Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3637 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Linux Commercial Idea
  • From: "Purple Shirt" <purpleshirt@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 13:05:16
  • Message-id: <F45m6kwViaaskjeo4lB00004616@xxxxxxxxxxx>
finally got time to answer...

From: Timothy R. Butler <tbutler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: tbutler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: "Purple Shirt" <purpleshirt@xxxxxxxxxxx>, suse-linux-e@xxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [SLE] Linux Commercial Idea
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 18:47:22 -0500

Hi Purple Shirt,
> With all respect to your efforts. I don't like it much.
> It makes one think people use Linux because Microsoft is no good.

We don't? To be honest, the only reason I use Linux is because Windows
isn't as stable as I'd like.

I think that is a pretty bad reason. I mean I had Interdev crash on me yesterday and I lost two hours worth of code because I was so wound up in writing it I had forgotten to save it. I don't want to insult you but I'd like Linux users to be Linux users because they enjoy the freedom the GPL gives them instead of a feature KDE2 has.

> In fact I
> might have had this reason to switch to Linux more than 2 years ago but I
> changed my mind. I use Linux today because I enjoy the GPL. The GPL is good
> for the people. I think centering around how Microsoft again is bad doesn't
> cut Linux any slack.

Well, the GPL is fine, but if GPL'ed software doesn't make my life easier
than the non-GPL'ed stuff, I wouldn't use it. To be honest, if Windows never
crashed, was fast, and had as nice of GUI as KDE 2.x, etc., I would NEVER use
The simple fact is, I don't mind close sourced software. I'm not on some
kind of philosophical battle against the evil copyright holders. I support
patents, I support anti-piracy, infact I even support the legal action
against services such as Napster. I don't think intellectually property is
evil at all. Shocking? No.
Personally, I also support open source. As Linus Torvalds once said, "I
prefer open source, but I have nothing against close-source." I prefer open
source because I feel that the software coming from the oss community is
_better_ than the closed source competition. This isn't because I can copy
the oss stuff as much as I want, as much as I can count on not seeing any
Where am I leading? We need to get past the idea that the philosophical
advantages of oss, as espoused by those such as RMS, and move onto the more
moderate views of those such as Linus Torvalds. We must accept that the whole
world isn't waiting with baited breath for open source for the sake of open
source. Computer users only want one word: BETTER. If Linux is better,
they'll want it; if Linux is "freer" they could care less.
Okay, so you ask, who cares what everyone else thinks? Well let me name a
few reasons:

1.) More users = More Support. Yes, the more users, indifferent or not to
the OSS philosophy, the more OSS support you will see. I bet if Linux
received a 10-15% foothold in the desktop market, companies would scamble to
support Linux with more OSS software.
2.) More users = More Software. Another good thing to come of more support
and users is more closed source software. This is necessary. Joe Blow isn't
going to switch to Linux until the latest games and such are available for
Linux. Who cares about Joe? Bringing the Joes of the world will/would bring
more support, and more support equals what? MORE OSS SOFTWARE!
To be honest, I would be thrilled if Microsoft announced they were porting
Office to Linux. This would be good, sure it would be open, but it at the
same time would be a huge winfall for the OSS community as a whole. Any major
non-OSS developer that makes software for an OSS operating system will
increase support for OSS at the same time.

I hate Napster. It's corporate power in disguise. I hope it dies so GPL software like Freenet can take its place. I don't get your support argument. What support are people talking about on this list all the time. I never used any SuSE support. I use google and linuxdoc and this list. Yes I have used SuSE employee input from this list but I didn't personally ask for it.
I can live without copyrights. I don't know if I was some smart guy who came up with a great idea others could profit (non-monetary) from why not give this idea away for free and feel good about the fact that you helped people. That is what I hate about humans. They don't trust. I am sure some would be happy enough to reward the creator of this idea with a gift.

I also don't care if joe doe switches to Linux. Linux has had everything I need to use since two years. I tried converting people before and it doesn't work. They are usually lazy until the ideology kicks in and hate the console. Well if you don't like the console then why are you using a multi-user network OS with such power? If you want pretty interface and no multiuser then go buy Mac or something.

I don't know everybody sees this different. But I am happy the AOLers are far away from me. I am sick of people asking for Samba 2.2 packages and 2.4.4 kernel packages or isos. If you need it so badly compile it yourself. This is the single most point in favor of Linux, but newbies aren't using the resources available. They just arrive and cry "help me". They don't understand the sphere we are working in.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I don't buy SuSE because I am sitting back letting the market play out. I said I don't agree with YaST being closed source. I said something like "how do I know if I buy into this product today that they are using the money in the right fashion and it will go to the projects which need to be advanced?" I also said I see too much funding wasted.

I am happy Eazel dies. I gloat over the fact. I am sick of wasted money. Freedom of development is great in Linux but it doesn't mean 50 separate groups have to develop 50 versions of the same thing. The 13 mill Eazel blew could have nicely been used to advanced projects which were already larger and at a stage further down the time scale.

So I am waiting to see if SuSE makes it and YaST wasn't a waste of money or if SuSE dies and YaST proves to be another failed project. I wish these companies would get together and develop one or two kickass utilities which work cross-Linux platforms instead of going off on a branch and parting the community feeling. YaST isn't any useful to me when its close sourced and only functional on SuSE Linux. I am bound to run into a RedHat machine or Debian box one day and then I am stuck with not knowing their native utility.

What all this means is that if you know SuSE you don't know Linux. To be proficient at Linux you need to know more than one distro. On the other hand LSB should help conquer this and if you know the console then you should be all set for cross-Linux platform work.

Further below you say Linux lacks an office suite. Am I the only person who doesn't use office suites? I always wonder what people use them for. Besides Linux is there and its got its own solutions. SGML, XML, DTD. More portable and it looks a lot better in ps or pdf anyhow. It's just people are too lazy or busy to learn how it works. MS Office on Linux wouldn't work. Half of the people wouldn't buy it because the ideology is wrong. Half of the people would buy it because they are actually Windows users never really dedicated to the GPL. How can one expect Office to run any better than on native Windows? I don't see it.

All personal opinion....

> This is what is wrong with Linux lately. We are getting off track with what
> Linux what meant for. You see guys like Love talk about how the GPL is not
> as good for business.

I agree with you here. I feel that anyone who makes money of the GPL (i.e.
Linux Distros) should support the GPL.

> Well damn me. The GPL was not written for SuSE or Caldera to make lots of
> dough. The GPL was written for the people to become free from corporate
> power. I don't mind if SuSE makes a profit. But I don't want to replace one
> corp with another. I favor the non-profit GPL software way.

Profit _is_ necessary, although I feel the GPL can provide profit quite

> Besides its a commercial in the truest sense. It expresses something which
> isn't there. Linux has its flaws.

The commercial doesn't lie at all. Think about it: it makes a simple claim:
Linux will help you get rid of Blue Screens (lockups in general too). Does
it? YES! For the majority of the time, it doesn't crash. Now my system has a
probablem causing it to crash, but the simple fact is that overall it doesn't

> A commercial with a white vest is an
> overstatement. That is why I don't try talking people into Linux anymore.
> People have to make the decision on their own. They have to make an effort
> to understand the psychology behind free software and why it is good for
> them. Hmmmm, vmware 2.0.4, pdflib, more problems And I still use it because
> it is mostly GPL software which I enjoy using. Actually I got no clue why I
> tried installing vmware on this machine because it doesn't even have
> Windows on it. Maybe I just wanted to see if vmware would start after
> installing. It failed. Once again closed source software failing on me. God
> knows whose to blame.

True. Closed source has it's problems, but lets face it, it's also
necessary. Sure, some day real soon now (tm) KOffice will come of age and we
will have a good office suite for Linux. However, until then, wouldn't it be
nice if we could be happily running the highly refined, billion dollar
development that is MS Office? Clearly, no one can invest the time and money
MS has in Office, into something open source. Closed source might be best
relegated to the place of the interim place holder for OSS.

> Overall I don't use Linux because Windows doesn't do me any good. I use
> Linux because of the freedom it gives me through its non-restrictive
> license.

And how does that benefit you? Let's say Windows worked as well as Linux.
Then who cares if you have the source? You don't need the source on something
that works right. The simple fact is, Windows _doesn't_ work right, thus the
reason you want the source.

>I know fewer people will jump ship for that reason but it doesn't
> matter to the ones who are already sailing on this boat.

Sure it does... less users equals less software, both closed and open.

> Basically I am waking up to the idea that SuSE is already doing what Love
> talked about. Licensing corporate property in a different fashion than the
> GPL. I am coming to think YaST being closed source is not the way I want it
> to be. Now people have their own opinions if yast should or should not be
> GPL'd. It might mean that SuSE cannot sustain a death. Who knows. Fact is I
> prefer the GPL because we have seen what good it does for the people.

I agree that YaST should be open source. Any advocate of open source (i.e.
SuSE) looks rather hypocritical when they can't even make their basic
installer open.

> You know I love Linux. I got my mother in Germany. She is 51 years old. She
> only owns a 486 with 8 meg of ram from like 1991. I remember this machine
> well. It was my first computer when I was a kid. We paid like 5000 DM back
> then for this thing. I always hated my dad for not consulting me first
> because I thought we could get it cheaper. She called me the other day and
> said she hadn't even turned this thing on since Y2K. I was half laughing
> and said she should try because I'd love to see if it still functions (DOS
> with fully featured editor and Norton Commander. Hmmmmmm =) But ok so she
> says that she wants to get a computer next year so she can communicate with
> me over the net easier. She waited so long because its so expensive in
> Germany and there is no good net access (broadband). Now she will ask me
> for advice on what to buy. I probably suggest she get a machine from
> but what OS should I suggest. She hasn't used a PC since

Check out!!! :-) I buy my PC's from Dell America, and boy do they
make a good PC, and cheap too. You don't get to be the number one computer
company in the world without quality...

> the DOS (with GUI) days basically. I can't go over there and install Linux
> for her and much less spend a month or so holding her hand and teaching her
> how to work that console =) I don't know if I should tell her to get that
> PC bare and be a rebel and go out and buy SuSE and some German Linux books
> and install it herself. Or should I revert to the fact that yes Windows may
> be a better solution in some instances. This is a tough decision for me
> because on the one hand I got GPL software I love and want to promote but
> on the other hand I got my mother who I don't want to disappoint either.
> It's something that bogs my mind.

Go with Linux, IMO. I think KDE is nicer to work in than Windows, and if
she can handle DOS, she can handle SuSE's super easy installations...

> This is another reason why I wish every Linux software company was bought
> out by some hardware vendor. It would take care of starter troubles and
> support by itself. If you buy IBM you get IBM Linux preinstalled. If you
> buy VA Linux you get VA Linux preinstalled. If you buy HP you get HP Linux
> preinstalled. If you buy Dell........well then you still get Windows
> preinstalled. But if this was the case at least I had more trust that Linux
> would work for a person like my mother right out of the box.

That might not be so good. You'd end up back in the old days when each
computer manufacturer had a different system. I personally think the idea
solution would be some consolidation between Linux venders so that there were
only one or two major distros that all of the OEM's used.

> I think this could truly kill Linux. We are in this stage where Linux is
> slouching at the bottom of the pit. It used to be hacker land. Nobody paid
> attention. It would improve and nobody paid attention. Today it improves
> but journalists rip it left and right. It has a tough time holding its
> water. Every shit Linus takes ends up on the front pages. Every time KDE
> releases a version we got a war at hand. Every time Gnome releases a
> version we got a war at hand. What to hell ever happened to freedom and
> peace?

It's called Miguel de Icaza and the gnomes. ;-) Seriously KDE was just a
peaceful project, and although they fight now, they've been provoked for how
many years?

>I don't think Linux will ever make it this way. I am waiting and
> waiting and waiting for some company to make a true commitment. A company
> like IBM. Buy a Linux company and preinstall Linux. I know they spend a
> billion on development but a lot of shit gets developed these days but
> never makes it into production. Every one of these hardware vendors is in
> wait and see mode even IBM. To get to the general public you have to
> preinstall. It's never going to happen the way we are doing it now. It is

Nooo... Don't have big blue by a Linux distro - they'll kill it!

> much rather that it hurts the ones who are already using Linux because they
> have to read about it every day in the news how "Linux is great but its
> still not there." Not there? It's there for me since 2 years.

It's been "there" for me since February, when I felt that KDE finally
reached the same level of quality of interface and browser design as
Windows/Internet Explorer. I've been using Linux since 1998 on the desktop
and 1997 on servers, but it only became "ready" recently, IMO.
However, I personally think it isn't ready for the general public for one
reason and one reason only. The office suite... add MS Office (or something
like it), and we would be all set.


Timothy R. Butler Universal Networks
Information Tech. Consultant Christian Web Services Since 1996
ICQ #12495932 AIM: Uninettm An Authorized IPSwitch Reseller
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