EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.08.08

There is No Community and There is No Communism, Either

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…it can be seen as a myth and a damaging stereotype which makes Free software users and supporters seem like a sinister conspiracy.”It was several days ago that we mentioned the fact that there is no “the community” in Free software. We cited a nice short article that addresses this issue. The ‘community’ does not exist. It’s merely an attempt to portray Free software as “communism” or a dangerous clique which is always scheming to take over the industry, wreaking chaos in the process. In other other words, it can be seen as a myth and a damaging stereotype which makes Free software users and supporters seem like a sinister conspiracy. It’s a demonisation tool, also.

The Linux Foundation has just announced a new series of audiocasts which makes its debut with a Linus Torvalds interview. The 451 Group has already dived into this first audio and it makes the observation that even Linus agrees with the above. “There is no open source community”, argues Torvalds. Here is a fragment from this excellent analysis:

How can software vendors engage with the open source community? An important step, according to Linus Torvalds, is to stop believing such a thing really exists and start engaging in the development process.

This specific issue is worth emphasising particularly because many times in the past Jeff Waugh tries to wave the “community” wand and claim that we do not serve “the community”. A few of this site’s readers, as well as ourselves, took offense in Jeff’s remark and the especially use of the word “community”, which was seen as out of place.

While on this subject of “community” smears and myths, we wish to present a set of very relevant articles which show how stereotypes get used against Free software. It’s easy to discredit that whom you successfully demonise.

Article #1: Are Linux users really a feral bunch?

It is, however, uncommon for a writer to set out to deliberately provoke Linux users with over-the-top stuff – just to prove his contention that said users are a bunch of ferals.

Article #2: How Not to Treat Your Readership

Given how the technology and methods the Linux community uses are constantly villified, ridiculed, and held in contempt by competitors; by ill-informed IT professionals and hobbyists; and now by journalists who use lies and outrageous comments to hold the community’s response up for ridicule–is it any wonder why the community is so defensive in their responses?

That’s not a justification of bad behavior, but it certainly puts such responses in another light.

Articles (1) and (2) were actually published to address the issue of provocative articles, sometime written by those who are secretly hired by Microsoft [PDF].

Article #3: Myths Stymie Linux Growth

The problem here is that the powers that be have created enough FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about Linux that most decision makers feel it is safer to stick with Windows (including XP). That FUD is fueled by many myths and misconceptions about what Linux can and cannot do.

Article #4: In Defense Of Open Source

Naysayers position open source as a sort of geeky pleasure that’s best reserved only for unwedded twenty- and thirty-something males residing in basements owned by parental figures. That the Linux platform is the product of a wide network of hobbyists. That the solutions which subsist within the Linux system are not worth equal attention to big-name products from firms like Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, and others.

Article #5: Astaro “paved the way” for VC-funded open source companies

“Back then, to base a business on products built using Linux and open source was a fairly new idea. We were out in the market for fundraising and venture capital, but the investors we talked to were very averse to the idea that with open source that you would not own your intellectual property. Our employees got the idea, and the customers loved it, but the investing community seemed allergic to open source. We were forced to bootstrap for two or three years until we could show traction.”

Article #6: Meet Mark Radcliffe: The man who rules open source law

Matters such as SCO’s Linux assault and Microsoft’s hints of legal action against open source software makers and users tend to dominate the public discourse around open source code.

Some of the examples above were intended to show the impact of FUD and misconceptions that are fueled by stereotypes and fear. This can also lead to legal action and responsive legislation.

Article #7: German and US researchers lay low, question just how far new law will go

Moore notes that most Linux distros are now illegal in Germany as well, because they include the open-source nmap security scanner tool — and some include Metasploit as well.

Last week, the United Kingdom adopted similar laws.

Article #8: From Zero to Holy $&*#!

What if Linux and Free and Open Source Software became illegal to use due to “national security?” Never mind the fact that the American military uses it. Never mind the fact that Microsoft funded both political parties in the year 2000. Never mind that Richard Stallman has accused Microsoft of enabling terrorism in the first place.

Article #9: Top 5 Linux Myths

The sheer ignorance regarding casual Linux users astounds me to no end. While I’m not interested in pointing fingers, there is a lot of misinformation about the Linux community, and we will help to dispel some of these myths, once and for all.

1. Linux Users Are Cheap. Ah, this is one of my favorites. It seems that Linux users have long since been seen as cheap, despite the fact that so many of them in the States earn up to six figures. First, define cheap? Are we cheap because we choose not to buy brand new everything with every release of our selected OS?

Article #10: OpenSSL gets hard-fought revalidation

After a long and arduous journey that included a suspended validation last year [...] OpenSSL has regained its FIPS 140-2 validation

“We called it the FUD campaign,” he says. “There were all kinds of complaints sent to the CMVP including one about ‘Commie code.’ [...] Silly or no, each complaint that’s filed really slows down the process.”

“…the ones they did see often contained redacted, or blacked-out, data about who had filed the complaint .. in some cases, proprietary software vendors were lodging the complaints.

Article #10: Tech writers think Ubuntu is for morons

What is it about Ubuntu Linux that makes otherwise competent technical writers switch to Moron Mode? Everywhere I turn, I see articles on how to do obvious things in Ubuntu. Books on Ubuntu concentrate on listing every insignificant detail of every obvious procedure; things that are inherently self-explanatory are explained in depth. Subjects that have any inkling of technical complexity are skipped because, “Whoa — those are way too hard for you stupid Ubuntu users to grasp, so let’s just skip them and pretend everything’s peachy.”

Article #11: IT Pro Learns Lesson Through Linux Install

Repeated efforts at Nationwide Mutual Insurance to try Linux on the mainframe faced internal opposition, some of it from IT employees worried that a mainframe-based server consolidation would be a threat to their jobs. They “fought tooth and nail to keep it from happening,” said James Vincent, a mainframe systems engineering consultant at Nationwide.

Their resistance taught Vincent a lesson that he put to use after the Linux project was finally approved in 2005. Part of Vincent’s job involved working with the employees who had feared the project, including IT staffers who worked on Unix systems.

Article #12: The commie smear against open source

Because proprietary companies will always spend more of their money on marketing than open source outfits, it pops up regularly in the best of places, such as at Time Magazine recently. Or Microsoft sends CEO Steve Ballmer to London, so he can rant about how his lawyers are going to make all Linux users pay Microsoft for their stuff.

It’s nonsense.

This is not “the gift economy,” as Justin Fox calls it in Time. This is people taking advantage of the fact that the Internet has no distribution costs, which means marketing costs can also sink to zero. No ads in Time doesn’t make you a communist.

Article #13: Free software, free speech

I can understand that a teenage, underprivileged geek reacts like that, but not mature people who are blessed with the gift of words and the privilege of a good education. Regular visitors of my blog know that nothing outrages me more than people who apply these guerrilla tactics. Whether it is Ian Ferguson who said that “the flaming Linux bigots should take a backseat”, Mohit Joshi, who equaled GNU to communism or the more recently Bruce Byfield, who obviously couldn’t take the heat anymore and decided to proclaim unilaterally that all bloggers who don’t agree with him are automatically “conspiracy theorists”.

Article #14: Sounds like another fanboy rant to me

I found this comment while I was browsing through an MS-Windows oriented site where a blogger said something nasty about Microsoft. It isn’t even worth to refer to the link, because it has nothing to do with this story. It’s about the name-calling these Microsoft fans do. I heard ‘zealots’, ‘bigots’, ‘advocates’, the whole lot. Words I never knew before, because English is not my native tongue. I don’t mind to be called a fanboy, because that is what I am. What may be not too clear to these Microsoft zealots is why I am a fanboy. It’s not because I really dig this “free the software, free the world” ideology. That came much later. It’s because I like this “gimme the source” idea.

[...]

As a matter of fact, I think that Microsoft itself has created the “Linux fanboys” they are complaining about, just like all the legal trouble they have found themselves in the last few decades. In Dutch there is a saying “wie goed doet, goed ontmoet”, which means that all good things come to those who make them happen. I think the reverse is true as well. So next time you call me a “Linux fanboy”, remember why I became one. To all those “Windows fanboys” I’d like to say, I’ve become a Linux fanboy because I have used Linux for a long time. Have you? I know first hand what MS-Windows is all about..

These references will hopefully prove valuable for one purpose or another.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Robuka Kenderle said,

    January 9, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Gravatar

    Zemlin interviewing the charismatically challenged Torvalds:
    best cure for insomnia.

    I expected fluff and by god that’s what we got.
    Im surprised Zemlin didnt give Linus’ johnson a tug or two to get him nice and comfy.

    While I will listen to Linus talk about the kernel and stuff that interests him, I have yet to be interested in anything he has to say. Who he is is what makes it interesting.

What Else is New


  1. 'Reform' at the EPO Means Destroying the Staff Union, Crushing Patent Examiners, and Imposing on Europe a System It Does Not Want (UPC)

    The chaotic transition at the EPO -- a transition from something which has been workable to something intolerable -- and the role of the Unitary Patent (UPC), which lurks in the shadows and threatens to harm the whole of Europe



  2. Shakeup Against Patent Parasites in the US and More Rumours/Speculations About USPTO Director Michelle Lee After Trump's Inauguration

    The US patent system is becoming ever more hostile towards patent trolls, owing in part to reforms introduced under Michelle Lee's tenure, but people are still not certain that she will maintain her job and continue to fix the system



  3. EPO Abuses Now Make the Netherlands Look Like a Facilitator of Human/Labour Rights Abuses

    Rather than crack down on human rights abuses, the Dutch government now sends out the signal that it's an island for those wish to violate human rights whilst enjoying immunity (EPO)



  4. Links 20/1/2017: Docker 1.13, Linux 4.4.44 LTS

    Links for the day



  5. “Federal Circuit Had Affirmed on Every Issue in 77.4% of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Appeals it Had Seen” in 2016

    The Federal Circuit (CAFC) and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continue to squash a lot of patents on software, in contrast to that fake news from patent maximalists



  6. Kudelski Group Not Only Acts Like a Patent Troll But Also Run by Intellectual Ventures Person; Mobile Market in Dire State of Patent Armageddon

    The patent thicket which pervades everything that is used by billions of people, mobile technology in particular, can be traced back to a lot of non-practicing parasites (or patent trolls)



  7. Watchtroll and His Swamp Still Blame Google (Where Michelle Lee Came From) for Improving and Gradually Fixing Aspects of the US Patent System

    Shooting the messengers (even wrongly associating yours truly with Google) in an effort to undermine patent reform when it is so desperately needed due to serious injustices



  8. In an Age of Necessary Patent Reform and Permanent Uncertainty for Software Patents the Patent Microcosm Looks for Workarounds and Spin

    Commentary on the status quo in the Michelle Lee era and some examples of bias from the patent microcosm, as well as news regarding the NFL getting sued by the Kudelski Group



  9. Michelle Lee, USPTO Director, Should Recognise That the Patent Microcosm is Her Enemy Which Hates Her

    The latest outburst from the patent microcosm, which has a temper issue and notorious disdain for judges it does not agree with, is more of what we have come to expect



  10. Battistelli is an Autocrat Above the Law and It's OK, Holland's High Council Says

    Battistelli's autocratic tendencies will not be challenged by Dutch authorities, in spite of sheer condemnation from many groups all across Europe and the entire world



  11. Beware Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The UPC is dead, deadlocked, stuck, in a limbo and so on; those who claim otherwise are merely lobbying (in disguise of "analysis" or "news")



  12. Shame on MapR for Pursuing Software Patents While Pretending to Stand for Free/Open Source Software

    The patents gold rush sees another company joining the 'fun', albeit this company should campaign hard against software patents rather than pursue any



  13. Doomsday Scenario in the Back Mirror as Michelle Lee Keeps Her Job (and Much-Needed Patent Reform) at the USPTO

    The future of patent reform, i.e. tackling overpatenting and patent trolls, looks somewhat more promising with today's confirmation of Lee's 'extended tenure' at the Office



  14. Links 19/1/2017: PulseAudio 10.0, Linux 4.9 Longterm Kernel

    Links for the day



  15. Corporate (Wall Street) Media Agrees That Brexit Dooms the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The nonstop lies or the fake news about the UPC starting "real soon now" don't quite pass a reality check or a basic assessment based on fundamental concepts, such as the UPC's facilitation of subordination (to Europe) in the United Kingdom



  16. Farce of an 'Independence' for the Boards of Appeal as Another Ally of Benoît Battistelli Enters as Parasite Inside the 'Overseer'/Host

    The latest cluster of lies from the President of the European Patent Office (EPO) and direct refutation of false claims of independence for the Boards of Appeal, where the former Vice-Presidents can flock, just like the Mini Minion (Minnoye) of Battistelli



  17. Links 18/1/2017: Red Hat's OpenShift 3.4, Mozilla's New Logo/Branding

    Links for the day



  18. Union-Busting Action by Team Battistelli Takes Heavy Toll, Techrights Will Continue to Expose EPO Injustices to the World

    The Staff Union of the European Patent Office, SUEPO, which faced unprecedented and probably illegal (based on local laws) attacks, is being weakened by the worst President ever, whose own management team seems to be collapsing along with the institution he is destroying in just a few years



  19. A Lot More Fake News About the UPC, Trying to Convince People That the UK is Ratifying (It's Not, It Cannot)

    Response to some of the latest misleading (self-serving) whispers about the fate of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is in a deadlock due to Brexit



  20. Rumours Suggest That EPO Management is Aware of Decline in Patent Quality and is Thus Actively Lying About it to the Media/Public

    Whenever Battistelli brags about patent quality he may be consciously and deliberately lying through his teeth if the latest rumours are correct



  21. Links 17/1/2017: GIMP Plans, New Raspberry Pi Product

    Links for the day



  22. Resumption of EPO Propaganda ('Meet the President') Officially Starts Tomorrow

    Yet another one of these foolish 'Meet the President' stunts, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning



  23. Caricature: Battistelli's New Year's Resolution (More EPO Lies)

    The latest cartoon being circulated within the European Patent Office (EPO)



  24. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  25. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  26. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  27. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  28. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  29. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  30. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts