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Linux in the Limelight
Alex Steffen, 2 Feb 04

BBC news: Linux is going mainstream.

"Major global computer companies are now embracing Linux. IBM, for one, is currently running a series of television and online ads proclaiming that the future is open, as in open source computing.

They have even enlisted author Kurt Vonnegut to help promote the open source ideal of sharing your computer code with others.


It is a far cry from the days when the only people who knew about Linux were a small community of zealous enthusiasts.

The interest from big companies is helping Linux programmers get the recognition they deserve.


"It's helping us get more appreciation from the rest of the world," said open source guru Bruce Perens.

"We are no longer isolated geeks making a system only we know is good. And I think there's a lot of benefit."

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Comments

It will be interesting, from an evolutionary point of view, to watch the beautiful community of Linux-volks interact with the pressures of big business.

Eg, I might expect that the big boyz will be trawling for Linux gurus and offering serious money for these people to do things that are sort of like what they already do.

And then there might be a kind of pressure, at the personal level, to justify one's market value in order to keep that paycheck secure. So there's suddenly a cash basis for ego wars.

Usually this results in the creation of unneccessary factions and turf wars . . . the classic meltdown of tribal society upon the introduction of the cash economy?

Any chance to innoculate ourselves before this dis-ease creeps in and necrifies yet another communal body?


Posted by: John Brisbin on 3 Feb 04

It will be interesting, from an evolutionary point of view, to watch the beautiful community of Linux-volks interact with the pressures of big business.

Eg, I might expect that the big boyz will be trawling for Linux gurus and offering serious money for these people to do things that are sort of like what they already do.

And then there might be a kind of pressure, at the personal level, to justify one's market value in order to keep that paycheck secure. So there's suddenly a cash basis for ego wars.

Usually this results in the creation of unneccessary factions and turf wars . . . the classic meltdown of tribal society upon the introduction of the cash economy?

Any chance to innoculate ourselves before this dis-ease creeps in and necrifies yet another communal body?


Posted by: John Brisbin on 3 Feb 04

John, I think you could be right except for one thing: Everyone knows if you're worth your salt in the Free Software and Open Source communities.


Posted by: Taran on 3 Feb 04

Traran:

Agreed. One of the best things about Free & Open coding is that you show a code sample to a potential employer, or take along an app to demonstrate & explain how you contributed. It's always been the case that people have their own projects to show off, but usually these are necessarily limited in scope.

John:

There's already something of a premium for those with specialist Linux knowledge, I think. It's not as much as you might think, as a lot of Universities teach Computer Science on Linux (or other UNIX) systems and therefore there are a lot of graduates who at least know the basics. There are already plenty of conflicts within the Free Software and Open Source 'community'. Fortunately by definition the software will always continue to be developed, so long as someone is willing to do it.


Posted by: Alisdair on 5 Feb 04



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