli
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Iscritto: 01/10/2012

The goodix touchscreen requires a binary blob that is about 120 bytes big, and it was deblobbed in the latest version of linux-libre. There is leaked documentation of the blob format, that might be used to write a free config tool that outputs such a blob. This is not an ISA blob, so this is not software that you can execute, but geometry data that described the touchscreen panel.

Most USB touchscreens do not require any blobs, they should work out of the box without any non-free software. However I do not own a USB touchscreen, so I can't test wheather it works.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

How is Canonical used by Microsoft in this story? I can imagine Windows developers moving to Ubuntu after they discover the excellent programs it has and, hopefully, after reading about the free software movement. I have trouble imagining the inverse (Ubuntu users going to Windows because it can run the same programs).

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

I don't know, but you are better off making a separate thread--if there is not one already.

JadedCtrl
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Iscritto: 08/11/2014

Isn't it fantastic how Microsoft can reap the benefits of GNU/Linux to fairly easily implement this compatibility, while the Wine project has had to reverse-engineer several components for a compatibility layer?

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

The freedom to study Linux's code is good. Even if certainly helped Microsoft in this case.

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

Here they call it "the inverse of Wine".

Kirkland says that you can think of it as “the inverse of Wine,” which gives the Windows crowd “full access to the Ubuntu user space.”

They hope bringing the tools to Windows the developers will come and write code for apps that run on Windows.

Why would they do something like that? Because they want developers to choose Windows as the platform on which they develop their apps. They’ve been offering tools to make porting easier, and those were good enough for some devs. Others, however, might need a little extra convincing, so Microsoft is getting creative.

Canonical's Dustin Kirkland, a "sponsored guest of Microsoft".

http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/03/ubuntu-on-windows.html

Elsewhere, Delmania's post is telling:

The FSF will never win the fight to have "GNU/" in front of everything; it's disingenuous. Those tools might be built by the the GNU project, but they are all rewrites of similar tools from UNIX. There are probably a dozen or so projects on Github that rewrite coreutils using Go, Rust, etc. The same goes for GNU/Linux. The FSF did not write Linux, that credit firmly belongs to Torvalds and the people who contributed. The FSF has an incredibly poor marketing team, which is why they will never gain an traction in the general public sphere.

Freedoms are "marketing" and FSF is failing. I never guessed it was supposed to be a fight to ask people give credit to the GNU project where it's due. Instead, they take the deus ex machina-- Linus Torvalds -- and leave the real issue unaddressed.

pragmatist

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It is a little hard to tell what you are saying and what you are quoting. This appears to be a quote from you:

"Freedoms are "marketing" and FSF is failing. I never guessed it was supposed to be a fight to ask people give credit to the GNU project where it's due. Instead, they take the deus ex machina-- Linus Torvalds -- and leave the real issue unaddressed."

First, carefully watch a few of Stallman's videos and read his essays before deciding what the whole movement is about.

Second, let's take your view that the FSF mission is to get credit for 'linux'. Richard Stallman is a genius--ask his friends and ask his enemies. As a developer he was in high demand, and was highly paid. He made enough money in 7 weeks to equal a year's salary. He single-handedly matched the output of an entire team of hackers that used to work in his lab as a way to keep a weaker competitor afloat. He wrote the gcc which even Torvalds credits as the most important program in GNU and that he was dependent on it to make his kernel. If Stallman made the gcc non-free, he would have made a lot of money from that. So what do we have?

1.) Harvard graduate, top-notch programmer, was nominated for and won the genius grant, given several awards and honorary doctorates from around the world.

2.) He chose to live in his office and travel around the world giving speeches instead of continuing his lucrative career, and having a normal life.

3.) The two-hour speeches he gives contains at most 5 minutes of commentary on the naming issue. The rest makes no mention Torvalds. In this he ultimately asks for equal mention, not for all of the credit.

Now you are saying what again? That Stallman and the FSF are only about getting credit for linux?

The facts are indisputable: the linux kernel is only one part of the GNU/Linux system. This is like making a car and instead of naming it acknowledging all of the engineering that went into it, you just call it a V8. Doesn't it make a little more sense to call it by its make/model and say 'V8 inside'? Have you ever asked yourself if it is reasonable for torvalds to insist on all of the credit?

Even this is not the main point. It is unethical to not give the GNU developers any credit when without them linux would be an engine without a car. The main point, however, is that Torvalds has a different politcal agenda that is antagonistic to that of the FSF. By giving credit only to Torvalds, only his cause is given any attention. This is to say nothing of the open source people for whom ethics is not an important value.

It takes a lot of courage and sacrifice to stand up for what you believe in, even if the rate of success doesn't match what people like yourself think it should be. A lesser person would have caved or sold out and good luck having free software. You better hope free software is the only practical option if you are relying on open source and torvalds.

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

You misread my thoughts. The quotes are emphasized, that is in cursive script. The links are the source of the quotations.

In between the quotes, I try to analyze what they are after. When I say "freedoms are 'marketing'", I'm sarcastic. I had the intention to say that it's not too much to ask to give the GNU Project due credit. Freedoms are not marketing and FSF is not failing.

It's a pattern. They take the corporate approach to the problem. "Linus owns the trademark" and some such babble. Somehow the kernel is always the biggest contribution and the GNU part is only a sidekick.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

Sorry loldier. Since I recognized your name, and have read some other posts you've made, it didn't make sense you would say something like that. I think I'm a little riled up over this whole ubuntu-on-windows discussion.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

At best this move is to encourage more developers to develop on Windows. Whether the image is bit-for-bit is irrelevant. What matters is that MS is hosting it. How do you know MS won't use this as an opportunity to spy?

Also, if this is about making MS more successful that is a bad thing in and of itself. History has demonstrated that MS cares only about itself and is ruthless in how it treats the competition. Why would you want to help them?

How do you think this will help OUR cause? Because more developers have access to GNU tools? (it is not GNU/Linux since Linux is not the kernel it is attached to--look it up if you don't believe me) Those developers can develop on GNU/Linux by itself, why does it need to be done from within Windows? If it is truly bit-for-bit separate, why not just use GNU/Linux? They already have access to these tools and it hasn't been important enough to go to GNU/Linux to use them. Do you think these developers have no idea that this software exists?? The only way you can 'convert' these developers to GNU is to bring it to them to use on Windows??? That kind of proselytizing is naive at best.

You really amaze me Magic. Unless you are just being a contrarian, it is hard to conceive why you would take the drastic step of not using a cell phone in the name of not being tracked, but trust MS not to track the development done on its new platform. Do you think the mega corporations strive to track us or not? Do you think the tracking only happens on the private citizen level? You don't think they spy on developers if they can?

It is very simple: If you don't think MS is trustworthy, you should not trust them to host GNU. If you do think they are at all trustworthy, you need to review the history of MS.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

How do you think this will help OUR cause? Because more developers have access to GNU tools?

Yes. Even if those developers do not migrate to GNU/Linux, they are still using more free software, which is positive.

Those developers can develop on GNU/Linux by itself, why does it need to be done from within Windows? If it is truly bit-for-bit separate, why not just use GNU/Linux?

Well, that is my point: they can start their migration in this way. Free software on Windows that exists as well on GNU/Linux eases the migration to GNU/Linux. Do you think Firefox, LibreOffice, Pidgin, GIMP, Emacs ... work against the free software movement because they run on Windows?

Do you think these developers have no idea that this software exists??

I do. I am a professor in the best computer science department in Brazil. I teach the POSIX text processing commands (http://dcc.ufmg.br/~lcerf/slides/mdaX.pdf with X = 3..6) at the beginning of a course only taken by students who are close to graduate. Most of them use Windows on their machines. They have never heard of those commands. Many do not even know Shell basics (like the existence of auto-completion, the fact that short options can be combined, how to escape special characters, etc.). They often have just used the Shell to type 'gcc *.c' in the first programming courses (on the university computers) and then started using an IDE.

The only way you can 'convert' these developers to GNU is to bring it to them to use on Windows???

I have not written that it is the only way. But I truly believe more free software on Windows makes more migration to GNU/Linux (as long as the said software exists on GNU/Linux too).

Unless you are just being a contrarian, it is hard to conceive why you would take the drastic step of not using a cell phone in the name of not being tracked, but trust MS not to track the development done on its new platform.

I do not trust Microsoft.

If Windows users end up replacing proprietary software with free software (such as GNU utilities), that makes less proprietary software that can abuse them. Windows will still abuse them of course. That is why I hope they migrate to GNU/Linux, a migration eased by the fact that they will already be familiar with some of our programs.

If you don't think MS is trustworthy, you should not trust them to host GNU.

GNU running on Windows does not mean in any way that Microsoft controls GNU. Many GNU packages have run on Windows for many years. GIMP and Emacs for example.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

You have made your point clearer to me, Magic, so thank you for that.

In the case of GIMP and EMACS they are not using linux, They are using a windows port of a free software program--which is good. Here they are not using a Windows port of a free program, they are using a Windows port of an entire distro. They are not porting any of the utilities, they are porting the entire ubuntu environment, within which these programs can run. They are running it with the windows kernel. It is GNU/Windows.

Why not port all of the relevant free programs for windows developers? If the answer is that it is hard, just let them use GNU/Linux which is easy. I understand the problem with your students. 99% of the time they use windows, which is on their computers. Teach an entire course on using GNU/Linux for program development. Or a course promoting the merits of free software and how to use it. The fact that most of the world uses windows should not justify porting our entire 'operating system' to windows.

By making it easy to use within Windows we are promoting continued use of Windows. We don't just want people to use free software, we want people to NOT use nonfree software. This helps them use free software and helps them continue to use nonfree software. This is not a free software solution, it is an open source solution. Open source is comfortable having free and nonfree software existing side-by-side while the free software movement is not. It is hard to sell a strict position, but that does not mean we should be less strict.

What is your reason why they cannot use GNU/Linux directly??

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

They are not porting any of the utilities, they are porting the entire ubuntu environment, within which these programs can run.

As far as I understood, the news only is about command-line utilities. But that would be even better if more free software (including those with GUIs) would run on Windows. Again: in my opinion, a greater adoption of free software (even on a proprietary operating system) looks positive to me.

And the news insists that nothing is ported: unmodified programs run on a compatibility layer.

Why not port all of the relevant free programs for windows developers? If the answer is that it is hard, just let them use GNU/Linux which is easy.

That does make Windows ports of free software programs bad. I agree it is a lot of work that could be put into adding features, correcting bugs, etc. and should not be high-priority. Anyway, I believe it is desirable to have free software running on Windows.

The fact that most of the world uses windows should not justify porting our entire 'operating system' to windows.

To some extent (again: I do not think it should be high-priority) it does: that makes more users of free software and an easier transition to GNU/Linux.

Consider this: the GNU project was about replacing UNIX. Not only because UNIX was technically good but also because it was the most popular operating system in the early 80s. In this way, many users were able to replace UNIX components one by one and smoothly transition to a 100% free operating system.

By making it easy to use within Windows we are promoting continued use of Windows. (...) This helps them use free software and helps them continue to use nonfree software.

I disagree. And I am pretty sure facts are on my side: I believe most GNU/Linux users discovered free software (Firefox, LibreOffice, Pidgin, GIMP, Emacs, etc.) on Windows. That may even be how they ended up discovering the free software movement, its philosophy, etc. and what motivated them to reject proprietary software.

Open source is comfortable having free and nonfree software existing side-by-side while the free software movement is not. It is hard to sell a strict position, but that does not mean we should be less strict.

The objective is 100% freedom. But to reach 100% freedom, a transition phase is required. The transitional state is not "acceptable": the objective has not been reached. But it is required. If you wipe out a user's disk to install free software she does not know, you can be sure she will not be able to properly work and will be back to her proprietary operating system in no time. And she will not want to hear about free software anymore. That is particularly true for information systems in companies/institutions.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

Why can't people just have dual boots. That way when they are using GNU/Linux they see it stands on its own and they can use it instead of Windows.

When I was in graduate school many years ago, I bought a cheap second computer and hooked it up using a kvm. Then I had GNU/Linux and I had windows to do my development with. All I had to do was flick a switch and I could go back and forth between them. It would not have been the end of the world if I had kept both OSes on the same machine using a dual boot and reboot each time I wanted to switch--inconvenient, but not a hardship.

In that case I had each system separate and working on its own.

Something to bear in mind, Magic, since I know you don't trust MS either. MS has teams of people working out what is good for MS and what is not. This software is good for MS, unless you think this is a big blunder. Do you think MS made this because they think it will help people transition to free software? I guess they could have missed that--whoops!

This must clearly benefit MS somehow. How does this clearly benefit MS?

Magic Banana

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It would not have been the end of the world if I had kept both OSes on the same machine using a dual boot and reboot each time I wanted to switch--inconvenient, but not a hardship.

That is it. It is less convenient. It is the next step in the transition: first use more and more free software on the proprietary operating system, then dual-boot, then get rid of the filthy operating system. Free software on proprietary operating systems makes the transition smoother, hence more likely to succeed.

This must clearly benefit MS somehow. How does this clearly benefit MS?

It is possible that there is an evil hidden plan behind all that. But I do not see it. It may simply be that MS makes a strategical mistake that benefits the free software movement.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

"It is possible that there is an evil hidden plan behind all that. But I do not see it. It may simply be that MS makes a strategical mistake that benefits the free software movement."

So I guess we can agree to disagree for now. I'm not ready to assume a mega corporation, richer and more powerful than some small countries, that is totally antagonistic to the ideas of the free software movement, has made a strategical mistake. Even if I can't immediately figure out the evil plan. It is probable that there is one.

Can you remember the last time MS made a 'strategic mistake' that benefited the free software movement more than it helped MS?

Since neither of us knows who this will benefit the most, the main difference between our views right now:

1.) You are willing to take the project at face value and in your view it will benefit the free software movement.

2.) I am unwilling to take the project at face value and assume MS has an evil plan. Until I can be sure of the plan, I have to assume it will help MS to our detriment.

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

I have to agree with Magic Banana, and I'm seeing a lot of unreasonable paranoia here.

The "embrace and extend" or "EEE" strategy involves embracing a standard in a proprietary program, and then adding proprietary extensions that competing programs either can't implement or have a prohibitively difficult time implementing. That's not what we're talking about. Microsoft isn't "embracing" POSIX standards in Windows. What we're talking about is making GNU/Linux programs run on Windows.

Take a moment to actually think about this. How, exactly, do you expect Microsoft to use a system to run GNU/Linux programs for an "embrace and extend" strategy? Yeah, sure, "embrace". But how exactly do you expect them to "extend"? As Magic Banana already pointed out, most of these programs are copylefted, so any changes to them has to be released under a libre license, or not at all. In this case, there is no room for "embrace and extend".

On the other hand, I suppose it could be possible, but rather difficult, to use the "embrace and extend" strategy with this plus proprietary versions of permissively licensed programs. But Microsoft could do that so much easier just by putting those programs directly into Windows.

These vague accusations being thrown out about "classic EEE" and pointing out that Microsoft is evil? They're nothing more than conspiracy theories. Come on, guys, I thought we were better than this. Of course Microsoft is evil. All for-profit corporations are evil. That doesn't mean that everything Microsoft does has some sort of secret agenda behind it.

So, why would Microsoft work with Canonical on this? Because it benefits them, of course! It benefits both Microsoft and Canonical: Microsoft by providing easy access to GNU tools (which they think of as "Linux" tools) and some other programs, and Canonical by raising awareness of Ubuntu. There might even be other benefits for either side that I missed. There's no need for an evil corporate conspiracy to explain this.

pragmatist

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"All for-profit corporations are evil."
Correct, but they have not all been sued for anti-trust!

"They're nothing more than conspiracy theories."
Did you read the Wikipedia article on EEE?

"I'm seeing a lot of unreasonable paranoia here."
You can call it unreasonable all you like, I still feel MS is not trustworthy and history is on my side. It is not paranoid if history justifies the concern. I'm seeing a lot of unreasonable naivete here.

"There might even be other benefits for either side that I missed."
Yes. There are pluses and minuses for both sides that you, and all of us, have not figured out yet.

It is wonderful that you have this win-win attitude. Bear in mind that the advantage universally mentioned here is that more people will move from Windows to GNU/Linux. That is not something MS wants, even if it makes things a little easier for their developers.

MS has been developing software for forty years without making a GNU/Linux distro an appendage. Despite the fact that for most of that time, many of the most useful utilities were available. Why is easier access to these tools so critical all of a sudden?

It isn't paranoia to ask that, it is common sense.

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

> Did you read the Wikipedia article on EEE?

I did that when I was still in middle school, mate. And then I did it again several times, because I was obsessed with hating Microsoft at the time and took every opportunity that I could to make "Microsoft sucks" presentations for school assignments. EEE is not some new thing, it started (IIRC) with Internet Explorer back in the late 1990s.

> Correct, but they have not all been sued for anti-trust!

So? Stifling competition is far from the only evil thing corporations do. And the motive is always clear: money.

Please remember that corporations are not people, despite what the government says. They all have exactly the same personality: psychopathic and amoral. Everything they do is to make more money, end of story.

> It is not paranoid if history justifies the concern.

But history does not justify the concern. Microsoft isn't some machine that is designed to use "embrace and extend" anywhere it can. It's a machine that is designed to make as much money as it can. And as I've already pointed out, there isn't even a realistic mechanism by which "embrace and extend" can be planned for this, except by doing an absurdly roundabout version of just putting permissive software directly into Windows.

No one has even explained what exactly they expect Microsoft to "extend". The only logic is, "Well, they're embracing, and that's the first part of EEE! Obviously, they must be using EEE! There's no other possible reason they could be embracing something other than EEE, because they're Microsoft and Microsoft has done EEE before!"

> MS has been developing software for forty years without making a GNU/Linux distro an appendage. Despite the fact that for most of that time, many of the most useful utilities were available. Why is easier access to these tools so critical all of a sudden?

I didn't get the impression that they are "critical", and I don't see why they need to be. They just need to be useful enough for this project to be worthwhile.

> It isn't paranoia to ask that, it is common sense.

Conspiracy theorists like to point at things that look strange to them. They say these strange things raise questions. But they never actually go and find the answers. Instead, they just make up answers based on their preconceptions of how evil corporations or the government is. This is what I'm seeing here, from several people.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

Let's look at who gets what according to the people in this thread who like this idea:

Benefits
MS: Tools are available to its developers in a somewhat more convenient fashion than before.

FS: More people migrate to GNU/Linux from windows.

Are we in agreement that MS does not want more people to migrate to GNU/Linux from windows?

If so, then MS not only feels that this extra convenience is useful for them; It also means they think it is so useful they are willing to sacrifice some users for it.

Sacrifice users of Windows for extra convenience that can be had in other ways? That requires justification. You can't just say 'it benefits both sides' without actually taking a full accounting; Not if you mistrust MS, which you've said you do.

Ultimately, the naivete I refer to is rooted in the notion that somehow MS made the error of not realizing they will lose users.

Give me a single example of such an error in the tech field by a mega corporation.

If it is not an error on MS's part, you need to explain why the benefit of this platform is so great they are willing to lose users.

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

> If so, then MS not only feels that this extra convenience is useful for them; It also means they think it is so useful they are willing to sacrifice some users for it.

Why do you presume that Microsoft accepts the premise that this will cause people to migrate to GNU/Linux? I get the impression that they're banking on the opposite effect: exclusive GNU/Linux users migrating to Windows because they can get the convenience of Ubuntu on Windows as well.

> Ultimately, the naivete I refer to is rooted in the notion that somehow MS made the error of not realizing they will lose users.

But it's not necessarily an error. It's not a fact that this will cause Windows to lose users. It's an outcome which some have speculated might happen somewhere down the line.

Even if it turns out to be true, do you honestly expect it to be enough to seriously affect Microsoft? I don't. Think about it: most people who start to use GNU/Linux continue to use Windows. With this compatibility layer, that will mean that those people can use GNU within Windows. So in fact, this could lead to them using Windows more often, and only actually using GNU/Linux directly for reasons like added security and better performance. The only people who would stop becoming Windows users would be those who come across the libre software movement and start to agree with us, and Ubuntu doesn't lead users in that direction.

> Give me a single example of such an error in the tech field by a mega corporation.

I don't see any evidence for this being an error. But even if I did, corporations are run by humans, and humans make mistakes. You want examples? I can think of several:

* Nintendo's decision to stick with cartridges for the Nintendo 64. This made the system unnecessarily difficult to develop for.

* Nintendo's decision to use a non-standard mini-disc format for the Gamecube. This prevented the system from also functioning as a DVD player, something that turned out to be a big selling point for the PS2.

* The Atari 5200. Everything about it.

* Atari's decision to manufacture more Pacman cartridges than there were Atari 2600 consoles. The game was a hit, but millions of these cartridges went unsold because there were too many.

* Sega's decision to release the Saturn early. This prevented 3rd party developers from being able to release their games in time for the release, angering them and causing the initial game selection to be limited.

* The Nintendo Virtual Boy. Was a total flop.

And all of these examples are specifically in the proprietary video game industry. I'm sure I've missed some mistakes made by large corporations in that industry alone. I haven't even touched corporations in other industries!

quantumgravity
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Iscritto: 04/22/2013

"* The Atari 5200. Everything about it."

:D

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

Those are some excellent points onpon4. Thank you for making them.

I'll try to address some of them. First, I didn't say MS made a mistake; I'm the crazy conspiracy theory guy--remember!? I was making an argument against those who said MS could have made a mistake. I'm also the guy dumb enough to challenge you to come up with an example of a mega corporation making this kind of mistake. Why would I challenge you to do that if I thought MS was making a mistake--I'm claiming it is not a mistake on their part.

Nor did I say that I thought MS believed it would gain or lose users. I was questioning the assumption that this would be good for us because it would lead more people to the free software movement. That assumption was the primary one behind those arguing this was a good thing. It may be that it does not lead to an increase in users of either camp, at least in the short-run.

"So in fact, this could lead to them using Windows more often"
Right! That is one positive outcome for MS and negative one for us.

"The only people who would stop becoming Windows users would be those who come across the libre software movement and start to agree with us, and Ubuntu doesn't lead users in that direction."

Right! Again, recall that I'm the one claiming that this will somehow benefit MS more than it will benefit us. Ubuntu not leading users in our direction does not make this project of Ubuntu on windows useful for us.

Ultimately we are a competitor of MS. We compete for their users like we do for the users of all non-free software. If this resolves in our getting 5 users migrate to free software for every 50 users that become resolved never to migrate to free software (i.e they no longer feel they need to) then this will be a win for MS.

In the short run this may look like it benefits both sides in different ways without a clear 'winner'. My belief is it will definitely benefit MS more and make them the clear winner.

How can this happen. Well just one example is a scenario I marked out much earlier in this thread:
"My theory is that it's all about apps. Last time I went to BB at least 80% of the laptops had touch screens. This has been and continues to be the wave of the future. The one with the better apps wins. The majority of mobile app developers focus on developing for iOS or Android. If MS can make development of apps for their app store quick and easy, that could send the development trend their way."

If this in turn made MS more attractive to more people it will lead to an increase in user retention, which is not good for us; We want them not to retain their users. [btw, you must already realize we have to have something that works on laptops with touch screens, right?]

In the end, none of us--including you--can be sure how this will pan out. You have your opinion and I have mine. You are probably more experienced than I am in many of these matters, but as I said before I will wait and see what rms says (he is more experienced/knowledgeable/wise in these matters than all of us put together). If he agrees with you, I will recant, beg for mercy, and try to never to contradict the Trisquel veterans again! :p

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

> First, I didn't say MS made a mistake

Of course you didn't. Quite the contrary, you suggested that MS can't make a mistake. But you also suggested that I must think Microsoft made a mistake, which I don't.

> Nor did I say that I thought MS believed it would gain or lose users. I was questioning the assumption that this would be good for us because it would lead more people to the free software movement. That assumption was the primary one behind those arguing this was a good thing.

And it still might be true.

Think about this from our point of view. Let's suppose lots of people start using Windows because they don't view proprietary software as unethical, and this compatibility layer gives them all the convenience of running Ubuntu without the inconvenience of switching between operating systems. Microsoft gains users, and Linux loses users. But the libre software movement doesn't lose anything.

On the other hand, if just one user finds it easier to transition to GNU/Linux because of this, and does so because he finds out about the libre software movement (from a separate source, mind), then this is beneficial to us.

> Ultimately we are a competitor of MS.

Keep in mind that Canonical is not us. With Microsoft and Canonical cooperating in this way, Canonical ceases to be a competitor. On the contrary, Canonical is helping Microsoft compete against non-Ubuntu GNU/Linux distros.

We, in the libre software movement, do try to compete with proprietary software, but Microsoft cannot compete with our primary selling point: liberty (at least, not without making its software libre, but at that point we wouldn't be competing with them anymore). So if someone agrees with us, none of this will make them consider Windows for even a second.

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

"Let's suppose lots of people start using Windows because they don't view proprietary software as unethical, and this compatibility layer gives them all the convenience of running Ubuntu without the inconvenience of switching between operating systems. Microsoft gains users, and Linux loses users. But the libre software movement doesn't lose anything."

1.) Given windows' dominance (i.e. people buy pcs with OSes on them and that is usually windows) it makes more sense to speak of MS retaining or losing users (not gaining or losing).

2.) I agree that Libre software is unlikely to lose anybody who is already signed up because of this 'innovation'. So for us it is gaining or not gaining (not gaining or losing).

So winning for them is retaining users and us not gaining those users. Winning for us is windows losing users and us gaining those users.

So when you say we won't 'lose' anything, that is not true. We can lose users we would otherwise gain.

edit: "We can not gain users we would otherwise gain"

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

I'm going to wait to hear what rms has to say about this.

I have a lot of respect for you and Magic and many others who have been here a lot longer than I have. As of now, however, the only authority I accept unconditionally in matters of free software is rms.

loldier
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Iscritto: 02/17/2016

The biggest issue RMS might bring up is that the WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) is not free. Another longstanding issue is, of course, the lack of credit for the GNU Project.

This is why MS did it:

https://youtu.be/Vhh_GeBPOhs

pragmatist

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Iscritto: 03/03/2016

ROFLMAO

edit: hang on, I gotta watch that again--what did he say?