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03.24.19

Jim Zemlin’s Linux Foundation Still Does Not Care About Linux Desktops

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Almost as though there’s an implicit agreement to leave that space to Microsoft

Zemlin loves Microsoft
Zemlin loves Microsoft
Zemlin loves Microsoft. Photo sources [1, 2].

Summary: We are saddened to see that the largest body associated with Linux (the kernel and more) is not really eager to see GNU/Linux success; it’s mostly concerned about its bottom line (about $100,000,000 per annum)

SEVERAL months ago I was persuaded by my wife to break the silence on the Linux Foundation (LF), seeing that they had sold out (it irritated even her, a full-time GNU/Linux user for over half a decade). The people who run the Linux Foundation do not themselves use GNU/Linux* and the Linux Foundation is hardly about Linux anymore. It hardly even defends Linux from patent attacks, such as those of Microsoft; to make matters worse, the Linux Foundation takes money from Microsoft (as it last did only weeks ago) and then praises Microsoft.

“…to make matters worse, the Linux Foundation takes money from Microsoft (as it last did only weeks ago) and then praises Microsoft.”I don’t want to name anyone (for privacy reasons), but various prominent people wrote to me regarding these articles. They agree. Some are relieved that someone is finally willing to air these matters and tackle them. So perhaps we shall persist.

One reader told us about the lack of support for actual advocates of GNU/Linux who spread GNU/Linux, e.g. on desktops. Ken Starks wrote about it nearly a decade ago, bemoaning Jim Zemlin’s lack of interest in “Linux desktop” (Zemlin actually told him that directly after he had been invited to an otherwise-exclusive conference). “I got the skinny on the Linux Foundation claims to “support” these orgs for ‘years’,” the reader noted. “It may be years,” the reader added, “haven’t confirmed that but get this: I actually volunteer for [a charity that brings GNU/Linux to children] and they need $ and volunteers. So I asked how LF “supports” them and got this answer: No, not financial just advertising in its network. As I understand. And with nice discounts in courses and certifications. Meanwhile, every volunteer goes on their own dime, and [name redacted] is eating table scraps to survive when he brought the content server – Internet in a box… which we should have paid. At least his foooooood!”

The reader took note of “Diversity Programs” from the Linux Foundation, potentially a cynical corporate attempt to appear ethical while not doing anything/much to these ends.

“I reached out to another 10 organizations the Linux Foundation “supports”,” the reader said.

Stay tuned. This is research in progress.

In the meantime we invite anyone with similar experiences to get in contact with us. We’ll protect people’s identities while doing the best we can to shed light on the LF’s underlying agenda, which seems to overlap the collective agenda of the LF’s sponsors rather than of GNU/Linux (many sponsors have nothing to do with Linux).
____
* There’s a tendency to focus on Zemlin’s use of Mac OS X [1, 2], but I know many of the colleagues use Microsoft Windows — arguably worse. “Apparently, Jim Zemlin isn’t who he says he is. I think he should be impeached,” one person argued a couple of years ago. “Essentially, he’s the Terry Colby (from Mr. Robot) of The Linux Foundation. He’s the head of a company that seems to know little about what they do. Remember, in order to become the best possible employee or user of something, you have to be using that product to fully understand it. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind when someone needs your help, or when it comes to truly understanding Linux.” Or as Christine Hall put it minutes ago, “I agree that Zemlin is a traitor to all the early adopters who made Linux what it is today. However, Zemlin has never uttered “the year of the Linux desktop.” He’s never supported desktop Linux at all.”

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A Single Comment

  1. DannyB said,

    March 26, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Gravatar

    This was inevitable once Microsoft acquired The Linux Foundation in 2016.

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