"After The Software Wars", is a new book in which former Microsoft employee Keith Curtis explores the worlds of proprietary and free software. Quoting from the article:
While I came to not be all that thrilled with Fedora itself, I was floored merely by the installation process. It contained a graphical installer that ran all the way to completion, it resized my NTFS partition -- which I considered a minor miracle, setup dual boot, and actually did boot, and let me surf the Web. I didn't have a clue what to do next, but the mere fact that this all worked told me more about the potential of Linux than anything I had read so far. You cannot, by accident, build an airplane that actually flies.
They say - there's no such thing as a free lunch. But, Linux and FOSS software can be used to start, run and grow your business for, you guessed it, free. February survey of IT managers by IDC indicated that hard times are accelerating the adoption of Linux. The open source operating system will emerge from the recession in a stronger data center position than before, concluded an IDC white paper. Reducing costs and stronger interoperability with Windows were listed as the two top issues in a new survey of IT managers. [click to continue…]
GNU is a computer operating system composed entirely of free software. According to wikipedia:
The plan for the GNU operating system was publicly announced on September 27, 1983, on the net.unix-wizards and net.usoft newsgroups by Richard Stallman. Software development began on January 5, 1984, when Stallman quit his job at Massachusetts Institute of Technology so that they could not claim ownership or interfere with distributing GNU as free software.
FSF has started its month long celebration of the anniversary by publishing Happy Birthday to GNU film:
(Video.01: Freedom Fry — "Happy birthday to GNU" - short film by Stephen Fry)
Many of these problems are not specific to Free Software in particular, but to volunteer software. Hobbyist proprietary programs often have poor designs for many of the same reasons. But the easiest way of getting volunteers to contribute to a program is to make it open source. And while thousands of people are now employed in developing Free Software, most of its developers are volunteers. So it’s in Free Software that we see volunteer software’s usability problems most often.
Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation published an interesting article on BBC news website. From the article:
To pay so much attention to Bill Gates' retirement is missing the point. What really matters is not Gates, nor Microsoft, but the unethical system of restrictions that Microsoft, like many other software companies, imposes on its customers. But Gates didn't invent proprietary software, and thousands of other companies do the same thing. It's wrong, no matter who does it.
Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and the rest, offer you software that gives them power over you. A change in executives or companies is not important. What we need to change is this system.
That's what the free software movement is all about. "Free" refers to freedom: we write and publish software that users are free to share and modify.
Misunderstandings of the GPL Licensing is a common issue. It can create problem for both developers and sys admins. Most developers and admin think that they understood all legal mumbo jumbo associated with GPL. You can take the Free Software licensing quiz and test your knowledge of the GPL and LGPL.
An interesting interview with Canonical chief executive Mark Shuttleworth. He talks about choosing Ubuntu name and in a future undominated by Windows, how Ubuntu hopes to be the provider of a service ecosystem for free software. From the page:
Going to space and seeing the Earth from a distance makes it very clear just how interdependent we are. So I wanted to do something that was really global; free software is a phenomenon that is truly global.