Interesting Juxtaposition

…between this article and this article. The first one begins thusly:

Many have said that enough is enough taking[sic] about Linux. How Linux is great. Why Linux rulz and Micro$oft sucks, blah blah blah. I will promise you that this article is going to be something different.

And the second one’s title is “The Anything-But-Microsoft Market.”

This reveals one thing to me: that there are a large number of people sick and tired of rah-Linux, fuck-Microsoft rants (I’m guilty of this on many occasions). These people tend to be pragmatists; they just want software that works, and are happy as long as things are running well.

But there are also a lot of people who are utterly fed up with Microsoft. For these people: check out open-source alternatives. I’ve already written about Mozilla here, and I’ve written about OpenOffice in the past. Linux is worthy of attention, too.

The question of “I just want what works” is, in my view, incomplete, now that Free software “just works” in most cases. In other words, there are different options within the set of “what works.” So a choice still needs to be made. In order to embrace freedom, a computer user must be willing to break inertia. This is a commitment on some level. Personal Computing can be done and done well with Free software. It makes little sense to me to give up the freedom included in Free software in order to “go with the flow” and use what “everyone” uses.

(This argument, about what “everyone” uses, reminds me of the Heideggerian “They” — which are everywhere but nowhere; “they” is everyone, but no one in particular — he outlines in Being and Time. I’ll have to think about this connection some more…)

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