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Re: Fedora Core 2 - review.

On Tue, 25 May 2004 09:22:34 -0600
Robin Laing <Robin Laing drdc-rddc gc ca> wrote:

Hi Robin,

> Alot of the replys in this thread have already said what I would have 
> in response to your points.
> I do use ogg and support free software, even at work.  I am glad to 
> see portable ogg players available.  The problem is moving the masses 
> to free and open software.  I often point out links for open software 
> to windows users to use.

Great.   Then our views aren't that different after all :o)

> As stated by others.  It doesn't help any free and open software cause 
> if a user cannot go to www.somesite.com and view what is on that site. 
>   Nor does is help when a Windows users sends me a file that isn't 
> readable of viewable on Linux.  Yes my mother-in-law does require 
> access to mp3's and flash for surfing the web.  How many sites use 
> flash home pages?

I'm not sure this is such a clear cut assertion.   There's at least some
reason to believe that a little pain may inspire acceptance of alternatives.
As our numbers grow it would then be harder and harder for 
websites to convince themselves to use these proprietary protocols.
As for mp3's i'm pretty sure there are already viable alternatives 
today, as you point out.

Sure it's ok to make some concessions in order to attract people and
make it easier to migrate over.   But those should be secondary
activities that don't overshadow the real work.   People who support 
open source and want to get more people excited about it have no 
reason to be shy.   It was voices and actions like theirs that created 
Linux in the first place.    Something it would be nice to hear 
more proponents of proprietary solutions acknowledge and

> I don't know if RH can be deemed responsible to providing their 
> customers information on why software isn't included in their 
> distribution.  In fact as it isn't provided would be a defense.  I am 
> not a lawyer but I think I will post this question to my 
> brother-in-law who is becoming a lawyer.

There were comments to this effect about the time of the fedora.us
merger.   At that time they jettisoned packages with inappropriate
licensing which they hosted before the merger.

> It is easy to come up with reasons not to provide software.  The issue 
> that is raised in the review is how to make Linux useful for the 
> mainstream users.  I do feel that the more Linux is used in the home, 
> the more open standards will be implemented.  Other distributions 
> provide the software that is in question which is their own problem. 
> All I am saying is give Fedora users a tip on how and where to get the 
> software to make their installation work in this closed standard world.

It seems doubtful that the masses are going to run to Linux tomorrow
even if every proprietary protocol/package was supported.   We have
to keep adding to the core benefit of Linux and grow our community

> Don't kill the fight for free and open software by denying that closed 
> standards have to be supported until the open standards have taken 
> some market share.

I'd turn this around and say that you can't be fighting for free and open 
software without at least a slight reluctance to use non-free and non-open

> Ogg is getting great reviews for quality over all other formats and 
> this will win supporters.  DRM is going to be an issue that will have 
> to be dealt with, but that is another headache.

DRM may well drive more people our way if we keep preparing for that 
day and not throw up our hands and capitulate wholeheartedly to the 
proprietary forces.


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