On 1/23/20 10:09 AM, Ian wrote:
I would like to contribute a few thoughts to this list as a
non-techhead, non-guru, humble end user.
Thanks for your contribution.
Please note that all of the comments below are my opinion only, and
are not intended to reflect any truth or fact.
I spent most of my life in IT departments of large companies and
government departments preparing system design documents and working
with developers and end users to build the user systems to meet the
user's requirements. So I basically had one foot in user space and the
other in development space.
From that perspective, may I say that, to me, it looks like some of
the documentation referred to in this list has been prepared by people
with a strong technical background, but perhaps with less focus on the
end user experience. I feel that there could be some benefit from
taking a broader view of where Linux may be going. Couple of questions.
Do you see the future of Linux as growing in the community and
seriously challenging the current software paradigm of paying to use
This is possible, Android is an open source operating system with a wide
non technical end user community. It is currently the dominant operating
system used to access the internet .
Do you see Linux desktop becoming more ubiquitous in the community at
large? And even seriously challenging the market dominance of the
current market leaders?
Do you see Linux becoming more ubiquitous in the corporate community,
running corporate networks with Linux desktop on every desk?
If the answer to either/both of the last two is "yes" do you see
Fedora as being the distro of choice for these scenarios? Or
coexisting with some number of other distros living in the same user
Do you see the development and maintenance of Linux moving from the
realm of the amateur enthusiast and centralised in one of more
corporate like organisations that can manage the development and
distribution of Linux cooperatively?
Do you see Fedora as a leader in the Linux ecosystem? How do you see
the relationship of Fedora to all the other Linuxes?
Do you see Linux "coalescing" into a smaller number of varieties than
are currently available (hundreds on distrowatch)? If so do you
envision that Fedora will be (or should be) the motivating driver
behind the move to a smaller number of "primary" Linuxes; better
supported, more robust and generally better managed?
I hope from the above you can see that my view is to ask what
Linux/Fedora can or should *be*, not what it can *do*. In five years
time what do you want to see when you look at Linux? where is it? What
is it doing? How is it being used? Who is using it? How is it making
all our lives easier and better?
In my view, part of the future for Linux is expansion into the
non-geek world of personal users who want to use their computers to
get stuff done. A certain amount of rationalisation of the Linux space
may need to occur for this to happen, and there may emerge a few
market leaders that support personal users, and become the "go to"
distros for new Linux users. It would make sense, in this scenario,
for Fedora to to be one of the market leaders, as it is one of the
oldest and best supported distros. (the first distro I ever used was
Fedora). If this occurred I think it would leave the rest of the Linux
userspace basically unaffected. Some of the more esoteric distros out
there might lose a few users, but I would expect the effect to be
basically unmeasureable. On the other hand it may be that, once the
average PC user has had a taste of Linux, they may look around for
something that suits them better, so some of the lesser known Linuxes
could actually gain users. Roundabouts and swings.
I also see an opportunity for Linux, and Fedora in particular, to move
more aggressively into the corporate sector. This expansion however
would have to be managed, and would require "corporatisation" to
manage the development, maintenance and marketing of Linux to the
corporate and government sectors. It seems to me the logical
organisations to take up this role would be those offering
implementation, management and support services for large computer
networks and installations, on a contract basis. They already exist
(Like RHEL), and many of them already manage Linux networks. But two
things need to happen for this to occur.
1) a greater focus on marketing the Linux desktop to corporates and
Perhaps a comparison with Ubuntu, Deepin and OpenSuse are needed
2) a more robust, resilient and reliable Linux desktop.
elaborate more on "a more robust, resilient and reliable Linux
desktop"? In particular do you have feedback from people or institutions
that use linux desktops and have paid support contracts? Many people
running linux desktops set them up themselves then leave them to run but
under invest in setup and customization, so their viewpoint while the
most common one for linux desktops, maybe unfairly negative.
Unfortunately I believe that currently the Linux desktop is just not
robust enough to be considered for corporate use. I like to tell my
friends that the difference between using Windows and Linux is like
the difference between driving a Toyota Camry and a '66 Mustang. The
Camry will always get you there with no fuss, always work, is
reliable, efficient, and boring as bat-poo. The Mustang on the other
hand is exciting and fun to drive, drinks petrol, can surprise and
delight you, terrify you sometimes, will usually get you there, and is
fairly reliable. But expect to spend a fair bit of time under the hood
(or bonnet, if you are in Australia). I hope you get my point. So the
Linux desktop needs to be the Toyota Camry of desktops (maybe without
the boring part).
So my vision for Linux would include:
Linux supports everybody using computers to achieve their goals,
whenever and wherever they need it.
Linux champions the principal of free and open source software.
Fedora is a market leader in the development, distribution and support
Fedora welcomes all contributions to its continuous improvement and
quality at all levels.
Fedora provides a simple, powerful and reliable user experience
As a final note, this blog post
perspective of open source software development. It recommends that
developers get paid to contribute to open source software development,
a not unreasonable outcome. In my opinion, it also lends weight to the
concept that the development of open source software needs at least a
degree of centralised management, which could also help in the
management of payment to developers for their contributions. Just a
It seems accounting departments need education on how to value
contributions to open source software.
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