[ubuntu-uk] Free vs non-free drivers etc
rob at esdelle.co.uk
Wed Nov 15 18:17:45 GMT 2006
I was wondering if I could get peoples general opinion on free vs
non-free drivers etc.
We have been having a discussion on our LUG about Flash on PPC. It
eventually turned into a proprietary is bad argument with the usual
suspects preaching that everyone should use just free software with not
a sniff of non-free software.
For some of us we need or want a bit of non-free code on our computers
as unfortunately it is the only way we can use our computers or get the
experience we want. One of the guys on my local LUG said that if we're
running non-free on Linux then we're better off running Windows.
Now I have argued that yes, its not ideal that we're running non-free
stuff on Linux (I would love to go completely non-free) but from a new
user perspective seeing flame wars like that would most likely put new
users off. It seems to be the same couple of users who will sit there
and moan but not even offer to help out when we're doing things to
I argued that surely if a bit of non-free gets new users to move over to
Linux from Windows, then once they are using Linux they can explore the
free alternatives, and maybe even contribute to the community (say
writing a bit of code, documentation or providing support to other new
I just wondered what others thought. How I see it, we're in a perfect
position to be talking up and demonstrating Linux as an alternative to
users moving over to Vista and potentially dumping a perfectly good
computer. I am getting to the point where I am possibly going to set up
my own mailing list for Devon to promote Open Source software as I just
don't think that the local LUG I am a member of is interested in
anything other than /. style flame wars.
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