Friday, February 10, 2006

Being a Linux Enthusiasts and not a Linux Zealot

The title might suck but then its not always easy to summarize things in title.

Very often Linux enthusiats are called Linux Zealot. I decided to find out the reason behind why ppl like me and many other get so passionate about simple things like an OS. I have figured out at least one big reason for this: the sense of Ownership. Don't think I am gonna write about the Freedom etc stuff, I don't really philosophize that a lot.

By Ownership I mean willingness to accept responsibility and also to change the situation towards betterment. The most direct example I find in my excessive support of KDE compared to GNOME or any such WM whenever there comes a situation for debate. Though I was always impressed with the GUI the KDE guys brought to Linux Desktop, but the obsession comes more due to a second reason : My excite ment of developing something, albeit a small one, for the KDE. (Though when I started my initial bias towards KDE was a major reason for putting my efforts at becoming a KDE contributor rather than trying something Gnome-ish)

The same situation holds true with most Open Source Software (OSS) users. When you ask them any scopes for improvement they can positively show you many and also accept many of your suggestions, but one thing they don't like is OSS being criticized by those one sided people. The normal users do understand that lots of improvement is possible but they also understand that they can contribute and improve equally well as any other person and the software is their own. They see it their responsibility to make the situation better rather then just whine for it being not the best. Being a part of the sucha big community of like minded is a unique feeling in itself.

There is a important thing that I have learnt by experience, Its no use being a pro supporter for any OS or software during a clash of views with ppl who don't really want to change their opinions. Much better way to spend your precious time would be directly get involved in development of the same software (OS level development may be a bit bigger milestone) and improve it. Ultimately thats the the best advantage of OSS and the experience and learning is worth the time being spent in it. Your contribution to the community would also be much more appreciated.

Well for timepass I do enter in debates, promoting my favourites software to ppl who care to listen. So post like why KDE rules and so on will still keep coming. :)

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