"What is it that causes some Linux users, myself included, a
vague unease when talk turns to Linux moving into the mainstream?
After all, there's no doubt that this would be a good thing,
"I've tried to figure it out for a long time. Some things that
appear to be clues are actually misleading. For instance, newbies
posting to mailing lists or newsgroups are sometimes given the
impression that they're not especially wanted, that if you weren't
born with knowledge of Linux, you're out of luck; at least they're
given a taste of 'do your homework first.' This in turn leads to
accusations of 'elitism,' at which point any potential usefulness
in the exchange is buried forever. There are, too, those who object
to paying, ever, for software. Some have cobbled together a
philosophical argument to support their position, while some just
don't want to pay for software. Which is interesting, but it
doesn't explain much."
"A couple of incidents in the last week have provided what I
think are better glimpses of the causes, or perhaps the effects, of
the whole Linux, free-software, open-source movements. The first
was when I dropped in at a nearby computer 'superstore.'"