Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
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Haven't we had our fill of profit-making OS companies?
by John on Wed 30th Apr 2003 00:45 UTC

BTW: It never fails to amaze me how readily people bristle over their "territory", and fling insults at posters who obviously have good or, at worst, neutral intentions. "Can't you get it through your thick head", "You obviously didn't read the article"--such a drag to step in these dogshit comments, even if there is a gleaming dime of relevant info in them.

Here's my actual post. I'd like to switch from Windows to Linux. I know nothing about Linux, and know far more about Windows than I ever wanted to (because it is accident-prone). I hate MS, and their obsence "success", and for that reason alone I want to switch. But, even if I hate to admit it, because the polarity of "hatred" feels good sometimes, ambivalence being a difficult and unsexy state to maintain, Microsoft was a necessary evil for the world of computers, and much progress, in chips, peripherals, software, etc, owes itself to MS. But now it's time to move on, away from this monster against which all OS standards are measured, and who'd own even the Internet (italics mine) if it could.

I like Adam's article. Thank you, Adam. It presumes that true progress on a distro will be made on behalf of people like me, who want a great OS but who don't want to get cozy in the codey innards of our systems. The article starts with the premise that a great distro has to give people what they'd expect from Windows. Of course. Duh. That's where we live, the critical-mass. The article addresses some of things such users shouldn't tolerate. I, for example, don't like the absurd naming of Linux apps, which are themselves an analog of Linux's lack of code-transparency. And I don't ever want to see feel hear or smell the word "dependencies". I have other work to do, so I want less "choice" upfront--just give me the best, up front. If I don't like it, make it easy for me to get something else, and get rid of what I didn't like.

I also like the idea an early poster made that such a product might more resemble Mac than Linux or Windows. Fine with me, Mac is better than both of them. But Apple is also a monopoly, and Jobs also is way too rich. It's time for him and Gates to |just leave|, italics mine.

What MS did for the world is to show us what is needed in a personal computer, both by giving it to us, and by failing to. It didn't get so stinking big because of its products, but because it had products, and standards, albeit proprietary standards, to offer just when the foolish world was clamoring to start the "computer age"; another case of being in the right place at the right time.

Adam, I don't think making money is the only model that would produce a great OS (distroX). Once something--personal computers--becomes a commodity, and almost an essential (alas) for modern, that is, consumerist, life, then that commodity has to taken out of the hands of those who would sink their needlelike teeth into you and never let go until you can't pay them anymore to suck your blood. This also applies to "broadband", cellphones, and even cable TV--all way overpriced, even at "entry-level". (I say this as someone who can afford these things) This fever has to break. Since so many earn their livings from computers--doing something other than building OSs--the OS has become an essential commodity, and I for one am tired of owing any "living" I make from my computer to Bill Gates, or any facsimile thereof. But, then again, we're all working for the landlord.

This may seem off topic, but too many "consumers", already haggard and hyper from dishing out too much cash for music, games, software, etc, are all-too willing to steal a song for, well, a song. They steal from Michael Jackson, they steal from some poor punk hoping to "earn a living" from his music. Look at the results. Napster, Kazaa, et al, caused such an uproar among the media powers, including MS, that these companies seek to, and will succeed at, destroying the ability of electronic devices to make copies of digital media files. Every electronic machine you buy will have "their" spy-chip in it. In the name of profit. Guess the "honor system" would never have worked with downloading music. Not with this populace.

But it can work in the open source community. I believe the "honor system"--donation, if you want--is fundamentally connected to open source. Build me something good, and I will pay you. You won't even have to ask.

Thank you, folks, for reading. I'm sorry if I rambled, but there is unavoidable politics involved with Linux, or open source--we have yet to see it in full force--and I wanted to touch on certain aspects of it.