Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Proprietary Software created jobs

The fight against proprietary software is a decade long discussion once you get yourself in it -- I did.

When somebody tells you this same line, "proprietary software created jobs", tell them "so did marijuana".

Okay, maybe that's too absurd to describe what proprietary software is in our community. But the fact that a business employs people does not excuse misconduct in its business practices.

Drug dealing was never made legal, because it's a common knowledge that these illegal drugs kills people. But how different is proprietary software? What made it legal to sell proprietary software?

Is it because it doesn't kill anyone? Well, it does and it did. It just killed the very human in us, to care for others who won't have the chance to use it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sugar on Windows

"Most of the nearly two–billion children in the __developing world__ are inadequately educated, or receive no education at all."

You can't expect a poor child to have Windows -- unless someone offered copies.

Yes, OLPC is not a laptop project, it's all about education.

I think, as volunteers in promoting to this great project, we should also make sure that we are providing the "proper" education.

We have seen the effect of teaching kids with proprietary products: A community exposed to such products grow up using these products -- legally or not. Richard Stallman used the word "addict" to define the scenario, because these people have been used to using the software in their everyday lives and because Bill Gates, himself, said it first.

"Although about three million computers get sold every year in China, people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. And as long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade." -- Bill Gates, Fortune Magazine July 20, 1998

RMS sees the opportunity to use OLPC as a platform for his Free Software movement: He wants to expose the kids to a community where anybody is allowed to share -- and yes, he probably want these kids to become addict of Free Software; it's his only way to avoid the kids from using non-free software.

One major problem to RMS's hacker community is that it grew too much that it starts to sub-group and have their own identity (opensource developers, crackers, phreaks, script kiddies, etc) due to different passion and reason in joining the community.

I think same is happening to OLPC Project -- best example is Sugar.

Yes, I'm on Windows (I got used to it -- got addicted to it). And having a Sugar on Windows is beneficial to people like me, but not to the kids -- let's leave them be.

Of course I can't do anything about it. The sub-division of the OLPC Project has started before I got to be a volunteer -- perhaps, OLPC PH could do something to avoid it happen to Philippines.