[conspire] linuxmanship

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Thu Dec 7 15:28:57 PST 2006

On Wed, 06 Dec 2006 18:11:56 -0800, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):
>> The exhortations on Don's page were a very positive force for the time
>> period in which they originated, and their substance is relatively
>> timeless, but the presentation strikes me as very "yesteryear" in 2006Q4.
>> Both the world of Linux and the rest of the world have passed it by.
> Please do tell.  Which observations on it have become untrue or
> inapplicable, please?  I find it still dead-on.

A point-by-point would be much longer than the page itself. Luckily, what
you said below manages to touch on what I mean:

On Thu, 07 Dec 2006 12:07:18 -0800, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting Keith Keller (kkeller at speakeasy.net):
>> Question: why no mention of *BSD, which is possibly in many ways as good
>> as linux, or at the very least not a proprietary OS?  Yes, I understand
>> it's called *linux*manship, but it seems like not mentioning BSD at all
>> seems slightly disingenuous.
> OK, I'll bite.
> o  The page is a marketing essay on how to (and how not to) market 
>    open-source software solutions based on Linux.  Why no mention of 
>    BSD?  Probably because that's not the purpose for which he wrote
>    the essay.

The purpose of the essay is the very first thing that has not changed with
the times. When it was written, Linux was "a better solution, which just
so happens to also be viable." Thus, advising those who wish to promote
and market Linux-based solutions to cast aside thoughts and actions that
might shine any kind of favorable light on a non-Linux solution
(presumably including *BSD and the like) was very prudent. But:
1) Today, Linux is "the most viable solution, which just so happens to
also be better [than proprietary equivalents]."
2) What you described before regarding parasitically encumbering preloads
and the glut of consultants is far more true today than it was then.
These two developments very much work against the tone of the essay. It's
no wonder Keith mistook it to be disingenuous. That's an impression one
was not likely to get when it was written, but in the world of today,
that's an impression that should be expected, in my estimation. I think
that both of Edmund's two very excellent recent posts (#2517 and #2534 in
pipermail) are the best descriptions I have seen of what really happens in
the environments where marketing of Linux-based solutions other than
embedded platforms occurs.

>    Author permits verbatim mirroring, and adds "Please write for
>    permission for other uses."  I'd speculate that he might bless
>    any BSD advocate's desire to go to town with a derivative work
>    tailored for that purpose.

I'd like to see such a work...

> o  I'm guessing you're unaware that the word "disingenuous" 
>    means "lacking candor, giving a false appearance of simple 
>    frankness, calculatingly deceptive".  Which is a rather not-nice
>    thing to say about the motives of someone you probably don't even
>    know for no better reason than his having written a useful esssay.

As I touched on above, it seems the opposite is happening: There's so much
candor and simple frankness that it gives the false appearance of being
calculatingly deceptive. Ironic, isn't it?

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