« That's enough of posts to link toThe great UI debate »

Thu, Jan 12, 2006

[Icon][Icon]Who do I think I am?

• Post categories: Omni, FOSS, Rant, In The News

Something I've had an occasional comment about since writing Linux != Windows is along the lines of "Who are you to speak for the Linux community? How dare you represent yourself as the spokesman of the Free Software world! Who died and made you Linus Torvalds/RMS?"

I must admit to bafflement on this one.

I wrote what I intended to be a short explanation for a few troubled new users who couldn't understand why they were having so many problems converting from Windows to a GNU/Linux distro. In response to feedback, I added to it until it grew into a rather long explanation. In order to explain that Linux is different from Windows, I had to explain that the Linux developer community differs from the Microsoft community.

How exactly does stating this simple & obvious fact turn me into somebody claiming to speak for the community?

I mean, if I say that Microsoft isn't creating Windows software with the intention of being considered a Free Software company, does that make me a Microsoft spokesman? Or am I just stating the facts as I see them?

If I say Blackbox, FVWM, XFCE, Ratpoison and all the other lightweight WMs aren't aiming to create a Windows-clone desktop, am I speaking for the developers of those projects? I hope not, I've only really used FVWM and Fluxbox. But I still know they're aiming at creating their own vision of the perfect GUI, not copying Microsoft's.

And if I say that GNU/Linux was not created with the intention of making a copy of Microsoft Windows, and that the majority of its developers still don't have that goal, I'm not saying that because I've interviewed all of them, nor because I've been elected to speak for them.

I'm just stating what I consider to be the truth. Nothing more, nothing less.


Comment from: titanium [Visitor] · http://www.creativehedgehog.com
Hey, how dare you ursurp Linus's position of spokesman for linux? I am sure that if he can't say anything, then he will have to drag himself to a computer and write more code (sigh). ;)

Linux is a community. Not a monopoly, a community. Apple has Steve Jobs to do keynotes, Microsoft has Bill Gates- any one who uses linux can speak for linux. It's just a little wierd for people used to having PR companies excessively broadcasting the good and smothering the bad.
01/12/06 @ 08:59
Comment from: jedi_jay87 [Visitor]
I just like to stop by and tell you i enjoyed reading ur article on Linux not being a Windows replacement. Lately I've spent a lot of time trying to explain to my family and friends when they ask about linux and assume a lot of things about it, now i just refer them to ur article and they understand a lot better then when I try to explain it to them.
05/19/06 @ 02:09
Comment from: cestlavie [Visitor]
Hey, I do really like your article! :)
I'm quite new to Linux and it helped me understanding the whole community and its aims. Since three months Linux-Mint is my operating-system and I'm sure that I'll never switch back to MS! Thanks a lot! Peace out...
02/19/09 @ 06:44

[Links][icon] My links

[Icon][Icon]About Me

[Icon][Icon]About this blog

[Icon][Icon]My /. profile

[Icon][Icon]My Wishlist


[FSF Associate Member]

December 2017
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
 << <   > >>
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31


User tools

XML Feeds

eXTReMe Tracker

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Valid CSS!

[Valid RSS feed]

blog soft