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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Chris Croughton
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 13:51:36 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11

On Tue, Jan 22, 2008 at 01:58:17PM +0000, Noah Slater wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 22, 2008 at 01:10:11PM +0100, Dave Crossland wrote:
> > A friend of mine sympathetic to softrware freedom movement but who
> > lately pointedly says "open source" notes that Jefferson campaigned to
> > abolish slavery while owning slaves, and he makes all the software he
> > writes available as free software, but doesn't mind using proprietary
> > software until it can conveniently be discarded.
> I think this is misleading. Jefferson, and I am guessing wildly here,
> probably kept the slaves as this was his primary source of income and
> social status. Without those to things his campaign would have been
> futile.

And many of the rest of us use and work with (and write) proprietary
software in order to pay the bills so that we have time and resources to
work on and write free software.  Without that we wouldn't be able to
afford to have email, CVS/svn access or even computers on which to help
free software.

As even diehard FLOSS advocates admit, there are a number of areas,
especially more specialist ones, where FLOSS applications either don't
exist or are not suitable for the purpose.  I don't think that
musicians and architects are going to sit back and refuse to do their
jobs until there is free software available.

I will reiterate my offer, which didn't get any takers last time.  The
best music scoring and composing software I've found is Sibelius
(http://www.sibelius.com/, Windows/Mac).  It costs around 600 pounds
(and is proprietary), so what I actually use is Noteworthy Composer
(www.ntworthy.com, Windows, also proprietary) which is not as powerful
but which has the best user interface I've come across.  I will offer
the cost of Sibelius, 600 pounds, to anyone who produces a program with
the functionality and ease of use of Noteworthy Composer as free
software (I don't insist on it being identical, I do insist that it must
have all of the functionality and have an interface which is as easy to
use with both mouse and keyboard).  I am happy to work with them to test
the features and interface.

Any takers?  Anyone else want to join in sponsoring it?

> I hardly think that his situation is similar to the "zomg, i just
> totally have to get that new mac air so i can sit in starbucks
> drinking my extra-mocha-choca-decaf and prepare notes on free software
> using keynote" situation.

Strawman and hyperbole, you are spoiling your own case using such

Let me ask the "everything must be free software" fanatics (I don't know
whether you count yourself as one, but feel free to answer): Do you use
any of the following?

    A computer using proprietary hardware (like a CPU?)
    A car with a proprietary processor doing engine management?
    A TV set using proprietary software?
    An airline whose planes use proprietary software?
    Roads with traffic and pedestrian lights run by proprietary

If the answer is yes to any of these, please stop or I won't take you
seriously when you say that free software developers and advocates must
only use free software.  The same as I don't take seriously mediaeval
re-enactors who insist that all of their clothing must be 'authentic'
but use a machine-made needle to sew it.

Chris C

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