Sameer D. Sahasrabuddhe
Fri Nov 28 10:15:54 IST 2003
On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 10:51:21AM +0530, Nagarjuna G. wrote:
> ... to use free software not to save money alone, but to be FREE.
> ... the company is that free software is economical is accidental,
> and not necessary.
> > Are we as a community capable of leaving idealism aside and answer
> > this hard-headed pragmatist question? ... Open Source ... can be
> > a great eye-opener.
> I disagree here because of the reasons mentioned above. Open Source
> guys/girls have no answer in this situation unless they tell the
> company that see it is worth spending because you also get source
> code. That is when everyone realizes what is the crux of the
So when RMS insists that we talk about "computer users' rights",
he's issuing a dangerously attractive invitation to us to repeat
old failures. It's one we should reject -- not because his
principles are wrong, but because that kind of language, applied to
software, simply does not persuade anybody but us. In fact, it
confuses and repels most people outside our culture.
RMS's best propaganda has always been his hacking. So it is for all
of us; to the rest of the world outside our little tribe, the
excellence of our software is a far more persuasive argument for
openness and freedom than any amount of highfalutin appeal to
abstract principles. So he next time RMS, or anybody else, urges
you to "talk about freedom", I urge you to reply "Shut up and show
them the code."
The problem with the kind of "customers" originally described in this
thread, is that for them the "cost" of software is not a problem.
Unless the LUG wants to become a law-enforcement agency of some kind,
there is no way we can win on the TCO front. What we can do talk about
is security and portability of the software. With the GNU in place,
they can run the same system on their desktop, their laptop and their
server. They never have to worry about viruses again.
One obvious problem with this approach was highlighted in another
thread, about MS Project. Of course, there's alwasy Wine ...
Research Scholar, KReSIT, IIT Bombay
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