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Poll: Do you use FOSS over Proprietary software?
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Do you use FOSS over Proprietary software?

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Results will be available after the polls close.

The nominees are:

I only use FOSS and have no proprietary software on my system
I use FOSS where possible, but use proprietary software since I need it
I always use proprietary software over the FOSS equivalent
I just install whatever

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Old 09-19-2007, 04:20 PM   #1
SilentSam
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Poll: Do you install FOSS over Proprietary


Hi All,

I do realize that this is a touchy subject, and the last thing I want to do is start a flame war, so play nice.

I was just wanting to get an idea of how most Linux users treat FOSS.

I for one try to use as much FOSS as possible, but when I find it lacking in performance, I tend to move on to proprietary software. For instance, I use KDE, which because of being Qt based I heard wasn't FOSS. There are others that I use, including nVidia drivers (to me, the lack of direct rendering in nv just doesn't cut it) and Sun's Java.

I fully respect the ideals of FOSS and try to support it whenever it's equivalent in performance to the proprietary version.

How about you?
 
Old 09-19-2007, 04:51 PM   #2
ilikejam
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FOSS if there's a piece of software that does what I need, but I'm OK with proprietary software if there's no option.

Currently running Adobe's Flash plugin, Unreal Tournament 2004, and the nVidia graphics driver.

P.S. QT is GPL for GPL projects, and Sun's Java is almost entirely open-source now (with the exception of some font rendering technology, I believe).

Dave
 
Old 09-19-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSam View Post
I fully respect the ideals of FOSS and try to support it whenever it's equivalent in performance to the proprietary version.
I'd like to counter that with a question if I may.
If you find F/OSS lacking, do you try help out improving it at all?
If not, don't you think that's a somewhat consumerist attitude?

I use F/OSS personally and professionally *because of* performance reasons. Of course it all depends on your definition of performance. For me it's not eyecandy or games but mostly related to (CLI) tools, services, the way it provides me with more opportunities to Do Stuff and allows me to manipulate stuff way faster. When I use proprietary SW it's mostly because of the whole "proven in court" thing.
 
Old 09-19-2007, 08:36 PM   #4
SilentSam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unSpawn View Post
If you find F/OSS lacking, do you try help out improving it at all?
If not, don't you think that's a somewhat consumerist attitude?
Unfortunately, my knowledge of coding really restricts my ability to contribute to any sort of FOSS program. I do submit detailed bug reports to whoever is willing to accept them, but unfortunately am not in a position to improve on someone else's code. There are cases where I feel I can't contribute at all, for instance I don't use the nv driver since I need direct rendering, and I'm completely unable to write a driver.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 05:56 AM   #5
crashmeister
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I use whatever gets the job done - if FOSS can get it done I prefer it.

What is FOSS anyway?

Depends on who you ask and then you are in muddy waters already - for some the GPL3 is bad others think the BSD license is pure evil,the next guy will tell you that the CDDL marks the end of the world and at the end devs spend more time haggling over licenses than anything else.

Altough this has a certain entertainment value it is counterproductive.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 09:44 AM   #6
lazyFoot_theMighty
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Mostly I use whatever works best. But my preference is definitely for FOSS. For example I will use eclipse with the JDK instead of gcj. But, given the choice I always use and do my best to support FOSS projects.
Interesting result so far.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 10:43 AM   #7
lleb
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there are a few applications that FOSS just does not have or does not do near as good a job as the pricey stuff.

i am not opposed to paying people/companies for their hard work when it really is the best out there.

for me that includes some games and Adobe Premiere for video editing.

i have a few other tools that are windows only like alcohol 120% and diskeeper for defragging the mess that windows makes of it self etc, but for the most part i would say better then 80% of the tools on my windows box are FOSS and 100% of the tools on my linux box are FOSS.

on my iMAC's for office suite i use OO.o, plus FF and T-bird, but sadly that is all. the rest is proprietary or came with the OS. i do more productivity on my iMACs as that is what i use for my business.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 10:56 AM   #8
lleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unSpawn View Post
I'd like to counter that with a question if I may.
If you find F/OSS lacking, do you try help out improving it at all?
If not, don't you think that's a somewhat consumerist attitude?

I use F/OSS personally and professionally *because of* performance reasons. Of course it all depends on your definition of performance. For me it's not eyecandy or games but mostly related to (CLI) tools, services, the way it provides me with more opportunities to Do Stuff and allows me to manipulate stuff way faster. When I use proprietary SW it's mostly because of the whole "proven in court" thing.
to counter your counter points...

1. if one is lacking the skills or knowledge to improve something how can they?
2. not every linux user or FOSS user for that matter is a coder.

i know next to nothing when it comes to code other then a little bit of HTML and that does not count for much.

performance for me is, does it do the job i need it to do and does it do it well, plus if it is a tool that others must access (accountant or other professional) then is it a tool that person will be able to use fully to my benefit.

1. QuickBooks Pro is not great, but my CPA uses it, my wife is accustom to it and she is my CFO so i pay for QB Pro every few years. plus it runs in OSx native.

2. Adobe Premiere there is no FOSS tool that can touch it. end of discussion. I have tried just above every FOSS video editing tool out there and none of them can touch Premiere. Not even Final Cut pro is as good as Premiere when it comes down to the power, tools, options, speed, and stability.

3. Games, well ya just do not have FOSS games that can compete with Proprietary games. find me a FOSS game as good as WoW (world of warcraft) or as good as The Overlord, or CnC3 (command and conquer 3) they are not out there.

So to counter your counter how does someone like myself who MUST have specific tools to run his business without any coding experience help the FOSS community when there are no tools to compete with the proprietary tools, or the FOSS tools are so lacking in capability they are as good as not there in the first place.

I help the FOSS community by making as many people aware of the good FOSS tools out there and help explain why it is a good idea to use them over other tools when possible.

FF and thunderbird are 2 perfect examples of great FOSS tools that everyone can use. OO.o is an other one, but not everyone can use them YET depending on their business model. I for one would love to see ODF become the universal standard and thus making OO.o a viable option for EVERYONE not just the consumer at their home, but for business too.
 
Old 09-20-2007, 12:53 PM   #9
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSam View Post
I do submit detailed bug reports to whoever is willing to accept them
I was just wondering because a lot of people find it damn easy to just say "this sucks" and then ditch it w/o reporting, which doesn't do anyone any good. I applaud your efforts, definately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentSam View Post
but unfortunately am not in a position to improve on someone else's code (...) I'm completely unable to write a driver.
Well, that's the perception a lot of people have, that you need to be a kernel level or device driver guru, but it ain't always necessary. Dedicated testing usually helps *a lot*, but there's more roles that together make the product. For instance documenting things is frowned upon a lot (ask about any coder ;-p), but good documentation makes it *a lot* easier for people to test things more efficiently, faster. Same goes for packaging, website, SVN, bug tracker or Wiki maintainer, QA, mailing list moderator or just even spilling ideas on a mailing list could help. It doesn't seem obvious but consider a medium or small project where every project member is responsable for multiple tasks: advertising the product (Freshmeat, Sourceforge, news sites, blog, mailing lists), following up on bug reports, handling the mailing list, testing, packaging. All that sub/distracts from what this person should be doing: improving the code. See? There's a lot of roles that *together* make the product what it is and as you see each one is equally important IMNSHO because they support the others.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 05:34 AM   #10
wolfger
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If I have a choice between FOSS that works good and proprietary, I will always choose FOSS. If I have a choice between FOSS that is inadequate (nv driver, FOSS flash implementations) and proprietary, I always choose proprietary. I also like songs and movies, and those codecs are often proprietary (mp3, wmv, dvd). It is virtually impossible for the typical user to have a FOSS-only computer (note, I did say *typical* user... it's certainly possible to be FOSS-only if you're willing to sacrifice a lot of functionality).
 
Old 10-02-2007, 07:49 AM   #11
Su-Shee
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FOSS only since 1993. Privately and earning my money with.

Technical questions aside - it's a political issue to me.

And as I don't game, it always was not that difficult, I rarely missed something.

I consider GPL, BSD, Apache, CC and several other licences as "free and open" enough for my political opinion and definition of "free and open".

Nevertheless, I support models like Trolltec's dual licensing model for Qt or think that distributors are a good thing, because they employ whole bunches of Open Source guys/gals.

And I support open and free licensing everywhere else - Open Access for scientific publications for example.

Open Foo is just my thing.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 08:03 AM   #12
b0uncer
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I usually like to get my work done (rather than tinker with different installers, old websites, gloomy download servers or foreign-language instructions), especially when I'm at work (and not playing around). Therefore I'll use the best software available to me; I don't see any particular reason to use a crappy software just because it's free or open in some way, if there is a really working solution around the corner. Money is another matter; I dislike paying tons for a program that I use sometimes, and if there is a low- or non-cost alternative, I do consider it. So it's a little difficult to say I only use FOSS or I only use proprietary software, or I think one is better for me than the other. Whatever suits me best in the current situation is what I choose..

Then again, when I have spare time I hardly force myself to use proprietary software. It's more fun, among other things, to use FOSS alternatives. So it depends also on what I'm doing; I would never think about using a proprietary IRC client (if there was any), but I would also never think about spending ten times longer at work just to be able to install&run some GNU programs where I could use something that is already working
 
Old 02-11-2008, 05:00 AM   #13
MikeP
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I think the poll results speak for themselves. The greater number of us would prefer FOSS, and it would appear that extends beyond just application and utility packages, it reaches as far as hardware drivers too, which just so happen to be one of the issues people have when trying Linux for the first time. Consider printers, scanners, 56k modems, peripheral devices, generation 2 ipods, there are literally hundreds of hardware devices that are not supported because of vendor disinterest, not to mention graphics drivers, high def audio and even bios updates.

Personally, I went out of my way to find FOSS equivalents to the windows programs I paid so much money for, and by and large, I have found more than 90% of them in FOSS, though it took me the better part of 12 months to get there. The remaining 10%, I can live without until I find another useful tool, but overshadowing all of that is the Out Of The Box experience for total hardware support being less than adequate when certain chip makers refuse to assist the open source developers with drivers.
 
  


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