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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Steam for Linux

From: Yogesh Girikumar
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Steam for Linux
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 22:05:43 +0530

On 11 November 2012 18:28, Bob Ham <> wrote:
> The value of free software is in the freedom it brings, not necessarily
> in the software itself.  Freedom always has, and always will be the
> biggest "selling point" of free software.

Some facts that at-least apply here in India:

Most people do not know that the software they love and use (Firefox,
Blender) are free software. Some do not know what Free software is to
begin with. Once they get to know that FF, Thunderbird etc are Free
Software, then they try out things like GIMP. They might conclude that
GIMP sucks in comparison with Photoshop or that GIMP has a difficult
learning curve, but most people would atleast give GIMP and other such
software a try.  I'm certain that Freedom is NOT the major selling
point about Free Software, usability and gloss is.

The moment they see Stellarium ( or SweetHome 3D
( , their jaws drop. :)  I'm fairly certain
they're not aware of the open-source nature of these software. What
matters to them is gloss that gives them an impression of quality and
usability (ease of use) .. My observations .

> If you're trying to sell free software based on the software itself or
> its market applicability, without focussing on freedom, you're missing
> the point.  In fact, what you're doing is arguing for open source, not
> free software.

I think (you'll hate me for saying this) that while software being
free is extremely important, it should be given equal footing (when it
is being advertised) to the market applicability if not take a back
stage. I understand the difference between free and libre. What I'm
saying is most people simply don't care. They'd rather make an illegal
copy of a proprietary software than download a totally legal, totally
free as in beer software that does not cut their cake.

> It's worth noting that freedom is something everybody can understand,
> even non-technical users.  Many non-technical users understand and
> appreciate the value of free software when the concept is explained to
> them.

I agree with this.

> We already have broad success.  All we "need" to do is carry on talking
> about freedom.

That's not "all" we need to do.. IMHO. :D


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