Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 7, 2012 14:32 UTC (Sat) by rqosa
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
> There are no SDK besides LSB.
That's not a "restriction".
> Thus you either need to spend huge amount of time trying to understand what APIs are safe to use
In practice, it's not so difficult to know what APIs are safe to use.
> I can run them. You can run them. Joe Average can not - and that's the problem.
In that case, the real problem here is that "Joe Average" isn't computer-literate enough. Because our fundamental goal isn't to increase the usage share of Linux, it's to get the public at large to start caring about software freedom — and better computer literacy is probably a prerequisite for that. (I seem to remember one of Stallman's essays suggesting that office workers should learn how to write Elisp code to do the common tasks they need to do.)
Maybe RaspberryPi will help with that, even if its hardware is a little more locked-down then we'd like.
> But do you really feel 0.01% growth in five years is good result?
Even if those figures are valid (and I don't believe they are), it doesn't matter, because "growth" (of the userbase) isn't what we care about. All we (current Linux desktop users) care about is that the software continues to be developed and continues to have the characteristics that attracted us to it in the first place (including user-freedom, which you keep telling us that we need to give up).
> Take a look on GPE, Opie, etc.
The reason those projects are dying is not because of locked-down hardware; instead, it's because they were designed for old PDAs with much less CPU/GPU power and smaller screens than the mobile devices of today. Today's equivalent devices have no need for Qt Embedded — they can run full Qt X11, so we have Plasma Active to fulfill the role that Qtopia/OPIE once served.
> there are no way in hell their way can be acceptable by general public…
The FLOSS community's goal is, and always has been, to convince the general public that software freedom is important. We must never give up on that goal, and we never will. Because it's really a matter of political power — in a computer-dependent society, if people aren't in control of their own computing environment, that means that other people are in control of it, and therefore those other people have power over them.
And this is all just a part of our broader political goal, which is to have a society where no one has power over anyone else; in other words, anarchism. That's the only way to have true "liberty and justice for all".
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