Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 16th Jul 2006 20:16 UTC, submitted by jake tate
Linspire Kevin Carmony of Linspire/Freespire has announced that the first beta of Freespire has been released earlier than anticipated. Get it from the download page. According to Carmony, this release includes out-of-the-box support for proprietary formats such as .mp3 and WMV, plug-and-play support for Ati and nVIDIA cards without user intervention, Click-N-Run, and much more.
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RE: Discussion
by butters on Mon 17th Jul 2006 06:00 UTC in reply to "Discussion"
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

This guy's a nut. That's what I think. At the core, he has valid points with which I agree. But he went about it all wrong, and he got the response he deserved.

Linspire has a vision that clearly has wide appeal, and it's a vision that's shared by a significant portion of the free software development community at large. They won't play well to the idealists, but believe it or not, these people spend more time arguing principles than developing code. Time and time again, the people who really work on the code that makes the free software systems great express that they are more aligned with the practical side of FOSS than the political side.

Now, the root of the argument against Linspire and its arrangment with Freespire concerns their track record with regard to contributing useful work back to the broader community. Sure, they have made investments such as the one with Codeweavers, but they didn't do the development, they just gave a commercial project some more money. Until Linspire proves that they can _develop_ FOSS software that's useful to the free software community, there's no reason for the community to develop for Linspire. Red Hat's develops RPM, DBUS, and contributes to countless other projects; Novell develops Mono, Beagle, and more; Canonical drives the GNOME Project and ships CDs around the world for free... Linspire develops CNR, which, I dare say, is useful to nobody.

You see, I have absolutely no problem with Linspire going at in on their own as a commercial Linux vendor whose unique features are mostly proprietary. In fact, they've already achieved some modest success at this, and if they get their act together, they'll win a lot more contracts. But there's no way that the community is going to help them do this. Linspire could potentially serve the Desktop Linux market very nicely, but they don't serve the needs of the community, and I doubt they ever will.

"If Freespire is the succeed," someone posted on this forum thread, "it needs to be different from Linspire." Yes, but that's not the core of the matter. The truth is, there's no way that Freespire is going to succeed at the moment. It simply isn't the right time. Before Linspire can get a community project off the ground, it needs to put a few dozen developers from real community-oriented free software projects on the payroll. They need to invest in the development of free software in order to reap the rewards. At even at this, they need to overcome their reputation from their previous missteps by rubbing their contributions in the face of the community.

I know Kevin's listening. Please take this to heart. It's best for your company, and it's best for free software in general.

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