[nSLUG] Article on why monoculture gets picked

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Thu Apr 26 21:48:55 ADT 2007

On 4/26/07, Oliver Doepner <odoepner at gmail.com> wrote:
> Donald,
> if you have a support contract with Redhat, Novell or the like then you
> have a right to complain when your problems are ignored.
> If you make a suggestion for improvement to a project run by volunteers
> then you have to find and convince people to help you. Nobody in an open
> source project has an obligation to care about their users.

I'm not sure you digest the level I'm talking about.  I offered
those comments about Debian installer as examples.  I picked them
because I think it illustrates a problem which is little understood.
There will never be a bug report or feature request called "we passed
up your distro because our CTO vetoed the sysadmin".  If there was,
it might convey the information I've shared, or make remarks
like the article I referenced at the start of this thread.  There is
a much larger generic open source problem on hand, and it could
be the difference between Linux reaching the critical mass it needs
to be before hardware vendors automatically create driver support, etc.
Yes, a sort of tipping point.

I also hope my picking on Debian is seen in the right light.
I mention it because I have a great amount of respect for its stability
and the maturity of the Debian project and the developers.
Its conservative and yet inventive nature is one I could see
as a model for others to emulate.  It has a large nucleus
of developers, and I have hopes for it to grow more in many ways.

So you say the next goal would be to convince volunteers.
I don't work with such people, but I thought that perhaps
seeding the ideas on a LUG might get people discussing it.
It seems to have backfired and generated misunderstandings.

Having said that, I understand some of your points about a lack of
> efficiency and reliability in some open source projects. If the common
> goal of all those developers just was to beat M$ by creating the one
> great Linux distro to rule them all then you'd have some valid points.

I don't think it has to be a massive wave of opposition to M$.
Open source just needs some maturing, but I'm not sure if my
thinking (I think, shared by the article writer) is too early
or unusual for others to be able to see a future like this.

Sometimes it takes natural disaster or near death experience for
people to understand that individualism sucks.  That is how
deeply ingrained it has become in our culture and in popular
thinking - it is the default soup people develop their thinking in.

Perhaps at this point in time, the main source of commercial grade
open source will be produced by companies who sponsor developers
to do this work.


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