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September 2009 Archives

A few people took Mark Shuttleworth to task in their blogs for making exclusionary and sexist comments in his keynote at last week's LinuxCon. Such as Open Letter to Mark Shuttleworth, A followup on the Shuttleworth incident, and On Keynotes and Apologies

Mr. Shuttleworth has remained silent when asked for comment, saying only to watch the video and judge for ourselves. The video is now up, thanks to Linux Pro Magazine and the Linux Foundation.

I watched it. I kept score. Everyone keeps saying what a nice guy Mark is. Well, maybe so, but even nice guys have their blind spots. I don't believe that nice guys belittle and exclude women, and that is what happened in this keynote. I believe that an apology is in order, both for the unfortunate thread of exclusion and sexism that runs the entire length of the talk, and for not understanding that dumb stuff like that distracts from the talk itself. That is unfortunate, because if you take away the dumb stuff it is an important and excellent presentation.


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big vendors want control. always. cloud.

don't depend on bigtime vendors to save linux.

foss is about power to the people

ken re; broadband, charity

support computers 4 kids, get kids hooked on linux

Why IBM won't Do Desktop Linux

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Bob Sutor, IBM's VP of open source, seemed to once again throw desktop Linux under the bus this week at Linuxcon:

Possible futures for the Linux desktop - the full list from LinuxCon:

"1. It goes away.

2. We stop using desktops, so who cares?

3. The Linux desktop becomes a tactic instead of a strategy.

4. One Linux desktop distribution ends up with 90% marketshare among those using Linux desktops.

5. One Linux desktop distribution ends up with 90% marketshare among all desktops.

6. We reach 33% / 33% / 33% parity with Microsoft® Windows® / Apple® Mac OS®; / Linux, plus or minus.

7. We stop pretending that it will be a drop-in replacement for the dominant desktop operating system, and make it something better.

8. The enterprise sweet spot for Linux desktops is virtualized Linux desktops.

9. We focus on usability, stability, security, reliability, performance, with some cool thrown in.

10. It's the browser, stupid."

What's wrong with this list?

The first annual Linux Foundation's Linuxcon is in full swing, and it sure looks like the face of Linux is still a bearded one, despite the Linux Foundation's grand claims of Community. Perhaps they have a more limited definition of "community."

Confession: I've never been much of a Firefox fan, but I am very happy for its success and I use it a lot. I have to, because even though my favorite Web browser is Konqueror there are a lot of sites that it doesn't handle very well. Firefox takes pretty much whatever you throw at it and it comes up smiling. My job requires that I spend most of the day online, so Web browsers are big deals.

But it has some quirks that some days make me want to slap Firefox silly, like when it crashes and there are multiple Firefox windows open, all of them vanish. This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder if Firefox isn't just a little too Windows-happy.

Way back in the last millennium, in the very olden days of Linux, most Linux users were grizzled old Unix graybeards. They saw Linux as a cute little toy Unix, but it was Free and free and fun. And so it was that there was no anguish at the sight of a raw nekked command line, and learning and progress were rampant, and life was good. Now Linux is the easiest of all operating systems to use, and yet anguish abounds in the land. Too hard! Too hard! Make it easier!

What the heck happened?

Here are more deep thoughts from Linux Today readers. Or at least entertaining thoughts. Or insightful. Or annoying. Or something!

Don Whitbeck settles the question of "Linux has too many choices" once and for all with irrefutable logic:

"Let's just have one flavor of ice cream. How about vanilla? All that choice is bewildering. "

Blog of Helios documents the famous Ken Stark's adventures in promoting Linux and helping children in Austin, Texas get nice Linux computers of their own. As anyone who has followed Ken's adventures over the years knows, he is a tireless Linux advocate who has launched a number of interesting events: the Tux500, Lindependence 2008, and Komputer4Kids. But Ken can't do it all and needs more people to step up and help.

Ken has inspired other people to launch similar projects and has his own little herd of Merry Penguins; that is, people who pitch in and help. But the time has come when the tireless Ken has to slow down a bit, and needs some more hands on deck. Perhaps one of them can be you.