From: Jimmy O'Regan (joeregan at domain tinet.ie)
Date: Sun 12 Sep 1999 - 03:13:36 IST
> David Murphy wrote:
> > Do you think people are likely to start looking for "A Red Hat box"
> > instead of "A Linux box"?
> I've already heard someone (someone who claimed to use linux for that
> answer the question "Who invented linux?" with "RedHat Software."
That sort of thing is only to be expected. Most people who use computers
don't realise that there are other operating systems than Windows, or they
think the only other operating system is DOS. It's natural given the current
nature in mainstream computing for most people to assume that a system is
the proprietary product of a single company.
> While obviously this user cannot have been too clued in, it's quite
> that, as RedHat becomes more popular, businesses could start buying
> finding it works out of the box, and then leaving it at that, without ever
> finding out about open source etc.
Obviously enough, the same people as above are going to find that an even
more abstract concept, not to mention the idea of 'free software'. If people
want to just use it and have it work, so be it. It's when they start to
develop software that they would need to be told about these ideas, and
then, you will find most of them will find out about these ideas as they
enter into the development community, as these ideas are integral to the
sense of community of Linux/OSS/Free Software.
> Admittedly open source seems to be mentioned
> more and more often in the press, decreasing the likelyhood of this, but
> own case I was using linux for a fairly long time before I learned about
> open source is really about, and that was only as a result of Slashdot
> all those links to articles about it in my face all the time.
I'm not so convinced it's such a great idea to rely on the ideas that people
are going to get about open source from reading the press. Every software
company on the planet seems to come out with a statement that either half
grasps the idea, or completely misses the point (like Sun).
It doesn't help that, while the stated goal is/was to promote the ideas of
the Free Software Foundation in a sanitised for fit for suits, the Open
Source people are only focusing on one aspect and hoping the other aspects
are 'naturally' recognised. It especially doesn't help that they are
applauding people (Apple) for releasing code, though under their own
definition they can't consider it open source. (IMO, the initial flaw in the
whole plan was adopting a free software definition which covers nonfree
code, which has set the stage for a lot of goal post shifting)
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