Hi Patrick and Andres,
Last Friday I dropped by the Library in our village center and accessed solaroof.org on the internet service that they provide (with PCs running on Windows and using MS Explorer. I found that I was unable to access solaroof.org but could only open a "re direct" page where I am invited to download an Open Source browser, including our recommended favorite, Firefox.
The problem is that, at the Library I was unable (no authorization) to implement a download and install the Firefox browser and I was therefore shut out of the Sola Roof Wiki. A vast number of similar situations will exist at schools and universities, internet cafes, offices etc., etc.... Also, most people who simply want to access the solaroof website for the first time would not be motivated to change Browsers simply by our invitation. Such a change is the result of cumulative experience. If they can at least visit our site using Explorer, after being told clearly that the display problems with Explorer are due to its (intentional) non compliance with standards, they should then still have the option to enter the site and learn something about solaroof, in spite of the defective page display using Explorer.
Other than this concern that we are possibly blocking access (especially at schools and public internet sites) to individuals that cannot control the selection of the Browser used on a PC that is not their own, I have no problem with this bold step to Spread Firefox. No doubt the majority of our forum members are still using MS Explorer and this new redirect will help some of them switch. Not only are these Open Source systems better and safer, but they have a social importance and our Open Source community is using Open Source Pm Wiki software and have the support of Patrick and Andres specifically because of our commitment to assure open and free access to Sola Roof technology for everyone, which "code of practice" for the community is not legalistic but is strictly voluntary.
We will use the Creative Commons Public License as a provisional framework but intend to develop a more adequate "Ethical Public Domain" that defines a voluntary practice in the community of giving back to the community in recognition of real value received by us as individual users of the solaroof know how. For personal and non profit users we encourage a Pay It Forward donation to a Grass Roots Project? and we invite the commercial, for profit users to consider it an ethical obligation to make a similar donation or "ethical investment", called an Honor Payment that will support individuals and groups to adopt sustainable living and build sustainable livelihoods - and to direct this support to the those who are most in need and able to leap frog into the Eco Living lifestyle of the future.
To reach this future we must use every channel to see Sola Roof methods "bubbling up" in every region and situation - therefore I am concerned about blocking out the majority of internet users who, for whatever reason still us MS Explorer - so I hope that there is a technically sound way to let them enter the Sola Roof Wiki from the redirect page if they cannot change browsers. At least they will be aware that the page display problems that they will then experience at our website are due to their defective browser. I wonder how many other websites also face this problem and decide to compromise their use of css (using tables instead, as explained to me by Pm) and I expect that spreadfirefox.com would be pleased that we are not bending to the market power of MS.
I hope that we see everyone in our community using Open Source Browsers - which are now such excellent tools for social development - like solaroof, they are providing a path of cooperation and collaboration and the Free/Open Software development community and the Open Eco communities can encourage and help each other in many ways. This is a year of many breakthroughs and our community is not only pioneering sustainable living solutions - we are also being recognized as an example in building cooperative, open, global networks, which empower grass roots change.
Thank you, one and all for your participation - please provide feedback on this issue and please try Firefox
06 March 2005
- 05:15 by Lucas Gonzalez
- Please try from Mac, other Linux browsers, even text-only and cell-phone browsers.