Higher than 12%

Story: Linux clocks double-digit growth. Fear and loathing in RedmondTotal Replies: 80
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rijelkentaurus

Mar 06, 2008
6:52 AM EST
As someone on the comments there pointed out, Linux market share is a heckuva lot higher than 12%...12% accounts for paid distros. What about the army of Debian servers lurking out there? And there are tons of CentOS servers also, to get Red Hat without paying Red Hat. It has to be pretty close to even, I would imagine...a lot closer than 12% versus 36% I would think.
softwarejanitor

Mar 06, 2008
7:31 AM EST
12% probably only accounts for paid preloaded OSes. A lot of machines sold originally with Windows preloaded end up getting wiped and repurposed for Linux, either immediately or as "recycles" later. And an increasing number of machines including servers are being sold bare so that people can load their own OS, and that usually isn't Windows, although it may in come cases be *BSD in addition to just Linux. In cases where it is Linux, as you note increasingly more people are willing to use non-commercial Linux and forego traditional commercial support.
dumper4311

Mar 06, 2008
9:13 AM EST
Personally, I'm using OpenSUSE to great advantage. You guys are almost certainly correct in the assumption of higher #'s than can be accurately measured.

But there's a deeper lesson in this article. Matt's quick to point out his bias regarding software licensing schemes - and that's fine, I also prefer open solutions every time to proprietary. But the key here is SOLUTIONS - in business, if you're smart, you go with what serves you most efficiently. There are still some proprietary applications that simply serve more effectively than any open alternative - so far. Thankfully that changes a little more every day.

So, if we're willing to accept that in the real world, there are still times when for whatever reason (political, technical, or other), proprietary apps are still a viable solution to a problem, then Matt's comment about the first camp in Microsoft is valuable to us as well:

"This half doesn't care whether the applications are open source or proprietary. It simply wants lots of applications."

This half of Microsoft realizes that profitability and growth comes from widespread acceptance of their platform(s), and would wisely encourage any such interoperability and compete on merit. I'd submit that this is an ideal model for open source business. We CAN compete on merit, and interoperability with the "evil empire" is in large part what's brought us so far. Better than that, whatever dirty tricks MS or like-minded proprietary interests pull to stifle our progress eventually hurt themselves, not us. We're far more flexible than they can ever afford to be.

Then there's the second half he mentions:

"This is the half that can't afford to have a rival platform on the market vying for the affections of developers. This half co-opts a few weak-kneed Linux vendors into siding with it so that Microsoft can attempt to keep a tight leash on Linuxs potential."

Ah, narcissism. This may well be Microsofts intent, but it's simply the perpetuation of a gross misunderstanding of the OSS community and business model. There's no co-opting of weak-kneed anything. The not-so-subtle reference to agreements with various open source companies misses the point completely. The code is OPEN SOURCE, so whatever the outcome for these open source corporate interests who choose to partner with their proprietary cousins in some way, we (the community) will ultimately benefit from any development done on open code.

Personally, I wish such companies the best of luck. It's the embodiment of the model Matt points out of the first half of MS - interoperability for the sake of growth and servicing the user. That helps us ultimately, and spreads the influence of open source methods and code. If the company goes too far, then the community - just like a business user - is free to stop doing business with them. As businesses exist to generate profit, they're far more likely to play fair in an open source environment than in a proprietary world, because they have NO lock-in potential.

Matt makes another interesting comment on this subject:

"Microsoft's (supposed) God-given right to make money with a license model."

Yep, so what? God-given or otherwise, they have every right to make money in any ethical manner they choose. Now admittedly, MS can't be held up as a model for ethical anything, but there isn't anything evil about making money off of your own code. The "evil" comes from their ABUSE of this control of their own code.

Whether the motive is profit, politics, or morality, control of code's USE is the real enemy - as this is how ABUSE is cultivated. This is why open source is the best model for maintaining a fair playing field, and why MS and the proprietary model will ultimately fail.

MS and her ilk are irrelevant. All the dirty tricks in the world can't halt the progress of open code and open standards, and cultivating interoperability with "the devil" ultimately makes it easier for our users to switch completely to open solutions.

So, what have we learned?

- Proprietary business entities are irrelevant. "Microsoft sucks" is counterproductive and makes us look unprofessional. - Interoperability with proprietary models serves us well, as it promotes our platform and model of choice. - Open source, methods, and standards protects the community from any real harm. - Freedom promotes growth. - Businesses that follow an open model are far less likely to abuse their customers, because they don't have the power of lock-in to leverage against their customers. - While anyone is free to do whatever they want with their own code, a truly open model serves it's users best. - Control over code's USE leads to ABUSE of said control, and should be assiduously avoided, regardless of the claimed ends of those maintaining such control.
jdixon

Mar 06, 2008
9:27 AM EST
> "Microsoft sucks" is counterproductive and makes us look unprofessional.

And, if you're in the business of servicing business software needs, you probably care. Most of us aren't, and probably don't.
vainrveenr

Mar 06, 2008
10:41 AM EST
Idealism vs. Reality

Quoting: - Proprietary business entities are irrelevant. "Microsoft sucks" is counterproductive and makes us look unprofessional. - Interoperability with proprietary models serves us well, as it promotes our platform and model of choice.
Pure Idealism here, possibly based upon the likes of the recent Microsoft PressPass piece 'Microsoft Makes Strategic Changes in Technology and Business Practices to Expand Interoperability' at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-21Exp...



Reality-check from the likes of Katherine Noyes's piece 'Should Linux Cost More?' at http://www.technewsworld.com/story/61805.html One of the more significant quotes from Noyes's piece here:
Quoting: For those who missed it, Microsoft announced Thursday that it would make Windows and other products work better with non-Microsoft software, including opening up reams of code it had previously guarded with its life. Some have even referred to Microsoft's interoperability move as a proposed truce in its "war" with the whole notion of open source.

Reactions to the move, however, have been mixed at best. Poisoned Candy?

"Looks to me like someone finally saw the writing on the wall," wrote Scott Ruecker on the LXer blog. "Welcome to the new Microsoft."

Of course, Ruecker ended his post, "I'll believe it when I see it."

"This one might actually be significant, though with microshaft, one must always search for the poison in the candy," echoed tuxchick.

Therein lay the theme of much of the discussion of Microsoft's move throughout the blogosphere.

"You can't just overlook decades of market abuse just because Microsoft promises a few things," wrote pak9rabid on Slashdot. "Only an idiot would take their word on issues like this w/out a huge grain of salt given their past documented history."


According to this latter piece, one would do well in real practice to carefully heed those who suggest that MS's ("microshaft's") interoperability offers are really Poison Candy rather than those who unquestioningly spout out the ideal that "Interoperability with proprietary models serves us [the FOSS community] well".

jdixon

Mar 06, 2008
10:48 AM EST
> ...one would do well in real practice to carefully heed those who suggest that MS's ("microshaft's") interoperability offers are really Poison Candy rather than those who unquestioningly spout out the ideal that "Interoperability with proprietary models serves us [the FOSS community] well".

Well, interoperability with proprietary models does serve us well. It means that those who want to use FOSS can do so, even if they're also stuck using a proprietary system for one reason or another.

Equating that to Microsoft being trustworthy is unjustified, so yes, we should be skeptical of their offers.
dumper4311

Mar 06, 2008
11:30 AM EST
Note that I went out of my way to point out that MS isn't trustworthy. There's no idealism involved in my line of reasoning. As jdixon points out, I'm advocating interoperability with proprietary software/standards. Samba is the perfect example of the success of such methods.

The new, friendly Microsoft is irrelevant. Ultimately, even the poison in the candy is irrelevant, as long as we're careful to avoid IP problems (via demonstration of prior art or simply working around patented crap). Even if customers decide to pay a licensing fee (extortion money) to MS or someone else for whatever their perceived need, this ultimately hurts MS and pushes users towards a more effective model. That helps us.

It may simply be your version of "reality" that needs some tweaking. :) Don't allow your own idealism to color the practical reality of the results we've seen demonstrated in the market to this point.

@jdixon: While it's true that many here don't care about the needs of business software users, it's important to remember that we're all interrelated. This "community" - such as it is - consists of home users, education users, business users, embedded device users, and a host of others. The common thread is USERS. And the code should serve our needs, without restriction on use, if it's really "free". Protecting one class of users protects us all, as this ultimately prevents the abuse of control we see in our proprietary cousins. (edit:) Likewise, restricting one class of users is a restriction on the entire community of USERS, whatever their purpose, and is a steep path towards the same abuse we rail against in the proprietary software world. Truly free code very effectively governs it's own use.
jdixon

Mar 06, 2008
11:39 AM EST
Note: Heavily edited after the fact for clarity.

> While it's true that many here don't care about the needs of business software users...

I doubt we're actually disagreeing. In essence, I'm simply disagreeing that saying individual FOSS users saying"Microsoft sucks" reflects badly on the FOSS community.

90+% of business software users have no say in the software they use, as it's dictated by management. They don't care whether we say "Microsoft sucks" or not. Yes, that probably projects a non-professional image, and if you're trying to sell a software solution to business, then you probably worry about whether you project a professional image or not. If you're a normal everyday FOSS user, then you're not such a professional, and you have absolutely no reason to care. Some business people may use that "non-professional" image of the average FOSS user to remove FOSS from consideration, but that's more their problem than it is ours. They're the ones making a bad business decision.

I also disagree because it's a true statement, of course. :)
vainrveenr

Mar 06, 2008
11:44 AM EST
Quoting:Well, interoperability with proprietary models does serve us well.
Not necessarily. Among other factors, the degree of hidden Poison Candy buried in such interoperability offers may indeed NOT serve everybody (the greater FOSS cummunity) well. What comes to mind are certain "interoperability" and clandestine IP Patent deals made between Microsoft and the likes of Linux vendors Freespire/Linspire, Xandros, Novell, ... etcetera.

Quoting:Equating that to Microsoft being trustworthy is unjustified.
Connecting Microsoft's degree of trustworthiness to its history (BTW, up to the very present!) of its so-called "interoperability" overtures is, in fact, COMPLETELY justified.

Two two-part questions you ought to ask yourself at this point are: 1. Who is the actual party initiating, a.k.a., trying to "embrace" the other with its newfound "openness" and What are the compelling reasons that this initiating party is carrying this action out now?? Obviously, Microsoft is the initiating part here :/ 2. How complete and long-term CAN Microsoft actually (i.e., in effect) enact the pro-FOSS measures it so-declares ?? What is its history regarding this up to the very moment ??

For some background on WHY indeed such questions NEED to be asked, perhaps you should more carefully review the threads following LXer contributor hkwint's 'Microsoft Makes Strategic Changes in Technology and Business Practices to Expand Interoperability' found at http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/99808/index.html Here are the three threads following this post, as of this writing - We Need to Digest This, http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/26833/ - oh goody, another Announcement, http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/26832/ - Start of their plan to tax Linux, http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/26834/

One form of an appropriate answer to both questions is by LXer contributor hkwint at his footnote of his post. hkwint's own conclusion here regarding MS's "openness" and history of [un]trustworthiness is quite clear
Quoting:If you believe it [MS-initiated "openness"] it's up to you; last time I posted a MS press release about their 'openness' it turned out to be all lies (called OOXML), so be aware, you are warned! - hkwint]


Right on hkwint!

dumper4311

Mar 06, 2008
12:13 PM EST
@vainrveenr: I'm trying to find something to argue with you on, but we seem to agree (you, me, hkwint, and most others here):

- MS can't be trusted. - Their newfound "openness" is the latest in a long line of sneaky, underhanded maneuvers to maintain dominance. - They will stunt, cripple, or kill us at any opportunity. - We have an obligation to guard against IP infringement dangers, and to try to reform a hopelessly broken system.

These are things we know. These are precautions we take already. If we agree on the above facts, and continue to be diligent, then Microsoft - and proprietary methodologies and tactics as a whole - are irrelevant.

My point is that whether you like them or not, Microsoft's deals with these "evil" linux vendors can't hurt the community, and there has to this point been no damage done. There's nothing clandestine about these deals, their terms are publicly available and discussed ad nauseam. The inability of MS et al. to harm us will continue to be true so long as we are careful. Quite the contrary, the publicity and interoperability generated helps us, and hurts proprietary interests.

If you don't like the deals, don't do business with the people making the deals. If you don't want your code used by someone else in a way you don't like, your free to release it under a license that restricts it's use - just like Microsoft does.
jdixon

Mar 06, 2008
4:11 PM EST
> If you don't like the deals, don't do business with the people making the deals.

Well, that's pretty much my policy, yes. Mostly because if a company is stupid enough to make deals with Microsoft there's no telling what else they may do.
Scott_Ruecker

Mar 06, 2008
6:13 PM EST
Quoting:Microsoft owns the market, but Linux owns the future.


Truer words were never spoken

The future is Linux and to deny it, is to ignore inevitability.

DrDubious

Mar 07, 2008
6:33 AM EST
Back on the subject of market share percentage: I haven't read the article yet so feel free to laugh at me if I'm wrong, but aren't these numbers usually based on the actual retail value sold rather than number of units?

If so, we can assume Linux's share is MUCH higher - last time a checked, a paid "Professional" license for a Linux distribution was running in the a-few-hundred-dollars range, while Microsoft was in the a-few-thousand-dollar range...

If so, the "1/3 of Microsoft's market share" value is extremely misleading...
DrDubious

Mar 07, 2008
6:58 AM EST
UPDATE: Yup, the article about the IDC report (linked to from this story) specifically says it's talking about REVENUE, not number of units. Given that one needs more-expensive hardware to push Windows at an acceptable speed in addition to the inflated license costs for Microsoft software and support, I think it's safe to say these numbers are grossly misleading when it comes to considering just how much of people's network services are being handled by Linux...
Bob_Robertson

Mar 07, 2008
1:35 PM EST
Every F/OSS protocol and format are well documented and free to be used by anyone.

The fact that Microsoft isn't 100% interoperable through the use of pre-existing open file formats is entirely Microsoft's decision.

Providing minimal documentation of their own formats, under restrictive licenses, is _not_ interoperability. It's just another tactic for lock-in.
tracyanne

Mar 07, 2008
1:55 PM EST
Quoting:If so, the "1/3 of Microsoft's market share" value is extremely misleading...


Yes it is DD.
dumper4311

Mar 07, 2008
3:01 PM EST
@Bob: You're right, MS has no genuine interest in interoperability. I don't remember anyone claiming otherwise in this discussion - maybe I'd better re-read.

But our flexibility and interoperability with THEIR locked in, proprietary crapware serves potential users of open software and standards. We can provide a bridge out of their cage. It's a bridge that for innumerable practical (and not-so-practical) reasons is needed by a vast majority of computer users.

Anything that brings their closed world closer to our open world ultimately serves us - if we utilize it effectively, and take advantage of such opportunities.
helios

Mar 07, 2008
7:18 PM EST
My point is that whether you like them or not, Microsoft's deals with these "evil" linux vendors can't hurt the community, and there has to this point been no damage done. There's nothing clandestine about these deals, their terms are publicly available and discussed ad nauseam.>"

Define "damage"

From the Eweek blog of -Rick Lehrbaum on June 13th, 07 http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS9642338710.html

"In its news release announcing the Microsoft deal, Linspire noted that in order to receive the three newly licensed technologies -- instant messaging, digital media, and TrueType fonts -- Linspire Linux customers would need to "purchase" a "patent SKU" that would cover the IP (intellectual property) licensed from Microsoft, and would also confer the touted protection against possible infringement of Microsoft patents by Linux. The licensed technologies would "not [be] shipped with all Linspire 5.0 distributions," the news release added. In his June 14 Linspire Letter, however, Carmony stated that there would be no increase in the retail price of Linspire to accommodate the costs of these technologies, and that the price of the Linspire Linux would "remain at $59.95."

I define any dime of Linux User's money going to pay Microsoft for their BS patents as "damage". As well, Let's see if we can't find the "golden parachute" numbers on the top five execs that abandoned ship 30 days after they ceased to be useful to MS. They walked out of the building with their hands in their pockets as they whistled and glanced to the sky...obviously to avert any eye-to-eye contact with the employees staying on.

Each one walked out with 30 pieces of silver weighing them down...I want to know the dollar amount they were payed to leave.

That certainly hasn't been divulged...not even close to ad nauseum.

h
dumper4311

Mar 07, 2008
8:17 PM EST
> "I define any dime of Linux User's money going to pay Microsoft for their BS patents as "damage"."

Understandably. But I would define it as choice. The same choice we supposedly defend.

Note, I am not claiming it's a good choice. Quite the contrary, it's a waste of money that supports a broken system and an ethically bankrupt corporation. Also note, Linspire won't benefit much from this in my opinion. But that doesn't harm the community in any way. In fact, paying such extortion money tends to engender bad feelings towards the companies doing the collecting.

If leveraged properly, this provides an opening for us to shift these users to a more "enlightened" path.
helios

Mar 08, 2008
4:21 AM EST
If leveraged properly, this provides an opening for us to shift these users to a more "enlightened" path.

You mean something like this? NOW we can begin discussing "Market Share" in earnest.

http://faq.fixedbylinux.com-a.googlepages.com/lindependence2...

Come see us.

h
tracyanne

Mar 08, 2008
1:26 PM EST
Ken is there any other way of making a donation. I absolutely refuse to use Paypal. I don't want one of their accounts. I don't want them storing my credit card number, especially for a one off payment.
helios

Mar 09, 2008
10:06 AM EST
Thanks TA,

Larry is taking care of the finances and the LIN08 Account. You can email him directly at lcafiero@fixedbylinux.com to arrange a mail-in donation. We've set up an account just for those who feel the same as you.

thank you so very much...

h
tracyanne

Mar 09, 2008
1:28 PM EST
Thanks Ken email sent
Jose_X

Mar 09, 2008
7:07 PM EST
dumper4311,

>> But our flexibility and interoperability with THEIR locked in, proprietary crapware serves potential users of open software and standards. We can provide a bridge out of their cage. It's a bridge that for innumerable practical (and not-so-practical) reasons is needed by a vast majority of computer users. What makes you think that we can interoperate with their software? We agree that they don't like that, and we agree that their software is closed source (their software is what they do, as opposed to the documentation which is what they say.. to a limited extent).

Honestly, I am all for people that want to spend time trying to build bridges for a good cause to use the documentation to help improve interoperability with existing and old MSware, but when this concerns supporting Vista and newer MS technologies, I find it to be possibly foolish and a big mistake but certainly a waste of time. It's a huge time sync and is unnecessary support for Vista. [The "lost time" is both time not spent on Linux as well as time that was handed over for free to MS in helping Windows/Vista remain competitive with FOSS offerings that otherwise would not exist there.]

The goal should be to get Windows apps to work on Linux not to get Linux apps and FOSS to work on Windows or to give false assurances that, if you keep using MSware, you will someday find a working bridge that you can easily use to leave MS.

[Note, I am not criticizing anyone in particular. I am questioning strongly any so-called wisdom in making Windows a more hospitable place while bypassing the opportunity (opportunity cost) of improving Linux. MS documentation (putting aside the issue of patents.. which may not be a smart thing to do since we are going over to their territory) should be used to eg improve wine as opposed to porting/integrating FOSS apps on the Windows/Vista platform.]

If Linux has the best tools, apps, value, etc, businesses will move. It's nonsense that most people need bridges. When a ship is sinking or the land looks luscious enough, most will jump to the sea and swim or improvise some other craft to help them reach shore. If the land does not look too hospitable or as good as the ship inside, then it will be the land people running up those bridges to get inside the ship.

Microsoft needs FOSS apps to work on Windows and developers wasting time with MS protocols. THAT LAST THING THEY WANT IS A PARALLEL WORLD NEXT TO THEIRS THAT ADVANCES FASTER THAN THEIRS AND TO WHICH THEY CAN'T LINK UP (TO EMBRACE AND EXTEND).

They want others doing their dirty work for them voluntarily. They want people playing in the sandbox where they have the upper hand. They want the "place to be" to be their platform. They want FOSS people spending time working on bridges (to an unstable ship.. especially after every single MS update) instead of building the better sandbox. [Sorry for mixed analogies.]

If the two worlds don't link up well, but Linux keeps growing fast, it will be put alongside of the Windows investments. Then later on people will stop building Windows solutions more and more as they increase Linux solutions.

What MS wants is for developers to waste time on "ports" and integration with MS controlled and dominated "standards." This likely slows down Linux development, gives those on Windows reasons to stay and at the same time less reason to look to seriously at Linux, especially if Linux offers nothing or little new but continues to lack in certain areas.

Check out this quote from Microsoft (see http://www.nuxified.org/topic/gnu_linux_does_not_matter_that... for the reference and see below for the actual quote). Note the theme of customers preferring to stay put (on the ship) and hope Microsoft fixes things rather than go to the trouble to bail for the land (so-called inertia). That is normal. People will always want the easiest route.

HOWEVER, in this case, this would mean Windows being the platform for all time. People really hate to move. They really do.. UNLESS moving will give them a much better life. Then they look forward to it and take special pride in their effort.

It is this potential that is being eliminated voluntarily when people support Windows with their apps. They are simply delaying the inevitable day when Linux will be recognized more generally for its superior value over Windows. In the meantime, it won't be clear to that many that in fact Linux has real advantages. In the meantime, Microsoft coffers grow giving them more money for further ammunition.

[The quote] >> The Windows API is so broad, so deep, and so functional that most ISVs would be crazy not to use it. And it is so deeply embedded in the source code of many Windows apps that there is a huge switching cost to using a different operating system instead... >> "It is this switching cost that has given the customers the patience to stick with Windows through all our mistakes, our buggy drivers, our high TCO, our lack of a sexy vision at times, and many other difficulties [...] Customers constantly evaluate other desktop platforms, [but] it would be so much work to move over that they hope we just improve Windows rather than force them to move. >> "In short, without this exclusive franchise called the Windows API, we would have been dead a long time ago.

Anyway, people can do what their business dictates. I just hope the record is straight and no one is fooling themselves or working for free to undermine their own best interests.
dumper4311

Mar 09, 2008
8:20 PM EST
@Jose_X:

God help me, where to start . . .

>"What makes you think that we can interoperate with their software?" >"but when this concerns supporting Vista and newer MS technologies, I find it to be possibly foolish and a big mistake but certainly a waste of time."

I'd be interested in what the Samba devs had to say about that, but I'm sure they (along with many similar projects - including WINE devs) would just laugh and continue their useful work.

>"The goal should be to get Windows apps to work on Linux not to get Linux apps and FOSS to work on Windows"

Firefox, Thunderbird, OO.org - there's a whole world of happy and productive F/OSS users out there who think you're smoking dope.

>"LAST THING THEY WANT IS A PARALLEL WORLD NEXT TO THEIRS THAT ADVANCES FASTER THAN THEIRS AND TO WHICH THEY CAN'T LINK UP"

Kind of the point of all the products I've sited above, isn't it? Parallel (or superior) functionality, that (because it is open source/open standards) they can't embrace, extend, and extinguish. Best part? BECAUSE of these qualities, we have a BRIDGE to a better platform, and computing freedom.

As to the quote from MS - "The Windows API is so broad, so deep, and so functional . . ." holy crap. Have you ever done any programming? I do precious little myself, but enough to know that the Windows API du jour is the biggest conglomeration of crap I've ever witnessed. I think you'll find this sentiment matches up pretty well with the thoughts of a fair percentage of programmers outside of the MS propaganda machine, if you care to look.

This is also why (on the subject of broad and deep) projects like WINE (which I wholeheartedly support) have taken so long to achieve the good but limited results we've seen. The windows API is kind of a mess - a conglomeration of crap from 3.x to the present. And cross-platform compatibility isn't even an issue, choose any cross-platform set of development widgets you like, build, and run. The quote you've held up as evidence is pure FUD.

Support whatever ideology you like, in whatever nutty manner you choose, but don't let your over zea - oops, promised I'd try not to use that word anymore - excessive enthusiasm blind you to the basic realities of the marketplace. Support of F/OSS projects - on ANY platform - ultimately serves our community. As fractured as it apparently is.
ColonelPanik

Mar 10, 2008
7:11 AM EST
m$ 0% Linux 100%

A Linux home is a happy home.
tuxchick

Mar 10, 2008
7:32 AM EST
Sort of a tangent here- I'm OK with boycotting the word "zealot" and all of its cousins- "religion" "purists" "fanatics" etc., entirely. It's a careless, stupid label that contributes nothing to a discussion except bit of half-baked contempt. It's always used in the context of implying that Free Software supporters are just too darn persnickety, and should just get over themselves and allow Linux to become infested with all manner of closed, proprietary code. Related red flags are "I'm a open source supporter, but..." and "don't get me wrong, but..." Don't worry, we know exactly what you mean.
gus3

Mar 10, 2008
7:55 AM EST
@tc:

As a counterpoint, I'll say simply that without the zealots, the purists, and the fanatics, FOSS wouldn't be where it is today. In fact, I'm not sure it could ever have been as good as it is now, without its "no compromise" founders.
Bob_Robertson

Mar 10, 2008
8:58 AM EST
TC, does that mean I have to stop referring to "The Church of Redmond"?
dumper4311

Mar 10, 2008
9:01 AM EST
@Bob: Nope, it's only offensive if you're referring to the excessively enthusiastic on "our" side. :)
herzeleid

Mar 10, 2008
9:14 AM EST
Thank you for not titling the thread "higher then 12%"
tuxtom

Mar 10, 2008
11:27 AM EST
Quoting:...Free Software supporters are just too darn persnickety, and should just get over themselves and allow Linux to become infested with all manner of closed, proprietary code.
Don't get me wrong, but I am an open source supporter.

Better yet, I am an open source consumer. Without us consumers, the zealots, the purists, and the fanatics would have a very small audience, indeed. It takes every kind of people to make the open source world go 'round.
tracyanne

Mar 10, 2008
12:28 PM EST
I get more zealotry from Windows wanna be experts than any one else (my boss for example). He reads out a forum discussion on the use of Anti Virus software, and a bloke on the forum claims that he doesn't use AV on his windows machines, but he has a couple of computers he reserves for visitors, a Windows PC and a Mac - the Windows PC for people he likes and the Mac for people he doesn't trust.

Someone else on the forum responds with "what do you give them if you don't like them?" to which he responds "I give them Linux"

My boss thought that was uproariously funny. So did I, but for a different reason.
tuxchick

Mar 10, 2008
12:34 PM EST
heh tracyanne, it is a perverse sort of zealotry that clings to such a flawed platform.

gus3, I can't think of a good rhyme- "we're here, we're free software zealots, get over it!"
rijelkentaurus

Mar 10, 2008
12:42 PM EST
Quoting: Thank you for not titling the thread "higher then 12%"


LOL, you made me go back and check myself!!!
Jose_X

Mar 10, 2008
12:49 PM EST
>> As to the quote from MS - "The Windows API is so broad, so deep, and so functional . . ." holy crap. Have you ever done any programming? I do precious little myself, but enough to know that the Windows API du jour is the biggest conglomeration of crap I've ever witnessed.

>> >"The goal should be to get Windows apps to work on Linux not to get Linux apps and FOSS to work on Windows" >> Firefox, Thunderbird, OO.org - there's a whole world of happy and productive F/OSS users out there who think you're smoking dope.

OK. I'd like to agree that MS API are crap. I don't use them, so I don't know. Bits of memory from the past doesn't make me think they were that crap, but I won't comment because I don't develop on that platform.

As for FF, OO.org, etc. I think these are strategic apps that help by being on Windows. OO.org takes money directly from MS's biggest cash cow. FF was successful in part because IE was abandoned. It also has the benefit of slowing down an attack on Apache since web devs must now be more careful about MS only hooks. I did not mention in that tiny post that I do think there are strategic apps that help FOSS by being on Windows. More simply though, these examples you gave effectively existed on Windows before they existed on Linux. One trend I like (I may be wrong about the facts here, but it's the impression I got from some news links) is that companies like Google/Oracle/etc seem to be moving primary development of some apps to Linux. That is, that they are supporting Linux more than in the past and Windows less (at least relatively). This is good.

OK. I think I see what is upsetting you. You (or those you love) hate to use Windows without all of these goodies. Is that it?

Would you use Linux more often if these apps were not ported to Windows? Might your employer put more emphasis on Linux if Windows was devoid of these goodies? If yes, then you are agreeing with my point that porting to Windows is slowing (would slow) the adoption of free platforms like Linux.

You would also be supporting my point that people on Windows really don't want to move, but want all the goodies to come there.

I am not trying to attack anyone. I mean Linux is not poison or anything like that. Change stinks. I would feel the same way if I didn't actually really like Linux (I come from a dev background).

If I am wrong, I would still like to understand your pov. I know that my comment left out a lot of details as probably did yours also.

One more thing. If Win API is garbage (and I hope it is), then the FOSS coders porting to Windows are having a hexx of a time. On the other hand, that would work as a disincentive to attempt to get too cozy with Microsoft. Note that FF and OO.org are mostly developed by people that get paid money. Google and Sun have real business with Windows clients, so I don't expect either to abandon Windows that quickly by any means.

>> >"What makes you think that we can interoperate with their software?" >> >"but when this concerns supporting Vista and newer MS technologies, I find it to be possibly foolish and a big mistake but certainly a waste of time." >> I'd be interested in what the Samba devs had to say about that, but I'm sure they (along with many similar projects - including WINE devs) would just laugh and continue their useful work.

I said I supported wine. That project is helping Win apps work on Linux. That is completely in agreement with my position. Not sure why you mentioned them laughing at someone that appreciates their work.

As for Samba. My brief experience with that software was using it from Linux not from Windows, so I wouldn't call that a Windows app (but they may run on Windows; I don't know). The fact is that they exist. The devs have a history of dealing with MS protocols. Samba does help Linux in a way. There are pluses and negs (eg, they allow Linux to be brought into the network which is great, but that means they help make it easier for cash strapped businesses to continue pushing along the MS world).

They don't interface well with current Windows networks that are controlled with Active Directory or so I hear. I think that was one of the things Jeremy was most happy about when he won access to the MS protocols that are shared with close partners and which MS opened up to the world a very short time ago. So they don't interoperate with Windows.. not really.... And by the time they implement this new information, I don't doubt too much that besides the MS documentation bugs and missing info, that Microsoft updates will actually change the rules even more.

Samba is scotch tape. Jeremy and some others make decent money today I don't doubt (Google!). They are valuable to many. I am not saying otherwise. In fact, you can make money supporting Samba and it is a part of many businesses trying to bring Linux in.

I don't want to repeat what I said before. I think FOSS on Windows, while very natural for many (hey, Windows devs like FOSS too) does slow down Linux adoption. FOSS cannot win on Windows. The question for me is does FOSS on Windows slow or speed up ultimate adoption of Linux, and I replied earlier that it would slow it most likely because it makes Linux less of an attractive proposition. [keep in mind this is a generalization]

>> The quote you've held up as evidence is pure FUD.

I'd be interested if you could say a little bit more than just accuse me of FUD'ing. I think that comment is logically consistent with a lot of things. I also think it is accurate. MS API are very diverse (cover lots of functionality), have been integrated into a lot of code, and THAT reality is likely the biggest factor why more companies don't want to leave Microsoft.

The MS quote is also consistent with human nature. What am I saying that seems incorrect? Let's start there instead of with simply FUD accusations.

>> Support of F/OSS projects - on ANY platform - ultimately serves our community.

Again, I disagree. It may not kill our community, but I believe it hurts it if the support is anywhere close to being solid for specifically the Monopolist platforms.

>> This is also why (on the subject of broad and deep) projects like WINE (which I wholeheartedly support) have taken so long to achieve the good but limited results we've seen. The windows API is kind of a mess - a conglomeration of crap from 3.x to the present.

I note your point as to a reason why wine has had problems.

One of my points is that to whatever degree (at reasonable costs) we can get existing apps and old apps/technology to port to Linux, that is good.

Besides that, any company that can make a buck or has some real needs will work on FOSS, even if on Windows. That is natural. I don't expect to stop too many people from doing at least some amount of work if they really have the urge or have a need. But I want to point to various items to be kept in mind.

OK. Anyway, what Microsoft ships with their software and what they do to their software running on your machine through updates is one thing. The public API they post are another thing. Naturally, the public API is good enough for converting many apps that were build using those only.. unless they were done using Microsoft technologies (eg, VisStudio), in which case, you have no clue what is being compiled in there and thus the key to getting them to work on wine may not ever be shown in any of the Microsoft docs. I would actually be shocked to ever learn that wine was built almost entirely by following docs without any serious reverse-engineering/testing.

Try to understand that I am not saying there aren't successes or that no one should port. It's not even my business. What I am doing is explaining some things, and am doing so as a developer. Microsoft can hide anything they want (more so with Vista.. because of learning through past mistakes and improved use of encryption and obfuscation techniques). Fighting on their platform is not only an uphill battle, but the direct implications are that we waste resources that could be spent making Linux better, while simultaneously allowing Windows to some extent (maybe a little, possibly but hopefully not, a lot) to be more attractive to users of Windows. The fact has always been that Microsoft has had success only because of the vast number of developers that were willing to support their platform by coding for it and by using MS tools.

I am not out to pain anyone. Linux is here first of all. Let's get that straight. I am not suggesting people dump computing or their current investments on Windows. Secondly, I am not suggesting that anything be removed from Windows. Windows users have everything they always had. However, human nature is such that without enough motivation people stay and put up with some pains. This hurts Linux adoption. This hurts the backbone of the FOSS community. Weak Linux adoption is responsible for many of the problems we have that are not our fault (issues with hardware support; pre-loads; etc). In some cases, it's the bosses that decide to go with Windows. That decision is easier to make the less attractive or crucial the alternatives seem. Linux has enough hurdles to overcome without actually helping to build any more such hurdles.. that's what I am saying.

I really like where Helios and many others take the battle, at least the portion of it that I am familiar with through the blogging. I'd say that that is exactly what more of us should be doing: "pushing" Linux and NOT pushing "mixed" environments.

Please complain all you want about how Linux is not fulfilling your needs or is not capable of doing so. There are devs and businesses out there that want to know and want to fix that situation.
tuxtom

Mar 10, 2008
12:58 PM EST
There's no zealot like a Jobs' Zombie. They are actually scarier then the ones who pray facing Redmond.
Jose_X

Mar 10, 2008
1:00 PM EST
tracyanne,

>> I get more zealotry from Windows wanna be experts than any one else (my boss for example).

I don't think I should worry TOO much about people that want to stick with a closed source platform controlled by Microsoft. I don't appreciate having Microsoft's stuff pushed on so many people as has always been the case. However, I understand the antagonism and bit of fear. It's not a joke when the topic of discussion is the questioning of your own work security.

A lot of people on the front lines will resist Linux to the bitter end. I just hope they pay attention at some point and see that after the initial hump, there is not too much to worry about.. if they are willing to start learning Linux. Some knowledge carries over. Also, there are many GUI's being build to make things comfortable for Windows devs. Also, they can actually contribute in a way they never could before. There is something special about using *free* and transparent software with almost no restrictions and being able to contribute back as the need/ability arises or to solve your own specific problems.

Windows devs/admins will be liberated from wasteful chores to actually be able to add real value to the companies on a more frequent basis.

And the companys' goods will be in better hands.

Jose_X

Mar 10, 2008
1:40 PM EST
dumper4311,

Let me say something about wine. Having a wine that works well or fairly well with new Win APIs is likely to lead me (if I were a Windows dev) to feel safe building more apps using new Win API. As a business owner or IT head of a Windows shop, I too would find some sort of safety and hedge in wine allowing me to carry on mostly as I was on Windows. This is a negative against Linux.

On the other hand, allowing existing apps to work on Linux is a positive. The only problem is that it does send the signal that maybe a future wine will also allow future apps to port over.

I wouldn't personally work on wine because I don't want to waste a braincell on the Windows platforms if I can help it, and I have better ways to contribute to FOSS/Linux than fudging with an API I care nothing about [at least this is true at this point in time.. who knows what tomorrow will bring for strategic reasons]. Some other devs may have existing experiences with Windows (especially with older API) that they want to put to good use or they have a business that is working out for them. In their position, I would likely feel differently than I do now.

Anyway, attempts of near full interoperability with a closed source Monopolist is a rat race, and they are the ones peering into the cage laughing. It's what they have done throughout the whole life of that corporation. They have made a nice buck on giving you the honor of getting your kicks on their platform until they've decided to give you the boot, maybe a soft kick from which you can recover with modest work after buying their new tools and software, or maybe a deadly boot that drops you from your market.

Clearly I really like the Linux deal and dislike efforts to keep it marginalized.
dumper4311

Mar 10, 2008
2:44 PM EST
@Jose_X:

> "You would also be supporting my point that people on Windows really don't want to move, but want all the goodies to come there." > "What I am doing is explaining some things, and am doing so as a developer." > "I'd say that that is exactly what more of us should be doing: "pushing" Linux and NOT pushing "mixed" environments" > "Please complain all you want about how Linux is not fulfilling your needs or is not capable of doing so. There are devs and businesses out there that want to know and want to fix that situation."

You still seem to be having a "VHS vs. BetaMax" type argument, and I'm not sure what I can offer you. History has demonstrated that the "best" option doesn't always simply win. There is no manifest destiny for Linux or OSS in general based on features, technical superiority, or the ardent belief of it's adherents.

Linux wins (market share, developmental progress, or otherwise) by winning the hearts and minds of users - business, home, educational, embedded systems, or otherwise. It really is that simple. That's where helios is a champion, and that's why I believe corporate control and blind ideology will ultimately fail as ends unto themselves. How do you win hearts and minds? You give them whatever tool they need, and whatever motivator they need, to overcome the inertia of their current position, and make a more empowering choice.

You've made clear what tools and motivations serve you best. I think that's great. All I'm trying to express is that your answer isn't the answer for everyone. Your focus doesn't empower or motivate everyone. And campaigning to restrict choice or focus on other projects because you don't believe that is "the way" is damaging to the progress of the community as a whole.

On the subject of the WinAPI: I've labeled this as FUD not because I believe you're intentionally spreading it, but because MS is intentionally spreading such crap to maintain lock-in. .NET has been promoted as the heir apparent in Windows development. Why do you suppose they'd do that if the WinAPI was actually so all-important? In any case, given the meaninglessness of the "VHS vs Betamax" argument, it's really a moot point.
Jose_X

Mar 10, 2008
5:06 PM EST
I think people will/should advocate what they think is important. Naturally, us two would clash somewhat. Fortunately, I don't think either of us intends to hound the other one. Seeing both pov is useful. Any specific case will involve making a call that will be made.

The reason I bother with this is that Microsoft has had a kill or be killed attitude towards anything that resembles competition. They deceive.. basically use any and all tools they can get away with (and even some where they have not gotten away) to get the money and preserve the monopolies. Now notice the difference. It's not about gaining some market share and I am not advocating we beat down some competitor or other. My major beef means I don't want to help an entity maintain monopoly control. Should Microsoft ever lose the vast influence they have, they will still likely be quite untrustworthy, but I won't care too much then (I'll likely avoid them, but I won't feel threatened by them). Monopoly control means one ruler and no real competition. It means vastly unfair odds against potentially a better product.

Now as a consumer, why in the world would I want an inferior product to benefit from that sort of control?

Until the various interlocking monopolies are broken by a non negligible amount and Linux is facing normal competition, I won't give Microsoft the time of day. I consider the vast control they have exercised to be a gross insult to society: to consumers, businesses and individuals alike, and to any type of competitor. There is nothing close to free market when you have the sorts of vast lock-ins involved here. It's like a sports football game (I'm thinking US football, but soccer would be the same thing) where early in one season, one team manages to own the referees, and this remains the case for the rest of the season, season after season, destined to remain so until the rest of the league manages to rip the referees away. It's a stupid sport this way. It's a disservice to the fans, especially if this league is the only sports league at this level (ie, it's a very high cost to set up another competing league). Further, using their vast control, they are trying to take over other sports and even other industries outside the sports industry.

When I hear Microsoft "mixed" environment, I hear blah blah snicker snicker we'll fool them again as we always have snicker snicker blah blah.

If, for whatever reason, you would wonder why someone would have no interest whatsoever in wasting volunteer FOSS code on Windows, now you have a better idea (at least for the case of one person.. and hopefully more).

>> On the subject of the WinAPI...

I know I was risking confusion, but I took the shortcut anyway. I used the label "Win API" to refer to dotnet also. At the level of the developer, it's all library functions mixed into the code to get an effect and Microsoft has an effective monopoly on that. From the binary pov, it also just boils down to the newest flavor of lock-in. I haven't studied up very well on Windows :-) so feel free to point out crucial differences if you want as concerns the flavor of this argument.

>> And campaigning to restrict choice or focus on other projects because you don't believe that is "the way" is damaging to the progress of the community as a whole.

Well, you won't be surprised to have me repeat that I disagree with that statement.

I don't spend time worrying about passing laws (though others may). My "advice" if you want to call it that (or "plea" or "warning" or whatever) is simply about developers not wasting time doing what I believe sets FOSS back. With Microsoft doing what they do, the last thing we need is to help them.

Don't confuse a general unwillingness for me to participate in the platform of a monopolist as me not being willing to be helpful. It's just that there are some types of "help" that I am not willing to provide. I can't stand giving something away and have it be used against me. Yes, this is always an issue in general with FOSS. But you tell me how many people feel differently about that. I do go the extra mile to avoid helping the Monopolist. If that isn't generally helpful to consumers at large, what would be?

Anyway, for business' sake, people will partner with Microsoft as they always had. The world would be pretty dull if everyone was in the same boat and agreed on everything.

>> "VHS vs Betamax" argument

I didn't see that. Sure, it's an issue. I mean Microsoft has the various monopolies and constantly works to preserve, extend, and create them.
Jose_X

Mar 10, 2008
5:25 PM EST
dumper4311,

>> How do you win hearts and minds? You give them whatever tool they need, and whatever motivator they need, to overcome the inertia of their current position, and make a more empowering choice.

This sounds like political speak.

"Any" tool?

Please.

I think FOSS is powerful because it's liberating. It isn't about a company managing things for you (unless that is what you want). It's about you (or others on your behalf) being able to solve your own particular problems as desired or at least when push comes to shove. There is a lot of empowerment there. That is quite a tool.

So forgive me for not being willing to help a Monopolist retain control by helping them take unfair advantage of that sort of powerful tool.

Linux is there for anyone. It's almost functionally identical to the Monopolist's products. There are some differences up and down the stack, but these differences seem less and less significant all the time (at least as far as any MS advantage would be concerned).

Sure, that is not enough. That I am bothered as a consumer and as a competitor by a Monopolist is not enough. Somehow, I am supposed to give hearts and minds "whatever" their hearts and minds desire.

Sure. .. and for free.

Anyway, I don't want to attack you or anyone else. I think I am speaking common sense as a typical consumer or developer. Why would I not prefer the open and empowering platform to be the most prevalent one?

[Note, the prior comment was also addressed to dumper4311]

PS: I completely understand that there are people that would be worse off with Linux having large market share. Everyone can't win. Microsoft has been at the top for a while necessarily keeping everyone else down. I feel at peace to know that changing that picture will improve the conditions of the majority at the expense of a minority that has had plenty of time to indulge, generally speaking.
theboomboomcars

Mar 11, 2008
4:54 AM EST
I think porting FOSS software to windows helps linux in the long run. Windows is the dominant OS right now and people continue to use it mostly because they have all the software they are familiar with running on it. So if we can get them to replace their current apps with FOSS ones, they will get to the point where they have no need for windows and will jump ship.

Most of the people I talk to need to use windows for just a few applications. If they can replace those apps with FOSS ones, or run them on linux they would use linux.

Yes porting FOSS to windows does not help us today, but it will tomorrow. Which is why we will win, most business today don't really care about tomorrow, they want big profits now and often sell tomorrow short for them. But when tomorrow comes and they don't have a market anymore, their billions will dwindle into nothing and they will have lost. What we need is people like Helios to get out and do things so tomorrow comes sooner. And since I don't have the people skills to do what Helios does, I just donate money to him to help spread the word.
gus3

Mar 11, 2008
7:17 AM EST
Quoting:I completely understand that there are people that would be worse off with Linux having large market share.
You mean like the MSCE's who rely on Window's brokenness to keep their jobs?

Or did you mean someone else?
Jose_X

Mar 11, 2008
8:45 AM EST
>> Most of the people I talk to need to use windows for just a few applications. If they can replace those apps with FOSS ones, or run them on linux they would use linux.

Right. Ideally they would change nothing at all. That's the easiest.

You can have Windows AND Linux. Why have only one? You can run Windows from inside Linux with virtualization (have someone set it up for you).

If Linux doesn't have something special, it's unlikely that many will move.

The key is to port special/killer apps to Linux or create new ones not to move the good stuff over to Windows.

Microsoft won't be porting a solid version of MSOffice to Linux anytime soon. This is where wine comes in.

LiveCD remastering; $0 per license; open transparent platform; standards that are actually open; constant updates; control.. are all killer features of sort. Now people just need to find out about them so they can add Linux to their household alongside Windows.

These things make it worthwhile to do some work to move towards Linux. Take these things away (ie, have Windows have all of these things) and the motivation ends. "Why switch if Linux were to offer nothing I just had to have?"

Microsoft will spend their last cent making sure that there are always some crucial things on Windows that cannot be ported to or used on Linux. This is why there is a big push to push SilverLight to replace flash. For a while flash was unique to Windows. One guess would be that some strategic contract or other between Adobe and Microsoft expired or is about to and will not get renewed. MS was ready to boot Adobe from the scene, and Adobe saw their Linux liferaft.

>> You mean like the MSCE's who rely on Window's brokenness to keep their jobs? Long term, the only one that really hurts is Microsoft and any that cannot deal with a change. Most companies or people should be able to add Linux to their line up or migrate slowly (but they better start at some point or it may get painful).

There are skills the MSCE's can reuse, and they will have lots of more interesting things to work on when they aren't running around tending to fires. You also feel better about yourself when you know you can do a good job and are dealing with something that you can eventually understand.

flufferbeer

Mar 11, 2008
10:59 AM EST
@JoseX Great comments! To call out and silence dumper4311 on his own questionable aims, I think that this you've really effectively done. Maybe intentionally, maybe not.

@dumper4311 (if even still following this thread) In many (or most?) of your above comments, I'm noticing a common pattern 1. You make a certain point or a series of points, technical and otherwise, regarding Linux and M$ coexistence. 2. You then take some noticeable pains to assure the readers of this thread that you are, so to speak, "really just one of us" open source people. You also would appear during these disclaimers to say that you also heartily dislike M$'s crapware and other negatives on the proprietary software dumped out from Redmond. 3. You then come right back and make the arguments as you've done near the top that basically Linux users have to go toward M$'s practices and products (or really almost a so-called "embracing" of its directions) rather than the reverse direction of more actively promoting those unfortunate users of proprietary software to shed the burden and go to F/OSS. Cute little arrows diagram here You: F/OSS ===> M$, then _maybe_ M$ ===> F/OSS Most others here: F/OSS ===> F/OSS, M$ ===> F/OSS

On part 1, should you even THINK about how to most effectively respond to Jose_X., you'll no doubt re-iterate your main points and attacks in one form or another

On part 2, your own last comment serves to negate how really supportive you claim to be for Open Source Software. You wrote "There is no manifest destiny for Linux or OSS in general based on features, technical superiority, or the ardent belief of it's adherents." I easily take this that you do not integrally believe that Linux and OSS in general is any better than M$'s closed-source SW.

One part 3, basically admit it dude: You're way overpowered on this thread! I'd readily guess that the increasing rates of adoption of Linux and OSS going way past the claimed 12%+ rate (anyway, it DID start this thread) somehow ends up getting to you.

The lingering question here for you, dumper4311 Why would it really bother you so much that the rate of Linux adoption is increasing into higher and higher double-digit growth???

dumper4311

Mar 11, 2008
12:07 PM EST
@flufferbeer:

Calm down, neighbor. No matter what you think of what I think, I promise it'll be all right. :)

I have to admit, I've never seen anyone so completely and obtusely misinterpret anyone else's position, but it hardly matters. I haven't responded further to Jose_X as it's apparent that he's made up his mind on the way "it" is. That's fine, and I wish him the best of luck with that theory. But I've already explained myself, as has he. To continue is nothing more than a collective monologue, and I choose not to descend to that level.

Your rant is much more telling of your own thought process than it is of mine. I'd invite you to put out the torch, lay aside the pitchfork, and re-read my posts without the tinted lenses of extremism.

In the mean time, as I mentioned in my first post, I'll happily continue to use and spread Linux to the great advantage of everyone involved - undisturbed by the impact of corporate greed or sycophantic extremist idealism.

As for your opinion of us - the more practical and honestly open "free" software users: well, good luck with that.
jdixon

Mar 11, 2008
12:30 PM EST
> To call out and silence dumper4311 on his own questionable aims...

An unnecessary and unjustified personal attack on dumper4311's integrity.

Followed by a missummarization of dumper4311's arguments.

> ...you'll no doubt re-iterate your main points and attacks in one form or another...

The "attacks" are unspecified and appear to be missing in action. All I saw was a reasonable disagreement.

>> "There is no manifest destiny for Linux or OSS in general based on features, technical superiority, or the ardent belief of it's adherents." > I easily take this that you do not integrally believe that Linux and OSS in general is any better than M$'s closed-source SW.

Yes, you probably do. You're completely unjustified in doing so, of course.

> You're way overpowered on this thread!

Not so you'd notice.

> I'd readily guess that the increasing rates of adoption of Linux and OSS going way past the claimed 12%+ rate (anyway, it DID start this thread) somehow ends up getting to you.

Again, a completely unjustified position.

> Why would it really bother you so much that the rate of Linux adoption is increasing into higher and higher double-digit growth???

And a question which dumper4311 has already answered in your own quotes.

And just in case you hadn't noticed, I've disagreed with dumper4311 in my comments above.

Sorry dumper, I know you can take care of yourself, but the personal attack was uncalled for.
Abe

Mar 11, 2008
12:37 PM EST
I was watching this thread but never read any of its posts until the lastest. They are tooooo Looong for me to comprehend and I get sick of threads that are too long.

Now guys, would you care to briefly summarize your stance on FOSS?

Me ducks!

tuxchick

Mar 11, 2008
12:49 PM EST
They are too long. Come on folks, if you're going to rant, make it entertaining.

I don't get why the long shouty ones are so mad at dumper. Too long and boring to figure it out. Do you guys stand FOR something? Or have a point other than "dumper is a poopyhead"? I think I called him a poopyhead once. So you have to pick a different name.

The main points I picked up are:

- more than 12% market share. duh! - FOSS's focus and devotion of considerable resources to interoperability (REAL interoperability, not the fake proprietary kind) is beneficial to everyone. IMO it's beneficial even to the whiny predators like Microsoft (man, they cry like babies because they feel so picked on, sheesh! Aren't there any grownups in Redmond?) - dumper4311 is a poopyhead

Is that an accurate summary?
jdixon

Mar 11, 2008
12:49 PM EST
> Me ducks!

Flying hyperbole can be hazardous to your health. :)

Hey, let's get Dino and Bob started on this thread too, then we could really have some fun. :)

Oh, and FOSS is the best thing since sliced bread and indoor plumbing.
jdixon

Mar 11, 2008
12:53 PM EST
> Is that an accurate summary?

I'd only say dumper4311's position is not supported by the available evidence, but other than that, pretty much so, yes.
dumper4311

Mar 11, 2008
12:57 PM EST
@jdixon: Ahh, the return of intelligent, mature discourse. Regardless of your position on the issue, I appreciate being able to discuss the matter rationally - it helps me clarify my own thoughts on the issue. Thank you for your defense and the interjection of reason.

@Abe: It has gotten a bit out of hand. For what it's worth, my position is summarized in the last section of my first post. Expansion (if your interested) is provided in a few successive posts, but you can pretty much ignore everything that I've posted since the introduction of Jose_X to the conversation - as it's mostly just reiteration on my part from that point - except for the Betamax vs. VHS argument.
tuxtom

Mar 11, 2008
1:31 PM EST
HUGE thread. Worthy of an article.
dumper4311

Mar 11, 2008
1:31 PM EST
@jdixon:

> "I'd only say dumper4311's position is not supported by the available evidence, but other than that, pretty much so, yes."

See, even when you're completely wrong, I appreciate your input. :)

> "let's get Dino and Bob started . . ."

There's a word for that - barnburner.

@tuxchick:

I can't even find anything in your last post to disagree with. I'll even accept poopyhead - I've been called much much worse, and by much better people. :)

One thing to keep in mind: "REAL interoperability" can frequently be in the eye of the beholder (or hands of the user, as the case may be). We seem to agree completely on MS not having any interest in real interoperability. But projects like Firefox, OO.org, Samba, Wine, and even Mono and Moonlight (from a certain perspective - that of serving the user) are all about such interoperability. I don't care for the last two projects myself, but I recognize that their potential damage to the open source community as a whole is negligible, and they can be leveraged to our advantage.

What matters here is not how this benefits or hurts Microsoft, as that's incidental and irrelevant. What matters is how the code serves the USERS - regardless of the platform they now find themselves on.

If F/OSS is superior (I belive it is), and if open source and standards provide a fundamental agility and value that proprietary models can't match (I believe they do), then relax. Providing the benefits of true interoperability and openness on ANY platform will ultimately move USERS (who are the real beneficiaries of open code) to the best solution.

If - as we all seem to agree - this solution is Linux and F/OSS, then all we have to worry about is the ACTIONS needed to impact the sentiment of the userbase we're trying to convince.
Sander_Marechal

Mar 11, 2008
2:40 PM EST
Quoting:HUGE thread. Worthy of an article.


If you can manage to whack the good points in this thread into an article-like form, I'll put it in the queue :-)
flufferbeer

Mar 11, 2008
5:12 PM EST
@Sander_Marichal Note that this thread is at http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/26899/ If you all haven't already and because of its huge size, you and others might want to bookmark this thread using this url. I see that the only other outside webpages and outside quotes brought in here are a whole bunch by vainrveenr closer to the top (yea, spelled that right!) and one by the praiseworthy go-to guy, helios.



tracyanne

Mar 11, 2008
6:56 PM EST
I saw this http://www.crn.com.au/News/68195,lenovo-launches-preinstalle... article while trying to find out if Lenoveo in Australia sell Linux preinstalled on any of their laptops, please note this article is published in January 2008 and it says the launch was delaid until this year.

So I make a call to Lenovo and ask a nice you man for information on their laptops, he asks me what sort of hardware I want, so I tell him, then he asks what operating system I want (ah there is a choice thinks I, I don't have to get Windows) , so I tell him Linux......... there's a pause, then he says we don't have Linux on any of our laptops.

But says I what about the articles published in both the Sydney Morning Herald and in CRN? He wants a link to them, I supply them. He says "well never the less we don't sell them, and I do have a complete list of everything we sell." So I tell him that Windows (any version) pre installed is a deal breaker. So he asks me what sort of a discount I would expect for not haveing Windows, "about $80.00" says I. Oh he says "I can do better than especially as you've been put out by us not having Linux" he then proceeds to offer me a $200 discount, the problem is I know they are offering that sort of a discount already on Windows pre installed machines.
tuxchick

Mar 11, 2008
8:01 PM EST
Don't hold your breath, Sander!
Jose_X

Mar 11, 2008
8:04 PM EST
Better than to work on specialized non-standard/non-POSIX/non-LSB "MS" interoperability is to deliver a LiveCD (with access to live humans for support) to over a million people in a metropolitan area. I think it can be done within one year.

It starts by explaining the wonderful thing that is going on and the great opportunity to those willing to participate. You seek these people through door to door delivery of a simple cheap small piece of paper ad pointing to the "welcoming" website.

I think I can cover a few thousand homes within several days. From that (and a mailing list and face to face meetings as necessary (with goodies and a plan on hand)) I hope I can get help to reach to some tens of thousands more.

From which.... [recursive step]

With a small support army/community in place (a lug if you will), and ready material (see for example http://www.thetuxproject.com/node/290 ), we move to reach out to the million ordinary users, fundraising and getting some free publicity along the way at key points if/as necessary.

Who needs painful ports pandering to Microsoft and 20 years of inching people over to Linux?

PS's:

flufferbeer, dumper4311, tuxchick, I think I understand your views, but I won't reply individually. That would just make this post too long.. and we already know it's not entertaining. :P

Sander_Marechal, good work with the various websites (eg, fixedbylinux.com). Not nearly the skin you may have had in mind when you dropped by thetuxproject, but... ;)
jdixon

Mar 12, 2008
7:11 AM EST
> ...is to deliver a LiveCD (with access to live humans for support) to over a million people in a metropolitan area.

Great idea, but even at $0.10/disc, you're looking at $100,000. When you add in the distribution costs, you looking to double that or more.
ColonelPanik

Mar 12, 2008
8:13 AM EST
jdixon: Community?
Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
10:11 AM EST


>> but even at $0.10/disc, you're looking at $100,000. When you add in the distribution costs, you looking to double that or more.

I'd put the per CD cost higher (to be conservative). This excludes all the work that would be done for $0 but which would ordinarily cost a lot.

Yes, "distribution costs" would be zero. This can be tricky, but that's why there would be various things to be gained by those participating. We are helping to build a business and a lug and more. It's not that bad to do some walking for your business and to see results. I don't expect people to jump at it immediately. I'd help set the example for sure and use part of the walking/exercise to get to know some of the individuals. There would be Linux knowledge (web knowledge..) and skills and backing for a business and more (building a support network) for those participating. You could participate without walking, too (so as not to turn away anyone interested). Friends walk all the time. Walking in pairs would be a good idea for various reasons (make it interesting and easier perhaps, some double checking, security, maybe helping to map the city..). We'd put up small parcels/goals, and people would take them according to their motivation. We'd keep track. We might even provide a certain amount of "dibs" on those that cover various regions as far as some future projects (eg, for profit) would be concerned ["dibs" would be something that would have to be supported unofficially through our support network since nothing stops anyone from dealing with any potential customer. Of course, we could use the old contest/chart motivation.]

You may not have read the link I posted (don't blame you.. that's why I'll go into some detail here (repeat + new stuff)).

One possible way to fund any sort of business/endeavor of this nature is through ads. First you have to make sure the ad space would be valuable (have many eyeballs). There are various ways to go about this. For a project of this nature specifically (1 million...), we should start to get enough attention to give the CD's a certain amount of extra value. "Hey, did you get your CD?" would be something that would be said by Jones to Smith once we were well underway. Thus this particular ad distribution would have more than typical market going value because it would stand out in various ways. [CD's should/will be "catchy".]

Once we cover the million on the first pass (acquiring the attention of the first batch that want to actually help carry out the CD distribution), hopefully we would get some attention right away. There are various ways. We also have to make sure the website makes our intentions clear so as to possibly gain the attention of anyone looking to leverage this effort for their own marketing and hence be a sponsor of some sort.

Hopefully there will be buzz generated. Hopefully participants will have fundraising ideas and even do a little fundraising themselves.

Myself and hopefully many others will keep a blog throughout this, which should help in the motivation category and to help keep attention on the project. We could/would use "click through" on the websites that would get special attention (eg, website url from first pass, url on CD cover, url on desktop or through some other interesting method from within the CD, eg, url/sponsors on a ticker bar or on various menus/apps).

1000 people means 1000 CDs/person. 100 means 10,000. These are tamable numbers, both in terms of distribution effort and overall costs per peson. [These are rough figures, actual "official" participants may get friends to work with them and come up with their own ideas. We might require some amount of verification before checking off an area. 1000 people means .1% participation. 100 means .01% participation. Hope that is realistic.. but we'll work on it through what we offer as potential gains for participating.]

For ads from the CD, I would like a flat price that hopefully can cover the bulk of the costs with a very low or zero click through charge. The idea would be that you would be enshrined on all of these CD's floating around. Again, the size of this effort would increase the odds that people would want to take a look at the CD, increasing the value of the ad space. .. Some special sponsors would be on the desktop or on some location very likely to be seen. [Default browser homepage could be an ad center.]

We would possibly/probably allow for localized ads to enable a much larger draw. We could charge $X/CD and $Y/CD, $X < $Y, $X being for random distribution and $Y being targetted.

One issue with advertizing is timing. This project would take a while (we'd know better once we started moving), we'd have to keep that in mind.

Yes, this would be a lot of work for one person, but it's not going to be done by *one person*. People participating would have their own skin in the game up to a point. Certainly, they would have something which is benefiting them (or they would not participate). We might even be able (sure, if we try I guess) to get some school programs to participate to an extent to the extent the effort would offer lab course work (extracurricular, etc) for their students.

The number of possibilities is ridiculously large. [And I see it as a Good Thing to actually *really try* to get a lot of participation.. it's self enabling and community building.] A "pro" might sail through this a be able to buy a mansion at the end. For normal people like myself and many of those to participate, it would be a matter of breaking the ice and just "doing it," which isn't something easy, but that is what the support network and online sharing and tracking is for.

Let's take 50 cents per CD (hopefully this would be an upper bound). 20 advertizers (think local businesses putting in up to a few tens of bucks for one thousand or even for 10 thousand.. and think of the 20 as a lower bound). Without carrying out the math exactly, we see that ads can cover a large chunk of the costs and potentially even result in VERY nice profits (to pay for the walking and then some).

... OK, basic math. 20 ads times $50 = $1000. So if this is per 10,000 CD's, that covers 10 cents of the per CD cost. If per 1000, then that would be 1 buck per CD in revenues. Of course, can we maintain these averages? Hopefully, we can beat them and charge around the higher levels.. but we have room to spare is what I hope/calculate.. if we (the participants and myself and everyone actually) get our buttocks into gear actually marketing the effort properly.

The idea is to get started at a pace that could be affordable based on our success finding $$ (based on experience, drive, etc). Mentally, the toughest part is at the beginning (if we try to start large and beyond our experience). Financially, the beginning is when we get the least support.

But this is a team effort by definition. We *will* help each other. We don't just have the "gimmick" (I hope), we also have the Enabler on our side (that's Linux.. a real bona fide quality offering).

Success at some level would be that the *world* catches on, and before the last house on the planet is ticked off, everyone with a PC will have a CD nearby or at least have had the opportunity. Along the way, some will be more driven/savvy than others and make a lot of money for themselves. What I hope is that those noobs participating will actually gain business knowledge as much as possible and not try to fund this themselves.

This is empowering. That's the main reason to participate.

It's Linux.

In any case, this has to go forward!

***** Some more potential details *****

Hope I didn't give the impression I was about to start this any second. I have some things I would want to take care of first and to organize, in general, as well as with respect to this effort.

Hardware companies can benefit from advertizing, though in particular I like the fact that you can get a brand new useful "brand" name PC for $200 + tax/S/H.

To get started...

There is the website to be organized. I expect simple and HTML, but want places to point to where conversations could be done (forums). There are numerous ways to attack this as far as domain names are concerned. BTW, I encourage people to take out domain names for themselves and share them (after they have the name locked in ;) ).

I want to make it easy for others to put up their own websites to track this effort. I want to even encourage videos that can be put on youtube. This will help draw attention (moving visuals). This can even work as a reality show of sorts for anyone that wants to subject themselves to that.

In other words, there are many ways to participate and benefit from this. If we make that clear and actually do this and grow and show the ongoing progress we should be able to draw a lot of support... So much that hopefully, the last people to get these will already have heard and would have downloaded it or copied from friends.. but we'd still cross the finish line! [LOL]

A mailing list has to be set up with several potential more later on.

I'd really like to map the city. If I don't figure out in time a standard format for this, we should still be able to get something online showing what has been mapped and maybe we'll even get a ton of people to help map. For example, the CD or main website may encourage them to do this as a sub for registering.

Oh, I would love to have activation keys on the cover of these disks (yes, potentially the numbers or funny symbols or whatever could be used for market research but..) and them tell people what they can do with the activation keys (nothing dirty).. LOL.

It's the software in which you take a stake and shape it to fit your goals. There's room for everyone.

We (Linux) are different indeed.

PS: Before starting all of this we would hack into various candidate distros (no need to pick one.. in fact variation here makes it more likely people will trade CD's later on, increasing buzz and ad space value). I may carry out a discussion on nuxified.org or elsewhere. Who doesn't want to hack their own LiveCD to learn a few of the "secrets"? Did I hear "lug?"

PS2: Thanks for your participation, jdixon. That's the spirit!

Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
10:15 AM EST
tuxchick,

Sorry for that long post. That wasn't for you.

THIS is for you:

We are going to get a Linux CD into the hands of everyone in the world (give or take), and it will start soon.

Oh, and you will help.
Abe

Mar 12, 2008
10:36 AM EST
Quoting:We are going to get a Linux CD into the hands of everyone in the world (give or take), and it will start soon.
This is a very novel and needed effort. Though I am not sure what you mean by "WE", isn't everyone in the community doing that in their own special way already? Many of us advocate and try to make our friends and associates aware of Linux. *buntu does that too. But there are many obstacles that are not simple to over come. They will take time.

Taking that to a more massive scale is worth while effort. I hope you are prepared to carry it through with great success.

ColonelPanik

Mar 12, 2008
10:54 AM EST
We have nothing to fear but fear itself. That and overly long posts. Shorten your posts, use the free time to burn some CD's. Go visit your neighbors.

Colonel Zealot reporting for duty, Sir!
tuxchick

Mar 12, 2008
11:03 AM EST
Yes, what the colonel said. Or even better, put all that energy to some good use and collate this thread into a LXer article.
jdixon

Mar 12, 2008
11:15 AM EST
> Many of us advocate and try to make our friends and associates aware of Linux.

Always, but I try not to push too much. Linux will be there when they're ready.

I just did a VectorLinux install on an 800MHz machine with a 20GB hard drive and 128MB of memory. I upgraded it to 256MB of memory before I started, but still couldn't get any of the mainstream distros to load and install. Vector Linux loaded, recognized the Windows 98 vfat partition, offered to resize it, and installed with no problems. So far the user seems to be happy.

I've got a crashed XP machine here with no valid license that I'm trying to put Ubuntu on, but both hard drives seem to be acting up. I should have a usable hard drive at the house I can use. We'll see if/how it works on this 1.2GHz, 1GB memory system with a 30-40GB hard drive.
tracyanne

Mar 12, 2008
11:56 AM EST
I have another computer which I'm upgrading to Linux, and another waiting in the wings.

The first got a virus. I was called in because the person found my business card on the community notice board, I looked it over and yes it has a virus. I told her I could probably get rid of it, but that the chances are she would get reinfected, or I could put Linux on it, I showed her Linux, explained what it is, she opted for Linux - as it happens her son later told her it was a good idea, even though he doesn't actually use Linux.

The next machine will get upgraded to Linux, because I had upgraded another machine for another lady, and the bloke that wants me to do it on his was really impressed.

I had 4 machines in the last 3 months that I've been able to upgrade to Linux. Not a lot, but you do what you can.
ColonelPanik

Mar 12, 2008
12:39 PM EST
Way to go tracyanne.
herzeleid

Mar 12, 2008
12:52 PM EST
> Way to go tracyanne.

Yes, kudos
Sander_Marechal

Mar 12, 2008
1:34 PM EST
Quoting:One possible way to fund any sort of business/endeavor of this nature is through ads.


Yes and no. The most profitable would be to spin your own, custom distro and include the ads. Nothing offensive, just a custom start page in firefox pointing to a website that explains everything about the CD and that carries some ads. Optionally, you could include a few extra bookmarks.

The big money here is in support. With a million CD's distributed there are plenty of people going to try it. You could offer paid-for support alongside community support for them. Ka-Ching!
Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
1:49 PM EST
OK, well, this is a learning process for me, but it's very interesting and I expect things to continue moving forward (like a snowball.. slowly until it isn't slow any longer). I value all input I get.

Mostly what I am after is a community specifically designed to share and leverage each other in the domain of business as well as support. With such a growing community and howtos from that community and ways to profit/sustain/motivate growth, we should be able to reach heights in growing Linux much like FOSS communities enable the members to reach heights in building Linux.

Successful MLM individuals work on new sales but even more on helping others grow their business.. eg, by helping other help others to grow their business.

There are ways to throw in money into the mix to fund the efforts and to provide motivation [and it need not be an MLM setup]. The main "catch" is that Linux is a tremendous enabler. You gain by participating actively. You can gain indirectly by spreading it, or you can even profit more immediately or solve business problems. People need to know that and have access to the tools easily to make these things a reality (local human support is an important component of that as well as the business ideas and all the ways to gain from Linux).

Microsoft is made up of a huge number of marketing individuals for a reason (ditto for IBM and many others).

We already have the goods ($0 when you share support .. like in a lug). It's free online (though adding extra value ourselves would provide extra incentives to spread it since these can be monitized). We have ways to fund the efforts (CD's are cheap and valuable real estate). The knowledge and support structure for carrying out the growth of Linux just has to come together like other knowledge communities so that we leverage each other instead of working in isolation .. and so that everyone can participate and gain/profit.

We already built online the R&D divisions that companies have had for many years, and we managed to eclipse them in some ways (well, they join in so they gain too). I don't think we have built the online Marketing divisions yet. How do we organize the material, for example, and to what extent is human-human contact more important here than with R&D? And really I guess I am talking about more than just marketing but the various other divisions that make up a complete company. Sharing to empower the individual. Working together instead of working apart.

And I do think long posts serve a purpose even though it doesn't go the whole nine yards by any means.

Again, thanks all for sharing your knowledge, experiences, and input/criticisms. I may not spin this thread into an article, but I will continue trying to move in the direction to enable people to leverage each other with the intent to spread Linux. [I am learning myself..]

.. and do look forward to more discussion here as long as people are willing to participate.

Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
2:10 PM EST
Sander_Marechal, I basically agree.

A project to spread a million is a gimmick of sorts. Further steps involve the sorts of things you mentioned (remember we would be growing a local community all along).

There are many ways to make money, but also to provide incentives for further growth of Linux in a repeatable scalable way accessible to as many people as possible (which is what I am principally after). Obviously, the greater your skill level, the more possibilities are open to you once Linux is wide-spread and even as it is growing.

I have been using thetuxproject to gather ideas, but anywhere is fine. Even on this long thread (I was not being that serious).

Anyway, I also have my eyes on LINdependence 2009. Spreading 1 million is a gimmick to help jump start one particular very large snowball for that event and to provide a model (plus goodies) others may find useful.

Ideas mentioned here or in many other places suffer from disorganization, but rather than to have a small group brainstorming to solve all problems, my goal is to get the basics and a plan so that we can start tapping into a lot more people. Lugs are not the past but the future.

I like the example given above because it's fairly concrete, and I think the numbers and everything else works out.

Mapping the city, unless that has been done and we can use it, needs to be done in an open way (there are projects along this line.. which I'll revisit at some point). Mapping, of course, not just to get general info, but to chart Linux growth progress and maybe more.

Large scale efforts are the ones that get the most attention and the most support and credibility because they have risen above the noise. This is part of what I am after too, to gain from the sum of the parts and then some.

At some point soon, I hope to be inspired to put up a website.
Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
2:22 PM EST
>> > Many of us advocate and try to make our friends and associates aware of Linux.

>> Always, but I try not to push too much. Linux will be there when they're ready.

There is the goal to gain a Linux conversion for example, or to create a Linux guru.

And there there is the different goal of introducing people to Linux.

One of the ideas is to parallelize the effort much more. Imagine if we all started upon that journey today instead of when it eventually makes it's way to us? Part of the idea then is to set as many people up as soon as possible on step one.. instead of working our way slowly "one past the other".

Building depth in local support people is a part of this too. After a certain volume [some small percentage of the population but well spread out], you can just reach out to everyone else, so they all can begin their journey (which will involve chucking the disc in the can the first few times for some.. even without looking up the very short url on that CD).

Coke doesn't stop advertizing.

We won't either. You don't push per individual, you parallelize the effort.

Coke has the big bucks.

We have the motivations at a different level and the community concept to leverage.. no major CEO's making BIG $$$ here.. it's people sharing to gain themselves (immediately or indirectly).
Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
4:40 PM EST
>> Many of us advocate and try to make our friends and associates aware of Linux. *buntu does that too.

Yes, Ubuntu is a community and if the people working on project X or Y were to raise the Ubuntu flag (for whatever reason) then these people could easily become an extension of that community. I am not out to pick a distro for others. Individuals pick distros. I'll pick my preferences and support them perhaps in some way or other, but I am not employed by any group so as to pick a distro for other people or designate this or that project a Ubuntu (or XXX) project by default. [And this was NOT a hint to say I want to be employed for such a purpose.]

This sort of project described above is in the spirit of LINdependence 2008 (Felton) or any sort of Linux Town. The similarities are not accidental by any means. The idea is to pursue seriously the goal of moving Linux in a large enough sheet so as to definitely get attention. 1% is tiny and not very noticeable if spread out evenly but not if it is concentrated in one location.

The sort of thing that a Linux Town would demonstrate is that Linux can work, "not just for geeks" or for group X or Y but is a viable alternative for almost anyone. [Note, the project described above is not a Linux Town.]

Additionally, the tools are set in place (online sharing/cloning/leveraging) to recreate this many more times.

The key to making it work without access to a huge bank account is by having each person find value so that they each do their tiny bit. After all, it doesn't necessarily take a government grant of X billion dollars to eliminate closed OS from every PC on the planet. It takes just each person doing a few things for a few minutes with no sweat in most cases to achieve that same effect. [This example was for illustration purposes and not to imply that the day where everyone does that is just over the horizon or anything like that.]

>> But there are many obstacles that are not simple to over come. They will take time.

I agree. This isn't a Linux Town/ LINdependence 2008 type of effort to put Linux on every PC. That will take longer and is more complex.

This sort of project can serve as a prelude to such a more ambitious project.

In addition to what was just mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, this is also an effort to start to parallelize the conversion. For example, there is no need to graduate a person before another one enters the pipeline.

Is there a mechanism we can tap to just get everyone to start along that path as quickly as possible using ordinary means (ie, without that huge bank account I and most people don't have)? [This would be one of the main goals.]

PS: It gets confusing talking about the project without giving it a name.
Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
5:08 PM EST
tracyanne,

>> I had 4 machines in the last 3 months that I've been able to upgrade to Linux. Not a lot, but you do what you can.

There is plenty of room for people to distribute CD's ahead of you. This role you are playing would be part of the support network. The lug guru if you will. Or a business that advertizes through the network. Or both.

Many people receiving the CD's (especially if under the right circumstances) might be curious AND want to tap into your expertise (for no charge or for $$, that would be a detail).

*****

I want to stress that unless someone wants to fund most of this sort of distribution attempt, there have to be incentives for a motivated person X to contribute. That motivation would/should/could [take your pick] come from the community building and sharing done in a way to benefit its members.

While you may not be distributing all of these CD's, you likely would be teaching others some tricks of the trade or posting online material others could use. You all would help each other.

Some would lend equipment or building space. Some would learn tricks and share them or help others learn a skill. Maybe make videos or demos or design distros. [For example, everyone on the planet should eventually be able to remaster their own LiveCD's. Value and expertise always command $$, but being able to do the basics for any task that is beneficial (like remastering) are reasons why people would want to own and use Linux. The easy spread of this knowledge should be encouraged. People should demonstrate the process for each other.]
Jose_X

Mar 12, 2008
5:15 PM EST
The distribution of CD's might be handled this way:

Small geographical regions are parcelled and a dollar value is attached to each such region. People volunteering to do those sections take a risk. If/when enough money becomes available (and some rules kick in), they get paid for some portion of that work up to eventually the full amount if possible.

We'd need a fair way to allow those interested to obtain a section. We'd need a fair way to distribute funds as they arrive.

There can similarly be some amount of revenue sharing for leftovers.

I mention this because some groups may pull in few funds (not a scenario to be encouraged) or may pull them in sporadically or with most coming in only later in the process.

Entrepreneurial partners don't care. They roll up their sleeves and get to work so long as they have faith in the soundness of the effort.
ColonelPanik

Mar 13, 2008
5:56 AM EST
Joe 10, I think I'll just keep handing out Live CDs to the people I meet and talk to about Linux.

Jose_X

Mar 14, 2008
6:16 PM EST
Included in this related post are some more details: http://thetuxproject.com/node/286#comment-901

I want to adjust something I said earlier above. When discussing Ubuntu, I mentioned that for this project I do not want to tell anyone what distro to use. Well I lied :D

Actually, to the degree you are in a position to decide on that matter, you will go with some choice. Naturally Canonical supports Ubuntu predominantly by far as it is a Linux that is taylored made to their wishes and desires more or less.

I mention this because I see a scenario where for practical and tactical reasons the distros distributed to the homes will be centrally coordinated and not left to the whims of whoever is distributing them. However, anyone can distribute whatever they want (eg, a second CD of their choosing), but it would not necessarily count as part of achieving the goals of this project if it wasn't in accordance with this project.

jdixon

Mar 15, 2008
6:47 AM EST
> We'll see if/how it works on this 1.2GHz, 1GB memory system with a 30-40GB hard drive.

Following up. With a good hard drive Ubuntu installed an ran with no problems. The Firefox upgate blew up during the update process. No usr/bin/firefox to be found, which meant the desktop and menu links didn't work. Reinstalling had no effect, so apparently the package was corrupted. I had to manually use apt-get to clear the cache and force a new download of the package, but other than that everything went smoothly. Does anyone know if there's a way to force a re-download with Synaptic? I couldn't find one.

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