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Waiting for the rapture

Dec 15, 2010, 18:35 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"To my surprise, I have been involved with free and open source software (FOSS) for the better part of twelve years. For ten years of that time, I have made my living from FOSS, either as an employee or as a free-lance writer. But sometimes, I have to admit, I get tired of waiting for FOSS to fulfill its potential. While it has come a long way, FOSS still isn't as universal as I thought it would be by now. Sometimes, I think the movement -- and I -- have lost sight of the goal among the day to day necessities.

"I remember the first time I became convinced that FOSS could become the norm. It was when I first saw GNU Parted. I had been a user of PartitionMagic from its earliest days as an OS/2 application and been impressed that what was then an innovative tool had originated completely outside the Windows ecosphere. If FOSS could duplicate that effort in the form of GNU Parted, even without a graphical interface, then it seemed to me that there were no limits to what FOSS could accomplish. Once people saw what was available as free software, why would anyone ever buy its proprietary counterpart ever again?"

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