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Re: Release plans

From: Johannes Weiner
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:33:46 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)


Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi, Richard!
> On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 01:19:22AM -0400, Richard M. Stallman wrote:
>>     Switching to GNU is possible in principle, but it's difficult,
>>     time-consuming and expensive.
>> Doing things that are difficult and/or time-consuming and/or expensive
>> in order to escape from proprietary software is precisely the way to
>> show people that freedom matters.  That is how you lead.  Developing
>> GNU was also difficult and time-consuming, and some aspects have been
>> expensive.
> Hey, you snipped too much of the context, you rascal!  The effort I was
> talking about was that of a large company, with all the bureaucracy and
> inertia that goes with it.  These large companies aren't much concerned
> about freedom, unless it is their own.  They might not even be legally
> permitted in some jurisdictions to bother much about freedom.
> Other people and groups are advancing free software by emphasising free
> software's high quality.  Yet you don't recognise their efforts as
> legitimate, even though they increase the use of free software, and hence
> freedom itself.  I find this puzzling, and I know I'm not alone.

Freedom should never stand over software quality and usability.  The
same way as security should never do that.  If your security model is to
take the power off your machines you will have a worse solution that one
with higher risk.

Richard, if your argument is really that it is _good_ to have
time-consuming software in order to demonstrate by using it that you
care so much about freedom that you stop solving your problems
efficiently, then I am really sorry for you.

Primarily, software is problem-solving.  If your software comes in a
flavor that doesn't restrict user's freedom, this is really nice.

If you cripple software for freedom's sake, you have driven the purpose
of software ad absurdum.


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