[nSLUG] On topic of favorite distros, and Linux on the Desktop

Rick Franchuk rickf at transpect.net
Fri Mar 5 01:46:15 AST 2004

On Thu, 2004-03-04 at 18:18, Paul Boudreau wrote:
> You think he's wrong. I think he's right. That's freedom.

Actually, I didn't express an opinion one way or the other as to whether
or not I think he's "wrong" or "right". I was commenting entirely on the
way he presents his points.

In an issue as complex as this, there's going to be points I agree with
and points I don't. Labelling it as 'wrong' or 'right' is to trivialize
it and turn it into a sound byte. For the record, I like the idea of OSS
where people voluntarily invest some time in order to improve a project
that helps everyone. As someone who makes a living by developing
software though, I know I wouldn't be able to support myself or my
family by programming if *all* software was open source. For profit code
still has a place in my world, and I suspect always will have a place in
our global community for a long time to come.

As for 'freedom', such a trite definition could only be a propogation of
other similarly trite throwaway sound bytes, most likely from south of
the border. I assure you that freedom means more than 'thinking you

> There are two points of view, Stallman's and Gates'.

I have my own point of view on it too, thanks, although perhaps I'm not
as zealous as stallman, nor as conspicuously affluent as gates.

> Stallman thinks people should have the right to share,
> distribute and modify software. Gates thinks you shouldn't.
> Some people think "Open Source" was a good compromise,
> so did Bill, now you can get M$ Open Source software.

Uhm, no. MS OSes are not 'open source'. Under certain very prohibitive
arrangements you can LOOK at the source, but that's a far cry from what
OSS stands for.

Unless you're referring to OSS running on windows, in which case it's a
largely moot point... the MS OS is merely a vehicle at that point.

> At some point in the future, the GPL will get a thorough
> testing in the courts and we will see the outcome.
> Personally, I don't even like to hear about people dual-
> booting with Windows, doesn't interest me in the least.
> What interests me is making "everything" work in GNU/Linux. He who risks 
> nothing, does nothing and becomes nothing.

Tony Robbins inspired sloganeering notwithstanding, the fervor you're
pushing this point with is starting to raise hackles. In a way, it's
providing a demonstration of my point. I'm sure you're very dedicated to
the ideals of OSS, but the way you're presenting them is generating a
negative response from people who don't share the same level of
intensity, and it's even happening while "preaching to the choir".
Imagine then what kind of reactions RMS generates when soapboxing to
people who are indifferent, or hostile, to the idea of OSS.

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