[SATLUG] Fedora 9

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Sun Jun 1 14:42:35 CDT 2008

On 6/1/08, Todd W. Bucy wrote:

>  I tink that this is primarily due to the fact that a corvette has a very
>  specific engine and transmission, as well as body style.  Distros may
>  have very different body styles but don't most Linux distros have
>  basically the same engine. Or have I over extended the analogy?

Actually, the engines in many cars are pretty radically different. 
GM will have a few different basic engine types, which most of their 
vehicles will use.  But some vehicles will have a unique engine type 
that is not used anywhere else -- like the Corvette.  And the GM 
engines are pretty different from the Ford engines, but there may be 
some similarities between certain GM and certain Daewoo engines, 
because there has been a partnership between GM and Daewoo for years, 
and they may even now be buying certain models of engines from the 
same joint-manufacturing plants.

And that's just internal combustion engines that are all based on 
gasoline/petrol.  Diesel engines are very different from their 
gasoline/petrol cousins.

>  Maybe it has something to do with the Linux community having more in
>  common with each other then say corvette owners do.  We don't after all
>  speak of a community of corvette owners and operators.

Actually, they do have a community.  Many models of cars have some of 
the most tight-knit and wide-ranging car clubs that you can imagine. 
Way, way beyond what you would ever find with Linux.

It was a recent Ford Mustang car club that received some attention in 
the press when they published their own pictures of their own cars, 
suitable for framing and putting on your wall or publishing in a 
magazine or calendar (and in fact they help finance their group 
through calendar sales).  It was Ford who sent them a 
cease-and-desist letter because Ford was claiming copyright over all 
images of any Ford Mustang, regardless of who actually took the 

>                                                           Furthermore,
>  most corvette owners do not have the opportunity to directly participate
>  in the creation of the corvette.

Also not necessarily true.  With certain models that are popular in 
certain car clubs, the manufacturers pay very close attention to what 
the car club members say or do, and some of them are involved in 
focus groups for what future versions of that car might look like in 
a few years.

There are more than a few models of cars that were saved by massive 
community participation, much like Star Trek TOS was originally saved 
from cancellation by the network.  The Corvette is just one of these.

>                                    In my view this is a very important
>  difference as it gives the individual members of the Linux community a
>  sense of not just ownership but also of collective creation that is not
>  there with their cars.

Sure, there are plenty of models that don't inspire that kind of 
intense loyalty or community interest, but there are also plenty of 
models that do.

And there are more than a few speciality car manufacturers that got 
their start as guys making modifications to their cars for display at 
the local car club, and who have since gone on to greatness.

If you want to get into these kinds of discussions relative to car 
clubs, you need to read car magazines more often, and pay more 
attention to TV shows like "Top Gear".

>  I think that this is largely understood and accepted by the vast
>  majority of those that participate within the community.  In my
>  experience it only becomes difficult when trying to explain what
>  Linux is to those who are not a part of the community or have had little
>  or no exposure to the community.

Yup.  Newbies are a problem.  In fact, I'd say that with regard to 
this subject, they are really the only problem.

Unfortunately, there are way more newbies out there (and getting more 
by the second) than there are old farts who understand these issues, 
and the newbies don't like being told that they're newbies and they 
clearly don't understand proper usage of the terms.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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