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Aerodynamic Elephants and Free Software Without Freedom

Nov 11, 2010, 14:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"As regular as a scheduled crontab job, the articles keep appearing: Armed only with common sense, the writer is going to set the free software community straight on how it needs to improve.

"Typically, the articles are a mixture of demands for hardware support or new software and rejections of the way that the Linux community operates. Essentially the articles come down to a suggestion that free software needs to lose its interest in freedom and focus on function -- in other words, to eliminate the entire reason for free software in the first place.

"Whether the writers are newcomers with a keep grasp of the obvious or more experienced users with particular grievances, the tone of these articles always seem to resemble a manifesto's. They demand that free software add support immediately for certain types of hardware, such as smart phones or wireless cards. They insist that the community create -- apparently in a process resembling immaculate conception -- software such as an exact PhotoShop or MS Exchange. They call on the community to make things just work, to become less geeky and less political, and to develop a more relaxed attitude about using proprietary software"

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