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Comment The title of "Free Software" (Score 2) 359

Dear Richard

My question is about the name "Free Software". I find that many people I speak to have difficulties understanding the significance of those words: i.e. "free" as in political freedom, self agency, liberty etc.

I would say "Open Source" is easier to understand as words, but you've often emphasised that it doesn't capture the full scope of the freedom in Free Software - I agree with that. I think a lot of people say "Open Source" - not because they deny the importance of the freedom, but just because non-technical people think they mean "Freeware" or "Shareware". This is annoying, because I'm always telling people to choose Free Software, but I have to say "you should make sure you get Free/Open Source Software" or some such cumbersome terminology just to get them to understand me.

Do you recognise the problem of terminology that I'm referring to? Have you ever thought about describing "Free Software" with any other titles? "Freedom Software", "Libre Software" or such? Other titles such as these - do you regard them as defective? If you had your time again would you chose a different title to aid understanding? If not, what would you say is the unique importance of the label "Free Sofware" over any other possible labels?


Comment Re:Quality of Slashdot discourse in death-spiral (Score 1) 267

Yes yes yes we know. UX people are teh suck. Everyone's been saying so for months, so it much be the truth.

But noone is forcing you to use Gnome 3. If you don't like it, don't. STFU and use Mate, Cinnamon, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, fvwm or whatever the hell you want to use. Support them. Contribute. File bugs. Fix bugs. But don't sit here whining about a project you don't use. Use something else and get on with it.

Also why not have a little class? Gnome 3 isn't to your taste? Oh well never mind. But some people have done a lot of work on it, some of it very good work. So when they do a release - why do you have to dump on it? This is free software - offered to you gratis, by comitted free sofware developers. It doesn't have to be your choice, but at least have the manners to acknowlege their work.

Comment Re:Slashdot Response (Score 1) 774

Yup - it's not SystemD's fault for solving this problem first.

I personally would be very happy to see the problem solved in OpenRC, SysV, Upstart and all the rest - if they can make it happen, that is. I just wish a fraction of the effort that goes into systemd whining and bitching around here could go into participating in a distro, or contributing to one of these init systems.

Oh wait no - these people don't help anything they just complain.

Comment Shut up and listen... (Score 5, Informative) 774

Before you go round acting like the sky is falling, try educating yourselves about why this is necessary. This is not just a systemd problem, this is a problem for any init system that wants to support multi-seat, and sane switching between VTs:

Now you may say that OMG systemd is teh evil monolith!!1!!!, but before you do that understand that this has been an important feature that has been needed for a long time in any init system it just happened that SystemD solved it first.

Comment Re:Quality of Slashdot discourse in death-spiral (Score 5, Insightful) 267

So, you are telling us that we should be praising open source software just because it's open source? You guys have become so fanatic, you are blinded.

What makes you think I'm one of these guys? I have nothing to do with them. I don't even run Gnome 3 right now.

It's the polarised, non-technical, non-contributing circle-jerk that this whole conversation has become.

Some people here think there is a problem - one so bad that it fills them with anger. So being geeks you'd think they'd scramble to construct technical solutions. But noooooo... that would be far to useful. No instead they spend the whole time carping on web-forums.

Look - if you think there's a problem in the world, then the solution starts with you. Not the people over there in OSS project that you don't contribute to, or running the distribution you don't help with - it starts with you.

That's why I respect Mate, Cinnamon, LXDE, Xfce and Gnome3 folks. They're doing each doing good work - not all of it to my taste, but I respect the achievements. But I will never respect the spoutings of the giant crowd of trolls that now gather around this issue.

Comment Quality of Slashdot discourse in death-spiral (Score 5, Insightful) 267

  • - Gnome3 sucks forever, permanently always.
  • - Lennart is making an evil conspiricy to force me to use systemd.
  • - systemd is teh suck send to destroy beautiful SysV init - which is the true embodyment of perfection and any faults mentioned about it are by no-nothing windows script kiddies and mac wannabies.
  • - Ditto PulseAudio - except not so much now? now we quite like it because I can turn the volume up and down without it making a clicking sound.
  • - They're turning my precious Linux into Windowz!
  • - I'm leaving for the BSDs - don't try to stop me.
  • - wayland is teh suxxors because I can't run xeyes over a network any more. These people don't understand X! - wait what? it's by X developers? No way.

Look slashdot: If you don't like something stop being whiny luddite bitches and fix it. That's what open source is about.

And while you're at it stop trashing good work that's going on in other projects - even if you don't agree with the direction it's going in.

Comment "Fireworks Show" still to come (Score 3, Informative) 201

Note that this is not yet Greenwald's "Fireworks show" - his promised grand finale was delayed from 4th July. From what I've gleaned, there will be a big-bang scoop naming specific names of US citizens - major public and political figures - who were wiretapped by the NSA. USG has claimed there will be some harm done, so the story has been delayed while the journalist team investigate.

Stay tuned. I can't wait.

Comment Various options (Score 1) 172

Take a look at the sigrok project. We have rather a lot of experience with low cost lab gear.

For a long time the best option for a standalone scope has been the Das Oszi scopes, sold under the brand names Hantek, Protek and Voltcraft. As a bonus, a guy name tinhead has reverse engineered the schematics. Hopefully we'll have it supported in sigrok very soon.

There's also the SmartScope for ~$180.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg