[Fsf-friends] Spread the message, not the OS

Khuzaima A. Lakdawala klak@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in
05 Aug 2002 21:51:51 +0530

> If Linux is going to reach the school classroom, the success or failure of
> such a project would probably depend on:
> * acceptance of Linux by teachers and students
> * availability of Linux support, when needed 
> * ability to get earlier-generation hardware to work with suitable
>   versions of Linux.

These are almost the same reasons cited for the failure of the
RedEscolar project in Mexico:


The most important reason, neither listed above nor by the people
behind RedEscolar, was that they tried to spread GNU/Linux the
operating system without first spreading the underlying message of
software freedom. Trying to spread GNU/Linux without first ensuring
that the message of software freedom has been put across and well
understood is like putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Like
trying to build a grand structure without laying the appropriate
foundation -- such a structure might sustain itself for some time, but
eventually it is bound to collapse.

Failures like RedEscolar can be avoided only by ensuring that we first
educate people about the virtues of software freedom and by creating
conditions in which people *ask* for free software only because it is
free and not for any other reason. The spread of GNU/Linux, or any
other free OS for that matter, can only be a consequence of the spread
of the message of software freedom, not the other way around.

Khuzaima A. Lakdawala