Weekends are somewhat slow on the web so I dig around in cold dark corners for something about which to write. I visited this hatchet-job at Phoronix. Larabel seems to have little good to say about FSF and its list of “high priority” projects. Instead of saying nothing or providing a solution, it’s all negative:
- He criticizes the lagging Gnash project which is supposed to “keep up” with the deprecated Flash system of Adobe. Does he want developers to code for a system that won’t be used?
- He does mention that Google is contributing to the CoreBoot project because of its quick-booting property, but he writes, “Google Chrome OS mobile devices haven’t exactly been flying off the shelves.
I remain quite hopeful for Coreboot as a project, but in the forseeable future I don’t see it shipping on too many consumer products. There’s also financial institutions, trading firms, and similar organizations that like Coreboot for its fast boot times and being open-source to verify greater security.”
- It goes downhill from there. He bashes work on a Skype-replacement, video editor, Google Earth-replacement, Free Software distros, etc.
- He seems to tire near the end, dropping from vitriol to innuendo, “The biggest farce of all, and the last on the list, is the PowerVR drivers. This has been a high-priority FSF project for more than one year yet there’s virtually no work towards this goal.”
For Pity’s sake, it’s a wishlist, not a plan to take over the world. If he thinks there’s a better wishlist to make, he should create his own instead of finding fault.
Here’s my wishlist. I think there is plenty of good software in FLOSS so it is not a high priority to create more unless someone has the urge. I think the highest priority of the Free Software movement should be to educate people about Free Software. There are still many who don’t know enough about Free Software to demand it from OEMs and retailers.
- Every user or developer of FLOSS should commit to introducing 10 (or more) people to FLOSS in 2012. If 100 million flossies aren’t enough, a billion should really make a difference.
- Every flossie should make every effort to see that FLOSS is used extensively at home, at work, in government and education. It does not take much effort to keep FLOSS on the radar. Just mentioning it at every opportunity to modify IT systems is useful. For hints, read what the Dark Side does. Of course they spend $hundreds of millions promoting slavery every year. Flossies can do that, too, to promote freedom.
- Users should contribute bug reports, documentation, suggestions for FLOSS packages they use. That is the least anyone should give for the privilege of using FLOSS with a $0 licence.
- Flossies should not accept the “1%” number wherever it is found. GNU/Linux passed that many years ago and has not slowed down. The NetApplications’ data has clear bias to business-use which is not representative at all of use in government, education and personal use. Challenge that assertion in all forums.
- Flossies should liberate 10 (or more) PCs annually by installing GNU/Linux. It’s the FLOSS OS most likely to succeed on desktops/notebooks. Android/Linux may eventually be a better solution, but for now GNU/Linux is just easier to install and has plenty of good software.
- Every flossie should extend his/her knowledge of GNU/Linux to all kinds of networking, learning to exploit the power of networking, the most powerful feature of GNU/Linux. Learn to use things like iptables (directly or through some applications), NFS, openSSH, SSHfs, X11, Apache/boa/nginx or other web server, and databases. M$ offers nothing like that without major additional expense. This makes the price/performance decision very clear.
- Every flossie should learn to use a package manager to administer multiple PCs on a LAN with a local cache or mirror. The increased performance is wonderful, making any number of PCs as easy as one to administer.
- Every flossie should learn how to set up KVM and use virt-manager to run virtual machines on GNU/Linux so that demonstrations, tests of software, and screenshots of procedures are readily available. All the words in the world are not as convincing to a person as seeing FLOSS run. Learn to use ffmpeg or vlc to record the desktop to preserve sessions. Video is more real to viewers than still pictures.
- Every flossie who would demonstrate GNU/Linux and other FLOSS should learn to be a system administrator, not just a user, in order to be conversant with all kinds of issues that might arise in installation, upgrades, configurations and generally modifying systems to suit users. At the very list, learn how to find packages for your distro and to install them.
- Every flossie who would aid newbies should at least learn to use a few applications of each kind in GNU/Linux so that a newbie can be told what choices there are and the advantages of each. Learn to be a “salesman” for FLOSS.
These wishlist items would make the world a better place not a sadder place.