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FOSS, Linux, Distros and Life

Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

[BLOGGER’S NOTE: Larry the Free Software Guy turns over the blog’s digital soapbox today to Bob McKeand, a.k.a. “Colonel Panik.” The good Colonel, who has been a Linux/FOSS user for quite some time and a long time commenter on this blog (not to mention a friend), has a few pertinent points to make on the state of Linux/FOSS these days. With that, I hand over the LtFSG megaphone to Bob. --LtFSG]

FOSS, Linux, Distros and Life

FOSS. A great idea. The reality is it takes away 80 percent of the richness of the World Wide Web, the internets. Every website that appears in those “Top 10, 25, 50, 100 or 10 million lists uses something that will not be seen by true believers of FOSS. One site alone is worth more than anything FOSS has or will accomplish: http://www.khanacademy.org/ What FOSS stands for is good. What FOSS stands against it something that needs standing against, for sure. But I am not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. All the very smart people in the FOSS arena need to sit down and find a way that does not penalize the very people who believe in FOSS.

Linux. The community that makes up the Linux world is awesome. Awesome, but contentious. Folks, y’all need to lighten up. The words “us” and “we” should be used more. As that guy Colonel Panik used to say: “Keep the humor in Linux.”

Distros. Fool me once, shame on you. My dear wife and I have come to the realization that distros are willing to throw their users to the curb for any or no reason. Those of you who drive the distro development need to pay more attention to your users. In fact, that is the only thing you should be looking at. I or we shall use what works. Make it hard to set up or hard to install missing whatevers and we will just download and try the other guy’s distro. If we have a distro we like and the community within that distro is rude or unfriendly, well I guess we know where we do not belong. Some of the communities that are distro-specific have become exclusionary to the extreme. They will not play with others. I live in a town of 12,000 or so people. We have 13 different churches, all Christian, and 14 AA groups. So maybe I am wrong, being divisive may be the way of the future? Group hug?
 
Life. We need more mentors. Please, go plant some seeds. Grow something.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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