Skip to main content
Welcome guest. | Register | Login | Post

Richard M. Stallman liked GetGNULinux! - What happened in LibreMeeting

40 replies [Last post]
Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11

Hello, everyone.

As expected, every time I had a chance, I talked about GLM in order to recruit collaborators as well as spread the word about it. I got some people willing to help us out in Spain.

On the other hand, in the round of questions for the conference of RMS, I had the right to speak and said that I'm part of an organisation that spreads the free software philosophy amongst everyday computer users mainly through our two main projects, GetGNULinux and 3DollarSoftware (newly launched)... And he immediately said that it sounds very interesting and that he wanted to talk about it after the conference. (BTW, I was so excited that I sent an SMS to Olivier, perhaps I woke him up... sorry Olivier!).

Then I had an improvised meeting with RMS to discuss about GNU/Linux Matters for +30 minutes. Overall, he really liked our initiative and thanked us for it, but he disliked that we also use "Linux" and that we promote non-fully-free distros, as expected. During the meeting, I wrote down his suggestions. Here they are:

  1. Before seeing GGL, he told me that he's only seen MakeTheMove.net and liked the structure, but disliked other things like the use of "Linux", "open source" and mainly that their main reason to make the switch was not freedom. He also said that we might pick up some ideas from that site.
  2. We should only use "GNU/Linux" from the beginning. He said that once you teach a term, it's hard to correct it later; It's better to use the right term from the beginning.
  3. We should only promote fully free distros.
  4. We should not use the (r) sign after Windows, it's a sign of respect.
  5. 3DollarSoftware sounds good, but 3DollarAddiction sounds better because it describes better what Microsoft wants.
  6. We might rephrase "You have an alternative to breaking the law" by stating that this law doesn't deserve to be obeyed and that sharing software shouldn't be something bad, despite this is the current reality.
  7. We should rephrase "If you pay so much for software, you should at least decide what you can do with it" by something like "A legal copy of Windows is expensive, but what do you really get?"... Because it doesn't really matter whether it was expensive.
  8. We shouldn't encourage people to install GNU/Linux by themselves because it's not easy. Instead we should encourage them to grab a friend (or someone in the FS community) and ask him to install "GNU with Linux".
  9. I mentioned our article on misunderstanding free software, but he couldn't read it. However, he suggested me to also make clear that the software industry has always made software according to what people needs/asks, so it's another reason on why it's not going to disappear.
  10. When we're going to refute something Microsoft (for example) say, we shouldn't address such an statement directly... First we should analyse its foundations to find out whether they're really valid. If we address their statements directly, we're accepting their foundations are valid and then it will hard to explain clearly why such statements are wrong.
  11. We might use the Bill's quote along with a message related to the fact that Microsoft wants us to get addicted to their software (as explained above).
  12. When we talk about "piracy" we should clearly state that we disagree with that usage of the word "piracy": Piracy is attack boats and we talk about sharing... These two ideas have nothing to do; it's just absurd.
  13. We should into account this article http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html . In addition to "Linux", he didn't complained about the way we use a given word (AFAIR); he just said so "just in case"...
  14. A good idea to make people want to make the switch, is to make them see that we do understand their priorities (what they need the software for), but Freedom is above any other priority. He asked me to emphasise that "but".
  15. RMS said that it would be great if we could use an image the FSF just created (I couldn't see it, though).

(he could only see 3-4 webpages though)

What I think on his suggestions:

  • He made me change my mind about the use of "Linux" and "GNU/Linux" in the association. I think we should explain that the operating system is really called "GNU/Linux" from the beginning and then stick to "GNU/Linux".
  • Promoting only fully-free-distros is something I wouldn't like to do. I told him that I see no problem on promoting non-fully-free distros as an step forward, not as the goal itself - taking advance of a privative software to reach for a huge objective for the FS movement is something they did when they were using UNIX to make GNU. He seemed to partially agree with me and said that it might end that way, or might not; there's no guarantee we'll win that way. My conclusion? I think we should add a fully free distro (like gnewsense) and clearly state that the rest of the promoted distros are not fully free in the mean time because they contain some software critical to run well with many pieces of hardware, thus, all of your current hardware might not work with the fully free distro (however, you might prefer to replace a piece of hardware rather than giving away your freedom... If for some reason you cannot replace the piece of hardware that doesn't work, then you should really install one of the non-fully-free distros).
  • Asking someone to install GNU/Linux: I think we shouldn't encourage them to grab a someone and ask him to install the system, but simply suggest them to do so. In the end, we'll publish the "First Steps in GNU/Linux" (RMS liked this too, BTW).
  • I don't know if we should remove the (r) sign after "Windows".
  • IMO, 3DollarAddiction sounds good too (neither better nor worse).
  • "This law doesn't deserve to be obeyed": I agree, but it's risky to say so, IMO.
  • I agree with the rest.

He provided me with a contact card and asked me to let him know what happened with this because he's really interested on this project.

I also talked about Olivier and he said that he would like to talk to Olivier too. He'll be in Paris on May 18th and he's willing to talk to Olivier.

Great news, right? I thought our project was going to be a polemic topic (because of "Linux" and the promoted distros).

Cheers!

PS: I was extremely happy when I saw the badge they gave me: It contained "GNU/Linux Matters". This is the first time I see it printed on something different from a common paper.

AttachmentSize
LibreMeeting 2007 (distintivo).png122.4 KB
a thing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-20
response to your thoughts

Great news. Laughing out loud

1: Finally. Smiling
2: I agree.
3: I agree.
4: There isn't much reason for it to be there in the first place, and RMS pointed out a reason for removing it.
5: 3DollarAddiction is slightly better.
6: So don't say it (directly).
7: So do I.

Offline
Joined: 2006-03-28
I'm happy to hear he likes

I'm happy to hear he likes the project and is interested in the development of GLM/GGL.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Awesome news. Looks like

Awesome news. Looks like both you and RMS made an impression on each other. I like the changes you agree to make, like using "GNU/Linux" exclusively. If Simon Phipps from Sun Microsystems can say "GNU/Linux" each and every time so can you. Eye

I agree with all of the RMSs suggestion, but I also agree that you don't necessarily have to make each happen 100%. I am ok with GGL talking about non-fully-free distros as a step up and something like gNewSense as a real goal (freedom, and hopefully with all hardware working with it Smiling ). It's interesting that RMS actually is willing to accept the possibility of your approach working instead of being totally stubborn with the "it must be only Free Software" thing. It shows that what many people say about RMS is not true. He's much more open and pragmatic than that (apparently "open source" doesn't have a monopoly on pragmatic, merely expedient Eye ).

So it looks like the conference was a success. Congratulations!

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
Yes, he's a very open and

Yes, he's a very open and kind person.

I thought he was going to complaint because I use Kubuntu on my laptop, but he only suggested me to uninstall the restricted modules. He said he used to do so when he used Debian.

We might suggest this too, but the user might find that some of his hardware doesn't work anymore. The way to work around this is to encourage them to buy hardware supported with free drivers/firmware, IMO.

Because many people don't know/care about what the pieces of hardware are, we might create a one-page PDF explaining briefly the pieces of hardware they should not buy and those we suggest them to buy. They would have to print it out and bring it to the hardware store for the sales persons to read it and offer them a computer (or a given hardware) fully supported with free software.

What do you think?

ariadacapo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-13
This is fantastic news.

This is fantastic news. Thank you Gustavo for doing this.

I agree with most modifications proposed, except for the "GNU/Linux" terminology and the (R) sign for the Windows. I need a little time to explain why, so I will post again later.

Since RMS will be in Paris next week, I'll be there and hope to talk to him as well. I am also contacting him per email.

Thanks so much again!

Back soon,
Olivier.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Gustavo wrote: I thought
Gustavo wrote:

I thought he was going to complaint because I use Kubuntu on my laptop, but he only suggested me to uninstall the restricted modules. He said he used to do so when he used Debian.

Yep, that's what I do when I use Ubuntu. Smiling

People sometimes tend to view things in a rather limited fashion thinking that just because RMS wont recommend, for example, some non-fully-free distros, he would suddenly criticize everyone who uses anything else and then thinking that they would criticize FSF in turn for using Debian on its servers. People really gotta learn to make some distinctions. Recommendations are one thing and what FSF uses is another. The principles of the FSF aren't that people must use any particular distros. It is simply software freedom, no matter how you get to it, so it can be Ubuntu with restricted modules removed or it can be gNewSense. FSF will recommend the latter only because it is the easiest way to get to a 100% Free system and that's all there is to it..

Anyway, that rant took longer than I expected. :S

I like your idea about a hadrware support PDF. It should probably be divided by major hardware sections and then we could add things that we know work with free drivers. It doesn't necessarily have to contain every piece of hardware in the given category, but only recommendations, to keep it simple.

For example, for 3D graphics it can recommend Intel onboard graphics, for best 3D it can recommend Radeon X850 (but it has to mention that this does require a little binary blob to work) and also say that all Radeon's up to X850 are supported by that free driver, but not further (with the exception of, maybe and correct me if I'm wrong, X1050 which is in fact X300). In any case X1550 and up are not supported.

Bjwebb's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-03-01
Just my two cents. If we

Just my two cents.

If we use GNU/Linux exclusively, couldn't that confuse people. Afterall most websites (albeit arguably wrongly) use the term Linux. Should we atleast expalin that some people do refer it it as simply Linux, although this is considered incorrect.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Well the term "GNU/Linux"

Well the term "GNU/Linux" still has "Linux" in it so I doubt it would be so confusing. They would immediately link it to what they may have previously known as "Linux", but might be curious about the "GNU" part, which is good because that leads them to GNU. Smiling

I'd agree with briefly saying that it is commonly but incorrectly called just "Linux", but the site should use "GNU/Linux" exclusively everywhere else. Besides, the site is called GetGNULinux.org after all. It seems only fitting for that term to be used across the site too.

I don't really see so much of a problem and I think there are biggest reasons to use the correct term than an incorrect one.

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
We might change

We might change this

by

Quote:

GNU/Linux, often incorrectly referred to as Linux, is an alternative to Microsoft Windows®.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Agreed.

Agreed. :-)

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
Oops, I forgot about one of

Oops, I forgot about one of the suggestions made by RMS because I wrote it down in another page of my notepad:

Regarding the software Microsoft gives for free, we should say that, just like drugs, the first dose is free... The goal is to get people addicted.

I think this is wonderful suggestion.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Makes sense. I've heard the

Makes sense. I've heard the same reasoning before and it tends to be true. In fact it may very well apply to Free Software as well. You can get addicted, or used to it, but at least the Free Software doesn't restrict you so it's a good habit, not a bad addiction. And.. well, it's always free, not just the first time. Smiling

ariadacapo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-13
"GNU/Linux" and "Linux"

Here are my thoughts on the terminology GNU/Linux vs. Linux .

I think there's a tendency to assimilate this topic to the "Open-Source" vs. "Free Software" terminology controversy. IMO this has nothing to do with it.
Because of various personal troubles in the last months I had to consistently ask myself what I was doing an why. When scratching under the surface I found out I wasn't interested in spreading software, nor an operating system. Not interested in spreading Ubuntu, or Fedora, or gNewSense, nor even GNU/Linux for that matter. I couldn't care less - I'd rather spend my time making kites or windsurfing. What I'm interested in, passionate about, is participating in a free society; I'd like to enable others to think and create freely, and spreading GNU/Linux is one of the best ways to do that. The concept of free software, not "open source" software, enables many other changes.
I say this because I believe some words are really important, the concept of "free software" has nothing to do with "open source" for example. Some others are much less important because they carry very little meaning - such as "GNU/Linux" or "Linux".

Clearly it's not fundamentally a problem of attribution, giving credit to authors. In the domain where I worked, aeronautics, there are plenty of such misconceptions, eg. every propeller plane is a Cessna, every jet is a B747, Concorde goes "through the sound barrier", Airbus makes the biggest plane in the world, etc, etc. People (media) mischievously distort words and their meanings. It doesn't fundamentally matter. It doesn't matter either that people don't call GNU/Linux by its original name; we could be much more precise by including every OS component in the name, well what? People know what they are referring to when they say "Linux", everybody does.

The problem is that "Linux" is associated with tons of things going against the concept of free software, whereas "GNU" is not.

Richard M. Stallman wrote:

We're the ones who talk about freedom and community as something to stand firm for; the organizations that speak of “Linux” normally don't say this. The magazines about “Linux” are typically full of ads for non-free software; the companies that package “Linux” add non-free software to the system; other companies “support Linux” with non-free applications; the user groups for “Linux” typically invite salesman to present those applications. The main place people in our community are likely to come across the idea of freedom and determination is in the GNU Project.

And I agree with this so should we not just quit saying "Linux" on GGL?

I don't think so for two reasons:

  1. The whole world is already saying "Linux". This is how they hear about it, this is how they refer to it. [hey, it's not a Gnu head on the Indy500 race car]. Whether we like it or not, the question they ask themselves is "What is this Linux thing", "What is this open source thing" and if we're lucky, "What is this free software thing".
    They don't hear about GNU, they don't hear about free software. It's "Linux" that drives the stream of information.
    We can be known as "a site about Linux" or we can tell people they're entirely wrong when they say "Linux".
    We can speak with the words the whole world is using, or we can try to still be relevant to the world while speaking our own special language.
  2. .

  3. The non-use of the term "Linux" is because it's dirtied - The concept of freedom has been drowned.
    We can correct that.
    We can get people to associate "Linux" with freedom again. We can be a reference. Yes, I believe we can someday overthrow linux.org!
    There is nothing inside the word "Linux" that is worse than inside the word "GNU/Linux". It could also be "Binux". It's only a matter of what people will find when they look for information. We can give up and let "Linux" get even worse or we can correct the heading, and have, finally, people saying "Linux is important because it's free software".

So it all comes down to how well we do our job. After they read GGL, when people go download a Ubuntu CD, what is in their mind? Are they looking for "some open source software that's cheaper than Vista" ? Or for something that gives them more freedom? Do they associate "Linux" with the concept of free software? That's what matters, doesn't it? If we don't do that job well enough, we can improve, but using only "GNU/Linux" won't help.

Let's face it.
If we stop using "Linux" in a normal way, then too bad. We're shutting ourselves away from 95% of the people out there. All the people googling "how to get linux" or "why get linux" (see attached, the stats from search engines yesterday), they're going elsewhere. (hint? really do you want people read that? click on these ads?).

Please consider giving up rigor in this case. It's not a matter of philosophy here. It's a matter of outreaching to people - and again let me assure you it's not a matter of personal popularity (really).

Thank you

Olivier.

a thing's picture
Offline
Joined: 2005-12-20
attachment

You forgot to attach your proof.

ariadacapo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-13
I can't get it to work...

I can't get it to work... Where is the attachment thing? My "content type settings" in my userbox allow for attachments in forum posts, but I don't have any obvious way to attach a file.

edit: that's the file (though a proper attach would be better)

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Files can currently be

Files can currently be attached only to the original post, not the replies/comments. On original posts you can do that by clicking the "file attachments" drop down link, browsing to a file and pressing "attach".

It would be good to have comment attachments and I've been looking into this before, but the way drupal currently works I'm not sure if it's possible and if yes it'll probably be a hard to do dirty hack. I'll look into it again.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
I don't need to give up

I don't need to give up rigor because I'm not really that rigorous about it, but I still prefer writing GNU/Linux.

That said I think you are overestimating the impact of using either of the terms. GNU/Linux still contains "Linux" in it while referring people to "GNU" so it doesn't seem to me that you are really losing any of the benefits that come with the association to "Linux".

As for the stats, this site has GNU/Linux in it's title: "Nuxified GNU/Linux Help Forums" and it still ranks decently in google for "linux help" and we get some traffic from terms involving only "linux". Google easily scans both GNU and Linux and makes a distinction. That said I doubt you'll notice a drop in people coming over the "Linux" term just for adopting "GNU/Linux".

About associating "Linux" with freedom this will be hard to do in an universal sense. Some people already associate it with freedom, but many others associate it with "free of cost", open source, Linus Torvalds, choice, penguin, but rarely with Richard Stallmand and GNU Project which are just as responsible for us having this Free OS as Linus Torvalds.

And "GNU" is already there, already fully referring to freedom. It doesn't seem very efficient to try to convert the associations of "Linux" when there already is a better term, which is also correct one, that can do just that by itself. In fact, by tieing "GNU" with "Linux" even the perception of "Linux" changes so you potentially hit both flies in one strike.

Bottom line, I don't believe you'd lose as much as you fear of losing by fully adopting the term "GNU/Linux", and there are some advantages.

But whatever you decide it wont affect my support for GGL.

Thanks

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
Libervisco, you've said

Libervisco, you've said what I was going to say (perhaps better).

However, from my viewpoint, this is not a matter of philosophy; it's a matter of acknowledgement and using the right terminology.

In order to connect GNU to Linux, the FSF had to hire a person for ~1 year (not to mention the other volunteers) to adapt GNU to Linux. They both complemented each other, forming an operating system. We're talking about operating systems, not their core.

Yes, you all know this, but it's something we have to take into account.

Another reason on why "Linux" itself doesn't represent freedom: Its makers support/accept non-free software.

Cheers.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Gustavo wrote: However,
Gustavo wrote:

However, from my viewpoint, this is not a matter of philosophy; it's a matter of acknowledgement and using the right terminology.

Indeed. The only philosophical tie that there may be is that "GNU" in the name refers to the Free Software philosophy, giving it an equal chance to the philosophy to which "Linux" refers to (one held by Linus Torvalds).

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
Oh, then we fully agree

Oh, then we fully agree Smiling

guyjohnston's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-03-05
Great news

That's great news Gustavo. Very well done! It's good to hear how friendly and understanding RMS was, rather than simply "uncompromising" as he's often described. Did he mention what distribution he uses? I've read interviews with him before where he's said he was using Debian and Ututo. Has he switched to gNewSense?

In terms of the naming, I think that's quite a difficult matter, and I can see where people are coming from on both sides of the argument. I think the important thing for this site is that the name "GNU/Linux" is given at least equal status, and it's mentioned that the name "Linux" is less accurate, which is how it currently is. I definitely think it would be inappropriate and counter-productive for this site to go into detail about the naming dispute and treat it as an important matter.

I agree that promoting a fully-free distro (preferably gNewSense) would be a good idea. I use gNewSense, and I find that it's barely any harder to use than Ubuntu. I think it's still a good idea for this site to promote the almost-free distributions, but I think it should definitely be mentioned that they're not completely free, so people aren't mislead. I was going to add that as a separate discussion before I read this.

In terms of people installing GNU/Linux, I agree that it would be a good idea to suggest getting someone to help them. But that isn't always that easy, and I don't think it's necessary to completely avoid suggesting that people install it themselves. I don't think it's that hard, and some people are new to free software and GNU/Linux who aren't new to installing an operating system. I've found gNewSense and Ubuntu to be particularly easy. I think the hardest bit is the hard drive partitioning, particularly if you want to install it as a dual-boot.

I think the trade mark (R) should be removed if at all possible. I definitely agree that it's a sign of respect towards Microsoft. I don't know a huge amount about registered trade marks, but I don't think that symbol's necessary. I'd have thought a small notice at the bottom of each page would be sufficient, if anything. It definitely doesn't seem likely that someone would mistake the site for an official Microsoft site or anything like that. The GNU project have got something about their policy on this at http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/html_node/Trademarks.html.

I think "3DollarAddiction" sounds a bit better. Maybe both could be used somehow?

I think it would be worth adding the "This law doesn't deserve to be obeyed" message, and I expect it could be done without any legal risks. Maybe the site could just say something like "This law doesn't deserve to be obeyed, but we don't condone breaking it". This kind of fear is a good example of how much current copyright law harms the public at the expense of a privileged elite, and makes all of our countries resemble feudal societies or dictatorships in that respect, rather than modern democracies. The fear people show at criticising these laws reminds me of reading about resistance groups in Nazi Germany.

In terms of using the term "piracy", I must say that I've never seen that on this site, so I wouldn't have thought it was an issue. Is it actually used on it at all?

By the way, has anyone been able to find that recently-created image from the FSF? I'd like to see it.

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
Hi,

Hi, guyjohnston!

guyjohnston wrote:

That's great news Gustavo. Very well done! It's good to hear how friendly and understanding RMS was, rather than simply "uncompromising" as he's often described. Did he mention what distribution he uses? I've read interviews with him before where he's said he was using Debian and Ututo. Has he switched to gNewSense?

Yes, he saw GGL using his laptop (running gNewSense). I also think he uses Epiphany as web browser, but I'm not sure.

He seems to be fond of the CLI, btw.

Something I was surprised to hear from RMS, is that he doesn't think music and movies should be free. He thinks that as long as we can share the music/movies we paid for, it's alright; they don't have to be protected by the four freedoms; if they are free, great, but they don't have to. He elaborated more on this, but this is basically what he thinks (or what I understood from what he said).

guyjohnston wrote:

In terms of the naming, I think that's quite a difficult matter, and I can see where people are coming from on both sides of the argument. I think the important thing for this site is that the name "GNU/Linux" is given at least equal status, and it's mentioned that the name "Linux" is less accurate, which is how it currently is. I definitely think it would be inappropriate and counter-productive for this site to go into detail about the naming dispute and treat it as an important matter.

I agree this is not something important, it's even out of scope of what we do (spread the word about freedom in computing). But I do think we should use the right terminology from the beginning.

guyjohnston wrote:

I think the hardest bit is the hard drive partitioning, particularly if you want to install it as a dual-boot.

Yes, definitely.

guyjohnston wrote:

I think the trade mark (R) should be removed if at all possible. I definitely agree that it's a sign of respect towards Microsoft. I don't know a huge amount about registered trade marks, but I don't think that symbol's necessary. I'd have thought a small notice at the bottom of each page would be sufficient, if anything. It definitely doesn't seem likely that someone would mistake the site for an official Microsoft site or anything like that. The GNU project have got something about their policy on this at http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/html_node/Trademarks.html.

I didn't know about that brief article. Yet another reason, imo...

guyjohnston wrote:

I think "3DollarAddiction" sounds a bit better. Maybe both could be used somehow?

That's a very small project, just like the budget is small... So I think we shouldn't register another domain name. Even if someone donates money for the new domain, that money could be spent on something better. It's just my opinion.

This is what I suggest:

We might replace "How helpful is the $3 software?" by "Microsoft 3$ software: The 3$ addiction". Also, we could add this as one of the reasons on why this is wrong (as suggested by RMS):

Quote:

Microsoft even offers some software for free, but you are not free while you have it. Have you not realised that, just like drugs, the first dose is free because the goal is to get people addicted?

guyjohnston wrote:

I think it would be worth adding the "This law doesn't deserve to be obeyed" message, and I expect it could be done without any legal risks. Maybe the site could just say something like "This law doesn't deserve to be obeyed, but we don't condone breaking it". This kind of fear is a good example of how much current copyright law harms the public at the expense of a privileged elite, and makes all of our countries resemble feudal societies or dictatorships in that respect, rather than modern democracies. The fear people show at criticising these laws reminds me of reading about resistance groups in Nazi Germany.

I like your suggestion.

guyjohnston wrote:

In terms of using the term "piracy", I must say that I've never seen that on this site, so I wouldn't have thought it was an issue. Is it actually used on it at all?

Yes, here http://www.getgnulinux.org/linux/linux_faq/#linux_illegality and here http://www.getgnulinux.org/windows/restrictions/ (in "The meaning behind").

guyjohnston wrote:

By the way, has anyone been able to find that recently-created image from the FSF? I'd like to see it.

I think it has not been published yet.

Cheers!

guyjohnston's picture
Offline
Joined: 2007-03-05
Reply
Quote:

Yes, he saw GGL using his laptop (running gNewSense). I also think he uses Epiphany as web browser, but I'm not sure.

He seems to be fond of the CLI, btw.

It does seem that gNewSense is the best fully-free distribution for desktop use at the moment. I've read from his site before, at http://stallman.org/stallman-computing.html, that he mostly uses the command line. It also says that he uses Ututo, so it looks like that needs updating.

Quote:

Something I was surprised to hear from RMS, is that he doesn't think music and movies should be free. He thinks that as long as we can share the music/movies we paid for, it's alright; they don't have to be protected by the four freedoms; if they are free, great, but they don't have to. He elaborated more on this, but this is basically what he thinks (or what I understood from what he said).

Yep, he says he doesn't think non-functional works *have to be* free (saying he doesn't think they should be free can give the impression that he thinks they should never be free). His general point is that for those types of works, allowing limited copyright restrictions is probably still beneficial for the public. He also says he thinks the minimum freedom people should be allowed for all works is to non-commercially distribute verbatim copies to anyone. There's an essay by him about copyright in general at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/misinterpreting-copyright.html and a similar speech at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/copyright-versus-community.html where he explains these views. I think his arguments are very good and I agree with more or less all of the points he makes. One thing I don't agree with is his view that modifying a work of opinion is unethical. I don't think it is as long as you make it clear how you've modified it, so you don't misrepresent the views of the author.

Quote:

I agree this is not something important, it's even out of scope of what we do (spread the word about freedom in computing). But I do think we should use the right terminology from the beginning.

It's true that it's not hugely important, but it's still related to spreading the word about software freedom. The main reason for caring about crediting the GNU project is to associate the success of the system with the ideals of free software (see http://www.gnu.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.html)

I can see it in the first page linked to, but not the second. Maybe it's been removed since. On that FAQ page, the term "piracy" is used in quotation marks so it implies we don't support using it in that context, but I agree that having it there at all does slightly reinforce the view that it's a legitimate term to use for copyright infringement.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Stallmans views on music

Stallmans views on music and music are quite interesting, prompting me to reconsider my current view (which is basically that with everything digital we should have the equivalent of four freedoms). I'll read those articles and then maybe discuss it on Libervis.com. Cya there. Smiling

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
Yes
libervisco wrote:

Stallmans views on music and music are quite interesting, prompting me to reconsider my current view (which is basically that with everything digital we should have the equivalent of four freedoms). I'll read those articles and then maybe discuss it on Libervis.com. Cya there. Smiling

Yes, he's made me think about it a lot lately.

I'm looking forward to read your article.

Cheers.

ariadacapo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-13
More on the GNU/Linux terminology
libervisco wrote:

Google easily scans both GNU and Linux and makes a distinction. That said I doubt you'll notice a drop in people coming over the "Linux" term just for adopting "GNU/Linux".

Compare the search results for "linux" and "gnu/linux". The question is, we can choose, which of the two we want to affect?
I agree that the immediate effect in the search engines might be small. What I'm concerned about is that we cut ourselves from the enormous majority of people who refer to the OS as just "Linux".
Being in search engines in the first place means people linking to us. Most importantly, it means that the average "Linux user" can find GGL interesting and can think about it as a "Linux introductory site", where he can point his friends to.
People like Helios do a tremendous job of advocacy for GNU/Linux yet never use that term (Mark Shuttleworth and the Ubuntu community don't either). Will they ignore us, never feel concerned about us, never even hear about us? If they do however, we can change things significantly.

libervisco wrote:

The only philosophical tie that there may be is that "GNU" in the name refers to the Free Software philosophy, giving it an equal chance to the philosophy to which "Linux" refers to (one held by Linus Torvalds).

I agree! That's why I only write "GNU/Linux". But I don't see GGL as my personal expression, I view it as an outreach, a communication effort.
I've said this before, I don't do anything better that Stallman, GGL won't do anything better than GNU.org or the FSF. It's just that there is a huge population that will be hearing the word "Linux" somewhere, and because they will not be pointed to the right sources, they will never hear about GNU or the FSF.
We can change that, or we can stay in that "free software" sphere.

It's not like we were entirely on the wrong track. I have no evidence to support that, but I think the average GGL reader leaves the site having understood:
-that the real name of "Linux" is GNU/Linux
-that it's free software
-that it's important for our society
-that he can go to the FSF to learn more.

If that job is done correctly, then we can worry about popularity and being found.

I hope to talk about this with Richard Stallman on Saturday.

--

I am both away from home (no internet) and busy with too many projects at once, so I still can't adress all the themes in this thread. I'll try to implement most changes and finish the gnulinuxmatters.org website by Saturday morning.
You changed my mind on the (R) sign, by the way ;-)

Thanks

Olivier.

libervisco's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-05-04
Olivier wrote: Compare the
Olivier wrote:

Compare the search results for "linux" and "gnu/linux".

I think the difference is because google shows results containing only "gnu/linux" when you search for that term, but when you search for only "linux" you'll get results containing both "GNU/Linux" and "Linux" so sites that call it GNU/Linux aren't actually excluded. Also, when you search for GNU you'll get results containing both just "GNU" and "GNU/Linux" or if you will even GNU/Hurd, GNU/Solaris etc.

Olivier wrote:

It's just that there is a huge population that will be hearing the word "Linux" somewhere, and because they will not be pointed to the right sources, they will never hear about GNU or the FSF.
We can change that, or we can stay in that "free software" sphere.

Well, changing that would still be staying in the "free software" sphere if the motivation for doing it is to promote Free Software. It's not that exclusive. It's not like, if you opt to use a different name in your project you are immediately stepping off from the Free Software sphere and being a Free Software promoter. Smiling

Anyway, as long as people leave the site having understood what you mentioned I think it is a success. Let us know how that talk with RMS goes.

Cheers

Gustavo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-09-11
ariadacapo
ariadacapo wrote:
libervisco wrote:

Google easily scans both GNU and Linux and makes a distinction. That said I doubt you'll notice a drop in people coming over the "Linux" term just for adopting "GNU/Linux".

Compare the search results for "linux" and "gnu/linux". The question is, we can choose, which of the two we want to affect?

Using "GNU/Linux", both.

GetGNULinux.org is in the third position for both "get linux" (with quotes) and get linux (without quotes), as well as in the top for "get gnu/linux" (with quotes) and get gnu/linux (without quotes).

ariadacapo wrote:

I agree that the immediate effect in the search engines might be small. What I'm concerned about is that we cut ourselves from the enormous majority of people who refer to the OS as just "Linux".

We already moved away from the enormous majority of people around the world because of using a system different from Windows and also trying to use open standards, so, what does it matter if we are alone using the right name of the operating system? It doesn't even mean that we're going to encourage other people to use it as well.

ariadacapo wrote:

Being in search engines in the first place means people linking to us. Most importantly, it means that the average "Linux user" can find GGL interesting and can think about it as a "Linux introductory site", where he can point his friends to.

We'd state, ranging from the homepage, that the right name is "GNU/Linux'. Then the "Linux user" will realise that he's actually a "GNU/Linux user", that's it. The rest of the website will remain as complex/easy as when using "Linux" alone, nothing else is going to change.

ariadacapo wrote:

People like Helios do a tremendous job of advocacy for GNU/Linux yet never use that term (Mark Shuttleworth and the Ubuntu community don't either). Will they ignore us, never feel concerned about us, never even hear about us? If they do however, we can change things significantly.

I don't think using "Linux" or 'GNU/Linux" is that important. If someone is ever going to support us, he/she will do so no matter how we refer to the system.

What I personally dislike about GNU is that it's an acronym: This is, it's misleading, specially for non-English natives. NGU/Linux? UNG/Linux? NUG/Linux? UGN/Linux? GUN/Linux? New/Linux? Linux/UGN?

"GNU with Linux" sounds like a beverage.

This is the only drawback I see.

ariadacapo wrote:
libervisco wrote:

The only philosophical tie that there may be is that "GNU" in the name refers to the Free Software philosophy, giving it an equal chance to the philosophy to which "Linux" refers to (one held by Linus Torvalds).

I agree! That's why I only write "GNU/Linux". But I don't see GGL as my personal expression, I view it as an outreach, a communication effort.
I've said this before, I don't do anything better that Stallman, GGL won't do anything better than GNU.org or the FSF. It's just that there is a huge population that will be hearing the word "Linux" somewhere, and because they will not be pointed to the right sources, they will never hear about GNU or the FSF.
We can change that, or we can stay in that "free software" sphere.

I don't think using "GNU/Linux" only is that crucial.

ariadacapo wrote:

I hope to talk about this with Richard Stallman on Saturday.

Good idea. I think we should make a decision once we know what RMS thinks about this.

Cheers!

ariadacapo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-13
I will certainly let you

I will certainly let you know and think about it more. I think Gustavo narrowed it down very nicely, so that the single point where we all disagree seems to be:

Gustavo wrote:
ariadacapo wrote:

Compare the search results for "linux" and "gnu/linux". The question is, we can choose, which of the two we want to affect?

Using "GNU/Linux", both.

(though I do not see search engine results as the ends, only as an indicator of who reads us and why)

Meanwhile I am going through the site to apply the rest of the RMS suggestions, I'll be back shortly.

Olivier.

ariadacapo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-13
trying to adress everything...

OK, I'll try to cover everything that was brought-up...

- GNU/Linux terminology: this is still open.

- (3) promoting only free distros: I created a new thread for this, because the present one is becoming extremely long.

- (4) the (R) sign after Windows: I admit I was over-cautious on that one. Thanks guyjohnston for the link, which led me to the exact page about the Windows trademark. The (R) is now removed everywhere except in the legal terms page (which is probably never read).

- (5) 3dollaraddiction instead of 3dollarsoftware: why not... I'm not quite sure it's worth changing though. Let's discuss this in the corresponding thread.

- (6) "breaking the law"

guyjohnston wrote:

I think it would be worth adding the "This law doesn't deserve to be obeyed" message, and I expect it could be done without any legal risks. Maybe the site could just say something like "This law doesn't deserve to be obeyed, but we don't condone breaking it". This kind of fear is a good example of how much current copyright law harms the public at the expense of a privileged elite, and makes all of our countries resemble feudal societies or dictatorships in that respect, rather than modern democracies.

You are right, but this far too complex for us to address here. I am of the opinion of Gustavo, that it's too risky (not in a legal sense -simply too strong statements that are not needed).
[out of topic]
A good reference on the subject is this 1962 video of Milsom's experiment. No politics included. Should be viewed by more people.
[back to topic]
I simply replaced one word so the page now says:

Quote:

You have an alternative to breaking this law

This doesn't suggest that the law always should be followed.

- (7) rephrasing in Windows page: done.

- (8.) encouraging people to seek help from friends instead of installing by themselves:
I agree with Gustavo that it can be suggested. But the risk is that the reader turns to a "friend" who will either turn him/her off (most geek users frighten newbies off) or push him/her in the wrong direction ("open-source", proprietary software, etc).
So I think the best way is to point to the starter guide when it's ready.

- (9-12) I haven't found specific areas in the site that could/should be improved regarding this. Suggestions?

- (13) words to avoid: We have "open-source". I added quotes around it in the Misunderstanding FS page, removed it from "alt" tags in various places. It's still present in the meta keywords of some pages. "Piracy" is only used with quotes (the second occurrence given by Gustavo: it's in the url of the MS website). "Intellectual property" is present once (we discussed this earlier). I didn't find anything else.

- (14) Promoting freedom as a priority: I hope to do this with the new selection of distros.

- Addiction and drugs: I'm not sure about that...

ariadacapo wrote:

Personally I believe the addiction is only a small part of the problem. We always get addicted to things - in fact when I (rarely now) have to use a Windows computer, I find myself swearing at the cluttered start menu and the all-powerful antivirus. Simply because I am addicted to Gnome and GNU/Linux.
Ultimately the addiction is simply a matter of interface, and everyone (free, semi-free and proprietary software developers) works at that.
The important aspect, IMO, is the openness, the compatibility, the allowance for customer choice, ultimately the freedom.

Whew!

Olivier.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.