Re: GNOME: lack of strategic roadmap

On Wed, 2010-02-24 at 11:16 +0100, Dave Neary wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.

This is very well said Dave.

While freedom is an important factor in life, it is not the only
defining factor for quality of life. At the end of the day, most of us
want a certain level of comfort too.

We need a strong vision and strategy to become best of breed in
software. Merely being free will only please the ascetic who can live of
mental joy, but it will never capture a significant market, which in the
end just means that you'll slowly become irrelevant.


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