Open Letter about the free software

Free Software, Octave, GNU

Josep Sanz

I have long wondered if I do well doing free software or if it is simply a way of doing the idiot.

For some people, making free software is giving away work and knowledge, but by this, if we do not make knowledge free, then we will be promoting a society where only those who have money can access to the knowledge, from my thought, totally wrong, although many people promote this type of things without knowing what they are promoting.

Is a lot of curious, when you have children, then we teach them to share, to help the one next to you and ultimately, to be a good person, but when they grow older, then we force them to change of thought and to be converted them to anarchics (that is, mine is mine and yours is mine).

Today, I read a news that is not new, but every time I read it, I get pissed off again. This is the GNU Octave project. This software, widely used in educational environments, is in ruin economically context. Its main developer, John W. Eaton, is looking for work to pay their bills. For those who do not know this software, it can only be said that it is the free replacement of MatLab.

And now I am addressing to the gentlemen (with a tie many times) who take decisions: would not it be more correct to pay this person to make improvements in Octave, than to be paying MatLab licenses? I say it because in this way, the money that are currently being spent on licenses that only allow the use to a limited number of people and for a limited number of time, could spend on paying the developer to make improvements for Octave. In this way, they would have a software which could be used by all people and for as long as they wish, in addition to being able to learn thanks to the source code...

I simply encourage you to read the news and if you can, make a donation.

  • https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/help-octave/2017-02/msg00062.html
And if you want more info:
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Octave
  • https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/
P.D.: this is not a war against MatLab, but in general, we must support free software and free knowledge for the society can evolve.

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