Improving copyright

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at
Thu May 13 20:21:39 UTC 2004

Hash: SHA1

On 13 May 2004 at 20:07, Andreas K. Foerster wrote:

> > One major gripe I have with the FSF et al is that they totally
> > mistarget their efforts. Who needs free software ideology the most
> > right now? Why none other than Windows users. Why the hell therefore
> > is the lion's share of free software effort going towards
> > non-Windows systems?
> I think, writing Free Software for Windows just binds the users
> tighter to that unfree system!

That's the orthodox position. I also think it's completely wrong 
because it ignores three factors:
(i) Most free software for Windows is portable, therefore a user is 
less bound to any one operating system
(ii) When Windows users use free software they realise free software 
can be just as good as or better than COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) 
(iii) Free software forces the user to support themselves to a much 
greater degree eg; seek support from a mailing list rather than 
buying a support contract. This is the most important thing we need 
to encourage in society at large for the good of mankind.

I also take issue with GNU going hell for leather making a free Java 
compiler. Well quite frankly that's a waste of effort - there are 
better fish to fry eg; ReactOS.

> > Projects such as ReactOS should be getting the very fullest of
> > weight from the FSF, not Linux [1]. I don't know why people have
> > missed this very self-evident point.
> Well, I think ReactOS can never keep up with Windows - because it is
> controlled by one single company. If ReactOS comes too close,
> Microsoft simply changes something in their system to make it
> incompatible. They are the ones, who have the finger at the trigger
> (sourcecode/specifications).

You forget something - most users don't need any more features than 
Windows NT offers. In fact if NT had better peripheral support I'd 
still be using it rather than Win2k as my base system.

There are still a shocking number of computers running *Windows* *95* 
out there especially in SME's. After all, it does what's wanted.

Microsoft are finding it harder and harder to get people to upgrade 
to the latest Windows. In fact, Windows XP wouldn't have sold 85% of 
its copies if it weren't bundled with each & every new PC. MS are 
about to force people to buy it by stopping releasing security 
updates for Win2k but given they recently had to release updates for 
NT4 they're going to find that hard.

Also, lastly, MS can't just change things to make software 
incompatible anymore like in Win3.1 days. Too much of Windows base 
code depends on things being a certain way nowadays.

> Remember OS/2 - even IBM couldn't keep up.

There was no technical reason IBM couldn't keep up, indeed many would 
say (correctly IMHO) than OS/2 Warp was far superior to Win95. IBM 
dropped the ball entirely due to mismanagement and crap marketing.


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