convert to kde on Windows 7
1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Thu Jul 19 09:53:14 BST 2012
Doug posted on Thu, 19 Jul 2012 01:41:45 -0400 as excerpted:
> Oh, I can see the replies now: why not just use Linux? Well, when I
> can get AutoCAD (for a reasonable price or free) and WordPerfect, and a
> few other goodies on Linux, then I'll consider it.
> They don't run on WINE. In the meantime, I use both.
FWIW, I understand and accept why you don't "just use Linux" -- all those
servantware apps not available on Linux... and unlike freedomware, not
portable by anyone but the original providers, because they ARE
servantware, with the owners disrespecting what at least some on the
freedomware side consider basic human rights in the software realm, the
right to (legally) read, understand, modify, and distribute those
modifications in ordered to help others, all the software they use.
And consider this: most software, including most freedomware, includes a
waiver of rights that the (legal) user would otherwise have, rights to
damages for claims of fitness for a particular purpose, etc. The legal
wording of such waivers states that the user agrees to waive claims for
such damages against the developer.
The reality is, in software, it's very expensive and rare to be able to
rightly guarantee such claims -- that's the realm of real-time control
software used in airplanes, ships, nuclear and other power plants, water
and sewer plants for large cities, etc. Proving the correctness of code
to that degree takes quite a bit of time and generally, at least tens if
not hundreds of thousands of dollars. So it's not really realistic for
software developers to assume such responsibility and the waivers do make
*BUT*, and a big "but" it is, there's a legal principle of meeting of the
minds, of a fair agreement based on a reasonable understanding of the
risks and responsibilities assumed, and my argument is that without
access to the sources to examine (and/or to have experts they trust and
designate, examine), users do not have the ability to rightly understand
what they are committing to and thus cannot fairly agree to such waivers
in the first place.
Thus, the argument is that in ordered for these waivers of responsibility
and rights to damages to be fair and legal, they should require that the
code be available to examine, and that such availability NOT be
conditioned on unreasonable NDAs or the like, that would prevent the same
"ordinary" people the agreements are targeted at being able to take
advantage of such ability to examine (or to designate an expert they
trust to examine, if they don't read source code). Thus, freedomware
would continue as it is, while servantware would have a choice, they
could either effectively become freedomware, or they could stop demanding
that users waive their rights in regard to fitness for a particular
purpose or for claims of damage, etc.
Of course, the price of insurance for such vendors would then skyrocket,
since they're now taking on serious liability risks, which would mean
they'd have to jack their prices accordingly. As I said, it IS possible
to make such guarantees, but the software to which such guarantees apply
typically costs thousands of dollars (up, tens of thousands of dollars
isn't unreasonable, hundreds of thousands of dollars is possible) a seat.
Which would of course price proprietary servantware right out of the
normal personal use and small business software market. But it would be
a natural effect of the choice of the developer to stay proprietary and
assume the responsibility for risks they are currently unfairly placing
on the user, unfairly, because the user has no way to properly inspect
the software to see what risks they're actually agreeing to assume
responsibility for. It's only the warped legal system exception to the
fair meeting of the minds condition for a legal agreement, that has
allowed the current situation in the first place.
Meanwhile, while I accept your willingness to sell out your own rights,
it's your computer and your rights you're selling out, after all, don't
expect me to simply go along with any suggestion that I should sell out
my own rights, similarly. That's something I don't and won't do, which
is why I don't use MS Windows, AutoCAD, WordPerfect... or for that
matter, the proprietary servantware flash plugin available on Linux, or
proprietary graphics drivers, etc. Of course, it can be noted that if my
employer for instance, assumed such risks and made such agreements for
me, and I agreed not to violate them under the limited terms of my
employment, then I could use proprietaryware in the course of that
employment, etc, so there is an out for employees simply doing their job,
within the confines of said job (tho whether it's reasonable for said
employer to make such agreements is an entirely different subject, see
for instance the Ernie Ball case where the guitar-string company learned
that lesson the hard way after the BSA goons came calling, but given that
many employers do...). But I can't and won't make such agreements for
myself. But I can understand others choosing to make them...
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman
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