The Free Software hardliner, the corporation, and the shotgun wedding

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| Wasn't the magic of licensing going to preserve all that we held dear? The
| GPL was more than just a license; it embodied a philosophy, and it contained
| a statement of intent: "This is our software," it said, "and you're welcome
| to come in and play. Here are the rules which guarantee that other people can
| also come in and play."
| The four basic freedoms of Open Source -- the right to view, modify,
| redistribute, and to use for any purpose -- go a long way toward
| inclusiveness. The idea of inclusiveness is to create an environment
| conducive to establishing and preserving a community.
| [...]
| Political scientists learned the hard way that introducing democracy before
| improving education was a recipe for trouble, and I think one lesson we can
| take away in our field is similar. Our code is inextricably ideological. Free
| Software is a choice, an option, and also a movement. If we don't educate our
| users about the ideology behind Free Software, we not only cheapen Free
| Software, but lose everything that made it special in the first place.

Will ‘08 Be The Year For Desktop Linux?

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| 1. Linux awareness is much higher. Mention it to a friend and there’s a
| high chance that friend actually knows what you’re talking about instead
| of giving back a deer-in-the-headlights look.
| 2. Interest in using Linux has spread. Many people took the time to
| download a distribution, burn it to a disc, pop it in their computers
| and try it out. Whether it was a CD-sized distro like Ubuntu or
| DVD-sized like Sabayon, many actually took the time to go thru the
| whole process just to see what it was all about. And even if it didn’t
| work to expectations, the fact people tried is what counts.
| 3. There is a continued interest in Linux. Even for those that did try
| Linux (including yours truly) and didn’t particularly care for it, many
| are watching the distros in the hopes something will come around that
| will allow us to use a free operating system full time.


The coming Linux storm

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| The first group - Philosophical Linux User
| ...
| The second group - Business Linux User
| ...
| The third group - Home Linux User
| ...
| In all seriousness, if we want to make serious in-roads into the
| desktop market, we need to take some lessons from all three groups.
| First of all, for you business users, free software is a movement
| about information not being "owned" by any one organization. It's
| all about not doing things the Microsoft way and being locked in
| to [Insert Mega Corporation] products. It's about sharing and
| giving things back to the community. The Free Software philosophers
| are the ones that started this movement and they've got one hell of
| an amount of influence in the direction of all things Linux.

The Old World of Software vs the New (Hegel lives)

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| The future is open. Not because some Geist wills it, but because
| customers will it, and because we can make it happen. Open source
| does not require a vow of poverty. Nor, however, does it, like
| proprietary software, require customers to enter into indentured
| servitude contracts with vendors to get their IT (and why? Simply
| because the Old World could think of no better way to get people
| to pay for things than by locking them up, both customer and software).
| To be an effective part of that future, one must burn the boats
| to the past. We have to do open source, not just think happy
| thoughts about it. That's William James.