The state of Free Software is good and getting better every day. I like to describe status in numbers but others are more qualitative. Take Eben Moglen, for instance. He gave an inspiring presentation on this topic at LibrePlanet 2010. You can download the video here (60 MB, ogv, 48 min.). Some key points I found surprising although I knew the facts. I had not connected the dots:
- Free Software has come from being ignored and ridiculed to being required by everyone. The world of IT now depends on Free Software.
- Free Software quickly solved the problem of “write once – run everywhere” when no one else could.
- Free Software is being defended against software-patents by large businesses that have tons of software-patents. Patent-trolls hurt all software businesses.
- Free Software is the best software because it has no commercial interests yet businesses love it because it is so good and costs so little.
- Free Software database, MySQL, was a key component of the purchase of SUN so that Oracle could defeat the scalability of M$’s SQLserver.
- Free Software will be even stronger in the future because the low cost of entry and the four freedoms (run, examine, modify and distribute) mean almost every youngster interested in IT will know about it and take that knowledge into adulthood.