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Re: Proposal: removing libc5, altgcc and all their old-days dependencies

On Thu, 19 Jun 2003, Francesco P. Lovergine wrote:

> X-Spot: Who uses non-free software empoisons you, too. Say him to stop.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> That's constantly in my header... so I'm ready to fight :-P
> Mmmmm, that's the basis of freelosophy. Don't use proprietary formats and don't
> use proprietary software. The risk of being unable to use your own
> documents is concrete. Who owns your docs? Corel does. Microsoft does.
> You no more own your docs when you agree with any commercial EULA
> and use a commercial product. You could be unable to use _current_ M$ doc
> within a few years or less.

Take the Lawyer example.  He probably bought his legal practice when it
was all Word.  He does not like it, he is stuck.

Take my wife's Ph.D., started seven years ago.  We looked at MS Word and
it could not cut the mustard so she stuck with WP 5.1.  What free
alternatives were there then?  Maybe Lyx, certainly latex, but my wife is
a musician not a geek.  Anyway, her M.A. thesis was in WP 5.1.  So when the
Ph.D. was completed the journey was WP5.1 > WP8 (linux) > RTF > StarOffice
5.2 (OpenOffice was not quite ready then).  We are both into
OpenOffice.org now, but all her field-work is WP5.1 - she has a dual boot
DOS/Linux machine.  She is stuck unless, I do a lot of work.

Many people, myself included, breathed a sigh of relief when WP8 for Linux
became available, we had a conventional Word Processor we could use.  I
can remember the panic of one person when his WP8 fell over when he was
running potato while it was still in testing.

I am (slightly) involved in an Open Source advocacy group here in NZ and
one problem that is a major stumbling block for individuals and
enterprises making the shift to free software is legacy documents.  I hate
to think how many terabytes of these are sitting on HDDs.  In our case (my
wife and myself) the problem will probably resolve itself in a few years,
in the case of the lawyer and most businesses it will be a few decades.

> Also, none can ensure that whenever Sarge will be released, it will be
> wp-compliant at alli (also with libc5). WP for Linux is in
> End-of-support and End-of-life status. And surely Debian DOES NOT
> support non-free (in DFSG sense) software, and that's also more true for
> commercial one. If you need an ancient format/program like WP, use an
> ancient Debian release.

It is not a question of using non-free software, I use it almost
exclusively, but that of accessing documents that were created with
non-free software before there were free alternatives.

Please remember this is 2003 and not 1983.  People have accumulated a lot
on their HDDs in twenty years.


  Philip Charles; 39a Paterson Street, Abbotsford, Dunedin, New Zealand
   +64 3 488 2818        Fax +64 3 488 2875        Mobile 025 267 9420
     philipc@copyleft.co.nz - preferred.          philipc@debian.org
     I sell GNU/Linux & GNU/Hurd CDs.   See http://www.copyleft.co.nz

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