7 thoughts on “The Competition Hots Up

  1. beltzner: I don’t agree. Do you buy cars with the hood welded shut? After all, if you aren’t an auto mechanic, you can’t fix them – right?

    Governments and local authorities are already waking up to the freedom you get from Free software. Users have less opportunity to exercise that freedom, it’s true. But a user might use Firefox because it has a much greater range of extensions. And why’s that? Because it’s Free, and so writing extensions (and getting bugs fixed which prevent them from working) is much easier. Eventually, people will start putting two and two together.

  2. Your straw man argument doesn’t hold. A more accurate metaphor would be: do you buy cars without being able to participate in the open and IP-free design & development process for that car, and the answer is a resounding “yes.” What’s under the hood is like a public API, not like open source.

    I’m not saying that Open Source and Free Source isn’t better for the computing world in general, Gerv. I’m saying that as a consumer, that’s not going to be a competetive differentiator that ranks above “features”, “performance” or “security.”

    People want things that work. People want things that are cheap. People want things that contribute to the community. With some exceptions, people generally want them in that order.

  3. People also want things that don’t railroad them into a monopoly for support. Proprietary software does exactly that by design. This directly affects what “works”, where people get “secure” programs, and programs that offer “features” they desire. To not see the relationship here, particularly on a Mozilla-oriented blog, is quite ironic. But these reasons aren’t really compelling reasons to switch because I’m sure there are proprietary programs that offer an impressive array of features, high security, and low prices. The compelling reason to switch to free software is an ethical one–it allows people to be neighborly and helps maintain the spirit of friendly voluntary cooperation. We should work to keep society from becoming a dog-eat-dog jungle. Whether people realize this or not only indicates how much education there is left to do, it does not point to whether these values are salient or important. We should not look to place business needs above all others.

    Regarding testing one’s website: I would like to test my websites on a larger array of browsers, but I refuse to install non-free software on my computer because I don’t want things running that I have no opportunity to inspect, share, or modify. This doesn’t mean that I can inspect everything that is running, it means that I don’t want to put myself into a position where I’m forbidden to inspect some program.

    So, what I could really use is a service where someone who is willing to run the non-free programs could take a snapshot of what a webpage looks like in various browsers, then send me the snapshots. This way I could see the webpage without pushing aside my software freedom.

  4. I agree with free software…

    … but when it comes to cars, there are certain drivers who ought to buy them with the doors welded shut.

  5. quisiera un free software para dise´┐Żos automotriz , para empezar mis estudios , desde ya muchas gracias