I have taken on a BOF at OLS.

Posted 16 Jun 2003 at 23:43 UTC by cmacd Share This

I have bitten off a big assignment at OLS this year, I want to have a BOF session on what we need to do to get GNU/Linux to be sucessful in the real world.

After deciding that what I could do best to improve free software was to apply myself to bridging the gap between writers and users, I have been taking part on a semi-closed group of mostly Governement of Canada workers, who are trying to create the seeds of adoption of Linux/LAMP/and generaly Free/open software in the public sector.

In this study we have been amazed at how much folks are spending on Closed source limited solutions. Whne the Opportunity to run a BOF was waved in front of my nose, How could I refuse?

Details on what I have signed up to offer are here

Please send me sugestions at cmacd at Achilles.net I will sumarise and try to publish the results of the BOF

"Real World", posted 17 Jun 2003 at 01:50 UTC by moshez » (Master)

I fail to see why you think GNU/Linux is not successful in the "real world", or rather what version of "real world" you're thinking of. Is my room, where I have a small Debian woody/Debian sid/Debian sid network not "real"? Is the room next to mine, where a Debian woody box is FTP and CVS server for another network not "real"? Are the computers in the HUJI math dept. who run RH 7.3-9 not "real"?

I suspect you have some other meaning. Maybe you meant "in the Canadian govt." or "on people's desktops". Or, hell, maybe you meant "in mom'n'pop shops". All these places have different needs, and lumping them all into "the real world" is doing everyone a disservice.

But, I'm sure your BoF will go fine. If you want to save time, I can give you the transcripts of the BoF now, so you won't have to attend physically. With a little effort, you can do it yourself. Start with the "installation debate", and sprinkle liberally with RH vs. Debian vs. Mandrake comments. Then put in the consistency debate. Make sure someone mentions Open Office. GNOME vs. KDE is a must here, and adding "XFCE!!" is also recommended. Now comes the fun part: exchange. You can go several minutes over "Exchange is for more than mail!" "But people don't need it" "Web based alternatives good" "web based alternatives bad" stuff. Ranting about samba installation and configuration is also a must.

First step, posted 17 Jun 2003 at 10:30 UTC by DV » (Master)

Don't use "GNU/Linux" to designate Linux. Name confusion does not help getting a clear message out, and the Linux conversion message is not about the FSF politocal agenda IMHO.


what sorts of software are these example real-world people using?, posted 18 Jun 2003 at 08:24 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

i think the most important thing that you can communicate to people on advogato is the sorts of software that these example real-world people are using, or even better, what their requirements are.

remember that advogato is focussed on developers and is typically read _by_ developers. consequently, unless you actually say what is actually needed by these people from a GNU/Linux system, you are likely to get more responses from a _developer's_ real-world perspective (cvs, subversion, ssh and other tools).

a list of requirements will help people here to assess how GNU/Linux can help, by way of what exists already and what doesn't.

moshez, i believe that the politics of what distribution, what desktop to run are irrelevant to getting the job done. for the person who is doing the maintenance, the distribution needs to fit their skill-level.

i believe that for the person staring at the screen every day, the easiest, most-windows-looking and fastest desktop has to be at the top of the rather nebulous, and really quite low, priorities.

What I am aiming at are finding if there are any gaps.., posted 24 Jun 2003 at 12:56 UTC by cmacd » (Journeyer)

I am using GNU/Linux, just to refer to the Linux Kernal, with the normal glue that makes it a system. I really don't want to get into the political arguments about free speach and all, because the discusion tends to make management types stand away.

Basicaly what I want to ask the group here, since you all are hard core open/free software specalists....Is what do you find is missing when trying to persuade someone to use your code/project/product in a comercial educational or Governmental situation..

I am Quite aware of te MS office/Open Office

OUTlook and what it does (the Place I work just spent something in the Millions of Candian Dollars to equip 10,000 desktops with Outlook. I have to yse that junk every day.

the outcome I would like is to know what gaps are still there, and if there are in fact any technicla gaps to fill, or if it is as I suspect all a marketing problem at this point?

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