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Re: federated free software movement

From: Arthur Torrey
Subject: Re: federated free software movement
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2021 14:16:24 -0500 (EST)

As I said, I was only using 'purity' for lack of a better term...  One of the 
issues that I see is that there isn't always a Free (as in source code, might 
or might not be free as in beer) solution, or one that doesn't involve 
significant sacrifices...  

As one example we know there is a lot of PC hardware that either only works w/ 
binary blobs, or where the Free drivers don't work as well as the non-free 
ones...  Or hardware like the RasPi that is nominally open, but needs blobs for 
some of it's functions.

In other cases there is NO non-free alternative...  The programming software 
for my power chair (which is bootleg / pirated BTW) only runs on a Windows box, 
and is closed source....  I have to choose between non-free software, or being 
stuck w/ the crappy OEM settings... (Which is why I have a few air-gapped 
Windows boxes, and GNU/Linux boxes that run Zoom, MS Teams, and so forth...)

As such, coming at folks w/ an attitude of 'proprietary is evil and only Free 
solutions are acceptable' is not going to win friends...  We need to be willing 
to say that partially free / open is better than totally locked down, even if 
it needs proprietary tools...


Arthur Torrey - <>
---MUCH TRIMMED---------
> On 11/13/2021 11:18 PM wrote:
> On 2021-11-14 10:03, Arthur Torrey wrote:
> > I think the only thing that might be an issue where the groups might
> > need to have a significant level of willingness to compromise is on
> > the 'purity requirements' (for lack of a better term)  I.e. both the
> > OSHW and R2R folks don't necessarily have big issues w/ using
> > proprietary software / binary blobs if it makes it possible to
> > accomplish their ends of making cool objects (i.e. a gizmo that is
> > based on a RasPI) or fixing a device (i.e using a Windows based
> > proprietary programming tool)...  So while pointing out how Free
> > software might make it easier to make / fix things, the FLOSS
> > enthusiasts would need to not be hostile to the idea using software
> > that we don't approve of...  This is sort of like my comment that the
> > RYF cert would be more popular / desirable if it didn't prohibit
> > mentioning compatibility w/ other non-free O/S's...
> Personally, the issue isn't with 'purity', it's with 'compromise'.
> Purity doesn't exclude variety, and it certainly doesn't indicate
> group-think, to my mind. I don't even phrase the concept of only using
> Free software as one of being 'pure'--when there are many options and
> solutions that are already 'Free', why can't you always choose the right
> choice?

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