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

Re: :gbg: Flame: User-hostile ethic of the Linux community

    I do not understand the curious user-hostile ethic of the Linux
     community in making stuff unreadable to users of commercial
     software, insisting on 
    ? PostScript files
    ? TeX-format documents
    ? Mozilla-compliant Web pages

The idea of a "Linux community" is based on confusing the whole GNU
operating system with Linux, the kernel.  The version of the GNU
system that I run on this computer uses Linux as the kernel, but I am
not going to identify my community based on the kernel.  So I do not
consider myself part of a "Linux community", and therefore I cannot
speak for it.

But I can tell you why we in the GNU Project use these formats: they
are the formats that our software can handle.  That is a logical,
practical reason.

For instance, Mozilla is the most powerful browser that is free
software, so if an HTML file won't work properly in Mozilla, chances
are no free software can display it.

If you do not like these formats, you are of course entitled to your
opinion; but please keep in mind our actions are based on our
opinions, which are different.  I think these are good formats, and I
use them because I think that is useful for the community.  I am sure
the same is generally true for the people who use these formats.  If
you think some other format would be better, would you please suggest
it without accusing us of being "hostile" for our choices?

Ps. When you say "commercial software", do you really mean non-free
software?  They are not the same thing.  For instance, Mozilla is free
software, and it is commercial software.  It is developed by Netscape
(now AOL), which is a business, so that makes it commercial.
StarOffice is now free commercial software also.  The GNU Ada compiler
has been commercial software since it was first written, around 8
years ago.

It is very important not to say "commercial" when you mean "non-free",
because it is important to encourage more free commercial software.
Terminology that implies free commercial software is a contradiction
in terms will tend to discourage business from developing free
software, and that would be self-defeating.