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LinuxPower: Hypocrisy: An Open Source Closed Community

Sep 03, 2000, 19:27 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by tom)

"I see dark clouds in the open source community this evening (... the middle night of LWE), and these ominous signs do not come from Microsoft infiltrators or profit-hungry corporations. Rather, these storms brew within the community, as its popularity grows and its members increase. As was once said, "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.". Allow me to elaborate."

"I have heard the whisperings, and for a long time, I wished not to believe them. Even when I saw evidence with my own eyes, I preferred to turn my head, but I can no longer do that. It does not matter to me whether or not slashdot sold out, I'm not in the position to judge them on that. Can you honestly say that if Andover offered you that much money, you would tell them where to stick it? What I am referring to is the subsequent elitism and corruption within the slashdot camp. Its in the sneer on their faces when new Linux users approach them with open arms. Its in the way they seem to "tolerate" the plebians surrounding them. I think that perhaps slashdot has forgotten its community, forgotten when they were the ones looking for advice, looking for inspiration. The slashdot camp expects to be treated like kings, with the open source community as their court. Perhaps they have forgotten that one of the wonderful things about the open source community is that we're all equals. Undoubtedly, slashdot.org has been a good advocate for the community over the years, but that does not give anyone the right to expect royal treatment. There is a marked difference between respect and worship. The "better than you" attitude has no place in the open source community."

"I worked in the IBM booth at LWE, representing a partner company that resells *nix based High Availability. I shared a rack with several IBM employees who were showing off the Memory Expansion Technology that they had worked very hard on, and incorporated into the Linux kernel. Everyone who saw their demo was impressed with the possibilities of their new technology, the capacity to double the memory available to the OS through hardware compression. But when one of these same employees won a laptop from Caldera on Thursday, as soon as he was identified as an IBM employee, he was booed off the stage. That made me sick to my stomach. The open source community should not be a place that is elitist about who they accept help from. These big corporations are helping the community in ways that the smaller individuals cannot, and we should respect them as we would anyone."

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