Re: Another try to get a response

On Wed, 19 Nov 2008, John Machin wrote:

On 19/11/2008 04:42, Andreas J. Guelzow wrote:
On Tue, 2008-11-18 at 09:34 -0800, George Dell wrote:
Thank you for engaging me on this issue.  While I am a deep
believer in freedom as you mention it I also need to be able
to have people (who understand none of the technospeak and
specialized words), able to get to an installed usable
version.  Even your answer leaves my head swimming...

Installing gnumeric is usually trivial and you don't even need
to go to the gnumeric web site.

If you are using Debian...

I'm not aware of any difficulty experienced by Windows users
installing free and open software like Firefox (competes with MS
Internet Explorer)  or (competes with Microsoft
Office). Their web pages seem to be lucid enough:

The story so far:

* George Dell -- who is obviously (to anyone who read his original
posting) running MS Windows -- remarks on the difficulty of
installing current gnumeric (or rather, finding an installer for
current gnumeric).

* Andreas G offers a basically irrelevant response that assumes a
Linux user.

* John Machin points out that some other free software projects,
in contrast to gnumeric, offer a relatively easy installation path
for users of MS Windows.

My 2 cents: It's a "philosophical" issue and there's no single
right answer.  Many if not most developers of free software abhor
MS Windows (yes, I'm speaking for myself here!), yet we have to
recognize that most computer users still run Windows.  Perhaps we
think they ought to get a clue and use something better than
Windows (as I do).  At the same time, if we think our program is
really good, we probably want to make it available to people who
persist in running Windows.

This is clear: No free software project "owes the world" an MS
Windows version.  But if a project such as gnumeric _does_ decide
to make an such a version available, then IMO it should do so with
good grace.  By this I mean, the MS Windows version should be
easily identifiable by Windows-users who visit the project's
website looking for a download: "Installer for MS Windows HERE..."

Allin Cottrell

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