How to convice others to use FOSS

29 respostas [Última entrada]
albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

Hey everyone I see a lot of doubts in here about how to help Trisquel to spread, well let me tell you my point of view:

First of all I am a Lawyer, a Divorce Lawyer, and I do my own advertising, and as you may guess, it is kinda difficult, but here is a few things I have learned and I think can apply to any kind of service of product:

1.- Always talk about the joy this product brings: When I talk about my job, more than often people tell me you divorce people? You must suck, and I never let that bring me down.

I always answer: -Well you know there are a lot families with violence, and thanks to me, and the good work I do, many families have an opportunity for a better life. You should see how thankfully my clients are after the divorce. And how many children are protected from abuse.

2.- I am not criticizing the person for not understand, I know they don’t, even before the conversations begins, I know they will confront me, but I talk about how good my product is. So when I do the same for Trisquel it is something like this:

What is Trisquel? Can you use the Photoshop? Windows is better, I don’t have time to learn something new.

-You know I am really happy I learned to use Trisquel, it is the best, I am a lawyer, not a computer scientist, and I was able to learn, because it is easy. All the programs you need are in one place, kinda like the store you have in your smartphone.

And they are really fast, you should see how faster is libreoffice compared to office. And I never have viruses. I can download everything I want and I don’t have to worry about viruses, I wanna see you trying that on windows. Oh and Trisquel is really so much better than windows. I even save time because how faster it is. And you know what it is FREE. (as in free beer) I am so happy I stopped using windows.

-So if it is so great and free how come no one uses it? And we all use windows.

-Well, there is a lot of people who uses it, linux, in which Trisquel is based, is used by google, doprbox, netflix, and a lot, and I mean a lot of companies, even your android uses linux. But I know is not that well known, thats because Trisquel is ethical software, and windows is not.

-Ethical?

-Yes, windows was done with profits in mind, and they were able to sold it to a lot of computer companies, but that doens’t mean they have something better, you know as well as I, that there are a lot of musicians out there that sound better than what we hear in the radio. And yet bad artists can sold a lot of records.

3.- I never talked about free software and how you are a slave of Microsoft for using windows. I let the people ask me that. Why? Because people does not react well to that kind of things. But, if you tell them how happy you are they will get interested and THEN and ONLY then you can explain them about Free software and all that.

4.- But free software philosophy is important. -I know, but, what is more important being free or being and slave and understand freedom? If you manage to set people free you are doing more good that teaching them about freedom. Once they are free they will want to know more about their freedom.

We gotta understand that marketing exist for a reason. And good advertising is not about telling you a list of all the philosophical or scientific reasons you should use a product.

Advertising is about making you feel good about a product.

If you manage to make people feel good about Trisquel they will want to try it. And they will love it. And then when you teach theme about the philosophy of free software they will support you.

Please don’t make feel bad others for don’t understanding freedom, they just don’t understand, but you do. If you really care about freedom, you will be patient, after all, liberty is worth the inconvenience.

albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

I know it says Linux. And not GNU/Linux.

I know, and you know what I don't care. I care about people being free not saying the proper things, after they are free I will take the time to explain them all of this beautiful philosophy. And how to use their computers and all that.

But freedom comes first. Then talking right.

lembas
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Joined: 05/13/2010

The most difficult person to free is the one who doesn't even know he's shackled. If we only talk about practical benefits that will teach people nothing about freedom. And that is the only unique benefit free software has. If a person isn't in it for the freedom they will jump ship for the next shiny thing.

But I'm not a marketing guy. And I find it a slimy business. But if that works for you, keep doing it. Just make sure that you do explain the heavy stuff as well, otherwise I believe all your efforts are in vain. After all a person using free software without knowing it is practically not free. And sadly there is a whole lot of such people.

albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

I never said to only talk about technical benefits :)

I just said, if you want people to get interested in free software you gotta help them understand in a way that they can understand, not in the way we want them to understand.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

>I don't care.

https://www.gnu.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.en.html

Names convey meanings; our choice of names determines the meaning of what we say. An inappropriate name gives people the wrong idea. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet—but if you call it a pen, people will be rather disappointed when they try to write with it.
...

albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

I understand my friend :)

But I never said that we shouldn't use the right names.

What I meant, is that before overwhelming people that doesn't know about free software, specially those who don't know much about computers at all. It is better if we talk to them in a language they can understand.

Otherwise, and I am pretty sure you will have to agree with me, if we talk to them about a bunch of things they don't understand they will get lost, and will lose interest.

The point of helping them change to free software is about their liberty, not about teaching them to speak properly. That can wait a litte bit :)

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

What made you 'convinced' to use libre sofware? Will it work with other people?

I grew into it gradually by using it. Nobody told me to do it. I never had any vested interest in Windows, for instance. My job didn't depend on it nor my skills. It was easy to throw it away. For some, maybe it's hard.

It should start at school for kids.

All public services, schools, libraries should be turned to use only libre software. Most tasks people perform at home don't require Windows. It's trivial to use GNU/Linux to surf the Internet, send mail or work with photos.

What is harder to free is hardware.

I think these days a school teacher knows better than this. There's been some progress.

http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/12/linux-stop-holding-our-kids-back.html

No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline.

albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

I think that the way I came to trisquel is not relevant to my point :)

My point is to make the most people interested in free software and the only way I can think we can do that is talking to people in a way they will get interested and they can understand :)

Thats why people, like the teacher in your post, doesn't understand free software, because it wasn't explain to them in a way they could understand.

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

I think it's pretty hard to convince somebody that they can't watch Netflix if its requirement is Digital Restrictions Management. The real threat for liberties comes from these services.

The desktop, the PC and the general purpose computer is increasingly less important to the industry. These platforms might be next to irrelevant in the future. The real nerds and geeks will always build their own boxes to run whatever they wish. In the third world, new generations come to know the computer as a phone.
---------------------------
FSF has a page 'resources'.

"We collect and organize information that will be of use to people who want to use free software effectively or to persuade others to use it."

https://fsf.org/resources

https://www.fsf.org/resources/materials

They have a promotional video. Size: 56 MB.

https://static.fsf.org/nosvn/FSF30-video/FSF_30_720p.webm

https://youtu.be/-EBszwOiIEw

GNU_freedom.png fsf_gpl_promo_video.png
albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

I live in the third world my friend :)

And trust me, there is a lot of people here using a computer, specially those who work and go to school.

Now, I want to be clear: My point is if we want to explain free software to people, we gotta talk to people in a language they can understand and in a way that they get interested. And after that we can teach them more.

And it is important too, we should teach them more after that. We should explain freedom, GNU/Linux, and all that. But it will be easier for us to explain that if we manage to make them interested.

That is why it is hard to make them understand about freedom and netflix, because they don't understand how can "loosing" choices, (like netflix), meant freedom. And thats why we gotta help them one step at a time to understand freedom.

Instead of specting them to understand everything at the first talk.

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

>I live in the third world my friend :)<

I understood so much. That's why I brought it up.

These people get to know the Internet through their phones. They use services to communicate and share their thoughts. They use their phone to connect to the network. Most people don't have a landline here and they rely on a prepaid data package. That's how I connect to the world using my phone as a modem with a wifi router that has an ethernet port and a cable to my laptop which needs a proprietary firmware blob for the wifi chip to work.

In the emerging market, we need GNU services, a replacement for popular social media that people use on a daily basis. Here they don't use Facebook so much but they use Line.

Venezuela's Canaima, Cuba's Nova, Brazilia's Conectiva (later Mandriva). I don't know if they are succesful but they certainly won't be if there's no free phone alternative. The desktop is good for official institutions. I'm all for a government OS if that's what it takes to replace Windows on every office computer.

Here where I reside, they sell laptops and mini PCs without an operating system. What a great opportunity to put a free OS on them. Instead, they get a pirated version of Windows because that's what the aftermarket vendors are familiar with. I once had a conversation with a person here about GNU/Linux. He had brought his laptop along and I wanted to show him how a free operating system works on a live DVD. His first reaction was he was not savvy on a command line. He had the misconception that Linux systems come without a GUI.

Turtleman
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Joined: 05/22/2013

I say, "Hey, want to play a cool game called Minetest?"

It has worked on a couple people :)

albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

Great way :)

I didn't think of games because I almost don't play games anymore :/

Pinko Commie
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Joined: 05/06/2016

Or teeworlds? Or warzone2100? Or wesnoth? Or armagetron? Or gnibbles? Or gtkatlantic? Or tuxcart? Or frozen bubble? Or freeciv? Actually, do any of you want to play?

  Original Message  
From: name at domain
Sent: Thursday, May 5, 2016 9:59 PM
To: name at domain
Reply To: User help and discussion
Subject: Re: [Trisquel-users] How to convice others to use FOSS

I say, "Hey, want to play a cool game called Minetest?"

It has worked on a couple people :)

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

I've recently had a huge load of hours of genuine fun with the supernintendo bust a move on zsnes. :))

pragmatist

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Many of your specific ideas are excellent and I love your enthusiasm.

Your general approach of getting them interested first, by showing them the good things in free software, is reasonable. It sounds like a great way to get people started. I have followed this approach myself at one point. In fact, if free software required no sacrifices in convenience, then that approach might be good enough.

We want people to come to the free side and to stay on the free side. People have to want to stay here in good weather or bad. If they come here expecting good weather all the time, they will leave when they get some bad weather. They need to come here because it is the ethical thing to do. Then there is a chance they will stay here even if it is inconvenient for them, and even if things don't go smoothly for them.

Magic Banana

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Using proprietary software is not unethical (developing proprietary software is). It is not valuing his/her own freedom. Somebody who uses proprietary software does harm to herself. Not to others... unless she is somehow forcing them to use proprietary software (e.g., using communication software with proprietary protocols such as Skype).

pragmatist

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Fair enough. Applied to the strategy I suggested, you would help the person understand that her freedom is at stake. Explain to her that if she uses free software she can be free. Explain to her that sometimes her freedom will require a small sacrifice, for example a sacrifice of some convenience.

This approach is very different than, "Try it, you'll like it!". The problem with "Try it, you'll like it!" is that if they don't like it, they will regret having tried it and return to proprietary software.

If you say to her, "your freedom is at stake, you would be wise to switch to free software--for your own benefit, for your freedom." Then, if Trisquel has some problem some day, her attitude will be, "How can I make this work, because my freedom is important". Instead of, "I tried this because I thought it would be better than Windows or MacOS. But I'm having too much problems, so Windows or MacOS really are better and I'm going back"

albertoefg
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Joined: 04/21/2016

I understand your point, but in my experience windows is sooo bad, that is hard that someone says windows is better, in general they just say "i don't have time to learn something new".

But, those kind of people in general, won't be convinced no matter what, hey even some slaves wanted to stay slaves, belive it or not, thats because the human mind doesn't like change that much.

I try my best but i can't force them to change. But I have found that there are easier ways than others to convince them to change to free software. Even those who say I rather stick to windows, eventually will face problems, thats for sure, and thats when they ask you for help :)

lembas
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Joined: 05/13/2010

And it's comical how they still stick with windoze, how much ever the user interface changes, like windoze 8 or the ribbon thing in M$ office...

I wonder if this is some combination of inertia and authoritarianism.

SuperTramp83

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>Your general approach of getting them interested first, by showing them the good things in free software, is reasonable. It sounds like a great way to get people started. I have followed this approach myself at one point. In fact, if free software required no sacrifices in convenience, then that approach might be good enough.

We want people to come to the free side and to stay on the free side. People have to want to stay here in good weather or bad. If they come here expecting good weather all the time, they will leave when they get some bad weather. They need to come here because it is the ethical thing to do. Then there is a chance they will stay here even if it is inconvenient for them, and even if things don't go smoothly for them.
>>

When I compare my computing now with those years on Winzozz, I find that I sacrificed only one thing: proprietary video games. Games are the only thing I can not "do" on my GNu installation (I'm talking about badass graphics games). Other than that, no sacrifices at all, just changes of habit, I for instance don't use flash player anymore for 60% of my web browsing X_x and all that proprietary javascript. And so many websites with videos working on the flash base, are pretty much inaccessible to me **within** the browser.
I now have to use other instruments for that. Like youtube-dl. This way, I guess I lost a little bit in **convenience** but that is a very insignificant thing when compared with the other side of the trade - the idea and its realization that you have only free software on your lappy, and that it also works faster, better, more reliably and with much more stability.

I also remember that the first 2 or 3 months with GNU I lacked many of the instruments I have now, but that is just because I didn't know about them and I still had to learn.
So, yeah, a dude that is new to GNU may initially think the OS is tough or lacking features. It really does not lack anything, but games :)

pragmatist

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If you are not committed to freedom, why should you sacrifice the hardware you have that has no free drivers? Why should you give up program X that you need for work, that you like, that you know how to use, and with which you have created years worth of data that is in an incompatible format? Why should you invest time to learn a new way of doing things if the old way works just fine?

The ultimate answer is: because freedom is worth it. Period.

SuperTramp83

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pragmatist: agreed. That's the gist of it.

hack and hack
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I'd convince someone like me by talking about privacy, which was my first motivation. But more and more, it became the fun and powerful programs, and the possibility to do what I wanted with them.

First problem : I'm not properly informed about privacy. My arguments and knowledge are incomplete, and I can barely convince myself when I hear myself talk about privacy to someone else. It's a complex subject, and I doubt it's a good idea to stay with approximations, no matter how valid they are. It's very easy to sound paranoied.

Second problem : The "out of the box" experience is still way better than anything proprietary, but there's still some serious work to be done. This is a good example: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/maintaining-security-and-avoiding-surveillance

A dual boot is risky, a virtual installation is more manageable, but very complex for most people.
Even an installation isn't a straightforward task (making a Live USB for example).
The fact is, it takes work. Being the "hacker friend" can help.

I also really like root_vegetable's idea of having GPG links in the mail signature.

So in a nutshell, IMO:
- REALLY know what you're talking about, and articulate it efficiently and effectively.
- create interest (mail signature, talking briefly about privacy, or a cool program), but don't push it, don't force it, let it happen naturally (crap, I'm pretty sure those lyrics are copyrighted).
- Make the transition as smooth as possible for non-tech people : help by giving time for example. Lend a Live USB, or make a bunch of Live CDs. Be ready for free wifi issues. Or even have some Debian copies for special cases.

Now I really sound like a crazy evangelist though... So as already mentioned, it's probably a good idea to not overdo it.

Magic Banana

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About privacy, the argument is pretty simple: without the freedom to study how the program works (part of freedom 1), the community cannot know whether the software is spying on them. They often do. See https://www.gnu.org/proprietary/proprietary-surveillance.html for many documented examples of popular proprietary programs that spy on their users. It is not paranoia.

hack and hack
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I agree, it's just that it's much harder to drop properly and convincingly in a conversation with several people attending. My personal concern is about delivery, related to the the unclear content (in my mind): I mean there are so many examples... quite ironic.

I just need to read more about it, that's all there is to it. Thanks for the link.

I like how your argument sums it up.

SuperTramp83

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That is an excellent compendium Banana Magique :)

+1

ADFENO
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Joined: 12/31/2012

Regarding the privacy issues, one must also note that it's best to
consider freedom 1 in full and freedom 0 as important to solve this
issue, because being unable to adapt the "privacy disrespecting"
functional data is problematic, let alone being unable to use your own
adaptation.

This is one of the various points where the Open Source Definition
differs from the Free Software Definition. The OSD ignores threats to
freedom 0 like DRM or tivoization.

GNUbahn
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Joined: 02/18/2016

This is an interesting and highly relevant issue. I always run into people not understanding why I want to bother with the not always so easy to use free alternatives. It's really strange to me that people take it so light.

I live in Denmark where we are used to consider our selves as a free people and a leading nation when it comes to freedom, democracy and human rights. Most people seem to not really care or even believe that our privacy is under attack. Some do complain but when it comes to action they're numb. Actually many often kind of laugh at me for taking the steps I do. They complain about companies, governments and organisations crawling in on their private life but laugh at people who take the more cumbersome road to defend them selves. It doesn't make sense.

Albertoefg, thanks for a very relevant input. I often end up in political/ideological discussions about free/libre software (or even OSS) with no chance to 'win'.

I still think that there is no way to avoid the talk about ideals though. For most every day users of Windows or IOS it is impossible to convince them about the ease of using linux. First time they meet any problem they blame it on the immature or amateur attempts to copying MS or Apple.

I like https://myshadow.org (thanks to root_vegetable) but for many people is fa over the edge - cough cough tinfoil cough...

On the website of the Danish IT engineers (version2.dk) I read that Bruce Wynn (mentioned as a security expert) demonstrated a 120$ device that can imitate wifi networks that your mobile phone or computer is listening for. In that way people - or rather their devices - are easily tricked to connect to a network under eve's control (In Danish: https://www.version2.dk/artikel/sikkerhedsekspert-saadan-opretter-du-250-falske-wifi-netvaerk-paa-sekunder-744406).

I imagine that cases like this could get people out of the bushes. If you know stories or cases like this, please share them. It would be really cool to make some kind of event or demonstration where people without a clue and off guards would see and experience on their own body/device what can happen.

And of course cases that could illustrate how and what kind of data is collected would be relevant too.

Unfortunately I don't have the knowledge and skills myself, but I also think that a sharp pencil drawing lines to history and political philosophy could help to clarify how privacy and freedom are indisputable necessities in maintaining, not to say building, a democratic society.

Thanks for taking up this discussion.

ADFENO
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Joined: 12/31/2012

Thanks for making this topic.

According to a presentation given by Hill at LibrePlanet 2013[1][2][3],
free software isn't always practically better. You'll notice that Hill
starts his talk by presenting *open source* arguments of
user-friendliness, security, mass developer participation, and so on;
but then, Hill states that, in contrast to open source projects and
proponents, free software projects and proponents have advantage
because:

* They promote our philosophy by its real goal, which is ensuring the
essential freedoms that society ought to have.

* They don't lie about what they're promoting. If they do get mistaken,
it's because their source of information also was mistaken, and so they
can take it up with that source, demand the source to change its
position, or find another source. This has to do with two abilities:

1. The ability not to make ruinous compromises.

2. The ability to apply the free software philosophy criteria as a day
to day basis. With the exception of the cases where non-free software
can be used or recommended (which is generally restricted for
development or temporary replacement purposes).

I have also seen other references to back my claims, but I lost the link
for an important comment made by onpon4 somewhere in the Internet. But,
as far as I can understand, the open source arguments seem to be
breaking apart, and here are the "cracks":

* Free/libre and open source software isn't *always* stable.

* Free/libre and open source software isn't *always* secure.

* Free/libre and open source software isn't *always* user-friendly.

* Free/libre and open source software isn't *always* accessible.

REFERENCES

[1]:
https://cloud.openmailbox.org/index.php/s/amGwGbmpSX6cSth/download?path=
%2FV%C3%ADdeos%2FEduca%C3%A7%C3%A3o%20e%20ensino&files=2013%20-%20HILL%
20-%20When%20free%20software%20isn%27t%20(practically)%20better%20(CC%
20BY-SA%203.0).torrent

[2]: The reference 1 is a a trackerless torrent made by me and is in my
public folder (where I share things I like and which are free software
or shareable culture). If you want to visit the folder, or see why some
link broke, or revisit it to see the latest updates, please see
reference 3.

[3]: https://cloud.openmailbox.org/index.php/s/amGwGbmpSX6cSth?path=%2F