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free "software" & geeky nitpicking (was Re: [DotGNU]paying for free soft

From: S11001001
Subject: free "software" & geeky nitpicking (was Re: [DotGNU]paying for free software (was Re: `freeing' proprietary software))
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 23:34:40 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.1a) Gecko/20020608

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:
If the person who built my house started telling me what I could do with
it - I'd be pretty pissed off.  Why aren't people pissed off like this
when it comes to software?

Well, software is computer stuff. Sometimes, when explaining free software, I feel that I have to explain free information first, or alone. The long "free-market" thing in what you replied to was from my diatribe on free information, of course with some wording changes back to "software" ;)

It's just that caring so much about this seems like geeky nitpicking to most people. "So what if I can't get the source code for Napster? It's still free!" (time offset to the past, of course) yet another problem with the term `open source'

`People' just don't get up in arms about their computers, which I feel is the biggest barrier in bring Free Software principles to the masses. :( I would personally love to have a bunch of vocal Free Software fans who were users, not hackers/sysadmins/everyone obsessed with "free as in price". Because "reduced TCO" is not very useful, and it will be a while before people can make the connection: free software -> no central control && get your fav. hacker (u kno u hav 1 ;) to fix it.

Stephen Compall
DotGNU `Contributor' --

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy,
distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it
refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

    * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
    needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition
    for this.
    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
    (freedom 2).
    * The freedom to improve the program, and release your
    improvements to the public, so that the whole community
    benefits. (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a
    precondition for this.
        -- RMS, "The Free Software Definition"

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