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Re: Dangerous precedent being set - possible serious violation of the GPL

[Do we really have to spam everyone like this?  Does everyone
interested read the lists?]

On Mon, Dec 06, 1999 at 01:56:51AM -0500, Caspian wrote:
> On Mon, 6 Dec 1999, Tomasz Wegrzanowski wrote:
> > On Sun, Dec 05, 1999 at 09:13:17AM -0700, Richard Stallman wrote:
> > > What does it mean to make a new GNU/Linux distro that is more
> > > user-friendly and entirely free?  How would it differ from Debian?


> > I see three other reasons to eventually fork :


> I'd just like to add my two cents (they're rather big...perhaps
> they're two dollars?) to this little discussion.

[very long and gloomy diatribe deleted]

Imminent death of Linux predicted, film at 11. :-)

Having seen Linux since the earliest days (my first look was in the
0.1x series), and having used GNU software since before that, I'd have 
to say that things are looking pretty good.  Sure, we've got work to
do yet, and sure, we're still behind.  But let's not allow ourselves
to put down our accomplishments up till now.

There seems to be this persistent myth that Windows is so much better
than the Linuxes in the ease-of-use department.  As a person who
supports an NT network at the day job, I can tell you that Windows is
equally bewildering to the computer-illiterate (not to mention the
computer-phobic).  Windows is better than the current crop of Linux
desktops at some things; Linux, on the other hand, is better at

No one seems to be willing to recognize this, because we all seem to
have been raised on something else, and anything new still has that
foreign and unfamiliar ring to it.  We "grok Windows", if you will.
Because of this, we believe the lie that Windows sets the standard for 
ease of use.

I've heard several stories about people who have given their
computer-illiterate parents a computer with KDE or GNOME, and found
that they took to it quite well, and still prefer it to Windows.
Properly set up, Linux can be quite easy.  And it's only getting

I'm setting up a new computer for my mom.  I'm going to give her
Debian, with a nice GNOME desktop, the right applets and icons in
easy-to-click places, and that legendary stability and ease of remote
administration.  This year, that will likely have to include a few
proprietary apps (Netscape, StarOffice/WP/Applix).  By next year,
maybe Mozilla, AbiWord, and Gnumeric will be up to the level where
they can replace their closed cousins.  But even now, she's a lot more 
free than she would be with Windows and Word, and she'll likely be
happier, too, about doing without the glitches and inconsistencies in

Ultimately, Linux and GNU survived and thrived without Joe Sixpack.
If we fail in providing a good GUI for him, I'm sure we'll continue
the same way we always have.  But we've been doing good so far.  Why
give up now?

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