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Re: Commercial programs in Debian



On Monday 08 May 2006 09:27, "Miller, Marc" wrote:
> You're both right...
>
> Of course we want to promote free software, but without compatibility
> with commercial applications, many solution stacks are missing key
> components.  That excludes Debian in an area where SUSE and Red Hat are
> proud to stand up and say they support Oracle, SAP, or whatever.

But if they won't show us the source code, then we can live without them.
That is an important part of Debian.  We don't need Oracle!  I would stick my
neck out and guess that just over half the current Oracle userbase are not
using any feature that isn't available in MySQL; and about half the rest are
not using any feature that isn't available in PostgreSQL.

The problem is, purchasing decisions are being made by people unqualified to
make those decisions.  Proprietary vendors can afford to spend money on
glossy brochures, liquid lunches and hookers just to sell their overpriced
crap to shallow drooling idiots who are easily impressed by shiny stuff,
ignorant of how it works underneath and proud of it.  They just buy the one
with the nicest goodies.

Imagine if you could not just buy an electric fan heater if you had a cold
spot in your house:  instead, you would have to buy a complete new whole
house central heating system, and be locked into a fuel supply deal for the
lifetime of the system.  That is exactly what the proprietary software
vendors are offering.  But hey, it's got a brand name on it .....  it must be
good, right?

> The Debian way is to promote the availability of source code, but is
> that more important than worldwide adoption in general?  The focus
> should be on capturing the audience first, and converting commercial
> ISVs to the open source model after you have a captive audience.  Am I
> wrong?

We need to make it clearer to ordinary people, the ones who don't know what
Source Code is or how it benefits them, exactly WHY Free Software is the
right way to do it.  I don't think anybody in their right minds would choose
to be locked-in to a single vendor, to have to alter their workflow to suit
someone else's paradigms, for their data to be held to ransom, and to risk
losing everything if one vendor went out of business .....  yet these are the
real costs of proprietary software.

Teaching a person to fish is a meaningless gesture, if it was only ever done
with the intention to sell them proprietary bait.

-- 
AJS
delta echo bravo six four at earthshod dot co dot uk



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