Information about the Free Software Foundation Europe

Lord [INSERT NAME HERE] lordylordy at
Sat Dec 2 18:38:55 UTC 2000

"Sinisa \"Sigma14\" \"\" Milicic" wrote:
> > > Software = A program that can be run by a computer
> > > Source Code = The text a programmer has written that can be translated by a
> > > compiler so that computers can run it.
> > > Free Software = Software that is delivered along with its Source Code and
> > > the guarantee that anyone is allowed to run, reproduce, modify, translate
> > > etc the Code as long as he keeps the copyright.
> > >
> > > Better definitions can be taken from the GPL.
> >
> > That's all very well and good for lawyers and for long, detailed
> > articles. I was wondering if anyone could come up with something that
> > encapsulates the concept libre software for Joe Sixpack. Such a thing
> > would be invaluable for evangelising, but it looks like no-one else has
> > any etter ideas than me.
> OK.. what we should, in other words, do is take a model of J. Random Luser
> and figure a way to enlighten his computer-half/whole-illiterate being
> into seeing what lies beyond proprietary software.
> If we want Andy Capp to USE and UNDERSTAND software libre, we lower the
> advanteages of it to his level, we musn't use common sence. We mustn't get
> into the situation Cro's only LuG's president got into. He was asked by an
> old lady, when sne found out he was into computers, ('96.) wether he uses
> Windows 95. He said he almost coredumped when he heard what she had said.
> What I think the main problem of Andy Capp, J. Random and Joe Sixpack is
> their intellectual capacity. You can't teach them the differences between
> GNU/Linux and Linux, Linux and Software Libre (if they've even heard of
> Linux, whche they persuambly have, and consider it to be somthing 'like
> Windows, only gratis'), et cetera, because they won't follow you from the
> word 'Hi!'. People tend to oppose rather then improve. That's how GNU
> stared, right? So, what I would like to say, is that our advocacy case
> should be based on equally accenting the why-not-to-use-proprietary sw, as
> much as the use-free-sw-because-you-can-$foo.

Generally speaking, a good point. I would caution against doing down
people's intellectual capacity, though. I understand the issues around
software pretty well because that's what I'm into. But do I know
anything about car engines, for example? No. I'm sure there are plenty
of Joe Sixpacks out there who do understand car engines, but don't
understand software.

But we can't expect everyone to take the same amount of time to
understand the issues as we have. We should perhaps study the
environmental movement- they've been very effective at stirring up
public opinion about pretty complex scientific issues, like global
warming and acid rain.

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