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Re: Release plans

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 14:04:13 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi, Richard!

On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 11:41:16PM -0400, Richard M. Stallman wrote:
>     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.  

> I was talking about switching your own computing to GNU/Linux, within
> the company, not the bigger task of convincing the whole company to
> change.  With that clarified, is my response more understandable?

Yes, indeed it is.  Sorry for the misunderstanding.

OK, to start with, most of my time at work needs access to the company
network, for things like Email (over proprietary protocols), access to
the VCS (often ClearCase (yuck!!)), sometimes "talk" programs,
spreadsheets used for reserving meeting rooms, that kind of thing.

I couldn't put GNU onto my desktop PC in the office, at least not
without being instantly dismissed.  If I were to bring in my own PC and
connect it to the company network, something similar would happen - such
is regarded as a security hazard, quite rightly.  I'm not sure there's
even any clients on GNU which speak the necessary proprietary protocols,
such as for Email.

The nearest I could get would be having my own PC alongside the office
one, exchanging files by USB stick.  How would this be any better, from
a freedom point of view, than running the w32 versions of the software
on the office PC?

>     Other people and groups are advancing free software by emphasising
>     free software's high quality. Yet you don't recognise their
>     efforts as legitimate,

> You have misunderstood my position.  I do not criticize them for
> persuasively citing practical advantages.  If they oppose our efforts
> at a deeper level, by endorsing the idea that freedom is not an
> important issue, I do criticize that.

Your word "endorsing" is one of those flexible, vague, open-ended words
that could mean almost anything.  Do these other people actually
campaign against software freedom?  Do they actually say "freedom is
unimportant", rather than just not mentioning it much?

I think it's more important for people actually to be free than to be
aware of it.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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