Re: [users] Re: Time to fight for our beloved DEB format!
On Sun, Jul 01, 2001 at 12:34:31PM -0600, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier wrote:
> It's not anti-commercial, but it's not pro-commercial either. It's
> unfortunate that people spend so much time worrying about whether GNU/Linux
> or Free Software is "good for business" in the sense of selling commercial
> software or supporting companies with a business model suited for
> proprietary software. Free Software and GNU/Linux are hugely beneficial
> for businesses that USE software, but obviously they don't support
> a model that is based on selling licenses or endless upgrades.
> The focus of Debian is to produce a quality Free operating system and
> huge base of Free Software applications. It's not focused on producing
> a system tailored for commercial applications, though I would argue that
> Debian is quite suitable for businesses.
There are some applications for which I will be very, very, surprised
if they ever exist as Free Software. #1 on this list is TurboTax.
That's because it's not really about the software, but because every
year our (at least for those of us who live in the U.S.)
Congress-critters make gratuitous changes to the tax code, and
therefore intuit as a small army of accountants and tax lawyers to
track changes in tax law. Hence, I am more than happy to pay Intuit
$30 each year to purchase that year's Turbotax, instead of spending
four or five hours of my time (which I bill out at consultanting rates
of $250+/hour), or paying an accountant several hundred dollars to do
Given that I want to use Turbotax, and given Linux has 5% of the
desktop --- which is the same as percentage of the market share of the
desktop owned by MacOS, it's not insane that some number of ISV's
might decide to port their products to Linux. And I for one would
love to be able to run TurboTax under Linux natively, instead of
having to dual boot into Windows.
If Debian doesn't want to support the LSB, that's Debian's choice to
make. The LSB was also designed so that even if the distribution
refuses to support the LSB, an LSB compatibility layer could be
installed by third party provider. Alternatively, perhaps people who
want to run third-party applications like TurboTax might decide not to
use Debian if Debian opts not to support the LSB. Perhaps they'll
decide to use Mandrake, or Red Hat, or some other distribution
Since I've only recently switched to using Debian, I'm hoping that
some Debian developers will decide that they also want to use some LSB
applications on their system, and will therefore undertake the
necessary work to make Debian be capable of installing LSB compliant
applications. But if that doesn't happen, perhaps I'll have to switch
to some other distribution. That's the way these things go.
P.S. I'm sure that the Church of the FSF will no doubt excommunicate
me and declare me a heretic for daring to advocate the use of
propietary software, but if so, so be it. You heard it here first ---
this Linux kernel developer has absolutely no problem paying money for
at least some propietary software.