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    I don’t want to flag this because I’m sure it was posted in good faith, but this author is terrible. He’s apparently built a writing career out of posting authoritatively about things he has no understanding of. This article is just one more example (because free software is not about being able to look at the source on Github) out of an entire corpus of ignorance and idiocy. I would really like it if we could just not post and not upvote anything he’s written, but I guess that’s wishful thinking.

    What do people think is the best way of dealing with content that is merely mediocre? We don’t have a flag to say “I don’t want to see more of this because eeeeeehhh”. Ignore it? Hide it and hope it doesn’t proliferate? Comment as I’ve done here?

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      Sorry, I posted this more just to see the lobster community discussion about it. The article was very light in content but I’m curious how many people here agree or disagree with the premise (which is almost entirely wrapped in the clickbait title)

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        No need to apologize! To be totally clear, I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong by posting this. And actually, posting bad articles to get the community’s view and foster discussion I think is both reasonable and precedented; it helps to add text, though, to explain that that’s why you’re posting it.

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        I usually flag it as spam, because it’s typically thoroughly over-processed canned garbage.

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        The article ends like this:

        I’ll make this simple for you. Open-source programmers, you’ve won. Relax already. Proprietary software developers, get your GitHub account now, your world is coming to a close.

        I disagree.

        How much of the software that you use regularly can you modify and then use the modifications?

        Even though many prominent companies like Facebook, Google, et al (even Microsoft) are open-sourcing their infrastructure code, or many others are using OpenStack, does that mean that if I disagree with say, how Facebook handles my privacy settings, I can fork it and still use it to keep in touch with friends? Of course not.

        Do you consider the open-sourcing of Swift as a signal that Apple will eventually open source (and accept user modifications to) iOS generally?

        It’s simplistic to describe a “Software War” between open source and proprietary software. This trope needs to go away, but not by declaring victory for open source, which is just false.

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          Well I’d say 90% of it at least. But then again I’m not the average person either. I think if you modify your question to “How much of the software an average person uses…” It makes a bit more sense.

          I’d argue though that most of those people don’t see a lot of benefit from that software being open source or not.

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            To your point Android, in my mind, is the best example. Sure, it’s open source, but it’s developed almost completely behind closed doors (much like Darwin) and you’d be stupid to try and fork it at this point.

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            I know way too many Linux users who think of Microsoft as “The Evil Empire.” People, that was yesterday. Get over it.

            And this is why divorcing the concepts of Free Software from that of “open source software” is a bad thing. Richard Stallman Was Right ™

            The current state of affairs is not some happy accident, but many long years of work that many people put into many projects so that this could be true. Licensing Linux with GPLv2 has been the best stroke of luck Free Software has had. Being militant about free software and the Department of Justice sueing Microsoft into the ground on anti-trust are the only reasons they even relented for a moment in the past.

            Microsoft can “embrace, extend, and extinguish” linux syscall APIs just as easily as ever before, but now they don’t need to. We’ve seen what they did with ODF, and I’ve personally seen the shit they try to pull on various storage related standards. But that’s hard work on their part.

            You know what’s easier? Hosting services that user pay monthly for that they can claim are “open source” without giving the users all the source code. Hosting services that not only take away user’s freedom, but their data too.

            Linux and open source haven’t won. Linux and open source are now useful marketing tools for the oppression of users.

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              You know what’s easier? Hosting services that user pay monthly for that they can claim are “open source” without giving the users all the source code. Hosting services that not only take away user’s freedom, but their data too.

              This also leverages something MS is good at – enterprise sales. They know how to dog and pony – combined with GOBS of credits for small business, makes them very tempting for small shops and startups running Linux.

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              In servers and the cloud Linux is doing well yes, but this has been a familiar story for 15 or 20 years now. As other commenters mentioned, except for minor modifications with user scripts/extensions/add ons we can’t really modify or change the behaviour of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Unless the world jumps on Diaspora which is unlikely then this isn’t going to change any time soon, I worry the walled gardens are actually getting worse. Most console and PC games are proprietary, just look at the top 100 Steam games. The operating systems that the majority of users run those games on is closed source. I’d argue Photoshop and Light room are still superior. iOS and Android are as good as each other, but both try to keep you in a walled garden app store. Android may be open source but the Play store is closed source as is more and more of the useful Android functionality. Not to mention that most people have a proprietary manufacturer version of Android with proprietary drivers and cell phone company rubbish software installed. So tell me again what has really improved in 20 years? The best things I can think of are server software improvements/uptake, more projects showing up on github and similar, and open source hobby devices such as the raspberry pi and 3d printers taking off.