Free software isn't always better!

26 Oct 2022

A lot of people who use free software will immediately go out and judge those who use proprietary software. Some of my friends will even tell you I'm probably guilty of this because yes, in some ways, free software can be better.

With free OSes, you don't have to go through the rigmarole of applying your definitely legitimately acquired Windows license key or dealing with the insufferable crap that is Chrome OS. With free office software, you know that there won't be big design changes every 3 years that ruin the experience or that impose artificial limits.

But also there are definitely downsides.

You ever tried loading a heavily formatted DOCX file in Microsoft Office and LibreOffice? Notice how it looks like shit in LibreOffice? Yeah, that's because LibreOffice doesn't support all the stuff that Microsoft Office can.

Ever tried using GIMP and noticing that it doesn't have all the same features as Photoshop? Ever tried gaming on Linux?

Sometimes people just can't make the switch, and some people who try to actively push people to make a switch are obvious hypocrites (Luke Smith, Denshi, Mental Outlaw: all people about pushing free software all the time despite their drawbacks and yet still upload their stuff to YouTube, a proprietary platform! Denshi's band? Uses Bandcamp! Mental Outlaw? Uses Microsoft Office for work! Luke Smith? Made a video called "Everyone on the internet is a loser", he's also on the internet! Also most of these guys are just indoctrinated by 4chan anyway). Maybe your brother just enjoys playing them online FPS games too much with the anti-cheats or your sister just needs to play Roblox. None of that stuff runs well under Linux! Maybe LibreWolf forces settings on you that annoy you so much that you switch back (this has happened to me and it pissed me off). Maybe nobody uses Jitsi or PeerTube or Matrix because everyone uses Discord, WhatsApp or Zoom because that's what people use and they can't self-host it.

There's a certain reasoning to using services hosted by corporations that are proprietary because they offer things that open-source software don't. If free software was superior in every way, people would use them: OBS Studio, 7Zip and VirtualBox come to mind because they actually are better than or competitive with proprietary software in their class!

If free software was truly superior in every way, people would use it!

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