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Re: [vox] word processing software (was: visio on linux)
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Re: [vox] word processing software (was: visio on linux)



Rick Moen writes:
 > Quoting andy wergedal (awerg@yahoo.com):
 > 
 > > I know that my description defines a great avenue for
 > > Linux, but that why Linux is gaining ground in the Server
 > > arena and not on the desktop.
 > 
 > Only a cynic would suggest that the above is a lazy handwave, so I'm
 > assuming you have some innovative technique for measuring Linux
 > deployments, a tough question that has stumped IDC, Gartner Group, Meta
 > Group, AllNet Research, and Netcraft -- since, of course, for a freely
 > distributable operating system, sales and deployments are entirely
 > different measurements.
 > 
 > So, please do tell us about about this groundbreaking study.  (Not that
 > I particularly care how many deployments there are, but I'm curious how
 > _you_ know.)

In the absence of hard facts, it is often acceptible to state one's
belief or opinion, based on personal observations.

However, *my* belief based on personal observations differs somewhat
from andy's. But, as neither of us have any studies to back us up (I
presume), it's just my belief against his.

Linux does seem to me to be gaining ground in the desktops, though
perhaps not as quickly as in servers - nor as quickly as the zealots
would wish it to be.

I'm no zealot - I don't blindly recommend Linux to everyone, because
it's not what everyone needs. It's what I need. After having
discovered Linux, I could never switch to anything else, because
nothing else has anything close to what I want. But I am an obsessive
programmer/tinkerer/hacker, and not everyone is. I am more than
satisfied with the return of pure power over my computing environment
(that's how I view it, anyway) at the price of large amounts of study
and learning (basically, RTFM-ing). But not everyone considers that a
worthwhile tradeoff - because not everyone *cares* all that much about
the degree of power and control they hold over their computer.

The right tool for the job is my creed. But since I'm also a strong
supporter of the Free Software ideals, I do believe in choosing free
software over enslaving software when possible. But when you need a
tool that does not exist adequately in the free software world, it is
often necessary to use one that impedes your rights*. Which is part of
why Microsoft is in so many homes/offices. Another reason is that many
people are ignorant of their rights, or sometimes, don't even care
about the majority of those described in the GNU manifesto.

   *Or you write one, if you have scads and scads of time; or
    thousands of other programmers who have need of the same tool as
    you do. For all other cases, the conclusion holds.

However, if I have to recommend "enslaving software", I still avoid
Microsoft if I can help it. If I can't choose Free Software, I can at
least try to choose the least-enslaving. Microsoft's activities over
the last few years have more than convinced me that they are doing
more to trample consumer's rights than perhaps all other software
companies combined. They are too obsessed with money to stop and think
about how they are eroding their PR. In the end, I have a hunch that
the greatest single force that may cause Linux to gain huge ground,
just might be Microsoft - once they've finally crossed so far over the
line, that even those who are currently uninformed will be forced to
realize that they must find less constricting alternatives.

Okay, done rambling on for now :)

-Micah
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