Ubuntu and Richard Stallman

Typically, I enjoy participating around the web in forum sites, mailing lists and just any other normal social activities.

It is a good experience for the most part, can say that I've learned so much from plain interaction with other folks around the web. However, the current situation with Ubuntu turned into a distribution that automatically logs your activity and sells this information to other parties is something that deeply upsets me, mostly because I really hoped that the Ubuntu project would not turn evil.

This just gets worse with Unity. A user interface that goes against any comfort for the end user and that on the most recent editions of Ubuntu reveals the reasons why it was so oddly designed: mixing advertisements with the tools that people are looking for.

Very sad, very disappointing. The border line of this situation was looking on the announcement of an article at ZDnet entitled "Ubuntu 13.10 Review: A great Linux desktop gets better".

Using the term "review" and "better" as head line for the article is a shame for ZDnet, should be better called "marketing" with the author minimizing the critics to the Unity interface or selling of data to Amazon while going as far as praising the install procedure to bring users into the Ubuntu One cloud storage with "5GBs of no-cost storage. The commercial version, at $39.95, gives you 20GBs" .

Seriously. On a time when governments around the world are exposed for obvious enticing of people to place more of their data in the "clouds" where everyone can bypass the basic privacy rights of end-users, this kind of thing really brings me to disappointment.

Even worse to see normal people making the work easier for these marketeers and to support them completely. I was frustrated. Like a religious person in Brazil (Padre António Vieira) once said back in the 16th century when criticizing the slavery practice: "If nobody cares about what I preach, I will preach to the fish but will not stay silent". Reminded me of what Richard Stallman once wrote about Ubuntu some time ago and how it still made sense today. I understood better the motivation of Stallman and Vieira to write such words, it is disappointment.

So, feeling overwhelmed with people replying on the forum topic where Unity is great, where the loss of privacy is not true despite recent leaks. I felt quite alone on this question and wrote a message to Richard Stallman. To my surprise, he replied with calming words of advice.
When people say, "Nobody cares", you can respond, "Quit exaggerating.
Lots of people do care.  Neither of us can speak for others.  The
question is, do YOU care?"
It was a pacifying answer. At that point I just wanted to go back into the discussion, talk loud, do noise and bring to surface that these kind of things are simply not right. His answer is much less conflicting, indeed there is a lot to learned from RMS.

So. Lesson learned. I stopped arguing with those folks on the forum topic after feeling that there was nothing more of productive to be added from my participation. I will nevertheless preach to the fishes with the hope that some day in the future we can have Ubuntu as a "good-guy" again.

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