Florian Cramer on Fri, 7 Dec 2001 07:40:38 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Free Software and the lack of cool artists and philosophers

>From Martin Schulze's writeup of the 8th Linux Kongress:

[Note: The Linux Kongress which this year took place in
Enschede/Netherlands is the traditional, hardcore-technical meeting of
Linux system developers. - Martin "Joey" Schulze is an important
developer of Debian GNU/Linux and guru in #LinuxGER (IRCNet) and #Debian
(LISC).  -FC]

> Also, interesting discussions about Free Software versus proprietery
> Software came up ending in the question "Does Free Software actually
> use its power to come up with impressingly new ideas and use the
> freedom to implement and try them?"(*) An amazing (or depressing, for
> what it's worth) number of Free Software Projects target at
> reimplementing software that is already known in the commercial and
> proprietary market.
> Since Free Software isn't bound to marketing droids and company bosses
> dictating the goals and features of a particular software, it should
> be perfectly suited to implement new ideas and come up with drastical
> changes.  However, looking at many Free Software projects this doesn't
> seem to be the case. New questions came ub as: Why are companies
> required to come up with new ideas so often? Why are special design
> centers needed for a new GUI to appear? Maybe the Free Software
> Community lacks a number of cool artists and philosophers?


> (*) Some new ideas that were invented through Free Software include
> BIND (internet nameserver, without it, the internet wouldn't be able
> to exist), c-news and INN (Usenet news servers, electronic bulletin
> boards etc.), themes (themable widget libraries, think of Gnome and
> KDE), Enlightenment (even though some people may miss some
> functionality, but it's look is definitively new), X11 (the ability to
> export displays over the network), xiafs (who of you does remember the
> filesystem Frank Xia designed?), HTML (of course, crediting Tim
> Berners-Lee), Emacs (ever saw a lisp interpreter that can actually
> edit files? Lacks a decent editor, but hey...), Languages like Perl,
> Python and Ruby.

[Full text at


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