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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:20 pm 
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http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20050815#fdow

BLAG Linux And GNU

If you like the Fedora project, but are put off by its bloat and lack of multimedia capabilities in Fedora Core, then BLAG Linux And GNU might just be the right distribution for you. Developed by Jeff Moe of the Brixton Linux Action Group (BLAG) in London, United Kingdom, this project has been around for nearly two years. BLAG's main goal is to remaster Fedora into a single-CD distribution with many of the conveniences that most desktop users would expect from an operating system, but which are missing from Fedora proper.

We have installed the latest release of BLAG, version 30001, over the weekend. Although it is based on an earlier Fedora Core 3, BLAG 30001 does come with a large number of upgraded packages, including the kernel 2.6.12, the latest version of Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP and MPlayer, just to name a few of the included applications. The default desktop is GNOME (Blackbox and XFce are also available), but disappointingly, it is an older version - 2.8.1. Despite that, the distribution includes a good selection of software for graphics (GIMP, Inkscape), Internet (Firefox, Thunderbird), multimedia (Audacity, MPlayer), office (AbiWord, Gnumeric), and peer-to-peer file sharing software (aMule, BitTorrent, Gnutella). Additional applications can be installed with apt-get or Synaptic.

After playing around with BLAG for a while, we felt a strong resemblance of the project's goals with those of the now defunct JAMD Linux. BLAG is a well-designed distribution, perhaps slightly more "geeky" than JAMD, but with the right idea to bring desktop users what many of them enjoy - trouble-free multimedia experience, a range of file sharing tools, and a good selection of graphics applications. This distribution is obviously geared towards home entertainment. Compared to other beginner-friendly projects, such as PCLinuxOS or MEPIS, it is missing a few ingredients, e.g Flash, Java and proprietary graphics drivers, but overall, the developers have made a solid effort to build a nice distribution without including non-free software and without sacrificing compatibility with Fedora Core.

To find out more about BLAG Linux And GNU, please visit the project's web site at blagblagblag.org.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:20 pm 
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BLAG's page @ distrowatch: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=blag


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:35 pm 
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"Compared to other beginner-friendly projects, such as PCLinuxOS or MEPIS, it is missing a few ingredients, e.g Flash, Java and proprietary graphics drivers" - why is this? I cann live without prop.graph.drivers, but Flash and Java are everyone need, isn't it?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:37 pm 
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Flash and Java are not Free Software, so we won't redistribute them.

You can see the discsussion here:
http://forums.blagblagblag.org/viewtopic.php?t=571

-Jeff


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:47 am 
What is so hard about downloading flash and java off of the internet? Blag is awesome, stop complaining. lol


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:56 am 
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Chris wrote:
What is so hard about downloading flash and java off of the internet?
It is hard. And, it is imoral, too: "Flash and Java are not Free Software, so we won't redistribute them." If you won't, how can I do that without sense of guilt? And if I want to see some site, I must have this things. This is "circulus viciosus" for me!

Is something is free for download, I think is free for use too, I cna't understand that diferently. Many people are not interested in this discussions, thay want OS to work, that's all.

I use Mepis for some time, and I ask myself how can it uses all this stuff, for free? I am confused, must admit that...

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:51 pm 
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tdjokic wrote:
Is something is free for download, I think is free for use too, I cna't understand that diferently.


Sadly you are mistaken. By freedom we don't mean in the monetary sense.

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

I understand where you are coming from but with your attitude Linux would never have existed in the first place.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:49 am 
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Quote:
By freedom we don't mean in the monetary sense.
OK, but who paid for Jafa I use in, say, Mepis? How can I pay for something if nobody ask me to pay? I go to Jafa site, download it and everything is OK. Sorry, I realy don't understand, that's why I ask for help and explanation.
Quote:
When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price.
I am not against paying, but how and to whom to pay?
Quote:
with your attitude Linux would never have existed in the first place.
Sorry, I hope my attitude is flexible enough, I only need to beter understand this "paying" thing.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:03 pm 
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As I said, not free in the monetary sense so you can't pay with money. You pay with time and opening up your code to the public. You may donate if you want but you don't pay for the code. You pay for the time put in to thank that person. Just think of the hours put into the kernel or applications like apache and these guys all did it for free in the monetary sense and free putting their code on public display. The free comes from freedom and not having to run proprietary software on your system.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:41 pm 
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I could agree that "free" may be a confusing term. If you have a look at the GNU Public license [http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A//www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html&ei=hasDQ9ucBNDSRNKSnXg], you see that the freedom is in the fact that you can do, (more or less), anything that you like with the code, which is quite unlike **anything** that I've seen before, when I was using Mi(s)corsoft products.

So what? what's the the big deal with this "source code" stuff? I don't need the code - I want to play music, write files just like any regular home user. Who cares if it's free...

-If you ever have a bug in any GNU tools or apps then you can contact the developer(s), forums, wikis and notify them. Bugs and security issues get spotted pretty quickly in the GNU/Linux world and the news spreads like wild fire. This is most unlike proprietary software, where you have no real control over the software or operating system running on your machine(s). I'm a civil engineer on a large project and I can tell you there are more bugs in the boxes at work than in my garden ;)

-If you think that you can improve the code for a software then you can. You can even sell that if you want to so long as others have the same rights that you do when you got the code.

-Having the rights to the code means that you can tune the operating system, (kernel), or software to suit your machine.

sorry for the long post....

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:30 pm 
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You can go to Sun's site and download java. When you do, you click on a license agreement that says you can't redistribute it. So we can't. It also does not provide source code, so it's not Free in that sense either. I don't know what Mepis does--perhaps they have a deal with Sun, or perhaps they are in a free country. Same is true of Flash. You are "free' to download it from their site, but you can't redistribute it. They don't provide source either. You can get the source code to everything on the BLAG CD.

-Jeff


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:30 pm 
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Thank you jebba. I understand now: this programs are allowed for individual user, under special conditions and nothing more. This is one post on Mepis about legal issues http://www.mepislovers.org/modules/newb ... mpost35617
and discusion is very hot: "Yeah it is free for download but is it free for distribution?" - question you just answer to me.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:53 am 
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tdjokic wrote:
"Compared to other beginner-friendly projects, such as PCLinuxOS or MEPIS, it is missing a few ingredients, e.g Flash, Java and proprietary graphics drivers" - why is this? I cann live without prop.graph.drivers, but Flash and Java are everyone need, isn't it?


Not quite.
I don't use either. Java does not seem to be too popular in "focused-on-content" sites, very rarely i see an applet, and i wouldn't use it if i had it installed either. Flash, on the other hand, has become more popular, but still i can browse most sites perfectly. Add to that the advantage of not seeing any epilepsy-triggering ads. Sometimes i miss a link or two, but up to now they are usually non essential things (for example, a couple of days ago someone send me a link to a "youtube" video, but i couldn't see it. That's not missing something relevant...).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:03 am 
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What I originally meant by this is that it was aimed at the people who keep complaining about blag not including java or flash. After installing blag just go download flash and java. Its not that hard. I wasn't saying for you amazing people who work on blag to include them in the distro.


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