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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Noah Slater
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 11:24:51 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17 (2007-11-01)

On Mon, Jan 21, 2008 at 11:56:55AM +0100, Andrew Savory wrote:
> I'd certainly be happier with a fully free OS that does everything I want
> and need in a way that is sufficiently usable. I'm quite sad that it isn't
> available (yet).

I am aware that free software is not suitable for certain things, like
accounting or high end design. What is it that you have problems with?

> No, I was referring to Darwin as the underlying OS kernel, almost synonymous
> with the Linux kernel.

Actually, the kernel is called XNU. Darwin is more akin to GNU in the
contribution it lends to the operating system. To put it another way,
if it were a free software operating system you would probably call it
Apple Darwin/XNU.

> But Aqua is more akin to an X window manager, and technically not
> needed to make the machine itself usable.

It is, you can't run OS X on the desktop without Aqua.

> But I could run Gnome (I actually did
> that for a while, but the memory overhead of running Aqua and X was
> killing me).

You can only run it inside X11.app which runs inside Aqua.

> A developer tool that has been made available so that others can improve
> their programs, but that happens not to work as it should yet, is not a
> reason for a user to ditch an OS. Heck, that it's been added at all is a
> good start.

No, that you run an operating system which has it's foundations
solidly in non-free software and closed formats should be enough.


> Well, I'm glad it's clear to you. Sweeping presumptious statements like that
> do quite a bit of damage to efforts to encourage the adoption of FLOSS! It
> comes across as "I am holier than thou".

Well, I for one, have been blessed by St. IGNUcius. ;)

> How about "I used a Linux-based machine for 5 years, and found I was more
> effective using Mac OS X to do my Free Software development and advocacy"?
> Where does that sit in the world of valuing freedom sufficiently to meet
> your exacting standards?

It's completely contradictory. How can you say that you find it better
to use non-free software to spread the message of free software? Can
you imagine RMS using Windows Media Player (guessing here, not used
Windows for many years) to do podcasts because it's easier and helps
him get the message out faster?

I would use a free software operating system even if I had to use the
most cripled system on the plannet, it's not about pragmatism.

> In the long run, FLOSS always wins out. Will we get there quicker if 10
> people switch today based on your notion of "ethical obligation" but then
> take 10x as long to do their FLOSS work?

What FLOSS work do you do that is 10x faster using non-free software?

> I think the "ethical" argument is a great way to upset people and
> harm the adoption of FLOSS.

Drop the OS bit from the middle and what you have is a socio-political
movement centered around the very concept of computing ethics. It
sounds to me like you, personally, should be using the term OSS
because this statement is clearly contradictory.

Noah Slater <http://bytesexual.org/>

"Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as
society is free to use the results." - R. Stallman

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