Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Why Tux Machines Occasionally Adds Editorial Comments

Filed under
Just talk

Editorials

Summary: Editorial remarks (or Editor's comments, "Ed" for short) play a role in highlighting potential inaccuracies -- and manipulations of the mind -- when those aren't so shallow and aren't abundantly obvious

Recently, and as lately as a few hours ago, Richard Stallman exchanged some messages and we might meet again in a few months (he is traveling to the UK). Stallman and I share a concern about neglect of truth and history; for instance, many GNU programs are nowadays dubbed "LINUX COMMANDS" (I saw one example of that just 2 hours ago) and people sometimes lose sight of the important goals, focusing on brands instead of philosophy, political aspects and so on.

"Sometimes we link to something which isn't entirely accurate or can be misleading."

I would like to take this moment, on the last day of this year, to explain where we stand on issues pertaining to software freedom. A few times in the past one reader bemoaned my editorial comments (marked "Ed"), which typically bemoan something about the cited article/s. Sometimes we link to something which isn't entirely accurate or can be misleading. One example of that is openwashing. Another rather common and increasingly ubiquitous example concerns Microsoft "loving" Linux (it actually loves Windows).

We live in a world with Public Relations and marketing agencies. They exist to mislead; they shape perceptions -- that's their business model! To blindly link to just anything online without commentary or curation would likely lead us astray. Truth does matter. Facts need to be checked. This is what Tux Machines strives to achieve; throwing the word "LINUX" into something like Google News would expose one to loads of cruft, irrelevant stuff, plagiarism, pure spam and sometimes intentional lies. With no human operator or editor just about anything can be dunked into search results, owing to SEO manipulation and mishandling of indexes. I've seen that for well over a decade. Automation just doesn't work; someone who understands the problem domain needs to assess things for quality and accuracy.

"To be fair, comments are open, so readers can respond."

My adult life (since age 18 or so when I became a GNU/Linux user) involved very hard work and lifelong activism for software freedom. Not everyone agrees with me and if sometimes I may say something readers disagree with (e.g. in editorial comments), then it's likely because I try to be realistic, not jingoistic. Moreover, no two individuals will agree on everything 100% of the time. That's inevitable. So some readers might dislike these editorial comments. To be fair, comments are open, so readers can respond.

At the moment, the way I personally see it, Free software is under a number of attacks. There are different types of attacks. I think Free software will endure regardless. On a more positive note, Free software is nowadays used everywhere, it's just not being called that ("Open Source" is the term corporate media prefers) and it has been leveraged as a low-cost 'cushion' for DRM, surveillance, militarism etc. Think of companies like Facebook and Netflix (GNU and Linux at their back ends). Is this what we strive for? Closed systems that are merely built upon Freedom-respecting stacks?

"At the moment, the way I personally see it, Free software is under a number of attacks."

Software freedom is a huge objective in a world where almost everything becomes digital (only more so over time). I think it's up to us to somehow guide the world's software towards ethical uses, without necessarily imposing how it's used, and that is perhaps a future challenge for the Free Software Movement. It's a monumental challenge because politics can be a massive terrain to navigate. Over at Techrights I mostly focus on issues such as patents (laws), with emphasis on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO) granting software patents in Europe and so on. Patents on algorithms are one kind of barrier (among many) impeding Free software adoption.

More in Tux Machines

Is it time to revise the Open Source Definition?

The Open Source Definition (OSD), maintained by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), is a foundational pillar of the open source movement. The OSI's view is that software validly labeled "open source" must be made available in a manner that satisfies the 10 criteria set forth in the OSD, all but one of which pertain to licensing terms. Through its license review process, the OSI determines whether a submitted license is OSD-conformant. Widely recognized as authoritative, the OSD is commonly invoked in contractual language and has been referenced in statutes and regulations. The OSD was drafted and adopted by the OSI shortly after its founding in 1998. It is essentially a rebranding of the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) with relatively minor changes. It has been amended only once, in 2002, with the addition of a tenth plank ("License must be technology-neutral"). Read more

Bagisto: An Open Source eCommerce Platform

I have discussed some of the best open-source eCommerce platforms to build shopping websites in the past. Recently, I came to know about a new platform called Bagisto. It’s built on Laravel, which is a free and open-source PHP framework. On the first look, it’s impressive to find an open-source eCommerce solution that lets you craft beautiful shopping experiences. Hence, I decided to give a quick look on what it offers and if it’s something that you can try. Read more

12 Things to do After Installing a Linux Server

Just deployed a server? Here are some recommended things to do after installing Linux server to make it more secure. Automated script is also provided. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Automotive Grade Linux Announces L4B Software, Sibros, Sonatus, Telechips and TotalCross Platform as New Members

    Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for connected car technologies, announces five new members: L4B Software, Sibros, Sonatus, Telechips and TotalCross Platform.

  • Cartesi is partnering with Binance Smart Chain and launches Incubation program to make DApp development easier with Linux

    Cartesi is partnering with Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to unlock the next generation of decentralized applications. Binance Smart Chain is a highly scalable blockchain that supports smart contracts and Ethereum Virtual Machine programmability, featuring high TPS (transactions per second), and fast decentralized trading with low fees. This partnership will enable advanced smart contract capabilities and massive computation for Cartesi DApps atop Binance Smart Chain, allowing DApp developers to jumpstart the next generation of decentralized games and DeFi products.

  • Cartesi Announces Exciting Incubation Program To Bring Linux To DApps.
  • MS Windows on Linux: wine and MinGW-w64

    I came across two separate discussions on LinuxQuestions.org that had a common root cause; a lack of Windows VST support in Carla and missing PE binary support in Wine causing Windows games to fail on Slackware. They made me think about how I could help fix the core issue, which is that both SlackBuilds.org and Slackware 3rd party repositories (like mine) do not offer MinGW packages or scripts. To address the issue I needed to create a MinGW-w64 package, which is what I did. More on that, further down. Back to the issue at hand and their common root cause.

  • [Slackware] Updates available for OpenJDK 7

    Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) announced a new release for IcedTea 2 on the distro-packager mailing list earlier this week.The new version 2.6.23 builds OpenJDK 7u271_b01. This release includes the July 2020 security fixes for Java 7 from Oracle. It is recommended that you upgrade your OpenJDK 7 to the latest version. If you have already moved to Java 8 then this article is obviously not relevant for you.

  • International Day for Universal Access to Information: 28 September

    The International Day for Universal Access to Information 2020 focuses on to the right to information in times of crisis. It also highlights the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information to save lives, build trust and help the formulation of sustainable policies through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

    UNESCO and its intergovernmental programs - the International Programme for Development of Communication and the Information for All Programme - provide a platform and frame for all the stakeholders to participate in international discussions on policy and guidelines in the area of access to information. Both programs also enable positive environment for ATI to flourish through the development of projects aimed to strengthen open science, multilingualism, ICTs for disabled and marginalized, and media and information literacy.

  • By the Time You Finish Reading This, Your Tech Job Post May Be Outdated

    As the rate of technological advancement and change continues to accelerate, new tools are being developed and released at such a swift pace that no individual tech professional can stay on top of them all. Consequently, this leads to talent gaps that can delay digital transformation. For example, a recent study found that “only 23% of organizations believe they have the talent required to successfully complete their cloud native journey.”