[clug] Declining attendance?

Francis Markham fmarkham at gmail.com
Sun Oct 14 18:22:07 MDT 2012

I'll bite.

In an era where there is a credible open source alternative is available
for almost any proprietary package and the open source options for geeks
are often better than their proprietary competitors, advocating software
freedom seems almost antiquated. Sure, I appreciate free software and use
it where ever possible, but issues like vendor lock in are no longer daily
annoyances (for me at least, YMMV).

The battle for software freedom may need to move to another front, "data
freedom". I am frustrated daily by the capture of my personal data in very
useful cloud computing services where it is hard to access, migrate, and
may cost ridiculous sums for "premium" services, etc. Furthermore, my data
is now vulnerable to the changing whims of the service provider (e.g.
facebook changing their privacy policy yet again) rather than being in my
control. While this is in part of software freedom issue with the code
running these cloud systems, it is also about infrastructure - not everyone
can run their own cloud storage system, and even if they could it would
make no sense in some cases (e.g. social networking where network effects
are everything).

Whatever the cause of my lack of data freedom, handing out CDs of open
source software is unlikely to be the solution. For me, the largely
victorious battle for software freedom is now secondary, which may explain
the apathy regarding SFD in the open source community. It explains mine at



On 15 October 2012 10:53, Mike Carden <mike.carden at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Robert Edwards <bob at cs.anu.edu.au>
> wrote:
> > (seems that nobody in Canberra
> > could be bothered with SFD this year - myself included).
> Wow, SFD was a few weeks ago and I totally forgot it was even on. If
> fact I don't even recall discussing it at an LA meeting like we
> usually would. And I'm not aware of anyone around the country asking
> for LA funds to do anything for SFD.
> That's a far cry from when Chris Smart and I were trying to outdo each
> other giving away distro CDs at a Computer Fair.
> I wonder what's happened?
> --
> MC
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