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Re: A Fate Worse than Red Hat? (was Re: Negative Summary of the Split Proposal)

Chris Lawrence <cnlawren@olemiss.edu> writes:

> On Jun 30, John Goerzen wrote:
> > In this case, what relevance does it have to the discussion at hand?
> > The day we are ruled by marketing concerns is the day we are doomed to 
> > a fate akin to RedHat.
> I don't think we should be ruled by marketing concerns; however, we
> should be at least cognizant that our actions can and do affect how
> people perceive our project.  If people associate us with particularly
> polarized positions, they may be discouraged from using our system.

You are asking for it to be both ways; this really is a situation in
which the two are mutually exclusive.

If you claim that we should not be ruled by marketing concerns, then
we must ignore them.  To factor them into the decision in a way such
that they effect the outcome means that we *are* ruled by them; if
they are not factored in with such a way, then they are irrelevant as
they have no bearing on the final outcome anyway.

So, I fail to understand your position that we shouldn't be ruled by
them but yet we should.  It is illogical.

> > You claim that we must choose between serving/trusting RMS and doing
> > so for our users.  RMS has made no such demand.  By presenting those
> > two options that are not mutually exclusive as such, you have either
> > committed a severe fallacy or are trying to say that RMS is demanding
> > something that he is not.  Either way, it is a flawed and misleading
> > argument.
> In this case, the positions are mutually exclusive: either we serve
> the interests of free software by making our users waste time and

You are forgetting that:
 1) not all of our users use the FTP site
 2) some that will be user after a potential reorganization are not
    users now

> energy complying with a reorganization, or we don't (i.e. we find
> other ways to serve those interests).  I think free software loses if
> we *do* reorganize, because it gives people an incentive to use other
> distributions, which aren't committed to free software, that don't go
> out of their way to make it a PITA to use non-free software.

This could be a valid point, but not related to my point; I was saying 
that RMS is not forcing a choice between two non-mutually-exclusive

> You're right, it isn't a choice between free software and our users.
> It's a choice between promoting free software by making it harder to
> use non-free software, and promoting free software by encouraging the
> use of our system.  The former is a short-term victory, but it doesn't
> do a damn thing to replace the non-free software.  It instead creates
> distractions from improving and releasing potato.

You are again forcing a false choice.  It is possible to both
discourage the use of non-free software (not necessarily by making it
harder to access) and to encourage the use of our system at the same
time.  We have been doing this for years.

John Goerzen   Linux, Unix consulting & programming   jgoerzen@complete.org |
Developer, Debian GNU/Linux (Free powerful OS upgrade)       www.debian.org |
The 197,346,650th prime number is 4,163,441,483.

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