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

Joao Monteiro jmonteiro257 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 13 05:01:49 UTC 2017

Hi Richard,

Thanks. Not knocking it, just being realist and aware of my own limitations
- and capabilities alike, of course.

Yes, I did find a way indeed... which is why I sustain that if I can do it,
everybody can. And yet, I'm aware that there's a myriad of reasons why
sometimes we may not be able to go ahead with our good intentions... time
constraints, financial constraints, etc, to name just two of the most
common in this day and age.

There IS actually something as a free lunch in all the sense of the concept
of "free". I could draw attentions to this very xubuntu community as a good
example and prove it in unmistakeable and irrefutable terms, but it
wouldn't serve any significant purpose right now... rather than elicit a
never ending arguing about the sex of the angels... futile and pointless,

I'm glad you chose this approach and stated your goals for it... firstly
because that's pretty much what I'd love to see this thread achieving
(encouraging a variety of views, opinions, etc) and secondly because it
gives me the opportunity to earn my bread as a devil's advocate, so to
speak, hehehe...

You said: "

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].

OK, good that you found one that suits you. However, you still settled for
one of the main stream ones. And that's why there's so many varied distros
out there. Some people can't find one that suits them, so they make use of
linux's powerful versatility to grab a main stream one, tweak it and alter
it to suit their needs and then make it available for whomever else to use
if they like it.

Great. Problem is that potential users aren't necessarilly
programming-capable and if the author(s) of a distro stop developing it or
maintaining it, those users will sooner or later be back on the search road
for another one.

And that's a massive downside factor to most.

Lastly, isn't the purpose of every distro "maker", the same as you stated?
Of course it is.

Where it gets messy, though, is here... the "makers" of distros, OS's, etc,
are programmers and programmers - by the very nature of the skillsets that
made them programmers - have great difficulty understanding the needs and
mindsets of the average user who has no programming knowledge, aptitude or
intention to learn anything remotely resembling "programming".

The average user is a typical consumer, with a consumer's mindset... s/he
wants to grab a computer loaded with "something" that allows them to power
it up and start typing away, pointing and clicking to get whatever they
need done.

That's what Bill Gates understood and the reason of the success of windows.

This xubuntu xfce that I'm irredimibly in love with, seems to have been
created by programmers who have to some extent realized this as well and
even felt that exact need to some extent as well.

As such, I do see it as a potential serious alternative to desperate
windows users yearning for a windows alternative.

The mistake that many hurriedly make is to misinterpret this as being a way
of trying to turn linux into a replacement alternative to windows as a
focus of the development of the distro.

No. It is not.

Becoming a replacement alternative to windows comes unavoidably as a
NATURAL CONSEQUENCE of the development and improvement of the distro.
That's what need to be understood, imo...

Tda :)

On 12 Jul 2017 15:27, "Richard Owlett" <rowlett at cloud85.net> wrote:

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

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

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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