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Finding the happy medium in FOSS

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on February 03, 2008 11:22 PM
Ahh, another community comes to the discussion - the desktop Linux crowd, vs. the server platform Linux crowd - welcome aboard. I believe I can provide at least a partial answer to your question. Desktop Linux doesn't get the software or driver support specifically (in part) because of the sentiment you put forward at the beginning of your post: Users are regarded as "Linux purists", and it's generally felt (in the business world) that we have a problem with paying for good software. People do have to feed the family, companies have to answer to their stockholders, and I don't believe this is a bad thing. People should be able to receive compensation for fair services or good products. But the money has to come from somewhere, be it proprietary code, paid support, or other. I share part of your sentiment, I'll pay for Linux any day (and do contribute to several projects I use regularly), but will never buy another copy of Windows. Particularly after having to support the grotesque abomination of an OS that is Vista on others machines.

So, how many separate communities have we identified now? idealist, realist, anti-freeloader, desktop user, server user, business user, the list goes on. As I said, there is no one community, so how are businesses or users en masse going to interact with us productively on a large scale? I've already put forth some thoughts, practicality, interoperability, cooperation. We've won the war, Linux is a viable option and the free software model works. Now we all need to remember what the whole point of open source, open standards, and free software was - productivity for the user (end user or developer). I worry that the FSF's enforced idealism is just as dangerous and unproductive as the greedy crack-dealer software model employed by Microsoft, and hope for a more productive middle ground.


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