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Re: we we agree with GNU? (was: [seul-edu] New educational section in GNU)

At 01:13 PM 12/26/00 -0500, Douglas Loss wrote:
>On 26 Dec 2000, Vladimir Tamara wrote:
> For me
>> promoting non-free software is giving up and forgetting my
>> by that  reasons the projects where  I'm working cannot  make
>links to
>> Seul/Edu,  I cannot  promote your  organization neither  ask 
>for your
>> support.
>As I say, unfortunate but understandable.  Let's just be sure
>that we all realize that we're not opponents on anything here,
>but merely have somewhat different ideas on how to reach the
>endpoint that we all desire.

Are you certain of this, Doug? I never saw this list as reflecting a
consensus that "free" or "Open Source" solutions were invariably superior to
proprietary ones. There have been vocal advocates of porting commercial
applications to Linux here, at least from time to time. So if a clearcut
victory for free/Open Source software is what you have in mind as "the
endpoint that we all desire", I think you are assuming too much about this
list's degree of homogeneity.

Personally, I usually favor Open Source or free (DFSG compliant, to be
precise) solutions for what I see as practical reasons, not ideological
ones. But I am not blind to the practical problems that Open Source and free
solutions can offer ... slow development time, dependence on volunteers who
lose interest (certainly me on occasion; for another example, whatever
happened to that cafeteria-pricing project that was discussed last summer?),
and an unproved case for the ability to make a living writing Open Source
software, outside the (admittedly, very important in general, but not
important to schools) context of in-house development of code for companies
that sell something other than software (whatever happened to the guy who
posted here last summer talking about having his district pay an Open Source
developer to support Open Source products? did he ever manage to do it? how
*do* schools actually support Open Source developers?).

I don't mean to bad-mouth Open Source/free software; I see it as a wonderful
experiment with many great features and some excellent product offerings. I
just don't want, by my silence, to seem to contribute to a non-existent
consensus regarding the merits of an idea that I still see as an experiment,
not as an answer.

------------------------------------"Never tell me the odds!"---
Ray Olszewski                                        -- Han Solo
Palo Alto, CA           	 	         ray@comarre.com