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The Party of Gno

Jun 19, 2010, 00:04 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Brockmeier)

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"The free software movement, though, seems to be shrinking. It still has its adherents, of course. But, when I look around at Linux events I see a sea of Mac OS X. Most contributors I know see no problem with proprietary services like Dropbox and Ubuntu One. With very few exceptions, most companies that work in the community have settled on some mixture of proprietary and open source services to try to find a working revenue model. In short, the free software philosophy seems to have gone out the window for most users and contributors. And I'll freely admit, I've advocated the pragmatic approach — because after more than 10 years of working in the community, it's clear that getting things done with a purist approach isn't working.

"Some free software supporters would say that's an indication that the FSF needs to redouble its efforts and step up attempts to convince users that they shouldn't use those services. Heaping more of the same on isn't going to work, though. It's time for a change in direction if there's any hope of making software freedom important to the general public. A puritanical "thou shalt not" approach isn't going to cut it with the majority of the public, most of whom don't even have software freedom on their radar — much less something that's worth sacrificing usability or functionality for."

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