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Old 08-23-2012, 06:13 AM   #16
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjthomas View Post
I use working Software. Slackware fits that catagory. As do other distros. As far as what is free and what is not, I really don't care, as long as it works. I have no problem with dowlnloading and installing nVidia drivers, Broadcom drivers, etc. I've even paid for some Linux Software, and distros. I've Bought SuSE and Mandrake. As long as it works for me I'm fine with it.

My $.02.

-JJ
This says it all....

The reason for having any kind of computer HW or SW is to get work done. Historically, idealism and getting things done have not always played well together.

When I go shopping for an OS, I'm looking for something that works. If it can also be open source---or even free of cost---that's nice also. In my current setup, I neither know nor care what kind of "contamination" has crept in.

There is no conflict in supporting the cause of open source while using proprietary.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 06:17 AM   #17
vharishankar
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deleted.

Last edited by vharishankar; 11-02-2012 at 12:34 PM.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 06:20 AM   #18
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You can always take out closed stuff you don't like, recompile the kernel without blobs etc. Slackware is flexible enough to allow the user to turn it into whatever he wants. I am one of those who tries to get as close to the FSF standard as possible unless it becomes too impractical... but I am not so stubborn to frown on proprietary stuff unless it has extremely stupid licenses.

By the way, it was an extremely stupid EULA what took me into FOSS and such.

Last edited by BlackRider; 08-23-2012 at 06:21 AM.
 
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:40 AM   #19
brianL
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I admire idealists like RMS, but wouldn't want to be one myself. I use whatever gets the best performance out of this machine: the Nvidia driver rather than the nouveau, for instance.
 
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:34 AM   #20
H_TeXMeX_H
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RMS is too extreme in many of his views. I disagree with a number of things he says.

However, I do believe in FLOSS and will always favor working FLOSS over proprietary software. I use nouveau now that it actually works to good degree. I like it better than the nvidia drivers in fact. I prefer using xrandr to set screen dimensions and layout, it is actually easier and quicker than the nvidia-settings, and I also like the framebuffer support that nouveau has and nvidia doesn't, and stability is better from what I see. There is no reason for me to use nivida when nouveau works well enough, and so I have gotten rid of nvidia for good.

I know that sometimes there have to be firmware binaries, which may be proprietary. But, this doesn't bother me too much, because it would be hard to develop firmware unless you are an expert, and honestly I would wait a while and see how stable it is before trying it. I consider firmware different from software, hence the different name. Firmware is much lower level and harder to reverse-engineer, especially without documentation.

So, my philosophy is always FLOSS as long as it works at an acceptable level. I ignore firmware in this, as it is not really software.

As for xv, you can remove it and use 'display' instead. I have done so, in an attempt to purge unnecessary proprietary software. However, I mostly care about the source being visible, more than whether the source can be changed or redistributed. It is more of an adaptive and realistic philosophy, unlike the strict and rather ignorant at times philosophy of RMS.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #21
Soderlund
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
I admire idealists like RMS, but wouldn't want to be one myself. I use whatever gets the best performance out of this machine: the Nvidia driver rather than the nouveau, for instance.
Spot on. To quote a famous book:
Quote:
To pursue ideals which will still be of value and significance for the future is generally not a very profitable undertaking and he who follows such a course is only very rarely understood by the mass of the people, who find beer and milk a more persuasive index of political values than far-sighted plans for the future, the realization of which can only take place later on and the advantages of which can be reaped only by posterity.

...

The position of the constructive political philosopher is quite different. The importance of his work must always be judged from the standpoint of the future; and he is frequently described by the word WELTFREMD, or dreamer.
Stallman is the idealist dreamer. The future will recognize the fundamental truth in his ideas, even if they are practically impossible to implement at the moment. I, too, need beer and milk from the non-free repository for my video card to work.
 
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:21 AM   #22
amani
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IMO, Stallman is a very practical person and is no dreamer. We need to go beyond what he says and work towards complete elimination of proprietary closed source s/w and h/w.

It is quite easy to run 100% free software on most PCs without binary blobs. For those who want to run binary blobs, companies like ati and nvidia have already taught enough lessons with their crapware.
 
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:58 PM   #23
qweasd
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I am slowly working through the sources of packages included in Slackware Linux 13.37 with the goal of creating a list of non-free packages. I may have covered 10% or so packages, but I already found several that are non-free. Specifically, some are non-commercial, some are "all rights reserved", and some are missing the freedom to distribute modified copies. And I haven't gotten to xv yet.

I think it's important to document these packages if only because Slackware is distributed commercially by Pat and is probably used by many in a commercial setting. Not being able to understand the licensing terms of Slackware Linux is a valid reason to reject its deployment in a commercial setting. Additionally, it would be nice (IMHO) if the core team could agree on something about either open-source or freedom and put it into the philosophy section. This would protect Slackware from encroachment of the proprietary software, which as we know is less ethical, less stable, and less secure.
 
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:33 PM   #24
Rodhlann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qweasd View Post
I am slowly working through the sources of packages included in Slackware Linux 13.37 with the goal of creating a list of non-free packages. I may have covered 10% or so packages, but I already found several that are non-free. Specifically, some are non-commercial, some are "all rights reserved", and some are missing the freedom to distribute modified copies. And I haven't gotten to xv yet.

I think it's important to document these packages if only because Slackware is distributed commercially by Pat and is probably used by many in a commercial setting. Not being able to understand the licensing terms of Slackware Linux is a valid reason to reject its deployment in a commercial setting. Additionally, it would be nice (IMHO) if the core team could agree on something about either open-source or freedom and put it into the philosophy section. This would protect Slackware from encroachment of the proprietary software, which as we know is less ethical, less stable, and less secure.
I think that's a really good initiative! The question perhaps is to know if these two ideas (non-free repository and a sort of social contract) are compatible with the whole slackware project and philosophy ?
Some distros do that in the past like gentoo. Their social contract is inspired by the debian social contract. It completes their philosophy page.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 01:46 PM   #25
AlleyTrotter
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Cheap or Frugal

My wife says I'm cheap.
My mother-in-law says I'm frugal.
I say if it's for free it's for me.

Slackware fits my philosophy very well.

John
 
Old 08-23-2012, 02:26 PM   #26
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qweasd View Post
I am slowly working through the sources of packages included in Slackware Linux 13.37 with the goal of creating a list of non-free packages. I may have covered 10% or so packages, but I already found several that are non-free. Specifically, some are non-commercial, some are "all rights reserved", and some are missing the freedom to distribute modified copies. And I haven't gotten to xv yet.
It is a good idea to make such a list. Make sure to list exactly what kind of license it has, because I don't mind no source redistribution. All I care about is seeing the source, not redistributing it or making modified copies.

If you want we can help, are you going through by category or just in alphabetical order ? If people want they can volunteer to go through a category or package whatever to whatever in a category. Just have a sample of what the list looks like so we can merge it when it is finished.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 02:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amani View Post
IMO, Stallman is a very practical person and is no dreamer. We need to go beyond what he says and work towards complete elimination of proprietary closed source s/w and h/w.

It is quite easy to run 100% free software on most PCs without binary blobs. For those who want to run binary blobs, companies like ati and nvidia have already taught enough lessons with their crapware.
I think amani has expressed it best. Regardless of what you think of RMS personally his message has always been the same that if you don't have access to the source code, can't change the source code and run your changes you don't have full control over your computer -- someone else controls it. We've seen this in recent years with features being removed from products and applications being barred from smart devices. The Free Open Source community would not exist today if it wasn't for the Free Software movement that RMS founded in the 1980's.

Whether one runs a completely Free OS like Trisquel or one mostly Free like Slackware is a personal choice, I think, but like the 10 Commandments it's important to keep the ideals in mind even if we don't live them all the time.

The movie Revolution OS which is available on YouTube points out that if it wasn't for the Apache project we'd all be using Windows and EI to access a "Microsoft-owned" Internet.

DNA
AKA mrascii

Last edited by mrascii; 08-23-2012 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Minor typo corrections
 
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #28
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrascii View Post
I think amani has expressed it best. Regardless of what you think of RMS personally his message has always been the same that if you don't have access to the source code, can't change the source code and run your changes you don't have full control over your computer -- someone else controls it.
How many times have you changed the source code to a program ? and if and when you did, did it really give you more control ?

What is important to me is not what I can do with the code, but that I can see it, and see that it is not full of malware or spyware or viruses, etc. Technically, I don't look at the source code of every program I install, but I sometimes do, and other people look at the code as well. All I ask is to be able to see the code.

The author of the program has all rights reserved either way, it's just that in using a FLOSS license they give away some rights, while always retaining the right to change the license to the program at any time. So, do not think that even by using only FLOSS you are free. No, you are on the edge of the proprietary. Sure, someone can fork an older open-source version in case the author makes it proprietary and you will be free again, but I don't think that RMS has a realistic perspective on this. I am also not criticizing his accomplishments, because he has accomplished a lot, and for that he deserves respect.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #29
cynwulf
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It's not important that you see the source, it is important that whoever puts your distro together can see it.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 04:45 PM   #30
mrascii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
How many times have you changed the source code to a program ? and if and when you did, did it really give you more control ?

What is important to me is not what I can do with the code, but that I can see it, and see that it is not full of malware or spyware or viruses, etc. Technically, I don't look at the source code of every program I install, but I sometimes do, and other people look at the code as well. All I ask is to be able to see the code.

The author of the program has all rights reserved either way, it's just that in using a FLOSS license they give away some rights, while always retaining the right to change the license to the program at any time. So, do not think that even by using only FLOSS you are free. No, you are on the edge of the proprietary. Sure, someone can fork an older open-source version in case the author makes it proprietary and you will be free again, but I don't think that RMS has a realistic perspective on this. I am also not criticizing his accomplishments, because he has accomplished a lot, and for that he deserves respect.
Seeing the source code is useless, even modifying the code is useless if your changes won't run. This is an issue GPLv3 addresses. Like you I don't look at source either and I'm not a programmer but if the program were important to my business I could hire a programmer to make changes for me. Without full access to the source my hands would be tied.

I've always felt that the ability to fork a project was a strong point for FOSS software. It's hard to hide what a program does or to disregard the wishes of the community. Xorg and Libre Offices are two examples of programs that came about because the community (dev/users) were unhappy with what the current maintainer was doing. If you can't change the source code someone else is controlling what you can and can not do with your computer. RMS saw this nearly 30 years ago and nothing has happened since to invalidate that.

OK, now I'm sounding like a zealot. Sorry.

DNA
AKA mrascii
 
  


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