Re: Let's not forget why many people use/contribute to Debian
> > That part is OK, but you're just ignoring one thing: Just that
> > people know emacs from a Windows platform won't make most people
> > change to Linux.
> This was not exactly my point. I grant you this observation, but I think
> that at least he made a firts contact to free software, and one can start to
> talk to this person about freedom.
This leaves the question, what might be the more effective way to
make people use Linux (and enjoy it) - explaining to them the
virtues of exclusively using free software, or convince them with a
more stable system that can handle everything they might need?
I guess, that for most people the computer is a tool, and most
people won't care to much on whether the hit a nail into a board
with a stone (which was free) or with a hammer (which cost a few
bucks), except for the fact, which one will allow the work to be
done more efficiently.
Straight out - would you rather hammer a nail into a board with a
FREE stone or a COMMERCIAL instrument like the average
run-of-the-mill $3.50 hammer.
> and partly because I feel the moral aspect about copying to be
> more important.
It is fine, that YOU think so, but why enforce this in others? Why
not just admit, that there are other reasons to use Linux except
for it being free?
And - is it really that improbable to you, that most people using
Linux will use it since it is either cool or in their opinion
technically better than Windows; and in less cases use it MAINLY
because it is free?
> > It is more likely, that you can tempt someone into switching to
> > Linux or another free OS, if the switch can go gradually. And - no -
> > I would not for a second consider dual booting Windows [non-free
> > world] and Linux [free world] as a GRADUAL change, because though
> > the user can switch back and forth, he will only be in either the
> > free or non-free world.
> Of course. There are many technical things within free software we can do to
> make it easier for our new users (better installation, easier setup ketc)
> and they are done!
This is not (just) about making the installation/setup/maintenance
of the system easier, but more about not overwhelming a user with
stuff he never used before. Having netscape around means, that a
new user will have at least one program he already knows the
And this is what I refer to by saying "gradual change". People who
are not full-time computer geeks like (probably) most people on
this list, actually have trouble getting all the motivation to look
at Linux simply because it would mean to abandon everything they
know. And I can't blame them for that.
I would think it is doubtful, that you could convince a lot of
people on a "moral" basis to change to a new system, spending weeks
of learning new stuff, without even being sure, that it is adequate
for their needs.
But I do think, that people could be more willing to try on a new
system if they could continue to use one or more of their commonly
used applications in the new system and the new system would be
technically better (less resource-hungry; more stable; ...).
BRAIN, n. An apparatus with which we think what we think. That
which distinguishes the man who is content to _be_ something from
the man who wishes to _do_ something. [...] In our civilization,
and under our republican form of government, brain is so highly
honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.