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tekra 04-06-2013 11:44 PM

Are FOSS and Linux being corporatized?
 
My need for a near-bleeding-edge production platform finally forced me to abandon my robust, trusty, comfortably-customized PCLOS 2009 installation for something more up-to-date, and I'm now happily ensconced in a shiny new Gentoo installation - well, sort of. I've had so many unnerving experiences in the process as to prompt this thread, and those who suggest that my sanity may thus be in doubt will not immediately be rebuffed.

The penultimate trigger for this post was the latest 'improvement' to udev, the device discovery, automount and management daemon that I've learned, albeit reluctantly, to live with. Where before it was a largely invisible nuisance, it now insists, like modern politicians, in asserting its presence ever more forcefully using an ongoing series of manufactured pretexts. It offered me a list of Internet pages to read, all extolling the virtues of the latest upgrade, that read like PR releases from the local political office. In the end, the most valuable advice I found was to add 'net.ifnames=0' to the boot-time kernel invocation, and this successfully disabled the whole damn thing. Just what I wanted!

I'm presently struggling with getting CUPS to recognize my printer. It did on the last install, the packages and versions haven't changed, the kernel knows about it, 'lsusb' lists it, but CUPS can't find it! I strongly suspect that the 'proud' boast at the bottom of each CUPS page:

"CUPS and the CUPS logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. CUPS is copyright 2007-2012 Apple Inc. All rights reserved."

... has more than a little to do with it. I won't bore you about the problems with video; I managed to get a message placed in the package advice that users of the still-viable S3 Savage cards shouldn't expect too much sympathy, and the nVidia install I'm doing for a friend is far too close to the kernel for comfort. The OpenOffice team lost their Intellectual Property to a sleazy billionaire, who subsequently passed it to Apache when they all quit. And even though Intel now claims to be an avid supporter of FOSS, I'm certain this is for commercial advantage; they had a page on the Inet named 'intel-linux' or some such, but now it's '01.org', probably to keep M$ lawyers off their backs. Google is running Android, and you can't use the thing without registering a Gmail account.

And don't get me started on Grub2. The sane and sensible are still using Grub; the 'upgrade' was obviously designed by academics with PHD - Permanent Head Damage. Who in their right mind would bother with the thing?

All of which suggests an agenda pushing FOSS so far into needless complexity and obfuscation as to make it only accessible to a 'priesthood' of corporate wage-slaves, who beaver away enlarging an already bloated code-base so as to keep the laity from ever being able to comprehend it.

Those who remember the early days of Commodore 64s, the early Apples, Tandy TRS machines, and the like, will know where I'm coming from. There was a day when every REAL MAN was expected to change the oil and spark-plugs in the family car, change tap washers, replace a broken electrical outlet, and generally keep household technology in trim. Anyone who does these things today is at serious risk of criminal action for performing unqualified work and endangering others' lives. Money must be paid to Large Corporations for all such things. Is this where Linux is headed?

syg00 04-07-2013 01:27 AM

lol - what rock have you been hiding under .... :p
Quote:

Originally Posted by tekra (Post 4926649)
And don't get me started on Grub2. The sane and sensible are still using Grub; the 'upgrade' was obviously designed by academics with PHD - Permanent Head Damage. Who in their right mind would bother with the thing?

It shows its Debian heritage - mostly Ubuntu I suspect, but whatever. Pissed me off for a long time, but if you ever need to boot gpt, better get to like it.
Quote:

All of which suggests an agenda pushing FOSS so far into needless complexity and obfuscation as to make it only accessible to a 'priesthood' of corporate wage-slaves, who beaver away enlarging an already bloated code-base so as to keep the laity from ever being able to comprehend it.
Did you ever get to LCA ?. I used to continually gripe to Jonathon Corbet that they'll never get individuals interested in contributing to the kernel any more.
But with the corporations (Redhat in particular) driving things so much these days, no-one seems to care.

We should find a pub to discuss this privately ... ;)

tekra 04-07-2013 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syg00 (Post 4926676)
We should find a pub to discuss this privately ... ;)

Yes, but in the backstreets of a Third World country where the CIA can't find us.

JWJones 04-07-2013 09:54 AM

Lately I have been reading a lot about such things, myself, particularly in relation to systemd and other things created by LP, coming from primarily the RedHat camp. And of course there's the whole xorg/wayland/mir thing, and Ubuntu's hand in the corporatization of Linux.

Although I am a "mere user" and do not write code and such, I have been using Linux off and on since 2000, and so I have some perspective on the evolution of Linux. I try to keep abreast of these issues, and wrap my brain around the technical aspects of why some things are done. It seems that while some things are done from a valid technological standpoint, many things are done for sheer vanity and control, with no clear technological advantage.

This is one reason why I appreciate Slackware so much. No "change for the sake of change." Tried, true, tested, and stable. Vanilla packages from upstream, no branding. Things just work, and if they don't, it's probably because *I* screwed something up.

As always with the Linux world, it will be interesting to see how things play out over the coming years. I suppose that those that wish to go the corporate Linux route will continue to use distros such as Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu, and those of us that do not will choose the likes of Gentoo and Slackware, and hope that we aren't forced into the corporate vision of what Linux should be.

eloi 04-07-2013 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tekra (Post 4926685)
Yes, but in the backstreets of a Third World country where the CIA can't find us.

Why not in Crocodile Dundee town?

tekra 04-07-2013 03:24 PM

> Did you ever get to LCA?

No. I'm a retired HW engineer, and always found myself unable to socialize with the SW crowd, except in Singapore; even worse these days.

> if you ever need to boot gpt, better get to like it.

Problem is they feed off each other. My HW experience convinced me that the simplest solutions are not only the most elegant, but usually the most difficult to discover. It's always easy to come up with a nightmare of complexity that impresses everyone who knows nothing of the art, and once one CleverRichard has flaunted his wares, the others all strive to outdo him. The result is a pig's breakfast for everyone.

> Why not in Crocodile Dundee town?

Not sure where that is, exactly. Might be the ideal spot.

> I suppose that those that wish to go the corporate Linux route ... hope that we aren't forced into the corporate vision of what Linux should be.

I think you're too optimistic. One thing the corporate cravelings DO have is motivation - money, a job, prestige - and they'll drive the whole thing to please their bosses. Even Linus Himself said that Lx is becoming "big and scary", and that was years ago. I do believe that it's time for the Home/Personal User crowd to open a dialogue amongst themselves, and not rely on the generosity or consideration of the corporates - they don't have any.

eloi 04-07-2013 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tekra (Post 4927056)
> Why not in Crocodile Dundee town?

Not sure where that is, exactly. Might be the ideal spot.

If you find it, or some place alike, tell me please, I will be your neighbor. I'm not joking, I understand all what you've said.

Anyway in the near future mid class all around the world will not have to pay the electricity bill or even food. So we all will must to change the computer for the back garden and chickens like our grandparents fifty years ago (indeed I already have a vegetable garden).

jefro 04-07-2013 09:09 PM

I have never been against people making money.


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