The Divisive Linux Community: Page 2

Linux users find a lot to argue about, from audio tools to gaming to proprietary code.
Posted October 14, 2014
By

Matt Hartley


(Page 2 of 2)

So what about users concerned about gaming and using the proprietary driver for your video card? Are you working for the enemy and feel like you're pushing back Linux goodness into the dark ages?

In my opinion, no, that is just silly. The fact is, you'd be installing the proprietary driver by choice and are free to uninstall it at any time should your conscience get the best of you. No one is making anyone game or use proprietary code.

Blobs in the kernel and effective computing

Is Linus setting a bad example? No, I'm not talking about one of his rants or flipping off video card vendors. I'm alluding to the fact that he doesn't throw a fit over distributions providing binary blobs to their distributions. These distributions date back to Linspire and this practice is still being used today with Ubuntu (among others). The trade off is you accept that your hardware device receives the firmware support it needs in exchange for overlooking the fact that the firmware is proprietary in nature.

From a practical point of view, this means you end up with a working network device, or whatever the device may be. Unfortunately, from an idealistic point of view, this is a slap in the face to the Free Software movement set forth by Richard Stallman. The repeating theme you'll see popping up again and again is principles vs practicality. Neither idea is more important than the other, since in my opinion running proprietary code isn't killing anything or dropping planes from the sky. But both sides have validity.

Bringing the community together

No matter how much I might wish we as a community might put aside angry factions pitting folks against a desktop environment, a sound server, or the inclusion of proprietary code, arguments remain. The one thing we as a community can do is to push forth the positive.

Do you think that Steam coming to Linux is awesome, and find the idea of being able to Skype friends within Linux to be awesome? Great, spend your time promoting the joy it brings, instead of blogging how backward-thinking FoSS advocates can be.

The same must be said of FoSS advocates who think that trademarks and proprietary code users should be faulted for preferring a different desktop experience than you. Instead, share your positive experiences using a "Libre" desktop and support those who make that happen.

If we as a collective Linux community did a bit more of the positive and a little less of the berating of one another, our Linux enthusiast community would be a whole lot more welcoming to newcomers. Because if there is one thing I see in my inbox every single day, it's another blog post from some "figurehead" making a big deal about something most Linux users honestly don't have a stake in.

That last statement might seem a bit extreme, but to be honest, I for one am tired of the ongoing bickering about stuff that the community will decide the fate of anyway. Trust the community's vision and let's begin quelling the divisive nature of the desktop Linux community.


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Tags: Linux, Linux desktop


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