Open Source Adapted Bicycle Pedal Comes to the Rescue
Accessibility has always been important to designers of open source software. Now that open source has come to design, that's more true than ever, as demonstrated with this open source bicycle
Linux Action Show to End Eleven-Year Run at LFNW
Six more episodes before the popular Linux podcast, Linux Action Show, ends its nearly 11-year run in a live broadcast from LinuxFest Northwest.

Media



Jupiter Broadcasting's long-running
Dealing With Real-Life, Everyday Security Threats
No one has ever been shot by a hacker who was breaking into their computer through the Internet. Not so for thieves coming in through the back door.

Roblimo's Hideaway



I wrote a piece
Four Things a New Linux User Should Know
When you move from "that other operating system" to Linux, you're going to find that in most ways you'll be in familiar territory. However, that's not always the case. We sometimes do things a little differently
The Future of Desktop Ubuntu
With all the changes happening at Canonical, you might wonder what this means for the future of desktop Ubuntu, besides the return to the GNOME desktop.



There hasn't been this much news about a single Linux distro
Libreboot Reorganizes: Seeks to Make Amends
It appears the people developing Libreboot have done some of the hard work necessary to fix potentially toxic personal dynamics after last year's controversy, when the project removed itself from the
It's Windows Time in Linux Land Again
Using Windows. What a horrible thing to ask a Linux user to do.
April 3rd, 2017

The Linux Foundation: Not a Friend of Desktop Linux, the GPL, or Openness

After stirring up a ruckus by using words like “restrictive” and “virus” to describe the GPL in a Linux.com article, the Linux Foundation responds by quietly removing the post from the website.

Linux Foundation Linux.com screenshot

The Linux Foundation has no respect for FOSS. Nor does it seem care about any users of Linux who aren’t connected with the enterprise. It’s been that way since the beginning. It now appears that the Foundation also has little respect for the GPL…you know, Linux’s license. Nor does it appear to be much of a believer in the notion of transparency.

Many of us were hopeful when in 2007, Open Source Development Labs merged with the Free Standards Group to form the Linux Foundation, the umbrella organization that nurtures the development of Linux and other major open source projects. In my case, I expected most of the new organization’s efforts to be centered on enterprise use of Linux, since that’s where most of its use lies and where the money is being made, However, I did expect to see at least some efforts by the new foundation to support desktop Linux, on both development and marketing fronts. After all, it was the enthusiasm of the desktop base in the 1990s that brought Linux to the enterprise in the 2000s.

I also expected the foundation to be a steadfast supporter of the GPL.

It hasn’t worked out that way. Jim Zimlin, the foundation’s head honcho since before the beginning (he was also top dog at FSG), decided to go for the big bucks the corporate world was offering and pretty much sold the folks who’d been using Linux since before there was a Red Hat down the river. As far as I can tell, Zimlin & Company hasn’t spent more than 50 cents and ten minutes of effort on desktop Linux in the 10 years the foundation has been around. No money in a co-op advertising kitty to incentivise OEMs to push desktops with Linux preinstalled. No money to help distro developers create a better product. As far as the Linux Foundation is concerned, desktop Linux users and developers are on their own.

The focus on the enterprise is understandable. The foundation’s twelve Platinum Members collectively shell out $6 million annually to have a say in how the foundation directs the development of Linux and its other open source projects. Thirteen Gold Members add an additional $1.3 million to that total. And that’s not counting nearly 300 Silver Members who pay between $5,000 and $20,000 annually, adding at least another $1.5 million to the till.

The organization has also shown a preference for “permissive” licenses, such as Apache, over “copyleft” licenses like the GPL, under which both GNU and Linux — the two major components of a Linux desktop distro — are licensed. This is understandable, as most corporate users and developers of open source prefer licenses that keep the door open for them to employ the code into proprietary projects.

What isn’t understandable, or acceptable, is referring to the GPL in terms reminicent of those used by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer in the first decade of the 21st century.

On March 23, the Linux Foundation posted an article on its website, Linux.com, by Greg Olson, the foundation’s senior director open source consulting services. In the article, “Five Legal Risks For Companies Involved in Open Source Software Development,” he wrote that “permissive licenses present little risk,” while referring to the GPL and other copyleft licenses as “Restrictive Licenses” and “viral.”

“The most permissive licenses present little risk and few compliance requirements. These licenses include BSD and MIT, and others, that have minimal requirements, all the way to Apache and the Eclipse Public License, which are more elaborate in addressing contributions, patents, and indemnification.

“In the middle of the spectrum are the so-called ‘weak viral licenses’ which require sharing source code to any changes made to the originally licensed code, but not sharing of other source code linked or otherwise bound to the original open source code in question. The most popular and frequently encountered licenses in this category are the Mozilla Public License and the Common Public Attribution License.

“Restrictive Licenses present the most legal risk and complexity for companies that re-distribute or distribute software. These licenses are often termed ‘viral’ because software combined and distributed with this licensed software must be provided in source code format under the terms of those licenses. These requirements present serious risks to the preservation of proprietary software rights. The GNU General Public License is the archetype of this category, and is, in fact, the most widely used open source license in the world.”

While his points are accurate enough, and reflect what I’ve already written in this article, the terms he uses suggest that the foundation holds the GPL and other copyleft licenses in contempt.

This flies in the face of Linux creator Linus Torvalds’ own stated feelings on the subject. At last year’s Linux Foundation sponsored LinuxCon in Toronto, Torvalds spoke on this very issue when making observations about the BSD license.

“I think that if you actually want to create something bigger, and if you want to create a community around it, the BSD license is not necessarily a great license.

“I mean, it’s worked fairly well, but you are going to have trouble finding outside developers who feel protected by a big company that says, ‘Hey, here’s this BSD license thing and we’re not making any promises because the copyright allows us to do anything, and allows you to do anything too.’ But as an outside developer, I would not get the warm and fuzzies by that, because I’m like, ‘Oh, this big company is going to take advantage of me,’ while the GPL says, ‘Yes, the company may be big, but nobody’s ever going to take advantage of your code. It will remain free and nobody can take that away from you.’ I think that’s a big deal for community management.

“It wasn’t something I was planning personally when I started, but over the years I’ve become convinced that the BSD license is great for code you don’t care about. I’ll use it myself. If there’s a library routine that I just want to say ‘hey, this is useful to anybody and I’m not going to maintain this,’ I’ll put it under the BSD license.”

I’m not the only person taking exception to Olson’s article. On the day it was posted, the Free Software Foundation’s executive director, John Sullivan, posted a series of tweets critical of the article. “There are many sites where I’d expect to see this article, but not @linuxfoundation,” he tweeted. “Copyleft is not ‘riskier.’ Permissive licenses allow proprietary reuse, and ‘proprietary’ licensing is far more complicated and risky.”

FOSS Advocate and writer Simon Phipps also took exception to the article, posting an annotated version by way of the Genius website, and tweeting for people to add their own annotations. In a reply to a retweet of Brian Proffitt he said, “Seems Black Duck FUD against copyleft has found a new home at @linuxfoundation.”

The Linux Foundation’s handling of the situation after-the-fact was perhaps more telling than the article itself. Instead of admitting something like “an unfortunate choice of words” and opening up a dialog around the article — which would have been “the open source way” — the foundation took an action that seems akin to something the Ballmer era Microsoft would’ve done. They quietly and without comment removed public access to the article.

Nothing to see here. Move on.

So much for transparency.

The following two tabs change content below.
Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Latest posts by Christine Hall (see all)

51 comments to The Linux Foundation: Not a Friend of Desktop Linux, the GPL, or Openness

  • tracyanne

    I don’t think it’s at all surprising, the Linux Foundations objectives ARE those of large Corporations including IBM, a company that holds more Software Patents than any other, and is constantly filing new ones, and now Microsoft, a company with a similar attitude, and, as we know, a history of doing whatever it takes to protect it’s monopoly on the desktop.

  • Mike

    They’ve got it backwards…the GPL ensures freedom for all users.

    The so-called ‘permissive’ licenses are only more permissive to developers who want to take the code private.

    …But all of that is to be expected from the Linux Foundation, a body that only serves wealthy corporate interests and includes among its decision makers Microsoft and Red Hat, both of whom are enemies to individual freedom expressed through GNU/Linux.

  • In 2008, I was asked to attend the (by invitation only), Linux Collaboration Summit in Austin Texas. Since I am local to Austin and my head swelled X 10 by receiving this invite, I rounded up one of our non profit Directors and we pushed our way through the front door, into Mecca, as far as I was concerned.

    I was still a bit naive and star-struck when I attended that summit. Between presentations, Tom King and I collared Jim Zemlin and I made mention to him that there was little to catch the Desktop user’s attention or interest within the gathering’s program and scheduling for the duration of the summit. Zemlin stood in front of Tom and I and looked down his nose while explaining that there was no real market for the Desktop application For linux and The Linux Foundation had no real use for the desktop or its users.

    Tom and I stood, completely gobsmacked; for the next minute, both of us trying to process what we had just heard and from whom we had heard it. That was an eye-opening experience, and I could not have cared less if I was ever invited again, which I have not. We are dreck in the eyes of the Linux Foundation, us Desktop folks…and it’s a shame that the LF profits from the hard work from those that contribute reams of code for the Linux Desktop.

    It’s a wonder that Desktop linux has made as much progress as it had, given that “The linux Foundation” would just as soon see the whole “desktop thing” sucked into a black hole.

  • Thank you, Christine! I’ve been saying it for years. In light of the recent VMware Gold class member situation also, who could ignore all the “behavior” by the Foundation.

    I am so glad to know I do not stand alone on this!

  • Jon Phillips

    Folks please spread this article far and wide and perhaps suggest to your friends in the Linux desktop world that their charity is best directed elsewhere than the Linux Foundation.

  • tracyanne

    One thing that occurred to me when I read about Microsoft joining th Linux Foundation, was, this is a perfect way to ensure that, even if Linux has “won” in every other market, the Desktop will remain Microsoft’s. If you like Embrace Linux, Extend the useful parts to Windows (hello Bash on Windows) to Extinguish any chance of the Linux desktop ever gaining a foothold.

  • I had a feeling for the last couple of years. The Linux Foundation is hell bent on killing desktop Linux.

    They have gone all corporate. Focus is entirely on the server/enterprise side where money is involved.

    There is virtually no effort visible on the desktop side. With phoney open source lovers like Microsoft, Linux Foundation is simply on the road to kill Linux desktop.

  • CFWhitman

    There’s nothing about this that surprises me other than to a small degree their ignorance of what the reaction to this article would be. You’d think that they couldn’t be so obtuse as to let the article be released rather than quietly removing it after the fact.

    Still, I knew it was a completely corporate based organization, so I shouldn’t be surprised by their being out of touch with the typical Linux user (including Linux server administrators) just like most corporations are out of touch with their users.

  • tracyanne, I don’t think Bash on Windows is anything significant really. Microsoft has had Unix services on Windows for years as well. Red Hat bought Cygus years ago… and they produce Cygwin which provides a Unix/Linux compatibility layer for Windows… and that has been around for 22 years now. Cygwin is basically a package manager that allows for installing a large amount of Linux/Unix stuff delivered as native Windows binaries. It works pretty darn well too.

    While I’m not a Microsoft fan, I do acknowledge that in order for Linux to do better on the desktop, especially for business users, it needs to interoperate with Windows systems. Microsoft recognizes that they need to work with Linux as well… in many different areas… but to mention only one… there are a lot of Linux VMs running in Azure.

    Another thing to consider is that (also years ago) Red Hat bought Qumranet… the creators of KVM virtualization within the Linux kernel. Qumranet at the time was focusing on a Desktop Virtualization product named “Solid Ice”. Solid Ice used Linux on the backend and all of the VMs were KVM-based… but the emphasis was mainly running Windows desktops… and the graphical management side of Solid Ice was all Microsoft Windows-based. Solid Ice is what became Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)… but over the course of a couple of years, Red Hat completely rewrote the management interface in Java allowing it to run on top of Linux and use Linux-based databases and graphical front-ends… AND they completely opensourced it with the upstream project being oVirt. While that was a lot of work to de-Microsoft Solid Ice, if you are talking about Desktop virtualization, RHEV’s main focus is still making Windows run well under KVM. Kinda ironic, huh?

  • encomjones

    You could see this direction for a long time. People just chose to ignore it. Bags of cash and corporate control is all they care about.

  • Mike

    @CFWhitman

    > “…just like most corporations are out of touch with their users.”

    They aren’t out of touch; They simply don’t care.

  • Mike

    @Scott Dowdle

    > “…in order for Linux to do better on the desktop, especially for business users, it needs to interoperate with Windows systems.”

    It is a mistake to chase interoperability with Microsoft products. That way lies madness, because it gives Microsoft the leverage to pull the rug out from under your feet as often as they wish. This steals developer momentum and morale that could be better spent developing alternatives to Microsoft that would stand on their own superiority.

    Far better to ignore Microsoft completely and just develop superior projects.

  • Interoperability is not a way to madness… if what you are interoperating with is open standards. While isolationism might be somewhat popular now, I don’t think it works in the long run.

    I had two much earlier comments but they have failed to appear here. I think because the had a URL in them which might require them to be approved or something. 🙁

  • Mike

    > “Interoperability is not a way to madness… if what you are interoperating with is open standards.”

    That rules out Microsoft products. When they are involved, open standards fly right out the window (no pun intended).

    > “While isolationism might be somewhat popular now, I don’t think it works in the long run.”

    It’s not isolationism as there are plenty of real standards to interact with. Microsoft is simply not one (or any) of them. Microsoft’s influence is waning fast even in the enterprise and I see no need to stem the tide of their decline by recognizing anything they make as a legitimate standard for anything. I don’t even take steps to make my cross-platform software compile on Windows anymore. No sense dirtying up my code with Microsoft warts.

  • CFWhitman

    Mike, that they don’t care about their users is rather a given. However, it’s their PR (the ‘Pretended Regard’ department) that reveals that they are completely out of touch with their users as well as not caring.

  • Mike

    @CFWhitman

    Agreed.

  • Robert Mugabe

    Maybe the real problem here is that the Linux Foundation is not going to give the FLOSS FARCE a ticket on the Gravy Train…

    Seriously, you your comrades tried to use your fake activism and bully tactics to rustle a nice pot of gold out of the productive communities that actually produce some code. But the bull shit diversity mirage only works for so long.

    While Companies have pored millions of dollars into the hands of diversity clingers who set up there scam in the open source there has been no benefit and no contributions other then vanity code contributed by PAID privileged beginner diversity activists.

    You FLOSS FARCE comrades need to get on down to Burger King and submit your resumes just like all the other losers and try to earn an honest living in a profession that is suited for your level of skills.

  • Evil D

    Every time one of you weak minded diversity religious true believers wants to complain about how the Linux desktop is a dumpster fire just remember this. It is YOU that let the diversity scam artists divert the contributions from Linux Foundation, Google and others into the pockets of administrators making six figure salaries at GNOME Women Outreach and other scams. Programs where sixty percent or more of the contributions go to ‘Administrative Salaries’ and what ever is left over is gifted to the social network of said Administrators.

    That money that is gifted to ‘Diversity Administrators’ and promoted by comrades like FLOSS FARCE should be going to prospective projects and developers who actually have the talent and ideas to make Linux desktop better. Of course most of those developers are WHITE MALES! God forbid money should be given to developers based on talent rather then skin color and what kind of sex they have…

    Maybe some day the ship will be back on course and Linux Desktop will be productive but until then enjoy your dumpster fire, you earned it suckers!

  • I find the attitude in the article a bit annoying (and the deletion even worse), but honestly though… what’s wrong with the word viral? The GPL license is viral. That’s precisely why I chose it to release my only large open source project up to now, for instance (and many small scripts as well). I chose it especially for its virality.

    Seeing “viral” as a negative term is a bit of a stretch. The GPL’s virality is positive if you want to protect your code, as Torvalds said. BTW the web is full of “viral videos” who get viewed a lot either because they are fun, interesting or whatever. It doesn’t really mean it’s a bad word.

  • tracyanne

    @Lazza

    You use the word Viral as if it’s a good thing.

    They don’t.

  • Mike

    Looks like the misogynist moron brigade has shown up.

  • tracyanne

    @Scott Dowdle

    Yes i know what Cygwin is I’ve used it. Bash on Windows, or as it’s also known Ubuntu for Windows, is a different kettle of fish, for one thing it’s much more like actually using Linux via the CLI. It’s an important component of the Windows 10 Developer Update. The point of it is to make it unnecessary to have a Linux Desktop OS for any reason.

    The examples you gave of Red had making it possible to run Windows in a KVM is really just another example of FOSS projects chasing Windows.

    WINE is a prime example of how chasing Windows is an almost pointless task. How many years have WINE developers been playing catch up, and for how many years have the goal posts moved, just enough to make the task close to impossible. I still haven’t managed to get any Windows applications I would like to try out on Linux (using WINE) to work, and that includes one that uses all GPLed components (although the developers don’t tell anyone, but that’s another issue for another time).

    Working to stay current with truly open Standards is a good thing, but trying to stay current with and interoperable with Microsoft’s shifting sand Standards is quite another. Building a better mouse trap is preferable.

  • tracyanne

    @Mike

    >>>Looks like the misogynist moron brigade has shown up.<<<

    I think my brain has Moron Brigade Filters, I didn't notice.

  • @tracyanne

    You use the word Viral as if it’s a good thing

    Well, yes… the GPL virality gives strong protection to the code I’ve released. I am pretty confident this is a good thing for me. 🙂 Anyway, even if it weren’t, the GPL is designed to be viral for a very specific reason (and Stallman put a lot of thought into it). Hence, IMHO, even if the article of the Linux Foundation was a bit of an epic fail, I don’t think the problem is the word “viral”.

  • tracyanne

    @Lazza

    I’m quite certain you are correct. There is a huge amount of software that simply would not be available, the Linux Kernel included, if it weren’t for the GPL. If all Open Source Software was available only under a Permissive licence, I’m quite certain that most useful and fully functional versions of it would be available only as Proprietary, or with some sort of Restrictive EULA attached, the BSDs notwithstanding.

    The viral nature of the GPL is what makes the software more useful. The issues Corporate interests have with the GPL is related to their “need” to keep everything closed and secret. The problem is not the GPL, it is current business practice.

  • Evil D

    @Mike

    You need to put down that ad-hominem and address some of the points I made.

    The Linux Foundation and others put more money now into the graphics stack and desktop now then there ever was in the nineties and early two thousands. But the product could arguable be called worse and moving backwards. Why is that?

    Up to about GNOME2 there was not no real money in any of the graphics projects and the focus was making a productive desktop for programmers. And the focus was on attracting programmers. GNOME2 was probably the only product that managed to convince some companies to roll out Linux Desktops.

    Then the money started to come in. Up went the ‘foundations’ and there army of caviar communist administrators and other assorted useless clinger staff. Coding a desktop for programmers went out the window along with cross platform toolkits. Promoting every flavor of the month social justice scam and sucking up ever larger pots of gold to pay for the clap trap became the goal. And of course making sure those six figure administrator salaries were bankrolled.

    Anyone who thinks that investing money into the Linux desktop dumpster fire ecosystem in 2017 will improve the product is brain dead.

  • Evil D

    @Mike

    You need to put down that ad-hominem and address some of the points I made.

    The Linux Foundation and others put more money now into the graphics stack and desktop then there ever was in the nineties and early two thousands. But the product could arguable be called worse and moving backwards. Why is that?

    Up to about GNOME2 there was not no real money in any of the graphics projects and the focus was making a productive desktop for programmers. And the focus was on attracting programmers. GNOME2 was probably the only product that managed to convince some companies to roll out Linux Desktops.

    Then the money started to come in. Up went the ‘foundations’ and there army of caviar communist administrators and other assorted useless clinger staff. Coding a desktop for programmers went out the window along with cross platform toolkits. Promoting every flavor of the month social justice scam and sucking up ever larger pots of gold to pay for the clap trap became the goal. And of course making sure those six figure administrator salaries were bankrolled.

    Anyone who thinks that investing money into the Linux desktop dumpster fire ecosystem in 2017 will improve the product is brain dead.

  • Mike

    @Evil D

    I’ll address any logical arguments I see. I haven’t seen any yet.

    All I see is a moron spouting hate bullshit based on his own insecurities. Your own statements refute any logical conclusion.

    In a nutshell your argument runs: Great progress was being made before any money was available. Then money was available but diverted to resources providing no benefit and therefore prgress stopped. That doesn’t track in the slightest.

    There are plenty of talented programmers putting out great stuff. The lack of progress (which I dispute completely) could just as easily be attributed to the corporate meddling all the money brings…i.e. trying to treat GNU/Linux as merely a commercial product, when it is oh so much more than that.

    Go crawl back into your rot infested troll-hole and stop bothering human beings.

  • tracyanne

    @Mike

    Evil D, not only doesn’t like you, it appears, but he also can’t keep his topics straight, or he’s multiple people, or someone with multiple Personality Disorder.

    In his first post he has a rant about Diversity (hint he doesn’t appear to agree with the idea), then in response to your Post he has a rant about GNOME 3 (which he doesn’t like)… I think.

    So I’m not at all sure where he’s actually coming from. perhaps if he has another go at it, without posting the same rant twice, we might be able to figure him out.

  • Eddie G.

    Wow. You never expect a company or organization called “The Linux FOUNDATION” to react this way towards the Linux Desktop. I can only say thank goodness the Linux desktop using community is smart enough to recognize bullsh*t when it makes itself apparent. From the “fake” love from M$ to this, I was once considering starting a membership to the Linux Foundation…but after this article? I think I’ll pass. For good.

  • Two of my early posts didn’t show up here for some reason. I’ll briefly summarize them.

    1) linux-dot-com has a wide variety of contributors and one Linux Foundation employee-authored article isn’t necessarily representative of The Linux Foundation nor linux-dot-com. There are plenty of authors on linux-dot-com that are very pro-GPL.

    2) The Linux Foundation cares about desktops well enough. There is a desktop article category on linux-dot-com. I think they care about it as much as the distro makers do. Red Hat famously abandoned the desktop over a decade ago yet they fund a lot of desktop related development. Go figure. Canonical started Ubuntu mainly to make a better desktop and then they figured out that it wasn’t a way to profitability and started doing a little of this and a little of that. I’m not really sure what Canonical’s main focus is these days but I’m guessing it is server and cloud stuff. They do still develop desktop stuff but it is mainly stuff that only Ubuntu uses whereas what Red Hat produces, most all distros use.

    3) I’ve encountered lots of developers who think the GPL is “restrictive” because it isn’t “permissive” in letting one close the code. I disagree with that focus but I understand the argument. Perhaps a discussion on that topic would have been better than simply bad maouthing The Linux Foundation.

    4) You know who doesn’t like the Linux desktop? A significant number of presenters at Linux oriented conferences. I’ve presented at a few and I’ve used Linux 100% of the time, but a lot of folks want to promote Linux on the server side while using Windows or Mac OS X on the client side. I recall a high profile Fedora employee complaining about that on a particular annual Linux conference mailing list… and then he changed jobs and was back at said conference showing off the server-side Linux software from his Mac OS X laptop.

    5) Linux won’t ever do well on the desktop until someone starts spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars per year on advertising (see Microsoft and Apple) and (most) all OEMs offer Linux as a pre-installed option on the vast majority of their mainstream product lines. Without those things happening, the year of the Linux desktop will always be next year… so why throw money into the fire for no good reason?

    Me personally? I use Linux as my desktop and server OSes and have been doing so since 1995. Go team Linux!

  • @Evil D – I understand and totally agree… that unless you let straight, white, English speaking, men run the world and do all of the important work (and have most all of the money) that it just doesn’t turn out well. Trump 2020!

    [totally sarcastic if it wasn’t blatantly obvious]

  • Evil D

    @Scott Dowdle
    @tracyanne
    The only diversity there is in the Linux desktop community is the diverse cast of con artists looking for six figure salaries to promote cultural mono culture that produces no code and expects to get paid for ‘volunteering’.

    If you want diversity then start with the administrative staff of these diversity promotion fund-raising foundations. Which is almost entirely staffed by upper class White American women from the north east. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Evil D

    @Mike
    It always gives me a warm feeling when I see the caring and compassionate ‘open minded’ diversity religious espouse there love and tolerance.

    Your reply begs the question if everything is so great in desktop land then why is FLOSS FARCE lashing out? Is it perhaps because putting money into promoting the Linux dumpster fire desktop is pissing your money into rat hole? And no one wants to do that anymore. Except for perhaps the rats?

    If there is no lack of progress in desktop land then why is the user base still at One percent? One percent of a shrinking piece of the overall interface market. Where is the Linux tablet that was going to change the world? Where is the phone that runs on technology from the Linux desktop and related projects?

  • Robert

    All I want to do is use my desktop Linux. This Linux Foundation makes me sick.

  • Unbeknownst

    Wow, lots of emotional reactions. The issue is quite simple IMHO.

    It seems to me a server and a desktop are two too different beasts. Yet, some distributions try to cater to both things. Not all with 100% success.

    The ones who focus on the desktop must fight an uphill battle sometimes. There has been a healthy focus on dominating the supercomputer, the server, the embedded areas and the desktop gets little respect (again IMHO).

    But objectives differ: a server needs performance, embedded needs real time… but the desktop needs low latency. Even if performance is sacrificed.

    How about gaming? Well, gaming is not a desktop. For a while, performance must be optimal and steady, but low response time is still vital.

    Do we need a Desktop Linux Foundation?

    There’s been a lot of opportunities missed and, although the Linux desktop is great, we should strive to make it more competitive with Android and Windows.

    If someone is into servers and related sectors (like big databases), it’s naive to hope they will care about the desktop. At the end of the day, it’s about having defined objectives and working toward them; it’s not possible to care about everything at the same time.

    Google wanted an awesome mobile OS, so they took the kernel and changed the components which had to change for Android to become kickass.

    The desktop requires the very same thing. Besides, even between a workstation, a developer desktop and a newbie one there are important differences. Most of us here are or were at some point involved with development. It’s hard for us to appreciate the simplicity an ordinary user requires. We should have an Android-like Linux desktop for such guys.

    That requires a very firm hand and lots of persistence. Microsoft has not much success with Windows (or decided it’s not worth the fight), Google and Apple both do an excellent job in that regard.

    Maybe you realize my own dismay when I see someone enthusiastic about Android showing only apps at full screen (i.e., like if only one task existed). Maybe we should lower Linux to those kind of expectations…

    Finally, regarding what the article said and the way it was said, that’s the result of having corporations in their board and getting rid of individual Linux users (also called “persons”). I’ve seen that kind of thinking coming from people who work with software and it is really the other side of the coin. The GPL is bad because it does things which the users find good. I’ve even seen corporations avoiding using 7zip… because it’s GPL! IMHO, unless you incorporate 7zip as part of the sold product, if you just use it in day-to-day tasks, it certainly won’t require the sold product to be also GPL. But these people are scaredycats.

  • tracyanne

    @Mike

    I think I’m right, Multiple Personality Disorder, we now have a third POV from Evil D, this time supporting Diversity. It must be crowded in there.

  • Evil D

    @Scott Dowdle
    > Linux won’t ever do well on the desktop until someone starts spending tens or hundreds of millions of dollars per year on advertising

    I have a simpler plan. Lets take the hundreds of thousands of dollars that is donated to the Linux desktop ecosystem every year and actually use it to fund programmer’s working on desktop software and infrastructure. With a clear set of goals and milestones that operates in the light of day just like the more reputable kick starter campaigns.

    Instead of gifting that money to ‘foundations’ staffed by scam artists with outrageous salaries who give the money away to there twitter followers and friends under the rubric of ‘diversity outreach’.

  • @Sam Varghese Thanks! Yeah, I get the impression Zemlin enjoys hobnobbing with the rich and powerful. I appreciate the link to your excellent article.

  • @tracyanne: He thought “FLOSS FARCE” was funny enough to say a fourth time, too.

    https://frinkiac.com/meme/S12E14/1170294/m/V2h5IGRvbid0IHdlIGNhbGwgaXQgCkV2ZXJ5Ym9keSAqSGF0ZXMqIFJheW1vbmQ_CgoKCgoKCgooYWxsIGxhdWdoaW5nKQpXZWxsLCB3ZSBzdGF5ZWQgdXAgYWxsIG5pZ2h0LApidXQgaXQgd2FzIHdvcnRoIGl0Lg==

    At any rate, wonder if Torvalds had any choice words for Zemlin in private.

  • Mike

    @Evil D

    > “It always gives me a warm feeling when I see the caring and compassionate ‘open minded’ diversity religious espouse there love and tolerance.”

    You think people should tolerate ignorant, racist, bigoted misogynists. Wrong. You lost the moral high ground with your first comment, a**-hole. You’ll find I am tolerant toward intelligent, reasonable people, but will punch back twice as hard at losers like you.

    > “Your reply begs the question if everything is so great in desktop land then why is FLOSS FARCE lashing out?”

    No it doesn’t beg any question. For goodness sake please take a remedial logic class. You find it difficult to understand why people using and developing Linux would be disappointed in the behavior of an organization claiming to represent Linux, and yet simultaneously dismissing the needs of those same people. Congratulations, you are functionally stupid.

    > “If there is no lack of progress in desktop land then why is the user base still at One percent? One percent of a shrinking piece of the overall interface market.”

    For the intelligent people who may be reading: Desktop percentage of Linux is IMPOSSIBLE to measure. There are many reasons why this is so, but those percentages are generally only waved around by Microsofties looking to boost their egos or bottom lines. That said, even two (latest numbers suggest it is over two) percent is pretty impressive (that’s 1 in every 50 desktops) given the lack of a single cohesive commercial product and zero advertising competing with a multi-billion dollar monopoly driven by one of the world’s most ruthless corporations in a retail market of relatively uneducated consumers who don’t know the difference between a computer and an operating system.

    > “Where is the Linux tablet that was going to change the world? Where is the phone that runs on technology from the Linux desktop and related projects?”

    This isn’t a programming problem. The software works. These are hardware vendor and regulated market (think cell phone chips) issues.

    So again we find ourselves at a place where you still have made no valid arguments, leaving just your nonsensical rant about how everything is every body else’s fault except yours.

    Don’t like the state of the desktop? – Write some code. Personally my Linux desktop works just fine…without all the crap pushed by big companies (Gnome, systemd, pulseaudio, etc.)

    The Linux Foundation does not represent me and I have no interest in supporting them, but that’s OK for them, because they have Microsoft money to toss around now.

  • “Hall, described as “Grandmama Frump” on her own site, seems to be wired for angry free software invectives (and can be quite clever and funny), following in the cheery tradition of Richard Stallman, godfather of angry free software language.”

    Wow! My name has never been spoken (or written) in the same breath as RMS. I’m honored.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-the-latest-linux-foundation-flame-war-is-a-waste-of-time-for-open-source-advocates/

  • Evil D

    @Mike

    I love all the as ad-hominem because it shows what a bunch of toxic hate filled community destroying cretins the diversity con artists are. Especially when they get called out and people start taking away the punch bowl.

    The Linux community can get along quite fine without a pack upper class White American con artists running charity scams. You can join your comrades down at Burger King where your work will have a much greater social impact and you can do an honest days labor.

    > This isn’t a programming problem. The software works. These are hardware vendor and regulated market (think cell phone chips) issues.

    This show the depth of technical ignorance that makes any meaningful discussion impossible. Almost the entire Linux desktop graphics stack is unsuited for any hardware other then a PC plunged into the wall. And even there its kind of crap. From Xorg to glib, up the stack to whatever spaghetti code GNOME is up to now its slow and it has a memory access profile totally unsuited for mobile devices. The only exception being ELF and related.

  • @Christine: Well, if you’ve gone and pissed off TechRepublic, you may be on to something.

    @Evil D: Yes, yes, “So much for the ‘tolerant’ left.” We heard you the first time. Heard you the first time you made that dumbass Burger King joke, too.

  • Mike

    @Evil D

    > “I love all the as ad-hominem because…”

    You wouldn’t know what an ad-hominem was if it bit you in the a**. I don’t use name calling to refute arguments…that part is already easy with arguments as flimsy as yours. I reserve the name calling just for d!(k-heads like you.

    > “You can join your comrades down at Burger King where your work will have a much greater social impact and you can do an honest days labor.”

    You sound exactly like all the losers I’ve met who have never contributed to a thing in their lives yet complain endlessly. I make a comfortable six figure salary developing software. My software runs in Fortune 500 companies on six of the seven continents. Funny thing is tthe difference between you and I is that I don’t disparage those that have to work at Burger King (there are probably even some talented coders there). Evil D —> L.O.S.E.R.

    > “This show the depth of technical ignorance that makes any meaningful discussion impossible….(blah blah blah…nonsense)”

    Uh huh, sure…and here I thought it was just because you are a moron. Well, live and learn.

  • Evil D

    @Mike

    > Funny thing is tthe difference between you and I is that I don’t disparage those that have to work at Burger King.

    Well Mike, now’s your chance to go fight for your oppressed Burger King brothers and sisters against the EVIL RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, TRANS-PHOBIC, CIS, WHITE MALE PATRIARCHY!!!

    Im sure your PHP skills will come in handy programming the fry machine.

  • Mike

    LOL.

    That’s what I thought…Evil D has no skills…no point…no job…no friends…no reason to exist.

  • Richard Thornton

    But IBM squashed SCO in 2003.

  • To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it’s difficult to make someone understand something their salary depends on them not understanding… I suspect we’re seeing something like that with the Linux Foundation. I think any relationship with public corporations is risky. I think the Linux Foundation has fallen in with the wrong crowd.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

*