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Well, it's only natural...

Well, it's only natural...

Posted Oct 22, 2010 8:29 UTC (Fri) by pauly (subscriber, #8132)
In reply to: Well, it's only natural... by rsidd
Parent article: How not to recognize free hardware

> It's getting better, and it's not thanks to the FSF:
Well, in part it is. Not particularly to the FSF, but rather thanks
to GPL. The ultimate non-free device for me is now the iPhone:
A beautiful device on top of any usability score list, with a
powerful unix-like OS at its heart. But the BSD licence allows
Apple to get every profit from the (originally open) code, at the
same time putting users into a (albeit golden) cage.
The fact that the GPL is very clear about derived work has hugely
helped to push evolution into the right direction.
My impression is: Most manufacturers simply don't care mouch about
openness or closedness, as long as they can use code to speed up
development significantly. If they have to release source code then
-- what the heck. This part of how the Linux explosion has worked.


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GPL is hack - that's why it works...

Posted Oct 22, 2010 15:01 UTC (Fri) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

Most manufacturers simply don't care mouch about openness or closedness, as long as they can use code to speed up development significantly. If they have to release source code then -- what the heck. This part of how the Linux explosion has worked.

Yup. People are irrational. They behave like monkeys.

When you present carrot (high-quality code, free advertisement, etc) first and then show the stick (demand payment in form of freedom) later - they will often accept the bargain because, let's be frank, most manufacturers are not evil and lock-down the devices to simplify their own life, not to rob user of the freedom.

When you present stick first and then your demands look truly onerous (why do you want to decide if I will offer support for Windows or not?) then you'll need much bigger carrot to overcome the first impression.

In a sense FSF campaigns are designed to fail because they assume that people are rational - and in the end most of them end up a failure. Some few of them succeed because someone else presents the same idea in a sane way - but is it really a good way forward? I think "The perfect is the enemy of the good" dogma applies to FSF 9 times out of 10 (if not 10 times out of 10).

The infamous example of this problem is the Nopedia vs the Wikipedia. It took three years to create 24 high-quality articles using experts and thorough per-review process (and some 74 articles were in the works when Nupedia was closed down). Wikipedia got more articles in few days after launch! And in one year it had more very high-quality articles then Nupedia got in three years! Sure, most articles on Wikipedia were (and are) complete rubbish, but... the topics covered by other encyclopedias are great in Wikipedia - and "rubbish" topics cover things which will never be even mentioned in Britannica!

Does it mean experts and per-review are irrelevant? Sure as hell no - but by themselves they are not numerous enough to move "free world encyclopedia" idea forward. And the same is true for the people who care enough about freedom to accept onerous FSF's requirements related to this mark...


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