The reasons

Good title for a TV series, by the way.

Ok tonight I had quite an argument with a friend of my LUG about the incompatibilities between OpenOffice’s and KWord’s OpenDocument formats. I’m not going to talk about this now, as it’s not what concerns me right now. It’s not even Palladium what concerns me. It’s absolutely not Microsoft.

It’s the people.

Let me explain this. I hope I’m usually open minded, I try to see all the aspects of the things before decide. Maybe that’s why I’m intersted in Gentoo/FreeBSD, because it’s a new point of view, new way to look at Gentoo, new way to look at FreeBSD, new way to look at Free Software.

I’m not one of the people that fights because GNU/ must be always prefixed before Linux. It doesn’t matter for me. I usually say “Linux” because I’m open to non-GNU Linuxes.

What scares me are people that looks at the things just from their only point of view not considering others’. The ones that insults me because I think the “GNU/” in front can be omitted in daily speaking, the ones for which I cannot state that I find some choices in OpenOffice opinable, because it’s “great” and “opens ms office files”.. well if I just have to look at opening MS Office files… I would go with MS Office, no? What is important to me there is the “Open” part that, IMHO, is a bit missing lately.

Those people scares me, as scares me people that is trying to hinder Gentoo/FreeBSD because I’m “making them waste time” asking them for one line changes and offering to do that myself if they want, as scares me people that works on a new OS just because “Linux is just about fighting Windows”…

I don’t think that different solutions are wrong. I don’t even think that the same solution apply to everyone. I don’t use Windows, but not just because it’s non free or just because it’s not suited to my needs. I don’t use it because it’s non-free and it doesn’t suite my needs. I use MacOSX, also if it’s not completely free.. because it’s partially free and this is an improvement and it suits my need for the “battle” box (the iBook).

These people scares me, because I was told to be partial about Gentoo and KDE because I work on them, so I always say that they works for what I use them for. Well it can be hard to tell for someone, but I haven’t started using them because I was working on them, I started working on them just when I thought they were suited to my needs. If they weren’t I was surely not working on them! (Cause-Effect principle)

Another thing that was really pissing off was that when I was told that, because I don’t have a job in an office I cannot know what the “real world” is. Well, I’m sorry if I’m still a student, but still, I think that what I do for Gentoo and the other project I work on is at the same level. It’s volunteer, and I’m not paid to do that? This doesn’t matter! I do that with the same seriousness that I would put in a paid work. I do that because I enjoy it, but I’m still doing it seriously!

If I’m going to be paid to do something that I really don’t like, I would probably try to change that work, not telling everyone that is doing something enjoying it that “doesn’t know what the real world is”.
About the pay thing, telling me that my work doesn’t count as I’m not paid is like when people say that Linux is not good because you don’t pay for it. It shows the nonsensical, stupid prejudice that is hindering Free Software application.

I would like to be paid for my work on Gentoo. I’m not. This doesn’t change the commitment I have for this. If I’ll find a paid job I might reserve less time for Gentoo, but without changing my way to do what I do. In the mean time, I think that knowing that someone else is going to make use of my work, that someone else might be saving time, maybe to use it with his family, is a payment on itself. But I wouldn’t do it for something that doesn’t suite my needs. I wouldn’t use or develop software just for Windows just for the sake of it if it doesn’t suite my needs. I’d rather use my time to work on software on Linux and FreeBSD, for Gentoo and KDE, for KOffice, for whatever I find suits my needs!

That said, do whatever you want, if you piss me off enough, I’ll simply start ignoring you and your requests.

Edit: Thanks to Brian for make me note that the writing was a bit complex to read, I shouldn’t do such posts at late hours, without caffeine in veins 😛