[oclug] Linux Advocacy... Sort of
jjrboucher at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 10:53:57 EDT 2007
> But wasn't the idea of Linux to create "free" software? If we copy the
> strategies of M$ and the big companies, we start to play the same game,
> and while we may or may not beat them, we wind up becoming what they
> are, because we follow the same rules with the same objectives. We get
> no improvement for society overall.
I don't disagree. My point was concerning Linux getting greater
market penetration/acceptance. For that to happen it needs to change
its model. It truly amazes me the level of personal commitment some
people have in their support of Linux development. I truly applaud
them. We all have to put food on the table, cloths on our back, a
roof over our head. That doesn't happen doing purely FOSS
development. So these people are either fortunate enough to be
sitting on a pile of cash allowing them to pursue their passion for
the benefit of you and I, or work 40+ hours per week in addition to
the 40+ hours a week they devote to Linux development again for the
benefit of you and I. But those people can only carry it so far. At
some point it will have to cross over to the dark capitalist side at
least to some partial extent if it wishes to move beyond a certain
point in market penetration/market support. Either that or some
people sitting on wads of cash who are fond of Linux and what it
stands for decide they want to financially support it with no
financial return on their investment (Ubuntu for example). Why is it
so evil to be prepared to financially support these people's effort by
paying for a distro so that they can be financially enumerated for
their efforts and continue improving Linux?
It doesn't mean that Linux as a whole would become soiled with
capitalism. Rather a particular distro would become tainted with the
capitalist way of the world. It's already there with Red Hat and
SUSE. Merry them up with a PC vendor to ensure full hardware support
of that product and the hardware that it uses and you have a strong
competitor. That would still leave room for many other distros who
remain pure to the ways of Linux.
Again the bountiful selection of distros is both good and bad. Good
because of freedom to chose. Bad because it results in lots of
overlapping development efforts that could be re-organized so that a
core group representing all distros worked on hardware compatibility
issues, leaving the distro developers to concentrate on issues other
than hardware support.
I'm not naive enough to believe that such an endeavor would be easy.
And I don't profess to have the ability to make it happen, or to be
right. But that's my personal view on this issue.
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