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jfalcon

Is *nix elitist?

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Alright, I know i'm about to be slagged for this one but being older than dirt, I'm ready for the flack being connected longer than most people been holding keyboards ;)

I've been going round and round with an organization called "FreeGeek" here in my local. I didn't want to go there and volunteer for one of their crappy giveaway boxes but rather laptops for which I'm sure they get quite a few bits and pieces. Coming from a Seattle corporate environment that we all know and love, and a past much older than the GUI has been in existance, I wanted to pose a question.

Do you feel that *nix users are Elitists (as in the same way as Mac users). I remember reading Bruce Sterling's write up on the OS wars and I would term it as fairly accurate even now. Most of us use *nix because most of our tools are written in straight C or other language for which a Win32 environment is impractical.

But after conversing with these people, I wanted to make a sanity check with other people like myself who live and breath the stuff as well. These people are trying to approach it in the smelly hippy way that "we don't install commercial software because it's not Free (as in speech or licensing)". To me, this screams freeloader as being a tech and dev, they are sucking the life blood from me for their own purposes and gain.

Open source may be great, but when you spend years dev'ing software just to put it on open source hoping that someone kicks down enough paypal money for a 6 pack of PBR, where's the gain (other than the satisfaction that all of us get from creating our baby code)?

Have we promoted *nix in such a way that we're allowing these freeloadin "proto-hippies" to take advantage of software intended to better society for their own anarchistic goals just to stick it to 'The Man'? It's bad enough that we've taken a network that used to be a scientific and educational resource and turned it into a shopping mall and allow crimes that we has hackers should have never allowed because they are harmful to fellow man to perpetrate (ie: streamed beheadings) for the media machine to create more dirty laundry. Bad tidings ya know.

Even if you took "Pirates of Silicon Valley" as partial fact, even hippies need to eat such as the case with Apple and Microsoft. And made assloads for just being there. Where was their sense of "openness" charging $1500/machine?

-jf

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In the United States, the word elitist is used by jealous and fiscally-irresponsible conservatives to describe fiscally-responsible and business-savvy liberals, such as Larry Ellison. It's also generally used to describe people who have made poor investments to describe a person who gloats about their better investments.

But if you have to ask, the answer is a very large "yes".

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I do nt feel that *nix, or Mac users are elitist by nature. *nix because it is freely available at little or no cost, and can easily be modified by the user to suite a whole host of needs. It simply functions on a different buisiness model than commercially available software. It seems to value information exchange, and use over maximizing profit. The Win32 environment is impractical in several different ways not the least of which is the number of errors in the code that lead to security flaws and software conflict. This is not to say that linux is perfect by any means, but flaws are generally dealt with more quickly, and more frequently, with *nix.

As for the free-loader aspect, it is the fact that *nix is open source that pushes development along, and allows the possibility for advancement to be driven by a world wide effort by developers, and users alike. As for it sucking the life blood from you, i wouldnt expect you to develop software for *nix, and expect to make a ton of money off of it. *nix is similar to the homebrew computer club in that like the first proto-type PCs, *nix is a community sharing knowledge and experience building a better framework through the free exchange of information. Homebrew died in a large part because of the companies that its members founded, and because the members could no loger offer a free exchange of ideas as they were suddenly trade secrets.

Open source is great. The satisfaction is in the years of development and testing, and seeing that not only did you make something that works as it was intended, but also that people use it to better themselves, their buisinesses, or their computing experience.

The 'freeloading "proto-hippies"' are simply free advertising and bugtesters. Besides it is not hard to get ahold of commercial software for free, it is just not right. It is not right for precisely the reasons that you put forth in your argument. Software piracy hurts the companies that pay to have software developed, and sometimes the developers themselves. *nix is a scientific and educational resource. It allows for in depth knowledge and controll of your computer, and if you look at some of the live-cds that are out there (bio-knoppix, geo-morphix, Auditor) you will se that there are vast uses for *nix in educational fields.

Its my opinion, and nothing more.

Edited by 10nix
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Mac users aren't elitists; we're just better than you. :P

In all honesty though, I do believe there is a certain amount of elitism involved with *nix, and even within THAT community there's subsets of elitists (i.e. FreeBSD has it's cliques, as do SuSE, Red Hat and Slackware users, etc.) It's all part of the game, I guess.

As far as

Open source may be great, but when you spend years dev'ing software just to put it on open source hoping that someone kicks down enough paypal money for a 6 pack of PBR, where's the gain (other than the satisfaction that all of us get from creating our baby code)?
goes, if you want to develop software to make money, then develop software to make money! You can't put a product out there for free and EXPECT people to pay (or donate) for it. Donations are always welcomed, yes, but if you want to participate in the open-source/freeware movement and still get paid at the same time, you've got a long road ahead.

It's all about being decisive. A line has to be drawn somewhere, and that's all Apple and Microsoft did. They drew the line, profited from it, and IMHO, deserve all the money people give them.

As everyone already knows, there's at least two sides to everything, including software. In software's case, the two major factions are proprietary vendors and the open-source pioneers. Proprietary vendors charge for their products; therefore they're required (sometimes tenuously) by something of a social contract to provide support for those products (i.e. they have to accept responsibility for what they create). Open-source developers oftentimes don't offer any support, and usually provide software "as-is". This is usually the case with the smaller, one-man operations, but it's been known to happen with larger entities. I'm not saying that the open-source community as a whole doesn't support their products, however; there are those that do, and are damn good about it (Mozilla, anyone?).

Perhaps a comfortable medium would be to develop proprietary software alongside related (or not), open-source/freeware projects. For instance, open-source extensions for a proprietary browser. Alternatively, you could combine the two. I think it's possible to offer a limited pre-compiled binary of a program so the user can get a feel for it, then if they want to purchase it, they can... and get the source code as part of the purchase.

Chances are, other developers would recognize the efforts poured into a project and will pay to get at the code, if for nothing else. And before people start pointing out that it'd only take one person to purchase the product and freely distribute the source, I ask of you: "How's that any different from putting it out there in the first place and waiting for the donations to roll in?" Even still, "How is that more detrimental than warez?" (In the case of proprietary software.)

The people who stubbornly refuse to pay will always stubbornly refuse to pay. That's a fact of life, and it's here to stay. However, I believe this latter option would result in more revenue for small, open-source developers who are fighting an uphill struggle in trying to find a balance between dedicated user bases and profit margins.

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Hoping someone paypals you some money to get satisfaction... just charge money to download your software if thats what you want. But I think you should get satisfaction from knowing people are just using your programs.

It actually just kind of sounds like your'e venting...

maybe you need a pbr... :D

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In the United States, the word elitist is used by jealous and fiscally-irresponsible conservatives to describe fiscally-responsible and business-savvy liberals, such as Larry Ellison. It's also generally used to describe people who have made poor investments to describe a person who gloats about their better investments.

But if you have to ask, the answer is a very large "yes".

I wouldn't consider the term "elitist" being limited to fiscal topics as one can be a snob and not have a penny to their name.

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I wouldn't consider the term "elitist" being limited to fiscal topics as one can be a snob and not have a penny to their name.

Like us Mac users. We're so broke from buying hardware, we don't have enough money to wipe our collective asses.

Edited by PsypherX
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I do nt feel that *nix, or Mac users are elitist by nature. *nix because it is freely available at little or no cost, and can easily be modified by the user to suite a whole host of needs.  It simply functions on a different buisiness model than commercially available software.  It seems to value information exchange, and use over maximizing profit.  The Win32 environment is impractical in several different ways not the least of which is the number of errors in the code that lead to security flaws and software conflict.  This is not to say that linux is perfect by any means, but flaws are generally dealt with more quickly, and more frequently, with *nix.

This really isn't meant to be a OS bashing thread, more of the social-political separation between the systems. Last night I did some research and all things being equal at this time, MS based systems still rule market share over 90% based on browser and OS detection on all the major websites. Considering *nix has been around since the 60's, it seems that the end user has spoken. And, Microsoft has grown leaps and bounds in their efforts to secure buggy code. But again, this is not an OS bashing thread.

While I don't particularly resent the idea of open source software (actually, it's quite useful for getting code snippits), none of it can be used in a commercial fashion as the licensing state of the GNU (among others) would prohibit proprietary sofware being written from open-source code.

As for the free-loader aspect, it is the fact that *nix is open source that pushes development along, and allows the possibility for advancement to be driven by a world wide effort by developers, and users alike.  As for it sucking the life blood from you, i wouldnt expect you to develop software for *nix, and expect to make a ton of money off of it.  *nix is similar to the homebrew computer club in that like the first proto-type PCs, *nix is a community sharing knowledge and experience building a better framework through the free exchange of information.  Homebrew died in a large part because of the companies that its members founded, and because the members could no loger offer a free exchange of ideas as they were suddenly trade secrets.

Open source is great. The satisfaction is in the years of development and testing, and seeing that not only did you make something that works as it was intended, but also that people use it to better themselves, their buisinesses, or their computing experience.

The 'freeloading "proto-hippies"' are simply free advertising and bugtesters.  Besides it is not hard to get ahold of commercial software for free, it is just not right. It is not right for precisely the reasons that you put forth in your argument.  Software piracy hurts the companies that pay to have software developed, and sometimes the developers themselves.  *nix is a scientific and educational resource.  It allows for in depth knowledge and controll of your computer, and if you look at some of the live-cds that are out there (bio-knoppix, geo-morphix, Auditor) you will se that there are vast uses for *nix in educational fields.

Its my opinion, and nothing more.

I don't really see Open-Source being the push for software development. In fact, most great software ideas are from Commercial efforts rather than Open-Source. I see Open-Source as sampling while Commercial software being Metallica. Sure it's legal to reverse engineer software (within constrains of patent law) but does it really make it legit? I myself use Asterisk which is hella cool to have my own PBX. However, would I say Asterisk is as clean as say a System 75 by AT&T or a Nortel DMS-100? No. But I'm not going to argue if someone devs code intended to be released to the world for open-source public use. Just allows people to bugcheck your work and reduces dev costs as you got a billion monkeys flaming you every hour of every day because you forgot to exception trap a secion of code or posted code to CVS with a ";" missing.

I don't consider open-source to be anything special as in the terms of a DJ, they're just recreating something that has already been created by someone else but in a different fashion. It's not original, just tweaked. As for the "proto-hippies" promotion, I wouldn't trust them with my Pinto let alone sell me on software where support is dependent on whether someone wants to reply back or not. At least with commercial software, the support structure is there to coddle the end user. Saves alot of headaches for me to tell an end user, "If your having problems like that, call Microsoft. :)"

More to the point on the proto-hippies, I'm like Dr. Farnsworth from Futurama, "Get a job you hippies!"

As for the future of Commercial/Open-Source on the Internet, well, we have already made our bed in the Internet and now we're stuck with it (given a choice, I'd jump to Internet2 and screw ya all... i'm going home). But here we are. Whether or not your licensed software is of the free nature or of the commercial nature doesn't matter on the internet as developers have to go with what platform their target demographic is. People dev for MS based software not because it's their platform of choice, people dev for it because that's where their end user has chosen to reside.

-jf

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I wouldn't consider the term "elitist" being limited to fiscal topics as one can be a snob and not have a penny to their name.

Like us Mac users. We're so broke from buying hardware, we don't have enough money to wipe our collective asses.

It shows in OSX. Steve Jobs managed to pull off NeXT despite being severed from Apple. But I'd rather have Black Hardware over a half-eaten fruit anyday. :-)

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I guess my point in all this is that some people are taking this movement in software and creating a class out of it. Being a hacker, I don't believe in a class system but rather a system of individuals. I think this is something we should be aware of otherwise the end users that we look over might just fall in line with the norms and never progress (like Mac users ;-)

IMHO, there is no utopian operating system created to date.

The closest is Be but look what happened to them.

Second being NeXTStep/OpenStep but there again, got squished.

OS/2 would have been my favorite (until Microsoft and IBM split and fit hit the shan)

Being a technological elitist (not OS or platform specific) I would have the following OS:

- A open-sourced kernel and API covering the first 3 rings of the OS.

- A GUI that can be both 2d and 3d represented using the same command set.

- Have a language that even the end-user could create programs with with no more than a day's worth of training coming from 0 knowledge other than logic.

- Total interoperability with every existing operating system until it is the only one.

- Built for PnP from ring 0 up to support future hardware (like with OLED and multiple panels on a wall... what if I choose to add to it?)

- A security model based on PII and biometrics (you are one with the computer... it's alot closer with Microsoft's new security products... I like the idea of a thumbscanner on the keyboard)

- The OS being intelligent enough to wrap code and executables no matter what OS it was written for and utilize it's own API's to control said file. (I want to use my 9x hardware again since driver support was cut off).

- And the big one.... I want it hardcoded onto the hardware (or at least flash upgradable). Gotta be careful they don't implement DRM but otherwise it would be like my old Atari or Commodore again with a ROM based OS. Get a virii? Powercycle the system, boom, the system is back up.

-jf

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Tonight's South Park just proves it. Pie bitches. :-)

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Damn JFalcon - you sure were busy last night! :P

As far as what you said about open-source not being the push for major development and innovation, I have to agree. While there's plenty of developers out there, many are writing open-source ports of commercially available products, and even more are sitting back waiting for the donations to come in.

There's a very, very small percentage of people who code and provide that code simply for the love of software.

I would say everyone wants money, but that's not entirely true. Everyone needs money (at least SOMETHING) in this day and age (GAS! :angry:), and the developers who work for companies like MSFT, etc., are making ends meet. They haven't sold out (for those OSS dev zealots), they're simply doing what they have to do.

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Nothing should encumber the advancement of technology, not even money. Money, while realistically needed, should not be the driving force behind all things. I don't see anything wrong with programmers freely distributing their software, complete with source code, to the masses.

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Money (or more precisely, prices) is one of the best ways to advance technology. Prices are simply a way to efficiently allocate scarce resources, and are nothing more. Right now, this is something that on a macro level, the OSS community is lacking, and there tends to be a chaotic method of allocating scarce resources (in this case, that's primarily developers).

I personally don't see anything wrong with a copyright holder distributing anything under any terms. Yes, this means drm for music/video if they wish, or terrible license conditions for software. It also means the gpl, bsd, or creative commons license.

So while in the big picture (macro) view, prices have a very strong efficiency advantage, the micro view suggests that creators of content should be able to do whatever they want with their creative works, including give it away.

Nothing should encumber the advancement of technology, not even money. Money, while realistically needed, should not be the driving force behind all things. I don't see anything wrong with programmers freely distributing their software, complete with source code, to the masses.

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I would say everyone wants money, but that's not entirely true.  Everyone needs money (at least SOMETHING) in this day and age (GAS!  :angry:),

While it's true everyone needs money, it's not true that one needs to monetize every single creative effort that you undertake. It is okay to do some things because you enjoy doing them; this might be oss development for one person, playing chess for another, and playing music for still another. Yes, it's true that all 3 of these activities can be monetized in certain circumstances, but it's not necessary, and often it's not possible (depending on your skill level and so forth).

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While I don't particularly resent the idea of open source software (actually, it's quite useful for getting code snippits), none of it can be used in a commercial fashion as the licensing state of the GNU (among others) would prohibit proprietary sofware being written from open-source code.

One should not assume all opensource software is gpl. There are other licenses in common use. Many make it a point to use bsd licensed software when possible. Also, one should not develop the misguided notion that *nix = free software. There are commercial programs for unix-like operating systems that do quite well in the marketplace.

Open Source Software simply describes the method of distribution, and does not address the quality, or originality, or usefulness of the product. The same is true of commercial software. While I won't use a product simply because it's opensource (as I feel that's illogical), I also won't discount one simply because it's opensource.

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These people are trying to approach it in the smelly hippy way that "we don't install commercial software because it's not Free (as in speech or licensing)".
I know people like this. I think this is a stereotype though. I use Windows for normal computer use (email, homework) and I use Linux for my servers. Windows is just not designed to run servers, likewise Linux is not designed to be a desktop environment.
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If anyone thought I meant everything should cost money and I'm somehow anti-OSS, please know that wasn't my point.

I'm simply stating that it's easier for technology to advance when the funds are there, as there are a lot less dedicated individuals who are in it just for the love of the game when there's no other source of funds. A developer who offers open-source software and then waits for donations which may never come is bound to get mighty discouraged quick, fast and in a hurry.

An awful lot of OSS gets developed because it's creators have a steady income and make a decent living (not necessarily in the development community), and choose to dedicate their time and their own personal funds to furthering a project.

There's also something to be said about feedback. As I know StankDawg and the DDP can attest to (even though the majority of DDP projects aren't software), the majority of feedback generally received with anything (free or not) is negative. When it comes to paid software, that's fine. You paid for something advertised, yet didn't receive; whatever. But nothing will extinguish a creative fire faster than anti-support, especially directed toward someone who poured countless hours into a project they then GIVE AWAY.

Compliments a rare occasion in today's society, but their weight is undeniable. A compliment (or lack thereof) can change the world. Referencing Godwin's Law, what do you think might have happened had Hitler not been criticized upon his application for art school?

So I ask of everyone here: "Have you hugged your OSS developer today?" :wub:

Edited by PsypherX
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I'm simply stating that it's easier for technology to advance when the funds are there, as there are a lot less dedicated individuals who are in it just for the love of the game when there's no other source of funds.  A developer who offers open-source software and then waits for donations which may never come is bound to get mighty discouraged quick, fast and in a hurry.

I would offer that this is just an unrealistic expectation for a source of income. Sources of funding can help in some (but not all) circumstances, but interested users can provide the same manpower (although, in a less structured way -- as you cant assign volunteers tasks as you can employees).

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I would offer that this is just an unrealistic expectation for a source of income.

Exactly my point.

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I think people who discuss such things in a generalizing manner are asshats.

But moreover, simply using an operating system can't reflect at all if you're elitist or not. So stop trying to say it can.

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I think people who discuss such things in a generalizing manner are asshats.

But moreover, simply using an operating system can't reflect at all if you're elitist or not.  So stop trying to say it can.

It can reflect that in many cases and not all - that's where I agree with you. It's not general rule, but there are many *nix using assholes that spit on win platform - and they know shit about administration of Windows based systems. That's what I hate most.

From the other hand, I respect peoples choice and opinion when I know they can handle OS they talk about - that's just their taste of "good". I have nothing against it.

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I know people who like to make a big deal out of using Linux, as though it somehow makes them superior. For example this conversation I had the other day:

My friend: I lost all the data on my PDA, and I haven't been Hotsyncing.

Me: well, I use LINUX now, and I couldn't figure out how to Hotsync under Linux.

I have no problem with Linux, but I dislike people who use Linux as a badge to wear, spending more time boasting about how they use Linux, trying to impress people with their geekiness, than they do actually learning the environment and how to use it.

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