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The Free Software Foundation and Dogfood

Found this via LWN:

By performing a simple Netcraft check, we can see the FSF servers running what GNU/Linux distro? Debian, of course! If the concept hasn’t violated your cortex just yet, I must remind you of this double standard of distribution selection.

I spoke with Richard Stallman about this. He didn’t seem to be nearly as disappointed as I was:

We did not install any of that non-free software, so it is ok for us to run Debian. But we cannot recommend its servers to the public. Other people might install the non-free software from the site.

In general, I’m usually ambivalent about the whole double-standard accusations that occurs (all the time) in the Open Source / Free Software community but what I find amusing in this case is that the Free Software Foundation who are supposed to be a bunch of rather highly technical people can’t be bothered to to insist on running their own services on Free Software.

While beggars can’t always be choosers doesn’t it make sense to eat your own dog food? From the standpoint of usability. A technologist that can’t be bothered to use the software they espouse suggests to me that the software doesn’t actually fulfill its job. Though I wouldn’t call it a hard and fast rule just something to raise suspicions.

Read it yourself

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