It was a website called Lobby4Linux...my first step into Gnu/Linux and Free Software advocacy.
It wasn't half bad. A good but long-lost friend named Tracy Kuhlman from Oklahoma built the site from a Xoops template and he spent dozens of hours making it work. To my surprise it became fairly popular. A famous Linux journalist, Joe Barr, interviewed me about Lobby4Linux for Linux.com in 2006.
May God give Love and Rest to Joe's spirit. We lost him about two years ago.
Today Lobby4Linux resides redundantly, safely tarred on several hard drives...existing in it's own little cube. The only changes it sees these days is when I change icon sets and it is dressed by someone's representation of what a tar.gz file should look like. A 4 gig tar.gz file. Every comment made, every article written lays silent inside that cube.
On that venue, in the summer of 2005, I wrote an article that pissed thousands of people off. To date, that article posted the third-most comments we've ever received. Many of them were not positive. I lost friends over it. I made publicly some fairly controversial statements. I said that the current model of the GNU/Linux desktop system would flounder in obscurity until a permanent level of standardization was reached.
And then I crossed the line.
I stated that while I was all for choice and freedom, Linux would continue to simmer on the back burner...never tasted by those seated at the tables out front...never quite done...never quite ready for public consumption. We need to have one distribution method of applications. Deb, rpm, tar.gz, apt-get, emerge = common user information overload. Therefore being ever ignored by the masses.
We needed to think about possibly presenting just one distro to the world.
Mcdonalds. I think their food sucks. Many of you think their food sucks, but we continue to eat it. So why are they successful? In part, because whether you are in Bamberg Germany or Boise Idaho, it sucks exactly the same. Windows is no different as a product. It sucks but people have grown used to the taste of bad software...and they not only accept it, they make excuses as to why they continue to consume it.
Even when they are presented with a better way of doing things.
Because they know what it is going to taste like before they eat it. When they sit down with it in front of them, they are already familiar with it.
I stated that we needed to form a single entity that took in and distributed funds for specific development teams. I even tried to organize it and was screamed at from people on six continents. We could have our Photoshop...our AutoCad...our Garage Band. Developers have to pay mortgages. Love of what they do and the love for their fellow man doesn't keep the repossession agent from the door. Many of you despise it but the fact remains that capitalism works...it's the driving motivation behind the majority of successes at every level.
"Developers have to eat."
That is quoted for a reason.
In the spring of 2009, at a Linux gathering in Northwest USA, a man stood before a large group of Linux Developers and said the same things. I am no smarter than this man, he's forgotten more about GNU/Linux than I will ever remember. I simply gave it some thought before he did.
I wonder how many friends he will lose because he said it.
You be the judge.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 3:40 PM