Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Firefox playing fox with Debian

(Windows users, I still think it is great application and you can get it with google tool bar to make it easy in your day to day browsing.)

It seems now firefox is bent on fighting with other OSS namely debian and it's derivatives, rather than beating IE. It is all because of the firefox logo. Unlike Firefox, firefox logo is not free. The root of the cause is that debian uses alternate logo and calls it firefox, not Mozilla Firefox.
There are some discussions on the net already and I'd hate to see this flair up to be a major issue. That said I do not have a solution to the problem. I think I will watch the following discussions and do my commenting.

Debian vs Mozilla by Peter (Sounds like an old Japanese movie!) discusses and puts his thoughts on his blog, here is the start of it and if you visit the site you can read the rest of it and some links to other discussions on the same subject.

"Basically, the Debian Free Software Guidelines state that Debian can't use the Firefox logo (as it'’s not under the same license as the Firefox code and the license isn't considered Free). So for some time, Debian (and derivatives, such as Ubuntu) have been using Firefox with a custom icon and calling it ‘Firefox, not ‘Mozilla Firefox."

Code Chunk does another article that explains the reasons behind the squabble. Basically it is Mozilla want to either see and approve all the changes Debian make to Firefox, or see that Debian and derivatives stop using the Firefox name.

from Code Chunk;

Firefox has an on/off compile-time switch:
ON: Firefox branding
OFF: Custom branding

The problem is that Debian has it on OFF, but has part of the Firefox trademark in there. Mozilla wants all or nothing. At some point in the discussion the Mozilla developer said it would be okay for Debian to have it ON, only if they used both the name AND the logo, AND they would have to run by patches to the Mozilla developers. The same in general terms applies to Ubuntu.

I think this is crazy. How can this be helping OSS software if we start fighting among the communities?! If Firefox is removed from Debian aderivativesvatives, as peter said, "then it's not exactly going to be easy to convince potential Windows switchers that Linux is better if they can't use Firefox on it (that they might use on Windows already)!"

Hey guys, grow up and find a solution or we have do develop another browser that is completely free.

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