2006-03-13

Buzzword opportunism won't do

Being involved in no less than four different projects, all with excellent prospects for a permanent job, reminds me of why riding the Free Software bandwagon as yet another opportunistic buzzword won't do:

In three of the projects, people insist upon communicating using the closed source VoIP application Skype. There indeed is a crude port for Linux on i386 (though not for amd64, powerpc, or any other architecture), but the dependencies are broken and my friends at Skype emphasize that Linux is a non-market for them, so I should not expect any solution any time soon. Still, the people behind some of these projects regularly threaten that I'm wasting their time by "refusing" to install Skype on my computer.

Free Software promoters who don't understand what "non-free" means.

In two of the projects, the corporate homepage is made as a single Flash animation. Mentioning that Flash support is extremely broken and thus essentially non-existent on Free Software platforms is pointless: the people behind the project are Windows users and yet they insist that their project is about promoting the free circulation of ideas using Free Software.

Free Software promoters who don't understand interoperability.

In one particular project, the product follows the Googlesque model of "the Web as my application and file server". Great idea, except that ―­ once again ― the people behind the project are Windows users and they insist that the Thin Client hardware must have a standard set of applications pre-installed and some storage media, thus defeating the purpose of this business model.

Promoters of "the Web as my application and file server" model who don't understand the implications of a Thin Client solution.

In all cases, the people behind the project mean well, but ― not being Free Software users themselves ― they clearly don't understand the profound implications of the Free Software agenda; they only see it as a license-free technology to connect the masses for cheap and they evidently find it difficult to think outside the Windows PC framework.

Free Software as a business model, in a nutshell: data interoperability and the client-server model. Either get it or you're wasting my time ...and yours too. Nothing personal; just business.

PS: I sincerely hope that anybody who recognizes themselves in the above rant will acknowledge my honest concerns and embrace this opportunity to truly adopt Free Software. Just do it! It doesn't matter where you get the FOSS. Just make sure that the FOSS gets you! (inspired by a great Candy Dulfer song currently blasting through the headphones).

Ei kommentteja: