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Fanboys and trolls are the cancer killing Free Software

Anonymous Coward writes | about a year ago


An anonymous reader writes "Martin Gräßlin, the maintainer of the KWin window manager, writes an informative blog post about his experiences with the less favorable pockets of the Free Software community:

Years ago I had a clear political opinion. I was a civil-rights activist. I appreciated freedom and anything limiting freedom was a problem to me. Freedom of speech was one of the most important rights for me. I thought that democracy has to be able to survive radical or insulting opinions. In a democracy any opinion should have a right even if it’s against democracy. I had been a member of the lawsuit against data preservation in Germany. I supported the German Pirate Party during the last election campaign because of a new censorship law. That I became a KDE developer is clearly linked to the fact that it is a free software community.

But over the last years my opinion changed. Nowadays I think that not every opinion needs to be tolerated. I find it completely acceptable to censor certain comments and encourage others to censor, too. What was able to change my opinion in such a radical way? After all I still consider civil rights as extremely important. The answer is simple: Fanboys and trolls.

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Wrong (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | about a year ago | (#44044759)

The real reason Free Software isn't 10x more popular is Free Software is mostly for Do It Yourself users, but most users are the kind that want it turnkey, as easy to install and use as possible.
I can proudly say I have never owned an Apple product and haven't owned a computer with Windows except for very low usage VMs for 13 years, but I don't have the guts to try to convert my relatives to Linux.
And anyways, I don't think Free Software is dying. Quite on the contrary.
Android is free, and it's bringing Smart Phones and Tablets to the masses.
Free Software greatest inroads is exactly when its shrink wrapped in a way that users don't need to know what free software is, they can just use it. Like Android, like all those wireless routers and other appliances.

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