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Re: Practicality of GNU project and libre movement (Sagar Acharya : 2)


From: Yasuaki Kudo
Subject: Re: Practicality of GNU project and libre movement (Sagar Acharya : 2)
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2020 09:00:29 +0900

   Hi,

   I think this thread definitely explores many good points - I am new
   here but is there any structured discussion system for Free Software
   movement?   For example, this site runs a discussion software called
   "Discourse" [1]https://community.coops.tech/

   I have been asked by a contact at a large worker cooperative with over
   10,000 members to provide some 'talking points memo' so that he can
   promote free software internally.

   They are facing the situation where they will become more and more
   invested in Microsoft, Google, Zoom, etc or potentially switch to Free
   Software ecosystem.

   Cheers,

   Yasu

     On Jul 25, 2020, at 05:39, Miles Fidelman
     <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net> wrote:

   ´╗┐On 7/24/20 3:14 PM, Roberto Beltran via libreplanet-discuss wrote:

     Most people on here already know how bad things are, but I don't
     think it's black or white win or lose.

     Do we really know how bad things are? Is there a report somewhere

     showing, for example adoption in free software, copyleft license and

     dependency in proprietary software / noncopyleft software in numbers
     and

     how it has evolved over the time?

     On a side note, do we have success criteria (over achievable stages,
     not

     just disappearance of proprietary software from the world) that we
     can

     use to compare and good metrics to measure the progress of the
     movement?

   Funny thing, but...
   - Pretty much every funded R&D project that I've been associated with,
   has contractual clauses requiring software to be released as either
   open source or to the public domain - the leading edge remains open
   source
   - Pretty much every ISP, Hosting, and Cloud provider relies heavily on
   FOSS software - with the bigger ones both funding critical projects,
   and releasing a lot of their infrastructure code as FOSS (Apache & Open
   Stack come to mind, Lyft's Clutch infrastructure management platform is
   looking particularly interesting)
   - The vast majority of the world's web sites run on Apache, on Linux or
   BSD - and a huge number run on WordPress (all FOSS)
   - Savvy IT directors prefer open source software to proprietary
   software - not for cost reasons (maintaining software is costly,
   whether you pay a vendor to do it or hire people) - but because it's
   more flexible, and avoids vendor lock in (less-savvy IT directors use
   FOSS because they think it's cheaper) - by the way, that includes some
   rather large organizations, like large pieces of the US Marine Corps
   Perhaps the real problem is that MOST software doesn't make it into
   wide-spread use, and hence cannot assemble a base of support for an
   open source effort.  Specialized software tends to have smaller
   audiences - requiring either a very high price-tag, or a grant, to
   support a dedicated development & support team.  And then there's the
   90% that's a mix of pet projects, poorly implemented, that will never
   make it as either commercial or open source.
   Yes... there are lots of practical issues with the GNU project & other
   libre software efforts - but they have a lot more to do with lack of
   focus, design by committee, and, these days, politicization of language
   & discussions, and ostracism of key people (e.g., Stallman, Torvalds).
   The flaps over systemd (techno-politics) & Stallman (gender politics)
   have been far more damaging to free software, than financial matters.
   All of this is, of course, one man's opinion.  Based on 50 years in the
   networking business, including a bunch of years at BBN, selling &
   leading lots of R&D projects, being the IT department for a non-profit,
   and building a small service bureau. And, yes, I rely on a Mac, and MS
   Office for lots of things - but I run my servers on Linux, Apache,
   MySQL, Postfix, Spamassassin, WordPress, and Sympa.
   Miles Fidelman
   --
   In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
   In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra
   Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
   Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
   In our lab, theory and practice are combined:
   nothing works and no one knows why.  ... unknown
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References

   1. https://community.coops.tech/

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