[Linux-aus] Why we love Open Source and Free Software

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 09:16:02 UTC 2007

On 1/29/07, Jeff Waugh <jdub at perkypants.org> wrote:

> Why do *you* love Open Source and Free Software?
> - Jeff
> [1] *not* "Linux"

Why does that have to be binary?
Surely we can like open source and free software and Linux.
My angle on this is that people recognise Linux long before they grok foss.
Linux as an org is a gateway to understanding foss.
Hanging around with people that use Linux can be a first step to
understanding the
principles which underpin the community and technologies.
FOSS is a great campaign and a great event focus but it appeals to
people who already know. We sell software freedom day with
technologies that people recognise, often people say, oh you mean
Linux. Linux at least at this stage is something people can join when
they use a CD to see what other people do when they use the software.
This might shift as DMCA gets some foothold and people start thinking
about freedom before they think about Linux, but there are so many
offering open and free as words without the underlying functional freedoms of
foss that it becomes a harder target to hit.
For me the point of departure would be when a Linux starting point
does not get people talking about freedom.
The wider freedom issue is also important to the access to knowledge
folks in libraries and education, science and agriculture.
We wouldnt want to own a group which represented such broad interests,
but we could participate with other groups with a common interest in
freedom and gain a better understanding of software side of things
from other people.
Community, events and campaigns are stuff we do, orgs are a means not an end.
If the Linux org means that new people join then for sure lets talk
about a KSierra
approach to people moving from installing to having a perspective on freedom,
what makes us move from installing Linux to being in the foss flow?
LCA was a big one for me. ITShare and LinuxSA, and also London's GLLUG
and Lonix. Mostly I liked the kinds of conversations people had.
Participating and making creates a different kind of conversation
space, I find consumer space to be more competitive (mine is shinier)
and to have less other useful substance.
I like that the people I met were also into designing games and thinking.
Kids come along and learn about the difference between hacking and cracking.
People do bike stuff, beer making, bike wrangling, green tech.
For me Linux is a door to make culture.
Foss is a core value for the software aspect of make culture.


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