lbo-talk-digest V1 #3276

Elena elena at
Wed Aug 23 18:41:02 PDT 2000

Matt, if I'd only known it'd make you happy, I'd use the mailer that came with FreeBSD (post-Mandrake via RedHat, did it all myself); I don't switch to BSD for anything but surfing, anyway... But that's not the point; I hoped you'd explain how the free, open-source software contributes to the libertarian politics of cyberspace. Sorry for retaining a longish quote but:
> > > Look to
> > > the collectively organised and enforced policy of Internet RFCs, or
> > > open-source software to see the libertarian politics of cyberspace at
> > > work.
> >
> > (my caps)
> > the kind of free as in/goes_with free speech/free market/free lunch/buy
> > get one free?
> "Free" as in available to the user/consumer at no direct charge. Free,
> open-source software is the opposite of shrink wrapped software like the
> Microsoft Outlook you are using. Open-source software gives you the key
> to open the hood of the software and see how it works - closed source
> software is like getting a car and having the hood welded shut.
If you have some brainwave about a free car on a free highway running on free fuel, share it? However, jumping on your analogy, most car drivers most of the time are concerned about the ability and some reasonable level of comfort of their car to get them from point A to point B for a reasonable price. Considering also that for l/USers, l/UKers and l/Ossies there's no language problem to wade through the manuals, there's surely some other reason for driving Windows, and not linux/bsd/etc?

> Not all
> open-source software is free, but many of the importants apps that have
> become ubiquitous to the internet are free - BIND for name resolution,
> sendmail for mail delivery, *BSD or linux as an OS, apache for web
> servers, etc.
In my case, I have yet to find a publisher who doesn't want his/her materials delivered in PageMaker or Quark, and a client who doesn't want their translations back in MS WORD/PP/Excel and, lately, Flash - bless it, still recovering (working for practical purposes only in Win for the time being, as far as I know). Luckily, this software is still, er, free here despite the software piracy police. To say nothing of the fact that Cyrillic fonts, especially in cross-platform cases, make you a natural-born killer... <snip>
> If and when the bottom falls out the
> remaining significant contribution to the technical industry will be from
> the open-source, free, software movement.
Amen! Till that moment, however, it might be safer to know who called the shots and still runs the show... Or, as Kelley said, this is the way capitalism is supposed to work - join it or beat it? Libertarians, hah?

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