Totally "free" Ubuntu? That's the plan for Gobuntu (Linux.com)
Posted Jul 15, 2007 15:36 UTC (Sun) by sbergman27
In reply to: Totally "free" Ubuntu? That's the plan for Gobuntu (Linux.com)
Parent article: Totally "free" Ubuntu? That's the plan for Gobuntu (Linux.com)
But if you think working GCJ had nothing to do with GPL'ed JDK - then you are sorely mistaken.
Here you make a good point. It has nothing to do with whether giving new users what they need to get started with a FOSS OS is a good thing. But it is a good point.
Note here that the work on gcj is not about withholding functionality from users, but about doing the hard work of writing the OSS code to replace a proprietary program.
And I will *always* give that a big hip, hip, hurrah! Although it is possible to contribute in a multitude of other ways, working hard writing OSS code is still the most important thing that a person can do to support FOSS. We need coders, filling in the huge gaps in our functionality, like business accounting and point of sale systems, a *lot* more than we need more people criticizing other users for having the audacity to use a proprietary video driver. And frankly, I can't help but feel that the latter group really need to get a life, and start doing something that is actually helpful to the FOSS world.
Where people sometimes get confused, is in thinking that if they withhold the ability to print from Aunt Mabel, an opensource alternative will appear on the scene sooner.
And that is simply a non sequitur. People with the skills to write the print driver, and the mindset to make it open-source, are quite able to decide for themselves whether using the proprietary driver is for them or not, pick their distro, 100% Free or not, and add the proprietary driver, if necessary, and if they choose.
Mabel is not going to get so frustrated that she writes an OSS printer driver herself. She's going to call her whizkid grandson and ask for Windows, which all of her friends use, and are printing quite happily.
You just can't foist a non-working OS onto new users and expect to do anything but turn them off of it for a long time.
Mabel may not be up to writing a driver. But she is certainly good at writing letters to her representatives in congress about how she wants to see fewer of her tax dollars going to the purchase of expensive software, when perfectly good software to replace it is available for free. (Yeah, I know. That's political.)
But she only writes letters like that for causes she believes in. And if that software essentially broke her computer, she's not going to write that letter. ( Especially since she can't print! ;-) )
The number of users users with an interest *does* matter.
So, I'll answer slef's question, here. I'm looking at helping the most people today AND in the future. And I believe that my strategy is likely to be more effective than that of setting people up with broken systems out of some misguided sense of purity.
to post comments)