Gentoo Choice, Awful Fedora 24, Debian Firefox
Today in Linux news the Ubuntu ZFS controversy isn't quite settled after all. Fedora's Adam Williamson today blogged, " Lots of stuff is busted. We are aware of this, and fixing it. Hold onto your hats." Richard Freeman reminded folks the systemd disagreements aren't over either and Debian has finally stopped renaming Firefox to Iceweasel. Dedoimedo said today that Mepis derivative MX-15 is on the "highway to rad" and Christine Hall signed SCO's death warrant.
The Software Freedom Conservancy's Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler wrote that including the ZFS kernel module in Linux violates provisions in the GPL. But perhaps that wasn't the last word. The Software Freedom Law Center said there is something called "equity" of licenses, meaning its spirit or the intention. They said, "This present issue is evidently an example in which the tension between literal and equitable interpretation is raised, and it is the consensus of the kernel copyright holders' intention which determines which mode of interpretation is to be employed." They said there is precedence and Richard Stallman agrees before saying if sued distributions "would no doubt cease distributing" the ZFS code in question. Tom Marble, former Sun programmer, today said why even bring up that "odd" spirit of the license thing when it's perfectly legal to redistribute the ZFS module and source code. As the SFLC explains it becomes illegal when upstream projects want to distribute GPL'd improvements under their original license. The GPL ties their hands where they'd have to release under GPL. So, that's when the original owners may raise a legal objection to its redistribution under the GPL. So, apparently, Ubuntu isn't breaking any laws until Oracle says it is.
Adam Williamson today said "everything is awful" because Rawhide and what will be Fedora 24 are "busted." He explained it started with upgrades to the glibc language packs and that cascaded all the way down the line. Locales were lost upon upgrade and now the Installer doesn't run anymore. They can't get live and cloud images to build and a whole host of other issues. In addition, systemd changes caused SELinux to go nuts and shut everything down including reboots. He said not to worry, they'd get it all fixed. "So, um, yeah. We know everything's busted. We know! We're sorry. It's all gettin' fixed. Return to your homes, and your Fedora 23 installs."
Nathan Willis last week reported that "Debian now seems poised to resume calling its packages by the original, upstream Mozilla names." Mozilla had strict redistribution rules attached to Firefox, so Debian chose to remove the Firefox branding and distribute it as Iceweasel. It was a bit of a pain to some and more than one reviewer docked points for it. It's been a dozen years or so and Mozilla has changed their rules that would allow Debian to use the official name again. "In essence, then, the logo-licensing problem, the trademark-usage incompatibility, and the patch-maintenance problem have all been resolved, so, Ledru said, Debian could return to the Firefox branding." It's planned to take effect in Debian 9 expected next year.
In other news: