You, the reader, are hereby invited to participate in a celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) on August 28th this year. On that day we will stage public events to inform the general public about the virtues of FOSS. We invite you to form local teams and set up tables in town centers, shopping malls, or wherever there are likely to be lots of people on a Saturday.Average computer users are not aware of FOSS, and at this point there is no reason they would be. Even worse, certain proprietary software companies, unwittingly aided by the press, have spread disinformation about FOSS. Recent coverage has been especially disappointing, with spurious connections being made between programmers and virus writers; this shows a clear lack of knowledge in the mainstream press. In order to counter this trend, FOSS users and enthusiasts must make more positive contributions to the mainstream debate. We should provide positive stories to write about, not simply respond to the latest FUD. A global day of FOSS celebration will give us an opportunity to present our case to the media and directly to the public.
But the real challenges are still only on the horizon. New lock-in technologies such as Trusted Computing are going to make interoperability a challenge, and legal instruments such as software patents have the potential to stop FOSS in its tracks. Patented file-access routines will clearly not be available as open source libraries, and the patents will prevent us from making our own versions. The result may be that FOSS will be unable to share data with a majority of programs on the Windows platform, something that will render both Linux on the desktop and OpenOffice.org useless in many people’s eyes. This serious threat can only be successfully combated if we are able to raise people’s awareness of these issues. That is why we believe that projects such as Knoppix, TheOpenCD, and now Software Freedom Day are so important. The best guarantee of a vibrant FOSS community into the future is that people in general grow fond of the Freedoms that FOSS can provide and start demanding it in the same way they demand democracy and free speech. Only then will politicians and companies listen. The power lies with voters and consumers where numbers count, and time is running short.
It is against this background that we have formed softwarefreedomday.org. Our aim is to organize an annual, global celebration of FOSS on the last Saturday in August, starting with August 28th, 2004. We hope to build a broad coalition in the FOSS community. As a first step we have contacted major organizations such as the FSF, OSI, KDE, GNOME, the Berkman Center and others, to tell them what we are doing and to invite them to collaborate. The response has been positive, though no firm plans for common projects have been made (we are, after all, just starting out). We are especially interested in collaborating with other groups focusing on outreach activities.
When trying to unite the various parts of the Free and Open Source community, you eventually run into the terminology issue of Free vs. Open. Personally, I think the term Open Source has been useful in getting a foothold in the business world, but this term may now be of limited use to us when we try to reach the wider public (what is source?). The average person will probably be more interested in the implications for free electronic speech than the technical development model. In his recent talk at Harvard Law School, Eben Moglen made the case that the Free Software movement is the Free Speech movement of the moment. This may be true, but I also think we can not ignore the fact that the term Free in English still means Gratis to most people. We need a fresh approach to getting our message across in a way that still highlights the core concept of freedom, which is why we settled on the phrase Software Freedom Day.
As important is Freedom is, however, it is not the only key element of FOSS. The open development model pioneered by Linus Torvalds in his management of the Linux kernel and later described by Raymond in The Cathedral and the Bazaar is also a key component. The concept of releasing early and releasing often, combined with open debate on mailing lists and forums helps to create a vibrant community and a dynamism in the development process that closed source development cannot match. It is this powerful process combined with the strength of the GPL that has given us the solid offering of software that is now on the verge of mainstream adoption. Credit should be given where credit is due, which is why many choose to use the term GNU/Linux. Many coders, artists, writers, and others have contributed to our common pool of software, artwork and information simply because they enjoy the technical challenges or the sense of community, and may not have had freedom as a central focus. These contributions must also be recognized now when we present these profound ideas and useful programs to the world. This is why we as a project have adopted the somewhat long-winded term Free and Open Source Software as our standard. Individual participants and groups may of course use whatever term they like. Personally, I am starting to like the simplified version of Free and Open Software, because while it is more manageable than the longer version it still credits the various contributors including non-programmers. The word Open now influences the reader’s interpretation of the word Free in the direction of Libre rather than Gratis.
We hope to involve a large number of teams in the actual staging of the event. These will be comprised of LUG members and other enthusiasts, who will make local contributions all around the world. Each team will typically set up a display stand in a public place to distribute printed information and pressed CDs with selected high quality and user friendly FOSS. These CDs should also include a range of appropriately licensed introductory literature. Some teams might have computers available for demonstration, and there may be keynote speakers in lecture halls and on web-casts or public showings of ‘Revolution-OS‘. We should also aim to invite people into our on-line communities so that they can continue to explore the world of FOSS also after the 28th of August. After all, some of these concepts take some time to get one’s head around. If some of the outreach teams had network access out in the street, we could sign people up for our on-line portals on the spot, have dedicated IRC channels or a gallery of web-cams from around the world. That would make it a truely global happening! Our imagination is the only limit and we look forward to seeing what groups around the world come up with.
Our role as a project will be to help coordinate things and provide the required infrastructure, including a web portal, posters and fliers, and most importantly, high quality (pressed) CDs with FOSS that the teams can distribute on Software Freedom Day. To finance all this, we will be seeking sponsorship from local and global FOSS-friendly companies. The weeks preceding Software Freedom Day should be used to inform the media about our plans, to distribute fliers, and to hang up posters inviting locals to attend. We should also use the opportunity of this event to send letters to politicians and companies in which we give our views on software patents and related issues.
So, please join us and bring your friends! We have much to celebrate, and it’s time that everyone had an opportunity to discover the wonderful world of Free and Open Source Software.
Copyright 2004 Henrik Nilsen Omma
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.
The author thanks Phil Harper and Matt Oquist for valuable comments.
About the Author:
Henrik Nilsen Omma is the founder of TheOpenCD project and co-founder of Software Freedom Day. By day he is a graduate in astrophysics at the University of Oxford.
You mention the word Libre. You call it FOSS: Free and Open Source Software. Later you’re talking about how “free” means “gratis” in English. Some people, including me, use FLOSS instead of FOSS. The L stands for Libre which is the French word for Liberty. Liberty -in contrast to Free- has only one meaning according to my English dictionary. Therefore, i use the term FLOSS instead.
Btw thanks for the news item i didn’t knew about it yet. At least there’s time for organising something. Almost half a year till D-Day! Feels rather.. o.. f.. libre
giving away copies of Knoppix
Cost of a cd $0.10
Freedom from MS: priceless
giving away liveCDs? That’s a cool idea. You may want to include a sleeve that has the knoppix cheat codes for n00bs tho
What *I* hate is the *implication* that non-copyleft software is somehow tainted, somehow non-free. Heck, I’m sometimes getting flamed for releasing code into the Public Domain because “that’s not really ‘free'”. Really takes some twisted thinking, there…
so scarry! the internet turned into NBC+ and msnbc world report.
“In effect, the TCG specification will transfer the ultimate control of your PC from you to whoever wrote the software it happens to be running. (Yes, even more so than at present.)” I am giving ultimate control to the FOSS community by using freebsd5.2.1 (current installed distro)
My point is that I know nothing but the directions I have been reading. I have been using open source software for a couple of years now, from slackware to freebsd, in and out again. Yet, I am outside the OS community, I am the average joe stumbled across an interesting linux mag, found a slackware packaged cd for free (as in gratis). Beyond that I am putting no less Trust in the OS community of writers than I am in Bill G. FOSS must develop Trust also, because I am trusting you guys/developers to monitor yourselves and keep the internet wide open. (Restricting the internet is like putting a ceiling in the sky and telling me I can’t fly. “Give me Liberty or give me death”.)
FOSS is clearly needed by the average joes, moms and pops. and quickly. you will miss your chance by months in this environment. August seems to far away. How about a May Floss.
America is engaged currently in a subtle cold civil war and the results will greatly affect the outcome of the greater civil war. FOSS Is a Tool. Be a Trusted One. Sell the aaverage joe honesty, decency, liberty, freedom, and entertain us with both the low and more importantly the High.
If August it must be, oh well.
IF anything guys, please keep at least an alternative channel open, a second internet. you may have to provide free ISP service. Heck, I’ll even pay for it if it comes down to it.
but I really believe that I should not have to have an ISP another object of Trust.
and RMS hailed the fellow softwarecommunists about how evil the corporations are because they want to make money.
Bill Thompson has a nice <a href=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3537165.stm>article</a&… in the BBC where he claims that the Microsoft model resembles the planned economy of Stalin, while the FOSS model better resembles the free market
-stop using stupid acronyms like foss, floss, gnu/linux when adressing non-technical public.
-stop ranting about microsoft, in fact don’t even mention them.
-stop talking about hackers.
-have a litle bit of marketing sence when adressing the public and try to look good: wear a suit and tie and drop the Che Guevara look (it really doesn’t look good)
-get more women involved in open software projects, there’s hardly any today.
-do not under any cirsumstance make any political comments.
If August it must be, oh well.
That might seem a long way off, but there are many things to prepare, CDs, posters, advertising, venues, speakers, etc.
All well and good, but the main point is:
Start doing something! Writing comments about what others should do, in online forums that only techies will ever read, doesn’t count.
-I agree, just tell us “Mandrake, BSD, Fedora, BrandX. We like brand names. We pick favorites based on the Image you provide for us.
-Well, you can mention what you can do, that microsoft can’t. but pay attention to above rule.
-sell to teenage hacker wanna bees. recruit. BrandX can ignore rule number 1 above. “Teenage Wasteland, they are waisted”
-if you put on a suit and tie I may not buy. Maybe Mandrake can wear the suit and tie. St. Louis!!
-I like woman. but it is not mandatory.
-it’s not about the money.
BeOS+, Is August to soon?
Bill Thompson has a nice “Broken URL” in the BBC where he claims that the Microsoft model resembles the planned economy of Stalin, while the FOSS model better resembles the free market
So let me guess, is it because he is a journalist he is correct or is it because it tries to put down on Microsoft? If he’d write the opposite, wouldn’t you discourage it as “FUD” or “Trolling” or whatever the RMS fan club use as comments.
Howabout start thinking for yourself and making that comparison? Oh I forgot, if people would do that, this movement would already have been dead, just like many sects would never have any place in this world etc etc etc…
“and RMS hailed the fellow softwarecommunists about how evil the corporations are because they want to make money.”
Freedom, not price. You missed the entire point. FSF has no problem with ie. IBM or RedHat or even themselves earning money because of FLOSS.
“-stop using stupid acronyms like foss, floss, gnu/linux when adressing non-technical public.”
“-stop ranting about microsoft, in fact don’t even mention them.”
“-stop talking about hackers.”
“-have a litle bit of marketing sence when adressing the public and try to look good: wear a suit and tie and drop the Che Guevara look (it really doesn’t look good)”
Why? Open source addresses the marketing. It has been fairly succesful, given that since the terms creation and publishing of the Cathedral and the Bazaar corporations like Netscape, Oracle, Sun, IBM, and loads more adapted the “open source” model. Anything else?
“-get more women involved in open software projects, there’s hardly any today. ”
Proof? Why do you suggest positive discrimination and how would you prefer to address it?
“-do not under any cirsumstance make any political comments.”
Ranting is your hobby, right? There is a difference between a suggestion and a Suggestion. The first one is nothing but whining and ranting, in this case without providing necessary resources. The second one contains resources, proof, is worked out with logic and therefore valuable. It’s not that black/white, but i’d argue your post is one which fits in the former category.
So let me guess, is it because he is a journalist he is correct or is it because it tries to put down on Microsoft?
No, the reason his article is funny is that claims have traditionally been made that FOSS is communism/bad-for-the-economy/un-american, which is clearly nonsense. He turns the discussion on its head by pointing out that the big monopolies are closer to communism with their central planning and control.
Bill Thompson is a joke. It’s ironic that he calls Microsoft stalinist-like, but his answer for every problem in the world is more and more government intrusion and regulation.
Bill Thompson is a joke. It’s ironic that he calls Microsoft stalinist-like, but his answer for every problem in the world is more and more government intrusion and regulation.
Yes, I agree that his point about government regulating the software industry in the same way as water and electricity is going too far. However, it is clear from the poor settlement of the Microsoft/Netscape antitrust case that at least the US government is currently failing to curb what is an obvious monopoly with the currently available laws. The laws are probably fine, but the system is all to susceptible to lobbying and legal tricks.
Presenting anything concerning computers/computer software in any kind of public venue inheritly presupposes a certain degree of technical interest-computers and their software are technical-even if many people fail to recognize their own technical prowess even in such mundane things like manipulating a mouse-pointing at objects and clicking. Computers and software are already associated with work-and any degree of knowledge which is required to successfully do such work is, in the last instance, technical knowledge, even in those cases where the people barely grasp what they are doing.
Going overboard with “technical” talk, talk where numbers, empirical facts, specifications and features are dominant can indeed overhwelm the targeted(ie. general public) audience and turn them off. Yet without such acronyms, ie. the identity of said such groups who shall be presenting, such a presentation would be pointless. When microsoft presents their new products to the market people listen because it is microsoft-this is name recognition-virtually everyone who has ever used a computer in the last 20 years has heard of microsoft and know that Windows and Office/Word/Excel are microsoft products.
When microsoft annnounces new software people know this means changes, changes in how they work. In this context getting name recognition is profoundly difficult- for most people there is only one piece of software which is always present on all computers that they use-and that is microsoft-most people don’t tend to differentiate between operating systems,applications and platforms-microsoft is at once a platform with multiple differing implementations(ie. operating systems) which provides a fairly consisent environment for a variety of applications.
Promoting FLOSS software is difficult when the targeted audience only speaks windowese and use that as standard of measurement to judge everything else by. In offices where people use Wordperfect the users tend to know that it’s not from microsoft, but it is still a windows program, it looks and acts like most of the rest of the software to which one is already accustomed. Microsoft is effectively the BIOS of most computers-and many people believe that it is built into the computer-ie. that it is a part of the computer itself. They never see computers without word processing applications so word processing applications, be they Word or Wordperfect are quasi built-ins.
The only name recognition of products for Windows, which are not from microsoft, for most users are very specific task bound pieces of software which are distinctly different than the rest of the system. People tend to know generic concepts like browser, word processing, spreadsheet programs, etc. Most users don’t care which brand of software they are using as long as it doesn’t present them with to many hurdles,ie. moments where they can’t do this or that like they could in that other program. Why ?. Because the different companies producing propietary software are not selling anything different than microsoft. Huh? They are just yet another company selling yet another program which does the same thing, costs the same ammount (relatively), which offers the same (basically) functionality which are used for the same purposes.
This is where FLOSS comes into play-
Firstly, they are not selling something-such software is not first and foremost about making money/marketing and selling products and are not usually associated with a particular company or nationality.
Secondly, much of their offerings are platform independent and independent of particular operating systems-meaning that in many cases the same software runs on windows, macintosh or *nix systems-which means you can use the same software at home that you do at the office without having to have the same system at home which was provided to you by your employer and without having to spend large amounts of money to have this, or on any two computrs at work(ie. pirating software becomes pointless)
Thirdly, they are manifestations of different social structures which encourage user-participation,something unheard of in the propietary world, and which promote communities for exchange and feedback, enabling local communities and in-house communities for custom tailored software solutions, which are interconnected internationally drawing from vast resources of human potentital.
Fourthly, such software can be implemented in ways which enable new combinations and interactivity which go beyond the copy and paste functionality of windows-something which enable those users who who desire to do so to develop their own working combinations of applications which streamline what they need and desire to do without being utterly dependent upon the built-in functions of the propietary software.
FLOSS encourages ordinary user to be more than mere ordinary users. So yet again how is it that such software should differentiate itself from their propietary siblings ? Oh Mozilla has a pop-up blocker, but hey you know IE 8.0 has pop-up blockers too……OpenOffice has PDF export but hey at work we have Acrobat distiller….
The advantages which FLOSS software offer are anything but obvious for the ordinary user. Those who promote FLOSS have a difficult task: thesy must at once a) offer the same functionality which there propietary sibilings offer with positive points of differentiation which makes them “better” and b) provide the whole wealth of things which accompany FLOSS development-things which are unimaginable in the propietary world- things which however taken together alter the economics, politics, and social enviroment in which software is developed and used.
It is the culmanitve effects, taken over time, which show the true benefits of FLOSS-those who promote this are asking users to have patience with the the current shortcommings in order to realize potentials which are just now surfacing. The ramifications of these developments are political, are economic, are social. In a future where FLOSS comprises 50% of the used applications in the work world know one will be wondering where the suppossed benefits are due to the fact that questions will have changed-those questions which dominate the workspace computer usage today, questions about compatibility, about format interchangability, etc. will be surplanted with new questions like which combination of tools is best suited for this particular set of goals defined by this set of possibilities enables by the use of open-seemless platform/format interchangability-or questions like-hey what are the municipal offices of Paris using to manage there new subway timetable publications-can we use their code here in New York coupled with those modifications which the transit authority of Chicago implemented last year?
FLOSSmeans more local employment, more local development, more in-house expertise, more programming jobs, more economic and political independence, more sharing of experience and expertise, more communication and more international communities of exchange, more transparent governmental investments, more accountability, more particiaption of users, more people working together for common goals and less petty infighting, NIH, value through obscurity, need-to-know rigid communication hierarchies, etc, and less computer “drones” who must perform mind-numbing brain dead simple tasks. The Whole, which is greater than the sum of its parts, is what is being changed in the transition to FLOSS solutions.
When the things I have talked about here are what FLOSSis really all about-how would you promote such to cynical, disillusioned, apathetic drones,ie. workspace computer users ? Your suggestions are worthless in this context although I too would like to see more women involved in these developments .
1 Because acronyms scare non technical people away and plus it’s boring just reading them.
2 Because talking about MS doesn’t do any favors, instead try to focus on the merits of what you have to offer.
3 The same reason why people avoid hare krishnas at airport: they look weird!
4 Do really need proof that there is hardly any women contributing to open source projects and yesterday was the international womens day
5 Because software isn’t about politics, it’s about just that: software!
the reason his article is funny is that claims have traditionally been made that FOSS is communism/bad-for-the-economy/un-american, which is clearly nonsense.
Where exactly have these charges been made? I’m not doubting you; I would just like to read them for myself.
“Bill Thompson has a nice “Broken URL” in the BBC where he claims that the Microsoft model resembles the planned economy of Stalin, while the FOSS model better resembles the free market”
Try this one then. If you would have looked at the URL you would have known it was not quite right. Correct URL, just a formatting error is all.
bah, I made the same posting mistake. Here it is.
“1 Because acronyms scare non technical people away and plus it’s boring just reading them.”
Hmm. The latter is an opinion i don’t agree with. It matters not, imo.
The former makes me wondering. What do you think XP and MacOSX are? Those are both acronyms.
“2 Because talking about MS doesn’t do any favors, instead try to focus on the merits of what you have to offer.”
MS (a boring acronym too?) is related with politics; see my answer at #5. MS’s Gates was the one who proposed proprietary software back in the beginning of the 80’s. No wonder he is seen as the enemy? MS markets against Linux, and possibly fundss SCO FUD campaign. Should “we” just ignore that, while they chose finally officially not to ignore “us”? Can’t “talking about MS” and “focussing on the merits we have to offer” co-exist? Perhaps you can explain your point futher.
“3 The same reason why people avoid hare krishnas at airport: they look weird!”
Most of the time you don’t see the developers.
“4 Do really need proof that there is hardly any women contributing to open source projects and yesterday was the international womens day”
Rather a statistic, a reason why it is important to raise the number, a reason why positive discrimination is okay (or, is, in this case).
”international womens day” isn’t an argument. I can easily use that to make my point regarding positive discrimination: “If women wish to decide and choice for themselves without receiving a special threat, thus being threated equal to men, then why should we on base of gender attract women more than men in the FLOSS community?”
“5 Because software isn’t about politics, it’s about just that: software!”
Politics is related to software. You don’t have to look far. Take patents, copyright, SCO FUD as examples; would you claim those are not connected with politics?
Really, if you’re not much concerned about poilitics i suggest ”’joining”’* the “open source” or “OpenBSD” camp instead. The Free Software movement, part of the FLOSS/FOSS movement as a whole, IS partly about politics.
* Take that word with a grain of salt, it’s figuraly meant.
The posts of Hugo and dpi are good examples of the type of approaches that would and wouldn’t work with the general public. No offense to dpi or the points made (some of which I agree with), but that conversational tone would only reinforce the image of OSS advocates as inflexible, argumentative zealots. As we know, a few are, but these shouldn’t be the people interacting with the general public. Hugo’s suggestions (as opposed to Suggestions?) are reasonable, and I don’t think he needs to back them up with numbers. If he were advocating some radical new direction for OSS, I’d put his opinions to more scrutiny, but in this case, I think its safe to relax…
You aren’t going to get someone to use OSS by babbling on about the evils of Gates or MS, or spinning tales of Darth McBride in his mother ship. Your potential recruit will only say “Huhhhhh?”, forcing you to further babble about SCO, RMS, ESR, IBM, and perhaps other 3-letter acronyms in the hat. And this will get you an even louded “HUHHHH?” if they don’t outright walk away.
My advice? Be nice, smile, answer questions, don’t say anything negative. Don’t act like you are converting someone to a “movement”, just give them a copy of your favorite distro and tell them why you like it. Something that doesn’t risk a HD wipeout would be good – maybe Knoppix or one of the other LiveCD’s out there. A few people might be wary of viruses, but most will be genuinely curious about a free CD they are given, with promises of a cool new program or OS on it.
The absolute worst approach to getting OSS users is intimidation out of fear or moral necessity. Most people reserve those sorts of arguments for their religious beliefs, and when they hear it made about that little box on their desk – which isn’t a central part of their lives – they tend to put you in the tinfoil hat crowd.
Free software exists for the same reason blogs exist, for the same reason some people post their poetry and short stories on their websites instead of trying to get them published. They’re having fun.
Why does everyone become a zealot on this issue? It just so happens that a lot of free software is very good, and so it gets a lot of support from the public. Just like I might think my friend’s novel–though unpublished–is better than the crap Stephen King churns out on a regular basis for $$$mulah. Is my friend a communist because he gives his novel away for free? No. Is Stephen King a Stalinist? No.
Look to Lawrence Lessig and his wonderful brainchild Creative Commons for an understanding of why Free Software matters. It matters because it creates an open culture (a commons) in the sphere of technological development that isn’t obstructed (too badly) by things like Intellectual Property law. Everyone is free to look at software, modify it (remix it), and get it redistributed. No one profits, but everyone wins, in a sense.
I think a lot of people who think Free Software is “crazy” don’t really get it. It’s crazy when Free Software developers claim that there should be NOTHING PROPRIETARY, or that their theory of software development is the One True Theory. But evangelists aside, Free Software is nothing more than a bunch of people who find programming enjoyable and challenging, and love the idea of creating an open, common project. This is a good thing. The world needs more projects like this (think Wikipedia, and how amazing that is; imagine what Diderot would say about _that_ project!).
Stop being zealots. Free software isn’t communism, unless you think all creative acts are communism (in which case, you’re just so short-sighted this post won’t even help you).
My sincera applause! A sensible and balanced view!
I am currently choosing a OS to install beside WinXP on my AMD64 laptop (an Acer) and I am REALLY thinking about FreeBSD because of its license… The “idea” behind GPL creeps me out! Free IS good, but free as in free-to-do-what-the-hell-I-want-with-it-without-stepping-in-anybody’s- toes, not as free-do-as-we-tell-you-to…
I don’t see why microsoft’s OSes should be shut out from Free / Open Source software discussions – it isn’t all about Linux and BSD after all. There are many excellent freeware titles available for Windows, and many of the most popular OpenSource projects have been ported to Windows.
The difference between free software and communism, is that no one’s forcing developers to give their products away. That’s the point – if you write a program you have the ‘freedom’ to market it commercially, release it as closed-source freeware, or release the source code under whichever license you choose. How is that communism?
Personally, I think the idea of a Free Software day is excellent, but it shouldn’t be limited to alternative OSes. I’ve given away many CDs of freeware Windows software!
Hi. I think you misunderstand the GPL to some extent. I understand that you don’t like restrictions on behavior that is not overtly harmful to others–even if it is anti-social behavior such as taking the hard work of volunteers created in a spirit of sharing, adding some extensions, and selling it back to them. I don’t like such restrictions either.
However, the GPL is really a very pragmatic license. A few examples:
– The GPL has some advantages for a business that wants to harness the power of open development methods. The GPL makes it difficult for would-be competitors to use the embrace and extend approach. Most businesses adopt GPL-like licenses rather than BSD-like licenses when they choose an OSS license.
– The GPL leads to less permanent forking. Forks, especially in the short term, can be a good thing. Forks are a wonderful source of fresh ideas. One advantage the GPL has though, is that forks must also be GPLd, and so the innovations of each fork can always be combined (given enough time/effort) in new and interesting ways.
– The GPL protects our community. The proprietary software companies have all the advantages. They have the money, and they have the power. And they have unreasonable laws helping to maintain the status quo. (Century long Copyright for software is ridiculous.) The only thing that they don’t have is an efficient development method. They have to reinvent the wheel over and over to move forward. We don’t. When we use a BSD license in some ways we give up our one advantage.
I am not complaining about anyone using the BSD license or preferring it. Just presenting the other side. I hope you will reconsider your dislike of the GPL.
“Free software exists for the same reason blogs exist, for the same reason some people post their poetry and short stories on their websites instead of trying to get them published. They’re having fun.”
Wrong. The GNU project existed to positively benefit society by destroying proprietary software, a phenomenon which maintains a status quo and takes away our right to tinker. It’s more than just “having fun,” it’s about the future of our world. Read the GNU Manifesto, read interviews with Stallman and other GNU developers.
“In the long run, making programs free is a step toward the post-scarcity world, where nobody will have to work very hard just to make a living. People will be free to devote themselves to activities that are fun, such as programming, after spending the necessary ten hours a week on required tasks such as legislation, family counseling, robot repair and asteroid prospecting. There will be no need to be able to make a living from programming.”
What a scam. It seems to me that Stallman thinks everyone should program and attend “family counseling” for around 40+ hours a week. Sounds like an Orwellian nightmare to me.
Notice how you will be free to program for free. The key here is “there wil be no need to be able”. Doublespeak if ever there was any.
With increasing technological efficiency in producing the goods we need including and beyond food clothing and shelter and less and less people required in jobs in this respect a divide is created – more and more – between those with jobs and those without jobs, those with means of consumption and those without.
A new morality is being developed among those without means that says that its alright to TAKE what one can when nothing is given and no opportunities exist for contribution and remuneration of any sort.
Of course, this all boils down to the growing problem of distribution of resources and wealth. What is needed is more genuine democracy and less corporatocracy. Better infomation is needed for this to occur. Trouble is that we mostly receive our information from media corporations. Catch-22
The manifesto is full of orwellian and eutopian claptrap. I wish more people would wise up instead of just ‘pushing the party line’. Exercise intelligence and make an informed decision — don’t go with the crowd because its the ‘in thing’ (M$ sucks, etc.) to do.
Amongst the other claptrap that this author spews, I particularly like the reasoning that FOSS is good because the community goes by a ‘credit should be given where credit is due’ set of ethics, and the inferral that FOSS is somehow better because any other type of software release has no set of ethics to back it up. Preposterous. (Just as a sidenote, I’ve had people rip stuff out of my GPL releases without giving credit. Once to the tune of having to compare file hashes. Yeah, real community spirit there.)
Releasing early and releasing often – another concept not exclusive to FOSS.
Don’t get me wrong, GPL and FOSS is all good, just not in the run-away direction it is heading, which would be the ‘new cause’ for any geek that missed the banding-together 60’s hippie movement.
“A new morality is being developed among those without means that says that its alright to TAKE what one can when nothing is given and no opportunities exist for contribution and remuneration of any sort.”
No that is an old morality. It is called stealing. Make your opportunities. Then contribute and you will be enumerated.
Otherwise you can go to prison. There you will be taken care of for free. Well you might get to work in the laundry if you are lucky.
“What is needed is more genuine democracy and less corporatocracy.”
If you don’t like the way it is, become a corporacrat and change things. Gee I can make up new words too. Isn’t Orwellianism fun. Gee another escaped.
“No that is an old morality. It is called stealing. Make your opportunities. Then contribute and you will be enumerated.
Otherwise you can go to prison. There you will be taken care of for free. Well you might get to work in the laundry if you are lucky.”
Depends how you look at. In these United States there once dwelt a people called the Native American and mistakenly labelled Indians by a bunch of retarded Europeans. In any event, they were here first, should have first claim to the land instead of being confined to reservations. “Indian Casinos” not withstanding, nobody’s in a hurry to give the land back. Also nobody’s in a hurry to at least compensate the decendants of slaves forcibly brought here. Theft is ALL in the eye of the beholder.
Well since the Native Americans didn’t even have a concept of ownership of property, how could we have taken thier ownership of said property from them?
Besides they diodn’t even use an OS.
Good idea! Good work!
Let’s do all we can to get the message across.
There are various other FLOSS (open source/software libre) `marketing’ activities underway or being planned around the world,
some by individuals, some by groups, some supported by vendors, others by (regional) governments (eg http://www.guadalinex.org/ distributing a further 100,000 CDs this year in Andalusia).
It is important that the (marketing) activity continues all year round.
We should use the last Saturday* in August to
continue the activity, especially in bringing it to the notice of those who may not yet have had the luck to enjoy FLOSS, and also
to celebrate some of the success stories and large scale activities.
It should also give the opportunity to build local support communities.
*Perhaps it should be extended over the weekend since Saturday will be (culturally) unsuitable for some.
Thanks, Henrik, Phil, Matt, et al.