A lot has been written so far about what to expect next year — some valid, some not.
But has that ever stopped me from joining the year-end pile-on? Perish the thought.
So here are 10 things to expect in 2009.
Remember, objects may be closer than they appear, and your mileage may vary.
10. 2009 will be the year of Linux. But so will 2010, as well as 2011 and 2012. In fact, by 2013, the last pair of eyes on the planet will finally glaze over when a Linux writer proclaims the following year to be the year of Linux, and the more thoughtful pundits will just know that it’s now understood that the next year will be our year, for whatever reason, and they’ll write about something a tad more significant.
9. Fedora 11 will outshine Fedora 10. As hard as it may be to believe — and after a month I still can’t find a flaw with Fedora 10 — Fedora 11 will be an encore performance of what can best be described as a rock-solid distro, even for machines that go back a few years (in my case, a Dell 5000 Inspiron laptop and a Dell Optiplex desktop). Sadly, people will continue to be under the mistaken impression that Fedora is too “cutting edge” for anyone other than the most experienced superuser who might be too lazy to negotiate the Gentoo labyrinth (yes, that’s a gauntlet thrown at the feet of my Fedora colleagues to work next year on dispelling that stupid myth . . . ).
8. The UFC pits Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman against each other in a feature bout. What happens though is not one of those ridiculous near-death experiences for some poor troglodyte who normally gets suckered into the ring, but an epiphany for the entire FOSS community: Stallman and Torvalds meet at mid-ring and circle each other warily. Stallman opens the bout by saying maybe he was a little hasty in demanding GNU be stuck on the front of Linux, but Torvalds comes back with openly welcoming the option of joining the two names. Barriers between open source and free software dissolve. GNOME and KDE advocates embrace in a worldwide “kumbaya.” Planets align. Then I wake up.
7. Zenwalk increases the pace of its development. It becomes Zenrun, and in finding that they can add and release improvements to an already above-average distro at an even faster pace, they rename it Zenfly in 2010.
6. Lindependence comes to Redmond, Wash. The hall is rented, the fliers posted, and the riot police stand at the ready, but they remain wary since they don’t want to repeat the WTO fiasco in Seattle a decade ago. Nevertheless, yours truly — in a tribute to another overweight bald guy in the digital industry — opens the event with an insane onstage monkey dance that also brings him to within inches of a heart attack while Ken Starks unsuccessfully diverts the press’ attention. The Digital Tipping Point’s Christian Einfeldt, however, gets it all on video. Meanwhile, Debian, Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu reps — along with others who choose to join Lindependence in 2009 — hand out live CDs and demonstrate their distros. Yes, that’s Red Hat’s “Truth Happens” video (click here for Quick Time fans) looping in the background all the while.
5. Mandriva gets in touch with its feminine side. This distro renames itself Womandriva and becomes a more reasonable, nurturing distro, finally dropping the adolescent Mandrake zeitgeist from its early days. The distro’s leadership also realizes what a huge mistake it was to let Adam Williamson go and rectifies that situation, adding a huge bonus to his salary.
4. The Madagascar Penguins join Tux as the Linux mascots. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and the Private make Tux one of their own in their commando unit. Incidentally — this is true (you can look it up) — on the Madagascar DVD, the penguins provide their own commentary on their scenes. When Private is struggling to operate a computer while taking over the ship, Skipper comments, “What are you doing up there, playing Tetris? You told me you knew Linux, Private!” Just smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.
3. Windows 7 will be worse than Vista, as hard as that may be to believe. This development will result in yet another $30 million Microsoft ad campaign diverting attention from this latest offering. Realizing they picked the wrong Seinfeld character in their first campaign, the ad agency casts Jason Alexander with Bill Gates, making Gates look like the “cool one” in comparison.
2. Everyone joins the Ubuntu family. In an effort not to confuse brand new GNU/Linux users with the daunting tasks of trying to wrap their minds around 350 different distributions, distros give themselves new names: Fedbuntu, Debuntu, openBUNTU, Sabayuntu, Damn Small Buntu, CentBuntu, Dreambuntu, Slackbuntu, Pupbuntu, Mepbuntu, gNewBuntu, among others. Solbuntis and OpenSolbuntis also join the ranks.
1. Linux Foundation’s “I’m Linux” video contest’s winning entry grabs an Oscar. After Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ad campaign, and Microsoft following with a painfully original “I’m a PC” theme, the Linux Foundation garners thousands of entries in its “I’m Linux” video contest. The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences nominates the winner, which ends up awing those judging and the statuette for Best Short Film goes to the winner.
There are other developments, like the conflicts that the new OpenBSD Christian Edition causes, which may be addressed in a later blog.
Have a happy and prosperous new year.
(Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
March 25-26, 2008 — Felton, California
During my Zen training in the early to mid-1990s at the San Francisco Zen Center, there was an expression that still revolves around these Buddhist circles that one has to take the responsibility of chopping wood and carrying water. The meaning here — in case you ever find yourself facing a wall in meditation or, gasp, facing a Zen roshi, or master — is that life is filled with mundane tasks that need to be done.
Lindependence 2008 lately is filled with chopping wood and carrying water, although sometimes the work seems like chopping water and carrying wood. But I digress . . . .
In the last diary installment, I mentioned that I was a little taken aback by the response — or lack thereof, mostly — of distros and FOSS programs to come running to participate in this project. To me, this project is a natural — bringing their distros and programs to a community and having both the community, and their software, flourish.
However, I discounted the human factor where human contact plays a significant role. So out with solely using the ether of the Internet, and in with making my contact with potential participants a little more personal.
Discussions with OpenOffice.org and PCLinuxOS point to probable support going forward, and that’s heartening. So, in sending out a second wave of e-mails, I may start to make calls as well asking for support — just to remind you that there is a human behind the words that grace the screen in front of you.
Incidentally, if you haven’t heard from me and want to participate in Lindependence 2008 — or if you want your favorite distro or FOSS program to participate — e-mail me immediately at lcafiero-at-fixedbylinux-dot-com and I’ll get the process started.
There’s only a little over three months left, which may seem like a lot of time, but looking at the amount of work ahead of the team, it’s not a lot. The earlier people get on board, the faster the bandwagon goes.
Clear and cool, as late March tends to be, a mile down the road from the Bigfoot Museum in the HeliOS Solutions West office in Felton.
(Larry Cafiero, editor/publisher of Open Source and Free Software Reporter, is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
While working two jobs and trying (“trying” is the key word at this point) to keep up with GNU/Linux developments, something that crossed the ol’ radar was this article which appeared on LXer.com a few days ago, but originally came from The Inquirer.
Thanks to Dr. John — not the musician, although I can’t be sure — he whipped PCLinuxOS onto box he threw together (so says the story) with a Celeron D 2.8 MHz processor. A half-hour later, even keeping the clock running while going to the bathroom, he had Linux up and running. I guess they don’t call him a doctor for nothing . . .
Way to go, Doc! I guess Dr. John showed us “journos” that Linux is easy to install. But then, some of us in the field already knew this and we’re doing our damnedest to spread the gospel.