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Re: Linux: Not Just for Programmers

  • Subject: Re: Linux: Not Just for Programmers
  • From: "Mathew P." <Mathew@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 04 May 2006 20:34:15 GMT
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: March of the Penguins
  • References: <5968841.lLW1Llor3b@schestowitz.com> <26dpi3-sro.ln1@sirius.tg00suus7038.net>
  • User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1106394
Hash: SHA1

On 2006-05-04, The Ghost In The Machine spake thusly:
> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Roy Schestowitz
>  wrote
> on Thu, 04 May 2006 05:27:37 +0100
>> Why non-programmers should use Free Software
>> ,----[ Quote ]
>> | 
>> | If you don't program, you may end up wondering why you should
>> | use free-software. Why not just buy Mac OSX and Microsoft word?
>> |
>> | [...]
>> |
>> | First of all, buying propriety software is expensive. Microsoft office
>> | and Windows cost quite a lot. Your Macintosh is also quite expensive.
>> | You like to save money so you can buy more useful things.
>> | 
>> | [...]
>> | 
>> | Secondly, you care what happens to your data. If you are using
>> | proprietary software, it could eat your data.
> Erm...the same is true of any software, so this is a
> non-starter argument-wise.  Of course one interesting
> adjunct to this argument may very well be that OSS tends
> to be smaller and more specialized.  Think vi as opposed to
> Word, though OSS also has emacs so that argument's a little
> weird as well. :-)

True, OSS does tend to be smaller and more specialized, but that
may be more of a functional illusion. Proprietary (read MS) software
tends to be exceptionally bloated, which is in contrast to OSS applications
that are the functional equivalent. In your example of VI, it would
perhaps be a better comparison to contrast VI with notepad. Notepad
is slow and bulky, VI is anti-matter in comparison. VI is functionally
(more or less) the equivalent to notepad in that they are attempts to
achieve the same goal on the same scale. But VI is so much faster,
more compact and (once you get over the learning curve) easier,
notepade simply fades off in the sunset. The same equvalency
can be applied to Open Office VS Word. Word is just about the
most bloated, unreliable WP ever concieved by the mind of man. Think
Clippy if you need convincing. In stark contrast, Open office is
reliable and (more or less) streamlined for all the tasks it
is able to handle for the user. The illusion: bloat can appear
to make a program larger and more all-around powerful as opposed
to non bloated programs appearing to be specialized and less
all-around ball busting.

> But the real issue might be that OSS "will sell no bits before
> they're ready" so tend to be overcautious in declaring a piece
> of software alpha when it's really beta, or beta when it's so
> rock-solid anyway that anyone but a nitpicking computer engineer
> can pick it up, use it, and not run the risk of data loss (or at
> least not as much as rushed-out-the-door-to-make-quota stuff).

Perfectly, and completely truthfully stated. Hats off.




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