Iceweasel for Ubuntu?

Story: Battle Brews Over Firefox In Ubuntu 8.10Total Replies: 13
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Sep 15, 2008
2:44 PM EDT
Judging from this article, it could happen. Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Sep 15, 2008
4:57 PM EDT
I don't have a problem agreeing that Mozilla (or any other Linux/Freesoftware developer/distributor) own the logos and other branding items, and I can't see why anyone else other than a freeloader would.


Sep 15, 2008
5:11 PM EDT
I don't understand why an EULA is necessary to protect trademark, or how it would help in that regard. OTOH, I don't have a problem with an EULA if the license itself doesn't change. I'm no expert in whatever Mozilla's attorneys are worried about.

Iceweasel was very slow when I was running Debian. I always ended up installing the real thing. The same was true when running Arch. Firefox was called Bon Echo and was very slow. A package for the official Firefox even showed up in the AUR as many users found Bon Echo to be slow.

I know, the claim is that only the controversial parts are ripped out, but my experience and the experience of many others is that the official version is a lot faster. I do not think a slow browser is what should be presented to the new users that Ubuntu is so successful in recruiting.

Sep 15, 2008
6:05 PM EDT
I've found Iceweasel in Debian to be entirely like Firefox in every way, except that it wouldn't run Google Docs offline via Gears.

But since I'm totally soured on Gears, which works like so much sludge in Ubuntu, it's a non-issue at the moment.

Sep 16, 2008
2:49 AM EDT
My experience with Iceweasel on Zenwalk was that it was slower than Firefox downloaded and installed from the Mozilla website. It also crashed more frequently. I've read numerous comments about how Iceweasel shold be identical for Firefox but in real life it just doesn't seem to work that way.

Sep 16, 2008
7:25 AM EDT
Ubuntu is never going to use Iceweasel (although Ubuntu's Firefox does include a very similar set of patches as Debian's Iceweasel).

Ubuntu's top dog, Mark Shuttleworth, has supplied the related Launchpad bug #269656 with a comment where he finds the name Iceweasel belittling or demeaning Mozilla Firefox. If Canonical/Ubuntu decides to rebrand Firefox, they'd call it "abrowser".

Quoting: It's all too easy to say "screw Mozilla we'll use Iceweasel". Well, IMO that would be a weaselly thing to do. Mozilla and Firefox are enormous contributors to the digital commons and we owe it to them to figure out how to be supportive of what they are doing. There are limits to that debt, but we are well within those limits so far.

We continue to push towards an implementation that meets Mozilla's requirements and is smooth for our users. There have been some good suggestions here. We do have the option to move away from Firefox (as you can see we have already invested in some of the work needed to have that alternative in abrowser). I am resolutely opposed to calling an unbranded firefox "Ubuntu Browser" (because we didn't write it) and I'm equally opposed to calling it "Iceweasel" (because our inability to agree with Mozilla is not also a rationale to belittle or demean them). I very much hope we won't have to use it as the default.
IMHO, Shuttleworth here shows poor understanding of the naming tradition in hacker culture (maybe he thinks the GNU Guile is intended to belittle or demean Scheme, or GNU Bison Yacc?) and also poor sense of humour.

Anyway, it's much better to say "screw Mozilla" than "screw free software". If a program is free software, that means you can modify any part of the program, except the distribution license, and the more Mozilla keeps adding these features that you're not allowed to modify in Firefox, the less free it becomes.

My understanding is that the official binary version of Firefox comes with some embedded libraries while the Debian Iceweasel uses shared system libraries, and that's the main difference (besides the branding and some Debian-related patches). Personally, I haven't experienced any issues with speed or stability using Iceweasel.

Sep 16, 2008
3:53 PM EDT
Another difference is in the compiler flags. Last time I saw official firefox used -Os to minimize binary size, while Debian uses -O2.

Sep 16, 2008
3:58 PM EDT
I'm with bigg- what's the point of the EULA in the first place? As many commenters to the Ubuntu bug report and in other discussions have noted, there are two main problems with them:

1. They're a distasteful abusive tool of proprietary software vendors 2. They're unnecessary for FOSS applications

It was also mentioned what about live CDs? This stupid thing will pop up and every time you boot a new session. On a hard drive installation, even a barebones install has several hundred packages. Won't it be fun to click EULAs for every one of them.

I'm still appalled that some courts have upheld the validity of click-through contracts as embodied in EULAs. That is a farce- contract law is based on negotation and a meeting of the minds, not a unilateral, arbitrary, prone-to-change-at-a-whim EULA. FOSS should not be making EULAs more credible.

That is why EULAs are bad.

Sep 16, 2008
4:26 PM EDT
> it could happen.

If Mozilla continues with this level of stupidity, it'll happen to more than Ubuntu. I don't think Patrick would allow an EULA for Slackware.

Sep 16, 2008
6:04 PM EDT
This discussion is already moot. At least one important individual at Mozilla has recognized that the EULA was a bad move. Presently the alternative is uncertain, however, it seems likely to be less obnoxious.

Pick another thread and fight about something else for now (however, remember to reserve your space in line if Mozilla ends up using the EULA). Class dismissed!

[url= ReThinking Firefox EULA.htm][/url]

Sep 16, 2008
8:16 PM EDT
You'd think they could just put the legal smackdown on people they think are violating their copyright, rather than making everybody agree to a EULA.

Windows and Mac users see this sort of thing all the time, and while I don't think pissing off the average Linux user is something that Mozilla cares about, they do care about pissing off their developers, many of whom use FOSS operating systems, I suspect.

Sep 16, 2008
11:38 PM EDT
I think that he deserves a little credit for saying that they will not call it Ubuntu Firefox, because they did not write it. Giving credit where its due goes a long way with me. Too many people do a lot of hard work (in life in general, not just this instance) that doesn't get recognized like it should.

Is the Firefox EULA really going to impact me (as in the average user) in a real way? Is having to click on one more 'I Accept" button going to make my finger come off? No. I am not trying to trivialize the licensing issues but the Firefox EULA has to got to be better than the Microsoft EULA doesn't it? If your using Firefox on Windows or Mac, like most do, your already in a EULA hole anyway. Figuratively speaking of course, of course.

That's my thoughts on it but I don't expect everyone to agree with my perspective, what a bore that would be.


Sep 17, 2008
12:55 AM EDT
What if the GPL v2 or v3 were presented as a EULA?

Let's say I create a MegaBrowser NG (for "Next Generation") and I place it under the GPL v2. When a user first runs it (after installation), and it detects no user configuration, it pops up a dialog with the GPL v2 license in it, and asks the user to accept or decline the license.

If the user accepts the GPL v2, the program proceeds per normal first-time run.

But what if the user declines? Or, if the user has any questions about the GPL v2, can the browser go ahead and load the FAQ page from the FSF website, and go nowhere else until the user accepts or declines?

Does the FSF have any recommendations on using this approach?

Sep 17, 2008
2:10 AM EDT
Quoting:When a user first runs it (after installation), and it detects no user configuration, it pops up a dialog with the GPL v2 license in it, and asks the user to accept or decline the license.

I've seen it several times already. For example it's very typical in open source stuff packaged for Windows. Feels like Windows users are expecting to get whacked with an EULA ;)

Quoting:what's the point of the EULA in the first place?

Here's one:

Quoting:Apparently, the main reason for keeping the EULA is because of the use of services that require an EULA, such as safebrowsing. The only terms related to this that I can see are:

5. WEBSITE INFORMATION SERVICES. Mozilla and its contributors, licensors and partners work to provide the most accurate and up-to-date phishing and malware information. However, they cannot guarantee that this information is comprehensive and error-free: some risky sites may not be identified, and some safe sites may be identified in error.


But I also agree with this:

Quoting:Does that really require to read the rest of the legal boilerplate ?

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