[Dev] Misleading information in EOMA68 news

Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic tct at ceata.org
Tue Aug 16 14:01:16 GMT 2016

On 16.08.2016 11:43, Paul Kocialkowski wrote:
> Le mardi 16 août 2016 à 10:31 +0300, Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic a écrit :
>> On 15.08.2016 22:23, Paul Kocialkowski wrote:
>>> Le lundi 15 août 2016 à 21:45 +0300, Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic a écrit :
>>>> On 15.08.2016 21:23, Paul Kocialkowski wrote:
>>>>> Le lundi 15 août 2016 à 21:04 +0300, Tiberiu-Cezar Tehnoetic a écrit :
>>>>>> On 15.08.2016 20:09, Paul Kocialkowski wrote:
>>>>>>> Thus, it would be more accurate to say that the device is free-
>>>>>>> software-
>>>>>>> friendly, which is vague enough to not be contradictory with the
>>>>>>> facts.
>>>>>> I'm not really a big fan of the "free-software-friendly" term, exactly
>>>>>> because it's vague (laking a definition/criteria) and it doesn't
>>>>>> really
>>>>>> tell users much regarding how respecting of software freedom that
>>>>>> piece
>>>>>> of hardware is. That's why a wide range of hardware projects feel at
>>>>>> liberty to promote themselves as "free-software-friendly".
>>>>> Indeed, it's not very precise, but I don't think that's the goal here. I
>>>>> think
>>>>> vague statements are fine as long as they are clearly recognized as
>>>>> such.
>>>> It depends on the targeted audience. If that is the general public, I'm
>>>> sure that the average user doesn't clearly recognize this term as vague.
>>>> I believe the targeted audience of the Parabola blog is not only
>>>> educated users/free software activists/developers, but the general
>>>> public/average computer user.
>>> I mean that the precise wording "free-software-friendly" is intrinsically
>>> vague,
>>> so I doubt that anyone will understand it as an equivalent of "fully free
>>> software" or "freedom-respecting".
>> However, both average users and high-profile organizations in the free
>> software world are using "free software friendly" to also mean "fully
>> free software" or "freedom-respecting".
> I don't see the problem or contradiction here. It is vague so it can rightfully
> cover both terms. The point is that it is not intrinsically equivalent to one of
> those.
>>> So the question is whether it's good to use vague wording. I think that e.g.
>>> for
>>> the news title, it would be fine. Of course, a link to RYF and the single-
>>> board-
>>> computers page could shed some more lights for anyone interested.
>> Given the examples above where "free software friendly" is used by a
>> wide range of users, companies and nonprofits for both hardware fully
>> compatible with free software and hardware not fully compatible with
>> free software, I hope we can reach the same conclusion that we have to
>> avoid this ambiguous term which spreads confusion among what is and what
>> is not software freedom respecting, thus working against our efforts to
>> educate users as part of the free software movement.
> I disagree with that conclusion. Using a vague word implies that it doesn't
> refer to something more precise -- but it can cover such terms. I don't think
> that using a vague/broad expression, that lacks details, is confusing and
> misleading. It's just imprecise, which is different.
> People who'll understand free software-friendly as fully free are jumping to
> conclusion without any basis. The words don't hold that meaning, they are adding
> more sense to it than what the words hold.

Well, based on my experience, the masses do understand free software
friendly as fully compatible with free software. Especially since a
company with FSF-endorsed hardware states:

"For more information on free software friendly hardware check out the
Free Software Foundation's Respect Your Freedom web site at: fsf.org/ryf."

Which IMO sends the message "free software friendly" is equivalent to
"respects your freedom".

So this user understandably recommends other users:

"ThinkPenguin.com has some great free software-friendly computers (FSF
endorses ThinkPenguin, anyway) and can come installed with Trisquel, so
next time you get a PC, make it a penguin and escape proprietary software."

For him, "free software friendly" means "no proprietary software" =
"fully free software compatible". And he teaches other users that.

Another example:

"My freedom is ready" -

What do other people on this list think? Should we avoid using the term
"free software friendly" or there is no reason not to use it?



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