Sunday, August 29, 2010

Was 1% the target of Sri RMS

Was 1% of users the target of Sri RMS? Did he envision the Free as in freedom for only 1% of the computer using population? Why am i getting this doubt? The reason for the doubt is that as years are rolling by the number of desktopers using free as in freedom software have not increased in any possible mathematical curves. Yes, there has been lot of activity on the freedom software front to ape windows, osX so as to draw those users to the freedom software front. But I dont think that it is a good idea at all. There are niche users who will use osX at any cost. There are very few users who can tell the same thing about freedom software.

Does it mean that we should be happy at whatever we have achieved and continue to satisfy the loyal customer who are into freedom software at any cost? Yes. We should continue the work which sri RMS has started with the same ideals without any addition or deletion which would dilute the ideals of freedom.

Why is my logic correct. Users are not bothered about the technology behind any product. They are happy until the product serves their needs. They are not bothered whether it is propreitory or free or anything else until their job is done. They are going to go and search for alternatives only when the product ceases to function or it is affecting their other jobs for which the product is intended to. This has happened over many centuries and it is going to happen once again. When it does happen and all the users are chained to propreitory software and these companies start to force the people sit, walk, talk and do all other thing in propreitary ways which will make their life one bored one.

Human civilization has always fought oppression. The fight will happen and the revolution will start and you know the most important thing, the very people who are chaining human civilization with propreitory solutions, themselves, will enable this revolution and then the world, will be once again, FREE

At that juncture the freedom software revoluition will come to the aid of human civilization and stablize it once again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Debian GNU/Linux is "the" distro of the past and the future

We just celebrated the 17th birthday of Debian GNU/Linux about a couple of days ago. Now I come across a post on the public network questioning its relevance in the present world. Debian GNU/Linux is relevant is the present world and also to the future as much as it was in the past. Debian GNU/Linux gets as near to the "free as in freedom Dream OS for the world" envisioned by Sri RMS.

Debian GNU/Linux has stood the test of time over the past seventeen years. A project of such a magnitude having stood the test of time is in itself a magnanimous achievement. This is testament to the ideals for which the distribution has stood for all these years. Debian GNU/Linux is like the "ideal" democratic country. It is very difficult to achieve "ideal" conditions in any issue and if achieved still more difficult to maintain. Debian GNU/Linux is what is today because of its free software ideals and has been led by developers and maintainers who believe in those ideals.

I for one, believe in the ideology of Debian GNU/Linux and would continue using and spreading word about it for anybody who would like to have a "free as in freedom" computing experience.

Long live Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/Kfreebsd

Monday, August 16, 2010

17th Birthday of Debian Gnu Linux

Happy birthday debian. Debian is one of the first distributions to add the GNU/Linux tag to its name. This goes with the argument of RMS to call the entire "Linux" based system as GNU/Linux. It was started with a very clear focus in mind. To deliver an OS which was envisioned by RMS(complete with all the generic applications required for a normal user). The social contract is one of the best drafts I have seen except that of GPL v3 to hold the community together and to have between them a "social" well being. This concept in turn holds the distribution together with around 28,000 packages and counting.

If people thought maintaining the linux kernel was awesome, they should check out the number of developers, document writers, artists etc.. who contribute to the Debian GNU/Linux system. Infact Debian GNU/Linux is a tribute to the social attribute of human beings and is a living proof of the Democratic style of governing(Sri M. K. Gandhi always comes to my mind when I talk about anything related to sri RMS).

Thank u debian for allowing to do what I want with my computer. Thank u for giving me the feeling that I am indeed living in a democratic country with democracy at its heart.

Thanks a lot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Should the ownership of GPL'd code be handed over to FSF

I believe i have answered the question by not using the question mark at the end. I would suggest/appeal to all the free as in freedom software developers, docu writers and all contributors to hand over the ownership of the GPL'd software to the FSF. This would give the FSF a much needed push in fighting any infringements on the freedom software. It would make the individual/group/organization in question to think twice before using the GPL'd code. This in turn would result in them studying the GPL in depth understand it and think whether it suits their style of working or they want to re-invent the wheel.

Users would start appreciating the values hidden in the GPL. You never know there may be freedom software evangelist hiding in that jungle of the corporate world. Giving over the ownership of the freedom software to FSF would be the best option for small time developers/hobby developers who do not want to be bothered with the judicial issues. In this way FSF can develop a much comprehensive freedom software directory, which in turn would stop further freedom developers from re-inventing the wheel by plugging in the available software from the pool maintained by the FSF.

This would also make the entire world to awe at the enormous amount of software with the GPL. Above all, this would make me extremely happy and RMS a proud man.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ignorance of the general public to alternat operating systems

It is an astonishing fact that the major public(my friends, colleagues) are ignorant about the alternate operating systems available. I can quote a few reasons
1. No need to look beyond the windows as majority of their requirements are met
2. Call up the local assembler and re-install the windows in case of viruses.
3. Be ignorant about the virus and assume the Operating systems are such.
4. During their academic journey they did not come across alternate os or even know about it.
5. If they do remember, it maybe for an odd project.
6. They are bothered about the application rather than underlying os.
7. They just use only Office.
8. They dont know that they have paid for the os when they bought their shiny new laptops.
9. They did not pay for the os when they bought their assembled desktops.
10. They dont know that there can be a situation where it can be made difficult for "anybody" to write a virus.

In this context I would like to bring to notice a few remarks I have heard relating to my passion

1. How much are they paying you to put up an advertisement related to GNU/Linux(I have it written on the back of my car and on my doors)
2. Laugh at me for supporting such a small and a foolish reason.
3. Think that the whole thing I am supporting is plain dull.

I have tried many a times to explain things. But to no avail. This does not mean that I am giving up ideologies for "free as in freedom" software world
Infact, seeing this response has spurred a new energy in me and proved to me beyond doubt that RMS is dead right and the free software revolution has
to gain momentum.

Jai Ho RMS.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Giving back to the community

There appear to be innumerable number of distributions built around Debian GNU/Linux. That's good. But are all these distros(spinoffs) giving back anything (at all) to the debian pool. I do not think so.The biggest user ie, Ubuntu has really not given back much to the debian community or to their desktop counterpart, Gnome. There has been a lot of discussion over this aspect over the public network. But for me the crux of the matter is that spinoffs should give back the improvements to the base distros which in turn would strengthen their own base.

This would result in a healthy concept of not "Re-inventing the wheel". It is now public that Apple in the course of developing a new age OS chose a free bsd base with the Mach microkernel which was "free as in freedom" software to come out with Mac os X(ten not X). But how much has been give back is quite obvious by the fact that we do not have a usable GNU/Linux distro with Darwin base. The graphical shell which apple prides and has all the computer illiterates drooling over it is very much a propreitory property. Imagine the state of GNU/Linux distros or GNU/bsd distros if the entire OS X was available with "free as in freedom" licenses. By now Apples os would have been put to shame by the FLOSS developer community by developing their own spins. And with every GNU/Linux droolable nothing would be special.

Majority of the FLOSS developers spend their time in re-inventing the wheel by writing parallel drivers for propreitory ones thereby wasting the valuable soft provess available in the world. This is a call to the entire FLOSS community to avoid re-inventing the wheel by sharing the improvemnts to the base distros. I think the reason for this has been to keep with themselves a USP which would make their own distro stand apart. All the distros would do themselves a lot of good if they started sharign "all" the improvements and continue the "free as in freedom" concept for the future generations to come.