EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.08.08

There is No Community and There is No Communism, Either

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…it can be seen as a myth and a damaging stereotype which makes Free software users and supporters seem like a sinister conspiracy.”It was several days ago that we mentioned the fact that there is no “the community” in Free software. We cited a nice short article that addresses this issue. The ‘community’ does not exist. It’s merely an attempt to portray Free software as “communism” or a dangerous clique which is always scheming to take over the industry, wreaking chaos in the process. In other other words, it can be seen as a myth and a damaging stereotype which makes Free software users and supporters seem like a sinister conspiracy. It’s a demonisation tool, also.

The Linux Foundation has just announced a new series of audiocasts which makes its debut with a Linus Torvalds interview. The 451 Group has already dived into this first audio and it makes the observation that even Linus agrees with the above. “There is no open source community”, argues Torvalds. Here is a fragment from this excellent analysis:

How can software vendors engage with the open source community? An important step, according to Linus Torvalds, is to stop believing such a thing really exists and start engaging in the development process.

This specific issue is worth emphasising particularly because many times in the past Jeff Waugh tries to wave the “community” wand and claim that we do not serve “the community”. A few of this site’s readers, as well as ourselves, took offense in Jeff’s remark and the especially use of the word “community”, which was seen as out of place.

While on this subject of “community” smears and myths, we wish to present a set of very relevant articles which show how stereotypes get used against Free software. It’s easy to discredit that whom you successfully demonise.

Article #1: Are Linux users really a feral bunch?

It is, however, uncommon for a writer to set out to deliberately provoke Linux users with over-the-top stuff – just to prove his contention that said users are a bunch of ferals.

Article #2: How Not to Treat Your Readership

Given how the technology and methods the Linux community uses are constantly villified, ridiculed, and held in contempt by competitors; by ill-informed IT professionals and hobbyists; and now by journalists who use lies and outrageous comments to hold the community’s response up for ridicule–is it any wonder why the community is so defensive in their responses?

That’s not a justification of bad behavior, but it certainly puts such responses in another light.

Articles (1) and (2) were actually published to address the issue of provocative articles, sometime written by those who are secretly hired by Microsoft [PDF].

Article #3: Myths Stymie Linux Growth

The problem here is that the powers that be have created enough FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about Linux that most decision makers feel it is safer to stick with Windows (including XP). That FUD is fueled by many myths and misconceptions about what Linux can and cannot do.

Article #4: In Defense Of Open Source

Naysayers position open source as a sort of geeky pleasure that’s best reserved only for unwedded twenty- and thirty-something males residing in basements owned by parental figures. That the Linux platform is the product of a wide network of hobbyists. That the solutions which subsist within the Linux system are not worth equal attention to big-name products from firms like Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, and others.

Article #5: Astaro “paved the way” for VC-funded open source companies

“Back then, to base a business on products built using Linux and open source was a fairly new idea. We were out in the market for fundraising and venture capital, but the investors we talked to were very averse to the idea that with open source that you would not own your intellectual property. Our employees got the idea, and the customers loved it, but the investing community seemed allergic to open source. We were forced to bootstrap for two or three years until we could show traction.”

Article #6: Meet Mark Radcliffe: The man who rules open source law

Matters such as SCO’s Linux assault and Microsoft’s hints of legal action against open source software makers and users tend to dominate the public discourse around open source code.

Some of the examples above were intended to show the impact of FUD and misconceptions that are fueled by stereotypes and fear. This can also lead to legal action and responsive legislation.

Article #7: German and US researchers lay low, question just how far new law will go

Moore notes that most Linux distros are now illegal in Germany as well, because they include the open-source nmap security scanner tool — and some include Metasploit as well.

Last week, the United Kingdom adopted similar laws.

Article #8: From Zero to Holy $&*#!

What if Linux and Free and Open Source Software became illegal to use due to “national security?” Never mind the fact that the American military uses it. Never mind the fact that Microsoft funded both political parties in the year 2000. Never mind that Richard Stallman has accused Microsoft of enabling terrorism in the first place.

Article #9: Top 5 Linux Myths

The sheer ignorance regarding casual Linux users astounds me to no end. While I’m not interested in pointing fingers, there is a lot of misinformation about the Linux community, and we will help to dispel some of these myths, once and for all.

1. Linux Users Are Cheap. Ah, this is one of my favorites. It seems that Linux users have long since been seen as cheap, despite the fact that so many of them in the States earn up to six figures. First, define cheap? Are we cheap because we choose not to buy brand new everything with every release of our selected OS?

Article #10: OpenSSL gets hard-fought revalidation

After a long and arduous journey that included a suspended validation last year [...] OpenSSL has regained its FIPS 140-2 validation

“We called it the FUD campaign,” he says. “There were all kinds of complaints sent to the CMVP including one about ‘Commie code.’ [...] Silly or no, each complaint that’s filed really slows down the process.”

“…the ones they did see often contained redacted, or blacked-out, data about who had filed the complaint .. in some cases, proprietary software vendors were lodging the complaints.

Article #10: Tech writers think Ubuntu is for morons

What is it about Ubuntu Linux that makes otherwise competent technical writers switch to Moron Mode? Everywhere I turn, I see articles on how to do obvious things in Ubuntu. Books on Ubuntu concentrate on listing every insignificant detail of every obvious procedure; things that are inherently self-explanatory are explained in depth. Subjects that have any inkling of technical complexity are skipped because, “Whoa — those are way too hard for you stupid Ubuntu users to grasp, so let’s just skip them and pretend everything’s peachy.”

Article #11: IT Pro Learns Lesson Through Linux Install

Repeated efforts at Nationwide Mutual Insurance to try Linux on the mainframe faced internal opposition, some of it from IT employees worried that a mainframe-based server consolidation would be a threat to their jobs. They “fought tooth and nail to keep it from happening,” said James Vincent, a mainframe systems engineering consultant at Nationwide.

Their resistance taught Vincent a lesson that he put to use after the Linux project was finally approved in 2005. Part of Vincent’s job involved working with the employees who had feared the project, including IT staffers who worked on Unix systems.

Article #12: The commie smear against open source

Because proprietary companies will always spend more of their money on marketing than open source outfits, it pops up regularly in the best of places, such as at Time Magazine recently. Or Microsoft sends CEO Steve Ballmer to London, so he can rant about how his lawyers are going to make all Linux users pay Microsoft for their stuff.

It’s nonsense.

This is not “the gift economy,” as Justin Fox calls it in Time. This is people taking advantage of the fact that the Internet has no distribution costs, which means marketing costs can also sink to zero. No ads in Time doesn’t make you a communist.

Article #13: Free software, free speech

I can understand that a teenage, underprivileged geek reacts like that, but not mature people who are blessed with the gift of words and the privilege of a good education. Regular visitors of my blog know that nothing outrages me more than people who apply these guerrilla tactics. Whether it is Ian Ferguson who said that “the flaming Linux bigots should take a backseat”, Mohit Joshi, who equaled GNU to communism or the more recently Bruce Byfield, who obviously couldn’t take the heat anymore and decided to proclaim unilaterally that all bloggers who don’t agree with him are automatically “conspiracy theorists”.

Article #14: Sounds like another fanboy rant to me

I found this comment while I was browsing through an MS-Windows oriented site where a blogger said something nasty about Microsoft. It isn’t even worth to refer to the link, because it has nothing to do with this story. It’s about the name-calling these Microsoft fans do. I heard ‘zealots’, ‘bigots’, ‘advocates’, the whole lot. Words I never knew before, because English is not my native tongue. I don’t mind to be called a fanboy, because that is what I am. What may be not too clear to these Microsoft zealots is why I am a fanboy. It’s not because I really dig this “free the software, free the world” ideology. That came much later. It’s because I like this “gimme the source” idea.

[...]

As a matter of fact, I think that Microsoft itself has created the “Linux fanboys” they are complaining about, just like all the legal trouble they have found themselves in the last few decades. In Dutch there is a saying “wie goed doet, goed ontmoet”, which means that all good things come to those who make them happen. I think the reverse is true as well. So next time you call me a “Linux fanboy”, remember why I became one. To all those “Windows fanboys” I’d like to say, I’ve become a Linux fanboy because I have used Linux for a long time. Have you? I know first hand what MS-Windows is all about..

These references will hopefully prove valuable for one purpose or another.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Robuka Kenderle said,

    January 9, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Gravatar

    Zemlin interviewing the charismatically challenged Torvalds:
    best cure for insomnia.

    I expected fluff and by god that’s what we got.
    Im surprised Zemlin didnt give Linus’ johnson a tug or two to get him nice and comfy.

    While I will listen to Linus talk about the kernel and stuff that interests him, I have yet to be interested in anything he has to say. Who he is is what makes it interesting.

What Else is New


  1. The UPC is Dead. But Bristows is Now Fully Engaged in Necrophilia.

    In an effort to float a dead project the deceiving folks from Team UPC pretend that everything is ready to go (commence) because they've managed to find some gowns and robes



  2. Links 19/1/2019: Wikipedia Cofounder Moves to GNU/Linux, Wine 4.0 RC7 Released, Godot 3.1 Beta 2, NomadBSD 1.2 RC1

    Links for the day



  3. Links 18/1/2019: Mesa 18.3.2, Rust 1.32.0

    Links for the day



  4. Links 17/1/2019: ZFS Debate Returns, AWS Pains Free Software

    Links for the day



  5. US Patent Lawyers Will Need to Change Profession or End up Becoming Abundantly Redundant, Unemployed

    In the age of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) and 35 U.S.C. § 101 it’s too risky to sue with dodgy patents; moreover, the Federal Circuit‘s growing adoption of Alice means that no recent cases have given hope to patent maximalists and litigation frequency has fallen again (at double-digit rates)



  6. Links 16/1/2019: Deepin 15.9 Released and Mozilla Fenix

    Links for the day



  7. Brexit Has Failed, But So Has the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Even though all signs indicate that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will never become a reality spin is to be expected from Team UPC, still looking to profit from more litigation and expanded scope



  8. IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

    Even days apart/within confirmation of IBM's takeover of Red Hat IBM makes it clear that it's very strongly in favour of software patents, not only in the US but also in Europe



  9. Team UPC on Dead UPC: Choosing Gowns for Corpses

    The campaign of lies, long waged by Team UPC in order to manipulate politicians and courts, hasn’t stopped even in 2019 (IAM threw in the towel, but some of Team UPC is still ‘embalming’ UPCA)



  10. Links 15/1/2019: MX Linux MX-18 Continuum Reviewed, Mageia 7 Artwork Voting

    Links for the day



  11. Council of Europe (CoE) Recognises There's No Justice at the EPO

    It’s now the Council of Europe‘s turn to speak out about the grave state of international organisations that exist in Europe but aren’t subjected to European law (which they routinely violate with impunity)



  12. Dominion Harbor -- Armed by Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll -- Goes After the World's Biggest Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung

    Dominion Harbor, the patent troll that gets bucketloads of patents from Intellectual Ventures (a patent troll strongly connected to Microsoft and Bill Gates), is still suing using shell entities



  13. Links 14/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC2 and DXVK 0.95 Released

    Links for the day



  14. Only the Higher Courts -- Not Trump's 'Poster Child' -- Can Bring Back Software Patents

    Software patents are not making a "comeback" as some like to claim; in fact, the latest court cases and notably their outcomes suggest that nothing has changed



  15. “Uniloc is a Lawsuit Factory”

    Apple is a very secretive company, so it is hard to know what goes on with the patent troll Uniloc



  16. European Patent Office a Textbook Example of Lawless, Rogue Institutions

    The tyrannical nature of the EPO is still being demonstrated by the sad fate of Patrick Corcoran; technical judges at the EPO are feeling intimidated by nontechnical politicians and bankers



  17. No, Software Patents Are Not Poised to Make a Comeback Under New US Patent Office Rules

    Poor understanding of the difference between patent courts and patent offices is to blame for widely-spread misinformation from Ars Technica (part of Condé Nast)



  18. IP Kat Has Turned From EPO Critic (to the Point of Being Blocked by the EPO) to EPO Whitewasher That Gags EPO Whistleblowers

    The EPO tried to forcibly gag (block) IP Kat like it blocks Techrights (since 2014); failing that, the EPO got the blog to just act as a whitewashing operation for Team Campinos (more or less the same as Team Battistelli)



  19. Linspire 'Reborn' is Still Working for Microsoft and Facilitating Surveillance on GNU/Linux Users

    GNU/Linux spyware scandals may be back (and it's not about Canonical and Amazon but Linspire and Microsoft); Microsoft is meanwhile exposing innocent kids to pedophiles and it refuses to explain or defend this



  20. Links 12/1/2019: Wine 4.0 RC6, X-Plane 11.30, SuperTuxKart 0.10 Beta, LibreOffice 6.2 RC2

    Links for the day



  21. The EPO's Low Patent Quality Can Kill the European Software Industry and Kill People Too

    The patents granted by the EPO are often invalid as per courts' decisions, which means that fake/illegitimate European Patents saturate the market and discourage development (e.g. of software and life-saving drugs)



  22. The Fiction That Spain (or Italy) Can Salvage the UPC

    The proponents/lobbyists of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), firms that make money from patent litigation (we collectively call these "Team UPC"), are nowadays backpedaling, having come to grips with the death of the UPC, realising it's time to save face by pretending everything they said in the past wasn't a lie



  23. Links 11/1/2019: IBM-Red Hat Obstacle Cleared, Toyota Chooses Linux

    Links for the day



  24. EPO President “Campinos is Wasting His Credibility With “Sweet” Communiqués Full of Hot Air and Storytelling”

    EPO insiders insist if not demand that all those responsible for the corruption and the abuses be removed; Campinos has done the opposite by promoting those who caused harm and turning his overseer into his subordinate



  25. The Emptiness of the Linux Foundation's Commitment to Linux and Its True Openness... to Corporate Cash (in Exchange for Influence)

    Like Pence and Moreno, who exchange a political refugee for loans, the Linux Foundation abandons its commitment to GNU/Linux in exchange for maximisation of financial contributions



  26. Links 10/1/2019: Linux 4.20.1, GNOME 3.31.4 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Links 9/1/2019: Qubes OS 4.0.1, Bash 5.0

    Links for the day



  28. European Patent Office Saga in 2019: “95% of the People Responsible for the Misery Are Still in Place and Have Not Even Been Rebuked”

    No signs of reformation at Europe's second-largest institution, which still suffers from justice deficit and blatant corruption



  29. Links 8/1/2019: Godot 3.1 Reaches Beta, Tidelift Gets Money

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Corruption is Helping Patent Maximalists in the United States

    The law firms that promote abstract patents in the United States (in the face of growing opposition from courts) adopt the EPO as a sort of 'poster child' because quality of European Patents keeps decreasing and lawlessness is increasing


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts