[Cialug] Apple and Intel

chris129 at cs.iastate.edu chris129 at cs.iastate.edu
Wed Jun 8 16:46:05 CDT 2005

It's not that black and white, which is funny because you're arguing against a
black and white viewpoint ;).  Much of what you say is true, but it's more
involved than this:

You're right that you shouldn't tell people they should use it because it's
Free.  However, vendor-lockin and lastability of maintainence are very
important to some very practical people.  The words:  If the people who make
a.)  Die.
b.)  Get bored.
c.)  Go Bankrupt.
d.)  Are kidnapped by aliens.
   You will be able to maintain this yourself if you are really that locked in. 
And, someone else may also decide to maintain it because there may be thousands
of people using it (or millions).  Otherwise, there's a small chance you'll
have no choice but to find an alternative.

Then you can talk about proprietary software developments and the havock that
marketing reeks on what would be good software (read:  stupid deadlines that
should be moved but can't because the ad campaign started already).

Then you can talk about the general quality, specific useful tools, etc, etc,

And finally, you may wish to point out that most proprietary software companies
go out of business after being successful.  Just to rub it in.

So yes, free software is very practical.  And that's not RMS talking, it's
usually people like ESR.

It's sad to think this whole thing started from me implying that Apple was
terrible and people thought I was implying selling software was evil.

I believe in free software, and I use a lot of proprietary software.  Sometimes
there's no good free tool; usually that's because the idea is very new or the
capability is very new.

Quoting Travis Beaty <listaddy at technomajian.net>:

> Hello all.
> As I quickly don my asbestos underwear and assure my room is sufficiently 
> flame resistant, by two cents worth ...
> I personally feel that if anyone keeps Linux from being "the" desktop 
> operating system, it will be the Stallmanist fanatics out there.  Do I use 
> free software?  Well, yes, I do.  Do I contribute to it?  Yes, I do what I 
> can.  Do I believe that anyone who has Netscape, Acrobat Reader, Real Player,
> or Sun's Java VM on their Linux system should be met at the front door by a 
> mob with a horse, a rope, shotguns and pitchforks?   Absolutely not.
> It seems at times the most vocal users of Linux say: "Only FOSS approved 
> applications can be used with this operating system, lest ye be plunged into
> the depths of Hell."  I see little difference between saying that, and saying
> "Only Microsoft Approved software may be used with Windows <whatever>."  One
> can have a political, implied EULA that will scare folks away just as quickly
> as a printed one coming out of Redmond.
> When I talk to people about trying Linux out, I make it a point not to
> mention 
> Open Source software, vendor lock, and other wonderful buzzwords.  I just 
> give them a Live CD, or show them my laptop, and say, "This is Linux.  It's 
> better.  See for yourself."  Linux can sell itself.
> If we sit there and tell people "Use Linux because it is free software, and 
> Windows isn't," then we'll win over some geeks and a couple of blonds 
> interested in the free beer.  If we tell people "Use Linux because it is 
> better than Windows," and we demonstrate that it is, then we'll get converts.
> Grandma Jones doesn't give a rat's fuzzy bung if Firefox is free software, as
> long as she can use it to sell her knitting on eBay.
> The same way with emphasizing that users can get the source code to program
> X.  
> It seems (and I'm just as much guilty of this as the next person) that as 
> "advanced" users we forget that while source code is wonderful to us, other 
> people don't even know what "source code" is.  It's the "common" user, the 
> one who thinks that C++ code is an indication that someone has been drinking
> and computing, that we need to be aiming for.
> So yes, I do agree that open source, free software is important to Linux.  
> That is its legacy, that is how it got to where it is.  I believe that as the
> "gurus," the backbone of the cause, we should support free software every 
> chance we get.  However, we need to keep in mind that at the end of the day,
> the battle is won by Linux's performance, stability, power, security, and 
> ability to be used and enjoyed by the common folk, not because Application X
> has The Stallman Seal of Approval.
> Bottom line:  Most people don't care if its open source.  They don't care if
> they can get the source code.  They care if it works, and works better than 
> the competitor.
> Again, just my two cents.  I got my asbestos undies on now, so I guess I'll 
> push the send button.
> Have a wonderful day,
> Travis.
> On Wednesday 08 June 2005 12:20 pm, chris129 at cs.iastate.edu wrote:
> > I think I should have emphasized my sentence.  I didn't mean "selling" to
> > get emphasis, I meant "Apple" to get emphasis.  Proprietary software isn't
> > the devil, Apple on the other hand....  That said, I greatly prefer Free
> > software; but there's some great proprietary stuff too (it just tends to
> be
> > more temporal).
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