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22 July 2010
I follow a number of technology websites, video and podcasts when I get the time. This video has hit me as a bit of a surprise as it's from someone that is normally pro-linux. Here's my response to the issues raised.
First here's the video:
Trolls can be bad, but they are only a tiny percentage of the real community. Ignore the Trolls and look at the great way that users support others. You just need to look at the UbuntuForums to see what great stuff is going on.
RedHat may be a commercial company, but then you say later that you should be able to make money from Linux and that Linux needs commercial support? RedHat are a commercial company that have to make a profit. You may not like all their decisions but at the end of the day they need to make money to survive.
RPM is an alternative to Debian, but that should not be a big issue for most users. Popular software is normally available in your distros repositories but if you want something that's not open source or that has not reached that level of popularity then you do need to make do with the packages / methods by the software writer / company.
The audio systems do cause some problems and have been evolving for some time. Hopefully in future Linux will have a single audio system that works across all applications, but some application software will need to be updated to remove the need to support all the old methods.
Many people will use Linux and never have a problem, others may struggle to get some software to work.
I don't know the technical side of the X.org server, but this sounds like all operating systems may have similar problems, although perhaps to a smaller extent. If you are trying to do something that is cutting edge then there is going to be a time when some operating systems are better and then others catch-up and perhaps improve. Software is constantly evolving and I'm sure the developers on X.org are looking to make improvements.
This point is about software bugs / incompatibilities. Unfortunately there are bugs, but there are in all useful software. Sometimes these can be fixed with some help from the good Linux community. At least you don't have to pay out huge sums of money for buggy software as I've done in the past with other operating systems and applications.
I take offence at such a sweeping statement about Linux users being freeloaders. Linux being free (as in cost) does appeal to me, but then I've also bought commercial software for Linux (Crossover) and contributed financially and in other ways to open source software. We are not just Freeloaders. Even if we are then you appear to miss the point of Free and Open Source Software. I wouldn't be able to afford to do everything that I do with Linux and other Free software if I had to pay the same pricing as most Microsoft pricing. If commercial software companies can provide applications that provide something that people want and at a price they can afford they are likely to sell.
Some of the points you raise are valid, but we're not selling some kind of software utopia. Linux has come a long way, but it's not perfect, but then neither are many other operating systems and software applications. I am a big fan of Linux, I don't think it's perfect, but it does what I want at a price I can afford.
It sounds like you have had some bad experience with the Trolls, but you should just ignore them and get on with using Linux (or whatever other operating system you prefer) and providing your service to the community. I hope that remains Linux, but if not then that's your choice.
If you think that you can offer a service that people will pay for then go for it. If it's promoting or providing a service for Linux users then that's going to benefit Linux overall.