Re: GNOME: lack of strategic roadmap


Richard Stallman wrote:
>     Software freedom is a means to furthering our vision of providing
>     technology to all, regardless of means, physical and technical
>     capability or culture.
> Freedom can lead to more available technology, but it is vital in its
> own right.  It is little benefit to have technology available
> if the price of using it is your freedom.  That is why we write
> free replacements for existing proprietary software.

To draw a parallel with slavery (hyperbole, I know, but humour me): Is
it enough to say "you're free now" for a society to be just? Is the goal
of freedom for all a sufficient vision, especially when that goal is
(more or less) accomplished today? Freedom from slavery is a means to an
end, the "end" being a just society with no racial discrimination and
equal opportunity for all.

I am speculating, but I imagine there were a great many slaves who, once
they had obtained their freedom, were reminiscent for the day when it
was their owner's responsibility to take care of them.

In the same way, freedom for computer users is a means to an end - that
end being that we provide a better computing environment than
proprietary alternatives, and not simply a functional free environment.

If a computer user can be free, but will end up with an inferior
computing environment because of it, he may welcome returning to a
proprietary environment, as many Mac OS X users & free software
developers have.

I'm just saying, that while user freedom is vital, it is insufficient as
a vision for the GNOME project.


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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