Need new lingo then...

Story: Happy Sitting at the Kid's Table?Total Replies: 19
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Jan 07, 2013
5:27 AM EDT
Instead of "Is this the year of the Linux desktop?" we should ask "Are we there yet?" ... you can suffix "I have to pee" if you want.

Seriously though I can totally understand the sentiment. I find myself embarrassed sometimes at the community and its shenanigans.

Jan 07, 2013
6:53 AM EDT
Remind me again what one of the absolutely MAJOR, culturally ingrained, intractable problems at Microsoft is -- the one that's supposed to be in large part responsible for it's current decline? The thing that no one likes to talk about much, except in rare bouts of candour in certain books and speciality blogs? Something about the internecine power struggles and behind the scenes back-stabbing politics, isn't it? And actually throwing chairs about, even?

Not to mention outright criminality, law-breaking and bad ethical practices -- every now and then giving rise to actual, well-covered court-cases -- going back well before the Spyglass fiasco, and continuing on through concocting video evidence in court, and the more recent dirty politics over ODF in Massachusetts and the shenanigans at the ISO.

And aren't there stories about similar bad behaviour at Apple -- again, not much talked about, usually, just swept under the carpet, or passed off as "artistic temperament" or impatient genius?

What about Oracle, McAfee, IBM, and so many others? They've all got their dirty laundry, and everybody knows it. Or they should. This story is like The Emperor's New Clothes -- but in this version the clothes are not so much too fine to be visible to the foolish, but are too respectable to appear clean to the un-businesslike.

Why buy into this corporatist portrayal of the openness of FOSS and Linux development as evidence that FOSS and Linux developers are somehow demonstrably "irresponsible", when anyone who pays attention should know that much worse has been documented to occur in the hallowed halls of corporate culture.

This is just double standards in action (except that in this case the accusers are actually more guilty than the accused, so "double standard" is rather an understatement). This is facile excuses made with an earnest demeanour, and little if anything more.


Jan 07, 2013
10:36 AM EDT
"our inability to even give decent application names to our programs"

This bothers me.

How shallow would someone have to be to have the program name matter?

Finding it, now that is a serious issue. "I need to do this, where do I find that tool?" is a MAJOR part of the Linux learning curve.

Jan 07, 2013
11:06 AM EDT
Just a reminder that currently, there are many more grownups in FOSS community than kids and Friends reasoning is sort of shallow (not telling the full story).

Now in terms of why Google refuses to acknowledge Linux in its software, I believe there are couple more sensible good reasons than not trusting kids in FOSS.

a. Google built a name for itself and they are not about to declare to the world that they are using some work done by loosely connected hackers community.

b. Yes, Google knew that Linux being tainted is a problem. And they are smarter than to waste their time, resources, energy and money on washing something out that MS spent billions on. They simply don't have to, especially when the vast majority of its customers/consumers are not aware, don't care to be aware, and don't even want to be aware of such facts.

So lets not create lame excuses for Google or anyone else.


Jan 07, 2013
11:51 AM EDT
I think it is just half the story. Yes, the Linux users community is vocal, but there is a group that makes even more noise and that group comprises the vocal members of the non-Linux users. Not marketing something as Linux has the added benefit that hordes of Windows, OS X and *BSD users won't show up and trot out the same tired old FUD from the nineties.

It is very hard to make a compelling case when people (with vested interests in other platforms) call your product: Not ready for the desktop. Based on 70's technology. An inferior UNIX clone. Fragmented. Lacking in drivers. Too difficult. Dependent on CLI. Breaking with every update. Outdated. Anti-capitalist. IP-destroying.

All because they latch on to the "red flag" of Linux.

If you don't tell people what drives the magic box, you don't get a lot of uninformed or Linux hostile people parroting the wrong talking points.

Jan 07, 2013
12:16 PM EDT
fettoosh wrote:....especially when the vast majority of its customers/consumers are not aware, don't care to be aware, and don't even want to be aware of such facts.


If Apple and M$ aren't proof consumers WANT to be told what to do, I don't know what is. Jes as they'd rather buy their food pre-prepared, they want that computer working and don't bother me with the details, even if it does track yer every breath and picks yer pocket at every turn. I truly believe linux scares most ppl to death. "I gotta do it!?" Horrors.

We are not the norm. We are the freaks. No one is gonna build an empire and get rich off us. Google may recognize the worth of linux, but they can't sell it and are not gonna even try. Too many rubes with too many rubles, out there.

Jan 07, 2013
1:26 PM EDT
There are other factors at work besides just Google's opinion of Linux users/developers. It's also a matter of ownership and branding.

They don't own the trademark for Linux, and never will. When you see Linux, you don't think of Google, you think of Linus. And if they do something with the Linux trademark that Linus doesn't like, they will be hearing from him.

I assume they do own the trademarks on Android and Chrome. When you see Android or Chrome, you probably think of Google, and that's the way Google wants it.

Jan 07, 2013
5:11 PM EDT
Ordinary computer users know nothing of Free Software, or the people who write it. What they do know when they hear about Linux is that it is hard to use, is for "experts", has a crappy interface, doesn't have applications, and won't run their favourite Hardware... because that's what their local Windows or Mac geek or salesman told them.

Yes Linux is tainted, and is a very hard sell, and the attitude espoused by Ken's friend may actually be one in Google, but the real problem is that ordinary people don't know anything about it, not even the "bad" stuff Ken's friend claims is the problem.

Jan 07, 2013
6:11 PM EDT
I have a very simple counter-argument: Red Hat. A billion dollar business built in the enterprise where people are dead serious about everything. They use the Linux name. It doesn't seem to hurt them. For that matter, Novell/SUSE seems to be doing better nowadays and they use the Linux name too.

Jan 07, 2013
8:51 PM EDT
caitlyn wrote:....where people are dead serious about everything.

....including keeping their job

caitlyn wrote:They use the Linux name.

Because they are told to.

How many ppl do you know who run RH on their home box? I'm sure there's a few, but not many.

I have a friend 30 yrs in govt IT on govt unix-ish mainframes. I never even heard of the OS he uses all day. When he get's home he turns on his W7 box and chugs and/or brews some beers.

Jan 07, 2013
9:01 PM EDT
Some very good points, all around.

Isn't it funny how easy it is to blame the victim? And isn't it even stranger how often the victim accepts the responsibility?


Jan 08, 2013
11:19 AM EDT
My point, which someone seems to have missed, is that the Linux name isn't tainted if it can be sold in the enterprise to the tune of a billion dollars of revenue. It isn't the "kids table". The real reason is Google wants to use a brand that Google and only Google owns, not a shared brand. If people buy Linux they can buy it from lots of places. If people by Android they are buying a Google product. It's all about branding which, in turn, is all about revenue.

[Edit: corrected typo]

Jan 08, 2013
12:30 PM EDT
> The real reason is Google wants to use a brand that Google and only Google owns, not a shared brand.

Isn't that what I said above?

Jan 08, 2013
12:35 PM EDT
@jdixon: Yes, but it doesn't seem to sink in with some people so I restated it in different terms.

I don't think people are afraid of Linux. I don't most people know what Linux is or even care. I don't think the name is tainted. I think Ken is off base on this one and so are one or two of the commenters.

Now, some of the comments about the community being, um... less than ideal at times are spot on but I don't think that percolates out to the general public or impacts branding one little bit. Look at the geek community around Windows. Is it any better?

Jan 08, 2013
12:44 PM EDT
Caitlyn is spot on in everything she says. Brand marketing is hugely important. I only have to listen to some of the tosh my Apple loving friends come out with and I realise what a strong situation the fruity firm are in because people won't entertain anything's "so ****ing cool, man".

Jan 08, 2013
12:52 PM EDT
> @jdixon: Yes, but it doesn't seem to sink in with some people so I restated it in different terms.

Not a problem, Caitlyn. I was just afraid I wasn't being clear. It's been known to happen on occasion. :(

Jan 08, 2013
9:32 PM EDT
Caitlyn, I think there is some intermixing going on in this discussion, of thee way Linux is perceived in different milieus.

I would put it this way:

* Yes; The general public hasn't even a clue what Linux might be. (Of course, this is then another reason to distrust this "Linux" thing, because the public expects any significant product to have a recognized brand-name presence, and shelf-space in the Brand Name, Big Box outlets).

* Yes; In corporate (especially server-oriented) environments, Linux has established itself as a major player.

(Yet despite this, many corporate (and government) milieus nonetheless still view Linux askance, as "not ready for general desktop use", and some even still deny it's really suitable for non niche-role, mainstream, general server-room use. I presume this demographic is shrinking steadily.)

* But; The smallish crowd in the middle, including especially those often (mis?)labelled as "power users" and "pro-sumers", have heard about Linux -- and what they've heard brims with FUD, which they, in their unwitting ignorance and self-perceived but mistaken competence , unhesitatingly pass on to any who ever raise the topic. They read a mainline consumer-friendly tech-magazine such as ZDNet/PC World or whatever regularly,

Most importantly this group includes the majority of helpful neighbours or work-colleagues who "know computers" and help solve "computer problems", fixing/restoring/reinstalling Windows, upgrading the RAM or graphics card, and giving recommendations on hardware and peripherals purchases. They have influence with the general, non-techie public all out of proportion to their numbers -- both at home and in the work-place.

Jan 08, 2013
11:32 PM EDT
Indeed Bernard, and they are very very hard to compete with, it matters not that one has years and years of experience and qualifications (in fact those might actually be detrimental, and "prove" the point, that Linux is too hard for ordinary mortals), the ever helpful salesman, the neighbour who can "magically" fix most Windows problems are to be believed, not the Linux using Software/Network etc Engineer with years of experience on multiple operating systems.

Jan 09, 2013
1:56 PM EDT
Going back to caitlyn's earlier point:

Red Hat invests in Linux.

Google invests in Google.

Bear those in mind, and nothing about RH or Google will surprise you.

Jan 09, 2013
3:02 PM EDT
To some extent, we are those people who "know computers." It just depends on how many of us are also Linux users, and how many aren't. I've given Linux laptops to two of my nephews, and they don't seem to mind using it at all. Since the laptops are not really new enough to push the latest Windows games, they don't have much urge to switch them over to Windows just for that.

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