free computing, free culture, free hardware
[replacing]Thats/That's,thats/that's,microsoft/Microsoft,grace/Grace,hoppers/hopper's,hopper/Hopper,general public license/General Public License,united states constitution/United States Constitution,united states/United States,free software definition/Free Software Definition,java/Java, turing/ Turing,github/Github,roman/Roman,oprah/Oprah,openoffice,OpenOffice,apache software foundation/Apache Software Foundation,isnt/isn't,halloween/Halloween,apple/Apple,ibm/IBM,free software/Free software,red hat/Red Hat,gnome/GNOME,debian/Debian,Whats/What's,nokia/Nokia,linux foundation/Linux Foundation,"i /"I ,theyll/they'll,theyre/they're,windows/Windows,lxde/LXDE, os / OS ,gnu operating system/GNU Operating System,linux/Linux,gnu/GNU,drm/DRM,Drm/DRM,gopher/Gopher,pale moon/Pale Moon,icecat/IceCat,cecat/ceCat,mozilla/Mozilla,firefox/Firefox,ozillas/ozilla's,dns/DNS,-https/-HTTPS,(doh)/(DOH),libreoffice/LibreOffice,oracle/Oracle,sun mic/Sun Mic,october/October,canonical/Canonical,open source initiative/Open Source Initiative,eric raymond/Eric Raymond,raymond/Raymond, osi/ OSI,bruce/Bruce,perens/Perens, ian/ Ian,murdock/Murdock,unix/Unix,dont/don't,gpl/GPL,stallman/Stallman,richard/Richard,linus/Linus,torvalds/Torvalds,christmas/Christmas,volkswagon/Volkswagon,alan/Alan, tom / Tom ,asnt/asn't,githug/Githug, im / I'm ,youre/you're,bourne/Bourne, ada / Ada ,lovelace/Lovelace, mit/ MIT,daniel/Daniel,quinn/Quinn,saddam/Saddam,hussein/Hussein,Weve/We've,january/January,x.org/X.org, cd/ CD,copyright act/Copyright Act,moon/Moon,Ive/I've,python/Python,wouldnt/wouldn't,didnt/didn't,couldnt/couldn't,bash/Bash[replacing][fixg]
arguably, the three greatest threats to software today, are censorship, github and uppity developers.
in this instance, "uppity developers" doesnt refer to people skills. theres a myth that every developer needs to work with other people; quite a lot of software started out with one person writing it, and thats not necessarily their problem or their responsibility-- to do anything after they put that software out into the world.
if the software is free then someone else can pick it up and create a community around it, if it even needs one. it's a nice feature when a developer goes beyond the task of writing software, but it isnt the requirement that open source has always made it out to be.
but that goes both ways, and it isnt the responsibility of a user to do what the developer wants either. cooperation, by definition is mutual. if it isnt, it's simply obedience-- and people who want freedom should be practicing Software Disobedience-- because Freedom 0 doesn't change just because an uppity developer doesnt understand it.
censorship is a bigger problem than rudeness. linus torvalds has changed a fair bit on the surface, most likely due to pressure from his owners, but none of the worst things about him have changed. torvalds isnt an example of the sort of "uppity developers" talked about here, since the obedience he expects is rhetorical and nothing to do with the software. sure, he is uppity about criticism of microsoft-- thats a separate complaint.
uppity developers act like Freedom 0 doesn't exist-- the freedom to use the software for any purpose. they criticise people for trying to make their software optional, and they frequently boast (or dishonestly insist-- then deny ever insisting) that users will have "no choice" (or very little) about running their software. it's one thing when people are claiming success and showing that other people use their software in a production setting or any other setting, but when that software is something people are being told to "get with with program" (literally? obey the software and obey the developer?) they're missing out one of the great things about software freedom: [url]https://www.fsfla.org/ikiwiki/blogs/lxo/pub/new-dawn.en.html[url]-- at least when software freedom is working.
developers and fanboys have said youll have "no choice" but to run gnome, many years before they lied (then denied) that you would need systemd to run gnome for example. whether it's true or some kind of sick joke, that kind of attitude-- of mocking and laughing at users about developer lock-in is much farther from a healthy attitude than some of torvalds' most passionate rants about contributions to the kernel.
heres another reason to use torvalds as an example-- theres noproblem with a lead developer trying to stop people that contribute code from breaking the project. if that wasnt a good thing, would projects really even need a lead developer? rather this attitude that these expectations extend to the user-- user freedom is as important as any, because all software developers are also software users. as long as it's possible to sabotage a project, it would be silly indeed to take issue with a lead developer protecting a project from sabotage or breakage.
many projects are making their work harder to fork and adapt, and thats far from beneficial. there is no perfect software, so there is no perfectly-forkable software; but while there can be no mandate to perfect anything, it's a real problem that so much software is going backwards in this regard-- that lock-in is increasing, and many people know it. it's not a new problem-- the scale however, is something you can put squarely within the past 5 years.
this is also why we may need a fifth freedom-- the freedom to not run the software. we should build that into as much so-called "Free as in Freedom" software as possible, because the freedom to NOT run the software was always implicit and present by chance. now that it's being deliberately eroded, that lock-in is being contributed as an ever-increasing problem; we can't rely on implicit and incidental modularity like we generally had until now. modularity has to become a deliberate feature-- within reason, of course. and not only for developers, but for users-- because they enjoyed it too. dont like something? just remove or replace it. that used to be so much easier (and less superficially true than it is today.)
but until these uppity developers become more fair and modest, it is also important to promote the kind of software that doesn't showcase that sort of arrogance. and github is still one of the largest threats to software freedom today; so while we promote the idea of an operating system that microsoft doesn't control [url]http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Github-free[url] (seriously, we have to do that again?) it's important to practice software disobedience with github-based projects as well. it's probably impossible (or at least very unlikely) to go all the way with this. it's a gradually worsening problem with a solution that can probably also only work gradually.
so software obedience is about:
1. ignoring that Freedom 0 exists
2. letting developers control you by having too much control of your software
3. abandoning and removing modularity to create further lock-in
4. letting monopolies control free software development
and software Disobedience is about:
1. strengthening Freedom 0, along with the other software freedoms
2. resisting the messaging and machinations of uppity developers who want to control your computing
3. abandoning, replacing or when possible, forking software that adds to lock-in (as the libreoffice developers did when openOffice became "less free")
4. abandoning, replacing or when possible, forking software that is controlled by monopoly forces such as github
and "ps aux" says fluxbox has run for less than one hour; until somebody commits to a serious fork of this window manager however, it's time to try to find alternatives. For many years, I have looked for ways to promote and bolster software freedom. software disobedience matters more at least than a window manager that props up the microsoft github monopoly. even if we cant have a microsoft-free, github-free operating system that doesnt prop up their monopolistic abuse, it's still better to move in that direction.
it's also probably important to have smaller components working first. when it's possible to replace a larger solution-- like gnome 3 with mate, if you never liked the attitude of gnome 3 developers (or found them even worse than when you used gnome 2). the thing is that smaller projects are easier to fork, easier to maintain, and easier for an everyday hacker[lit]/[lit]coder (jane or joe coder) to fix if they need to. security patches are an important part of the ecosystem as well, though it's still harder to patch something enormous and keep bugs out in the first place.
while larger software projects arent all bad, we should probably consider smaller applications like fluxbox and wget a higher priority than larger applications. if the utilities we rely on to work when nothing else does are not taken care of, then we lose the foundation for our operating system-- and the things we can fix and re-liberate most easily.
on that note, someone is trying to convince fluxbox developers to move development to github. simply based on commits, it's very possible we will lose fluxbox to github in the next year or two.
fluxbox is an obvious transition from icewm (as jwm is also github-based) but dwm is worth another try. suckless.org has a good philosophy, steve litt loves and promotes dwm. it's nice to have something a little more conventional as an option-- gnome 2 was worth promoting for people that might want a little more hand-holding compared to xfce.
as compromises between friendliness and resource usage go, lxde was probably the best, but it's now developed on github. xfce and gnome 2 were "steps up" in terms of features but steps down in terms of being lightweight. for myself and anybody who wanted basic, familiar features with incredibly light resource use and best speed on old computers, icewm was the best-- even on machines with several cores. why waste cpu, ram and gpu on moving rectangles around?
but since windows xp came out, microsoft hasnt gotten any better as a company; they are far worse than ever. walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom, and we should explore the alternatives to microsoft-controlled projects, as many of us did when we switched to gnu in the first place.
we have grown a little too obedient, a little too complacent with being told what to do, and while the philosophy as well as the significance of corporate corruption is important-- it's also important to act. sometimes we need to decide that now is the time to take another step.
and no, fluxbox wont help much if github takes it over. but it gets another chance right now, because it seems farther away from github than some ideal window manager. that's a status worth watching closely-- and the community will know soon enough if it's too late for fluxbox. naturally, a window manager is just one example of the sort of software we need to be able to get away from the monopolistic control of microsoft, and the rest of giafam.[fixg]