[xubuntu-users] The Devil's Advocate -- TANSTAAFL AKA "FOSS vs Proprietary"

Joao Monteiro jmonteiro257 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 13 16:35:40 UTC 2017

Ohhh.... I soooo agree with you both, David & Fred (btw, welcome back
David, hope you are well my friend).

I have for my whole life stating that the only constant in Life is Change.
I stand for it.

But hey... picture this...

This is exactly what I meant by having the major players joining together
to produce let's say a "basic" linux distro that incorporates the most
useful common denominators to them all.

This would make it easier to assemble a comprehensive help system for this

Then fit the ground floor of a building with machines loaded with this
distro and its available help system and call it "Linux Kindergarden".

All windows - and other - users desperate for a jump would be brought to
this floor.

>From here, they would be able to move onto the 1st floor, "Linuxland",
where they would then be able to explore all and any distro they fancied,
and which could be made available in there in an equally variety of

Maybe I'm a dreamer. But dreams do come reality if and when we put our will
and efforts into bringing them into existence.

Linux itself is proof of this. Linus Torvaldus proved it.

My devil's advocate opinion, of course

Tda ;)

On 13 Jul 2017 14:10, "fred roller" <fredroller66 at gmail.com> wrote:

> | What is needed is a common base upon which to build all that diversity.
> Read:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel
> Linus wrote a kernel to help his students and long story short gave it to
> the world.  The FOSS community adopted it and now we have diversity.  The
> arguments to reduce this diversification is in error I believe.  There are
> a wide variety of restaurants that serve the simple purpose of feeding us.
> If you had the choice of only 2 or 3 dining out would get old and the joy
> of dining with friends would soon diminish.  Having used a number of
> distros and FOSS you can build with the core data segregated and allowing a
> switch from this to that until you find what you like and/or go to
> another.  As for the loss of support, your favorite restaurant doesn't stay
> open forever, doesn't mean you stop going out or don't go looking for a new
> place.  The joy of discovery is, IMO, part of the charm of Linux.
> On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 5:54 AM, David Walland <
> davidwalland at googlemail.com> wrote:
>> I'd love to get stuck in to writing/proof-reading good docs for the Linux
>> community.  I've done this professionally for University Radiation
>> Protection.  This the point; the writer/proof-reader needs to have an
>> encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject and/or experts to correct
>> misapprehensions and rookies to feed back on ease of use.  When I wrote my
>> employer's Radiation Safety "Code of Practice" I had nearly 30 years of
>> experience, starting as a technician and ending as Radiation Protection
>> Adviser.  It still took 2 years to get it checked and double checked.  Even
>> then *one* important issue was overlooked.
>> This sort of thing is just not trivial, I'm afraid.
> Agreed.  Having been an author of sorts myself the monumental effort that
> goes into writing, esp. a technical manual for end users on a subject which
> is in constant flux is no easy task.  By the time the first couple of
> drafts were done it would be in danger of being obsolete. Try to understand
> the necessity of word choice and document structure as similar to the
> number of tweaks used in programming to make the software more efficient
> and the use of resources (memory, processes, etc.) economical.  The devil
> is in the details.
>> Now I'm, like Joao, a newbie.  I manage to work my way through setting my
>> (old) computers up, often simply following a list of commands, because the
>> discussion as to why you should what is simply above my head!  And of
>> course, right now, following the death of my wife I'm snowed under with
>> work and stressed out of my mind, so trying to read it all up isn't easy
>> even if I can make myself sit down and try to do it.
> My condolences for your loss.
> I am at best anymore a power user.  My introduction to Linux was back in
> 2005 when I removed all Windows OSs from my consulting business and
> switched.  Burning the boats as it has been referred forced me to learn as
> I directed that ALL solutions to our needs would be found or created within
> Linux/FOSS.  We managed a high 90's percentile in finding solutions for
> everything within the Linux/FOSS world.  The biggest is just finding the
> information resources that get you going towards a solution.  I am bad
> about pulling dated documentation by normal standards to solve issues but
> they act as good springboards to finding a solution.
> I have my favs for finding howtos and solutions  i.e. linuxcommand.org
> for a primer/refresher on cli basics, howtoforge.com for a number of
> solution across a number of distros, www.tldp.org for The Linux
> Documentation Project, stackoverflow.com for the more advance
> solution just to name a few resources.  The issue then is not so much a
> lack of effort in this segment of help guides as it is a lack of
> cohesiveness.  But then again, has anyone tried to navigate the Windows
> site for solutions?
>> I know a lot of the guys who write the OS and apps feel that we should
>> work to make our own way.  The problem is that many of us just don't have
>> enough knowledge to even ask sensible questions.  We ask what we think are
>> the right questions and then find that there isn't an answer or that it's
>> answering the wrong question.
> I agree.  Patience is not always apparent in the forums.  The
> diversification of hardware and issues makes each issue it's own unique
> problem.  This can take time to solve when you have to go through the
> battery of know fixes based on assumptions just to help the OP develop
> their questions to something specifically answerable.  Still, compared to
> the help call centers and delay of response from propriety make our effort
> more reactive and solutions tend to be faster as a whole in my experience.
> I have spent the 2-3 hours on the phone, mostly on hold, waiting to be told
> to restart my system.
>> How do we write material that helps newbies to learn enough to take off
>> on their own?  Writing that sort of material should be very good for *my*
>> understanding.
> In helping people on the ground with learning this new Linux stuff my
> process is to get them to functional state with the basic things the PC is
> used for: Turn it on, log in, get internet, start a browser.  From here I
> can help them develop their systems and teach them as I go, but I am here,
> a phone call away, to answer questions.  My users have been Windows
> marketing trained and that becomes my first hurdle.  How to forge had a
> wonderful guide on what to do when you finish installing the system.  Since
> the installation process is pretty much covered by the distros, these
> howto's seems the best model, that is "Now that you have a system here are
> things you can do.  Bare in mind the legal tap dance that prevents a distro
> from publishing so simple a document.
>> David
> While a number of solution in the Linux/FOSS community tend to emulate the
> proprietor OSs/Software, Linux/FOSS is it's own.  The diversification as
> mentioned is the strength of Linux/FOSS.  If a fork stops developing then
> you look for new solution or if the popularity of the fork is sufficient it
> will be picked up by another.  OpenOffice/Libre Office, Ubuntu/Xubuntu by
> example.  Change, while inconvenient, is a necessary part of life.
> My 2 bits,
> Fred
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