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Re: An open letter to the debian community

George Bonser wrote:

> Embracing commercial software at first is the path to eventually winning.
> Let the commercial vendors in ... let them penetrate deep into linux. Then
> surround and destory them with free alternatives once you have them
> committed to your platform or convince them of the benefit of opening up
> the development of their applications through example.
Am I alone in believing the battle is between empowerment and
profit? Between an interactive computer operating system, and a
basically non-interactive proprietary one?
GNU/Linux to me and a few others is unique because of this

> You can win every single battle and cost yourself the war if the opponent
> declares victory and leaves the field. Commercial applications attract
> more people to Linux. More bright people with a lot of experiance. This
> gives the movement the chance to benefit from the expertise of these
> people in that they will contribute to the improvement of the software
> that IS open sourced.

Again - the point is not Linux vs. the other guys, but
empowerment vs. restrictive profit driven software.
Why is GNU/Linux so good? Because it is faster etc. etc.? No -
because it gives us choice; the ability to understand it and
alter it. And also distribute it without restrictions.

> Bottom line is that there are a lot of good people out there in industry
> and Linux (and Debian) need them a lot more than they need Linux at this
> point in time. If that can be changed so that they DEPEND on Linux,
> getting their input to improving it is a lot easier. I say go ahead, let
> them in. We will change them a lot more than they will change us.

The bottom line is that free software is both better in computing
terms and better in social terms. The battle is to win people
over to the principles of free software - not forsake those
principles in order to have *Linux* beat Windoze at its own game.
I repeat, it is not *Linux* (as many people mistakenly call it)
which is important - it's free software.
Debian is important because it is free software - it just happens
to be the best GNU/Linux distro around, perhaps because the
developers care more about getting it right than they do about
profit or even *beating windoze*. That is, because they are
motivated by something other than market forces.

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