Supporting Free Software everywhere?
As I was writing a new shorter version of our introduction on the homepage I was somehow reminded of the idea that we should support Free Software everywhere rather than discriminating on the OS used - that the real battle is not between GNU/Linux and Windows, but Free Software and proprietary software. In this sense, every time someone replaces an application, while still sticking with Windows, is a win. What if that someone comes here for help?
So far the official policy was that we don't support people running proprietary operating systems.
I'm thinking of changing this policy and adjusting the forums to fit. The new policy would be that we will talk about and support all Free Software no matter who and where it is being ran, but of course encouraging people to wholesale switch to one of the Free OS's, which is usually going to be GNU/Linux.
There are a few points to consider in favor of this change:
- Too many "classic" competitors in the "Linux help" field. Doing something profoundly different might help differentiate us even further. We ain't just another "linux help" forum.
- We've already been more open towards other Free OSs and Free Software in general, already differing in that sense - even our slogan/description said "Free Software Support Community" all along. Therefore this seems quite natural.
- We could earn some more sympathy from those who have believed that there should be no barriers between Free Software based on which OS it is. This change makes us more explicitly a really "Free Software" community in the first place (heck even if you prefer calling it "Open Source", the point is in supporting software which basically fits both definitions, so Open Source people are very welcome - they by all means still use Free Software, no matter how they call it).
Some things that are not in favor of this change:
- Perhaps it's going to be a bit harder to market the site based on the "Linux" label, but then again, considering the competition it never has been easy, and yet we can still keep the "GNU/Linux" name in certain places, it is the biggest Free Software OS afterall..
- Perhaps some Open Source people will be alienated despite that this change does not at all make this site propagate the Free Software philosophy specifically - it merely provides technical support to all users of what some call "Free Software" (including us) and some "Open Source" no matter which Free Software or Open Source software and OS it is.
The current intro message says the following:
"Everyone is welcome! If you use or would like to use Free Software on GNU/Linux, BSD or even Windows you should be right at home on Nuxified.org.
We wont be rude, we wont abuse you with ads and we will strive to be as friendly as possible. If that sounds like fun to you, hop in and say hello to our community or read more about us."
Please post what your opinions. Thank you.