Archive for August, 2010


Based on the number and passion of comments generated by my last post, it was one of my most “popular” ever.  It even got referenced in someone else’s blog post.

Many (probably most, but I didn’t count) of the commenters seem to me to have misunderstood my last post.  I think it is great if people want to voluntarily include their systems in a census of Ubuntu systems.  We have a great tool for doing that, popcon.  What I object to is collecting information from users that is not required for technical reasons without their consent.  I believe it’s inconsistent with the Ubuntu project’s stated values.

Voluntary = OK
Involuntary = Not OK

Clear enough?


Just Say No!

I read Rick Spencer: Can we count users without uniquely identifying them? with sadness but not a lot of shock (this got mentioned on IRC a day or two ago).

If Canonical’s commercial customers want to count their user-base, that’s between Canonical and those customers. I do not think this kind of functionality has any place in a free software product. I do not think this should be in the Ubuntu repository or on the Ubuntu project ISO images.