It is a rhetorical question of course. I tend to screw things up when I try to mix metaphors and analogies…the whole thing, more often than not ends up as a metanalogy. Translated from helios-speak, that means “an unintelligable jumble of long words with no combined meaning.”
Some would argue that fits the description of my entire blog.
But I will still pose the question because it is an important one. A question we can no longer pretend to ignore.
The power of this community, The Linux Community, lies in its diversity of talent and attitude. Foss Purists and Pragmatic Pundits can, when the dust settles, come together for the greater good of the community. It may take a while, but eventually it happens. However, there are members of this community who have decided that the best plan of action is no plan of action. That any effort to advocate or profilerate Linux on the Desktop is a wasted or un-needed effort.
To enumerate this group is impossible, however as of late, the number of emails received from this “group” is disurbing. Disturbing to the point that I want to talk to you about them. If not to chastise them in mass, then at least to make you aware that your personal efforts to spread the word of Linux is being negated.
All of us have a right to our opinion. But what if that opinion, voiced enough, destroys our efforts?
Case in point.
I offer for your consideration, exhibit number one. What follows for your review is an excerpt from one of dozens of emails I received in response to my article concerning the proliferation of Linux via Radio and Television advertising. It would print out to about three single-spaced pages so I will share with you only the crux of this author’s message. The rest of it is simply various re-wordings of the excerpt offered.
“…you obviously have no idea what Linux is really about. If you did you wouldn’t be cluttering our legitimate news sites with your mind-numbing and uninspiring nonsense. Every time I turn around I have to see “helios said this” or “check out Lobby4Linux about xxxxx”. It’s getting pretty tiresome dude so I’m going to explain it to you and hope you get a clue. It doesn’t appear you are stupid, only misguided and way too enthusiastic about something that isn’t all that important.
Linux is free. Got that? Free, free, free. I’m talking about the freedom of monetary costs. The last thing linux users need is some crusader banging on their ears and trying to shame them into giving developers, distro teams or linux websites money. If you don’t even have a pay pal link on your site, why should anyone else? You seem to be doing fine and despite your doom and gloom forcasts, they will continue to flourish. What is the push for them to have some special donation icon anyway? What’s next? Do you “advocate” we all start wearing armbands and uniforms?
Just lighten up Shakespeare. Linux will develop at its own pace and in its own time. You don’t need to rally anyone to do anything, it will be done without your efforts. The only thing we have to do is sit back and wait for the next big thing to come along and we can have it without any hassles or costs. It’s ours for the taking so just take what you are given and
Did Beryl or Compiz hit the scene because of your yammering? Looking Glass? How about the live cd itself. Did your
“influence” make that happen? We got along fine without you Mr. OMG Linux needs money or we are going to be wiped out. Just chill and enjoy whats being given to you. I won’t even bother to look for your response. If you think about it, there is really nothing of rebuttal you can say.”
“there is really nothing of rebuttal you can say.”
He don’t know me vewwy well, do he…
For those of you who know not of what he(?) speaks, it is the blog of helios at
Boiled down to its essence, I simply stated that our “BuckaMonth” project seemed to be a viable way for the Linux Community to raise the money needed for individual projects and efforts. If each one of us decided to donate just one dollar or euro to our project/distro of choice, the money problems of said projects could be wiped out in a
matter of months.
To illustrate the point, recently we called for a letter-writing campaign to ATI and Nvidia in order to voice our need for open source drivers. While it was difficult to pin down any specific numbers, I was able to coax one kind front office employee at the ATI address into talking to me. She was able to tell me that they received “several hundred letters in a weeks time” from people asking about the driver issue.
While that’s not nearly the numbers we are capable of producing, it served to at least send our message. Will it do any good? Who knows. The point is that they have been reminded that we are our here and we spend money. By the same example, if we as individual community members were to simply donate a dollar or euro a month to our favorite distro or project; the money aspect of Making Linux Happen would be a non-issue. As touchy as a subject as it has become, money is the only ingredient lacking from many projects…projects that would be successful otherwise.
The PCLInuxOS Beautification project (thanx again tame) has provided the community with a logo for the BuckaMonth project. Pass it along to your distro or project of choice. It can be easily linked in place of the
Paypal text or logo. You can see it in use at http://www.lobby4linux.com
Regardless of whether we agree with it or not, Linux can and will become a viable alternative to Microsoft Windows. So the question is still being asked. Do we know where we are as Linux Users? Did any person or group know at the time that they would change history by their efforts? No, probably not but that doesn’t negate the fact that they did. And so it is with us.
There is an entire world of computer users that believe they have no choice in how they operate their computers. They think Microsoft IS their computer and internet experience. Redmond is more than happy to let them think so.
Knowing what you know now, I will ask the second question that begs asking.
Are you satisfied to “sit back and wait for the next big thing to come along and we can have it without any hassles or costs.”?
Or are we the community that steps forward to change the status quo…the group that strives to educate those who need it most?
Only time will tell. The problem still looms though…Vista is being pushed upon the public as if it were the savior of the everyday computer user. With it comes Trusted Computing, DRM and the ultimate in product lock-in.
There isn’t enough time remaining to waste.