[sf-lug] Ubuntu vs. Mandriva

Paul Ward dssstrkl at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 18:49:12 PDT 2008

I don't think that user base has anything to do with how good or easy  
to use a piece of software is, otherwise Windows would be the best OS  
of all time. One thing to remember about the whole Netscape vs IE  
thing was that both companies were super-proprietary about everything,  
including custom HTML tags. Its because if the whole browser war 1  
that W3C standards were implemented in the first place. The natural  
consequence of which we can see now with IE still behaving as if doing  
weird non-standard stuff will help it stomp down on its rivals, when  
it now just pisses everbody off, from web devs to admins to users.

I'm only pointing this out because the failure of linux to take over  
the desktop has nothing to do with its technical merits or how  
polished it is. It has to do with the fact that it just isn't the  
default, so that's a killer for most people. Don't forget that Apple  
is the scrappy upstart to most people, a company that older and far  
more advanced than Microsoft.

If buying a Mac is a new and risky endevour for people, does anyone  
think that these same buyers, even if they knew that there was another  
option, would take it? Linux has been easier to set up and use than  
Windows since at least 2001, but that's just not enough.

Paul Ward
Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 27, 2008, at 6:02 PM, "Ernest De Leon" <edeleonjr at gmail.com>  

> I actually read it and wondered why they didn't just GPL the code  
> until I realized that there were some proprietary pieces in there  
> that they did not have the rights to GPL, not to mention some pieces  
> that were in some of their other proprietary products that they  
> didn't want to GPL because it would have retroactively caused them  
> to have to GPL the source of those proprietary products. That, in  
> turn, caused them to release a skewed license where they could  
> release modifications made by the community however they wished but  
> did not allow the community to do the same.  Luckily, by the  
> 'generosity' of Time Warner and the prodding of the mozilla  
> foundation, that was rectified.
> Lastly, I would agree with you that over decades there may not have  
> been much in the way of a correlation between innovation and  
> userbase, but in the couple of years, I would say that innovation  
> has been the main factor for user base growth.  Many of the new  
> tools, applications and general polish of the current generation of  
> linux distributions has not only garnered the attention of more  
> users, but has also made the process of switching over much easier.   
> To me, mitigating the barriers for switching over to Linux was the  
> single greatest innovation of the current generation of distros.  As  
> a matter of fact, it is precisely because of this swell in the  
> adoption of FOSS that new business models have emerged to support  
> the open-source community.  As time goes on, these models will shift  
> slightly, but the premise will remain the same....you build a  
> product and offer it as FOSS, then sell support for it.  Because  
> your revenue stream now depends on the perpetuation of your product,  
> it is in your best interest to contribute to the project along with  
> the other developers who volunteer their time to 'the cause.'   
> Proprietary or not, because the business model has changed,  
> innovation and competition will now go hand in hand to keep revenue  
> streams alive (hopefully to the benefit of all.)  While companies  
> like RedHat have learned and embraced this new way of business,  
> Microsoft is only begrudgingly starting to see it.
> E
> On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 5:35 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>  
> wrote:
> Quoting Ernest De Leon (edeleonjr at gmail.com):
> > Touche the NPL did put a lot of restrictions on modifications of any
> > kind to the original code base.
> Er, no.
> Did you ever _read_ the Netscape Public Licence -- or were you just
> assuming that nobody else did and would know the difference?
> > No, slackware isn't dead, it just adds to my argument that users
> > should be spread among products to foster competition and  
> innovation,
> > not amassed into one (or few) products, thus stifling competition  
> and
> > innovation.
> You seem to have a lot of quaint attitudes carried forward unchanged
> from the proprietary software world.  I'd suggest you work on that.
> Innovation in the Linux distributions fields has turned out, over the
> decades, to have vanishingly little to do with size of user base.
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> -- 
> Ernest de Leon
> http://www.smbtechadvice.com
> "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary  
> safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - A common 18th Century  
> sentiment voiced by Benjamin Franklin
> "A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his  
> government." - Edward Abbey
> "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do  
> nothing."
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