In recent times there has been an introduction of low power computing devices – things like netbooks and tablets. Deloitte suggests that “…50 percent of computing devices sold globally will not be PCs”1- It seems that future computing devices such as tablets and smartphones are destined to change the traditional interaction between user and computer, away from content production towards content consumption.
This change in paradigm presents a challenge to Linux distributions -
To get content to the user without the user having to leave the safety of the distro and browse the internet.
One of the amazing strengths of Linux is its repositories. The repository system presents an App-store style interface allowing instant choice to users. Anybody can fire up a linux distro, go to their repository and download thousands and thousands of applications, with the freedoms associated with open source applications. For applications Linux is a very strong offering.
What I would like to do is raise the profile of content to that of applications, making content as accessible as applications. When content becomes a package, the raw source becomes available providing the same 4 freedoms of free software to content2.
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
A call to ARMs
I’m interested in gauging the community opinion regarding this idea – so if you want to voice an opinion join up here https://launchpad.net/~contentpackaging