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Re: About standards and politics (sorry, I had to fix it :-)

> Date: Fri, 06 Aug 1999 16:04:17 -0400
> From: Brian Wiens <wiensb@algonquinc.on.ca>
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> Donovan Rebbechi wrote:
> > On Fri, 6 Aug 1999, Bud Beckman wrote:
> >
> > > Yep! That is something I was hollering about when I first started to put
> > > my hands on a computer keyboard. We are consumers looking for the best
> > > buy and not the best standard, sorry to say.
> >
> > Standards are ultimately good for consumers. So all other things equal,
> > standards compliance gives the consumer a better deal. Note that
> > in this example, removing standard utilities has no clear benefit for the
> > user ...

No I have withdrawn the propsal but who cares about proprietary
Unixes?  There was a time where Matt Welsh teached us we had to learn
VI because that was what was in other Unixes.  Or telling it more
explicitly "you better learn VI if you want to find a job".  But today
Linux weighs as much as all other Unixes combined, SGI has decided
not to port Irix to its Intel-based line and Sun is afraid enough of
Linux to go whining to IBM for IBM offering Netfinity servers with
Solaris preinstalled.  That means that in a short time it will be to
the guys of proprietary Unixes telling to their pupils: "if you want
to find a job you better learn foobar because this is the standard in
Linux".  We would still get interoperability but this time it would be
the other guys who would have to adapt. :-)

Add to this that most of our target a will never see a propriatary
Unix in life.

> I think that the point is that the consumer doesn't know that "the best
> standard" = "the best buy in the long run".  Betamax vs. VHS is a good example
> of this, where pricing, licensing and marketing of an inferior video recording
> and playback "standard" killed the consumer market for the far better format.

I had a Betamax.  What killed it was the fact Sony tried to keep it
proprietary.  That meant that there were more VHS available, so more
VHS users, so more videoclubs and then people stopped buying Beat
because the nearest place where thay could hire Betamax movies was ten
miles away.  And Beta died.

> In the consumers' mind, a good computer buy is one that does not require an
> advanced degree in computers, a shelf of O'Reilly books and Usenet access to be
> able to play Solitaire.  My mother (the infamous lowest common denominator :-)
> is comfortable with Win9x, even with the crashes, the incompatibilities, et
> al.  She doesn't know, and doesn't care, that the Evil Empire is going to kill
> her long term computing environment with their monopolistic behaviour.

DOS was as difficult to use as Unix.  But PCs were cheap.  That meant
using at home and learning alone.  That meant a strong demand for user
friendly tools.

Unix was usedf at work and in addition mainly for "high tech" tasks
performed by educated people.  Its users had people around them for
softening the learning curve.  => Little demand for easiness of use.
But Linux is different: it is not expensive and that means home use,
people who learn by themselves without anybody to soften the learning
curve. Those Linux users need easiness of use as badly as DOS people
in the eighties.

			Jean Francois Martinez

Project Independence: Linux for the Masses