Tue, 10 Jan 2006

Compare and contrast. I sympathize with Mako’s basic argument (we should use shitty free software, despite the pain, because it is more moral) but the reality is very few people are willing to put up with all the issues Matt outlines, for the fairly basic reason that very few people are actually convinced that non-free software is morally wrong. It is insufficient to be morally better- everyone likes the unselfish code philanthropist, but we’re not at the point where any significant number of people think that code hoarders are bad per se. Pragmatically, I don’t see any way to change that part any time soon, so we’ll have to do what we did when we competed (successfully) with Windows 95 and 98- beat them on quality, usability and stability. For Open Office, that looks like it is a long way off. In the meantime, rumors are that Apple will complete their office suite with a spreadsheet tomorrow. Depressing that they continue to outrun us.

On the plus side, now that RH is finally willing to ship mono, maybe we’ll finally be able to get our act in gear and move to a more modern language. I’m still uncomfortable about placing our balls in Redmond’s hands, but I’d rather have my balls in Redmond’s hands than have us forking and creating a 3rd, 4th, and 5th desktop instead of the already lousy situation of creating a 3rd and 4th.