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one-paragraph comments on s/w freedom being more important than tech nif

From: Mark Galassi
Subject: one-paragraph comments on s/w freedom being more important than tech niftiness
Date: Fri, 08 May 2020 18:40:19 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Dear GNU folk,

Long ago I had a conversation with a fellow long-time GNU developer.  We
were talking about how we had come upon free software in the 1980s and
early 1990s.

We were discussing how sometimes we had felt exhilerated by, for
example, the coming of gcc, or gcc-2, which were so technically

And then we both commented that we had eventually reached the conclusion
that the usefulness of gcc, or the linux kernel, or other great
products, had come mostly because of the freedom that comes with s/w,
rather than the fact that at the moment it is the coolest s/w around.

Years latere we then noticed that, for example, gcc had played leapfrog
with various proprietary compilers, passing in and out of the top
performance slot (that's not true anymore).  But sticking with depending
on tools that offer freedom turns out to be both ethical and deeply
strategic in the long run.

I wonder if anyone here would care to send me examples of how they came
to feel this viscerally, and what examples drove home for them that
freedom is what gives you a deeper convenience than the occasional
technical peak.

If I get responses I will summarize it in a brief article and post it
back here.

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