Your argument that because the standard packages are distributed as binary blobs in .deb files (for Debian based distributions) the packages cannot easily be altered is false.
Ah I didn't expect anyone to read it that way at all.
I wasn't asserting that the individual packages cannot easily be altered (and I never said that).
The opening part of the post was responding to a conceptual question of RobertoS
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?
it is not an either or situation
was mean to expand as "Conceptually it is neither all-binary nor all source-code but something else".
I was trying to cover that although
a distribution might install from binary packages (in the sense that users don't need
how to compile things from source to install either individual programs or the whole OS) but neither is the whole OS a single self-contained object,
The thing I meant was hard to change was to go from open and always-choices to fully closed, locked-down, unchangable. I mean something like that would be so unlike any distro or the ethos, it certainly would not be accepted badged as part of the Ubuntu family (which is the explicitly stated intent).
My earlier post touched on compiling from source always being an option
, but I didn't want to focus on that because people who have not used Linux or more broadly Unix-like systems recently
, sometimes falsely assume you have to do this (which becomes a straw man argument), whereas in some senses, installing and updating software is more integrated and automated than Windows.
Anyway, does anyone seriously think Canonical would allow its reputation to be tarnished by building something that was completely closed and locked down. I realise it's a hypothetical discussion but it's not realistic to suppose Canonical would continue their involvement or proceed as far as a release under those circumstances.
There is currently no reason to suppose China intends to build a closed locked down operating system - when they appear to be trying to get away from one that comes with a licence cost (Windows) and you could think of it in the same way as a country might want to lower costs / overheads - building up local industry / development rather than relying on importing something.
And once even one
open version has been built, the cat is already out of the bag. In practical terms China can't actually visit every
user's house, force
them to upgrade to the imaginary closed version, and prevent people getting hold of any type of storage medium (including microSD and other computing devices) that could be used for reinstalling (any other operating system).
Assuming China could do the above they then have to close the door by taking control of all BIOS and UEFI hardware to stop people installing "non-approved" OSes. Then prevent imports or building any hardware that is not locked in this way.
By this stage the number of hurdles is already beyond silly. But just for fun let's follow it to the logical conclusion
For good measure China has to ban and prevent all implementations of virtualisation + emulation or similar - and there are many. This includes an emulator running as browser plugin or something like dosbox on a smartphone. Oh and ban any kind of remote desktop or VNC type of thing (otherwise its citizens can still
run another open OS, or at least access one).
In other words, if some politician thinks they can get this Ubuntu built and released, but then take it away in-house and lock it down later, then make everyone use it, they misunderstand how stuff works (maybe they are only used to what they know).
prompt $P - Invalid drive specification - Abort, Retry, Fail? $G
prlzx on iDNET: ADSL2+ / 21CN at ~4Mbps / 700kbps with IP4/6
Edited by prlzx (Wed 27-Mar-13 01:09:08)