Summary: Why Ubuntu is not the problem when it comes to Mono (Novell and Microsoft are, but also people’s naïvity)
“It’s definitely not unique to Ubuntu, and I’m not blaming Ubuntu or anyone formally associated with Ubuntu for any of it. It’s not unique to new users, either. It’s an artifact of the proprietary software culture that we (software freedom advocates included) live in. In some ways Microsoft itself is an artifact of this culture, and it’s quite fun watching them and the other “evil empires” struggle in vain against Android and GNU/Linux.
“It’s not even unique to software. For some reason, people generally don’t like to think. When you advocate for anything (including things only tangentially related to computers, such as environmentalism) you make people think. People like it when the thinking is done for them – this is why things like entertainment and advertising are big business, and why sports are emphasized above academics even in schools.
“Now, considering how “digital” our lives have become, much of what we do is done through software. Software freedom is essentially academic freedom – sharing and learning are among the most important things in an academic perspective, and free software emphasizes both (hence why it’s always compared to books, science, math etc). But the “heroes” that people look up to aren’t thinkers, teachers, or professors. They are athletes, entertainers (politicians fall under this too), and movie stars. Thinking is a chore, and smart people are “weirdos” or “dweebs.”
“I assure you, it’s not Ubuntu’s fault in the slightest.”
–Adrian Malacoda“Code is an expression of thought, therefore, free software is essentially freedom of thought. People make the mistake of assuming free software is about software, and this is where “open source” (the thing that’s kind of like free software, but with the support of the Apples and Microsofts) came from. But I don’t even blame the OSI for any of this, and I don’t have any real issues with “open source” developers. They might not be “GNU freetard zealots” but they’re not actually “enemies.” It’s more like two sides of the same coin – “open source” is about software development, whereas “free software” is about the ethical issues of computer user autonomy and control.
“Sadly enough, the “practical open source methodology” has a much greater chance of becoming “mainstream” than the GNU ideals of software freedom. People just generally don’t like thinking, with a handful of exceptions (the ones who can actually “get” the freedom thing). It doesn’t help that 15+ years of being “blind Windows haters” sort of diluted the original GNU message down from “freedom from monopoly and control of one’s own computing” to “Business is evil! Money is evil! Big bad corporations are evil!” which makes an almost-impossible feat even more almost-impossible.