[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[gNewSense-users] Re: gNewSense-users Digest, Vol 5, Issue 5

From: Peter Rock
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Re: gNewSense-users Digest, Vol 5, Issue 5
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2007 17:14:14 +0100

Message: 4
Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2007 21:56:51 +0200
From: Yavor Doganov <address@hidden>
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Re: Freedom and webapps
To: address@hidden
Message-ID: <87sldo9vuk.GNU'address@hidden>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

I suggest to continue this discussion off-list in order not to annoy
the rest of the subscribers (this proposal is to everybody
interested, not solely to Peter).

I think this is a valid conversation that applies to this list. I
encourage people who are not interested to simply skip it. We may pick
up others who can offer a different but valid point of view or clarify
something we are both missing. I don't see why anyone on a gNewSense
list would be upset about a discussion concerning software freedom. :)

Likewise, but remember: The goal of the Free Software movement is to
liberate everyone.

We can only point to the door. We cannot make people walk through it.

> > However, the companies that used to develop non-free (web)apps in
> > the past days have become mega-corporations.

I understand that corporate entities are a major issue. However, in
the context of free software, the only question is "what is the status
of the software's copyright and patent portfolio". So long as these
come up clean, it matters not if the software is engineered and
distributed by a corporation or not.

I think that if I vote for something through a webapp, or if I place a
bet for horse races, or if I order a remittance to my bank, or if I
buy a mips machine from the US through eBay, or merely any operation I
can think of, I have the moral right to know how that system works.

Of course. So make sure the webapp you are told to use is free
software. Or the voting machine or banking machine...etc. Every
machine that you own or are told to use as a citizen should run only
free software.

There is not even one reason for anybody to hide the source code of
any software,

I disagree. I don't see any reason for anybody to publicly distribute
software and hide its source code, but I think people should have the
right to make software and keep their source code secret.

nor to deny you the freedoms that we enjoy for the
software we have currently installed on our machines.

Of course.

The only reason
I can think of is domination, control and enslavement.  Doesn't this
bother you?

Richard Stallman kept the source code for Emacs secret for quite some
time. And I have no problem with that. If he had distributed it under
copyirhgt and kept the source code secret, then yes - that is
domination and control.

Well, if you see Google as the only "user" of their software, e.g. if
you don't consider yourself as a "user", then I guess there is no
moral dillema for you.

I don't use their software. I use their services, and fully understand
that I do not have complete (nor can have complete) knowledge over how
the data I pass along through their system is manipulated. The dilemma
I'm currently having is watching Google make decisions that are
abusive to human rights (i.e. censorship). But, even if their
search-engine software was free software, it ultimately runs on their
server so they have control over it. So, free or not is not related to
censorship in this case. So, I am considering moving away from Google
services because they are abusing the position they are in, not
because of free or non-free software issues.

The case with Skype is different. Skype is software installed on the
user's machine. And since it is proprietary, censorship is conducted
on the actual users machine. Skype is colluding with China and this is
possible only because Skype is proprietary. This means the user is not
incontrol of the software they use.

> I am not fighting for anything else in this context.

This explains a lot.  My understanding of freedom goes far beyond the
software freedom (it is only one aspect).

Of course. This is why I qualified what I wrote with "in this
context". It would be absurd to assume that I believe the word
"freedom" to apply only to software.

> > Now you may think whether your choice is poor, innocent or whatever.
> I don't think anything at this juncture as using Google's services
> doesn't force me to install proprietary software. Of course, if I woke
> up tomorrow morning and found that I HAD to install proprietary code
> to do a task I wanted to do, then I wouldn't even think of continuing
> to use these services.

The day when this happens, you (well, perhaps not you, but many
others) will be so addicted and so dependent on these services, your
productivity and experience will be so much improved as a consequence
of using them, that you'll ignore the issue.

This is already happening. For example, I can't watch YouTube without
using some workaround.

Most people are so oblivious they do not even think twice about
installing Flash. This is a problem but as I said, we can only point
to the door. We can't force others to walk thruogh it.

If you feel like this, there's nothing I can do to persuade you, and I
will stop trying.

Please do not stop. I'm simply not sure what it is you are trying to
persuade me/others about.

ICQ/AIM/MSN, secret protocols, web applications
that are not released as free software -- these are things that I'll
avoid at any cost, as I feel there's no fundamental difference between
them and, say, GNU Emacs.

I don't understand what you mean here.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]