[xubuntu-users] The Devil's Advocate -- TANSTAAFL AKA "FOSS vs Proprietary"

Richard Owlett rowlett at cloud85.net
Wed Jul 12 14:26:41 UTC 2017

TANSTAAFL == "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch"
q.v. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TANSTAAFL>

Disclaimer: Though I use Debian rather than Ubuntu, I often find this 
forum useful.

On 07/12/2017 02:01 AM, Joao Monteiro wrote:
> Hi all,
> For those who may not have read it in the thread where I mentioned
> it, the purpose of this thread is simple:
> My humble way of giving a contribution to the community within my
> rookie means, in a threefold manner...

Don't knock it. Not only do you recognize (perhaps unconsciously) 
TANSTAAFL, but you saw a means to contribute by means other than 
programming. Other ways include proof reading &/or writing documentation 
and filing good bug reports.

> 1) The original subject of a thread usually gets lost in the twists
> and turns that the replies take, often going astray into subjects
> that have nothing to do with their original subject.

I assume you are referring to

> When that deviation from the original sibject happens, people are
> welcome to bring that deviation into here. That way the threads can
> remain as useful references to their titled subjects and with
> valuable info pertaining to that subject alone

You have chosen one of the possible solutions, one appropriate to your 
apparent goals.
In this post I chose a different method to achieve two goals:
   A. maintain close relationship to original thread.
   B. identify aspect of interest.

> 2) To bring forth insights into pros and cons of one too many things
> linux related and
> 3) To gather as many and varied views and opinions - preferably with
> sensible explanations as to "why" - as possible, which can bring
> precious insights into the needs and expectations that users have
> from their particular linux distro (in this case xubuntu xfce);
> a graphical or musical user will have different needs and
> expectations than a math teacher, an
> average user, a programmer, a forensic analyst, etc...
> This can in due course offer a substantial picture, map, of what is
> lacking, what can be improved and how, etc...
> I have asked Ralph to please be the Prosecutor beating the crap out
> of me, who will be the horned bugger's advocate :) .... I hope he
> accepts, as he has very good views and strong opinions well
> reasoned...
> So... I'll open it with a subject that is pertinent enough to have
> some buying me a coffee and others hanging me by my balls :)
> Give me a few minutes to dawn a pair of kevlar undies and I'll kick
> start the fuss :)

I classify software differently than some people. I have a strong 
preference for FOSS for its emphasis on "free/libre" as in "free" 
speech. This is in contrast to "free/gratis". NOTE BENE: there there are 
many cases where proprietary software is available gratis - e.g. 
proprietary device drivers.

I've been a computer *USER* since taking a required programming course 
as an E.E. student in the early 60's. My PC's have ranged from a Kim 
with 1k RAM, through some CPM-80 systems with 16-64k to my my current 
3GB Debian Stretch systems [with long detour using MS DOS -> WinXP].

I abandoned MS when they drifted from being a useful tool to requiring 
me to think in line with "the ONE true path" The final break was they 
effectively wanted me to rent new software that didn't meet my 
needs/desires any better than nominally obsolete product.

It is often not recognized that Microsoft, Apple, Canonical, Red Hat, 
Debian, and Ubuntu have something very much in common. They have one 
purpose in mind - providing product that matches their specific view of 
what the customer needs. I tried multiple distros - Debian was the best 
fit for _me_ [sometimes in hard to explicitly define ways].

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