View Full Version : I'm writing a paper - help me argue for free software :)
Mar 14th 2007, 08:30 AM
I'm working on writing a simple argument paper. I decided to argue for free software as my topic. Could anyone list some basic reasons why people should switch to free software and reasons against? I don't need anything comprehensive, just a starting point. The only thing I really know is that I've been using Linux for almost a year, and it's the best OS I've ever used :D
Mar 14th 2007, 08:52 AM
FSF (http://www.fsf.org/) , OSI (http://www.opensource.org/)
Mar 14th 2007, 10:18 AM
I'm delighted with my Linux system and I hope never to spend another nickel on MS-anything, but I will provide a contrarian (for this forum's community) view, for the sake of your argument.
1. It seems "free" in Linux-speak is based on the premise that your time is worthless, if you happen not to have already memorized all the bash shell commands and their zillion switches and options. You may save hundreds or even a couple of thousand dollars on proprietary software for your computer, but you will do so at the cost of many, many hours of your time.
2. With no unifying, organizing structure such as you find in a commercial enterprise, it seems you get dozens of file managers, CD players, and desktop eye-candy packages for your Linux system, but not one fully-functional Motorola cell phone interface package. (There are other examples of missing Linux packages, such as a high-performance image management database -- I just picked the one that is on my mind today). A commercial enterprise focuses its resources on developing what its leadership perceives as the most wanted/needed software, in order to offer it for a price that the market is willing to pay for the value. I see no such focus in the free software community -- it's more like "every artist follows his own muse".
Just a couple of thoughts for your consideration ....
May 30th 2007, 07:21 PM
I love the idea of "every artist following their own muse." Some of the most creative solutions have come from that into Linux. One of the reasons I like Linux is it is so customizeable. I really think that the way my desktop is set up is really efficient, but I am sure many would disagree.
As far as your paper goes, I think there are two directions that you could go with "free software." Free as in beer, and free as in speech. There is a lot about this on other websites by people much smarter than I, but, free, as in beer, software is what attracted me to Linux, and free, as in speech is what makes this software rock!
May 30th 2007, 07:33 PM
Look up the names Richard M. Stallman and Eric S. Raymond. Read some of the things they've written.
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