I’ve only actually been keeping ‘close-tabs’ on Linux ongoings since January of this year, at about the same time I started this blog. I didn’t know anything about “open source” in 1996, even tho I tested a couple Distros back then – they basically looked like some child’s 2nd Grade drawing on colored paper…but had a couple of icons instead of mom and dad and Fido and the house under some sky. So my actual historical in-depth knowledge of Open Source is only around 7 months. Also, of note, is the fact that it doesn’t take long to get an accurate glimpse of what Open Source Communities have become – sorta a cross between an ANTIFA masked mob and the old Hospital nursery (Hospital’s are apparently doing away with those now). Lots of great people in those communities, but they seem to be able to become a loud nasty ‘Howling-for-Heads’ mob rather quickly. Yes, I have tested many Linux Distros since 1996, and a few open source Office products, but never paid much attention to their Open Source Communities before.
One of the first times that I noticed the Open Source Communities were a source of problems was the Mint’s Blog Monthly News – March 2019 post:
Many thanks for your support and donations and also for your feedback and ideas. Today we’ll talk a little bit about some of the negative aspects of Free Software development, but before we do, I want to emphasize how lucky we are here at Linux Mint to have this community and this level of support.
In that post was a link to – On Being a Free Software Maintainer:
snip snip … Being a free software maintainer is a funny place to find yourself in. Good things came from it. Bad things too. Also terrible. And weird … snip snip snip … See, sometimes the software you maintain, well, it crashes. It may lose someone’s data. Someone may trigger a unique condition inside the code that you never managed to do. These people may get angry, sad, and frustrated ² … snip snip … You will be demanded to fix your software. You will be shouted. Sometimes, the line may be crossed, and you will be abused. “How dare you not (use your free time to) fix this ultra high priority bug that is affecting me?” or “This is an absolutely basic feature! How is it not implemented yet (by you on your free time)?!” or even “You made me move to Software Y, and you need to win me back” are going to be realities you will have to face.
That post is a must read for anyone seeking an accurate reflection of what the Open Source Communities can be…much of the time.
Soon after Clem’s March post, Linux news articles were filled with worries, observations, rumors, etc. about the possibilities that Mint Linux might not survive. Then Clem came out with this blog post – Monthly News – May 2019:
snip … In fact, we have never received that many donations in the past, or from that many people within the same month. 868 people donated a total of $24,149. This is huge, it’s even bigger than what we see after a release. So before we put this behind us, thank you, many thanks to you all for supporting us. We love what we do, you love what we do, and we love the fact that you love it too. I don’t really know what to say other than thank you.
Remember, we’re talking about one of the most popular Linux Distros around, and Clem is ecstatic about receiving the biggest monthly donation evah! $24,149 from 868 people. I suspect that the average monthly donations to Mint are a lot less. How much in donations do the other 600/2000+ Distros get monthly? This is what I mean when mentioning that Linux Newbies should look at the Top 3 *FULLY* supported Linux Distros – Ubuntu, then RedHat or SUSE because the rest basically ‘Hang by a Thread’. Think – ‘Sustainability’! Ignore the ANTIFA ‘Fanatical Linux’ users who claim that Linux Fragmentation (e.g. 600/2000 Distros) is a good thing, e.g. ‘Cream rises to the Top’. Those same ‘Linux Fanatical’ users then start spewing hatred towards Ubuntu because it did actually rise to the *TOP*.
Another example of Open Source Communities being problematic to Linux and/or the Open Source idea surfaced recently – Manjaro’s “Addition of FreeOffice”:
snip snip … Additionally we ship FreeOffice by default. This is possible since we partnered up with Softmaker. Enjoy the best compability to MS Office, we still provide as our JAK launchers.
The Open Source ANTIFA masked mob pounced all over Manjaro – they probably don’t even receive as much as Mint does monthly, and Mint gets squat. Manjaro quickly changed their plans – Manjaro Linux Team Responds To LibreOffice Versus FreeOffice In Upcoming Version 18.1:
The Linux community was in a bit of an uproar this week when Manjaro Linux announced that it would be swapping out the open source office suite LibreOffice in version 18.1 and replacing it with the proprietary FreeOffice … snip … The main takeaway is that the team believes FreeOffice delivers the best overall compatibility with Microsoft Office, and Müller emphasized that no money had been exchanged (yet) as a result of the partnership.
I wrote a post about it, FreeOffice – ‘Compatibility verses Converting?!?’ Had never heard of FreeOffice before the ‘Fanatical Linux’ uproar. Tried it and have now dumped LibreOffice. BTW, FreeOffice is *FREE* and a lot easier to use, especially if you want to work with MS Office documents. LibreOffice is now offering “Tips” on how to use their product, since they realize their mistake of allowing FreeOffice to get some exposure, i.e. LibreOffice should’ve never gone to the Open Source Communities mobs for help against FreeOffice, IMHO.
This article does a good job at summing up the Open Source Communities – Linux Journal shuts down, because cheapskate Linux users don’t spend money. They expect everything ‘They’ want to be free. They are not much more than breeding grounds for spewing and spreading hatred, IMHO:
Linux users are cheap as hell. Sorry, but it is largely the truth … snip … However, like it or not, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and that includes open source software. Eventually, when developers can’t pay their bills, that free software you love will disappear … snip … magazines across the board are becoming less popular, but unfortunately Linux Journal has abruptly shut down … snip … While I am sure the now-former employees at the magazine have many theories of why they are going out of business, the likely truth is, you can’t depend on Linux users paying actual money on a magazine. Hell, they’d rather debate which distro is better for free on Reddit … snip … Look, Linux users, today it is just a Linux magazine, but tomorrow it could be a popular operating system like Linux Mint, or an essential productivity program such as LibreOffice. You will have to open your wallet eventually … snip
Well, as we saw with Mint’s Clem’s ecstatic reaction to the biggest month evah for donations, don’t expect the Open Source Communities to offer much more than “uproar” mobs when needed. Also, don’t expect much faithfulness from them either – i.e. just another loud uproar if you don’t change their diapers fast enough.
In many ways, this era was the golden age for Linux and FOSS. Just to set a few historical placeholders, in 2007 Debian released version 4.0 (Etch), and Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.0 with the 2.6.18-8 kernel. All of the installs were influenced by some of the ease-of-use breakthroughs in the Corel Linux installer, and the install process was simple and featured nice graphics that guided users through a few basic questions. After the install, the graphics hardware and most of the rest of the hardware on the system tended to work pretty well unless you were using cutting-edge hardware … snip … Linux was now mainstream in corporate IT, and it was much rarer to meet much resistance when you wanted to set up Linux servers, unless your company was a 100% Windows shop … snip … These new community members were more focused on the practical benefits of Linux and FOSS (low cost, compatibility and the ability to modify code from a FOSS project for company use). Unlike the original community, these members were less focused on FOSS ideals.
16 years – from 1991 to 2007 – for Linux and FOSS to reach its ‘Golden Age’. Microsoft was huge in 2007, but Linux barely had a user base, and 2007 represented the “golden age” for Linux and FOSS?! Well, it’s now 2019 and Linux still barely has a user base – unless you include new Google Linux arrivals Android and Chrome OS. Well, enough said…