Eric Raymond Joins Freespire
Posted Sep 29, 2006 2:00 UTC (Fri) by Erich_J_Ritzmann
Parent article: Eric Raymond Joins Freespire
Last time I checked free market deals with Adam Smith style economics which is not the same
thing as what is meant by free software.
The average person very much cares less about the distinctions of free vs "propriotory". They
don't mind paying Adobe for something that provides them with a benefit, if they are convinced
that benefit is real. While I might like the ideals of the free software thing, at the end of the day I
use whatever I can to get a job done, free or otherwise.
I pay for my software, even the free software I use. If I can get the job done with OpenOffice,
then I will certainly use it, and pay for it. A benefit to the user is the cost. Even if you choose to
pay for free software it is still in the order of $30-50 compared to ten times that for the leading
Office package. And, I have come to like OOo better, even if I never had the inclination to change
a single line of code.
I wish the GIMP really did give me what Photoshop does, I'd go back to using it. But, Photoshop
provides me benefits that are not available in the GIMP, so do I really have a choice? Someday, I
will go back to using the GIMP, I hope.
In the not too distant past I used to write code for a living. And I gave away the small stuff I did
in my spare time using the GPL. More recently I've taken to studying things like economics and
business. I still very much like the idealism of the free software, but do realize that at the end of
the day the user will choose whatever makes his life easier. There's no pissing into the wind...
Raymond gets that part, love him or hate him.
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