Appropriateness of posts to this list (Was Re: evince crash)

Kevin Fries kfries at
Thu Dec 6 16:36:08 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-12-05 at 22:13 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> For those of us who are volunteers (most of us), the compromise is
> someone has to convince me it's worth my time to bother.  So I'd say
> the other way around.  The users who want volunteers to actually do
> free work for them need to be convincing why I should be bothered
> (hint: threatening to switch back to Windows doesn't motivate me at
> all).

If you need motivation from external sources, then maybe you are
misdirecting your efforts.  I am not trying to be mean here, but I use
and advocate Linux for many reasons.  Nobody has to motivate me to do
so.  I do so because I believe in the platform, and I want it to
succeed.  I want it to succeed for selfish as well as altruistic
reasons.  Many unpaid hours are spent helping someone get started, not
because I need to be convinced to do so.  I do so because I want Ubuntu
to succeed, I want Linux to succeed.  And I am not alone.  Many of the
local Colorado Local Group, are looking for ways to provide help desks
to noobs, to get more CDs out, or even get cards out pointing the
uninitiated to online resources.  None of them are paid either.  Nor do
any of them need to be convinced to do so.  They do so for the same
reason I do... Because it is what is needed to be done.

There seems to be this growing trend in the Ubuntu community lately, and
I am pretty sure that it is an all bad thing.  The developers, not all
but a growing number, seem to think Ubuntu is their baby.  The sweat of
their brow, and therefore, only successful because of what they do.
While I will be the first to say that these voices are still the great
minority, they are getting louder.  And diminish the fantastic work done
by so many.

There are many ways to contribute to a project such as Ubuntu.  I have
offered programming skills, and was treated quite rudely buy certain
members of the programming community.  They were extremely territorial
and condescending towards my efforts.  I have since decided to focus my
efforts elsewhere.

The comments above are exactly the attitude we need to guard against.
In my current day job, I design state of the art hand-held computerized
devices.  Because of my advocacy here, fewer and fewer of those machines
are being considered for Windows Mobile.  Because of my efforts here,
Windows Mobile is no longer mentioned when new projects come up.  That
takes my faith in the project, and the developers ability to deliver
that project.  Without the developers, my faith is misplaced.  Without
my advocacy, the developers efforts are purely academic.  I am no more,
or no less important than the developer, and I expect to be treated with
the same respect.  Not looked down upon so some developer can find

In addition to my day job, I am getting a business off the ground.  This
business is designed to bring real, solid, Linux based networking
solutions to the small and medium-small based business.  A market
segment that Linux has not had much success with in the past, and
Microsoft is pandering to.  Bringing Linux to a brand new market segment
is not easy.  However, I think by doing so, I can build a successful
business, allow small businesses to better compete, and advance the
Linux and Ubuntu cause.  But I do not degrade the efforts of others to
justify why I do this.  Eau contraire mon frer, I praise them.  For if
it was not for all that they do, I could not concentrate on resolving
the businesses issues.

I know that not everybody on this board is American, but one thing that
every American child learns in history class is in regards to the
American Civil War.  The north finally prevailed with a tactic of divide
and conquer.  We learn the slogan "United we stand, divided we fall"
quoted by Thomas Jefferson (attributed as far back as Aesop).  And
Abraham Lincoln's paraphrase of that statement "A house divided against
itself cannot stand" (one of the great speeches of all time).  Ubuntu is
strong when we all listen to each other, give each other respect, and
stop trying to claim that my problems are more important than your
problems.  EVERYONE, end user, advocate, consultant, developer, or even
the businessperson that uses Linux for his/her operating system of
choice, is in this together.  Or else, we can tear each other apart.

It is time to come together, shut our mouths, and listen to the other
sides.  It is time to do this so that all of our efforts can be
maximized, and focused on the common good.  It time to stop using the
word me (also meant in the metamorphic sense such as end user, or
developer) and start using the word us.

Thats just my $0.02

Kevin Fries
Senior Linux Engineer
Computer and Communications Technology, Inc
A Division of Japan Communications Inc.

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