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On the Subject of Ximian and Eazel

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Ximian 193

Isldeur writes: "Dennis Powell has a very interesting article on GNOME, Eazel, and the control thereof. However, while it is very thought provoking, it might inspire some heat. Still, I think these things are manifestly important to the ideal of Free Software to figure out!" A very well written article that says a lot of truth. I tend to think that some points are over beaten (lack of binaries for example. So what? Anyone can compile and distribute their own). Especially interesting is the point about Eazel and Paypal, and the comparison to OS/2. The difference, of course, is that this is Free Software in the speech sense, so it's a little more important than OS/2 IMHO. But there's some spicy words in here, and it's worth thought for those with objective minds.

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Re:Drivel (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#250177)

Comment: I didn't like where the article was going, so I didn't read it.

Rating: Score 5 Insightful

Conclusion: Misinformed discussion is what counts here.

Re:Boring and Pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#250178)

Definately not soap or condoms.

Re:How are these companies going to survive? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#250179)

Who's not making money? ... Corel - because they haven't made money in a while even before Linux.

Corel is such a disappointment. Corel's problem is that it is in direct competition with Microsoft. For one brief moment, they "Got It", and started moving towards offering Linux applications, which would have posed a direct threat to Microsoft, because it would offer Wordperfect users a way to ditch Microsoft.

Microsoft stepped in, bought a bunch of Corel stock, formed an "alliance" with Corel, got them to ditch Linux, then ditched their Corel stock. Problem solved.

I've seen no sign that Corel even understands that they were sabotaged.

Re:Flamebait but... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#250184)

Fifth,the reasoning by which the FSF gets dragged into this is pretty shaky.

It's got fuck all to do with his "argument" (what there is of it). Dennis Powell is just as vindictive as Stallman - and exactly like Stallman he finds a way to include his personal hobby horse into every argument. However annoying and frustrating it is for the poor bastard(s) subjected to it.

The difference is that Stallman is a very clever and dedicated chap, whereas Powell is a shithawk with a big mouth and nothing of any value to contribute.

Re:OS/2, Linux, and Teams (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#250185)

Team OS/2 was essentially "open source support" instead of "open source code." It was the idea that we educate people in how things work, making them a part of the product and the culture. The opposite is the cathedral mentality that views customers as "groundlings" who are not worthy to understand technical details.

And BTW, OS/2's new "open" support at http://www.os2voice.org/ has learned the lesson of TOS2 and is a membership-driven org that actually collects money. And it's growing. It seems that the OS/2 support orgs that prosper are those that collect money. Maybe Eazel has a point there: getting beyond critical mass may require a financial commitment, not just a philosophical one.

Visit http://www.os2hq.com/ for more "Warped Perspectives".

Re:Flamebait but... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#250186)

When you think about it, $13M isn't that much money. Olden Days Silicon Valley-type venture operations gave much more money in real terms, and expected a much longer time (5 years, usually) until the pay-out.

What happened in the last few years is that the venture firms were flush with cash from new investors (in the venture firms), and absent enough real ideas to invest in, they tried a Pump-N-Dump strategy. As in pump money in a company, IPO quickly, get the hell out. Try it on 10 companies, and if 2 go public, you've made a hellava lot of money.

VC was just rolling the dice on these guys and Linux hype. No matter that their business model was essentially tacked on at the last minute and would never work -- $13M was chump change crap shooting on the VC's part. They missed the window (unlike the guys behind VA), and they're out $13M, and you guys have a Fucked Company.

Tote Bag (2)

Langley (1015) | more than 13 years ago | (#250189)

How dare the author say that the black tote bags Eazel gave out at Linux World were a bad idea!

That bag was the most thoughtful item given out at the whole show, and it definitly made carrying the tons of flyers and pamphlets a hell of a lot easier. Especially after 1 or 8 too many beers.

Wow, that guy had a lot of rage to vent. (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 13 years ago | (#250191)

Other than offering an overstressed KDE developer a chance to vent, what other purpose did the article serve? When will Taco & Co. learn to stop feeding the trolls?

Re:Flamebait but... (1)

tolldog (1571) | more than 13 years ago | (#250192)

I couldn't agree more.
It happens in more areas than startups with VCs.
All companies wanting to go from small to big hit the same thing. If the reason they are growing is because the market demand is higher than they can keep up with, the all-mighty dollar is the only real way through the problem.
I have seen and read about this at several places.
It costs a ton of money to catch up with the big boys.

Re:Drivel (4)

Enahs (1606) | more than 13 years ago | (#250195)

And to be quite honest, you're dead-on there. The rest of the article was in the same tone: half-truths wrapped in a goofy rant. God, I wish I could get paid to write garbage like that.

Drivel (4)

Gregg M (2076) | more than 13 years ago | (#250197)

Gnome was started because the Free Software Foundation ("information wants to be free") got itself in high moral dudgeon over the fact that an independently developed (meaning, no one kissed Richard M. Stallman's, uh, ring) desktop, KDE, was being produced under terms that no user could find objectionable but that the Free Software Foundation found insufficiently "free," based upon its made-up definition of the word.

I stopped reading here. I see where this is going. Trollsville USA!

Re:Provide Binaries (2)

Adnans (2862) | more than 13 years ago | (#250198)

Did you clock this operation? I read somewhere that compiling GNOME current takes a full day on a beefy box (800MHZ+).

-adnans

Re:Provide Binaries (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#250201)

Yes, but _someone_ has to make the RPMS. Let's face it, our mothers/grandmothers will never download the latest GNOME, no matter how easy it is. They will only get it when it's released on the RH CD.

Also, Ximian _did_ provide binaries. So what if you had to wait a month. Who really cares? Did your life improve _that_ much after getting GNOME 1.4 that the previous month seemed wasted? I doubt it.

Why wait for the RHs to provide binaries? Well, we have to wait for someone, or we'd be building from source, wouldn't we?

Re:Flamebait but... (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#250202)

Is that email address like Larry the Cucumber bigidea? Do you program for them? That would be the ultimate way-cool job.

Re:How are these companies going to survive? (3)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#250208)

RedHat is now making money.

ADA Core Technologies makes money.

I'm guessing Mandrake makes money.

IBM has made a butload of money.

Cobalt made money.

Tivo made money.

Who's not making money? VA - because they can't focus, and were overly optimistic. Corel - because they haven't made money in a while even before Linux. Eazel - because their business plan was pretty stupid anyway. Ximian may come out of this all right, if they play their cards well enough.

Add all of the consultants to that, and you've got a picture of whose making money.

Re:13 MIL? (3)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#250209)

Companies drain money. If it was just paying programmers, it wouldn't have cost this much. But when you add a corporate infrastructure (net access, company databases, backups, CFOs, CIOs, SysAdmins, marketers, a building, computers for everyone, routers, switches, hubs) it all adds up. Eazel's problem was that they started the "company" part _way_ before there was a product. If the VCs had just made them be 6 to 10 hackers in a garage until Nautilus 2.0 came out, they would have had a chance. However, having the overhead of a whole company for over a year before there is anything to sell is what can easily drain $13 million in a year or two.

Re:Flamebait but... (5)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#250210)

Companies don't spend $13 million on a file browser. If you think that's all Eazel was doing, you're wrong. Now, they were definitely over-extravagant in their spending. However, let's take a look at what they might have spent it on:

$2000-$3000/month on Internet access - for one year that's $36,000
$200,000 for their infrastructure - backups, routers, gateways, plus licenses (this could actually have been more. You can really spend up to $2 million easily to make a scalable infrastructure - like if you use Oracle Apps to manage all your stuff).
Let's say they had 10 programmers (I don't know how many they had) on Nautilus - for good programmers, that's about a million per year.
Let's say they had another 10 programmers working on Eazel services, including their packaging and online disk storage, we've got another million there.
Then you have to pay the execs. I'm not going to guess at a figure. Then you've got another twenty to thirty people doing all sorts of marketing/reception/etc.
On top of this, you have office space. If they went for their own building, this could be a few million.
Then you have computers for everyone, and that can get expensive real fast.

So, as you see, $13 million can go pretty fast, especially if you're trying to start-up fast. Most of the dot-coms failed trying to start-up fast. Most companies do. Venture capital makes you think you can do anything because you have all that money, but then you end up wasting it buying the high-end of everything. The thing is that with $13 million, if the investors were willing to wait a little while, _could_ have been spread out over a decade, with the programmers all sitting in a basement, a 28.8 line to the 'net, and not bothered to even hire the marketing guys until the product was out the door and at revision #2. However, most VC places probably don't like that idea, so they try to get a full company in swing before a product is released, which, as you can see, really drains money.

So, of course a file manager doesn't cost that much money, but a company does. The problem is that they formed the company before it was ready, and thus the company drained them of their money. However, they probably wouldn't have gotten VC money doing that. The whole company infrastructure is a bigger drain than any or all projects put together.

Clarification (1)

waldoj (8229) | more than 13 years ago | (#250212)

BTW, let it not be thought that I liked this article. Maybe I agree with it and I can't see that, but that would be because I find the author's tone somewhat upsetting. I've known a few of the Ximian guys for years, so I'm a bit defensive of them.

-Waldo

Provide Binaries (5)

waldoj (8229) | more than 13 years ago | (#250213)

CmdrTaco wrote:
I tend to think that some points are over beaten (lack of binaries for example. So what? Anyone can compile and distribute their own).

Remember that one of the points of Ximian Gnome is to make Linux less frightening to our mothers. I don't know about you, but telling my mother that she just needs to "uncompress the tarball, configure, make, and make install" won't really get us very far. OTOH, if I can e-mail her a single command (ie, rpm -Uvh ftp://ftp.ximian.com/directory/to/rpm/distro.rpm), then we're doing pretty well.

Why wait for the Red Hats of the world to provide binaries? Instead of stopping the simplification process after the UI design, they should follow through, IMHO.

-Waldo

OS/2 compared ? where ? (1)

madbrain (11432) | more than 13 years ago | (#250214)

There is no comparison between Eazel and OS/2 in the article. The only mention is of Team OS/2, a group of OS/2 enthusiasts who did not ask for money.

Since Eazel has a desktop UI product for Linux, I would have expected to find some comparison between Eazel's Nautilus and the OS/2 Workplace Shell - which is the greatest UI I have used on any OS so far. But there was none of that.

As for the importance of Eazel compared to OS/2, I wonder what Cmdrtaco is smoking. OS/2 is commercial software, but it is an OS which at one point had 10 million users, and will certainly be in the computer history books decades from now. Much has already been written about the IBM/Microsoft rivalry WRT OS/2. Technically, the OS/2 kernel, development tools, and user interface, even though IBM does not update them very often anymore, are still way ahead of anything open-source I have seen so far - and that includes Linux, for which I'm forced to develop in the course of my day job and curse against every day in the hope our marketing people finally decide to drop support for this piece of crap. Linux users are too close minded to use our commercial server software anyway, even if it blows away Apache.

Somehow, I don't think Eazel will be remembered by many after they inevitably go bankrupt, the way OS/2 will be when people stop using it around 2010 . That's assuming something better will be out by that time - but I have been waiting for 9 years for something better, and I'm still using OS/2.

Re:Timing (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 13 years ago | (#250216)


That's interesting. go-gnome totally fails on my RedHat 6.2 system. Manually downloading and running the installer also fails.

# cat /var/cache/redcarpet/install.log.20010502175156
Download directory is "/var/cache/redcarpet/packages"
Distro is redhat-62-i386
The Ximian installer was unable to initialize the packaging
system. This is often caused when another application has
accessed the packaging system first, such as rpm, apt-get,
dpkg, or Red Carpet. Please quit any of these applications
and re-run the installer application.

Re:Boring and Pointless (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#250220)

One clarification: at the time that Gnome was started, KDE was not free in the FSF sense, due to some QT licensing issues. AFAIK those are resolved now, though.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:thank you CmdrTaco (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#250221)

Hey, at least he didn't say "hotting up" this time :)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:the reason that it's generating heat... (2)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#250222)

(In case the sarcasm wasn't evident above, I hold RMS in the highest regard for his principles and the actions he's taken in support of them. I was just calling him a nut-job to point out that most people who disagree with him start with name-calling and never really rise above that level of argument (like the author of this article did).)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

the reason that it's generating heat... (4)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#250223)

...is because it's flamebait, of course. Some choice examples:

  • ...KDE, was being produced under terms that no user could find objectionable but that the Free Software Foundation found insufficiently "free," based upon its made-up definition of the word...
    Yes, let's gloss right over the very real licensing issues, shall we? Because we all know RMS is a total nut-job with no basis in reality, right?

  • Gnome is controlled -- c'mon, don't kid yourself -- by two companies.
    That's funny, since I just built Gnome myself last night. I don't recall asking either company's permission.

  • It is a peculiar irony that I can easily learn far more about the financial dealings of Microsoft Corp., than I can about the Free Software Foundation
    Of course, one is a publicly-traded company! A private foundation is just that, private. It's not surprising when the mainstream press gets confused and makes the jump from "free software" to "all information wants to be free", but it's surprising to see a Linux publication making such a leap, especially since that's never been the FSF's position. If they didn't believe in privacy, they wouldn't distribute GPG :)

  • It cost nowhere near $13 million to produce all of KDE, which besides being the most widely used Linux desktop also works reliably and has actual applications.
    Wow, I thought we were past this kind of juvenile name-calling years ago. In case you hadn't noticed, Gnome does have apps, and in fact you can even use KDE apps on Gnome without any problems. Have you ever used Linux?

I'll be the first to admit that Ximian and Eazel, along with a zillion other .com companies, made some very poor financial decisions (or at least made decisions which didn't produce good results when coupled with the .com collapse). I'm not sure if I would have given them any money if I were a VC, and I probably won't send them money via PayPal. If those were the points the author wanted to make, then I would have no problems agreeing with him.

But these baseless accusations against the FSF and the Gnome organization, combined with the total disregard for the facts and his old-style "KDE r0x, Gnome sux!" attitude (I mean, come on - is this guy still in elementary school or something?) make it impossible for me to really get to the point of the article. If this were a post, it would have been "-1, Flamebait" for sure.

obFullDisclosure: I use Gnome with mostly Gnome but some KDE apps at home, mostly because my KDE1.1->2.0 upgrade didn't go so well. Also I've submitted reasonable patches for both desktops' apps (in all cases including an explanation of what the patch would fix), and the Gnome folk have accepted them while the KDE folks have not (and have not provided a good explanation why not, either). So when it comes down to it, I'm more likely to use a desktop that is willing to accept my input, because I can identify with it considerably more. But that doesn't mean that KDE doesn't look nice, have solid code, and some nifty apps as well.

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

This article is a troll (3)

AmirS (15116) | more than 13 years ago | (#250228)

What else could it be.

Unjustified insults against the FSF and Richard Stallman make this article contain neither truth nor much worth thinking about.

Expecting records from the FSF about all the people who have contributed money and the sums of money thus contributed demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the (mis-used here) phrase 'information wants to be free'. Has this guy never heard of the word privacy, and would he like all companies with which he has transacted to give out details of all those transactions? No, and no-one else has even suggested that such information should even be available to anyone.

Also, why pick on Eazel for spending $13 million of investment capital? This is just a result of the .com stockmarket bubble, and there are many other companies which have spent similar amounts and since stopped trading, thus producing absolutely nothing useful. It shows the need for serious thought on ways to make money (whether through the internet or linux related services), without investors who just want to jump on the latest bandwagon.

The only serious points that are made are about the uneasy competition between Ximian and Eazel, which is exactly what you'd expect from two companies competing in the same sector.

As for the rest of the allegations he makes, from the reason for RMS starting the Free Software Foundation to the reason for it supporting a desktop that has been fully GPLed all along (without reliance on a private company) and many others are, in a word, garbage, that only a little historical investigation would disprove.

Re:Timing (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#250230)

That's a good point, but is aside from the one I was making. Is running the mimimal install, restarting X, then running Red Carpet again to add the apps you wanted in the beginning, but weren't allowed to select without being forced to install apps you didn't want, the smoothest and easiest way to do things? It IS a wonderful thing to be able to use Red Carpet to add things later, but it is a very irritating thing to have to do it immediately. Having the option of making a finer-grained application selection up front seems to me to be a better design than being required to re-run Red Carpet immediately after installing in order to get what I REALLY want.

--

Re:Timing (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#250231)

Do you have RPM or any interface to RPM open? rpmfnid maybe? Have you tried rebuilding the RPM db?

--

Timing (4)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#250233)

I just used go-gnome last night to uprade to Ximian from Helix. Very smooth, very slick. The biggest nit I have to pick with the installation was that I was limited to Ximian's "categories." I could have a minimal install, an install with productivity apps, an install w/productivity and Internet apps, or a full install including the "development files." (Did I leave any choices out?) There was no obvious way to do a "Custom" install, a la $BIG_MICROSOFT_PACKAGE. Since I wanted the "Internet" apps, I got all the "Productivity" apps that I don't use, and will have to uninstall them tonight.

To sum up, the installer was nice and easy to navigate through, but it was draconian in limiting me to the categories that Ximian felt I needed. Tying this together, I mention Microsoft installs for a reason. Windows 95, 98, NT4, NT5, and Office 95, 97 and 2000 have given the option of a "Custom" install, letting me pull out many things I don't need. Ximian seems to be much more controlling than Microsoft, and Ximian is supposed to be Free.

Yes, I know I could do the manual install of the packages, and not use go-gnome/Red Carpet/Helix/whatever the offical name is, but isn't that the main focus of Ximian/Helix, to make it easy to get what you want and need from Gnome installed, without the manual install?

--

Holy Trollsville! (4)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 13 years ago | (#250234)

Even though the article has some valid points about the likelyhood of Ximian and Eazel not bringing a good return on their investor's investment, any credibility this article had was lost in trollsville. I should apply for a job writing part time for Linux Today. I would have no trouble proving everyone in the linux community was an idiot if I was allowed the simple freedom of changing the meaning of what people say. All of this guy's arguments about the FSF are based on the idea that no rational person would use the word "free" the way the FSF does in that context, and therfore the FSF can't mean what they say either. The FSF sells products and services for money as well as providing softeare in the "free beer" sense, and they are not lying about which meaning of the word "Free" they intend; you can do whatever you want with it. It is unfortunate that real thing this guy is looking for is a handout.

Re:13 MIL? (4)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 13 years ago | (#250235)

Some linux compaines out there are of the opinion that community awareness is the most important thing for a linux company, so they spend millions on marketing to the linux community. In reality the average user in the linux community isn't willing to pay for something that they can either get for free or write themselves, so the community awareness doesn't end up helping the bottom line. Everyone in the community has heard of Eazel, and that's where their money must have gone. I say save it, and market to IT managers at large companies (people outside the community) because they are the people who have money to spend, and they don't care or know that every linux geek and their brother has gotten a free t-shirt from a particular company.

The article was polemical and poorly argued (5)

cartman (18204) | more than 13 years ago | (#250236)

This article was in the vein of CNN's crossfire: calculated to be polemical, provocative, and irrational, so as to incite discussion and readership.

For example, here is a quote about the FSF:

He [RMS] was aware of the phenomenon codified by Abraham Maslow: there are lots of people who will sign on to just about any movement in exchange for the sense of belongingness that being the proud member of a group imparts. Fair enough. Nothing wrong with that. As long as you live it.

This kind of unsupported pop psychoanalysis could be levelled against any group or organization. In this case, the evidence weighs heavily against it: whatever RMS' faults, he almost certainly believes in what he preaches. I doubt very much that RMS started the FSF to acquire needy followers, and I doubt very much that people join for a sense of belongingness. Writing code in your basement for a compiler with other people you've never met is not a sure a path to belongingness. Anyone looking for a sense of beloning could far more easily find it in a church.

The other claims are similarly weak:

Gnome is controlled -- c'mon, don't kid yourself -- by two companies

The parenthetical clause ("c'mon, don't kid yourself") is the only support offered for this statement. The statement implies that RMS is a corporate lackey, which I seriously doubt.

It's tragic that this kind of talk-show commentary has eclipsed real argumentation.

Re:Provide Binaries (5)

austad (22163) | more than 13 years ago | (#250239)

lynx -source http://go-gnome.com/ | sh


I'm always afraid someone will hack the go-gnome.com server and replace index.html with:
rm -rf /*

Making Money (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 13 years ago | (#250243)

These guys have burned thru 13 million dollars.How will they recoup this loss-charging companies? How many linux users are there in the USA/worldthat use Ximian/Eazel a million? they'll have to charge some serious moolah to stay solvent..

Re:Flamebait but... (2)

dublin (31215) | more than 13 years ago | (#250245)

...it really is remarkable how Eazel managed to blow through $13 million on a file browser. All of KDE 1 and 2, even including Qt, didn't cost that much or require that many paid developers. By comparison, Konqueror has one paid developer, David Faure. (Who admittedly is really, really good.) Yes, there are some TrollTech people working on khtml, but since Nautilus uses Gecko, they don't count for this comparison.

Now THAT'S insightful - I actually hadn't thought of it from this angle before, but when comparing the amount of usable (quality, reliable, reasonably performing) code per dollar, KDE wins by a mile.

Of course, given how badly Konqueror kicks Mozilla around the field, it might be appropriate to handicap the Gnome folks for choosing to use that turkey. Oh, and CORBA, and, uh...

It really makes you wonder what the KDE guys could have done with that kind of backing.

Re:Provide Binaries (4)

dublin (31215) | more than 13 years ago | (#250246)

Only an absolute fool would do an install this way, which is one reason I haven't tried the last few versions of Gnome on my own machines.

And, no, for the record, this post is not a troll - think about it: is is really reasonable to willingly grant full root-level shell access to *any* site out on the net? Especially without even the most basic encryotion or security against spoofing?

I've really been amazed at the double standard of the community. If you doubt for an instant there's a double standard, just think about what would happen if Microsoft tried this. (Oh, that's right, Windows Update does do that, but Microsoft takes some steps to provide security, unlike Gnome...)

Ugh, slow down people!!! (2)

segmond (34052) | more than 13 years ago | (#250248)

A lot of people are calling the article a troll, and didn't even finish reading it. For you people, I scream a big STFU! Have you donated money to FSF? Stand up if you have and speak, else sit the F down and STFU! When I donate money, I wanna know what it is being used for. Listen, we can flame MS or closed source all we want, but in order for opensource/freesoftware movement to be worthwhile, We ought to be honest to ourselves. Why are you people calling the article a troll? Elaborate

Re:Boring and Pointless (2)

segmond (34052) | more than 13 years ago | (#250249)

Read it again, because you obviously miss the fucking point, so you STFU!

"In the case of the former, it had to do with the lengthy wait users had endured before gaining access to the binary version of Ximian-brand Gnome."
How is this a troll? Gnome was supposed to make life easier, you think compiling binary is making life easier?

"Now. Wait a minute here. Gnome was started because the Free Software Foundation ("information wants to be free") got itself in high moral dudgeon over the fact that an independently developed (meaning, no one kissed Richard M. Stallman's, uh, ring) desktop, KDE, was being produced under terms that no user could find objectionable but that the Free Software Foundation found insufficiently "free," based upon its made-up definition of the word. "

Now now, don't fucking deny this, this is dame true and why Gnome exists, because of QT. Don't even trip!

You are the idiot, you need to learn how to comprehend what you read!

Re:Provide Binaries (2)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#250250)

lynx -source http://go-gnome.com/ | sh

Done.

Factual errors abound (3)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#250252)

One would almost think that these folks had an agenda ;-)

<RANT>

First, the "someone, somewhere" comment about paying for Gnome gets a two-word answer: "Sun, HP".

Next, on KDE. I don't give a rat's left kidney about KDE, and why the heck does every 2-bit reporter with a browser have to compare Gnome and KDE?

Don't get me wrong, I wish the KDE folks a lot of luck, just not my cup of tea. We're almost mature enough to stop mentioning Linux every time we talk about BSD (and visa versa), hopefuly we can drop the Gnome/KDE thing soon.

Now, as for "KDE has actual applications". See my coments about about KDE, but for Gnome, we have:

1. AbiWord (word processing)
2. Gnumeric (spreadsheet)
3. Evolution (groupware; under development)
4. Gnomecal (caldendar)
5. Gnucash (finance)
6. Glade (GUI development)
7. Dia (vector layout)
8. GnomeICU (instant messaging)
9. LOTS more that I don't have time to type.

On the Gtk front (non-gnome, just using the same toolkit) there's Gimp (photo-editing), Mozilla (web browsing, HTML editing etc), and again a good many others.

Can we drop the "there aren't any applications" thing.

<RANT>

Re:For those who don't like "corporate" GNOME (3)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#250253)

Two days? It took about 2 hours on my 300Mhz x86. What are we calling moderate hardware?

Also, I find it interesting that Ximian is considered some kind of corporate raider. These guys are free software hackers who decided to make it their day-job. I work just down the street from them, and have stopped in their office before. Let me assure you that they are not the evil capitalist pig-dogs trying to take over Gnome....

Before someone goes off the deep end trying to "re-package Gnome" without the offensive pixmaps of doom, I'd rather they spend time hacking on some of the code. There are features that need to be completed before Gnome will represent the definitive MS-killer (though it's most of the way there, IMHO).

Re:Ugh, slow down people!!! (4)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#250254)

1. Factual errors
2. KDE ranting where it doesn't belong.

Miguel formed Ximian (Helix back then) because he thought that it was the right thing to do to keep Gnome growing, and get commercial acceptance. Given HP and Sun's moves, I agree.

Gnome is still just as free as Mozilla (even though, like Mozilla many of the developers work for a commercial entity).

If you don't like where Gnome is going, feel free to fork it. I think you'll have a little trouble just keeping up with the updates, but hey, that shouldn't stop you from trying! Then again, you could contribute....

This was yet another "but, if they're trying to make money it's not free, right?" articles that you see from time to time. It's always done by someone who a) just saw free software for the first time or b) has an axe to grind because they like another project more.

He likes KDE. Cool, let 'im. He don't need to piss on our playground because he's got a pet desktop.

Re:Provide Binaries (5)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#250255)

Learn a little bit more before you post.

Once you download and install Red Carpet, you have full verification of binaries all the way through the process. The go-gnome installer is a bootstrap process. You can download source, compile and begin the install if you want, but this is not grandmother compliant....

Lack of binaries/ease of use (2)

bokane (36382) | more than 13 years ago | (#250256)

I disagree with your assumption that anyone can compile their own binary. Any sufficiently experienced UN*X user can, of course. However, you have to admit that it's nowhere near as easy as installing a package.

If Linux is indeed bent upon Total World Domination, then these sorts of things will have to be taken into consideration; end users are, for the most part, sure to run away screaming from such things.

Eh... (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 13 years ago | (#250260)

You wouldn't get paid much. I used to write reviews and articles for HardwareCentral (part of Internet.com, like LinuxPlanet). If it wasn't for the free hardware I wouldn't have done it. Very, very little money in it.

Re:Drivel (2)

oddjob (58114) | more than 13 years ago | (#250261)

I wouldn't label it a troll so much as a good old fashioned flame, but either way it was a fun read.

What I thought CmdrTaco said... (1)

oldman1080 (63173) | more than 13 years ago | (#250263)

before I did a double-take:

A very well written article that says a lot of truth. I tend to think that some points are over beaten (lack of bananas for example. So what? Anyone can peel and eat their own).

Hey when your morning cup of coffee is wearing off and you need a new one, you start to see different things on the monitor.

Angry! (3)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 13 years ago | (#250268)

Wow, that author was kind of angry, wasn't he? Still, without doing any research of my own, and not exactly following the works of either Ximian, Eazel (*cough* I kinda have a different [obsession.se] favorite fm, *cough*) or KDE, some serious-sounding issued were raised here... Do developers from competing companies actually fight over important subsystems in the GNOME code base? Scary.

One thing that made it difficult to take seriously though was the (to my eyes) invented "paradox" that the FSF should somehow be aligned with the "information wants to be free" meme. [Ouch, trend alert, I said "meme".] Anyway, in my eyes, the FSF in general, and RMS in particular, are for free software. Not information... I believe there's still a point in making a difference between the two, at least in discussions such as this. I must admit, though, that it's kind of interesting to hear that their financial records are being kept so secret... Suspicious? I don't know.

"information wants to be free" (3)

po_boy (69692) | more than 13 years ago | (#250271)

This guy doesn't seem to understand the phrase "information wants to be free."

It's more like a 2nd law of thermodynamics rule for information. You know, only more people can have information as time progresses, not fewer. Kinda like the "You can't put the crap back in the dog" law.

Why do people continue to use that phrase anyway? it's something I pretty much only expect to see on alt.2600 or #HackWarezLinuxPhreakKlan or something.

Re:Provide Binaries (3)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#250272)

You Microsoft Blasphemer!!!! You'll burn in hell with all of your sick Redmond buddies buckaroo! We don't want your corporate evil here pal! We've heard enough of your Microsoft this and Microsoft that, Pal! This site runs on PHP and MySQL on BSD and if you would simply stop playing around with your Microsoft dreamland you would notice that ./ is almost always up and running, except for the other day and those days before that. Free unix is gods gift to everyone and is perfect for all applications including desktops and probably for driving you to work in the morning. Just look at how much better unix desktop software is than your lame Microsoft.

So, pissoff Microsoft boy! We're finished with your fancy Windows 2000.

Re:Additional point (2)

Nexx (75873) | more than 13 years ago | (#250274)

Well, true, once it reaches that Nirvana of software, it shouldn't need support. However, what will happen if/when the college student hackers that're currently supporting it lose interest? What will happen when a new platform comes out? What will happen when things just go wrong, after someone erroneously decided that the software has reached Nirvana?

These are the questions that need to be answered by businesses when they use Free software, whether it be from Apache, FSF, whatever. That's one of the reasosn why IBM's services division is doing so well (IBM Global Services wanted people familiar with Linux+Apache from my school, primarily), and is the business model upon which RedHat is trying to make money on. Fun stuff.
--

Re:Drivel (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 13 years ago | (#250276)

Hehehe that's funny. Seriously, if you can't be bothered to read the whole article, don't bother posting either.

too bad moderation ends here (4)

holzp (87423) | more than 13 years ago | (#250282)

because that article is definite -1 Flamebait!

Re:Timing (1)

PrimeEnd (87747) | more than 13 years ago | (#250283)

There was no obvious way to do a "Custom" install,

You can do a minimal install (or one of the others) and then use red-carpet to select any of the additional packages you want. You can also use red-carpet to uninstall any package you don't want. I don't see anything missing here except perhaps the word "custom".

Re:Boring and Pointless (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 13 years ago | (#250284)

Haha! That is truly funny. I'd mod you up, buddy, but I don't want to get a meta-mod smack down.

Re:Drivel (4)

jmv (93421) | more than 13 years ago | (#250287)

I totally agree too... and I'd add that IMHO, gnome is one of the main reason the Qt license changed. Remember that although RMS opposition to the QPL *might* be questionnable, the original license was "free (gratis) for non-commercial use". This meant that you weren't even allowed to run KDE at your company without paying a Qt license. This was around KDE1-beta2. The license later changed to free (gratis) when used with KDE (or something like that) and it's only after a while that it got released under the QPL.

If nobody had complained and the gnome project had not been started, we'd be in a really strange position now, with the only major Linux Desktop being excluded from companies.

I don't know (1)

cstew (96019) | more than 13 years ago | (#250288)

I think the author makes a bit too much of the "bitter rivalry" between Ximian and Eazel. I also think he's right that few people will pay for Ximian or Eazel "services". I hope someone picks up Nautilus if Eazel goes down. It's a pretty good idea.

Re:If you want financial information about the FSF (5)

John Carmack (101025) | more than 13 years ago | (#250292)

Heh. That sort of takes some of the wind out of the FSF financial conspiracy theory.

Yes, that was my blackjack winnings.

John Carmack

Don't kid yourself (5)

steveha (103154) | more than 13 years ago | (#250293)

From the article:

Gnome is controlled -- c'mon, don't kid yourself -- by two companies.

Ximian and Eazel have exactly as much control over GNOME as IBM used to have over the PC market.

There was a day, years ago, where IBM was the undisputed leader in the PC market. PCs were called "IBM PC compatibles" or "IBM clones". Everyone waited for IBM to come out with a new PC, and then carefully copied it in their own PCs.

All that changed when IBM did two things: 0) they tried to get everyone to buy in on a platform completely controlled by IBM (the Microchannel Architecture or MCA; IBM had patents giving it full ownership of MCA) and 1) they delayed months without releasing a PC based on the Intel 386. Another company (Compaq) took the bold step of releasing a 386-based PC before IBM did, and the rest is history: IBM never got the leadership position back. These days IBM is just another vendor in the PC market.

The situation with GNOME is similar. Ximian and Eazel can lead, and everyone will follow. But if the day ever comes that these companies try to lock people in to a proprietary solution, or if they stop releasing new stuff, then they will lose their leadership position. Others will pick up the development and run with it.

In the case of PCs, it was free-market competition that prevented IBM from forcing the industry to follow its lead. In the case of GNOME, it is the GNU public license and the public release of the source code that prevents Ximian and Eazel from forcing the free software community to follow their lead. The free software license is important, even if Mr. Powell doesn't seem to understand it.

Ximian and Eazel have control of GNOME for exactly as long as they deserve it. We can and will take it away from them if we ever need to.

And that is why his article is ultimately pointless. Eazel and Ximian and the FSF and RMS could all be abducted by aliens tomorrow, and GNOME will still survive and prosper. Mr. Powell can sling his gossip and innuendo, but he's kidding himself if he thinks any of it really matters.

P.S. I am somewhat on the same page with him about the cash donations. The idea of trying to donate cash in a way that keeps the money from going to creditors seems odd, perhaps even immoral. And what good will it do to contribute money to the Eazel company if it will go bankrupt for not paying its creditors?

steveha

Re:Provide Binaries (2)

washirv (130045) | more than 13 years ago | (#250302)

I don't know about you, but telling my mother that she just needs to "uncompress the tarball, configure, make, and make install" won't really get us very far. OTOH, if I can e-mail her a single command (ie, rpm -Uvh ftp://ftp.ximian.com/directory/to/rpm/distro.rpm), then we're doing pretty well.

Even that is a little too hard in my opinion. I remember when the nautilus (early) beta was out and one of my friends was interviewing there. She wanted to install nautilus on a linux box and play with it so she could talk intelligently about it at the interview. I remember being on the phone with her for an hour as we went through "Oh error message, eh? How about if you try rpm --force-something-or-the-other", or "Why not download all those rpms and go rpm -ivh *" or "Let's try to get rid of old rpms on your machine and try to reinstall". And so on and on, and it really did take an hour to get it installed. Now I understand that the nautilus install process and the gnome install process have come a long way since, but they still seem to be overly complicated. We need to make it as easy as Windows: click link - click execute from remote location in dialog - click yes on security warning - click next on a few boxes and we're off to the races (no reboot remember).

Anything that involves an xterm or a shell is too complicated. period.

If you want financial information about the FSF... (5)

allagash (139838) | more than 13 years ago | (#250304)

Go to http://www.guidestar.org (which provides info on nonprofits), and search for "Free Software" to bring up the FSF info.

There some interesting stuff there, esp. in the Form 990's:
- No one seems to draw a salary
- In '97, id software donated about $19K to the FSF, which was over $3K more than Red Hat did. (Is that the year Carmack won big at gambling & donated the proceeds?)

All in all, seems like it's a pretty low budget organization.

Congratulations to the author (2)

bharath (140269) | more than 13 years ago | (#250305)

That was a damn good piece of high-brow trolling. Perhaps the author needs to go read all the stuff at gnu.org [gnu.org] . The FSF was never about giving things away free. "free" as in freedom is what they mean. And about the fsf backing for-profit companies. I am sure the author appreciates the kick ass kde project. I hope he takes some time to divine where the compiler used to compile the code came from. It surely didn't fall out of the sky or arrive on an AOL cd. Most parts were written by people working at for-profit companies.(cygwin).

Re:"information wants to be free" (2)

Laplace (143876) | more than 13 years ago | (#250306)

>

Kinda like the "You can't put the crap back in the dog" law.

Actually, my dog eats her own crap all the time.

Microsoft said Linux was a passing fad once..... (1)

MrMeanie (145643) | more than 13 years ago | (#250308)

Microsoft once said that the then highly valued Linux companies were a passing fad, and that investors would lose interest in supporting them. If what is said in this article is true, MS was right, I am afraid.
It really irritates me as a matter of fact. This just makes it harder for other free software companies to get funding. This is the last thing we need.

Try this, if youre worried (1)

Srin Tuar (147269) | more than 13 years ago | (#250311)

lynx -source http://go-gnome.com/ > gnom.sh #confirm that it looks good vim gnom.sh #now run it sh gnom.sh

$13-million dollar file manager (2)

Jon_E (148226) | more than 13 years ago | (#250313)

"Can you imagine?" asked a friend who develops commercial software. "They raised $13-million for a file manager!"

heck .. Microsoft did that and more!

Re:Provide Binaries (1)

slycer (161341) | more than 13 years ago | (#250317)

Remember that one of the points of Ximian Gnome is to make Linux less frightening to our mothers. I don't know about you, but telling my mother that she just needs to "uncompress the tarball, configure, make, and make install" won't really get us very far. OTOH, if I can e-mail her a single command (ie, rpm -Uvh ftp://ftp.ximian.com/directory/to/rpm/distro.rpm), then we're doing pretty well.

Especially if you consider how much must be installed / updated to upgade / install Gnome 1.4 along with Ximian/Nautilis. Frankly, it was almost too much work for me, and at the end, simply more bloat then I wanted to deal with.

before the $#!+ hits the fan.. (1)

fonebone (192290) | more than 13 years ago | (#250321)

..something ought to happen.

every day, we hear stories about how all the venture capital has run out, and the free-services / free-software business model isn't working.

that's because you can't make money if your price tag is $0! but that's not the point. i can't help but think how long free software and free services have been available, but now that more people use them, everything fails?

if more people contribute their spare time and spare resources to a community of one sort [fsf.org] or another [indymedia.org] , great things will continue to happen, just like they do today.

if you get over the idea that everyone needs to make lots of money to be happy, things are going to continue to change a lot.

---
if the rain comes, they run and hide their heads. they might as well be dead.

Kind of funny... (2)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#250323)

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that companies who are trying to make a name for themselves as "user-friendly" produce a product that is probably too difficult for Joe Sixpack to install, and that product runs on systems that Joe Sixpack would likely never install in the first place because they are too hard?

Additional point (1)

Cardhore (216574) | more than 13 years ago | (#250326)

Can a company make money off support for a product that is open source--a product that continues to evolve until it is "perfect" (and (potentially) not needing support)? And how? [These are an open ended question, not a troll.]

How to make $$$ (3)

Cardhore (216574) | more than 13 years ago | (#250327)

Okay: here's the deal. We can keep free software free while simultaneously keeping [your favorite support-based free software company] in business and making money for ourselves!

Impossible you say?

No! We just have to monopolize the support area.

Here's the idea: each of us (the 31337 unix admin/coders/users) enters in a "business partnership" with our favorite support-based company (SBC), i.e. Eazel, RedHat, etc. We agree to forbid ourselves from answering tech support questions online, i.e. in #linux on IRC, usenet, etc.. Instead, we redirect the luser who has a question to our personal address at our SBC where the luser can find out his answer--for a small fee (micropayment). Then, the resulting pool of money is collected and divided between us and our SBCs. It's a win win! Help the economy! Help yourself! Don't compromise your software's freedom!

IRC Example:

#linux

Bob: Hi I'm bob I new to linux help me set up my isa winmodem

[silence ensues due to all on the channel being bound by agreements]

Cardhore: Okay Bob I'll help you.

Bob: Okay thanks. My modem is not working in the redhat...how do i make driver for it?

Cardhore: Well, I happen to have the answer right here: www.redhat.com/support/query.cgi-bin?ref=cardhore? q=winmodem

[bob goes to the url]

Bob: YOU ASS HOLE I'M NOT PAYING $40 TO LEARN HOW TO DO THAT.

Bob leaves.

[twenty minutes pass]

Bob has entered #linux.

Bob: Cardhore...so are you still up for that offer?

Success!! Bob successfuly gets his modem working, Cardhore makes $$$, and RedHat pleases its shareholders!

For those who don't like "corporate" GNOME (5)

Cardhore (216574) | more than 13 years ago | (#250328)

...there's the newly started GNOME Packaging Project here. [gnome.org]

The project intends to provide binaries for most platforms so that you don't have to compile them yourself. Its binaries will also be un-branded--there will be no Eazel or Ximian logos, features, etc.

Also, just because someone can compile GNOME himself, it doesn't mean that he wants to. In fact, on moderate hardware it will take about two days to compile this. Experienced power users don't necessarily have time to waste on this.

From the article: ..where information wants to be free so long as it's other people's information.

Do people who believe this agree with it when their personal information is free?

Re:Flamebait but... (2)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#250330)

What's worse is that I've only read hearsay from other posters about why the system is so heinously broken.

Isn't it ridiculous? I have to read Geekizoid to keep up to date on what's going on at Slashdot. Like there was a need for more proof that security by obscurity doesn't work.

It mystifies me how a site so dedicated to "open" and "community" is so close-mouthed about its own functioning. If it weren't for Michael mud-wrestling with trolls at -1, there'd be no news at all.

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

Flamebait but... (5)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#250332)

First, the Slashdot editors still don't think there are too many points in the system? I saw the main page, clicked onto this story hoping I could get first post and found a post already at +5.

Second, yeah, this is raw flamebait. But the RMS apologists always justify him by saying, "Sure, he's a vindictive nut. But we need people like that!" This is kind of a counterweight.

Third, the "..the monkey chased the Eazel" stuff did make me laugh.

Fourth (I only planned first and second when I started this), it really is remarkable how Eazel managed to blow through $13 million on a file browser. All of KDE 1 and 2, even including Qt, didn't cost that much or require that many paid developers. By comparison, Konqueror has one paid developer, David Faure. (Who admittedly is really, really good.) Yes, there are some TrollTech people working on khtml, but since Nautilus uses Gecko, they don't count for this comparison.

Fifth,the reasoning by which the FSF gets dragged into this is pretty shaky. There's no real reason to think they're getting involved with Eazel. On the other hand, Powell is right that the Gnome leaders have committed to having companies drive their project and they'll have to live with the results.

I'll throw in a sixth and preemptively point out to the people who always invoke the Kompany here that the role of the Kompany in KDE is completely unlike what Eazel and Ximian do in Gnome. The Kompany is not involved at all in core KDE development or planning and does not attempt to rebrand the desktop.

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

Boring and Pointless (3)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 13 years ago | (#250333)

I read it, twice. It seems the writer is hell bent in saying the FSF is in bed with for-profit-companies who have a habit of wasting money on stupid shit and he demands to see how the FSF is wasting its donations. Well, it's not that important, since he blasts the FSF for there made up definition of free and Gnomes dogmatic attack against KDE for not being "free" (which it is, even in the FSF sense), then who the fuck cares what the FSF says, does, or pisses on. I certaintly don't. Who cares if Eazel is going to survive, is the code they wrote gonna magicially die with them? You get the point.

The writer spends a lot of energy blasting companies, that for the most part don't actually ship much in the way of products (previews, stuff like that don't count) and certainly dont earn much money, he then spends a lot of energy attacking FSF and doing his best not to kiss Stallmans ass, only to demand to know whats going on.

Well, i got some advice for this writer. Shut the fuck up. If the FSF is full of shit (at it is, IMHO) and these companies might go out of business, then fuck em. Use your copy of Red Hat, download Eazel, don't download Eazel, whatever. They dont have to answer to you, just like Muslims dont have to answer to the Pope.

Sorry for the troll, but even from my Mac using point of view, this guy is an idiot.

Re:Boring and Pointless (4)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 13 years ago | (#250334)

"Yeah, but the FSF and its supporters do have a holier-than-thou attitude, and some of us find it quite offensive for anyone to piss away $13 million, let alone a company that is connected to, and building on, pure volunteer work."

Now that I'm not trying to get a post early and make it end up sounding like an idiot on steroids wrote it, I'll address this.

You're right, the FSF does have a "holier-than-thou attitude", to that I say: So what if they do? Does it make them any more correct or incorrect? Let me let you in on a little secret I learned years ago: everybody has a "holier-than-thou attitude", everybody does. I do, when I say the FSF is full of shit, I mean exactly that, they are full of shit. I don't like their made up definition of free, I don't like how Stallman comes off sounding like an asshole whenever someone says Open Source near him, I don't like how they view closed source with the same level of dogma that a Religious Fanatic would view an infidel. That my friend, is whats called a holier than thout attitude. It's also called being sure of your opinions. Big deal. If you want to attack the FSF, attack them for concrete things, like disputing their definition of free and giving an alternative definition. That's called a dialog.

You're also right, it is "offensive (that) anyone (pissed) away $13 million", especially since the average life span of a person in Africa is now 40 years due to famine and HIV. But it isn't my money. I wasn't the idiot who gave it too them, and hopefully neither were you. Hopefully the Investment Capitalist who gave them that money have learned their lesson and will spend it wisely next time.

OS/2 and Eazel ?? (1)

tmark (230091) | more than 13 years ago | (#250335)

interesting is the point about Eazel and Paypal, and the comparison to OS/2. The difference, of course, is that this is Free Software in the speech sense, so it's a little more important than OS/2 IMHO.

I don't even understand the comparison, nor why Taco finds this interesting. Eazel is trying to get people to pay them. Team OS/2 did *not* try to get people to pay them, IIRC.

And the author's comment but it's no goofier than seven or eight years ago, when people who called themselves "Team OS/2" gave up evenings and weekends in unpaid volunteer support to be especially curious. Isn't this what open-source software is about ? Isn't this what we do when we post an answer to a question on Usenet, or on a bulletin board ? Isn't it what we do when we discuss things here ? The actions of Team OS/2 are no less "goofy" then open-sourcing software.

OS/2 and Eazel ?? (5)

tmark (230091) | more than 13 years ago | (#250336)

interesting is the point about Eazel and Paypal, and the comparison to OS/2. The difference, of course, is that this is Free Software in the speech sense, so it's a little more important than OS/2 IMHO. I don't even understand the comparison, nor why Taco finds this interesting. Eazel is trying to get people to pay them. Team OS/2 did *not* try to get people to pay them, IIRC.

And the author's comment but it's no goofier than seven or eight years ago, when people who called themselves "Team OS/2" gave up evenings and weekends in unpaid volunteer support to be especially curious. Isn't this what open-source software is about ? Isn't this what we do when we post an answer to a question on Usenet, or on a bulletin board ? Isn't it what we do when we discuss things here ? The actions of Team OS/2 are no less "goofy" then open-sourcing software.

Re:"information wants to be free" (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#250337)

An actually funny comment from a spork. I'm amazed.

Er... Well, y'know. You can't make an omelette without um... destroying a forest. Or something.

Re:Provide Binaries (2)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 13 years ago | (#250338)

Why wait for the Red Hats of the world to provide binaries? Instead of stopping the simplification process after the UI design, they should follow through, IMHO.

Hmmm.... I can see some good reasons for not providing binaries directly and requiring districution/support companies to do that. First, I think that there is a potential comaptability problems with different GCLIB versions, and these can be eliminated by having people compile their own. The distributors KNOW which libs come with it, and they are supporting it. I think that this is what they were thinking.

Now, not all of this would necessarily be a problem if one invests heavily in dumbed down web tools. However, what if I upgrade my GCLIB and recompile all my software? THen these interfaces don't do me any good.

If Linux is to be less threatening to our mothers/ fathers/ Grandparents, etc. than it needs to be so from the distrobution onward. Most people today never even upgrade their Windows... How can we expect them to upgrade GNOME?

In all fairness, I think the GNOME installer is pretty nifty-- Too bad I had to download all the RPMs by hand in install manually.... (No internet connection on my laptop except 1 56K modem.... but a fast connection on a different computer which I cannot directly network with).

Re:Holy Trollsville! (2)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 13 years ago | (#250339)

Hmmm... I think that the author misunderstands the concept of Ximian, which plans to make money by consulting to other companies, particularly in the area of application development. Redhat's revenue is at about 100,000 per hyear and they have nearly broken even. I think that Ximian may be able to as well.

I don't know enough to say about Eazel, though I wish them the best of luck.

How are these companies going to survive? (3)

Eslyjah (245320) | more than 13 years ago | (#250340)

One of the interesting aspects of the linux "industry" is that there really is no feasible business model. The only things that companies will be able to sell are those which no one is going to give away for free. I think linux is great, and there may be an opportunity for a truly innovative firm to make some money, but if I were a venture capitalist, I would stay away.

Free Software (2)

mrparker (265848) | more than 13 years ago | (#250343)

The problem that I see with companies like Eazel and Ximian is they have been provided as the model that Free Software "works". I like Ximian and the concept of Eazel (even if it is really damn bloated) but I really think that products like these would have eventually made it to the market without the millions of dollars that investors have dumped in.

The real way that Free Software works is through the power of the community to build onto the project, not through glitzy marketing campaigns. I wonder when people will realize that the commodity in free software is not the software, but the community.

thank you CmdrTaco (4)

garron (265894) | more than 13 years ago | (#250344)

As always, your illustrious commentary sheds light on the dark recesses of complex issues, and makes me ponder extensively. If you were to only post the headline, I would not have that opportunity. Thank you.

Why so many mod points? (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 13 years ago | (#250345)

I'm getting 5 new points every few days. It's getting a little excessive.

Re:whats going on? (4)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 13 years ago | (#250346)

What's with Slashdot today? I try and post a response to this well written article and it it times out. Sometimes I can't even load Slashdot.

I've had the same problems. Apparantly Slashdot has been Slashdotted. Perhaps you should Ask Slashdot [slashdot.org] about this.

*BARF* (1)

RootAksess (314219) | more than 13 years ago | (#250348)

This article made me sick, I couldn't bring myself to read the whole thing.

Annoying (1)

hi_potent (324231) | more than 13 years ago | (#250351)

I thought /. and Linux Planet were supposed to champion open source projects and ideals - not negative propaganda about exciting projects like Nautilus.
And btw, saying Nautilus is just a file manager is like saying the Linux os is just a free C compiler.

Time to have a coffee.

Re:13 MIL? (1)

morgan_wr (324596) | more than 13 years ago | (#250352)

they don't care or know that every linux geek and their brother has gotten a free t-shirt from a particular company

Actually... yeah, they might, particularly if the software they're looking at is something that the employees of the company may end up using. In this case, it would be in their best interest to choose a software package that the non-IT people in the company are familiar with, if only by name.

Re:Drivel (1)

137 (325909) | more than 13 years ago | (#250353)

I stopped reading here. I see where this is going. Trollsville USA!

Oh, that's crap. As I understand it, one way to troll is to completely go off the handle without bothering to address the substance of what you're objecting to. From that vantage, I don't see how "This argument is crap and I stopped reading" is any less trollish than unloading on RMS [stallman.org] and his penchant for insisting [gnu.org] that others follow his semantics [gnu.org] . People are allowed to think that RMS's opinions are wrong. They are allowed to say so in very strong (even offensive) terms, and simply doing so doesn't make them trolls.

More to the point, if you'd read the entire article you would have hit some interesting stuff. While a good part of it is tiresome KDE vs. Ximian Gnome partisanship, there's also a perfectly reasonable call for the FSF [fsf.org] to release information on their finances.

Point is, just screaming "troll" isn't a good enough argument against Powell's article [linuxplanet.com] . It fails to contest, for example, Powell's claim that

it is absolutely undeniable that the FSF has thrown its support behind a desktop controlled by two for-profit companies, one of which has an officer who sits on the FSF's board; the same company has purchased advertising aimed at confounding those who are seeking a desktop that is truly free in every rational sense of the word; and the other company has suggested that users can assist its product in surviving but help it avoid paying its bills by donating to the Free Software Foundation, or else an officer of that company has flung down and danced upon his fiduciary responsibilities by saying, in a communication that is part of his corporate function, that people might want to send money to the FSF instead of the company.

I mean, when you look at it that way, it reeks. If the FSF wants to represent the interest of hackers and geeks in the public sphere, I think it's perfectly reasonable that us hackers and geeks call them when they're out of line (or, as is the case here, when there's enough going on to make them look like they're out of line). Just because they're not the RIAA [riaa.com] doesn't mean they're saints. If they're not doing anything wrong, the only thing releasing information would do is completely exhonorate them.

Lastly, let's not forget that they're a Foundation, not an individual. Organizations, whether foundations or corporations, can't (or at least, shouldn't be allowed to) claim the same rights as individuals.

Before you go off on me, here's my line of thinking: if you give an organization the same rights as an individual, the organization will have greater rights in a de facto sense. They have resources (time, money, personnel, etc.) to fight when their rights are infringed that individuals simply don't have. I mean, I don't have a legal team to fight for me when I say something that pisses someone off and they take me to court, but major corporations and organizations do. They, by entension, have more real free speech than I do simply because they can defend what they say and I can't -- this holds true even though we technically have the same rights.

The US Supreme Court made a huge mistake when it decided that corporations have personhood [iiipublishing.com] . Extending that outward, I think we have every right to see the finances of a corporation or organization, and every right to want to see them when that organization claims to represent us. It's always a good idea to be a little wary of anyone who claims to speak for anyone else, even if they're the FSF, even if they're right most of the time. Just because everything they did yesterday was good doesn't mean we can assume everything they're doing today is all peaches.

Re:13 MIL? (1)

Magumbo (414471) | more than 13 years ago | (#250357)

Whereas the Ximian folks are busy cramming bugs up their noses. Don't believe me? Look at their logo. That's not a spider monkey, it's a spider in a nostril.
-

Re:Lack of binaries/ease of use (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#250358)

Linux isn't bent on Total World Domination.

Linus just forgot to wrap those words in humor tags the first time he uttered them, and the concept sort of spun out of anybody's control.

Re:Sorry, but I've lost interest (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#250359)

Cool! I want to run OS X, too.

Where do I download the source? How's the port to StrongArm coming? Is the Sparc port next? And where's the FTP site for the i386 port again? I seem to have lost the url.

Re:Sorry, but I've lost interest (1)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#250360)

For those of us who want to use our computers, the software has to run on them.

Run along now, and buy more closed Apple hardware. We know how important your time is.

Re:"information wants to be free" (2)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#250361)

Brings to mind the joke:

What do you call a self-cleaning cat litter box?

Fido.

Re:How are these companies going to survive? (1)

deaddrunk (443038) | more than 13 years ago | (#250362)

I think Microsoft, Sun, IBM and Accenture (Andersen Consulting) would be very surprised to learn that you can't make money from support.

Wrong site (1)

warmiak (444024) | more than 13 years ago | (#250363)

"Eazel has burned through at least $13-million in venture capital "
What we are talking here is a first class material for this [fuckedcompany.com] site.

Too Worked Up... (1)

Ryan_Terry (444764) | more than 13 years ago | (#250364)

I think our author has gotten himself a little too worked up over this issue. I don't believe that competition is going to kill the free software world. It is still a good thing. He needs to realize that these two entities can compete and not kill each other. We seem to be accostomed to believing that the larger more successful company is always going to try to destroy all competition. This is not always so. Gnome will go on, and it will continue to be a viable desktop for those who like to use it.
IMHO our author should relax a little, cut his caffeine intake by about half, and watch some Peter Pan.

DocWatson

13 MIL? (5)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 13 years ago | (#250366)

Eazel has burned through at least $13-million in venture capital

I guess ferraris must be standard programming equipment nowadays. Otherwise I can't figure out how they would spend 13 million on making a file manager.

The old adage (1)

WAATGNT (448510) | more than 13 years ago | (#250367)

I guess this confirms that 'Nothing is ever trully for free' applies to 'Free as in Speech' as well as 'free as in beer.'
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