LinuxPlanet: Editor’s Note: Colleagues, Not Competitors

“I recently received a questionnaire from a public-relations
firm regarding the Linux explosion and how Linux publications/Web
sites could be best served by public-relations firms. These sorts
of requests are not unheard-of in the publishing world, but a
couple of the questions in the survey got me to thinking about the
nature of Linux and why there’s a different mindset among Linux

“Basically, the underlying purpose of the public-relations
survey was to establish hierarchies in the Linux world: figure out
who was important and who was not important, so that the P.R. folks
would know who to court and who to ignore. That thrust was jarring
to me: in my mind, Red Hat Software and Caldera are important
(these were the two firms cited in the survey as being market
leaders), but there are many companies and individuals who are just
as important. The Linux kernel team. The volunteers who develop and
support Debian GNU/Linux. Advocates like Eric Raymond, Richard
Stallman, and Bruce Perens. Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux.
The Linuxware folks who are fighting the good battle. Alan Cox.
Sensei of Linuxnewbie.org. The tireless KDE and GNOME developers.
The corporate suits at IBM, SGI, Oracle, and H-P who had the guts
to make business commitments to a scruffy operating system. And so
on–the list could go on and on and on.”

Of course, Linux isn’t a purely egalitarian space: there
are some folks who are more essential than others. But because of
its very nature, Linux is an open space, open for all who bring
passion to their lives and endeavors. So I didn’t even bother
responding to the question, knowing that it wasn’t very likely that
someone outside of the Linux space would understand my assertion
that we’re all important.


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis