[CS-FSLUG] Linux Today - Is desktop Linux too fragmented to succeed? A friend tells it like it is!!

Ed Hurst ehurst at soulkiln.org
Tue May 5 07:13:10 CDT 2009

On Tue, 05 May 2009 05:49:48 -0500, Jon Glass <jonglass at usa.net> wrote:

> However, I conclude by saying that Those who chase the holy grail of
> "market share" are chasing the wrong thing. Linux ought to be chasing
> first of all excellence. Produce the best you can, and make it work.
> Secondly, Linux ought not sacrifice its principles. Yes, by this, I
> _do_ mean that people ought to come to Linux on Linux's terms, not
> theirs. Mac users come to MacOS on its terms, and Windows users do as
> well... Linux should be no different. Play to your strengths, I say.

On this, we agree. Even if we admit "excellence" suffers a bit from  
subjective evaluation, that still misses the point. Chasing even a poorly  
defined excellence as the fundamental goal is better than doing what  
everyone else is already doing. Linux was never about market share in the  
first place. We might well celebrate having it, but losing it won't change  
what Linux developers do at the core.

I ranted aplenty about the business of rolling-release as a symbol of  
something I don't like about Linux, and still don't like it. At the same  
time, I admit it is a direct result of the nature of Linux as a whole.  
While the negative effects of that model can be mitigated (RedHat, SLE,  
etc.), it is unlikely to ever change as long as Linux remains a bottom-up  

Further, I agree Ubuntu is currently the best public face of Linux seen by  
those who will never actually come inside. I don't like it much at all,  
and Canonical really could do a lot better. I'm not sure anyone in the  
center of that community can explain why they don't respond better to  
consumer demand, but they've managed to grab the biggest chunk of that  
non-hobby user real estate. They won't get more until they move closer to  
the long release cycle of the commercial heavy-weights. That and some  
other advice they have so far spurned, but it's the defacto standard for  

And I would say, "Let them have it." Within my own hardened use pattern  
for Linux (or anything else), the utter lack of an overlord to guide it is  
the nature of Linux, is the very source for the things I feel I have to  
have. I'm sure the majority of Linux users, should they give it thought,  
would say the same for their own use.

Ed Hurst
Associate Editor, Open for Business: http://ofb.biz/
Applied Bible - http://ed.asisaid.com/index.html
Kiln of the Soul - http://soulkiln.blogspot.com/

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