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Re: [OT] Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879

From: Galen Boyer
Subject: Re: [OT] Re: realplay.el interface with Real Player v. 1879
Date: 26 Jul 2007 23:38:02 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3

On Thu, 26 Jul 2007, address@hidden wrote:
>     I'm an Oracle professional.  I don't see any free software close
>     to as good as their database software.
> By using Oracle, you're giving up your freedom.  It may be convenient,
> or even profitable, but it isn't right.
>       Its a fairly easy argument to make that if all software were
>     free, Oracle wouldn't be in business, therefore nobody would be
>     able to use a database as good as Oracle's is today.
> Someone else pointed out that you can't be sure of that conclusion.
> In that other world

What other world?  Today, as we speak, in the world we are living in
right now, GNU software is being produced much better than its
commercial equivalents.  That does not mean all software produced under
GNU license is better than their commercial equivalents.

> , users could have made other arrangements to develop a free data base
> that is as good or better.  The lack of today's easy-way-out could
> have motivated them to do so.

They are not doing so with database software.  What you are saying is
hypothetical.  Just because there are examples of it elsewhere does not
mean the same motivations exist in the database industry.  You cannot
project some success on all situations.  Just look at the success of
free software today.  If free software could actually support such an
undertaking of a database to rival Oracle's it would have.  Instead, the
free software model has failed in the database industry and the
commercial vendors have won in that arena.

> That is not inevitable.  Perhaps there would not be such a powerful
> data base system.  If so, so what?  

Well, people could easily say, "You have your license on your software
and you have your freedom.  So what?  Why should I care about you having
achieved your freedom?  We don't care about your freedom and plan on
buying our software and locking ourselves into a licensing model. "

> Freedom is more important than technical progress.

Freedom of what?  Someone having the freedom of choice and agreeing to a
licensing structure.  Someone having the freedom of choice and agreeing
to not have access to the source?  What is so wrong with somebody not
having to subject themselves to the self motivation and discipline it
takes to commit to free software?  Just because a group believes it
should be free does not make it fair to those that don't care or want to
know about their freedom.

> In that world, I would tell those users, "If you care enough about
> having a more powerful data base system, get together and fund
> improvements in free data bases.  Or, if you don't think it's really
> so important, then don't."
>     My argument for free software has always been how great the
>     software is that is free.
> That's a side issue.  The argument for free software is that we must
> have freedom.  In some areas, free software is technically better than
> proprietary software, but not always.  However, free software is
> always ethically better, and that is what really matters anyway.

There are plenty of people who pay for cable service instead of funding
their own cable lines, yet, your argument could be turned on them and be
stated, "If you really think media is important, get together and fund
the directors, producers and actors.  We hear at the GNU free media
foundation believe free media is ethically better than commercial

Galen Boyer

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