Contributing Upstream: An Editorial

Posted by Romon on Mar 5, 2010 10:41 AM
LXer Linux News; By Rory Frankson

LXer Feature: 05-Mar-2010

The foundations of Linux, with how it has been developed and when we look at the Debian model on which Ubuntu is based, the contributions of developers by and large are because of their common interests and a willingness to accept conceptualizations. In recently viewing an interview with Mark Shuttleworth these contributions were stated. Passing on the valor per-say to that foundation and the current developers engaged in the Ubuntu project.

It is the Linux community as a whole that is bringing Free Software into the mainstream of the desktop experience. The Linux community's contributions to upstream development, no matter the scale should ever stop on account of what happens in the commercial development of Linux. It is within the totality of this growing brain-trust that carries and fuels the ideals of FOSS and applies it to all Linux distributions equally.

This is the reality of 'Open Source', the chemical interest that captures the imagination of the Linux participant. It is in this context that I perceive “The World of Linux”. The foundation of all this is the Linux Kernel itself, how it was developed and the developers themselves that are changing the perception of software and its uses. It is a community that strives to create and improve a commercially viable product within a market. Linux in a sense, is an anomaly.

Like the ancient adage, “you can't put new wine in old bottles”. Marketing values are changing around the world and we are putting 'Open Source' in the hands of everyone, as in Ubuntu's statement “Ubuntu – Linux for Human Beings”, in regards to making Linux easy enough to be used by anyone.

Putting the marketing in the hands of the general public and using the ground force, grassroots movement and still have the ability to financially gain from that experience and make their contribution to, “the up stream”. It is that phrase, that has caught my attention. Global markets are by an large fueled by corporate conglomerates and they control the commercial market place. Why?

Because this is how its done. The general consensus being on mass acceptance and yet it is not this industry that is spreading the ideals of Linux through its mass Advertising & Marketing machine. The fuel in reality is coming from the Linux community through the spread of its inherent grassroots marketing. Mark Shuttleworth again made a statement about narrow windows of Service & Support.

In this area the Linux community has come a long way. But does it really serve its purpose to support “Free Software” if a company is purely into hardware support... yes. Yet, very few of those large companies are that singularly committed and hold huge investment in software as well. It is not truly in their best interest to be of any real service to 'Open Source'.

It has to be asked, if on account of the public demand is there a tokenism being put forward in this? Is the perception by these multi-conglomerates that Linux is actually an irritation and a disruption? The computer Industry is such a huge dynamic in our world and yet the majority of financial resources held by so few. Linux has actually challenged that and it will continue to do so through earnest innovations as it has through up stream contributions. With the hundreds of thousands of people that have contributed to an ideal, stuck with it and as simply as reporting a 'Bug Fix'.

Some of these very people without education figured out complex problems and submitted their solutions to the development of Linux and it runs that much better because of those contributuions. This doesn't take place in the world of developed commerce. Not that commerce isn't needed, is bad or evil. It is needed, it is just that more seem to need to profit by it and the world is coming to terms with the idea that it is not the only thing. A monopoly in anything is to some degree evil and in some areas and in certain instances, becoming illegal.

How far does Open Sharing, extend itself in this World of Linux? The question would be... How far, will we allow it? This contribution, Up Stream.

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