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Re: Fedora Core 2 - review.

On Sat, 22 May 2004, Sean Estabrooks wrote:

> On Fri, 21 May 2004 13:52:31 -0600
> Robin Laing <Robin Laing drdc-rddc gc ca> wrote:
> > I do agree that Fedora core isn't crippled in that the necessary 
> > software is easily accessible off of the net.  The problem is for many 
> > that they don't know how to do this or what to look for.  As many 
> > Linux advocates would like Linux to replace Windows (I would) and many 
> > on this list would like the version of Linux to be Fedora, not SUSE or 
> > Mandrake.
> Sorry Robin, you've completely missed the point.   There is a reason
> that these things are not provided by a FC2 install.   It's because they
> are not free.   Trying to make a MS Windows clone is doomed to failure.
> We can not afford to allow _them_ to set the agenda.   What is important
> is making our own community that supports truly free protocols 
> and data formats that we can enjoy.   
> As the tyranny of  Windows use becomes greater and greater people 
> will be more willing to join us and use OUR formats.   We need to 
> promote the use of free protocols more than we need to pander to 
> new converts.

I am afraid that I must disagree here.  The average home user doesn't give 
a flip whether a protocol is free, hell, they don't even know what a 
protocol *is*.  The average user just wants it to work.  Hell, when it 
comes to my car, my television, etc, I'm the same way.  I just want to 
turn the key and go soemwhere without having to resolve a conflict 
between the vendor who made the gas pedal and the one who made the brakes.

> > Why not come up with an idea that will point those coming from the 
> > Windows domain on how easy it is to install software and upgrade from 
> > the start.  At least this would not conflict with the issue of licenses.
> Legal issues aside this is a counterproductive measure which 
> takes us in the wrong direction.
> > I would love to get my in laws onto Linux and I love how easy it is to 
> > use Fedora.  I don't mind search the net or even compiling my own src 
> > code.  I cannot expect my mother-in-law to do this.  She has a hard 
> > enough time updating her anti-virus in Windows.
> Does she really need mp3 ?   Does she really need Flash? 
> If you're sharing files with each other you can use free formats
> instead.

Wow, that attitude alone could spell the end of linux.  I've seen it a 
dozen times before.  In a capitalistic society, the 
organization/vendor/etc who gives the consumer what he/she wants is the 
one that prospers.  The one that tells the consumer what they can and 
cannot do is the one that falls by the wayside.

The consumer wants mp3 because it is what allows her music to be portable, 
and because advertising has created the demand.  If you want users to use 
.ogg, then we have to get portable .ogg players out there and advertise to 
the consumer why it's a better choice.  Otherwise, she will stick with 
> > Now in regards to fedoratracker.org.  I did a search and there are no 
> > packages that will play mp3's or DVD's if I search the description for 
> > DVD/dvd or MP3/mp3. Not much help to the issue of helping that person 
> > at home that doesn't know plugins from upgrades.  Now this is an issue 
> > with the search engine but it illustrates what I am trying to say.  I 
> > know that mplayer, xine, xmms plugins are listed but are not found 
> > with a simple search.
> Your goals are not those of the Fedora project which is about Free
> open source software not proprietary and encumbered software.
> > My original suggestion of supplying a link or script to help people 
> > could point to fedoratracker with a description on how to search for 
> > the necessary applications.
> This may open RedHat up to legal problems and is counterproductive
> to the true hope of Linux.    Let us not take a step back, let us promote
> and support unencumbered technologies.   Let us win the benefits 
> for ourselves and people will follow because it's better, not because
> it's the same.

No, your average person will only follow if they can do what they want 
with the technology.

Case in point:  I wanted to throw Windoze out of my house and embrace 
linux only.  I'm a computer geek and have been using RHL since 5.2.  I 
found that it's impossible, because linux doesn't do everythign that I 
want an OS to do.  I *still* can't get my videos off of my camcorder and 
create DVD's for them on FC2.  I *still* can't get all of my digital pics 
of of my various digital cameras and do everythign I want to with them on 
FC2.  And believe me, I tried.  Yet, though I am a linux advocate, though 
I have finally convinced my boss to trash windows on our servers at work, 
I find that I have to retain Windows at home.  Why?  Because the apps I 
mentioned above *just work*.  That's why.

And if *I* am still forced to use Windoze, you can bet your bottom dollar 
that the average person on the street is going to have to continue to use 
it as well.

Just my $0.02 US,


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