[nSLUG] On topic of favorite distros, and Linux on the Desktop

Donald Teed dteed at artistic.ca
Tue Mar 2 07:52:44 AST 2004

On Mon, 1 Mar 2004, Jamie Fifield wrote:

> You are assuming that everyone is interested in Linux advocacy.  I am
> the only Linux user in the world that I have time to care about.
> I'm not discouraging you from feeling however you want to, I'm just
> raising an alternate point of view.

I feel the same way when it comes to many causes.  I don't
have the time to support everything, and I have to evaluate
whether marching in a demonstration or signing a petition
actually achieves anything (I don't think it does).

Likewise I'm not into Linux advocacy in the political sense.
Nor Open Source nor GNU, etc.  I don't believe in grassroots
movements, letter writing campaigns and the like.

However I do believe money talks, and when organizations
are looking at the Linux alternative, they evaluate many
factors including the cost and quality of support and
the available tools to solve their problems.

I think it is fair to say that most people in this LUG are
users of community developed rather than enterprise developed
Linux.  In these cases, the support of the Linux is from
the users, not a corporate entity.  Even if a third party
company does supply paid for support, I'd think they still
need to draw on the resources of the user community.

In this sense, as a participant in the LUG, you are
already involved.  People read these emails in the nSLUG
archive from all over the world when googling for answers.
I was in contact with someone from a major computer vendor
and was a little surprised to hear he had read my
posts here.

If we look at the archives of nSLUG, there are many topics
and problems discussed and there are not very many
"RTFM" style answers, but quality contributions.  This
does count, as a single brick, towards building a support
base for the community built Linux distros.  On a regional
level, it counts as a bunch of bricks to the existance
of people in the area with Linux expertise.

IMHO, the topic of Linux increasing in use is something
that is happening for economic and other reasons.
Open source is the equivalent of the economy going
to many things "Made in China" and outsourced IT call
centres to India.  Everyone wants the cheapest solution
with the bare essentials, and Open Source provides it.

The momentum is already there.  Advocacy is no longer
the issue, now it is advice and the quality and forms
of deployment.

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