A very interesting discussion happened today when which made me think to what degree should we push FLOSS. Recently I got into the mood of writing for a national newspaper. Thanks to a friend that have been keen into free software but from an open source point of view. He still struggle separating difference between freedom and technical advantage.
A good example ocurred to me when I was in Cambridge and a coffee house sold coffee that was carefully monitorise during it’s process. This meant that the company personally assures that the coffee was produced by workers who were correctly payed and treated.
This mean that this coffee house was socially responsible, and even if the coffee was more expensive many people preffered this one than the rest of the cofee houses.
So back to the story, I have my editor who still doesn’t use OpenOffice.org so when I send him my opendocuments, the editor couldn’t see them until he reached his home computer. Unfortunately he didn’t told me if he could or couldn’t use OpenOffice.org at work so I invite him to download openoffice.org.
Later that day my friend came back to them saying that why I didn’t send him a word or PDF document. My answer was that he could download OpenOffice.org for free and do the actual work. Again my friend totally missunderstood my position.
So the moral of the story is this, distributing proprietary formats is not the same to misstreat employees. But there is a certain links that are the same for a Free software advocate. If we push people to use FLOSS products even if it’s just to talkt o us, then they might even embrace it. However we could play the risk of being seing as zealots who force the users to be free.
Nobody wants to be forced, even to be free. Sometimes even feel like you are freeing a house nigga who just love to live in the big house and have no reason to leave and start from scratch.
I will probably take OOo to the fullest even if zealoth JZA becomes my new name, but acknowledge is important to push my ideals without sacrificing the ettiquete.
For my friend, I really wish him luck on his struggle to accept freedom above the mere tangible value. Unfortunately engineers are world famous to be practical tangible and not believe in non-pragmatic ideals.
Like Eric Raymond will say:the plans for world-domination lives on