Well, it's only natural...
Posted Oct 21, 2010 11:35 UTC (Thu) by rsidd
In reply to: Well, it's only natural...
Parent article: How not to recognize free hardware
And what use is that to me, if I want to be free rather than cool?
You'll get your free gadget eventually. These things usually work by evolution. Remember the web video scene a few years ago? Different sites used RealMedia, Quicktime, Windows Media -- each of which had its own plugin, none of which worked on linux. Now they all use flash, which works on linux, and a lot of them even work with free implementations like gnash. It is definitely progress.
Further progress will come through HTML5, and again that is already available on many sites. The problem is patent-encumbered codecs. We are far from being completely free but we are closer than we would have been if we had simply dug in our heels and said "we're not watching any content that requires a non-free player."
The idea of open standards has taken root and hardware devices are already much "freer" than they were just a few years ago. USB devices (storage, cameras, video, and much else) that conform to standards can just be plugged into a linux computer and work. It's getting better, and it's not thanks to the FSF: it's thanks to the fact that there is now a significant number of OS's out there (several versions of Windows and Mac, non-negligible numbers of Linux) and manufacturers have realised the value of not having to bundle drivers separately for all these systems. We gain by popularising free systems and we don't popularise them by insisting on an "all-or-nothing" approach to ideological purity.
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