Re: Martin Owens
> 1) Linux isn't an operating system, it's a kernel. OTOH Ubuntu, Fedora and Gentoo are all operating systems.
Uh, no. The kernel is the Operating System (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_(computing) ) ; it provides everything needed to talk to the hardware or BIOS of a computer system. Ubuntu, Fedora and Gentoo are DISTRIBUTIONS that utilize the OS (kernel) and add (supposedly) pre-tested command parser(s) (shells), system level utilities, applications, and GUI(es) that all require the kernel to accomplish tasks. A simplified version of what you are saying would be KDE = Gnome = OS, which would be a "NO". "Ubuntu" is just a trademark.
Now, Canonical, Ltd. may make modifications to the Linux OS kernel for its own use (precompiled drivers, etc), but the kernel is the lowest level code that communicates to the BIOS and hardware. Likewise, what makes OSX a "Unix" operating system? The BSD (modified) Unix KERNEL, and BSD <> Linux because of that.
> 2) All work in the FOSS world is done based on demand, if you don't have winmodem support, or a working mouse (that made me laugh) then perhaps it's because there isn't the demand, or the people who demand the work fail to pay for it to be done.
Actually, all FOSS work is the product of different motives, usually (1) personal agrandizement (That's MY name on that!), (2) vendetta (I can make it better than you!), or (3) altruism (Make the world a better place, man); I am sure there are others. Its basically what some person(s) could be bothered to do in their spare time or while unemployed. (4) Long-term greed (We'll make our money in service contracts!) also counts as a motive, but then that is an "investment" and not necessarily spare time. None of that makes their FREE CONTRIBUTION in any way diminished; these are (generally) smart people who saw a need and filled that need, usually without getting paid for it. The economics of this are blatant; if you charged for it, it would not be as wide-spread, which knocks the first three motives on their ear.
>3) What exists is Free, what is yet to exist costs to make. Make a note and learn it for next time. If you want something done, make sure you have your chequebook out.
Which means that whatever "Free" and "Open Source" software out there was free to create? No, it just means that whatever has been done has been donated to the "community". What you espouse goes against the predominant viewpoint I have seen in the "community" (forums, shows, etc). There they say, "Can't find it? Just do it yourself!"
"Where do these people come up with such stuff?" THIS IS WHERE. People want Plug-N-Play the way it was advertised to them, and they want it in the "Free" (as in beer) OS they downloaded. The fact that the "Free" OS is not the one that advertised it makes no matter to Joe Blow. Joe has no political motive (stick it to the "man") for using Linux, he got it because he has an old PC, and can't get Win 3.x/95 to boot up anymore. If he wanted to get his "chequebook out", he would just buy new kit with the OS already on it, sit back with a beer, and call it a day.