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Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 12, 2012 1:28 UTC (Mon) by vonbrand (guest, #4458)
In reply to: Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users by JMB
Parent article: Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Sorry, but FSF/GPL are most definitely not about "user freedom," the users are not even mentioned once. All it cares about is developer freedom.

Also, Red Hat said that there is no money to be made on distributing desktop Linux, not that it is irrelevant. If you look around, every company into Linux is focused on servers, on embedded systems, or it is called Google and targets smartphones. Canonical's Ubuntu is trying to break even by targeting the same space. It is not some hipocrisy to target servers and be active in moving the desktop forward. Without a polished graphical desktop you won't be able to interest anybody in your operating system offering nowadays.

Yes, Linus Torvalds complained, and everybody took that as a sure sign that Gnome 3 was done in. Reading later posts by Linus shows he is using Gnome 3 day-to-day. But that is no news...

It is the rare feature that can be implemented without any impact whatsoever on the rest of the system. And the (limited!) developer time and interest available have to be spent on high priority items, not on the favorite rant of a tiny minority. If focus follows mouse truly is so easy to do and so low impact, you surely can do it yourself.


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Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 12, 2012 1:51 UTC (Mon) by Trelane (subscriber, #56877) [Link]

> FSF/GPL are most definitely not about "user freedom," the users are not even mentioned once. All it cares about is developer freedom.

"The FSF advocates for free software ideals as outlined in the Free Software Definition, works for adoption of free software and free media formats, and organizes activist campaigns against threats to user freedom like Windows 7, Apple's iPhone and OS X, DRM on music, ebooks and movies, and software patents."
_http://www.fsf.org/_

"'Free software' means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. With these freedoms, the users (both individually and collectively) control the program and what it does for them."
_http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html_

"The licenses for most software and other practical works are designed to take away your freedom to share and change the works. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change all versions of a program--to make sure it remains free software for all its users. We, the Free Software Foundation, use the GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to any other work released this way by its authors. You can apply it to your programs, too."
[...]
"Some devices are designed to deny users access to install or run modified versions of the software inside them, although the manufacturer can do so. This is fundamentally incompatible with the aim of protecting users' freedom to change the software. The systematic pattern of such abuse occurs in the area of products for individuals to use, which is precisely where it is most unacceptable. Therefore, we have designed this version of the GPL to prohibit the practice for those products. If such problems arise substantially in other domains, we stand ready to extend this provision to those domains in future versions of the GPL, as needed to protect the freedom of users."
_http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html_

Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 12, 2012 14:43 UTC (Mon) by JMB (guest, #74439) [Link]

Well, I would not agree with you at all.
GPL is a licence picked to enforce that code can not be taken away
from free usage by any user (today with even broder scope - nicely
given by the citations of Trelane).
If you take that code, change it and give it to anyone, that person
(per definition a user) has the right to ask for the source code.
It is all about the users.
RMS worked in AI research - and as a scientist he helped (as many
more) to improve proprietary code - some things were taken, others
dropped.
But suddenly scientists lost the right to use their own changes
on _their_ systems - that was the starting point for GNU.
(If I am wrong, please say so.)
The additional burden in GPL which is cited from rivals calling
for more `permissive licenses' (and so being open for misuse; well
BSD was chosen for a well known system ... ithing:) is added to
ensure the users right - and take the right away from the developers.
And thus called copyleft.
So users' freedom and developers' obligation!
It's all a social/ethical thing!

Concerning RH I know of a CEO citation which is harder than that
currently one can not make money with DEs - but this is not
important here.
Linux is much better than to be a cheap Unix replacement (while its
focus on small HW and HA has its merits) - and unfortunately it was
also responsible for pressure on incomes of people working in the
high-availability business.
Ubuntu reached a lot - but unfortunately is currently using a
problematic path.
It grew communities and showed that even beginners can install a
Linux system ...
Give a beginner a Xubuntu CD/DVD/stick and one of another distro,
you _WILL_ see a difference (I like RH as administrator - but nor
as DE - this is also true for Fedora - and I try them - personal
taste, no need for flame war here ;-).
As long as Linux is not pre-installed reasonably and in large numbers
plus all specialized software is also available for Linux (current games,
tax software, ... you name it), world domination can not reached. :(
But it had been ripe for years - and it is currently much better
than everything from the proprietary world.
OS/2 2.x was better than Windows - it lost anyway - lack of OS/2-SW
was the main reason.
Linux can survive another 15 years without dominating DE - and we will
survive whatever DEs may be present.
But one day rivalling with Linux will be too expensive - even for a
monopolist - unless they misuse politics and law (patents, secure boot,
we will wait ...).
The desktop is and will be ready - just now it may not be possible
for the majority to switch 100% - this is the problem.
And RH is well advised to focus on servers and be ready for other
usages ...

Well, Linus Torvalds comments showed the world that what GNOME3
presented was not adjustable to a professional workflow at least
as effitiently as GNOME2 was. This was a highlighted regression
report after those of others were neglected - and thus well
received by many people.
Maybe he loves GNOME 3 now - maybe KDE or XFCE.
It is interesting for many to hear - but it is not deceicive
for my opinion (only shows that I am not allone:).

The last passage is absolutely untrue - it may be correct in a
limited way - but look at the kernel. It was said one needs a
kernel for all special purposes - and Linux is quite good on
servers, desktop, tablet, phones, ... different CPUs ... and
still real time can be introduced by special patches which got
smaller in number (as the kernel took the parts which are not
problematic for other needs).
Good quality code takes time and is in need developers - and
users.
Nothing new - true for kernel and DE work.
But missing options X provided before Linux even existed?
Those should be so problematic to implement - or negative
for other functionality/performance?
I don't buy that argument.
It burns down in the "our brand - our workflow - don't even change
themes" attitude. If you have a child, you will take care of it,
but has to release it to the world - in small steps. Similar for
a software project (especially which aims at being useful for
the mass - not for special purposes).
And this _is_ a social thing (back to the reason for the start of
the GNU project).
At least IMHO.


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