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Re: Linux Becomes Female?

__/ On Saturday 27 August 2005 19:53, [Michael Black] wrote : \__

> Roy Schestowitz (newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) writes:
>> <SNIP>
>> When advising somebody to install Ubuntu, for example, being rock-solid
>> and user-friendly, what will the first step be? Send them to the Web site
>> to order a CD, right? What will they see? Three half-naked people holding
>> hands. What will they see in ms.com? A guy in a suit holding a tablet,
>> for example? Which one will a naïve user be more likely to /trust/?
>> </SNIP>
> But maybe in a world where people too often trust trappings than something
> concrete, the real way to break things is to not follow into the
> trappings.
> Microsoft has dominated in part because the old IBM saying has morphed
> into "You can't make a wrong decision by choosing Microsoft".  They
> aren't analyzing what is there, whether it's the best choice, or whatever,
> they are choosing a Brand Name that everyone knows.

Let us not forget the issue of liability. The relationship between IBM and
Microsoft is a business-biassed one. In IBM, where you work with a certain
business model and approach in mind, it is only natural to stick to one
that resembles to you. It's clannish in a sense.

> Just the other day, I got mentioned on the radio for making a comment
> about a website some months ago.  It was a flippant comment of mine,
> but it was based on the very real concept that the internet lets us
> speak, so when people turn around and coat those words with flash
> and gloss under the impression that that's the only way the words
> have importance, it negates the power of the internet.
> Of course the revolution doesn't happen immediately.  But it will
> never happen so long as people think they need to be someone else
> in order to have value for their words or their work.

Well said that.

> LInux is really a pretty wide field.  We have terribly commercial
> parts of it, such as Red Hat, and areas where commerce really isn't
> a big thing, Debian and even Slackware.  But the names reflect
> a culture, and the names reflect a world that isn't all that commercial.
> Someone puts together a program that helps you put your records into
> digital form, and calls it Gramofile.  They've released it to the world,
> they've let the source code loose, so they will see very little return
> on their work.  The value of the program is in it's helpfulness to others.
> Indeed, they may have written it for themselves and that's good enough
> return on the investment of their time; if anyone else gets use of
> it, that's icing on the cake.  But if they put a quirky name on it (I
> wouldn't call the example quirky, but there are quirky names), it puts
> a  bit of themselves on the program, it may let it stand out from
> others doing basically the same thing.

Standing out is one aspect of it. The other aspects are contribution and
re-use. Technology as a whole would move much more rapidly if these was
better re-use. How?

 -0pen source
 -Better bindings between languages, e.g. drop .Net et al.
 -Centralise, e.g. Freshmean, souceforge
 -Unite, don't fork
 -Provide API's (Google comes to mind)

Most of the world does not adopt this behaviour yet, but we seem to be
slowly moving in the right direction.

> Since they aren't going to get money for the work, then there's no
> incentive to make it "user friendly" or give it a name.  If someone
> really feels the need, the sourcecode is out there for someone to
> make some business like OS.  All they have to do is write it, and of
> course respect the GPL.
> Does it work?  That's the key thing.  I've run Slackware for four
> years, would have run Linux earlier if I'd had the hardware, and yes
> indeed it does work.

All distros appear to work. They only vary in term of the number of

> I fit the Linux culture.  I'm not anit-Microsoft, but I do see neat
> things in open software.  I was put off by the name "Slackware"
> originally, but in tasting some other distributions I'm put off by the
> software
> arrangement.  I like the fact that out of the box Slackware names
> the system Darkstar, and to know that Patrick digs the Grateful Dead,
> which ultimately can link to all kinds of things.
> The small computer field was fed in part thirty years ago by the
> counterculture.  A lot of the early Big Names came from it, were
> influenced
> by it, were linked to it.  Now we have an operating system that is in part
> a counter-OS, and yet it's also pretty mainstream, just like so many parts
> of the counterculture are mainstream.
>   Michael

Thanks for the intersting views.


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