FSFE projects [was: T-shirts]

Gerhard Poul gpoul at gnu.org
Sun May 20 17:48:49 UTC 2001

[Maybe I will not be able to attend a linux expo in the future because
someone will try to kill me if I would but I will write this mail.
Maybe you understand what I'm trying to say :) ]

> > * What about your average idiot, who thinks Windows is complicated?
> And what about the generation in rising, that is beeing taught how to
> use non-free OS's, calling that "taught on how to use a computer"?

I don't like that but this depends on the teachers. - If you can educate
teachers this would be no problem at all I think.

What about making some BOF sessions about use of linux in education at the
next expos? - Invite some teachers and _discuss_ the use of free software
with them. You can only win from something like that. - Either you know 
what is wrong with free software like it is today or you will convince
them to use it.

> This already lead to the ridiculous situation where some IT
> departments hire MSCP's for positions as ... *nix admins, because
> there are MSCP's on the market, but no *nix skilled admins. E.g., my
> school's IT department does. While GNU's Not Unix and my university's
> IT doesn't quite use a free OS, I'm convinced they would do the same
> if they were running a GNU variant.

This has _nothing_ to do with _free software_ at all.

Sun, HP, and IBM have the same problem. - Nobody knows _anyhting_ about
their Unix systems before someday sitting in front of one ;-)

If Unix User Groups don't address this issue maybe the FSFE should promote
the use of Unix. (either free or non-free)

The user interface is almost the same and the students know that there is
something other than windows out there.

> Always taking my school's IT department as an example, these guys are
> basically infiltrating the whole system, gradually moving more and
> more of the server infrastructure to what they know how to run
> properly... MS Windows. I don't thing this situation is local to my
> school. Another university in the same city has some computers for
> students to use for their work. Every single computer is running MS
> Windows. Yes, even computer science students only have access to
> Windows boxes. These students are the future admins and decision
> makers in IT departments. The "next generation" of admins will
> udnerstand only Windows. Thus making the use of free software the
> difficult path.

That's what I'm trying to prohibit. - If they learn Unix, regardless
of freeness, they will have _no_ problem of working with a GNU system.

Okay. Maybe they will _have_ to work with other non-gnu systems but at
least they know that it exist and might think about licensing some
parts of software they wrote under the GPL. - Every free software
that is released helps.

>  - Developing free software to be used as a tool in any level of
>    education: primaire, high school, supérieur.

I don't think free software works that way.

>  - Promoting the teaching of free software use. It can't be widely
>    used if there's no widely spread knowledge on how to use it.

This can be done with free _or_ non-free unix systems.
[yes, free unix systems are _not_ unix but we will ignore this issue...]

>  - Increase the general exposure of the next generations to free
>    software. Let them all, not just geeks, know it exists, and they
>    have enormous benefits to reap from it.

agreed. - I think if you talk to teachers at expos and convince them that
free software is something interesting and useful that they will join
this movement and support its use.

More information about the Discussion mailing list