Recommended Advocacy reading


Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Recommended Advocacy reading

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    68

    Recommended Advocacy reading

    I've always enjoyed reading the informative and often amusing articles from Marcel Gagne in his regular column at Linux Journal. I have not subscribed to that publication in a while - I tend to like the European Linux Format, Linux Pro Magazine, and Llnux User and Developer magazines, especially Linux Format, a.k.a. LXF these days.

    Marcel Gagne, however, remains a great author. Those who do not appreciate his humor may be bothered and distracted by it, but other than that, his advice is almost always sound, and it turns out he is a great Linux advocate as well.

    That is the topic I want to get to in this note and brief review. A recent book, published by Addison Wesley, authored by the "Award-Winning Author of the Linux Journal "Cooking with Linux" Column, Marcel Gagne, has written yet another in his "Moving to..." series of books. In the past, he wrote, "Moving to Linux: Give the Blue Screen the Blue Screen the Kiss of Death" or something to that effect. These were great books, and he wrote at least two or three editions of these popular books. They were Linux advocacy books, but this time, he has taken a slightly different approach, and I think he may have hit upon one of the best ways of all to handle free software advocacy - don't force a Windows desktop user to abandon Windows in one desperate move, in fact, don't force them to move at all. Provide a DVD with free software that will run on Windows, and, oh by the way, it runs on other system, including Linux systems. Then just casually make a bootable DVD that just happens to run one of the world's easiest to use desktop Linux system, set up specifically to run Live from the DVD, a system that also has the convenience to install to the hard disk at a later time, just by clicking a desktop icon.

    Include all of that on a DVD insert in the book, then write the book, explaining how you can first move to free software just by reading the book and running the software on the DVD. Then show how you can go much further with it ... and yes, kiss that Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) good bye forever.

    Marcel does all of this in this recent book, entitled "Moving to Free Software". I am a long time software veteran. It isn't that I NEEDED a book like this, from the standpoint of my own technical learning. I am looking for better and more appropriate ways to cultivate free software advocacy, and possibly learn some things from Marcel about advocacy that can lead to consulting jobs and possibly a small business.

    Whether that is your goal, too, or if you are just interested in learning how to run more free software, getting valuable tips on how it works, this is a good book. Only the advanced veteran - who is not interested at all in software advocacy, and maybe even is annoyed that all of these young whippersnappers are now on HIS network, that was once quiet and serene, and did what he wanted it to do - might not be interested in this book. Most of the rest of us would find this book technically sound, amusing to read, and also a great source of ideas for how to promote free software advocacy.

    I highly recommend this book for your software reading library.
    Brian W. Masinick
    Masinick at Yahoo Dot Com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Republic of Texas
    Posts
    5,909
    I disagree.... I don't like to see GPLed stuff ported to windows because that just means they are leeching, have no incentive to dump windows, and will never give anything useful back to the GNU/Linux community.
    Need help in realtime? Visit us at #linuxnewbie on irc.libera.chat

    Few of us will do as much for our fellow man as he has done.
    --Andrew Morton on RMS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    547
    Hmmm, I like this post. I like any proposition that moves users away from proprietary, closed software. But I think you use free too loosely here. Marcel is indeed a great advocate of Linux and software that runs on Linux but when educating people about Linux and free software it is important that a clarification is made between software that costs no money and software that is "free". I don't know if Marcel makes this clear in the book, I hope he does. I know he understands it. People really deserve to know that there is truly "free" as in freedom software available and the potential impact that using or not using it will make in their lives and their future.

    Was that a ramble?

    M
    $whatis microsoft
    microsoft: nothing appropriate

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    68

    Stuff can be used and reused, but only if the source code is shared

    Quote Originally Posted by je_fro
    I disagree.... I don't like to see GPLed stuff ported to windows because that just means they are leeching, have no incentive to dump windows, and will never give anything useful back to the GNU/Linux community.
    Any programs ported to other platforms can be used, but not hoarded. If the programs are modified, according to the terms of the GPL, that code must be shared unless confined only to personal use.
    Brian W. Masinick
    Masinick at Yahoo Dot Com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    68

    Marcel believes in transitional software

    Quote Originally Posted by techwise
    Hmmm, I like this post. I like any proposition that moves users away from proprietary, closed software. But I think you use free too loosely here. Marcel is indeed a great advocate of Linux and software that runs on Linux but when educating people about Linux and free software it is important that a clarification is made between software that costs no money and software that is "free". I don't know if Marcel makes this clear in the book, I hope he does. I know he understands it. People really deserve to know that there is truly "free" as in freedom software available and the potential impact that using or not using it will make in their lives and their future.

    Was that a ramble?

    M
    Marcel believes in free as in freedom. He is a huge Linux advocate, and he believes in sharing, and porting software to other platforms is a way to share and advocate. Not all of the programs are covered under the GPL; some are covered under the Mozilla and other licenses. The overall principles are to get good software out there with the idea that it will be used, shared, promoted, and made a viable alternative to the status quo. I am all for alternatives.

    I like the GPL, too, but I am also pragmatic. It is not the only license, nor the only decent and valid one. BSD, Mozilla, and other licenses, several of which do not have the GPL guarantee of sharing code, are also legitimate. In the end, the authors have the choice to decide how their works are either shared or not shared.

    I also believe that proprietary code is the option of the author. Though I personally prefer to share my works, just because not everyone shares that view does not necessarily make their work inherently bad. There are many good works, both shared and private. What I especially appreciate, though, is the choice. I certainly am grateful for the GPL and what it has contributed, both in code and in ethical principles of software development and the sharing of code and ideas.
    Brian W. Masinick
    Masinick at Yahoo Dot Com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    547
    Marcel believes in free as in freedom.
    This is where things go grey. Does he really belive? Why promote proprietary software then, i.e. Skype? My only point to your post is that when advocates of OSS teach others about Linux and OSS that they should include the contribution and choice of free as in freedom software, otherwise it seems to me to be a slap to the contributions of Gnu, FSF etc...

    We dont disagree, I use proprietarty software too. I choose to do it but I understand the difference.

    Cheers

    Mike
    $whatis microsoft
    microsoft: nothing appropriate

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •