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Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms - Epilogue

From: Tony Sales
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms - Epilogue
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 10:01:21 +0100

As this list's only Professional Armchair Philosopher (as far as I
know) can I attempt to reduce the debate to a very (over)simplified
simple logical formula;

RMS:  Freedom > Accessibility = Long Term Gain
ERIC:  Accessibility > Freedom = Not (Long Term Pain)

Unfortunately this being the case means that even though both parties
ultimately want the same thing i.e. free accessibility software, they
cannot agree on a practical way of doing so without compromising their
principles/needs. I don't believe either party is correct or incorrect
- they just have different priorities/interests. Richard shouldn't
have to compromise his principles/beliefs about free software and Eric
shouldn't have to wait for a decade in order to be able to work
productively with speech. I think this succinctly summarizes the
debate up to now and suggests that there is no simple solution to this
issue which will satisfy all parties, which implies that there will
have to be distinct parallel development of speech recognition by both
'sides' for now. Hopefully at some point in the future these paths
will begin to merge together and produce a free solution. This should
give people who are not opposed to using non-free software tools to
use in the short term, and free software tools in the longer term, it
is just a shame that the limited number of people who are able and
willing to work on this will not be pooling their resources and

My final thought to anyone who reads this is: What would you do if you
were currently unable to use free software to do your work or
communicate etc? Would you stick by your principles and twiddle your
thumbs for a few years (if you could move them at all), or would you
go with a non-free solution in the hope a free one would come along in
the future?

I know what I would do!


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