fsfs.in and Proprietary software.

I am just back from fsfs.in. The event had several renowned participants and and exhibition on free software.  I was responsible for setting up the stall of IHRD. We show cased LTSP and  remastering Ubuntu.  I was busy with the stall yesterday and day before yesterday and could not attend any sessions.

At our stall with a Thin Client on the table.

Today morning, I went to the convention centre at Mascot hotel. I was planning to attend a few technical sessions. I was shocked to find  many speakers running Windows Vista and power point presentations.  I thought the guys running the show were hard core GNU fanatics. ( Ricard Stallman was present on the opening day of the conference.).

I was listened to two talks , one on  GRAILS and the other on Javafx. The guy who spoke on grails used GNU/Linux and openoffice impress. The  talk on Javafx was simply crap. The speaker seemed  to know very little of Java.

I asked him whether the Javafx is available on any free platforms and whether it is  free software.  He said  some bla bla and quickly wound up. Any way,  took some photgraphs of his presentation. I think he was trying to carefully hide windows and powerpoint.

Teach yourself   free software   with  Windows XP  in 21 days

Back in the exibition pavallion, I scanned around for  proprietary  stuff. I could spot them on a couple of stalls.

Hands on Free Software with Windows VISTA. 😀

Finally, the Linux user group was running a windows  theme on  one of their Laptops 😀

Learning  windows (theme) on Linux

You cannot get rid of proprietary software even in a conference on freedom and free software 😀

PS: I use windows if it is absolutely needed.


  1. Hi,
    I was sitting just behind you in the conference hall. I remember you asking the question about the availability of JavaFX in a free operating system. I also saw him running the Microsoft Windows. It is so bad that these softwares are used for this type of event. It hurt me more when I came to know that the guy who took the JavaFX talk was one of the chief organizers of the event. There are more speakers who showed their presentations on Microsoft Office. Take this: the guy from Sun Microsystems showcased WebSynergy on a Vista Laptop.
    I agree with your thought.

  2. (reply to the comment posted on my blog )

    I wonder why you didn’t stand up right there and ask him then and there instead of posting in blog now . At least you could have looked me up I would have pointed out his folly.

    Also there were others who used Mac’s too and I pointed it out that they them that at least run darwin on it.

    Even I was photoblogging the event using a Nokia phone running S60 I was so ashamed that I decided to do remedy it by doing a openmoko hack session.

    I will ditch that damn phone the moment I have enough money to buy a openmoko or the openmoko lends me one.

  3. I guess the chaps from FSUG-TVC thought that having a XFCE Window style theme would enable users to move to gnu/Linux easier. I know we have shipped distro with this theme many times no one complained about it 😛

  4. @arky

    I asked him why it is not on free software. Why should I look at you.

    >> (reply to the comment posted on my blog )
    >>I wonder why you didn’t stand up right there and ask him then and there >>instead of posting in blog now . At least you could have looked me up I
    >> would have pointed out his folly.

  5. There are lots of people who use a mix of proprietary and free software. But it is just shame to hear that M$ Windows is used at a Free Software Conference stall. It looks Microsoft Stall at Linux Asia. 😀

    I had once noticed this kind of stupidity from Redhat India itself. There was one official from Redhat who was introducing about RHCE, RHCT etc. I looked deeper into the machine he was using. It was M$ powerpoint.

    We should not allow this kind of people to use proprietary systems in the shade of Free Software. I wonder why did the organisers allow the talk on javafx running on proprietary platform !

    I would comment that Excellent Job for this post.

  6. hey the last picture a presentation,
    well that laptop runs GNU/Linux and it’s my friend prasads. and it is his freedom to run a windows like theme on his laptop.
    he likes the theme and hates windows. to be proud of.

  7. @Anoop
    I have specifically mentioned it as a theme in the post. Why you need this kind of gimmick when Gnome and KDE has better themes

  8. And there was this funny thing which happened in FSUG-TVM’s stall, one man came there with a (licensed-original cd [:)])windows cd and his laptop. He wanted us to install windows on his laptop and then GNU/Linux, we didnt do that. And our answer was if you want to install windows do it yourself. We will install only GNU/Linux.

    Anyway you posted two pictures claiming running proprietary software. And as i said above the last one has only the theme.

    And the one with Vista, i think it was not in any of our community stalls. There were only 15 community stalls and the rest out of 50 was either government sponsored or leased out. If anyone out of them have used VISTA how can you blame the whole event.

    If two ppl make a mistake out of an organization how can the whole organization be held responsible for that?

  9. your organization is being hijacked. Thats what happened in CUSAT also. If you are a true fan, be careful not to pollute it with hatred.

  10. The taking over of the Free Software movement by government will mark the end of FSF in Kerala. I shiver at the thought of politicians contributing code to the FSF repository. 🙂

  11. hey,
    how can you say that the government is hijacking the whole thing. It may be because you don’t believe in democracy. In reality the whole thing was organized by the community people and may be you didn’t know that because you didn’t participate.

    There were many speakers from outside our country and they came over because they know it is a community event.

    The Free Software Community stands at the Top Level and then we have so many local communities like FSUG’s.

    So a mere help from the governments side cannot be seen as a hijacking but instead it should be seen as a positive move. It is not just me or you who create the IT policy, its the whole system.

    Of course I do agree to the fact that many bureaucrats and politicians don’t know anything about Free Software. But it is us who have to work and make them understand why Free Software or why Software Freedom is necessary.

  12. Also, those people came not just because it was a community event, but we used our tax payers money to provide flight tickets and accommodation.

  13. Ridiculing a person and providing creative criticism are two different things. In this post, you have tried to ridicule free software activists and a particular speaker without much basis. The speaker would have used Windows OS which should be criticised. However, you dont have any basis to ascertain that the speaker knows very little of Java. The speaker is an author of a book called Apache Geronimo and a Java technology lead in a large software company in Kerala.

    @kenney — Did you register for the conference and got declined? can you clarify why you couldn’t participate.

    Also how do you know that speakers came only because of tax payer’s money? When the state policy is to promote free software, why is it wrong to support speaker journey?

    Just for your information Eben Moglen and Mishi came with SFLC support,Jimmy wales came with wikipedia foundation support, Niibe came with Japan govt fund, Aslam and Cinco came with APC support, Rishab came with his university’s support, Speakers from Redhat and Sun came with company support, IBM withdrew speakers because we declined to provide travel support. The amount of state fund is involved is not very high. I hope organisers will publish the statement soon after the audit.

  14. Ask the person to publish the slides.

    To know more about my experience, visit my blog. there is a big discussion going on there.

  15. @Arun
    To speak about public money spent, the government do it in a round about way. There are Government institutions such as LBS, IHRD etc which have very limited accountability. We can call them benami institutions of Government. If they spend money, it will not come up in the official accounts. This a a common trick employed by Government officials. Transfer money to any of these institutions and spend via them. ( Just open up a Kerala Government Diary on your table, you will find out a large number of them).

    There was another conference http://www.seminarkerala.in/. I heard all the money spent by autonomous institutions as there was no budget allocation.

    So when the accounts come out, you won’t find many hidden expenses.

  16. “Value your freedom, or you will lose it, teaches history. `Don’t bother us with politics’, respond those who don’t want to learn.”
    — Richard Stallman

  17. There is this issue with Java FX. The implementation is now available for Windows and Mac platforms. So it is not the Java FX speaker’s fault if he wanted to show demos. Hmmm

  18. @Frank Jennings
    Can you enlighten on the exact nature of javafx license.
    https://openjfx.dev.java.net/ Say’ like this.
    ” The JavaFX compiler, parts of the graphics libraries and tools are available now from the OpenJFX (http://openjfx.org) web site, under the GPL 2.0 open source license. ”
    It means there is some parts licensed differently. Can you tell us about it.

  19. @vu2swx

    The JavaFX compiler and JavaFX tools will continue to be developed in the open and the current JavaFX Preview SDK libraries will remain on openjfx.java.sun.com. So there will be internal developments of key elements of the SDK libraries.

  20. @Frank Jennings
    Your reply is cut and paste from the javafx site. Do you have any finer details. Some one on the list is telling that run time is proprietary

  21. JavaFX runtime is not free. Check out the revised Sun binary license,


    It says,

    “Unless enforcement is prohibited by applicable law, you may not modify, decompile, or reverse engineer Software….”

    It goes on to exclude the JavaFX runtime specificially from the open source material,

    ” Sun grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce and distribute the Software (except for the JavaFX Runtime),”

    It is clear that Sun wants to extract the benefit of projecting something as open source free software and at the same time wants to hold on to the runtime as proprietary software. They are just waiting to see how it turns out. 🙂

    As we have already seen in the FSFS conference Sun is able to market JavaFX (think about the publicity they got) as a free software even though it is proprietary. That is what I call stealth marketing and I don’t know how that is in anyway different from Novell’s idea 🙂

  22. It seems like many of the people at that conference are blissfully unaware of what’s happening.

    I like to compare proprietary software to dietary laws. If an employer wants me to use windows, it’s like offering beef to a Hindu or pork to a Jew or Muslim.

    They’re treating Free Software as if it’s just another brand of software, and it’s all good. It ain’t all good.

    Promoting Free Software and pointing out the lack of freedom of proprietary software are equally important and inseparable.

  23. Change cannot be in a single day… slowly it will. After the installation of gnu/linux everyone searching for non-free codecs like mp3 etc. And even our gnu/linux is running over a patented hardware. so wait for a change… we can do it…

  24. I started using Free software right from the days it started being used and as early as one could afford to buy a SIVA PC ! That was in 1994!!
    Even today we dont have a professional sound recording software that can compete the efficiancy of Protools (On MAC) or Nuendo (On Windows). This is year 2008!! We have had 14 years of free software and still this has not happened. We have still got only self built drivers for most of the professional audio cards. When free software was passion for us in 1994 today it has just become a fashionable word! I want my work done. I have waited for 14 years. When windows came in 1994 it was said to be unstable and stupid for multimedia. Mac ruled supreme. Today windows XP is stable and it has overtaken the mac in many multimedia applications.
    And what has become of mac? It now runs on intel platform!!!
    Siftware is not an area for fanatism or blind faith. We have to acknowledge this fact. Free software is not the holy grail. Take the good things it has to offer and acknowledge the good that propreitary software has to offer. Use both as needed. Stop this hyprocrisy. When u use propreitary software have the spine to acknowledge it. It’s like going to a prostitute in the night with a mask on your face and then giving a lecture in public against it during the day!!!

  25. Thats the most sensible reply I have ever seen.

    “Promoting Free Software and pointing out the lack of freedom of proprietary software are equally important and inseparable.”

    Pointing out is different from doing hate campaigns.

  26. Deep, You are correct. Both are equally important. Power users like Sound and Video Editors, Musicians, Electronics simulators, CAD Users , How they can switch to Free software, is there any stable utilities available in free software?? Please try to understand Free softwares have only mp3 player, vlc player, open office , firefox thats all, it covers only 2 or 3% of computer applications. In server side free software is king, no doubt, but in application side it is big zero.

  27. Dude..you are so negative..eew. you will beat typical malayalis in case of negaholism.Whatever you say about your own contribution in free software community, your blog is nauseating. People say when they use free software, they notice a gradual behavioral change, you seem like the “secret MS office user” urself. Your superficial 1) 2) characterization is too shallow and a typical rip-off off pattern seen in blogs of gnu/linux users albeit badly done.STFU you insecure idiot..if u indeed are a free software contributor you are a trojan. Hope you die a painful death and see you in hell. until then tata 🙂 ..Cheer up constipation is quite treatable..

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