firefox, iceweasel, burningdog, icecat, ...

P.B. pb at
Thu Oct 30 08:12:32 UTC 2008

Bjoern Schiessle wrote:
> People who have no problem adding non-Free Software to their browser
> probably don't care that much about having a complete free operating
> system and/or browser. So they are probably not the main target group of
> IceCat.
True, but indirectly, it's not that straightforward (at least for me)
2 practical things to consider:

1) Isn't it so, that currently most people who don't care about Free
Software, but still run GNU/Linux had their system installed &
maintained by someone else?

A friend asks you to take care of his buggy Windows computer. You refuse
to, and suggest trying GNU/Linux instead. Guess who'll setup the
machine?   :)

So what to do? If you setup a computer today without nonfree-flash,
that's like the first call you're gonna get: "bohoooo... youtube...
bohooo.... myspace.... bohooo... lunax sucks. nothing works"
  : (

It's bad that people don't see how much *is* already there, but
unfortunately, that's my current impression - people are ungrateful and
impatient. *sigh*

2) My computers are my showcases.

Friends and co-workers see what I'm using. If I can show them how
convenient GNU/Linux can be for everyday work and other things (even
editing Video!), they get the right impression.
How often does it happen that, eg. at a party, someone says: "hey, could
you open that youtube video... it's hillarious!" - if you can't, it's
almost impossible to avoid them thinking "oh. it's because of this Lunax
where things are painfully difficult and you can't do normal stuff on"

If my system can't handle things that visitors might request, they get
the wrong impression that it wouldn't work for them *at all* - or that
it's super-difficult (e.g.: A friend of mine checks mails and burns CDs
on the commandline - no GUI. It's totally fine for him, but a lot of
friends got the impression that this is how you do it with GNU/Linux  ;)  )

It's strange, but most people really think that their system will be
like yours if the use Free Software. They're so used to uniforms that
they have a hard time imagining individuality in the app & OS world.

Of course I tell them about Free Software, explain them the unfortunate
current situation about non-free parts, etc...


More information about the Discussion mailing list