[sf-lug] "Educating Tux: case studies of Linux deployments in high schools around the world"

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Tue Mar 11 18:29:48 PDT 2008


On Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 3:54 PM, Asheesh Laroia <asheesh at asheesh.org> wrote:

> Yes, but he objects to your use of the term FOSS to describe something
> that isn't entirely FOSS.  Not to your actions, simply to your words.

 I understand, but what is a more appropriate term?  This is, after all, the
San Francisco _Linux_ Users Group, not the San Francisco GNU/Linux Users
Group.  This list varies widely in its use of "Free Software" and "Open
Source Software" and Linux and GNU/Linux and FOSS, etc.

So if flash is let's say 2 MB and the overall Ubuntu distro, which is on the
boxes that we all (including Rick) installed during the March 1 installfest,
and if the size of the image before installing is 700 MB, then Flash
constitutes 0.2% of the packages on the boxes that SF-LUG is giving out via
the school.

So if we are going to say that anything but gNewSense is non-Free or
non-FOSS, then that pretty much means that all of us on the list are using
non-Free software, and hence the nature of this group is a proprietary
software group.  That, of course, is a counter-intuitive result, and
inconsistent with the culture of this list.  99% of us on this list have a
wee little bit of non-Free packages installed on our boxes.  It is our
culture and our common practice.  This is not the San Francisco Free
Software Group.  This is the San Francisco Linux Users Group.  So my use of
the term FOSS to describe the boxes that are going home with the students is
entirely consistent with the culture and practice of this list.

At any rate, I am also sure that most of us would rather be using only
gNewSense.  I know that I would, and I am looking forward to the day when
Gnash is a good replacement for Flash.  Currently, it is not.

I would much rather introduce 20 students to boxes with 0.2% non-Free
packages than see them go without computers at home, or have them use
Microsoft Windows  or Apple products at home.

Also, anyone who comes by the school on Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm is free
to install whatever OS they would like.  We have lots and lots of boxes, and
I am not particular about the distros that are around me, except that I
don't generally use Gentoo or Slackware or Linspire or Xandros or SLED for
various reasons.  But if someone wants to install any of those distros on
these boxes, who am I to say they should not?

Up to this point, I have been mostly just been installing Flash on the Gutsy
boxes that were imaged on March 1 and giving them out to kids.  I have also
been putting other packages on there as well, but they are all Free Software
packages, such as GNU Denemo, for example.
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