Open source community wades into Ubuntu phone

While many open saucers are getting moist about the chances of a pure Linux phone running Canonical’s Ubuntu Phone, there are a few who are blowing trumpets of caution.

KDE’s Plasma Active team leader Aaron Seigo wrote on his blog that his eyebrows were raised when he saw Canonical’s press release and saw that the Ubuntu code will deliver a mobile, tablet, desktop or TV experiences depending on what device it is installed on, or where it is docked.

Seigo, having looked at the code behind Ubuntu’s Unity interface, thinks Canonical’s claim is hollow because the new phone will be based on QML, which Unity isn’t. 

He pointed out that there is a high level of fudge factor in the Ubuntu announcement and he thinks that Canonical is being “ethically weak”. In open source land that is fighting talk.  

Seigo said that the free software community was being told a fairy tale in hopes that it will swallow it and, as a result, support Canonical “under what amounts to false pretences”.

He added that if you are a free software developer, user, or supporter, and buy into these claims, “you’re being duped”.

Seigo thought the Ubuntu Phone is great, and the world needs more free software mobile efforts, particularly those using Qt/QML. But it was difficult “to sit on one’s hands and say nothing when such communication techniques that are not healthy for the free software movement are employed”.

Open source Pope Richard Stallman is not a big fan of Ubuntu which he has called spyware because the operating system sends data to Ubuntu maker Canonical when a user searches the desktop. Needless to say he is not impressed with the Linux phone either.