Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Linux Extremism: Puts a Hurt on Linux and Nothing Else

by Dietrich Schmitz

I have read the esteemed +Martin Gräßlin's post entitled Fanboys in Free Software and completely agree with his point of view.  It is quite sad that the true innovators are hated with such vilification.

To the point, I share with you today my own experience with Haters.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece entitled The Ubuntu FOSS Community: Merely Chumps on the Outside Looking In.  Now, mind you, most of my regular readership do take what I write in stride and the comments reflect that. (Image credit: nocookie.net)

To have used the word 'chump' is quite appropriate; here's a definition:


  1. A foolish person.
  2. An easily deceived person; a sucker.
block - log

Now, I really could have done much worse.  But the bluntness of the word is 'effective' in conveying the notion that, however sincere the Ubuntu community members may be, they are really being deceived into thinking that Ubuntu is a 'genuine' community-based Distro.

The point of the article wasn't that they are 'chumps'.  The point was that Ubuntu is being treated by Canonical as though it is community-based, when in fact it isn't.  There's plenty of room for discussion and feel free to go back to the story and respond if you missed reading it.

Anyhow, I wrote several stories about Ubuntu/Canonical, with a follow-on story A Kumbayah Moment: New Ubuntu Community Website.

Okay, I admit, I am kicking dust on somebody's shoes by writing it, but it really smacks of complete insincerety.  A community website for Ubuntu?  C'mon.  I just checked my Drivers License and can confirm, I wasn't born yesterday.

So, needless to say, that story didn't sit well with one commentor by the name of +Michael Hall a volunteer Ubuntu community member.  No one questions, including myself, his loyalty and sincerety, but I chose to call him a 'chump'.  It wasn't meant so much as a mean-spirited personalization, but a reference to the preceding story "The Ubuntu FOSS Community": Merely Chumps on the Outside Looking In".

And in follow-up I wrote yet another story Fedora Community Members are Chumps and so am I that, in my own discovery process, stated I was a chump as well for using Fedora--given that Fedora's charter board includes a Red Hat-appointed Chair which has 'veto' power on any decision made by other members of the Board.  So, that makes me a chump.  And I feel for the most part that most of the Linux community Distros don't operate in a community consensus gathering fashion.  That is the reality that everyone needs to come to terms with.

Okay fine.  With me so far?  And previous to that story, I wrote another story with the suggestion that the Ubuntu community take the Ubuntu code base and fork it.  Why?  Because it would help the community to seize control of decision making which is made by Canonical.  I submitted the idea sincerely and hope it will be done soon, for the sake of Ubuntu, because it's getting derailed by elitist decision making, favoritism, all born of being under one roof under the control of Mark Shuttleworth.

So, you'd think maybe some of the readers would have read in progression to see and connect the dots?  Yes?  Well, the next thing I know someone has decided to erect a website using my name and likeness (photo from this website) and pretending to be me.  

A series of emails were originated by me to the hosting ISP and to the domain issuer to request takedown of the website.  The website fraudulently registered their domain and were forced to re-register but have spent additional dollars to hide their identity.  The website moved from its original hosting website last evening onto the domain issuer's hosting service where they currently have the site erected.

I have sent another email requesting take-down of the site by virtue of their Terms of Service violation.

We'll see where this goes.  But, it is quite emblematic of just how far haters will go to cause harm to others on the Internet for expressing an opinion or having a different idea or approach to doing things.

It's also representative of an ongoing problem with Linux that creates a true image problem.  Fiefdoms, ideological differences impede true innovation.  Extremism is the by-product of hatred.

Robert F. Kennedy wrote this about extremism:

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

That extremism, or, The Linux Inside Stigma has caused Google to completely avoid using any reference to Linux in their marketing of the Chromebook.

So, let this serve to show just how far haters will go--Linux Extremism puts a hurt on Linux and nothing else.

-- Dietrich

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