Possibilities for commercial software?

David Schlesinger David.Schlesinger at palmsource.com
Mon Jan 29 04:19:12 CET 2007

>The linux community *overall* quietly wants linux to be a walled-off OSS
>only world.

My experience has been that it's actually a fair mix. Most of the folks I interact with in the context of the work I do are actually pretty pragmatic about it. They want to see more open source software used, not necessarily to the exclusion of proprietary applications, for example, however.

>The reason people run OSes is for the applications.  No one cares about 
>the OS.

This is quite accurate. People, other than a very limited "hobbyist" subset, don't use computers, PDAs, or cell phones to "encourage freedom" or "build community" (other than in the sense of calling people in their contacts database): they use them to get things done which enhance and further their everyday activities.

One of the challenges we collectively face in bringing products like OpenMoko, etc., to the market is recognizing that the "hobbyist" outlook is most definitely not the one which will sell significant numbers of phones. There's a kind of hidden elitism in the "free software" manifestos which rarely gets talked about: they pretty strictly have to do with people who have the knowledge and willingness to cut code, fix bugs and drive compilers. And, as we all know, even for an expert, getting Joe Random Whatever to work on your Linux system can be difficult under the best of circumstances...

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