My Views on UbuntuOne

I have always tried to focus my blog posts on Guides and Howtos as they relate to my experiences in free and open source software. Today however i take an Exception and i will like to speak let out on my opinion about the Ubuntu One issue.

First to set some things straight. Am not saying that canonical should not make proprietary software i have never complained about launchpad or Landscape

And my issue with ubuntu-one has nothing to do with the fact its not been free of cost.

I am a bit concerned about this ubuntu one issue. When I first heard about it, I was very excited to contribute to yet another open source project. Then I found out that it was proprietary, I got confused. Ubuntu is a name that by its very meaning symbolises the virtue of free and open source software. The name is a brand that with the help of millions of community members has come to be associated with quality. The ubuntu Goodwill is known around the world has one of the best product open source as to offer. By using this same name to brand a project that is Proprietary and hence against everything that ubuntu stands for is a huge betrayal of the community .

The use of that name “Ubuntu One” alone will make the product appeal to people who have a soft spot for ubuntu (the OS) and free software in general, which is kinda misleading since dropbox and ubuntu1 are essentially the same proprietary software. its like Redhat building a similar proprietary product and calling it Fedora-connect, or Linus Torvalds setting up a proprietary product and calling it Cloud-Linux. Ubuntu One bears no association or closeness to anything that ubuntu stands for which is openness, collaboration, community and sharing. Using the name Ubuntu in UbuntuOne is just very lame. and am Afraid Canonical got it wrong this time around.

This is my view on this topic. if you agree or have a different point of view by all means share the with me. Just no Trolling 🙂

23 comments on “My Views on UbuntuOne

  1. If they are going to be doing Ubuntu for free like they used to, they might do whatever else they want – for all i care they might work in Redmond in their spare time.
    This is the first i’m hearing about this Ubuntu One, and truth be told, Ubuntu is such a strong brand already i doubt this will hurt it in any way.
    Still, your concern is very valid though.

  2. Probably they need to make money. They need it desperately.

    Another big suggestion is that if UbuntuOne is borked, then its like shooting on the foot. They need to make sure that UbuntuOne works perfectly.

    1. Yeah you quite right .. although my concerns centres more around the association of the ubuntu brand with something proprietary. Ubuntu is know as a Foss Project. I just feel its would be better if things were kept that way

  3. Well…Ubuntu the distro *is* free. The server-side of Ubuntu One is closed. The client and protocol are open for inspection and replication, so you can engineer your own server-side equivalent and called it BigBrovar’s Bodega for all we care.

    They’re building up their brand-name. Everything on *your end* is free, that includes the distro and the client. On *their end* it’s not, and let’s face it, it makes absolutely no difference if it is, or is not. You’re still placing your trust on any outside company who you choose to provide a backup service independent of whatever you have running at home or work.

    1. Ubuntu is made by the community. Its a name that is associated with openness and freedom. Canonical will not be building the Ubuntu brand by associating it with a product the core of which is proprietary. This could create a backlash which as we have often seen could very damaging to people’s perception of the name ubuntu. … Again i feel they got it wrong when there decided to use the name ubuntu with this product. As they is nothing Ubuntuish in ubuntu one.

          1. No. Only pieces of Launchpad is planned to be opened up. Critical portions will remain proprietary. Why are you busily defending Canonical’s proprietary tactics?

    2. If the client is open, then how can they hide the protocol? So it narrows down to the fact that client and protocol is open. How they manage data is closed.

      Anyone knows that they have created their own protocol or is it modified rsync?

      I can understand your case, but let’s give canonical one chance to cash the brand-name. They havn’t made profit till now and invested a lot of money in Ubuntu. They need to make money to sustain the development of Ubuntu.

      1. I agree with Manish completely. All of the code that directly interacts with the end-user is open source. You can examine and modify it however you like. The stuff that runs on Canonical’s servers is proprietary. Ubuntu and Shuttleworth have invested a lot of money into promoting Linux and FOSS in general. I see no problem with them trying to raise some revenue to continue their efforts.

        1. Dont get me wrong am not saying that its not within canonical’s right to make money. By all means its a company and its should make profit. moreso since its profit will go a long way in benefiting ubuntu.

          However it should must remember that the community plays a vital role in the success of ubuntu. and the relationship between ubuntu and canonical is one based on trust. Millions of people work day and night to make ubuntu better not because their are paid to do the job. but because they believe in the ideals that ubuntu stands for. freedom, sharing, community openness. that is the spirit of ubuntu. By using the this goodwill to brand a proprietary product it will (and is starting to ) give ubuntu bad publicity that it just doesn’t need right now. in the long run this issue will hurt the trust of community in canonical which will in turn hurt revenue.

          The fact that pidgin is open those not make yahoo or MSN an open source

          even Mark Shuttle worth agrees on the essence of brand and value

        2. Actually I also don’t agree with Canonical’s closed source software, but I am willing to pardon them for this mistake since they have done a lot for promoting Linux.
          Just don’t start acting like Apple’s AppStore.

          This blog post is awesome. Such an open and hot debate. I <3 it.

          1. This is like saying that since my dad has done a lot for me, it is ok for him to beat me up.

            Canonical’s primary projects have been – launchpad, landscape and Ubuntu One – all proprietary web services. Rest of Ubuntu is primarily code written by other communities like Red Hat or Novell or volunteers not associated with Canonical.

  4. Personally, I will never use any “cloud” service that is proprietary (i.e. non open source).

    I do not trust any third party proprietary data encryption, who may have a back door to my sensitive data (e.g. financial and business data).

    If you think that private company, regardless how big it is, cannot abuse the power it has in its hands, think again. Think Enron.

    Remember Enron?

    Peopole’s memory is so short… it’s unbelievable. 🙁


    1. John,
      I am still unable to understand why do they use some third-party encryption technology when standard, well proven technologies can perform better?

      When you think of Enron, we too in my country(India) have such examples where companies have misused power and trust. I think every country has such examples.

  5. IMHO, I believe UbuntuCanonical have spent massive amounts of money, time, effort, etc… and therefore have a huge deficit to fill up. Money, as we all know, makes the world go round and although the founderinvestor has lots of it, he does not have the elusive “money tree.” Bottom line is, if the Ubuntu Distro stays the same and continues to put out the same great product without any fees or paid subscriptions, then why not allow them to make a fraction of the money they spent to hook us all up?

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