Re: Intro to GNOME and the FSF

Wolfgang Sourdeau wrote:
> > Also, there's no need to talk about GNU/Linux, because
> > GNOME is already up and running in other OS's.
> Gnome is an official part of the GNU Project. Even if it runs on top of
> other operating systems, it is primarily meant to be a free desktop
> environment as a completion to the GNU system (whether running on top of
> Hurd or on Linux).
> While I don't consider other free systems as a problem (FreeBSD, ...) I
> think it is important to talk about the whole GNU system and GNU project
> as much as possible because freedom can only be perceived by users if we
> talk to them about it. And the less familiar the users are with the
> issues of freedom, the most we need to be clear and complete while
> informing them.
> So in my opinion, there is no such a place than the GNOME Project to
> talk to end-users about the freedom provided by the GNU system.
> Wolfgang

I'm afraid I have to comment on this. Using GNOME to directly promote
the GNU Project is very, very shortsighted, and will lead to problems.
First is confusing the marketing and business types who do not
understand Unix as it stands now, potentially leading them to believe
that GNOME will not work on non-Linux Unix systems -- when dealing with
business types, it is helpful to remember that if there is a stupid road
that a presentation can be mentally taken down, chances are at least a
few in the audience will take the presentation down that road. Another
is the (IMHO) waste of GNOME's limited resources. GNOME does not have a
whole lot of "marketing" per se to throw around promoting GNU. A third
potential problem is the alienation of the vendors of non-GNU systems --
if you're company had to choice between two desktops, and one of which
was making noise as a GNU system component, the other as a desktop,
which would you choose?

IOW, rather than potentially confusing those who are not familiar with
Unix, potentially wasting resources and time, and potentially alienating
the non-Linux Unix system owners and vendors, why don't we concentrate
on using GNOME to sell Unix in particular. ("Stability for the Masses."
"Tired of Blue Screens?"
"Try screwing your soundcard when your MP3 player dies with *THIS* OS."
etc.) Once Unix is #1, then we can worry about selling people on the
advantages of the GPL over the commercial unices and the *BSD systems if
we so choose. For now, let the GNU promoters promote GNU, they know
better how to do it anyways. :-)

    Jim Cape

    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
     pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
        -- Winston Churchill

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