Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Giving back to the community

There appear to be innumerable number of distributions built around Debian GNU/Linux. That's good. But are all these distros(spinoffs) giving back anything (at all) to the debian pool. I do not think so.The biggest user ie, Ubuntu has really not given back much to the debian community or to their desktop counterpart, Gnome. There has been a lot of discussion over this aspect over the public network. But for me the crux of the matter is that spinoffs should give back the improvements to the base distros which in turn would strengthen their own base.

This would result in a healthy concept of not "Re-inventing the wheel". It is now public that Apple in the course of developing a new age OS chose a free bsd base with the Mach microkernel which was "free as in freedom" software to come out with Mac os X(ten not X). But how much has been give back is quite obvious by the fact that we do not have a usable GNU/Linux distro with Darwin base. The graphical shell which apple prides and has all the computer illiterates drooling over it is very much a propreitory property. Imagine the state of GNU/Linux distros or GNU/bsd distros if the entire OS X was available with "free as in freedom" licenses. By now Apples os would have been put to shame by the FLOSS developer community by developing their own spins. And with every GNU/Linux droolable nothing would be special.

Majority of the FLOSS developers spend their time in re-inventing the wheel by writing parallel drivers for propreitory ones thereby wasting the valuable soft provess available in the world. This is a call to the entire FLOSS community to avoid re-inventing the wheel by sharing the improvemnts to the base distros. I think the reason for this has been to keep with themselves a USP which would make their own distro stand apart. All the distros would do themselves a lot of good if they started sharign "all" the improvements and continue the "free as in freedom" concept for the future generations to come.

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Nobody can deter me away from "free as in freedom" concept seeded by Sri RMS. See to it that u dont make fun of my belief. If u think otherwise, no need to comment.