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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Dave Crossland
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 21:49:14 +0100

On 24/01/2008, Andrew Savory <address@hidden> wrote:
> My point is this: of course it would be wonderful if all of the people
> I talk to would make the switch to using Free Software desktops right
> away. However, it would have a detrimental impact for them for all the
> obvious reasons (lack of suitable replacements for all proprietary
> packages, retraining requirements, etc). Therefore I focus on helping
> people get the benefits of FLOSS _now_ where it is _most suitable and
> appropriate_. It seems like quite a sensible approach to me

Yes, it is, we are all slowly moving to more and more free software in
small steps. Some of us got to 100% free software programs but lack
free BIOS and free embedded device software. LinuxBIOS and Rockbox and
GPLv3 are helping solve those last parts,though.

If a business is using proprietary software, they can't switch in one
day, or one year, even one decade.

Whats important is that they are switching because they recognise the
social problem of proprietary software and value their freedom, and
are _sincere_ about switching.

> I'd love to hear a reasonable explanation of why this is _not_ a sensible
> approach.

Its not sensible because it will never arrive at the destination - the
destination being 100% free software and thus the elimination of the
social problem of proprietary software.

> I am not claiming that Free Software is 100% suitable for "prime time"
> on the desktop, so I don't think that using a proprietary OS is
> hypocritical.

If Free Software is 100% suitable for "prime time" on the desktop is a
secondary issue, and highly subjective; for server rooms, GNOME has
been prime time for years, and for many office workers it went
primetime in the last few years (evidenced by SLED, RHED, Ubuntu's
large corporate and government customers who have RHEL servers and
Ubuntu desktops)

The real, primary issue is that you are also not claiming that free
software is about software freedom, so it makes sense that you don't
think that using a proprietary OS is hypocritical either.

This was why the term "open source" was coined; if you talk about
software freedom, its inevitable you will be called out as (or feel
yourself to be) hypocritical for using proprietary software. Open
source describes the same stuff, with the freedom hidden away.


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