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Re: Do we change the slogan?

> Hello,
> I don't like the part "by the people" very much. I do agree with the
> principles of free software, but nevertheless I think that many "normal"
> people want to have somebody who takes care of their computer problems.
> And they don't like to have to rely on good will. They want to have somebody
> (perhaps the computer dealer) who takes a little bit of money and gives
> support in return.
> Having to ask "the people" for support may scare the people ;-).
> Even free software should be fair, which means that if I take something, I
> want to give something, too. The normal user is not able to and doesn't want
> to give something back which is related to computers. So there should be the
> possibilty to give money back.
> Linux for the masses should take into account this situation.
> I'd prefer the former slogan "Independence, Linux for the masses".
> Thinking about the origin of Independence a normal user will in first place
> think about the person or organisation where she got the software, but not
> about the programmers who actually built it (Sorry, programmers).
> So, it shouldn't be "by the people", at least not within the headline
> slogan. 
> Having no organisation as a provider is a very suspicious concept for most
> people. Confronting them with the idea of free software should be delayed
> until they made some good experience with it.  

The idea, but perhaps is due to the very special context I was
educated to Unix, is distribution people are a kind of aristaocacy
that don't understand or care about the problems of the Linux user:
Linux has been used for years t home and we still get distribs who pay
little attention to the networking problems in dial-up contexts or who
assume the user will let the box powered up 24 hours a day.   Linux
has been used for years by people who had to take charge of system
adminisatration without _any_ Unix experience but distribution people
are still shipping distributions who are unforgiving, lack of easy
programs for repair (with luck you only get plain VI not even VI),
don't give you any clue of what is going wrong and are basically
unsecure with far too many active daemons.  Again distriibution
designers are thinking in Unix world where the box is oawned by an
organization and the sysadmin is a trained user who can fix such
problems in minutes while in Linux many users are private users thrown
into deep water from the start.

Distributions are also assuming Linux will remain confined to the
boring role of server while the fun things take place in Windows.
Distribution people act as if they had not noticed the economic
reasons who put Unix out of the desktop are not valid for Linux.  But
if you think in Linux as a workstation you try to get rid of manual
mountings (rare in servers frzqnt in worksations, realize that
shipping Samba is only a small part of what is needed for good
interaction with Windows and that you need far more productivity
software.  Linux can be used as a _personal_ computer but we are still
getting distribs who shuip only software for professional use or for
hackers: no check book management, relatively poor on fun software and
so on.  Finally with the availabvility of enbd user software like
WordPerfect, StarOffice, Civilization III or Myth2 we would atrract to
Linux those users who ar not interested in becoming computers experts
just for the macho tilt but in playing their favorite game or in doing
_real_ work, however we still get distribs who omit too provide
sensible defaults so the user can start work immediately in case he
wants to.

Distributions change but release after release and despite user demand
these problems remain unfixed.  They have a common origin:
distribution people think Unix instead of thinking Linux.  Problem is
these people are educated like Unix people ever were and thay are
unable to grasp the problems we are facing: Linuxers are different
people than Unixers and Linux is cost effective for usages Unix was
far too expensive to compete.  So blindinly following Unix steps means
provinding adistrib unstatisying for many Linux users and unsuitable
for many Linux usages.  And these users and usages are crucial to the
future of Linux.

That is why there is a need is a distribution made by the Linux users
(the ones who are in daily contact with the Linux reality) and by
those people imaginative enough to forget Unix and think Linux instead
of accepting solutions brewed by the distribution people.  In other
words Indy is a revolt of the Linux commoners against the distribution
aristocracy.  :-)

			Jean Francois Martinez

Project Independence: Linux for the Masses