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Old 09-04-2014, 11:12 PM   #16
ReaperX7
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Hardly. You should ask about my feelings on the GPL license as well. It'd probably give you a heart attack and have me green lighted for execution over what I think of the GPL license, but that's another topic.

There's no issues behind the software anyone chooses to use free, commercial, non-commercial, or limited-free. You use what works best for the situation on the whole, and trying to "cleanse" a Linux system only limits the support vectors the non-Libre project is willing to offer to be more supportive.

There are plenty of arguments both for and against binary-only OEM software and other free/non-free software for GNU/Linux, and honestly, the "for" arguments do make a lot more sense, in my opinion. Those are better support in some cases especially hardware support, more software options in many cases, and competitiveness in all cases.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:57 AM   #17
moisespedro
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My problem is: I like consuming media, and media and libre usually doesn't go along too well.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:54 AM   #18
qweasd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salparadise View Post
I came across a site that offers instructions on how to "sanitise Slackware" so it's fully libre-software only.

http://www.freeslack.net/

It took me the time it takes for a normal full install, plus the various steps to blacklist the non-libre bits, install a libre kernel and then update via slackpkg. Now running as expected - no issues so far.

Would be great to see this as a stand alone distro.
I started FreeSlack as a documentation project and not a fork because I thought, and still think a fork would be overkill. In other words, no one could possibly need it. On one hand, there is already Dragora: a very similar distribution which is active, FSF-approved, and free by design. On the other hand, and I hope you don't mind me being blunt, I think any OS distribution should be ashamed not to provide a free flavor. Binary blobs are one big backdoor surface, with companies and people getting caught red-handed all the time. A distribution which has no option to omit non-free software is insecure by design, and those of us who just want security (and the stability it entails ) would be foolish to use it. But more to the point: a distribution like that is what they call a lemon, and last time I checked, Slackware was vanilla.

So I think the best thing we as a community can do is to explore the possibility of making an official flavor. I use Slackware because it's BY FAR the best distribution overall, code + people. I know how to deblob it, I am happy to share with others who care, and feel no urge to even use a fork, let alone make one.

Getting off-topic now, someone said "people like FSF are biased". The reality is more nuanced. I happen to be an associate member, but I, like many others I suppose, do not subscribe to everything they say. In particular, while I empathize with their ethical argument, I personally didn't give an @$$ until I grokked the security implications of working with blobs. And anyway, I think that a utilitarian argument involving security and consumer rights would be a better ethical argument for today.

I also think that the feud with Debian is stupid and unfortunate--tragic even, because inescapable, since no spiritual movement can ever be friends with a democracy. Lovers--may be, but that would end worse than R&J. I personally tell people to get Debian, because it's free. The reality is more important than a certification.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:23 AM   #19
kikinovak
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On a side note: I don't know if anyone here remembers Kongoni GNU/Linux, a very nice Slackware spinoff with a ports-like packaging system la FreeBSD or Gentoo. The distribution was really nice, crisp and clean, but its founder A. J. Venter decided it should be a 100 % libre distribution.

As far as libre distributions are concerned, I have a perfectly ambivalent state of mind. We wouldn't all be where we are if it weren't for Richard Stallman and the GNU project. On the other hand, I rarely choose the hardware that gets thrown at me, and if I can't get some networking card to work, or if there is no way to have a dual monitor setup with my video card, the experience is more frustrating than everything else.

In practice, Kongoni's forum got more or less flooded with messages from folks who tried desperately to get their hardware to work, or who had a hard time figuring out their multimedia stuff. A. J. Venter patiently explained the ideals of free software to every single one of these users, until most of them deserted Kongoni and he himself eventually called it quits.
 
Old 09-05-2014, 06:10 AM   #20
ReaperX7
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Hardware can be a huge decisive factor. Laptops especially can be a royal pain depending on the hardware involved.

Libre is a nice goal, but it's one of many, but the path you take is according to needs, not specifications of an organization from outside. It would be nice if Libre had everything including the kitchen sink, but until then you have to be flexible.

A weird example: In many ways I use a Libre stylized Windows OS, if you can call it that. I use no commercial software, only freeware, free open source software, and non-commercial and my disk was an educational copy.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:19 AM   #21
Drakeo
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I think freeslaack is another option of a tool.
Do not think Slackware is no more or less a tool with many tools that come with it. I am free to use the operating system as free as I want. It is on my machine and my machine I own and trust me since it is in my house I own that tool do not ever think twice. I am free to use what ever tools needed to get the job done.
So as free software gpl3 or what ever it is my freedom I look at. And by gpl3 and opensource stuff hey it is all tools.
So for one man to say hey only this type of licenced software you should only run? is that freedom?

Keep your tools happy
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:27 AM   #22
ReaperX7
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Freedom and liberty of choice always matter, but you should have complete liberty to make choices freely also.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:26 AM   #23
bassmadrigal
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I certainly understand and appreciate the FSF philosophy. I try to run free as in speech software whenever possible. But I am also not willing to take a performance hit for ideals (sometimes, it's not even a performance hit... things may just not work without it like with certain wireless cards). That is why I will install flash-player, binary drivers, device firmware, and the like. But if there's a good alternative that is open-source, I am likely to use it (keyword being good... gnash is not a good replacement for flash for my usage).

But I am extremely grateful for the choices I have available to me to choose what type of free software I want to use. I applaud people who aren't willing to go against their ideals by running free as in beer software. I felt like that back when I first switched my laptop to Linux permanently over a decade ago. It seemed like many things were a lot easier if I would just load up Windows, but you get a sense of satisfaction when you stick to your ideals and make it work anyway. Bravo to qweasd for putting together something awesome like FreeSlack and bravo for the people willing to go through the extra hoops to stick to your ideals on using libre software

Hopefully things can continue to open up more. Open source drivers for video cards have improved immensely over the years and continue to do so. It seems to take me longer and longer to feel the need to install a proprietary video driver whenever I reinstall Slack on my desktop.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:30 AM   #24
GazL
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What happened with Opera was a wake-up call for me. I was using it for web, mail and rss, and while it wasn't perfect at any of them, as an overall package it was really nice, and I'd come to depend on it. Then one day, Opera announce that they're abandoning it to go off and make a chromium derivative with non of the features I've come to rely on.

Now, while I don't generally have a problem sticking with an old version of something that still works, for a web-browser/email program the security risks of remaining on an abandoned version are just too high.

If Opera-12.xx had been OpenSource, then I'm sure this extreme change of direction would have resulted in a fork. Sadly, this wasn't possible because it was proprietary and as a consequence I've lost a valuable tool. So, while I'm not rabidly in the FSF camp (and I'm really not a fan of the GPL - I prefer the bsd license), I won't let myself become dependent on proprietary software again. Put simply: it may not be there tomorrow... just like "the cloud".
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:43 AM   #25
brianL
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Nouveau seems to be working better for me now than previously (Slack64 14.1, GTS 450 graphics card). I'm not into gaming, so I'll stick with it. Still using Adobe Flash, though. I'm 20% idealist, 80% pragmatist.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:04 AM   #26
Randicus Draco Albus
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My Nvidia card works better with the nouveau driver than a non-free Nvidia driver.
 
Old 09-05-2014, 09:15 AM   #27
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
My Nvidia card works better with the nouveau driver than a non-free Nvidia driver.
I can't see any difference on 14.1, whereas the nouveau was useless on 14.0.
 
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:33 AM   #28
moisespedro
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The open source radeon driver is pretty good too
 
Old 09-05-2014, 10:12 AM   #29
thirdm
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Originally Posted by moisespedro View Post
Debian still ships binary blobs
Well, yes and no. They ship binary blobs without source in the non-free area (apparently there are also firmware blobs that have source code that make it into the main distro). At the same time they define the Debian distro as not including contrib and nonfree. It's a nice pragmatic balance between their ideal of spreading awareness and nudging towards pure free software while still fulfilling the part of their social contract to help users get what they need or want.

This freeslack idea seems another good approach to arrive at such a compromise by helping people understand better what's not free software in Slackware. At the same time, by not being a full on derivation, it doesn't diffuse use and sales of Slackware itself. I like it.

--
Who is Johann Galtung?
 
Old 09-05-2014, 10:19 AM   #30
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
This freeslack idea seems another good approach to arrive at such a compromise by helping people understand better what's not free software in Slackware. At the same time, by not being a full on derivation, it doesn't diffuse use and sales of Slackware itself. I like it.
Or if someone has the time, it could be packaged as an alternate ISO:
Slackware 15 x86 Install ISO
Slackware 15 x86_64 DVD ISO
Slackware Libre 15 x86 Install ISO
Slackware Libre 15 x86_64 DVD ISO
 
  


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