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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund

From: Kevin Donnelly
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Mac OS X refund
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 00:24:44 +0000
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On Friday 01 February 2008 08:00, Andrew Savory wrote:
> the thread that would not die ... ;-)

and the people who cannot resist adding to it ... :-)

> I think you're putting words into people's mouths based on an assumed
> position of inferiority. I don't think anyone's arguing there's a
> limit to what floss can do (ie it can't "only go so far").
> Theoretically it can do anything and more than proprietary software.
> But _practically_ speaking, there are areas where it is not yet as
> good as some proprietary software (and by 'not yet as good' I mean
> deficient in terms of features, functionality, user experience,
> support, documentation, etc.).
> No-one is giving closed software a privileged position deliberately -
> though it would certainly be foolish to ignore the fact that it
> obviously occupies one simply by dint of being first to market,
> cash-rich due to restrictive licensing, etc.

I suggest you go back and read your original postings to this thread, in 
particular http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/fsfe-uk/2008-01/msg00215.html, 
which praised closed software rather extravagantly, and also used the 
word "zealot".  

As I have said before, you are welcome to use whatever software you like, but 
it seems a bit odd to say you are advocating free software, and in the next 
breath tell us benighted zealots how awful it all is.  Holding either of the 
two positions is legitimate, but holding both verges on the hypocritical.

We all know that free software has shortcomings (although I think most of your 
customers would be happy to hold forth on the shortcomings of closed software 
too).  The point is whether we view that as a temporary state, and encourage 
people to look at the trend in functionality, or view it as a deficit that 
will always be with us, and tell people to stay in their comfort zone and 
stick for the most part to closed software.

Your earlier posts tended towards the second view.  If you're saying that you 
actually intended the first view then there is no difference between us.  But 
in that case you might perhaps have considered qualifying your comments a bit 
in those earlier posts.

> >  I read only today that the
> > French gendarmerie is going to switch 70,000 desktops to Linux
> > (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/30/french_open) - presumably
> > another set of unfortunates who don't realise that the Linux desktop
> > isn't yet ready.
> Yes, that's awesome news. I'm pretty sure that given enough resources
> and the right environment, the Linux desktop can be a great choice.
> But it's not the right choice for any of the customers I have spoken
> to so far, who are not resource-happy or a supportive environment for
> this kind of change.

So again some qualification of your earlier comments when you made them might 
have been appropriate.  (I don't, incidentally, agree with the "enough 
resources" point, and again have to wonder about the context in which you are 
presenting these things.)

Pob hwyl / Best wishes

Kevin Donnelly

www.klebran.org.uk - Gwirydd gramadeg rhydd i'r Gymraeg
www.eurfa.org.uk - Geiriadur rhydd i'r Gymraeg
www.rhedadur.org.uk - Rhedeg berfau Cymraeg

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