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SubjectRe: The GPL, the kernel, and everything else.
On Sat, 11 Jan 2003, Rob Wilkens wrote:
> On Sat, 2003-01-11 at 20:06, Ryan Anderson wrote:
> > Because, to a large extent, for the core kernel developers, the existing
> > system is fine.
> If you're designing a system for kernel developers use, then that's
> fine. But if you want to see linux proliferate to the average desktop
> (and I do), then you've got to look at the bigger picture. There
> _should_ be a way for a company like nvidia to build a binary driver,
> adn ship it in binary form, maybe even digitally signed the way
> microsoft allows digital signing of drivers so you know the driver is
> legit and OK.

Right there you've put your finger on a problem. Many core developers are
working hard to make sure that this never happens. See arguments in favor
of open source.

It looks to me as though an underlying, larger problem is that there are
several distinct communities which are all interested in Linux, but which
have divergent values. Developers, for example, want something that's fun
to develop or is personally useful, and take steps to prevent commercial
interests' spoiling their experience. Others want a Windows-killer and
obsess about the desktop, or installation, or other ease-of-use-by-those-
who'd-rather-not-think-about-computers issues. Still others *are*
commercial interests, and want to figure out how to make money in this
space (some worrying about how to avoid killing the goose which lays the
golden eggs, others intent on short-term profit and caring nothing for the
goose's long-term welfare).

Me, I could care less whether Linux achieves world domination. The
business desktop is to me an utterly uninteresting problem. The only
reason I worry about things like market penetration is that competing
products' companies keep interfering with my decision to use Linux when
addressing problems for which it is a good fit. Like it or not, I need a
certain amount of "bandwagon effect" for Linux in order to impress those
who are impressed by such things, since some of them can preempt the
decision as to which platform I use for any given assignment. I wouldn't
care if I were the only Linux user on earth, if I didn't have to defend my
professional prerogatives.

So, you need to look at the *really* big picture. There are people who
think the way you do, and people who don't, and it would be a worthy
challenge to find a way to somewhat satisfy both groups.

Mark H. Wood, Lead System Programmer mwood@IUPUI.Edu
MS Windows *is* user-friendly, but only for certain values of "user".

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