Message: previous - next
Month: July 2012

Re: [trinity-users] [sort of OT] Trinity etc. are damaging Linux

From: leee <leee@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2012 13:16:14 +0100
On Saturday 21 July 2012 22:58:03 Lisi wrote:
> I was at a local LUG meeting today and was very distressed that the above
> view should be expressed, and forcefully.  I found it distressing because
> that is quite some allegation - that we and Mate users and Cinnamon users
> etc., (all splinter groups) are actually damaging Linux, doing it harm.

The most interesting thing about this is that it has very little to do with 
Linux or Trinity, or any of the other packages mentioned and says much more 
about how people perceive reality, at least in the field of computing.

The concept of Linux being 'damaged', in the sense of those people claiming it 
to be so, _only_ makes sense in the context of a competition where Linux is 
competing with alternative options; this is where many people have ended up 
with a completely incorrect view of what Linux is and even why it exists at 

Whilst there are a number of commercial companies, such as Red Hat, Suse, 
Canonical etc. who have made businesses out of Linux, and who do need to 
compete for market share to maximise their revenue, none of them can claim 
ownership of Linux.  Indeed, we need to get the horse clearly in front of the 
cart here: Linux pre-dated all of the commercial organisations that have been 
founded upon it.

The reality of the situation is that what we refer to as 'Linux' was created 
from a collection of components, just one of which being the 'Linux' kernel, 
that were originally produced as alternatives to existing solutions, the 
important distinction being that these were alternatives and not competitors.  
None of the originators of the components that were eventually pulled 
together and combined to create 'Linux' did so on the basis of competing with 
and supplanting the existing solutions but for a range of other reasons, 
ranging from dissatisfaction with those existing solutions, to wanting to 
learn how something worked, out of idle curiosity.

Once they'd done their work they simply offered it up for people to use, or 
not, as they chose, having no vested interest, other than personal pride 
perhaps, if their solution came to be preferred over the existing solutions.

So although business organisations that are founded upon Linux may compete, 
not just with each other but also with other non-Linux based solutions, for 
market share, it is those businesses that are competing, not Linux.  Those 
businesses are not Linux and Linux is not those businesses; Linux is not 
owned by anyone, it just 'is', take-it-or-leave-it, and as such is 
fundamentally non-competitive.

It is here where those people who think that Linux is being damaged have gone 
wrong; they see a competition where no competition exists, because they see 
no further than the businesses based upon it; the real nature of open-source, 
that of the freedom to take-it-or-leave-it, has entirely eluded them.