Anyone cringe when you see nonfree programs being used by your peers?

Anyone just cringe seeing people use programs like Microsoft Word or Adobe Premiere? I almost feel bad for those types of people, knowing that there is better software that is free and open source. I literally almost vomit seeing people use Chrome or use DOCX documents.

I am past judgement at this point. More so during these pandemic times.

If they can have a good income using such tools and they understand the risks involved and whatever privacy they are giving up, who am I to judge?

While I do agree there is better software, it is the corporations you work for that are dictating the necessity of use of these formats - your .DOCX and .PSDs.

The point is, its not by cringing and telling these people that their product sucks that pushes people to go open source. I would argue that makes people not want to use the things we push for (open source stuff) and makes them double down on their usage of privacy invading stuff (Google, iOS, Windows, etc).

Its less “Windows sucks and you should stop using it”

but more “My Linux distro of choice doesnt break when it updates” (often true these days),
or “The ghost of Candy Crush does not haunt my OS after each update”

Again, “pull towards FOSS, not push against Big Tech” is the mentality that works. It is your kindness and intention that convinces, not facts.


The entire point of such software are ease of use and accessibility.
Most open source software requires some extra knowledge for the user’s part (where to download, what to install, how to manage, changing settings to be more user friendly, etc).

Besides, there’s not a true competitor for those you specifically mentioned. The Office suite is mediocre, but not as much as other random ones, and compatibility isn’t guaranteed across them.

I personally use Libreoffice, and I find it more comfortable for my use case, but it feels stuck 20 years in the past (in performance, features and user interface). And it occasionally displays cross-compatibility issues with Microsoft Office, the de facto standard that everyone uses.

As for PDF readers, they’re all clunky, and only a privacy aware user would bother to install something else. Just like Office, PDF readers are clunky and obsolete as well.

If you have suggestions for quality software that’s truly superior in those aspects, I’m all ears. But as far as I’m aware, there’s none.

I use SumatraPDF as default pdf viewer in Windows. And have/had Foxit as alternative and for some other tasks (signing, some editing, etc.). But I have realized Foxit likes to contact their servers from time to time and I don’t like that. I really don’t see the reason why pdf reader would need to do that. And it is the same with Adobe Reader. I looked for alternatives, open-source if possible, but they are all bad. Really slow, and rendering is not so good (I usually need it for technical drawings). There is Okular in Microsoft Store, and I was exited to use it. But it’s far from good. Very slow opening (like all store apps), and some issues with menus (probably due to locale settings). So I installed binary from KDE download repo, which is little bit better.

Long story short, it is easier for me to find MS Office alternative (OnlyOffice has good compatibility with MS files, LibreOffice many great features, Softmaker/Free Office is also good…), than decent pdf viewer for Windows. So I can not blame anyone for using Foxit or Adobe

Learning new things takes time, and unless there’s an urging need to spend that time then why bother? It’s perfectly reasonable that people continue to use whatever tools they’re familiar with. I do this all the time with so many things, a lot of them tech-related as well.

Recently there was a video about this topic and I completely agree with it: Linux doesn’t need marketing, it needs hardware.

If you could put a working computer with Linux installed in it the majority of people would get by just fine. I’ve personally seen this many times whenever I’ve installed Ubuntu or Zorin (I like Zorin much more than Ubuntu for beginners) in someone’s computer to fix the classic “my computer is too slow” problem. They usually complain about where’s this program (usually Word and Excel) or how do I adjust this setting… it takes two minutes to explain how to do things. I also install it as dual-boot and that reassurance that they can “go back to normal” anytime is a pretty good boost in confidence.

One thing that I like to do is having shortcuts in the taskbar and browser bookmarks, which just so happens to get people’s curiosity when they see unfamiliar icons, and sometimes I get to show them new things. Forcing things into people, or “shaming” them for not using something that may or may not be better for them, is not gonna help anyone.

that is a really good one, as someone who builds windows 10 PCs for work… I know it all too well

No because such a “holier than thou” attitude does nothing and helps no-one.

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