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SubjectFree Software Lovers Unite !


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, all you FS Lovers out there,

I've been watching Linux (and other FS) development for a while and I see
desperate need for some organization to avoid futile, ineffective and contrary
efforts in the Free Software field, of which there are currently many. At the
moment I have in mind primarily software development efforts.

If we don't get together and set out common targets, distribute work among
responsible volunteers and keep running the development department in order,
we may soon hear Mr. Bill knocking also on our doors asking "Where would you
like to go today?" (though we probably all know that he is really asking
whether we would like to go into slavery to his software too -- that it's so
much fun and so easy !). Not only that, but also some other companies have
started using Linux as platform for their commercial products. (Have I heard
that Caldera plans on selling some of their products only to those who buy
their Desktop product ? [ reminds me of MegaHard's strategy ] Or have I heard
that a spreadsheet, word processor and some other stuff has list price of
$500 ?) Don't let these apps be the only usable apps for Linux !

I write this to get people's decision to get organized. It won't be easy.
Mr Bill has it easy. He doesn't seem to be concerned about doing something
good for his customers. He seems more interested in having power over them,
and thus controlling not only their pockets but potentially their lives ...
Don't you think so ? Are people buying over-dimensioned machines today to be
able to run NT ? Don't they get locked into NDAs when they want to convert
*their* data from Mr. Bill's format to a format that Mr. Bill doesn't like ?
Why is Mr. Bill planning to release free WWW server (IIS -- so I heard) ? Is
it because he has finally decided to change MegaHard into a charity
organization ? I don't think so ... !

Am I just paranoid ? -- I would love things to be so that I would rally
be just paranoid. But so far it doesn't look like I'm just paranoid ...

Anyway, here is the suggestion : let's have a structured organization of FS
development. Participants will not have complete freedom in the way *they*
want to develop *their* sw, but it will lead to reaching common goals, which
in turn will help us eliminate dependency on Mr. Bill. I'm kinda sick of
hearing "Sorry, we have this app only for MS-Windows environment ..." and
"Sure we can provide you the information electronically ... Oh but we are
sorry, we have it available only in MS-Word format ..."

If we don't "unite", we'll end up with thousands of little apps that what
won't work together (or "cooperate"), with many of them overlaping in their
functionality with other ones severely.

People, I need your input on this idea. Input that strongly opposes (or
affirms) my idea(s) should be accompanied by a bit of enlightening on the
way things work, important facts I've forgotten to account for, etc ...


Thank you all for you attention,

Jan Vicherek


PS: For now I'm posting only into col.advocacy . If you know of a better
newsgroup / mailing list, please let the rest of us know.

:r ~/.sig http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/u/jvichere
Jan Vicherek Jan.Vicherek@UWaterloo.Ca, honza@ied.com
ZZ "To some, nothing is impossible."
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