Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Aug 2009 22:23 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source When Windows Vista was launched, the Free Software Foundation started its BadVista campaign, which was aimed at informing users about what the FSF considered user-restrictive features in Vista. Luckily for the FSF, Vista didn't really need a bad-mouthing campaign to fail. Now that Windows 7 is receiving a lot of positive press, the FSF dusted off the BadVista drum, and gave it a fresh coat of paint.
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RE[5]: Why?
by JeffS on Thu 27th Aug 2009 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

nt_jerkface:

Since you've thrown the word "collectivist" in reference to Stallman, I'm guessing that you're a Randian (at least partially).

Yet, you argue in favor of the developer/proprietary software developer to take control of your computing experience.

And I always thought that a major part of the Randian/Objectivist/Libertarian/blahblah philosophy was to give freedom to the individual, without centralized control.

Yet, here you are, arguing in favor of centralized control, and against freedom for individual computer users.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a pragmatist and I use both Vista and Ubuntu (dual boot), with using Vista more often than Ubuntu.

But I hate things like DRM, WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage - the only advantage is for MS), file usage monitoring, vendor lock-in.

If I go to a hardware store, and buy a hammer, I should be able to use that hammer whenever, wherever, and however I want, period.

Software should be the same. But the big proprietary software vendors, as well ad the big media companies, try to put in as many restrictions as possible, interfering with what I want to do with my legally purchased computer, and my legally purchased software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Why?
by nt_jerkface on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:29 in reply to "RE[5]: Why?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

nt_jerkface: Since you've thrown the word "collectivist" in reference to Stallman, I'm guessing that you're a Randian (at least partially). Yet, you argue in favor of the developer/proprietary software developer to take control of your computing experience.


Stallman wants all software to be a public collective. I think the description is apt.

Developers don't take control of your computing experience, they enhance it by providing additional functionality with their program. If you don't want that additional functionality you are free to not download it.


But the big proprietary software vendors, as well ad the big media companies, try to put in as many restrictions as possible, interfering with what I want to do with my legally purchased computer, and my legally purchased software.


Which restrictions are you talking about? The inability to see the source? Do you get upset when you buy a can of Coke and are unable to see the recipe on the can?

Anyways my overall point is that GPL ideology is a joke. You can't expect all software to fall under the GPL. It doesn't work for all software development models, and it doesn't always work for open source projects. See The Hurd as a class A example.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Why?
by ichi on Thu 27th Aug 2009 21:26 in reply to "RE[6]: Why?"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Do you get upset when you buy a can of Coke and are unable to see the recipe on the can?


Well yes, I do.
There's something uncomfortable about not knowing what the hell I'm actually drinking.

Anyways my overall point is that GPL ideology is a joke. You can't expect all software to fall under the GPL. It doesn't work for all software development models, and it doesn't always work for open source projects. See The Hurd as a class A example.


None of that proves GPL being a joke, but rather that there's no "one size fits all".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Why?
by JeffS on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:30 in reply to "RE[6]: Why?"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"Which restrictions are you talking about? The inability to see the source? Do you get upset when you buy a can of Coke and are unable to see the recipe on the can?"

I'll give you a perfect, real life example:

When I bought my iPod, I wanted to get a bunch of the songs off my very extensive CD collection onto my new iPod. So I spent a bunch of time, I mean, a lot of time, ripping many of my CDs to HD, and then importing into iTune, then syncing to my iPod. Fine and dandy.

Later on, however, that machine (on which I had ripped the CDs) had it's CPU burn out.

So I replaced the computer with my current Dell Inspiron (with Vista and Ubuntu).

But I had spent all that time ripping my CDs onto HD, and wanted those songs on my new machine, without having to spend all that time ripping again.

No worries - those songs were on my iPod. Just hook up my iPod, and download the songs onto the new HD. The songs are, after all, just files, being stored on what is essentially a USB storage device.

Bzzzzzzt!!! Nope. Apple put in restrictions on doing that. The files on the iPod are encrypted, and locked in, and don't allow downloading from the iPod onto another machine that is not the original machine from which the songs were originally uploaded.

But, goddammit, they're my songs, from my legally purchased CD collection. I just wanted to save the hassle of having to rip all those CDs again.

But nope, Apple doesn't give a rats ass about customer convenience. They want you to be locked into one machine, and into their hardware, and their file format.

Yes,yes, I know I could've just ghosted the old HD (which is an expense and inconvenience unto itself). Yes, yes, I know I could have bought third party software that unlocks the encrypted files and allows you to download from the iPod (another expense).

The point is, I should not have had to do that sh!t. Again, they're my songs from my CD collection, loaded onto what is essentially a USB storage device.

I was furious.

Yes, I know. I don't have to buy an iPod. But in this case, I had no idea it had such a ridiculous restriction. If I had known, I never would have bought an iPod.

Rest assured, it's my last iPod.

I'll be looking at iRiver, Creative Zen, or Sansa Fuze for my next mp3 player purchase - and I'll be looking very carefully at any restrictions those products might have.

But there in lies the rub. The proprietary software put in an artificial restriction, and greatly inconvenienced me, for the sole purpose of locking me into their wares.

This would never, ever, in a million years, happen with FOSS. With FOSS, there is zero incentive to try to pull that kind of crap on users.

But in the end, it's often a matter of compromises or trade-offs. The iPod is a really slick device, and has a really nice interface.

And the nice interface, polish, completeness, and ease of use, you see with the iPod software, often comes up a bit short with FOSS.

Edited 2009-08-27 22:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2