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

Ernest De Leon edeleonjr at gmail.com
Thu Mar 13 15:26:54 PDT 2008

This has been a pretty long winded post, but I feel that this type of
argument perpetuating itself is one of the reasons that some people view
Stallman as a cook and why Ubuntu has leaped over debian and slapped them on
the way over.  In the end, when all of the zealotry is put aside, you must
remember that the user experience is all that matters.  This is why Mac has
been gaining in popularity slowly but steadily (and I am not a fan of Mac.)
It would be much harder to convince a Mac user to leave Mac than a windows
user to leave windows.  (Please don't let this start a fLame war.)
Furthermore, you must also realize that the OS is just a platform for people
to use.  Whether it is work, play or something else, it is just an
interface.  I am all for the things that Linux and FOSS proper stand for,
but I am not going to get all worked up about any of it.  I love Linux (and
have for almost 14 years now) and want it to grow as fast as possible
without problems.  If someone wants to bicker over what makes up FOSS or if
a plugin, in a browser, on an OS, running on a kernel, on some hardware
should make a difference, then that person has way too much time on their
hands.  If you don't want to call it FOSS, call it a purple pig then.  Who
really cares?  The fact of the matter is that someone is being introduced to
a new operating system that enables them to do whatever they want to do.  If
it has a proprietary plugin installed to make the user experience easier and
better, then I'm all for it.  Bickering over stupid issues is why debian is
as stagnant as our economy and why other distributions are running with
innovation.  I seriously doubt calling a box with a flash plugin installed a
FOSS box is deliberately misleading.  Technically, flash is free (maybe a
different definition of free, but free none the less.)  All I know is that
the user experience has been enhanced for many people, no is suffering
because of it, and Linux is flourishing.  If you ask me, that's the best any
of us could ask for.

2008/3/13 Christian Einfeldt <einfeldt at gmail.com>:

> hi
> On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 9:50 AM, Tyler Trafford <ttrafford at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > This is the real deal breaker for FOSS for many of the Windows newbies
> > > -- not being able to see YouTube and similar sites.
> >
> > Hmm interesting, I just tried swfdec on my 32bit machine and Youtube and
> > Google Video do not work, although they work great with the same version
> > of the plugin on a 64bit machine.
> Yeah, I believe that locked down media formats are one of the major
> impediments to global adoption of Free Software.  We simply must increase
> our installbase so that websites will choose to contribute to Free codec
> projects and support Free codecs on their sites.  As long as we are chasing
> locked down formats, we will have a hard time making headway with newbies.
> I view the survival of Free Software as depending on widespread adoption.
> If we don't win a greater majority, we will be coded and legislated into
> obscurity.  Free Software could still get pushed into an irrelevant corner
> such that paid lobbyists by Microsoft and Adobe could adopt legislation that
> favors proprietary code and discourages the use of Free Software.
> One simple way that this could be done is by appointing judges who are
> hostile to the GPL.  AFAIK, there is not a single appellate case upholding
> the validity of the GPL.  There are lots of trial court cases in which the
> trial courts have acted as if the GPL is valid, but all it would take is one
> or two prominent appellate courts weakening the GPL to kill it.  We need to
> make the FOSS installbase so broad that no appellate court would consider
> killing it, for fear of creating economic instability.
> I have not done any legal research to see if, in fact, there are appellate
> courts that have ruled on the GPL, but I don't recall reading of any such in
> my daily browsing of /. and Digg and FSdaily.  Maybe someone else here has a
> better knowledge of the status of appellate case law on FOSS.  It is really
> important to understand that, in the US, statutes alone are viewed by
> lawyers and judges as offering little guidance to interpreting the
> applicability of contracts and statutes in actual cases and controversies.
> It is bad form in a law-and-motion hearing to cite only a statute in most
> cases; a law-and-motion judge almost always wants to know how a statute will
> be interpreted by an appellate court in the case before him or her, because
> judges care most about their rate of being overruled.  Judges don't like to
> be seen as mavericks, and they don't like to stand out from the herd, and
> being overruled on can sometimes, but not always, be frustrating and
> embarrassing for judges.  It makes other judges talk about them in
> disparaging ways, sometimes.
> Law-and-motion judges are the judges who hold hearings on motions to have
> cases kicked out of court.  Sometimes those judges are the same judges who
> try the cases, although not always.  It depends on the jurisdiction.
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Ernest de Leon

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety." - A common 18th Century sentiment
voiced by Benjamin Franklin

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his
government." - Edward Abbey

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -
Edmund Burke, English statesman and political philosopher (1729-1797)
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