[maemo-users] Nokia: Linux Needs to Learn Business

From: Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Date: Sun Jun 15 03:41:38 EEST 2008
On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 09:45:27PM +0200, Luca Olivetti wrote:
> > but most people like their cell phones light and
> > thin, and for 99.99% of the population out there, this plus "must be
> > low cost" tends to trump considerations such as open drivers.
> 90% of the population is using windows, and ten years ago it was 
> probably 100%, thank God neither Linus nor RMS cared about those numbers 
> (and neither did you).

15 years ago I was giving presentations promoting Linux using
Microsoft Powerpoint, because the Linux presentation tools were cr*p.
And while I chose to use Linux, and accepted various sacrifices to so
I could have a working system (including, by the way, using binary
drivers), I wasn't throwing rotten tomatoes and screaming at laptop
vendors who chose to use closed hardware which didn't support Linux.
I chose to avoid buying Sony laptops, since they were the worst in
terms of proprietary hardware with Windows-only drivers, but I
accepted why they made the business decisions that they did.

Look, engineering is the art of the possible, and this includes
understanding the business constraints.  There are things we can do to
help make life easier for companies that choose to be FOSS friendly,
including patronizing companies that are doing what they can.  That
means understanding what the best that they can do might be at a
particular point in time.  

Back in 1993, not only was I completely supportive of people who used
Powerpoint as a presentation tool, I did it myself.  In 2008, I try to
gently convert people to use Open Office, even if they choose to use a
Windows or MacOS X desktop.

Just three years ago, I used used binary video drivers from ATI as the
only way I could get the needed functionality for my laptop.  Now, I
used and recommend to others using the laptops that contain Intel
video chipsets, because of Intel's release of open source, high
quality video drivers.

So things are moving in the right direction, but in some areas change
may come quicker than others.  The trick is to helpfully engage with
vendors and help them work with their suppliers --- and not just throw
rocks.  The former is usually for more productive than the latter.
You catch very few flies with vinegar....

						- Ted

More information about the maemo-users mailing list