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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Call for testing: Qumble: Open-Source Software


From: Alexander Berntsen
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Call for testing: Qumble: Open-Source Software distribution for Windows
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 12:10:06 +0100
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On 30/01/13 12:10, Alexey Eromenko wrote:
> The Qumble projects intends to teach Windows users the advantages
> of Free and Open-Source software
The goals in terms of advantages of open source and free software are
radically different. Open source promises «better quality, higher
reliability, more flexibility, lower cost [...]»[0], whilst free
software promises to «respects users' freedom»[1].

Furthermore, the former frequently fails to deliver on these advantages
- -- the latter doesn't. Free software is always free.

> by providing collection of such software on a single disc, plus 
> providing video (such as the Revolution O.S. trailer, in WebM 
> format) and open-source books (The cathedral and the bazaar and 
> others).
How does any of this promote free software? It promotes a bunch of
programs, films and books -- but how does any of this teach the user
that they need to value their freedom?

> release of source allows external observers to inspect the true 
> functioning of the program, which means that you can be confident 
> that the program treats your private data with respect.
Can you, really[2]? While it is indeed easier to uncover privacy
violations in a program that respects freedom 1 than a proprietary
program, it is still entirely possible for a program that is distributed
with its source code available to violate user privacy.

> [...] entirely free software such as Linux, LibreOffice, and
> Mozilla FireFox. These are then available free of charge to schools
> or anyone else who may not have a large budget available for
> software. So, you can see that the freedom of software is important
> for everyone, not just software developers.
Price is not the biggest problem of proprietary software -- it is merely
a symptom that some proprietary software shows. It is not a symptom of
free software, because it has freedom 2.

> the highest quality OSS for Windows
Why not distribute a live CD or USB, that allows users to run in a much
more free environment? Even if it has blobs to make sure wifis etc.
work out of the box, it would be a significant improvement over
Windows. If it were a live CD or USB, you could even include a list of
well known GNU+Linux or free BSD distributions, and maybe a quiz or
something that could help people decide which one they should try for
themselves.

Lastly, your site does a fair job at explaining that freeware and
shareware is not good enough, but it does *not* do a good job at
explaining free software. In fact, using terminology such as "free of
charge" immediately following "free software" is detrimental. You should
use "gratis" instead -- or at least make the distinction "free speech,
not free beer" more clear.

I hope and think that your project does more good than bad for free
software, but I wish it were a bit more sagacious.


[0]  http://opensource.org/about
[1]  https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
[2]  https://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do

- -- 
Alexander
address@hidden
http://plaimi.net/~alexander
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