Don Marti

Sun 17 Apr 2005 08:33:51 PM PDT

The biggest bogus story in the Linux media: factions

Some Linux users are "businesslike" and others are "fanatics." Wrong. There's a smooth continuum of how much weight people put on software freedom.

Almost everyone who is a Linux user by choice gives freedom some preference in software decisions. Motivations vary and include conventional academic freedom, concern for the long-term health of the economy, desire to keep using a favorite program in the future, and a sense of wanting to be fair to others who have put useful software under a free license. But according to Evans Data Corporation most people who develop for Linux write both free and proprietary software. (They didn't break out "in-house" from proprietary. My guess would be that the ranking is 1. in-house, 2. free, 3. for-license proprietary.)

Likewise, it's bogus to say that some Linux vendors are true believers while others are opportunists. Actually, everybody tries to commoditize the complement of whatever they make money on.