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Thu, Jan 12, 2006
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.
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