Community-based distributions as the answer
Posted Mar 1, 2006 17:02 UTC (Wed) by smoogen
In reply to: Community-based distributions as the answer
Parent article: Linux fragmenting at last?
I think that saying "Free software prospered before ..." should be added with the caveat "in a completely different way than now." Most of the people I knew who were doing Free Software were doing it at universities or in their spare time and the number of people was MUCH MUCH less than is currently doing it. This is because of communication changes (a larger percentage of programmers on the Internet), culture changes (more risk-averse managers feeling ok with non-propietary software), and a lot of other socio/politico/economic changes that have made things the way they are now.
The second caveat is that if Red Hat and Novell were plundered in medieval fashion by some unscrupulous company tomorrow, their programmers put on stakes in the public commons, managers who accepted Free Software in their business publically whipped, etc.. Free Software would survive. It just wouldnt survive in the way it currently does, and very less likely in the way it did in the past. From what one can tell in various other population culture shifts.. people will find some completely new way to subvert the older system using Free Software.
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