a few suggestions to the ggl.o texts
here are a few notes / suggestions on certain parts of the ggl.o text which i noticed while translating:
- on the page with the "car analogy", i think it would be worth pointing out that *it is perfectly legal to sell a free car*. a misconception that many people have is that they think "free software" is always non-commercial, i.e. that the GPL prevents you from using it commercially. it is amazing how many people still believe this today. i have even met people who thought that GPL software cannot be used in a corporate environment!
- on the same page, you could illustrate the business model of (some) FOSS companys like so: "many companys produce free cars, which they give away at no cost and free to share, use and distribute for everyone. the way these companies make revenue is by making their car popular, and then selling service and support for it. should you wish, you can bring them your free car and they will fix the tires or replace your engine for a charge. You can of course still fix it by yourself if you want."
- on the "What about choice" Page, I think that the "monopolist practices" could be very easily and effectively illustrated by giving examples of some of the "dubious" practices which MS is known for. I'm thinking of the "near-slanderous" GET THE FACTS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_the_facts) campaign and other such "studies", which MS paid and which - surprise! - came to the more than dubious conclusion that Windows is cheaper/better/more secure than Linux.
- I think the case for ODF could be made stronger (also on the "What about choice" page). right now, the text only says that MS prefers closed formats, but it does not say a) that this is a deliberate strategy to bind users to their own products, *actively fighting* interoperability ("they want you not to be able to share your documents with your friends") b) that ODF is an ISO Standard now, which has very broad support from manufacturers of Office Software *except from MS* c) that MS effectively abuses its OS- and Office-monopol to fight open standards and trick people into falling into their proprietary "traps".
- Maybe it could be worthwile illustrating the power MS has over PC manufacturers by pointing out the "[vendor X] recommends MS Windows" slogan, which you can see on almost every manufacturer homepage these days. (example: http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/en/ ). It is obvious that MS is spending a lot of money on this (and, consequently, on the manufacturers not pre-installing non-MS OSes!)
- Something that bothered me a bit was that there was no mention of other free OSes. It sounds kind of like Linux is the only Opensource OS around - but let's not forget there is opensolaris, the BSDs and lots of other free and open stuff (Linux Coders keep forgetting this too .
- On the "stand for a free society" page, I have a problem with the "food" analogy, which is not very wisely chosen IMHO. it's true that the producers need to list the ingredients of the food on the packet. but the actual recipe of most food is actually highly secret. In fact, the recipe for "CocaCola" is maybe the most well-guarded trade secret of all times! The CocaCola company would never open up the recipe. A better analogy might be the covering of music songs - people have been resusing each others tunes freely for ages, and it does nor hurt anyone. in fact, if your song is covered by someone else, this may even turn out to be profitable for you as an artist, because this stirs additional interest in your original work.
- On the "freedom explained" page, it might be worth giving the analogy of a lock (section "fixing or guarding the flaws"): "As an analogy, a lock which people are allowed to study before they secure their door with it will not be less secure than a "sealed" one. In fact, allowing people to look at the way the lock works offers not only the benefit of finding flaws quicker (because more eyes will be scanning the inner workings of the lock for flaws) but also of letting you *make sure that it is working correctly and providing the level of security you want* prior to using it.
ok, nuff for today. rest assured, though, that my comments here are just nitpicking, and that the majority of the texts are absolutely fabulous! and please don't hesitate to disagree with my opinions.