Re: Non-free software and GNOME (The conclusion)

On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 11:43:22PM -0500, Michael Meeks was heard to remark:
>         It would be wonderful if this discussion could be discontinued,
> and we could go back to actualy writing Free(sic) software. So let me
> fan the flames a tad ;-)

Hey, this is an important conversation, one whose outcome may determine
the future of gnome.

>         Lets pack the community full of people that don't share our
> vision, or love of Free software - the more the merrier ! lets really try
> and fill the community full of commercial developers who contribute
> nothing to Freedom, dilute our ethic and distract us from producing a
> fully Free system.

I hope you're being sarcastic.   Presumably, 5 or 10 years ago, you had
never heard of FSF or its goals and ideals.  Somwehere along the way,
you discovered FSF, and probably only graudually: it took you years to
go from being a casual user to a full-fledged 'true beleiver'.  (At
least, that is what it took me).

The point I want to make is that you cannot create hundreds of thousands
of FSF converts in one day.  It takes time.  First, newcomers have to
discover Gnome/Gnu/etc. (this means marketing).  Next, they have to 
'steep' or 'marinate' in the culture for a while.  This means that
you have to allow the expression of opposing viewpoints until they
finally come around to seeing things in the 'GNU' way.

Sure, those who make proprietary software may seem like crass vultures
trying to make a quick buck off the backs of hundreds of volunteers.
But the hope is that as they become more deeply enmeshed in the culture,
they start contributing back to the movement; at first, with bug fixes,
later with enhancements, finally, with entire GPL'ed projects.   

My goal is to expand the number of GPL developers, by allowing and
encouraging 'infidels' to write GPL'ed code.  Advertising proprietary
software is a small price to pay if these same people will also develop
new GPL'ed code.


pub  1024D/01045933 2001-02-01 Linas Vepstas (Labas!) <linas linas org>
PGP Key fingerprint = 8305 2521 6000 0B5E 8984  3F54 64A9 9A82 0104 5933

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