Richard Stallman introduced the argument of the power balance between software users and producers

But that argument is not settled by the GPL

A GPL compliant software can be unfair in other ways.

And "I do this for free" is not enough to guarantee that your work is not harmful

@catonano TBF that has not been the argument at all.

The argument has been all about the 4 freedoms of software.

One is allowed to modify (or get a knowledgable person to modify) the software to fit your needs whatever they may be and that you cannot hold that back from the community.

Stallman even proposes business models based on the four freedoms.


how is the free software meaningful outside of the corporate world ?

I'm not rethoric

I'd like a survey

Empowering means that it allows _me_ to create, to express myself

@catonano I have tought people how to use a computer and how to create things in our OpenLab sessions. This would not have been possible without free software at all.

We have built education centers for refugees using donated HW which would be impossible to operate wouldn't there bee free software that still supports this HW with uptodate programms.
There are projects that try to build infrastructure for hospitals, practises. There's the freifunk project that tries to establish a free wifi net.

@catonano What makes you think that it only exists in the corporate world?


because I live outside of that world and it brings way less meaning to me than to large organizations

@catonano I can relate to this.

And yes a lot of projects are self referencing, targetting their own developers or felow developers.

Then there are things like , owncloud or media goblin, even pleroma/mastodon that are targetting a much broader audience.

There should be more projects like this.

Especially infrastructure programs like GNU Health.

Also I'd like a free software to declare my taxes :p

@catonano That said, one cannot blame the GPL for being responsible for this situation though.

As you wrote it's about humans.

And your appeal is that your fellow humans should build needed missing free software instead of something for their jerk circle.

That's a valid request.

And a lot of people are doing this, in there spare time or full time even.

Others don't. I don't see how they are harming anyone by doing so?
Or perpetuating unfairness?
That's a stark proposition...


sometimes, there's a part of dedication to circle jerking and a part of dedication to something meaningful _in the same project_

The things are intertwined !


this thing should be brought up

because there's a cultural debt in the free software world, i think


as for free software missing bits, I want to note that I see the Gnome desktop and probably the KDE one (I don't know that enough) as exceptions

Because those projects necessarily are concerned with the human interaction

And the human interaction is the pain point in the free software tech debt


I don't think it's a case that the Gnome people came up with Meson instead of the Autotools

Because when you think in terms of usability you think in those terms not only about your users but also about yourself

@catonano I don't know what this means. I'll try to read up on it.


for analogy, i call "cultural debt" the fact that you accept less than optimal user interaction because for contingent reasons and then that becomes a burden that further impacts the usability of your project

@catonano I have to say I am unsure how to make the software freedoms more practical to humans that cannot program though.
In the end you need to learn how this all works.
The only way to get to that is to make it easier for people who want to get involved to get involved. Paying them support for their study time, providing free evening classes, meetups, safe spaces for people too shy otherwise (I am thinking of the german F.U.C.K -- feminists* and computer stuff in german -- groups for example)

I agree with the spirit and aspirations of the "FOSS isn't capitalism" article. But, I fail to see how today's users can be convinced to take up programming their own computers. For example, Emacs provides a great deal of programmability and customization, but most people only want LibreOffice. The instant gratification of ready-made and mature software is irresistible for most people. I have tried selling people on the programmability of Emacs several times, and much to my chagrin, have always failed abysmally.


programming should be made easy for people who would like to try

But it's not for everybody

Emacs has been extremely successful. I don't know how many people started programming because of Emacs

But I know that many people dedicated their time to Emacs extensions

LibreOffice and Gimp are 2 great examples of well made GUI based free software projects and they have their own place


but then I see that, for example, a macro "stepper" is less than an afterthought in Guile

And the reason that emerged on the mailing list is, in my not so humble opinion, miopic

Macros are "first class citizens" in scheme and yet scheme systems deem appropriate not to offer debugging capabilites for macros

Who would dare to build large projects on such a system ?

It's as if the gdb only covered a subset of C


an interpreter and runtime are considered necessary

a debugger less so

I understand where this idea comes from

But that makes a system not viable for serious work

So, you see, there are several levels where you could make the life easier to people who would dare to start build something with your system

And Guile here is only an example.

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