[linux-elitists] Re: GNOME > you

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Tue Jan 6 03:28:18 PST 2004

on Tue, Jan 06, 2004 at 10:17:33PM +1100, Michael Still (mikal@stillhq.com) wrote:
> On Tue, 6 Jan 2004, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > on Tue, Jan 06, 2004 at 09:01:36PM +1100, Michael Still (mikal@stillhq.com) wrote:
> > > On Tue, 6 Jan 2004, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > 
> > > Dude, this is open source. If there really is that big a problem with 
> > > Gnome, then it will just go away, having looked up one day and discovered 
> > > that it has no users. If you're wrong on the other hand, then in 10 years 
> > > Gnome will be considered the ants pants, and Google users will be free to 
> > > see how wrong you were.
> > 
> > The IMO false assumption here is that free software is now what it was
> > five or ten years ago:  mostly the purvue of hobbyists and techies.
> > 
> > It's not.  It's a multi-billion-dollar industry.
> Yes, but surely like all industries, market forces will win out in the 
> end. People will vote with their feet and not use what sucks -- that's why 
> Microsoft is so worried now, because they're running out of friends.

Having studied econ, and still reading economists (I recommend Krugman,
de Long, and Varian), I've got a lot less faith in fair and efficient
markets in the presence of distortions, corruption, and monopoly abuse.
Microsoft has sucked for a long time.  The glimmer of hope is still just
a glimmer (though it can, and I suspect will, change very quickly when
it does change).

> (In my personal opinion, and I'm not interested in debating it, one of the 
> coolest things to happen in the last few years is watching my friends 
> _stop_ evangelizing open source. People come to them now, because they 
> are actively seeking their own alternative to MS. The tables are 
> turning...)

I've also seen this, and have commented here.

> If Gnome is as bad as people say, then market forces will squish it.
> If you don't want that to happen, then submit patches, or at the very
> least submit bug reports to the formal process.

If it's a handful of annoyingly, obnoxiously, but correct folks on L-E,
vs. billion-dollar marketing budgets from Sun, IBM, HP, and others, that
shift could take a while in coming.

> Jeff might be publically visible, but he's not the entire Gnome project. 

A strong trend of free software (and other) projects is for a group
culture to emerge.  Witness FSF/GNU, the XFree86 project, the *BSDs,
Apache, Perl, the kernel development team, the High Temple of djb,
Debian, Gentoo, Ximian / Mono, etc.  I'm seeing signs of same with GNOME
which I don't care for.   Mr. Waugh's statements, attitude, and response
to criticism aren't unique within GNOME.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.
		        SCO vs IBM Linux lawsuit info:  http://sco.iwethey.org
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