[Fsf-friends] Fw: failure notice, Use of Windows in FSFS.IN

Sebin Jacob sebinajacob at gmail.com
Fri Dec 19 16:25:56 IST 2008

On the use of windows in fsfs.in, I think the matter is pretty clear.

Windows was loaded in the personal laptop of Sun's representative who spoke
in technology track. The organisers already admitted that, it was their
mistake not to explicitly mention that no speakers should use proprietary OS
for making presentations. Then why is this hue and cry? Its not a stock
market and there is no bullish trend present.

Stating this, I would also like to point out that, free softwares are not
only available in free operating systems, but they are equally available and
present in proprietary OS's as well. If you want to showcase a platform
independent API or SDK, what will be the option left out, if no proprietery
OS is allowed in the conference venue? Again, is it good/ethical to develop
free softwares in proprietery platform according to your convictions?

Another area where proprietery OS was spotted were the stall owned by SBT,
one of the sponsors of the conference. There is an ongoing exercise to tie
it up with the boycott novell protest in National Conference on Free
Software held at Kochi. The issue with Novell is clearly different. Novell
was not present in the official sponsors list for Kochi conference duly
published in its website. But they were made sponsors over the night. If you
are not trying to be blind, it is easy for you to recognise. Novell
legitimised M$'s claim on software patents by making use of a loophole in
GPL.v2 which prompted the community to come out with a better licence option
GPL.v3. If you are all for patents, its better to quit this movement. On the
contrary, the sponsors of fsfs.in were known already and if anybody had
anything against state bank, then they should have said about it in advance.
This is just a flamewar and is not according to merit.

I was present full time in policy track at this (fsfs.in) conference and
there weren't a single instance were M$ product was used. Whenever a
speaker, tended to voice against the spirit of freedom, the delegates raised
objection then and there itself and they were not manhandled with. The
freedom to protest was observed, not curtailed.

But I have some disagreements on smartcity being the sponsor of such an
event and that is political. I am all against SEZs and software SEZs are not
needed for FLOSS development. This is a personal view, and I do not know
anybody who shares the same opinion. If my reading is correct, Anivar might
also possess some problem with it.

The second thing i was not satisfied with was, though it was not the usual
way with journos,  I registered for the conference and paid the delgate fee.
But on asking for a receipt, I was denied one. But I got more enlightened
than the Rs. 500/- I paid, and so I have no big problem with it.

Now whether or not to use proprietery software, the answer is, whenever a
viable free version is available to execute a project, use it, and if not,
go for the proprietary option. I am not an FS fanatic. I have a dual boot
system and I use Adobe products which are proprietary. As they run only on
Windows and Macs, I use Windows. As the Scribus development is going on, I
hope, soon there will be a time, when i could completely opt for Free
Software only. As I am not a techie or an engineer, I have not personally
contributed to any code, but was active in discussions related to Malayalam
localisation of GNU/Linux as a volunteer of SMC. If you think that one could
qualify as a free software enthusiast only if he writes some code, I am not
your prey. I am attracted to the concept of freedom and am trying myself to
understand the code. I dont think, its a holy grail to stay away from.


...if I fought with you, if i fell wounded and allowed no one to learn of my
suffering, if I never turned my back to the enemy: Give me your blessing!
(Nikos Kazantzakis)
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