you are viewing a single comment's thread.

view the rest of the comments →

[–]Mnemonic[S] 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (7 children)

Libre Office is a worse version of Microsoft Office.

Nope, it's even more powerful.

GIMP is a worse version of Photoshop.

Maybe to a professional, but a normal person doesn't go spend the enormous license fee to use Photoshop.

Signal is a worse version of Whatsapp.

Just wait when it's merged with facebook and instagram

And so on, and so forth.

Yeah these are all so bad, nobody uses these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free_and_open-source_software_packages (Hint: maybe look under web-related and web browsers)

because most members of the public looked at the choices before them

I'm pretty sure that average Joe doesn't even know there are options and calls MacOS the 'fancy windows'.

As long as FOSS programmes continue to suck ass,

Just because you dislike 3 packages, okay.

FOSS will never be more than a fringe movement for the extremely paranoid or the Stallman clones.

Hmm I don't think you know what F(L)OSS entails and who/what is all running it:

Today FLOSS software is everywhere. In some ways the dream of 20 years ago has been realized. FLOSS software is the norm, GitHub is mainstream. The technology that dominates our era — the internet — is firmly based in FLOSS software, open standards, and interoperability. These are victories, and we should celebrate them. FLOSS was radical idea, and we proved its value.

However, Internet life is increasingly run by a handful of organizations. Many of these, like Facebook, google and amazon have FLOSS software at the core of they systems. However, the layers on top are not FLOSS and there is little openness in the systems they create and run. Today a common refrain is “the Internet is broken. What can we do?”

https://fosdem.org/2019/schedule/event/floss_internet_future/

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

Great job of deflecting from the main point. You hit the nail on the head when you said "the average Joe [...] calls MacOS the 'fancy windows'," but somehow manage to lose track of your own thoughts not even a sentence later when you talk about how FOSS is everywhere because all systems have some sort of basis in a FOSS program.

In the first place, the argument was about whether or not FOSS would ever be mainstream. The contention I'm making is that no, it won't be mainstream because the fundamental ideology of FOSS is just wrong. Most people don't find it appealing to know that they can read source code for someone's shitty program if they want to. In fact, for the general public, if you need to read the source code to use a program then the programmer's dun goofed. As long as FOSS remains true to its roots, it will never be marketable, because most people who aren't paranoid, Stallman clones, or government agencies, or developers themselves simply don't give a shit about reading source code.

To answer this claim, you simply argued that FOSS is totally everywhere, because look at intelligence agencies, look at the back-ends of all these proprietary programs, look at all of these people I've chosen to look at who use FOSS!

Yeah, sure, you've found a few people who use FOSS. Good luck getting the man on the street to read the source code for the core of Amazon, Google, or Facebook's programs. The man on the street really doesn't give a fuck about reading it, and why should he? As long as FLOSS developers cannot answer this question, the man on the street will continue to stare at them in mild exasperation. And I'm of the opinion that there is no really compelling answer to this question at all.

[–]Mnemonic[S] 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (5 children)

Great job of deflecting from the main point. You hit the nail on the head when you said "the average Joe [...] calls MacOS the 'fancy windows'," but somehow manage to lose track of your own thoughts not even a sentence later when you talk about how FOSS is everywhere because all systems have some sort of basis in a FOSS program.

I did attack that main-point in the lines above that. I put that last part in there to illustrate that the average Joe uses FOSS but just doesn't know and did not (like you suggested) make a 'choice'. I would have hoped this, along with the nice wiki-list, would help you realize what FOSS is in reality instead of something used only by "for the extremely paranoid or the Stallman clones" (as you put it in the previous post) .

Somehow this all got lost and as I read this response I'm finding out you don't know what FOSS is and why it is what it is.

In the first place, the argument was about whether or not FOSS would ever be mainstream. The contention I'm making is that no, it won't be mainstream because the fundamental ideology of FOSS is just wrong.

But it is already... I pointed that out in the part you didn't quote. I would like to add this comment to it though. Would you then care to explain "because the fundamental ideology of FOSS is just wrong." What this ideology is in your eyes and why is it 'just wrong'?

To answer this claim, you simply argued that FOSS is totally everywhere, because look at intelligence agencies, look at the back-ends of all these proprietary programs, look at all of these people I've chosen to look at who use FOSS!

You argued it 'sucked' out of thin air (3 very subjective examples), I just gave example to counter that claim. (look at these three programs I don't know how to use, it sucks! was your argument... )

But hey, here some more tangible examples:

VLC, Firefox, chromium, Apache, Nginx, and so on... just a quick grab from the list I provided.

Yeah, sure, you've found a few people who use FOSS.

A few?

The man on the street really doesn't give a fuck about reading it, and why should he?

He shouldn't be concerned about reading it if he is not inclined, it's not needed to use it. I don't see the argument here...

As long as FLOSS developers cannot answer this question

Why this question (which I answered above)? First it was because FOSS sucks, but now it's because not everyone likes to read source code?

I don't know if you still think FOSS sucks, including the developers working on it?

I hope I explained well enough that you don't have to read source codes to use FOSS. The man in the street will stare at any developer in mild exasperation when the developer starts talking.

I think this is the crux : Would you care to explain "the fundamental ideology of FOSS is just wrong." What this ideology is in your eyes and why is it 'just wrong'?

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

/u/mnemonic, your argument about FOSS being mainstream is the same as /u/JasonCarswell 's argument about Linux being mainstream, and with respect to both of you, it's a stupid argument about definitions rather than a real argument about the end-results.

To argue that "FOSS is mainstream because big companies base their tech on it", is more or less the same argument as, "Linux is mainstream because Android is Linux and servers run Linux". It makes two slippery definitions at once: First, it changes the definition of "mainstream" from "being widely used by users" to "being widely used by developers to offer their own end-products"; and secondly, it changes the definition of FOSS / Linux itself to encompass items which are partially made out of or based on FOSS / Linux instead of items which are actually FOSS / Linux.

If you're going to keep moving the goalposts like that, then there really isn't any point to this argument. I can continue to point out all the ways in which "FOSS" is not going to become "mainstream", and you could then point at my examples and go, "yes, but by my esoteric definition of mainstream and FOSS they are already mainstream." It won't even amount to a disagreement, and would be no different from three drunks rambling.

The fundamental point I make has always been the same. FOSS will never be adopted by the vast majority of people because the vast majority of people don't give a shit about reading source code. The only reason anyone might have to use FOSS would have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that it is FOSS, and will only be because the FOSS option happens to be the better product, which is rarely the case.

Instead of responding to this point, /u/mnemonic blames the system. "The overall public is only a problem for the F(L)OSS community because they get doused with Windows/Mac adverts even in local news," he claimed.

There is a very common misconception amongst Linux and FOSS fanatics. Once they buy into their ideology enough, they begin to argue that their software is not only morally superior to that of the mainstream systems, but is also technically superior too.

I'm not even going to bother to respond to this point, because /u/Mnemonic will clearly never concede that FOSS programmes simply lack the polish to appeal to the vast majority of computer users on the planet until I positively compare every single programme he wants to pull up and debate the pros and cons of each one in comparison to its proprietary counterpart. And even then, as shown in the LibreOffice comparison, he will contend that his chosen program is "more powerful" or is better in one department or the other, and argue that the mass consumer is blinded by advertising rather than making a rational decision to use the simpler and more polished product.

I will not respond to his argument since it's a hopeless one, but also because it's a pointless point. The fundamental point is that regardless of why the vast majority of the world decides not to use free software, it's a simple fact that the vast majority of the world simply doesn't care about reading source code and would probably not give a shit about whether the software is proprietary or not.

As long as this remains the case, then FOSS will only ever reach the mainstream when it is far technically superior to its proprietary counterparts; funnily enough, by the very nature of being completely free, this also means that this could never happen, as proprietary counterparts could simply build on top of their developments and soon regain any lost market share in any consumer division.

As long as FOSS remains true to its core ideology of making software freely available (in the liberal sense of the word), a rational member of the public would have no reason to use FOSS over proprietary software. Of course, there might be FOSS running under the proprietary shell that he uses - but he neither cares, nor does he have a reason to care. You may argue that this is already a sufficient triumph for the FOSS community, and you are welcome to that triumph if that is what you wish to establish.

If, however, your point of contention is that free software will someday be used by consumers instead of proprietary software, then it's very clear for the reasons already outlined that it will never happen. Reasonable people have no reason to buy into the ideology that source code needs to be readable, because reasonable people would rather not read it. Only the supremely paranoid, the Stallman clones, and the developers would ever care about that; and as long as the FOSS movement cannot provide a pressing need for normal people to have access to source code, this will never change.

[–]Mnemonic[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

First, it changes the definition of "mainstream" from "being widely used by users" to "being widely used by developers to offer their own end-products";

I'm not doing that, you're doing that in your own envisioning of my words somehow.

I pointed out with the examples I gave of people using FOSS that it did nor does suck (as you claimed). Now, if you would have looked at the list and know what is on there (I even hinted nicely to web-based), you would know that the majority uses FOSS for web servers. (If you don't believe: https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/web_server/all) .

The fundamental point I make has always been the same. FOSS will never be adopted by the vast majority of people because the vast majority of people don't give a shit about reading source code. The only reason anyone might have to use FOSS would have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that it is FOSS, and will only be because the FOSS option happens to be the better product, which is rarely the case.

That last part came later than your first reply and 'and will only be because the FOSS option happens to be the better product' is what I'm trying to show you all the time. (like the web servers ^ )

There is a very common misconception amongst Linux and FOSS fanatics. Once they buy into their ideology enough, they begin to argue that their software is not only morally superior to that of the mainstream systems, but is also technically superior too.

I didn't do that, stating that the Libre office suit is more powerful is based on the same functionality as the Microsoft counterpart BUT Libre office supports more standards. I admitted that GIMP isn't as cool as photoshop.

I even use Steam to get my puzzle games, Dropbox to get people in the UK their weekly dosis of pirate loot and I run the Oracle Java (not the openjdk). [I also have a Ps3 {ABSOLUTELY PROPRIETARY!}]

The whole moral bullshit is something again, you make up.

will clearly never concede that FOSS programmes simply lack the polish to appeal to the vast majority of computer users on the planet until I positively compare every single programme he wants to pull up and debate the pros and cons of each one in comparison to its proprietary counterpart

That's not true, but you may have your delusions. I don't buy your argument that is means all FOSS and gave counter examples of polished and appealing programs.

As long as FOSS remains true to its core ideology of making software freely available (in the liberal sense of the word), a rational member of the public would have no reason to use FOSS over proprietary software.

The whole point of the source being available is that you have the option to change it (or hire some one to do it for you). Like you're free to paint your house and you don't have to pay the original construction company money to only let them do it for excessive amounts off money.

The obsession with linking being able to read the source code and paranoia and somehow privacy is something you, again and again, make up. That is not what it is about and I never brought that up. This is also why I asked you to explain FOSS how you see it, because this makes no sense and seems to be solely based on /v/-memes.

And why are the FOSS 4 freedoms standing in the way for a 'rational member of the public' she/he should be concerned about what program is the best for them. Just because they have the option of checking out the source and tweaking it to their own liking they are going to discard it? Now if they think they have a better option, that would be a rational decision.

as long as the FOSS movement cannot provide a pressing need for normal people to have access to source code

Again, this is not pressing for normal people.

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Here he is again, Mr Slippery doing what he does best. Oiling himself up and slipping away from his own earlier words to redefine the argument in his own favour.

The need for security and paranoia (as if you could forget) was in fact brought up by you, when you argued that RMS and his 4 freedoms aren't the only reason to use FOSS. You argued that intelligence agencies use FOSS too! And I note then, as I note now, that this still means that only the paranoid and the Stallman clones would logically use FOSS over technically superior proprietary software. Hardly a large audience, isn't it?

Additionally, given that you're literally citing RMS' 4 freedoms as the only justification for FOSS for the masses, forgive me for being a little bit doubtful of your earlier claim that RMS does not speak for FOSS. Funnily enough, in all the slipping and sliding you're doing you've actually managed to slip all around in a full circle, right back to the point where I started about why FOSS doesn't appeal to most users.

As I've said from the very beginning: the problem comes down to the fact that the average Joe doesn't care at all about the option to check out the source and tweaking the source. As far as he is concerned, if you have to look at the source code to change something so that it works the way you want it to work, that means the programmer didn't do the job properly.

Instead of having to write and understand and repair and maintain his own program, he wants the exact opposite, which is to let the developer do it for him so he can just use a pretty-looking program to write letters or watch porn. That's it.

None of these people are interested in the gig-economy you describe in which you can hire a programmer to rewrite a program to fit your needs, because even if they could hire a programmer they wouldn't want to proofread their work to make sure the programmer didn't put in something awful. On a rational level, normal people realize that they simply wouldn't benefit from FOSS that much, and that is why normal people making rational decisions won't push for FOSS. It simply doesn't matter to them.

For what it's worth, I'm sorry if I sound exasperated with you, but I am. You've been slipping round and round in circles, playing with definitions, dragging in unrelated software (defining web servers as consumer products? Seriously?) and now, contradicting and denying your own statements. I'm just not getting any signs of thought from your replies at all.

[–]Mnemonic[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

The need for security and paranoia (as if you could forget) was in fact brought up by you, when you argued that RMS and his 4 freedoms aren't the only reason to use FOSS. You argued that intelligence agencies use FOSS too!

Exactly, though I don't see how using a modified Ubuntu nor Wireshark helps with privacy nor paranoia. This remark of me was to show that FOSS doesn't suck, not that it's protecting your privacy (Wireshark is used to sniff stuff out), again something you made up.

Here you went from taking an argument which was meant to be a counter to 'it sucks' and turn it into some fantastical thing that I have said FOSS is great for privacy. You could have asked instead of making stuff up about what I meant. But it's common knowledge I presumed you knew. Like I keep asking what FOSS is in your eyes, I presumed you knew and had some criticism, then in my eyes turned out you were bumped about Gimp, Libre Office and Signal.

you're literally citing RMS' 4 freedoms as the only justification for FOSS for the masses

? No I just pointed out what FOSS is at it's core (you, again, make up it's somehow 'my only justification'):

  1. Freedom to run the program as you wish.

  2. Freedom to study the source code of the program and then change it so the program does what you wish.

  3. Freedom to help your neighbour. That’s the freedom to redistribute the exact copies of the software when you wish.

  4. Freedom to contribute to your community. That’s the freedom to distribute copies or modified versions when you wish.

You see how it says 'freedom to'. You don't have to, but you can. Like painting your house, you don't have to, but it's nice to know when you want it to do, you can call a local painter to sort it out. But I guess RMS got you triggered somehow, I appreciate you not bringing up the toe jam though.

right back to the point where I started about why FOSS doesn't appeal to most users.

And I ask now, again, why is that the part that doesn't make it appealing for the public? and with 'the part' I mean FOSS. Like we both agree, normal users don't give/know a damn: Why would something being FOSS be bad in their eyes. You gave 3 examples of a GUI that 'sucked' (and went on to say everything FOSS sucks and it's developers, which I'm countering and then my arguments become oil somehow in your eyes). The label FOSS or even the truth of something being FOSS is not something people turn away from it. (because they don't even know)

that means the programmer didn't do the job properly.

They never do their work properly, I don't assume and I hope you don't think that non-FOSS means 'they did their jobs before shipping it out for cash'. But to be more specific because it's hard to grasp: I buy something and I can't do with it what I want, that's not freedom. It's not about that people 'should' tweak it, but it's optional. Like the Brave Browser, he didn't like Firefox, so he made his own with the things he liked from Firefox. Is this too hard to grasp? Is this the thing we are hung up on?

Instead of having to write and understand and repair and maintain his own program, he wants the exact opposite, which is to let the developer do it for him so he can just use a pretty-looking program to write letters or watch porn. That's it.

You mean like, installing firefox for example? Or installing a web server? setting up LaTeX for university reports? Or any other FOSS application? That's it.

because even if they could hire a programmer they wouldn't want to proofread their work to make sure the programmer didn't put in something awful.

I really don't see how this is FOSS exclusive; at least in FOSS you might have the luck some nerd catches the awful thing instead of letting it slide because the company wants it in and else the programmer gets fired/sued for leaking details about a very vulnerable opening.

playing with definitions, dragging in unrelated software

Sure, me... I still don't believe you know what FOSS means outside your bad experiences with those 3 applications and RMS memes.

(defining web servers as consumer products? Seriously?)

How are they not? You don't have a person website? Portfolio (wanted among artists)? Family history site? That's cool, but if your definition of the web is: corporations only... well LOL how did you get here? (because well FOSS developers suck and all, your words, ehm, why you use saidit? saidit's only proprietary code is Cassandra, something to keep it all in RAM IIRC) Or am I now twisting your words? (How does it feel?)

and now, contradicting and denying your own statements. I'm just not getting any signs of thought from your replies at all.

Could you point them out? Because I only spotted you misinterpreting my words on purpose (because I don't think you're a fool).

[–]worm 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I've always loved it when people take specific quotes and respond to them individually without responding to the passage as a whole. I think it frees them from the responsibility of understanding the thesis before them, and consequently from producing a counterthesis of their own.

In my opinion, singling these replies out is a surefire way to identify someone who's arguing in bad faith, having given up any hope of understanding the arguments they oppose and hoping only to "win" on some obscure internet forum that nobody else will ever read in order to satisfy their egos.

The fundamental point which I made again and again is that most users don't want Stallman's four freedoms. You could put all four freedoms before them and they wouldn't care. You could take them away and they still wouldn't care. If they're using free software, it's just because it happens to be free while possessing some characteristic they like; not because it is free software in and of itself. The exceptions to this rule are the exceptionally paranoid, government agencies or those who insist on getting a Librebooted laptop and reading through every single line of code they run, and the Stallman worshippers who refuse to use proprietary software on moral grounds. Sure, maybe it'd be possible to create free software that people like to use. But the moment something better comes along? Even if it's proprietary, people will move on to that without fail, because they don't give a shit about the 4 freedoms, because in an ideal world they'd never exercise those freedoms anyway.

The argument I'm making is really just that simple. You can bring up as many ancillary points you'd like about free software being terrible, or servers being defined as consumer goods, or trusting in FOSS vs trusting in scale, or so on - but none of these ancillary points address the central issue, which is the simple fact that most people don't care about Stallman's 4 freedoms either way, and that it is rational for them to not care. The average user is not any better off in Stallman's dreamworld than they are in the present world; in either case, their reluctance to read source code for themselves would mean that they are reliant on developer honesty, and frankly, if I had to choose between trusting Google and trusting you to make sure that my software hasn't got any weird shit in it, it wouldn't be irrational at all to prefer to trust Google.

As a final ancillary point - just because I cannot help myself sometimes - the definition of a web server as being consumer software is clearly wrong in every sense of the word. A personal website, or a portfolio for that matter, are goods produced to satisfy other consumers. In other words, the man who creates his personal website, or the artist who creates a porfolio website, is hiring a web server in order to produce a consumer good for others. The consumers who visit that ultimate product don't give a shit whether it's running Microsoft or Google or Apache technology, and I'd challenge you to find any average Joe who boycotts websites on the ground that they're on non-free web servers. For all I know, Stallman might actually do that - somehow I don't think that's too out of character - but good luck convincing the average Joe to discriminate on the basis of web servers.