Sometimes people ask me how to do something on Windows, and I am reminded of how it lacks support for some pretty fundamental, simple things and requires nightmarish workarounds.

Sure, Linux has some really weird edge cases and issues. But it comes with a proper browser, pdf support, software repositories... and stuff like line breaks, compressed files, subtitles, partitions and updates just work.

Not saying that Linux is perfect. I have issues with display and audio output, network cards are notoriously spotty, graphic drivers are an issue, etc etc etc.

But it is just _wild_ that Windows just refuses to properly parse Unix linebreaks, has bad support to something as basic as pdfs, and people act as if it is normal to install software by downloading shady installers and letting them manage themselves. How can something so ubiquitous and so well-financed be this bad.

And the worse part is, most of that is intentional. They want software to be bought in a store. They don't want to help potential competitors. They want to break compatibility to lock people in. They want to add value to their own brand.

Which means this stuff is never going to get fixed. It's counterproductive to fix it.

@eldaking Fully agree, except for one small detail: Wanting people to "buy software in a store" actually is, too, creating a thriving ecosystem of small companies and individuals developing and selling software to earn a living, feed their families and pay their bills. I don't agree with *how* this happens, but we should acknowledge this is something FLOSS (which is to quite some extent driven by people who are hobbyists/enthusiasts and/or working elsewhere in a well-paid dayjob and can ...

@z428 @eldaking What you're describing is the 1980s model, from the time when Microsoft first appeared. That whole period was my childhood and I can say from first hand experience that it didn't create a thriving economy in software with sustainable livelihoods. What it did create was what we would now call "artificial scarcity" and a thriving warez scene, which resulted in kids being criminalized.

I don't think going back to that would be progress. Most software should be a public resource. Once created its duplication costs are almost zero. People shouldn't be criminalized for using software.

@bob @z428 @eldaking

Also, at that time RMS was earning money selling (tape) copies of Emacs, which was licensed as Free Software.

Now that we don't use physical copies, free software developers can make a living out of a) tailored software b) support c) donations. VLC does it this way, for instance.

@tagomago Agree with the both of you, yet I wonder how many devs in FLOSS these days actually manage to live like that, especially also compared to devs that can "afford" to do FLOSS development because they earn a living with a well paid job doing, like, highly proprietary enterprise software development. This seems neither sustainable nor honest to me...
@bob @eldaking

@z428 @bob @eldaking

I think we should stop thinking that the nonfree software model is honest and acceptable in the first place ('cause it isn't), then things would start falling in place.

@tagomago Agreed. But from that point of view, being devils advocate for a moment, I would consider software "non free" if it's a spare time project by someone who earns money developing closed/proprietary stuff in her dayjob. 😉 This is my only problem with that approach.
@bob @eldaking

@z428 @bob @eldaking

I would say that it's extremely unfair to tie what a person does in their free time to what this person does in their job, basically because we are *forced* to work, and most of the times we don't have many choices. Yeah, I think this person should look for an alternate ethical "dayjob", but not because it stains their free time free software "production".

@tagomago I don't think it's unfair, because it's a privileged mode of working that keeps people from understanding the issues of those who are software developers yet in a less privileged or economically "safe" environment in my opinion...
@bob @eldaking

@z428 @bob @eldaking

Well, not exactly. That depends on how this person (and all of us, by the way) presents their project, and how free software is explained to the largely unaware public. If this is correctly addressed, including the sustainability issue, then the responsability is not theirs, imo.

@tagomago Yes. But no. My point is still that FLOSS, despite all of its advantages, greatly causes difficulties for people that depend upon (maybe small scale) software development to earn a living. And I see not enough energy spent on fixing that - again because, if it's a spare time enthusiasm project and your dayjob pays your bills, you don't have to care.
@bob @eldaking

@z428 @tagomago @bob @eldaking There's been efforts from the like of elementary & some other dedicated groups I can't recall the name of right now.

From that it appears the biggest problem is cultural: too many people expect not to have to pay, or even be pushed to do so. The situation's slowly improving...

@alcinnz Yes, especially that latter part is a problem, also in FLOSS in my opinion. We've been hypocrites, to some extent, by claiming that we want "Libre" because it's of course more important - and quietly accepted that "gratis" is the most (and in some cases only) actual effect of FLOSS at least for untrained John Doe. 😔 @tagomago @bob @eldaking

@z428 @alcinnz @bob @eldaking

From my own experience, an overwhelming majority has never paid for Windows or other nonfree software.

And I donate periodically to many projects, some of them I even don't use. So who's the hypocrite?

@tagomago Ah sorry, that latter part wasn't addressing any particular individuals. I handle things just the way you do. But: Do you have a job with a modestly variable monthly income depending on something as possibly random as donations, or do you have a fixed monthly salary? @alcinnz @bob @eldaking

@tagomago If you were, say, a small development studio with three or four employees in full time living off selling proprietary software and this model works in a way you can survive: What advantage would you get from going for a FLOSS licence? Would you in worst case be ready to give up on an at least somewhat regular monthly income for these? @alcinnz @bob @eldaking


@z428 @alcinnz @bob @eldaking

If that development studio is making tailored software for enterprises, free-licensing it wouldn't change anything for the studio, and the client should be happier, given that they can choose different support providers. So you probably would be in a better position going for free software.

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@tagomago @z428 @bob @eldaking This has proven itself in practice for many people I know...

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