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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Steam for Linux


From: Yogesh Girikumar
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Steam for Linux
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 07:23:39 +0530

On 12 November 2012 03:38, Bob Ham <address@hidden> wrote:

> You're using some popular packages to characterise free software in
> general.  For those particular packages, it may well be that users are
> attracted by the usability and gloss.

True. Take GIMP for example. The moment they here me mention it they
are able to relate it to free software - or as they put it, "that open
source software, right?". When I ask them what they mean by "open
source", most people get the concept right superficially and many
acknowledge the freedom it gives to the users. But in the end, they
like photoshop better for various reasons. That said, I've seen people
who prefer GIMP to photoshop even without caring for the free nature -
just for technical or economical reasons. I can only take a few
popular software as references here because other software are simply
not known to them.

> You yourself said most people are unaware of software freedom, not
> uncaring.  Our task is to educate them.  When they become aware, I think
> you'll find most people *do* care about freedom.  We can't educate users
> about free software while making software freedom take a back seat.

I agree. Most people do care about freedom. But at the same time, they
want software that simply gets the job done. I have personally
migrated several MS desktops to GNU/Linux desktops. People like
Libreoffice for its frequent feature updates. They like it that Linux
comes with several desktop themes (?). They are happy that they don't
have to use an anti-virus because "Linux doesn't have any virus in it"
(a fallacy).  Some people who are stuck with multiple server-clients
running:

MS Windows + Active Directory + Anti-virus + expensive proprietary
application software

are quite happy to switch to

GNU/Linux + Active Directory (Proprietary) + Likewise open
(proprietary AD connector to Linux desktop Clients) +
GIMP/Inkscape/LibreOffice/whateverElse

These migrations, I have done personally. They are quite awed by the
savings. They see the economics of it all and then ask, "can we
replace AD with LDAP?". So there. It saddens me that they do not think
about the freedom that Libre software gives them. Heck, they don't
even think about the dangers of proprietary software. I love educating
them. Some are interested some are not. Other people are quite
concerned about security. When I say to them that they have no way of
knowing whether MS has a backdoor programmed in it, they sit up and
listen more.

Just the fact that the source code is open and available anytime for
their scrutiny (open source) gives them much mental comfort. Caring
for freedom (if at all) is only secondary or not quite obvious when I
speak to these people. But at the end of the day, people have always
known a little bit more how and why Freedom is important and it has
always resulted in better adoption of Libre Software.

My 2 cents.

--
Y



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