A few days ago a story was posted to FSDaily with the assuming title of "Can we please stop fighting FUD with FUD?" from Free Software Magazine. The gist of the article is the author's opinion that some, especially new, free software users have a habit of spreading FUD (Fear Uncertainty & Doubt) when comparing it to proprietary software.
In some ways he is right. Free Software usually wins on it's merits, if not it's philosophy. But I want to comment on a few of his statements.
If you’re to going run down Microsoft products then you need to be specific. What products suck, why and how do they suck?
Whoa, this may require more space than I really want to devote.
I see a lot of this type of thing that simply shows the proponent has rarely used the product in question. Aside from that, is this really a good argument to make?It is a great argument, if the ways proprietary software sucks could easily be improved if it was released as free software.
Are we really going to be so arrogant as to imply that free software doesn’t suck at all? By running down the opposition aren’t we implying there are no issues with “our” software?Excellent point, some free software does suck or has issues or both.
The only problem with this being that when we or someone else complains about how or why free software sucks, someone (the developers, you or anyone else) can come along and address those issues.
The article concludes by throwing down the gauntlet.
I—for one—would like to see more blogs and comments on why free software is good rather than why Microsoft is bad. So let’s start here. Your task is complete the sentence “Free software is good because…” in less than 50 words.I pick up your gauntlet Mr Cartwright and offer my answer. Ahem...
I would like to expound on the word choices above. These Choices or Freedoms give you the ability to :
Study the source code to learn how portions of the software work.Anyone who writes for Free Software Magazine already knows these points, but he felt it necessary to ask for them to be written, rather than write them again. I'm going to join Ryan Cartwright and ask that we all stop the FUD.
Modify the source code to adapt to your circumstances or fix problems.
Modify the source code to create new works and even compete with the original work.
Distribute the software freely, given that you follow the licensing terms.
I mean really, hasn't Microsoft been through enough?