My FLOSS position

FLOSS stands for Free, Libre, Open Source Software.

Contrary to most FLOSS advocates, my reasons for loving FLOSS are not the same as them. Following are the main reasons I like FLOSS:

  • Vendor independence
  • Cost (free as in free beer)

Do not get me wrong; I love the four reasons FLOSS stands for:

  • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

The are important, but they are not my primary reasons. Mostly, I want vendor independence. I absolutely hate vendor locking. They can decide to go in a direction I disagree and/or hike prices to unreleasable levels.

As long I have vendor independence, I am happy. Cost is also important; I cannot afford to install Photoshop full edition on all my computers and since I do not want to pirate software like unfortunately, pretty much everybody else does (who does not pirate software?), cost becomes a serious issue.

This explains why, for instance, Despite being proprietary, I prefer the proprietary NVIDIA driver than the open source one (Nouveau). The proprietary driver is, unfortunately, still far superior than the open source alternative, and I want full power on my systems. I am still somewhat vendor independent; if ever NVIDIA exaggerate in anyway, I could change for the Nouveau driver or AMD graphic cards, despite their inferior performances. I might not be able to play the latest AAA game with any other driver, but basic computing needs will be met.

Anything I can substitute for something else, I am ok with it. Proprietary software is ok as long as I am not dependent on it, i.e. any data I produce with it can be saved in a format that can be read by alternatives. Ideally, the format should be an open standard. I have no problem with proprietary video games neither.

Regarding my love story with FLOSS, I started with Linux in 1996 and used it as my main desktop pretty quickly, totally dumping Windows somewhere around 2003. However, my need to have a working professional desktop might require me to return to Windows, unfortunately. Ubuntu on the desktop is simply to buggy.