Linux deployment . . .
ambassador at fourthworld.com
Thu Jan 28 09:49:47 CST 2010
Richmond Mathewson wrote:
> How many users of this list think that RunRev are wasting their time,
> effort and limited
> resources continuing development of a Linux version ?
Count me among them.
> How many people who favour continued Linux development think it might be
> of RunRev to concentrate their efforts on one 'family' of Linux distros
> (e.g. Debian derivatives) ?
To me it seems sensible to allocate resources proportionate to the
distro audience. Accordingly, Ubuntu would be the primary target since
it's the clear #1 for consumers, with others coming along for the ride
as resources and compatibility permit.
It's a shame that after so many years there still isn't a single
standard for deploying apps (with icon and file associations,
installation, etc.) for all desktop distros. Kinda silly, really, and
further evidence that the most significant thing holding back Linux
adoption today is that its core base are too skilled in it to prioritize
affordances for newcomers.
But in spite of its unnecessarily fragmented nature, Linux is growing at
a rate that merits attention, thanks in no small part to the Ubuntu and
Gnome teams' focus on the consumer experience. I've been on the Gnome
usability discussion list for the last few years, and have been as
impressed by their detailed work as I have with the outcomes I see in
Ubuntu with every new version.
The governments of Brazil, India, Berlin and many others have
standardized on Linux, as has the US Army, reported to be the single
largest install by number of desktops. And then there are the countless
universities around the world which are adopting Linux, and so much of
the developing world for which a free OS is creating opportunities that
were unthinkable in the old world where each desktop always carried a
$100 OS tax.
There are now options. Linux's price is unbeatable, Ubuntu's
implementation very easy to install and use, and running the Ubuntu
Netbook Remix Edition on a sub-$300 netbook opens up a lot of computing
options for people who had previously been locked out of participating
in the Internet revolution. Many vast new markets are coming online.
When we look at where Linux is being used I see enormous opportunities
for specialized apps, even commercial ones, of the vertical sort Rev is
ideally suited for.
And some software can be made with grants. A lot of shops do well on
grant money alone. My first paid gig as a developer was funded by a
grant from the US Dept. of Energy, many weeks of work that let me buy a
new car while delivering prototypes of new imaging techniques for
subsurface exploration, a win-win all around. I'm currently pursuing
grants for a new app, and am awaiting response on another grant-funded
Rev project. With one of the apps I manage we have a competitor whose
product was initially funded, from initial design through v1.0, by a
grant from the US Navy, who have since moved on to become a sustainable
Lest we forget, where would we be without publicly-funded software? OS
X is BSD at its core, created at publicly-funded UC Berkeley. And the
first web browser, Mosaic, which spawned Navigator and ultimately
Mozilla's Firefox, began life at the publicly-funded NCSA.
While I find many things in "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" to be a bit
optimistic in some regards, there are in fact a great many opportunities
in software that runs on free OSes, both commercial and non-commercial.
Rev training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
Webzine for Rev developers: http://www.revjournal.com
revJournal blog: http://revjournal.com/blog.irv
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