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FOSS. Rebellion, geekery or beliefs?

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Joined: 2005-12-20

I was thinking, in the software world, is open source software rebellion, or is it belief?

For example, open source crusaders who use *only* open source software, no matter if it cripples their productivity swear by FOSS, whereas people who use proprietary software often say it makes no difference to them. In a larger sense, open source software doesn't affect people's lives as much as world hunger, war, poverty and abuse. But does this make it a waste of time? In my eyes, no. Open source has been a huge source of innovation in the computing world, leading to companies saving money, more efficient programming techniques, and more.

Open Source Software is often just a synonym for Geekery in the eyes of businessmen, where they need solid backup with people they can go to and ask for support immediately if something goes wrong. Do you think geekery helps the open source world? Well, I can't answer this question, I can only offer my opinion, and that is Yes. Geekery makes people feel like they are in a small community, much like these forums. It allows us to relate to each other, talk, have common interests and such. It also leads to innovations (which goes back to the idea of open source software making a big difference in computing.

I think rebellion is also a reason why people use Free operating systems and software. They don't want to give their money to "Microsoft, microshaft, micro$oft and other names for the big company". Is this for their beliefs? Sometimes. I think it is also because of jealousy. They want to be the person that is seen as a computer genius by a *lot* of the world with billions of dollars.

What are your views?

Is open source rebellion, geekery, beliefs or other?

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
onlinebacon wrote: In a
onlinebacon wrote:

In a larger sense, open source software doesn't affect people's lives as much as world hunger, war, poverty and abuse. But does this make it a waste of time? In my eyes, no.

Actually, while in itself it may not seem all that important compared to these other important issues, it very much affects those other fields. For example, when you have poverty and hunger in the world, it certainly doesn't help to have overpriced proprietary software pushed on countries which suffer from these things. If they can't afford to buy this software they will be cut off from the information age and the development that it brings and which may help them better their situation (only through research and development can they really in the long term beat poverty and hunger). Free Software is the best choice for those countries on their way to the information technology enlightenment.

And that obviously makes Free Software in that specific case matter just as much as solving poverty and hunger, because it in fact is part of the solution.

Quote:

Open Source Software is often just a synonym for Geekery in the eyes of businessmen, where they need solid backup with people they can go to and ask for support immediately if something goes wrong.

Maybe it was seen as such some time ago, but I think today it is becoming quite clear to all that it is not just about geekery. RedHat, Novell and even Oracle are offering professional support for this Free Software, exactly the kind of reliable support businesses are expecting. This is in fact the biggest business model in Free Software.

As for community support, this is usually enough for home users as well as enthusiasts. Most of us on these forums are probably enthusiasts and maybe geeks too. But my point is that FOSS is neither exclusively geekery nor exclusively business-oriented. It is what a given community of users needs it to be. Smiling

Quote:

I think rebellion is also a reason why people use Free operating systems and software. They don't want to give their money to "Microsoft, microshaft, micro$oft and other names for the big company".

There's definitely some of the rebellion in motivation to use GNU/Linux instead of Windows, of course. It is one of the driving forces behind the adoption of Free Software. Stick it to the man! We rule! Laughing out loud

Quote:

Is this for their beliefs?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but if you believe all software should be free then you probably use Free Software because of that belief, obviously.

Quote:

Sometimes. I think it is also because of jealousy. They want to be the person that is seen as a computer genius by a *lot* of the world with billions of dollars.

I think this one is rarer. Maybe some people join the Free Software community in order to gain certain skills because they were inspired by the supposedly skillful "top dogs" like Bill Gates. But as they join the community they soon learn that Bill Gates has little to be envied, except the money of course. Laughing out loud

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Joined: 2005-12-20
Ahah, in these poor

Ahah, in these poor countries, they use pirated copies of software Smiling

Is the same in India, Pakistan and some other countries I have visited.

Free software in a sense....

Not exactly the right one I know but a sense Sticking out tongue

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Well unauthorized software

Well unauthorized software may be "free", but it can hardly motivate them to learn more about it and hence innovate because they'll never see the source code and know its inner workings. And they could really use such innovation as they try to develop into a richer country.

Fortunately, many developing countries are adopting Free Software. Heck, on the World Social Forum in Nairobi Microsoft software is completely banned. Smiling

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Joined: 2005-12-20
Haha, i didn't know it had

Haha, i didn't know it had been banned in nairobi.

Does that mean it has completely FOSS software there?

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Not sure it's all Free

Not sure it's all Free Software, but they did say that they want to promote the use of "open source" so it's possible.

Here is the news story: http://allafrica.com/stories/200701230831.html

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