On Sat, Sep 23, 2006 at 03:38:16AM +0100, Robert Sweetnam wrote:
> >I really don't know if I agree with that. I really enjoy meeting up with
> >other coders and Open Source hackers, it's brilliant fun to just chat,
> >maybe look at some problems, and so on. But I try to steer clear of all
> >the evangelical types of event, and I generally don't see any point in
> >raising the general awareness.
>> Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that what the whole idea of BarCamp is
About Open Source? no, I definitely don't think so. In general? I don't
really think so either. I don't think BarCamp attracts many attendees
that wouldn't be aware of the topics anyway. It's primarily a networking
and cross-pollination event.
> I agree that the somewhat more enthusiastic types can overwhelm those of
> us with even the slightest modicum of knowledge but for the novices I
> firmly believe that events such as this are an important step in the
> general awareness of the advantages of open source software.
But I'm not convinced that general awareness of Open Source should be a
goal. Why should we care if people do or don't know about it? How does
it benefit Open Source? For contributers I can see the difference, we
always need more contributors, and that's very worth promoting.
> >I think it's really important to attract more developers to Open Source,
> >but to be honest, I don't see how it matters much how generally aware of
> >it non-developers are, or how it really benefits Open Source.
>> Non developers generally tend to be in the majority. By that I mean that
> most people (myself included) are the beneficiaries of all that open
> source can provide, complete with advantages and (rare) disadvantages,
> sadly I don't have the necessary programming skills to contribute back
> although I have been known to buy boxed set distros occassionally.
Buying a boxed set is about the worst form of contribution. If you lack
programming skills then you can help with documentation, that's always
appreciated, or even just contributing good bug reports is a huge help.
There are important non-technical contributions.
> I for one would like to hear other persons real world experiences even
> if it is a 20 minute presentation of their own experiences. Regale and
> relate. Nothing wrong with it. Just because I do not know any
> programming language should not be an impediment to my interest in
> certain projects. Either for myself or the company that I may happen to
Absolutely not, if you get a benefit from Open Source and want to spread
that news, I guess it's a laudible enough goal. But I can't see a
dedicated conference achieving this. Why would the people who don't know
about Open Source attend an Open Source conference?
> Government adoption is one thing but unless there is an established
> userbase for them to proceed with an open source approach then there is
> little reason for them to do so. After all why should they adjust their
> standards just to please the minority? Or maybe they should and force us
> to conform.
No no no. Government should use Open Source more because it is generally
cheaper (I'm convinced of that), there is no vendor lock-in and it
maximises control over public data. Whether others use it or not should
have no impact on that argument, and they should not be using propeitary
formats. There is no way in which using Open Source could force others
> Still to this day there are mis-conceptions about open source, and Linux
> in particular that make it appear to the common person that it is
> elitest. Non developers count because at the end of the day they are the
> ones who will ultimately decide if a project succeeds or not.
You've got it 100% wrong there. Most Open Source developers don't equate
widespread adoption with success. success is usually fixing their
problem, doing something cool, getting a job, or maybe even making some
Sometimes, in rare cases, developers might be getting a direct salary
through a foundation, and getting more users - who pay for support or
something - can make a genuine difference to a project, but it's pretty
Colm MacCárthaigh Public Key: colm+pgp at stdlib.net
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