Note I considered snipping Steven's post however I want both items to be
available together to show the arguments have been countered in my
opinion. I also point out that I took the liberty of substituting RMS
for FSF, small but works for me. I hope this is of use.
On Sat, 2004-07-03 at 21:39, Steven Satelle wrote:
> Or not dying, being smothered? Having seen the announcement by aib that
> they were going to move to linux, with sun java desktop as their
> platform of choice I decided to grab a download of it to see what it is
> like, being in a current mode of trying all the distro's (in the last 2
> weeks I've gone from deb to mandrake to fc2) I thought I'd try out SJD
> before switching back to debian. I went to sun.com and lo and behold I
> cant download it I can only buy it. But I dont want to buy, I only want
> to try. Yes I can hear the arguments, companies need to make their
> money, but what happened to the FSF argument of making your money from
> support, documentation and extras?
> I wouldnt be worried about this move if sun were the only company doing
> it, but Redhat, Xandros and Others are all doing this. What about giving
> back to the community? What happened to the core of opensource
> development to release often?
> I feel that the sun's of the world just dont understand the opensource
> model, they only see it as a quick way to make a buck, as the latest
> trend to follow, before it is cast aside and returning back to core
> values of separating you from your money. At least redhat for their
> credit have given some excellent software back, stuff like rpm or kudzu.
> So my concern is that the opensource community will be forgotten in the
> rush to make money by these companies. Has anyone else seen these trends
> and been concerned by them, Or any just a very strange person?
You raise some rather interesting points in your mail, I hope to do them
all justice. Before I start minor recap free speech not free beer.
First let me say that I do not believe that Linux is in trouble, in fact
I take what is happening as a good sign. You make one comment and it is
that you are switching back to Debian so proof positive that Linux is
not dead, dying or even having a mild cold exists. Let me preface the
following alive and well rant with the following note, I have had my own
beliefs challenged in the last couple of weeks, and to be honest they
are still intact :-) but staircase moments* have come back to me time
On the subject of 'Distros' I do not concur that all these companies
from Mandrakesoft, through Shaolin, SuSE, or Redhat are not contributing
to the community. You may not know it but SuSE has a team working on
OpenOffice - that work goes back to the community. Redhat - fedora, need
I say more Mandrakesoft have an FTP version called 'Community', and so
on and so forth. Maybe I will leave Sun out of it for a moment, perhaps
I should not so I will not, look at OpenOffice and gnome teams would
really be where you should look.
The whole distro scene is where companies look at the market and figure
that there are people like you and I who can see the benefit of Linux,
in my case some of the time as a development platform, some times as a
web server, a mail transfer device and so on, even a games platform.
Perhaps I do not have all day every day to look at each bug and so maybe
I outsource the correction of bugs and I buy a distro and subscribe to a
service that is provided for a period that updates that version of the
software for me and I do not have to think, let alone worry about
patching as I have it managed for me, that is what I pay for.
When Richard M. Stallman first started with "Free Software" he used to
charge about $150 for a tape if I recall correctly, in the mid eighties
this was not a lot if you had a computer, as they cost a fortune. He did
provide the source, and in a way that could be distributed without
charge if that is how you choose it to be. He was paid for the work.
Now if your friend bought it they could give it to you, or charge for
it, there is no problem with that.
So Steven Satelle could put together a set of packages of Debian based
packages charge for it and as long as he provides the source for 3 years
(iirc) and call it S-Debs. Where is the problem with that?
No Linux is not dead it is just commercial in some flavours and that is
the way of the world.
In 1998 a very good friend of mine died, his name was Des and he used to
say - "Don't sweat the small stuff, it is all small stuff".
Now I say "It does not always go the way we want however it does go, so
go with the flow" - then I quote Des. :-)
* A moment when then answer on the lines of "If I had to answer that
question again I would have answered with Blah" where blah defends ones
position rather well and regret is the emotion.
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