I was reading up on Fedora Remixes and Respins and came across this article at Linux Magazine and was able to empathise with the writer regarding helping people switch to a new operating system.
Nip across and read the full article if you often find yourself having similar discussions with users new to Linux and FREE software. I know I do and I thought it might be worth referring them to this post;
Omega: Fedora For The Rest of Us | Linux Magazine
There are many opposing camps in the Linux world. There are those who believe that all proprietary drivers and non-free software should be welcomed and that users’ data should be accessible in any format, even if closed source and patent encumbered. The other side of the fence believe in the use of only free codecs, file formats and free software, to prevent vendor lock-in and ensure the user remains in control of their information.
This sort of issue illustrates a major difference between many of the popular distros today. While Fedora focuses on the best free software available, ensuring your data is free and accessible, others want to ensure everything works at the cost of continued reliance on non-free codecs. The former perspective has helped to make some extremely successful, especially for users new to Linux, but where does it leave us in the long run?
The problem is that many new users don’t have a firm grasp on the concept of free culture. As such, they come from a world where proprietary data formats and closed source applications is the norm. For these users, a majority of their data will be inaccessible by default should they switch to a free-software only focused Linux distribution. So what to do?
I’m certainly on the fence on this one, I really do believe that the “FREE as in FREEDOM” is what makes Linux such a superb operating system but I would need to re-encode all my music and video to FREE formats for instance and that’s quite a daunting challenge, perhaps someone could advise on a way to do that in Bulk.