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

On Tue, 7 Dec 1999, Jeff Licquia wrote:

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

I fear that the free software movement is doomed if people don't carefully
consider the things which I've brought up. Don't shoot the messenger.

> 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

People are -afraid- of Linux. Not Joe Sixpack. Highly intelligent people.
Two of my closest friends are both National Merit Scholars with
off-the-charts IQs-- one is majoring in the hard sciences and the other--
well, he changes majors approximately every other week. These are _NOT_
dumb people. They get frustrated with Linux. _VERY_ frustrated.

Winduh comes preloaded on virtually every x86 box out there, and certainly
every x86 box that the Joe Sixpacks of the world have. Read carefully:
THEIR OWN*, they will never switch. And as long as they refuse to switch,
the "open source" people will continue to worm their way into GNU/Linux
turf-- both traditional turf, e.g. servers and hard-core hackers'
machines, and potential turf, e.g. the desktop world. They will continue,
year after year, to push ideas and companies that stray further and
further from the core beliefs of the free software movement. Pretty soon,
Corel will buy Red Hat will buy Caldera will buy Mandrake, and we'll be
facing a mighty Linuxsoft Corporation. They may still be calling what they
do "Open Source(TM)" by that point, but it will be clear to all observers
with more than six brain cells to rub together that the Linux (GNU
may or may not be a part of the picture) world has magically morphed, over
the course of three or five or seven or ten or even twenty years, into
something exactly like that which preceded it-- the proprietary software
world. And then, we will know that the war has been lost.

We need a better GUI. We need a better installer. We need a 100% free
distribution. We need this done right, and we need this -now-. Or pretty
soon, Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman will be historical footnotes,
while CEOs who've never in their lives written a line of code will be the
major names in the (no longer GNU/)Linux arena.

Just look at the current trends, and apply simple extrapolation. The tide
is turning against us. The entire GNU/Linux world is falling prey to the
same exacty sort of commercial greed that so infuriated RMS several
decades ago in the "mainstream" software world. Now it's starting to
infuriate me.


 = Jon "Caspian" Blank,  right-brained computer programmer at large =
|  Freelance coder and Unix geek / Founder, The Web Union (twu.net)  |
|          Information wants to be free! Visit www.gnu.org.          |
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