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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Mon 25-Mar-13 17:29:27
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What is China up to?


[link to this post]
 
http://nvonews.com/2013/03/25/ubuntu-kylin-becomes-r...

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Standard User NilSatisOptimum
(committed) Mon 25-Mar-13 20:16:51
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Something the public sector here should have adopted long ago.

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Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Mon 25-Mar-13 20:49:18
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Turkey also made a "State OS" and I think some Latin American countries also spotted that paying Microsoft for lots of licences for state offices, schools ' n ' hospitals was a bad idea.

China may be trying to get rid of its piracy image, if it has a good localised OS then why pirate a bad one from Microsoft.

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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Mon 25-Mar-13 21:18:12
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
My point is by standardising on Open Source Ubuntu China can in the future easily influence what goes on inside the Chinese version.

Given their censorship regime of the internet I regard this choice as no coincidence, both in itself and in how the OS could control access.

OK, at first there will be Open Source, then comes the "authorised" version for installation on computers in China, and then come unknown mods within it. Computers without the authorised OS would simply not be able to access an ISP.

I'm not saying this is the plan. I am saying that path is feasible, whereas with Microsoft it is hugely more difficult.

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Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.2/15.2Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
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Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.

Edited by RobertoS (Mon 25-Mar-13 21:18:33)

Standard User prlzx
(experienced) Mon 25-Mar-13 21:45:27
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Depends if you are really think this version would somehow actively prevent one from:
- enabling or disabling both the initial Ubuntu repositories (Software Sources) plus any others you could add later
- installing packages from source
- choosing from a range of available kernels

things which can be done simply by ticking and unticking things in the GUI such as in Synaptic (Package Manager) or the Software Centre. Unless you block all of those and more then a central authority is not controlling what goes into the operating system and in fact is harder to hide stuff that with say MS Windows where the OS is largely binary only.

And I specifically left out writing something yourself or in a group then compiling it (how practical do you think it would be for China to block access to any and all compilers and make them illegal and enforce it).

In other words if you as a user do not trust something supplied you can replace it with something else with similar or better functionality and you can safely predict the proposed version of Ubuntu will encourage more programming and development within the country.

Remember the primary method control by China is at the network level (firewall and ISP) rather than the OS and device level, as the range of possible combinations there is too big to tackle, and creating another variation of OS does not make that any easier, so you can assume the authorities will broadly stick with the current network border approach.

For example, do you think they would ban purchasing Raspberry Pi (when you could install any available OS including network appliances and they are small enough to be deployed discreetly (including for instance outdoors as part of wireless network kit)?



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Edited by prlzx (Mon 25-Mar-13 21:49:57)

Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Mon 25-Mar-13 22:19:08
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: prlzx] [link to this post]
 
Pass smile.

I still have the feeling there is something not as "open" as people are meant to think.

Given a compiled version of an Ubuntu OS pre-installed on your computer, with no way of obtaining (online) another version to replace it with, does your post (which I confess is beyond me) remain true?

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Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.2/15.2Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.
Standard User prlzx
(experienced) Mon 25-Mar-13 23:24:42
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Boils down to it is not an either or situation.

In Ubuntu like with other Debian based OS, the repositories supply most installable programs as binaries (in .deb packages)
the same is roughly true of Fedora and other Red Hat based OS (using .rpm packages)

So you could say your Ubuntu stuff comes from Canonical but in many cases the packages comes from upstream from Debian anyway.

The point being that though whether you choose a full install CD or DVD (ISO) or minimal install (gets the rest of it online) that is more just an automation of the install process with a list of packages and different actions to do by default.
(E.g. check hardware, setup the disk space, install these items from CD, check for network and try to enable, install some more items from the internet, check for updates, create the first user account, set the locale / clock / keyboard type).
It is not just one big self-contained blob.

And there is no single place for some magic off switch or inhibitor that stops you later adding a repo for stuff from other places (e.g. my version of Skype can come from Canonical or direct from Microsoft itself and it gives me a choice) and removing stuff later.

Anyone else can provide a repository (with a collection of 1 or more packages) or even just some .deb files that you can download and install (much like for Windows you might install from an .msi or similar to a .cab file).

For example my list of repositories includes packages and automatic updates supplied from Canonical, Google (e.g. the talk plugin), XBMC team, SavoirFaireLinux (some VoIP package) and some smaller development teams (some DLNA stuff).
For the user the Update Manager handles updates for you in once place in the GUI no matter how many different online places the software is coming in from.

I'm not sure Cannonical would or even could re-engineer the whole thing not to be able to take software from anywhere because the concept exists at various levels throughout how such OSes work. There is too much to re-engineer from the ground up and would not get much help from existing devs.

Say if China used it as is for a year then tried to lock it down (somehow make a closed version) well people would just create something else from an earlier open version or make available code to reverse the changes while fooling the OS into phoning home saying "all is still well, nothing to see here". The "official" Chinese version would become one choice in many (but it already will be that anyway).

I am more inclined towards the other posts that China sees a strategic advantage in being independent of software that has a licence fee especially something like Windows that originates in the USA - and its recent US hardening of attitude towards Huawei, ZTE may be a factor not relying for software on a country that already does not trust Chinese firms. OK I'm guessing but it would not need to be a formal link, merely enough that it adds to a sense of unease, compared with working with a UK company and being able to see (and participate in) what goes into the OS.

It does sound like what a country would do if it were playing the long game.

Can you imagine MS response if China authorities asked to see under the hood at the Windows source to be able to customise it themselves - usually the first answer is no, the second is sign this NDA and pay $$$$$$ to see selected bits of it.



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Edited by prlzx (Mon 25-Mar-13 23:58:58)

Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Tue 26-Mar-13 00:55:12
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: prlzx] [link to this post]
 
I'm sorry I haven't read past about half of your post, as I understand where you are coming without needing to follow every detail of a complex subject that I know approximately nothing about. In normal circumstances I would have no disagreement with any of it.

I do however have a lifetime in software development behind me, so I'm not completely wet behind the ears.

If you go back to my post where I give a sequence of Chinese government actions, I should have include a suggestion that Windows will end up not being permitted once Ubuntu becomes widespread. I'm talking of something taking place over a few years, not next week.

It then becomes relatively easy for a totalitarian government to decree the acceptable version of the Linux OS that is to be used and it could easily insist on all computers sold in China being pre-installed with it.

Surely that can be supplied in a fully compiled installable format anyway, even though that isn't the current method?

Even if it cannot, access to the external sites you would need to install your own version can be prevented, and only approved ones accessible for the remains of the build.

We live in the UK and even America in what is even now a very open society. China is a totally different environment. That a few thousand or even millions of techie people may be able to circumvent state-defined installations by smuggled or pre-stored (soon out of date?) build kits is a fleabite in a population of around 1.4 billion. As I've already explained, it would be very simple for such non-approved installations not to be useablefor internet access anyway, therefore pointless.

Sleepy time smile. I have to be up earlyish to go and discuss the results of my latest head MRI scan tongue. (I joke not). Maybe all my synapses have been dragged out of place by them smile.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 54.2/15.2Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.
Standard User Lethe
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 26-Mar-13 10:01:26
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Red Flag Linux


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
This is strange, as I thought China already had it's own version:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Flag_Linux

Nick
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Tue 26-Mar-13 11:02:57
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Re: What is China up to?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
you can add packages from a CD or USB stick etc it doesn't have to be done online.

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Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

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