During this trip, I arrived to an interesting conclussion,
nothing really new, but it finally "clicked" for me. It is
interesting to note that different groups of people have very
different reasons for adopting free software/open source
software. Not everyone agrees on the needs for it.
For instance, recently we learned that the US administration is
interested mostly in free software for its reliability and
security. Third world countries and US corporations want to
reduce their licensing costs. Other countries consider the
use for free software a matter of national security; others a
matter of technological independence.
Some groups want to have the four freedoms promoted by the free
software foundation; some others only care about the particular
technical benefits, others want to use it as a vehicle to
distribute their software.
We all converge on the licensing and the basic guidelines for
what constitutes free software/open source software and we
agree to cooperate, because open source/free software has the
pieces required to have multiple parties participate. But the
different parties might not necessarily agree on the
And I do bring this up, because I was asked a few times whether
I was an `Open Source' person or a `Free Software' person and
what was mi position on the debate.
I personally think that the distinction is silly and a complete
waste of time. I do have many different reasons for using and
developing Linux, Gnome and Mono, and they are not the same as
everyone else. Sometimes I care about freedom, sometimes about
security, sometimes about innovation, sometimes about the
gadget factor, sometimes it is nice to be part of a community.
A group of Ximian users greeted me at the entrance of the
The next step in the Gnome en el Sur was Montevideo. To go
from Lima to Montevideo I had to take a number of planes: Lima
to Santiago de Chile (2am); Santiago de Chile to Buenos Aires
(5am) and then Buenos Aires to Montevideo.
I did not get a lot of sleep that night, but being very tired
from the activities in Lima helped me get to sleep for a few
I traveled with
Enrique's wife which happened to be heading to Buenos Aires on
the first two airplanes. She researches Asian cultures. Since
I had been reading Saramago's Gospel
according to Jesus Christ and pondering who exactly are the
Palestinians in Israel, I had developed a theory of mine: the
Palestinians are the same people that populated the area two
thousand years ago, but have switched religions as invasions
came and went.
She confirmed my theory: both palestinians and israeli
decendants are semites (surprise!) and gave me some details on
the origins of words that both populations use. Very
This is a personal web page. Things said here do not represent the position of my employer.
Posted on 24 Jun 2002
by Miguel de Icaza