Bonum Certa Men Certa

Even If Coverage of GNU/Linux Declines, the Development of GNU/Linux Keeps Its High Pace

In an underdog's world, altruistic promotion inversely proportional to the widespread popularity as established brands can market themselves

Colgate



Summary: Distinguishing between the reduced enthusiasm around GNU/Linux and the actual development or maintenance of GNU/Linux distributions

ADVOCACY of GNU/Linux is on the decline as the operating system became somewhat of a household name, a bit like Colgate for toothpaste. Fewer people bother doing this voluntary promotion, perhaps because GNU/Linux no longer need it. The audiocasts which are centred around GNU/Linux are seen as mostly declining, with some that remain active in various [1,2] sites [3,4] that deal [5,6] with specific areas [7-9] (no longer just GNU/Linux as a whole). This is okay and it may be a sign of maturity. There are dozens and dozens of good distros [10] and we no longer to concentrate on the whole or on a few "major" ones collectively.



"Fewer people bother doing this voluntary promotion, perhaps because GNU/Linux no longer need it."In other news, Barry Kauler retires again from Puppy Linux [11]; long post sheds light on what this means. Patrick Verner, who releases a new version of Parted Magic, makes the distribution non-gratis (must pay to download) for personal economic reasons relating to his family [12]. It's a good distribution that's a Swiss army knife for partitioning; some would surely pay for it. I have had it burned for years as it's a handy tool, still. There are some decent new distros lined up at the scene [13,14], with some beginners' needs [15] being addressed by the likes of DoudouLinux [16]. Other new distros [17-20] show that there is no crisis in new releases of GNU/Linux distros, it's just that coverage of them becomes somewhat scarce. They look more modern and advanced than before [21,22]. They promise to keep up with the needs of different users -- those to whom the freedom of GNU/Linux permits deviation that answers individual needs.

GNU/Linux does not need to be promoted for the system's long-term survival. Once upon a time, the term "Open Source" was also on everybody's lips; now that it's so mainstream and often the default choice, advocacy around "Open Source" (or Free software. which is in essence the original term) is somewhat unnecessary. The main problem right now is those who fake freedom and "openness" [23].

As one who engaged in very persistent advocacy of GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source software for several good years I know that the reason for reducing such activity is that with platforms like Android and RHEL both of the above became the market leader, whereupon the priority became to defend them from patent attacks. Advocacy could then also progress to trying to reduce corruption, promote justice, and spread freedom further than just the software.

Related/contextual items from the news:



  1. Betting on Linux | CR 71


  2. The Ubuntu Situation | LINUX Unplugged 9


  3. Burning Circle Episode 135


  4. Burning Circle Episode 134


  5. Linux Outlaws 321 – You Just Turned This into a Bloodbath
    Settle in for a massively long show as we recap the Linux and security news of the last month or two
  6. Linux Outlaws 320 – A Little Bit Rusty
    We are back in the saddle and tell you everything that happened to us since the show went off the air temporarily


  7. Episode 269: Beagleboard


  8. mintCast 178 – We Tried Hurd To Like It!


  9. S06E33 – Pulp Ubuntu


  10. Dozens and Dozens of Distros: Is It Too Much of a Good Thing?
    Well it was another relatively quiet week here in the Linux blogosphere, despite the arrival of a certain Saucy Salamander in town.


  11. Puppy Project in Peril as Founder Retires
    It's been over a week since Barry Kauler announced his retirement (again) and the Puppy project's future is now very unclear. Saying Woof and Puppy are now in "maintenance mode," where essential fixes are made, Kauler stated no new features or releases will be planned. Instead, he'd like to develop for the Ubuntu phone.


  12. Have You Tried Parted Magic?
    In my humble opinion, Parted Magic is simply the best multi-purpose tool-kit anywhere. I know there are competitors if you want to call them that. And they comprise some pretty good tools themselves. But Patrick Verner takes this project to a whole new level. Boot this tool one time and you will see what I mean. The interface is clean, simple and effective. The most used tools are on the desktop and the rest in a simple menu tree categorized by function. Parted Magic will boot on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. One of my favourite features is its ability to run completely in RAM, but has several other boot options. The ISO can be burned to a CD or run from a USB drive. You will find instructions to do both on the website. One more item I like is that the Linux kernel will be very close to the most current release. This one fact should be a clue to anyone that some real work is behind this project and that the kernel will be providing the latest innovations available.


  13. SolusOS: A Linux Distro Stands Its Ground…
    We’ve all heard the term, “Standing on the shoulders of giants.” In the Linux world, it’s more of a rule than an exception. I mean, a lot of Linux distros use another distro to base upon.


  14. Semplice 5 review – High Hopes
    Sometimes I come across a distribution that looks interesting and I want to see how good it is and whether it brings anything new to the table. That’s why I decided to take a quick look at Semplice, a desktop distribution based on the unstable branch of Debian.

    Its name is said to derive from “simple” and that the developers subscribe to the “KISS principle.”



  15. Which Distro Is Best for Beginners?
    So, "what's the best distro for beginners?" was the team's question in a recent Open Ballot poll.


  16. Introducing Kids to Linux Using DoudouLinux


  17. Reviews: First look at Tiny Core Linux 5.0
    What it really came down to this week was I used Tiny Core Linux and was very impressed with the achievements of the developers. Tiny Core is about as tiny as we can get and still have a point-n-click interface. The tools all seem to work well and we have easy access to software modules. But, apart from being impressively tiny, there wasn't much to the distribution. It is a great base, an excellent foundation, I'm sure, for building other things. Tiny Core appears to be less of an appliance and more of a workbench. It seems to be a good workbench -- small, fast, flexible and stable -- but, as the project's website points out, this is not a "turnkey" distribution for general purpose use. It's a small, powerful tool and an interesting experiment in just how small a Linux-based operating system can be while maintaining a friendly interface.


  18. First impressions of Semplice Linux 5
    Semplice Linux is a distribution based on the Debian GNU/Linux project. Specifically, Semplice is built using software from Debian's Unstable branch. The Semplice developers use the software packages in the Unstable repository and combine them with a custom graphical installer. The project's website also mentions that the distribution comes with support for encrypted LVM volumes and that Semplice is focused on being fast, light on resources, "rock solid" and elegant. This is accomplished by combining the Unstable Debian base with the Openbox window manager. The distribution is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and the ISO provided on the website weighs in at approximately 620 MB.


  19. Distro Astro 1.0.2
    One of the great things about Linux is that there really is a distribution for everybody, even astronomers or folks who would just like to learn a little bit about astronomy. If that’s you then you’ll want to take a peek at Distro Astro 1.0.2. Distro Astro is all about learning about our solar system and the universe itself.


  20. Manjaro 0.8.8 Pre2 Is Now Based on Linux Kernel 3.11.4
    Manjaro 0.8.8 Pre2, a Linux distribution based on well-tested snapshots of the Arch Linux repositories and 100% compatible with Arch, has been released and is available for testing.


  21. Ramone 0.97


  22. Dax OS 2.0.2


  23. Don't be fooled by phony 'open source'
    Companies that try to use some mutant form of open source to generate a contributor network effect are deluding themselves

    A number of attempts have been made recently to define open source models -- even new licenses -- that limit the freedom of anyone but the project instigator to benefit from the full range of rights to the software. Proponents believe they can generate a "network effect" of adoption and contribution without providing the same software freedoms to all.

    They are deluding themselves.

    [...]

    Newcomers to open source are often astonished to find great, complete, actively maintained software available free of charge. Some assume this is because of the selfless philanthropy of others "giving their work away free." Some even assume this is naivete on the part of the developers; indeed, one business leader has concluded that the best way to deal with the threat of open source to his business is to be parasitic: "If an open source product gets good enough, we'll simply take it."


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