[oclug] Linux Advocacy... Sort of
fred at fredwilliams.ca
Tue Apr 10 12:24:23 EDT 2007
On Tue, 2007-10-04 at 10:53 -0400, Jacques B. wrote:
> > 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.
There may be other ways to improve acceptance. I disapprove of the
term "market penetration." It implies financial entanglements in the
existing economy and to me that's what Linux was invented to avoid.
Bill came to my home once last year to help me with my ADSL connection
when my ISP was being piggish. He gave me an Ubuntu disk which was
free. OK, I gave him a couple of litres of maple syrup, but I like to
think of this not as a trade, but as an exchange of gifts. Perhaps
that's in my own mind. Fair enough.
> It truly amazes me the level of personal commitment some
> people have in their support of Linux development.
> 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.
Perhaps those people can only carry it so far, and perhaps not. But
assuming that we have to cross to the dark side in order to carry it
further is ...just that, an assumption. Maybe we need volunteer
"salespeople" (what would you call a salesperson giving stuff away, a
promoter?). We might need promoters
> 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?
Perhaps there are things other than computer operating systems that can
be modelled as Linux has been, so that some of these people who have
benefited society with their "hobby" could get back something else that
they could use for free.
> 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.
I don't even like RedHat & Suse & I left Mandrake when they started
messing around with me.
> 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.
There's certainly a huge duplication of efforts. Some sort of
standard(s) would be good. Of course the supporters of each distro see
themselves as the true way.
> 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.
Now if someone could build "free hardware" along the Linux model,
*that* would be progress. Then I could see the benefit of the merger
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