The Story Behind Fluendo MP3-Plugin In Ubuntu Installer

When you install Ubuntu, now users are given the chance to "choose" whether they want the non-"free" (non GNU actually) MP3 plugin offered by Fluendo, which enables for various players that use the Gstreamer framework to play proprietary mp3 files. This option is presented to users at the near beginning of the installation process.

This is what it's all about, don't you think?...

But, the check-box is not check-ed by default. Although someone suggested that the box should be enabled by default, which was undone by voting against it in an Ubuntu public meeting which was started by Jono Bacon, who is a Canonical employee and the community manager of Ubuntu explained his reasons by saying that,

In my mind this is not as simple as just changing a default – my take was that if the check-box was ticked by default it would be a definitive change in policy for the Ubuntu project – it would include non-free components by default (even if a user could un-check it to not have this components installed).

I personally like this move by Jono because after observing some of the decisions that took place in recent times concerning Canonical and Gnome, which got most of us worried about Ubuntu's "theme" which says "Linux for Human beings". Although things like this may seem childish to some, such as building an argument over such a small issue but, it's those "small issues" which usually end up being viciously harder to undone in the future if neglected in the present by following apathy, which sometimes seems like the root of all evil, :). 

He also stated that,

Thus we face the classic tale of Freedom vs. Functionality in the Open Source community. How do we deliver a great user experience, but one that maintains our commitment to freedom, particularly in those cases where no free solution exists?

What he says is quite true to which I fully agree, but that's just me. Although I'm not looking down on others, but real free software will always be there only for those who are willing to pay the price at the end. To be honest, this does not sound like real freedom to me, but still it is better than following your insecurity and having negative thoughts/ideas towards life (others) which create disharmony. 

So let's hope that, even though some of the movements from Canonical does contradict or create some skepticism within the GNU Linux community, but still if people like Jono can make their voices be heard, then who knows, we might be able to "save" Ubuntu which seems starting to take a bit different "path" in my opinion. What do you think?.


Kathleen Meredith Cole said...

Rename this release. A better name would be Nasty Narwahl -- I am so very disgusted!

Gayan said...

@ Kathleen,

Oooh, someone's angry (yes I'm also moving away from Ubuntu, for personal usages, I'll be using FC)

Anonymous said...

What is FC?

Gayan said...


FC stands for Fedora Core :). If you're new, it's a completely different GNU/Linux distribution based on RedHat.

Shashwat Tripathi said...

How can i select this option when installing ubuntu using "install inside windows" method..??

Gayan said...

@Shashwat Tripathi,

Well friend, I've never tried that (installing Ubuntu within Windows file system) and don't know about it.

But then again, for various reasons I don't think installing Ubuntu "inside" Windows is that much recommended (although Ubuntu installer support it by default) as it has few drawbacks.

Anyhow, the simple answer is again, I don't know. Sorry about that.

The Epic Reviewer said...

FC17 is EPIC.
I highly reccomend it.
Yeah, Ubuntu is dropping out of the downloads list. Fedora more than makes up for the mess-ups that U(ubuntu)made.

The WUBI (Windows to UBuntu Installer)
sucks. Didn't do anything but corrupt my only installation of XPSP3. :(

Gayan said...

@ The Epic Reviewer,

'Wubi' is a problematic tool and I never recommend installing Ubuntu inside Windows, it sucks ;-).

Post a Comment